outdated theory?

As discussed in class and in Cameron Bailey's text, if one does not mention his or her gender or race, it is assumed that whoever it is, this person is male and white.

Is this broad statement outdated? Do alterations of these assumptions apply to certain sites that are aimed at different demographics? Can it be assumed that Brad Pitt discussion forum participants are different from bloggers on Barack Obama's website?

Is it ever safe to make assumptions as to who the general participants are? In Lisa Nakamura's article, she discusses that the new media furthers racial and cultural steretypes.

The answer to piracy...

Everywhere I hear people complaining about piracy of this and copyright protection that. I am all for patents and copyrights, but if some 15yr old kid in his living room can figure out how to watch a movie for free instead of forking over $10 to see it theaters, all the power to him. For example, I freggin love the network. And because it is readily available to me and the kids that run it outsmarted everyone trying to stop them, I figure I should use their service. Well, all that I am really trying to say is that the big music / video / tv companies should stop bitching and figure out how to beat these 15yr old kids. Bittorent may have just stumbled upon the answer.

Effects of Misogyny

I realized something during our class discussion today about the effects of misogyny on the web. Specifically, it was when Prof. Fitzpatrick used the article from Salon.com to illustrate her point about how offensive flamings can affect female writers. I'd read that article before class, because I wanted to see how it would address the same problems that you find in the comments on salon.com against female columnists there. That site features just as much anti-female vitriol as any other one, and I definitely agree that comments like this:

"Is there any reason why this is acceptable from liberal Salon, but not Ann Coulter?

class reading

Tagged:

One of my good friends from high school actually met his now-boyfriend of a couple years online, much to my own nervousness at the time. Despite my own fears about him, he ended up actually being pretty cool and they're very happy together now. Watching my friend make a connection he could otherwise never have made where we lived online certainly gave me some pause at the time; I had always internalized the rhetoric mentioned about the internet being too dangerous and open a place to be that personal and establish that level of trust. If you couldn't see them, after all, then how could you know who they really were?

Minority Report via the MINI . . .

We were talking the other day in class about the stupidity of tracking devices, but it seems like MINI has made a splash in the advertising (specifically billboards) world with a brand new use of tracking technology in their MINI Motoryby ad campaign. The digital messages on four MINI billboards (one in each NYC, Chicago, Miami, and San Fran) now change as MINI owners with registered fobs drive by. So if you have a MINI, and you registered online, and you have the fob they sent you on your keychain, you might drive by to see your name a joke about you or your profession plastered up for all to see. Can you imagine having your birthday or something else to that effect flash on the billboard when you drive by? Hmm, please let idea die here. Sorry MINI, too weird/creepy for me.

Our Wiki

Hey guys, I have been working a little on our wiki over the past week and I wanted to get your opinions. Here is my page, Bumpkins. Basically, I have been throwing a bunch of random information on the page that maybe someone else in the class could have in common with me. Hopefully, everyone was envisioning something like this. Secondly, here is an example of a page, Bowling. I basically put a little bit of info about bowling, and then said why I put it there.

south park relevance

I just watched the new South Park episode entitled "The Snuke", which is a parody of the show 24. In this episode Kyle (and later, government officials) track down a Russian terrorist from Kyle's bedroom by cross-referencing user profile information on websites such as eBay, YouTube, PayPal, MySpace, J-Date, eHarmony, Google maps, and Mapquest. I was amused. :) It reminded me of our discussion in class about the extent to which we release personal information on the web and the potential it has to cause trouble...!

Hmm... Video Games and our conception of those who play them...

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From Turkle's "Video Games and Computer Holding Power" we are presented with a few characters who play video games as a means to relieve stress, or to merge with a world that treats them differently from the every day world. What I hadn't noticed until now, though it is understandable, is that the characters she describes all seem to be under society's norms of being "anti-social." In the case of Jimmy this is so because he is conscious of his slurred speech, but other than them playing video games for their own purposes, Turkle does not try to defend this label with the bad connotation that pops in our minds-- most of our minds, at least-- other than when she describes the reasons for these characters to play video games.

man machine distinction

Turkle dwells on the idea that a child can give a computer the psychological abilities of a person, i.e. think or talk, but still consider it a machine. "These children who so effortlessly split consciousness and life are forerunners of a larger cultural movement." I know I am one of these kids, I started playing video games when I was 5 and haven't looked back, but why is this so groundbreaking? I guess no other generation has experienced the "computer age" like we have, but separating reality, or biological life, from virtual reality, or machines, does not take any effort at all. Maybe those from generations past just don't get it, much like my grandparents don't understand sarcasm and irony the way I do. In fact, intensive research has gone into the correlation of violent video games and violent acts in life. The classic example being that the kids in the Columbine shooting played Doom. It turns out, the correlation is non-existent. People playing violent video games, or video games of any type, easily separate fantasy from reality. The things that form our opinions and actions are peers and parents, not video games and movies. It must be our version of rock-and-roll; old people just don't get it.

The one pager

When I think of a web page I think of links and hypertext. But, why can't I get everything I need one page? At least that is what these crazy cats were thinking when they made one page websites. If it is only one page does it even count as a webpage? Does the "web" imply a link to something else? This seems more like a frontpage.

Thats it, just some more useless information to digest...

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