Is Google Making us Stupid?

I decided to choose this topic for my semester project because I have been interested in the topic ever since it was mentioned in class. At first I believed that google could possibly be making our generation stupid and  even making us lazy because the information is so accessible. My opinion has truly changed after taping this project. It seems that even though we have easier access to information now then ever students are still expected to memorize and use the information that they find. Even if they are only memorizing the information for a short amount of time to take a test or write a paper our parents still did the same. There is an equal amount of information that neither generation knows to the amount of information they both know. I found this project to be extremely fun and worthwhile. It put my beliefs to the test and allowed me and the people I choose to work with to have some fun. I decided to use friends and family for my project and choose not to include myself in the game show because while doing the research to find questions…I found out that I am, for sure, NOT smarter than a 5th grader. My friends mother, Patti, had trouble excepting that she did not know many answers to the questions that I asked. She explained to me that some of the information seemed far removed from what she thinks about today, but found it interesting to see what she remembered. Hope you all enjoy!

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Urban Legends and the Internet-Research paper

For my research paper I am exploring the idea of horror stories on the internet, more popularly known as creepy pasta. This term comes originated on the website 4chan and the word copypasta. This term refers to a piece of text or photo that is spread rapidly through the internet. After conducting some research I found that there are so many internet ‘bogey mans’ out there. There are seven main characters/stories that have spread widely through out the internet. Slender man/Marble Hornets Project, Ted the Caver, The Dionaea House, Then who was phone, smile.jpeg, Candle Cove, and Black Eyed Kids. Through research I will find out the origin of these characters, there stories, and how they are documented. Slender man being the most popular and ‘successful’ out of the bunch is the only one who is copyrighted and turned into a video game. Dealing with the idea of copyright I will look at George Lucas and his relationship with Star Wars fan fiction. Slender man has also been the only online character to cause deaths and children to act out in a crazy manner. Young children are not aware that these images have been manipulated and the question becomes who should be accountable when something terrible happens to a child or family because of Slenderman. People are participating in legend tripping to test how real these stories are and to try and see if anything happens to them. They travel to locations where sitings of horrifying creatures have been reported and wait for them to appear or something to happen to themselves. I will also be discussing movies such as the Blair With Project and Kentucky Vampire Cult where getting people involved and believing a horror story really began.

Unpacking my NOW THATS MUSIC!

After completing both readings I can not help to revert back to the day I got my first computer. I was in middle school and took all of the CD’s I listened to and loaded them into my computer. I had the collection every middle school girl had: Spice Girls, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Back Street Boyz, Dream Street, NSYNC and every NOW cd that had been released up to that point. Once they were all on my computer the craze of sharing music began. Friends went to CVS and bought 100 packs of blank CDs and took everyones music from one another. Not long after LimeWire blew up the internet music scene. I was downloading songs I didn’t even want or need just because I could. It is interesting after reading Dibbell’s piece because he unpacked his records, I unpacked my CD’s and now records are coming back into style. You can go into any Urban Outfitters and find shelves and shelves of the latest music and even some older music in record form. They are even selling all different types of record players varying in size in color. Will CD’s come back? What is there left to unpack? Pictures. My mother is the perfect example. She has showed me her entire college years captured through the lens of an instant picture polaroid camera, to my child hood captured on camera’s that used film and sent to CVS to be printed, to my adult life which has been captured through her iPhone. These pictures are rarely printed out, only the ones that will make into a frame and onto the mantel. Many people are even paying big money to send their home movie VHS tapes away to be digitalized and placed on a CD that they can load onto their computer. After pictures…what is left to digitalize? I guess only time will tell.

David Grover’s Story

While listening to the On The Media about David Grover I found it to be very interesting. We have discussed movements such as the ice bucket challenge where many different people decide to raise awareness, donate, or even both. Many people decided to held David Grover and he lived despite the many different sets of odds that were placed against him. He even received his surgery on his brain tumor for free because of all the attention this boy was receiving. Today, 10 years later, after being on shows such as Ellen and the Today Show the media coverage has died down even though David still has many issues that they need help raising money for. “The World Moves on and it hardly ever looks back,” was said by the woman at the end of the podcast. The media wants the happy story and wants people to be witnesses to miracles that can happen, but does not want to cover the aftermath and the struggles the family may have after. The media picks their story covers it until the climax and then walks away even if there is more that will happen. They want the juiciest part of the story, the heart wrenching story, that will bring attention to their channel. I also found it amazing that they needed to escape the media. People became too invested in Grover’s lives that they were giving them medical advice and telling them to even let their son die. They eventually unlisted themselves from everywhere. I’m sure most of these comments were posted on David Grover’s page or through email out of care and wanting to help, but exposing yourself on the internet always means that the trolls are sitting behind their computers too.

Just keeping pedaling (episode 2 of Black Mirror)

Horrifying. After watching the second episode of Black Mirror I feel sick to my stomach. It is terrifying to think that this could actually be what we become. Basically living our lives through screens and exercise only serves as a form of money. One thing that struck me as interesting was the buying of gifts online for another person. Facebook tried to do this in past years. You could spend your own money to send someone a silly picture of GIF of an animal or object. Instead of giving someone these gifts to him or her in real time and space they offered you a chance to send fake objects to another person. It would sit on their page as a decorative charm and way for people to know someone was thinking about you, but you did not physically own it.

I believe we are also heading down a slippery slop to a lifestyle like the one depi36490301-man-floating-on-the-water-in-the-laptop-use-the-social-networkcted in the episode because of how dependent we are on our technology. It becomes who we are. Soon it may control every aspect of our life. From getting up to brushing your teeth and even telling you what games to play and what you are allowed to watch. The main character was not even able to close his eyes during a commercial or an irritating alarm would sound. The humans were operating in autopilot with little to no interaction with the people around them, unless it was to yell at the overweight janitorial staff. I will definitely continue to watch this series.

Why the Revolution Will NOT be Tweeted Reaction

I decided to read “Why the Revolution Will Not be Tweeted” by Malcolm Gladwell for this weeks post. I found this reading extremely interesting and found myself both agreeing and disagreeing with some of the opinion presented. I believe that social media helps to spread information and bring awareness to many different topics and concerns. People are able to voice their opinions and ask people to help support a cause. We are able to ask others to help us in a way that we were not able to before. The article also talks about how great revolutions and movements have had a central leader to assign roles and responsibilities. Facebook groups and hashtags on twitter, though helpful on spreading the word, often do not have a leader who will take charge.

“By not asking too much of them. That’s the only way you can get someone you don’t really know to do something on your behalf…It doesn’t require that you confront socially entrenched norms and practices. In fact, it’s the kind of commitment that will bring only social acknowledgement and praise.” This quote perfectly embodies what happens on social media. People easily retweet, donate money, and repost to try to help out.

Big changes such as the Greensboro sit in that was spoken about in the article will not happen with millions of people sitting behind their computers or iPhone screens. People are willing to do a quick thing to help someone in need, but people are not willing to put their reputations on the line. I believe people put their beliefs after things like their reputation or their job. People will not protest if they are told they will lose their job or be seen in a negative light from that point on.

 

Hackers: Superhero or the Villain?

As we touched on in class having the title of a hacker is one that can be seen positively and one that can also be viewed as negative. I decided to look deeper into what society thinks of hackers and who they are. An article on PBS, “Are Hackers Outlaws of Watchdogs?” looks into society and how we view these people. Having the power to change things for good or bad is an aspect that can be applied to many different jobs in society. “If you’re a demolitions expert, you can blow up bridges for fun, or you can do it because you’re hired. The skill set is the same.” (PBS.org)

A quote from the same article really caught my eye on exactly how I feel we should deal with people who are hackers. “When the Israelis catch a hacker, they give him a job. When the Americans catch a hacker, they kick him in the teeth and throw him in jail. And that’s not good.” (PBS.org) If we take people who know the secrets and loop holes of the internet and give them jobs with security companies or the government we would be safer from those who hack to cause harm to others. Preventing events like the Sony hacking from happening and effecting the lives of innocent people.

The senior security analyst at Microsoft spoke on working with hackers. He says that they can freely email the company to tell them any problems and Microsoft will work with them on fixing it. They also give credit when it is due to those who spend their time to help find these problems and use these hacking powers for good.

Let them sing! -Posting cover songs on YouTube

After our class discussion on Monday I began to think more about posting creative content on places such as YouTube. As I mentioned I was curious if cover songs could be taken down for copyright infringement. I began to look more into the topic and found some interesting ideas. According to “Criminal Creativity: Untangling Cover Song Licensing on YouTube” an article written on Wired.com by Andy Baio: all cover songs besides a very few amount are considered illegal whether they are collecting any monetary value or not. He believes most are not collecting money and are purely doing it out of love for the song and to express themselves. To post a cover song one needs to possess a synchronization license which are expensive and tricky to obtain so most people do not bother to use them. This article discusses the only way to know if you are breaking the law or not is to post the video and lose your account if the video gets taken down. YouTube uses a technology named Creative ID to identify music and flag it as illegal, though it is not 100% accurate it finds many songs. YouTube has even taken videos down with a song playing in the background that has nothing to do with the actual video content being presented.

After finding this information I really began to think that the laws must change. If the creator of the cover song is making no money, but is producing the videos to express their love for the song and to have their voice heard, the video should be allowed to stay. Justin Bieber who started out as a YouTube star covered songs on YouTube which allowed him to be found and noticed by the public. I believe the current set of laws that are trying to take down these cover songs are not effective and should be retracted. People are still posting cover songs and YouTube is still trying to fight them off.

Vaccinations and the Media

After to listening to the “On the anti-vax non-troversy” section of On the Media I began to think about how big of a role the media does play in hyping up an event or sickness in order to make society worry. This segment of the discussion called for me to realize that in most cases the people who are feeding us this information or not even qualified to speak or debate on such a topic. This can be seen while watching your favorite morning news talk shows. Companies and groups of people use celebrities and familiar faces to convince us that what we are hearing is true and credible. With the current event: outbreak of the measles, we are seeing the lingering effects of the beliefs that vaccinations can lead to autism. This was disproven, but disproven after this information was released to the public. There are a group of people who do not want their children vaccinated based on the outcome from these false studies even though no link has been found. It is a shame to see children catching measles because their parents choose for them to not be vaccinated and putting babies at risk because they are too young to be vaccinated. “On the anti-vax non-troversy” states that due to the vaccine measles and mumps were almost eliminated from society due to the success of the vaccine, but with the rise in non-vaccinating 102 cases in 14 states have been reported. Because the media is following this outbreak so closely and media consumers are forming a stance on vaccines, vaccines are becoming a stance in politics. Candidates for office are now taking a side on the issue and using it for votes.