Thursday, June 28, 2007
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
The Final Hypertext itself is just a click away under the Coursework section. It discusses the way that social interaction in the world of Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs) promotes a form of self-regulated normative behavior within communities, as well as how that behavior is very much a replicated version of the interactions that we each experience on a daily basis. Feel free to check it out and have a great summer everyone!
Saturday, June 16, 2007
Thanks for all of the intriguing class discussions and projects. I hope all of you have an EPIC summer!
Hypertext Topic: How the differences in use and management of the internet effects a society, more specifically focusing on the development of the China and how the internet effects there growth in the modern world.
I'm DONE! Thanks for the great times!
Friday, June 15, 2007
My project is on the potential and the limitation of online activism and hacking. I am now going to stay away from my computer for awhile. It has been a great class.
In Peace, love and unity,
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
My hypertext project is all about how Internet stardom is changing the media landscape. As you read this, many Internet personalities are drawing in hundreds of thousands of fans a minute, whisking them away on the obscure ride known only as: the Internet. Join me in my adventurous journey, as we explore the many different types of Internet celebrities, including their origins in contrast to what they've become. How is the Internet changing the face of the media? Come and find out in my fabulously decorated web page.
My project only supports the Internet, so any other means of attempting to connect to my website will be a fruitless effort. Don't bother. Instead, get yourself connected (even through a library computer!) and lose yourself in my Hub of awesome-ness.
I’m sure that this is something that you’ll read over and over again, but I want to make it clear that I was probably the most lost, most confused, most uncomfortable, most frustrated, and most angry person that was in the Internet Culture class this quarter. This project is an homage to those feelings, most of which were the direct result of Second Life. From the creepy feeling of designing my own avatar, to the frustration with filming, to the weird “people” that would come up to me in SL when I was trying to finish my diary—this is for all of that. This project examines the ways in which we use Second Life: corporately, socially, and academically. Starting out, I had only thought that Second Life was the place where anti-social gamers and pedophiles hung out. Now, at the end, I know that Second Life is more than creeps, bullies, and people who pee on you. Second Life is all of that and more. Let’s not dwell on the “Second” so much as to forget about the “Life” that is so integral to this alternate world.
Have a beautiful summer.
And here lies my academic hypertext. Behold me bretheren! Tis a Feminist Critique of Pro-Ana and Pro-Mia communities.
Enjoy, drink ye mead, and have a great summer!
here it is again:
Here is the link: http://itrs.scu.edu/faculty/mbousquet/spring07/english138/klinney_spr07/final%20project/home.htm
Hope everyone has a good summer!
Specifically, here's the link to my final on the social implications of the content in video-games - mostly violence and gender.
My final project focuses on the phenomenon of blogola, and the ways in which it affects bloggers and the blogosphere. Blogola is essentially the purchasing of bloggers’ opinions, a marketing strategy recently adopted by Big Business in America. In addition to defining and providing examples of blogola, I discuss first-hand accounts of blogola and examine bloggers’ reactions to it (not surprisingly, most are opposed to it until they are targeted and receive free gifts themselves). I also have a lengthy section of my essay dedicated to the benefits offered by the blogosphere, and how blogola counteracts and lessens their effectiveness.
The conclusion of my paper ties together all that I have learned about blogola and addresses the solution that must be pursued if the benefits of the blogola and the independence of bloggers are to be preserved.
I had a great time with this project, and I hope all who read it enjoy it as much as I did! Here are the links:
Hypertext Essay & Site
and here is the link to my actual hypertext project!
My topic for the project was prostitution and the internet and how the improvement of the internet has changed the face of the prostitution industry. I included information about what prostitution was like before and after the internet along with some police cases that involved internet prostitution. The section called
PunterNet.com is a real website where customers of prostitutes can write reviews and you can set up sex tours and stuff. Just so you know, if you go to the actual site, it is very graphic so just a warning that you might get offended when you read some of it. I know I did. Anyways, hope you like my site!
My Hypertext project is on the use of New Media in the political sector and the effects and implications of its use on the individual consumer/voter.
As a society we are on the precipice a time of increased integration of different forms of media. In the last few years we have seen an explosion of vastly popular social networking websites such as mySpace and Facebook. In conjunction with this trend online digital media has become less expensive and represents now a veritable playground of possibilities of expression. The major player in this arena is YouTube, a video sharing website that allows its users to upload and download and share amateur and professionally made video free of charge.
With these two phenomenons sweeping popular culture across all age demographics the range and possibilities of user made multimedia seems endless. Some of the newest players to explore some of the possibilities of New Media are politicians. With the 2008 Presidential election coming up the candidates are turning to this newly popular arena with a wide range of goals. They are utilizing video sharing sites like YouTube and social networking sites to bring in more revenue for campaign funding and also as a way to avail themselves to a society of younger Americans who no longer get their news from the television.
One of the burning questions surrounding this shift from the TV to the internet is what will this hold for the future of political campaigning. The issue that I will explore on this hypertextual journey is the way that the rise of New Media has altered the conception of the individual. And what affect this “new individual” will have on preexisting political constructs as politicians attempt to assimilate to the changing culture.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Being an avid Facebook user, I was not willing to end my existence on the site. So, I looked into to censoring "sensitive" material that may be frowned upon by an employer. The rule that many recommended was "If you don't want grandma to see it, don't post it." I, however, have a pretty wild grandma. This being the case, I decided to look into censorship based on the advice "If you wouldn't want it on the cover of the New York Times, don't put it on your profile." That thought definitely put things into a whole new perspective. But I came to realize that I pretty much would have to cut ties with the majority of my profile. The removing of pictures, leaving of groups, and deleting of content was more than I could bear. I did not want to change this representation that I had created for some employer. So, i left my profile unchanged and still managed to get a job.
In my research, I wanted to look into the ethics of doing such searches and find out how much companies actually screen job applicants using sites such as Facebook and MySpace. I learned that the idea of Internet backgrounds checks on personal profiles is a newer phenomenon, one that is increasingly frustrating college students like myself. While employers are entitled to do such exploration online, it is still a tricky topic that can lead to legal entanglements.
My finished website: http://itrs.scu.edu/faculty/mbousquet/spring07/english138/adaley_spr07/
Direct Link to Hypertext Essay: MMORPGs – World of Warcraft
My final hypertext essay is concerning the role of Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games and how these MMORPGs affect the community, social interactions, and culture. I used the ever popular World of Warcraft as my vehicle to explore the implications of online gaming. The hypertext is designed to provide an understanding to the popularity of MMORPGs, the social aspects to playing online games, the community reconstruction presented by online gaming, and the cultural identities being developed by online games.
Monday, June 11, 2007
This site is about how ages are used in such different ways on myspace. I thought that it would be interesting to look at reaons why people use different ages online, and why they lie about it. I also wanter to see what myspace was doing about it. During research I found so many different articles about sexual abuse that was going on through myspace, but most them had to do with someone lying about their age and someone never knowing they were lying. One article was about a 19 year old boy that was being sued by a 13 year old girl. The girl lied on her account and said she was older and the boy had no way of knowing how old she really was. Does myspace need to do something about this??
In my paper i decided to explore all angles of myspace, I went and found the rules for entering the site, and I even found a place where people were trying to make a law that said that myspace needed to do checks on peoples ages. I discuss whether or not this was fair to the members or not. It was a fun essay, and i had fun doing the research for it.
Sunday, June 10, 2007
For my final project I chose to investigate how Facebook has permanently changed contemporary dating behavior. The two specific areas of Facebook, which I explored in depth, are: how Facebook influences first dates and how the relationship status box on Facebook has caused troubling side effects for Facebook users. The majority of the criticism and articles I found in regards to my topic, dating behavior and facebook, discuss the negative implications and concerns surrounding the relationship status feature on Facebook. However, the purpose of my paper was to explore how this feature has both positive and negative connotations. In addition I sought to prove that Facebook has permanently changed contemporary dating behavior both unavoidably and necessarily. In an age in which Facebook is the primary social outlet for young adults across the country, why should it not be the primary means of announcing relationship status? If a couple really cares about each other, why would they be hesitant to announce their status to their entire social network? With my research as the backbone for my analysis of this topic, along with these guiding questions of inquiry, I hope my final project has revealed how Facebook has crucially and eternally changed contemporary dating behavior.
Here is the link to my final project: http://itrs.scu.edu/faculty/mbousquet/spring07/english138/aseppala_spr07/final_project_1.html.
Here is the link to the homepage of my personal website:
http://itrs.scu.edu/faculty/mbousquet/spring07/english138/aseppala_spr07/. Feel free to browse and enjoy!
Saturday, June 9, 2007
As we studied earlier this quarter, the use of web logs is on the rise, serving as either a creative outlet for people to publish their thoughts, art or observations or as a form to spread information about world events. Because of the possibility for just about anyone who has access to the Internet to publish onto the web, the web log is emerging as a popular form of literature. Now with the Internet now accessible by our military as they fight in Iraq, there has been an influx of what are now known as military blogs, which are now even organized on the site milblogging.com. Primarily utilized by the military to maintain instant contact between soldiers and their families, the military blog is now becoming the voice of the soldiers as they disclose what the media doesn't say.
In my essay, I chose to examine what exactly these military blogs are and what they have to say. In looking at this, the existing debate is discussed whether soldiers have the right to publish on the web, when many people believe that the information that is published is in fact endangering the troops. Others maintain that these soldiers have the right to speak their mind on these blogs. Despite the current regulations, soldiers are continuing to post on their blogs, furthering this very important discussion concerning First Amendment Rights.
As I mentioned in class, my hypertext is about flaming and new identity creation. It seems not many people are realizing the responsibility maintaining their numerous identities involves. Most online discussion boards are reminiscent of war zones, with flames and insults being thrown left and right. Perfectly decent people turn into vicious fonts of hatred and vitriol as all restraint is lost. This hypertext seeks to examine why this occurs, and the process of creating a new identity that differs so much from one’s real life identity.
To do so, I examined not only the academic research behind the subject, but also a few actual examples from the Naruto Collectible Card Game online community. As a judge and tournament organizer for this game, I am expressly aware of the changes that occur. These are people I see every week who are very nice people – but when I see them participate in discussion boards and chat rooms, it’s as if I barely know them. The identities they have created online are dramatically different from the identities they project in real life. These examples culled from real situations perhaps are the most common situations one will find on the Internet – quiet, socially awkward teenage males attempting to escape from their dreary lives by creating a new life online.
There actually have been a few studies done on the subject of flame wars, as it is a very rampant problem on the Internet. Possible reasons why flaming occurs and why it is so widespread include anonymity, gender interactions, the faceless nature of the Internet, and the ease of overexpression of emotion. As a result of the sheer amount of flaming that happens, there have also been methods developed to combat destructive flame wars that either rip groups apart or can bring down a public figure.
The personal focus of my paper is on a few people, aged 13 to 25, who partake in the aformentioned online discussion boards for the Naruto card game. I know all of these people personally in real life, and interact with them nearly every weekend. Because of this, I have noticed a large discrepancy from their offline behavior and their online actions. Offline, they are well behaved, quiet, and decent people, whereas online they flame, they make fun of people, and are loudmouth, brash jerks. Some of them recognize this problem and have attempted to rectify it (with some success), while others are still flaming away regularly while being very nice people offline. My hypertext is focused on these people, and why their behavior can change so radically when they sit in front of a computer.
It's been a great quarter... I hope everyone has an amazing summer!
Monday, June 4, 2007
Alex Foti’s interview was of specific interest, after I had just read Terranova’s piece. Terranova looks at how technology and culture shape each other and how this in turn effects the global marketplace. Foti highlights different ideas about class throughout his interview, and I think that class is something that needs to be considered while considering Terranova’s claims. What hand does the internet play in the economy of the future?
I wasn’t able to get very far into Haraway’s article. Maybe it was the bizarre intro image, the heavy language, or my own senioritis. My own answer is pending.
The first of these is the story of technological determinism, which is one that I certainly can recognize hearing quite frequently, particularly regarding the way technology influences society. This story discusses technology that appears to have been invented on accident, but that has consequences for society that seem to be inevitable across the spectrum. The example that Ohmann gives is the way in which, "The TV caused middle-class families of the 50s to retreat from community life and intensify their nuclear focus, huddling together around the warm glow of the living room TV set." The downfall of such a view is that "they suggest that these consequences are inevitable, that the technologies were invented without specific intentions, and that the technologies are singular, in themselves social forces" (King 306).
The next of the "stories technologies" is what is described as symptomatic technology. In this description, one discusses the way in which symptoms emerge from the invention of an important technology. The example provided by King is that "we might say, 'Our children have become ravenous consumers of junk watching TV commercial after TV commercial.'" In doing this, we neglect the technological invention in itself in order to focus on "other great social forces which exploit such invention" (307).
The third narrative is known as neutral technology and is particularly interesting in that it looks at the way in which certain technologies do both positives and negatives for society, whether socially, political, or economically. King cites the example of the Digital Divide and the claim that, "Computers are not the problem, it is everyone not having access to them that is the concern." While this view of technology appears to be an unbiased appraisal of the pro's and con's of certain technological developments, it is important to recognize that this assessment fails to "recognize,technologies as create and deployed within, indeed embodying, relations of power." It is here that King discusses a very important way to identify this "neutral technology" by looking for three particular signs that indicate such a view. "The first is using phrases like 'the computer' 'as if it were a stable device.' The second is deploying such a phrase as a grammatical agent (for example, making it the subject of a sentence), and the third is using phrases like 'man,' 'the mind,' and 'the human condition'" (307). Ohmann demands that one recognize the crucial point "that technologies interact with people or with 'culture' in global, undifferentiated ways, rather than serving as an arena of interaction among classes, races, and other groups of unequal power" (qtd in King 307). This "neutral technology," which seemingly looks like the most potentially unbiased view of technology, is shown to neglect the relationship that technology has with its users, and the varied types of users that themselves have different relationships with such technology.
This idea leads finally to the fourth type, which King considers the most neutral and what Haraway termed as technologies as frozen social relations. This mode of viewing technology is the most complex, stemming from the fact that it examines the transitions in relationships between technology and its varied users, particularly relationships that were previously nearly incapable of comprehension until their recent evolution. The danger here is once again to revert to the three signs in technological discussion that Ohmann warned against in the explanation of the "neutral technologies." One must be exceptionally careful in examining the emergence and role of a technology in relation to all its users and forms. The result is a very intensive discourse for the relationship of any sort of technology to society, a condensed version of which King provides in the following page regarding merely the understanding of the term "VCR." The intense scrutiny that one must undertake seems nearly painful, but unfortunately the field of studying technological emergence in society demands such specified investigation to avoid generalized and inaccurate claims.
While this entire explanation seemed to offer little impact on the remainder of the article, and seemed to only be explained for informative and not argumentative purposes, I found it to be by far the most interesting examination of the field of technology. As King later discusses, in her classes there is so much more than learning how to use technology to do things such as build websites, which is what most presume a tech class will entail. To examine the way in which technology interacts with all aspects of our society, which is what we have done primarily in this class, in addition to the integration of technology to display our research, is of just as great importance.
I apologize for the length of this post, but I thought it of great importance in a class on "Internet Culture in the Information Society" that we pay specific attention to the way in which technology's relationship with our society is viewed, examined, and explained. King does a great job explaining these four modes, and as a result it seemed important to highlight it for the purpose of this class.
so i had a really hard time trying to get through the cyborg manifesto. i read this as if i would read theory, and as such, i kept in mind a very helpful tip from one of my professors: read it as if you knew what was going on. whenever we get to a rather difficult theorist, she tells us to just keep reading, and pretend that we follow. more often than not, she says, we will have picked up on more than we think.
this advice didn’t really help this time.
so, i went search on my own for some help. first, i checked out donna harraway on wikipedia and skimmed through some of her biography and her previous writings. then, i stumbled on some reading notes here: http://www.terrisenft.net/students/readings/manifesto.html. i’d highly recommend skimming through these notes. they helped me understand the manifesto a little better. after that, i called my feminist friend, sarah, who had read another article by harraway called you are cyborg, and we talked about it for a while. the most clarifying point of our conversation was when i finally asked her what a cyborg is. i know how harraway defines it in her manifesto, but i wanted to know how she thought of drawing a distinction between robots and cyborgs. sarah was telling me that a cyborg is kind of like the bridge between a robot and a human: you can speak about a birth and a death with a cyborg, but not in the same way when you’re talking about a robot. she was talking about how technology has become so insinuated and entangled with humans that, in a way, we’re not humans anymore. people who have metal rods in their backs for a spine or heart machines aren’t really human, and in a larger sense, neither are people who wear glasses, and in an even larger sense, neither are people who use alarm clocks. she pointed me to these articles: http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/5.02/ffharaway_pr.html and http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/5.02/ffharaway.html?pg=2&topic=&topic_set=
King asks, "What are the politics of making distinctions between the oral and the written?" This is followed by a series of questions clarifying exactly what she researches including questions about assumptions, power, historical divides, and the practical. King uses feminism to research the "technologies of knowledge-making." How I see it, is the relationship between technology, the improvements of culture throughout the years, and the real world. I have never heard of "writing technologies," and am interested in what it is exactly. King says that it is to engage the objects intertwined with stories, and that these stories are important in the overall picture. It is because of these stories that technology has glamour and depth, yet I'm still confused on what stories of technology entails. Maybe it is my need for a definition and the lack of a concrete one, that prevents me from understanding.
In her search for a kind of politics that simultaneously appeals to socialist-feminism and embraces “partial, contradictory, permanently closed constructions of personal and collective selves” (157), Haraway makes some very interesting discoveries and claims. One of the most striking ideas brought up was that of us all being cyborgs, part machine and part organism. Technology definitely plays a large role in my life as a student: SCU (like most universities) has made technology a central component of the academic experience and without access to it, I would not be able to succeed in school. But even though I have such a strong relationship with technology, with computers, cell phones, and the internet, I do not feel that I am part machine. So, needless to say, in reading all that Haraway had to say about cyborgs (and about dualisms in our society in general), I was very fascinated.
A related part of the reading I found particularly interesting was Haraway’s discussion later in the chapter regarding dependence on electronics (165). We have had relied so heavily on electronics, she says, that the difference between the machine and the organism has become blurred: “mind, body, and tool are on very intimate terms” (165). Is this true? Has technology become a part of each of our selves? Haraway also claims that, because of this new “intimate” connection between organisms and machines, the organism has lost its classification as an “object of knowledge,” that we now consider machines to be objects of knowledge. The idea made me reflect on the extent of our dependence on technology, and I wonder if it will be the fatal flaw, the cause of the downfall, of humanity.
Alex Foti Interview
In his response to the third question of the interview, Foti stated that knowledge workers--students, researchers, educators, etc.--were “probably the most organized” out of the Italian “precariat.” This was the most notable part of the interview, for me. Earlier in it, Foti talked of looking to America and seeing the future of exploitation in Italy; in the same way, I believe we should look to Italy (and France and Denmark) for a model for knowledge worker organization and activism. As we have read, the corporatization of universities is creating a dire situation for students and (especially) for researchers and teachers. Foti’s statement sort of surprised me: I feel that out of all the groups in America that should and need to be organized, knowledge workers need to be the most, and yet I don’t think of them as being organized at all. Much good would come from having students, educators, and researchers (and all combinations) organize together to put a halt to exploitation. But would American students would be willing to unionize? Would they be able to overcome universities’ inevitable efforts to prevent organizing?
Friday, June 1, 2007
A topic that King addresses in this text, that was mentioned by Julianne in her post, is the idea that technology is largely considered masculine. She discusses how the title of her class tends to scare off women who are naturally inclined toward literary aspects as opposed to technical ones. Women come into her class claiming that they have little or no experience with technology, writing off sewing machines, stoves, televisions and music players as simple domestics. It really is a strange phenomenon that there is this masculinity in the field of technology, and it is something I have wondered about since there isn't any clear cut reason for why it is the case.
When I first learned about Second Life, I was initially not thrilled to partake in the exploration of this new world. It looked as though I was going to have to enter a video game land characteristic of teenage boys. I couldn’t help but feel that I was slightly disadvantaged in my interactive abilities in Second Life. It is strange to feel immediately out of your element in any locale, but this case, I felt especially unsure as a girl. That is not to say that I have never been exposed to videogame elements before. Growing up, I was drawn to Tetris and Lincoln Logs, slightly more gender neutral than Barbie dolls. Yet, the typical childhood upbringing of boys entails much more computer-oriented activity. There are very few guys I know who do not own an Xbox or N64 or Playstation. We do have a Nintendo player tucked away somewhere in my house, but I received it as a gift from a crazy uncle and never really got into it.