Back at it again

Blog One Week Two

Another semester at University and thus another assignment involving blogs.

From this point forward I will be blogging about my findings from the readings, lectures and tutorials undertaken for ARTS3091.

Again I find myself catapulted into a ton of vague readings that leave me dazed and confused. Throughout the semester hopefully the haze of vagueness will clear and I will begin to wrestle with and come to understand the content of this subject.

This week, like most weeks of reading media based readings, I am left overwhelmed at the overpowering nature of media and technology. Even as part of the ‘tech savvy’ generation I find myself questioning how well I know and understand the differing types of media I come into contact with on a daily basis.

I completely agree with Kittler when he states, “The development of the internet has more to do with human beings becoming a reflection of their technologies,” he once argued. “After all, it is we who adapt to the machine. The machine does not adapt to us.” (‘Friedrich Kittler and the rise of the machine’, The Guardian, December 28).

The analogy of Nessie also portrays a strong warning message that as media students we should pay attention media effects on ourselves and surrounding communities.Just as Von Uexkull studied animals we should stay alert and continuingly be studying our own media habits.

Judge, Jenny and Powles, Julia’s article in the Guardian prompted me to think about how these issues are already threatening our way of life. What jumps to front of mind is the current battle between Apple and FBI about encryption. As the debate heats up around the impending court case it’s easy to see why both sides hold such strong opinions. The fears over this court case I feel are derived from our overdependence on our mobile phone devices and how much information with naively trust will stay private on our device.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reference:

 

[online] Evans, Philip and Forth, Patrick (2015) ‘Borges’ map: Navigating a World of Digital Disruption’, bcg.perspectives, <http://digitaldisrupt.bcgperspectives.com/images/BCG_Borges_Map_Jun_2015.pdf>

 

[online] Jeffries, Stuart (2011) ‘Friedrich Kittler and the rise of the machine’, The Guardian, December 28, <http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/dec/28/friedrich-kittler-rise-of-the-machine> [on perhaps the most famous of the “German media theorists”]

 

 

[online] Judge, Jenny and Powles, Julia (2015) ‘Forget the internet of things – we need an internet of people’, the Guardian, May 25, <http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/may/25/forget-internet-of-things-people>

 

 

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When publishing changes, so does society. Investigate and compare the impact of two publication technologies, one pre-1900 and one post-2000, on a specific aspect of society (e.g. education, politics, creative industries, science, entertainment, social relationships).

 

Executed in the form of a video essay / sound piece via Youtube.

    https://youtu.be/JmdjT9SOhTA

This presentation will focus on love letter writing in the early 18th century and how love letters were a form of publishing that was used for courting and dating. I will then move on to talk about online dating and how dating profiles provide a post 2000’s form of publishing that is also used for dating. I will expose how these two varying forms of publishing have had an impact on social relationships within society. By delving into some of the negative and positive impacts that they have had on society we will discern whether this shift in publishing has enhanced or diminished dating. Or if these changes are merely shifts in the way society goes about dating. Through the use of online dating profiles and love letter we see the changing of cultural practices as their follow these publishing/ technological advancements. I will expose how both love letters and people’s dating profiles adhere to forms of social constructs and how this reflects the society in which they are derived from. Through the framework of Foucault’s idea of Identity I discuss the tension that users and writers alike suffer from when choosing how to represent themselves either on paper or on their online profile. Foucault sees ‘self’ as a continuing discourse in the shifting of oneself to others in communication. Also discussed in this presentation are the differing social barriers each form of publishing either uphold or break down. Again Foucault’s theory on sexuality and self is discussed in regards to the way online dating has enabled the removal of social constructs allowing users to explore and express their self and their sexualities.

I chose this question because as media consumers and media students we should always be questioning and researching the ways in which technological advancements, such as shifts in publishing, are having in impact on the world around us today. The reason I choose to present this topic in the form I did is because I wanted to explore alternative forms of publishing that strayed from the traditional form of text publishing. Also since this question asks us to use a post-2000’s publication technology I also saw it appropriate and fitting to use YouTube.

Throughout this subject I used the publishing technique of writing and blogging but have not used YouTube or Vlogs so for this reason I thought this assignment would be the perfect time to research the way in which both these publishing techniques work.

Can the internet read our brain? Week 12 Culture and Data

Data and Culture by Monique Campanella


Since both observing systems and data models evolve, global data also change. We have not one data image of the global climate, but many. The past, or rather what we can know about the past, changes. And it will keep on changing. (Edwards, 2010).


Stacks by Monique Campanella

This week we are focusing on culture and data.

In Springett’s slide show he talked about ‘Stacks’. I found the concept of stack extremely interesting and a little hard to understand.

So what are stack and why do we need to think about them?

Stacks are the new type of corporation that uses lock tight integration of hardware and software in order to create a branded eco system. When I think of branded ecosystems I think of new technological organizations arising within web 2.0. I am thinking about Facebook, apple, Google and cloud technology. But why are they important? It’s because essentially they embody the power of the media. They give users an active role and they also give the owners a reciprocal role as well. They also reflect a new sense of media imperialism.

Lets have a look at the characteristics of Stacks. Now first off we need to know that Stacks have huge teams of employees and users. And when you really think about it generally  Stacks employees are merely a handful compared to the users. Take for example a quick Google search which will show you that Twitter have 3,658 people employed but has a staggering 974 million existing twitter accounts as of 2014. And that number has grown and will continue to grow.

Stacks utilize the online facilities of cloud technology. They have livestock, they have dedicated cultural portals and they have a way of connecting with the user be it through social or technological means. Now Stacks are useful in this age of technological exploration and data collection, take for example Google and what they have done with the home automation market through the purchase of Nest. As Springett touches upon Nest can passively sense and gathers information data about the individual living inside his/her home.

The scary thing is there are countless other examples of these data collection methods. But what’s even scarier is that I believe we are currently only scratching the surface of we they really can do. The rise of wearable technology such as the Apple watch and now the Samsung watch and the various applications these technologies use to track us and gather information data from us is only the beginning of what is to come.

But moving onto media imperialism and the cloud space. Now with the emergence of cloud technology we are seeing a shift from the shared notion of the cloud to the prospect of a more enclosed and territorialised space defined as a single cloud. The readings talk about this in conjunction with the idea of the emergence of a nation state. This was discussed through the notion of Stacks owning territories on the cloud and extending that territory to enforcing laws, organisational structures and recognition of its citizens. The parallel is in my opinion becoming increasingly prevalent as we see stacks like Facebook enforcing regulatory privacy schemes and giving its users powers such as to comment, like and message. In fact we could take this notion further and emphasise this notion of a super Dura striction, that the laws from one country can through various forms of corporation and operation be extended into another and enacted in another. So what we are effectively doing is comparing stacks, the powers they have, and the people who are all a part of these stacks.

Two nation states.

This is also why Springett opens with the anecdote of Mark Zuckerberg talking to the president of the United States of America, Barrack Obama. He opens with this to make a point of how much power Zuckerberg has. He has the power of the media and the power of stacks.

While researching I also stumbled across this very interesting video on data collection.



REFERENCES

Edwards, Paul N. (2010). ‘Introduction’ in A Vast Machine: Computer Models, Climate Data, and the Politics of Global Warming. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press: xiii-xvii

New Scientist. (2012). How the internet can read your mind. [online] Available:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDe7dDSQJXE [Accessed 19 October 2014]

New Scientist. (2012). How the internet can read your mind. [online] Available:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDe7dDSQJXE [Accessed 19 October 14

Distribution, Aggregation and the Social

Since Web 2.0 the introductions of new-media platforms, the expanding internet and new technologies it has been allowing the public to be more “social” and “open” through distribution. Or as Gauntlett (2010) puts it “Making Connections”.   Also there have been significant changes in the media scape since web 2.0 and it has forced aggregation and distribution of media to align with this change. Web 2.0 has removed barriers and allowed distribution to reach new never before experienced audience by the removal of barriers such as time and space. Consumers now have access to a wide almost incomprehensible amount of information and data. This is due the fact that the creating and distribution of material is now easier than ever. Consumers are also now become producers with the variety of platforms on which they can now produce material. This can be seen through platforms such as youtube and vine where users can now create or remix content that can reach audiences far and wide promoting connectedness within the media sphere. These platforms also have the potential to reach new publics and offer new scope. We can also see that Web2.0 has drastically changed the publishing industry through eBook publishing and online distribution. The most notable change we are seeing with the publishing revelation which started with the development of Web 2.0 is what Gauntlett discuss to be the stark contrast between the 20th century and now where  “people had to have what they were given, made by media professionals” through technologies such as the TV and Radio (Gauntlett 2011). To think that we once lived in a media environment where we as an audience were only consuming to the now big shift where we as consumers are now producers! We are now not only consuming, but rather creating, making and distributing.


David Gaunlett goes on to further discuss the importance of publishing publics.

https://youtu.be/C0erC5Z3qto

Gaunlett is very positive about these new changes in media like most people and while I also feel positive about these and I enjoy the many benefits of Web 2.0 I am also not naïve to some of the downfalls. Which I have collated below:


Pros                                                                                      

* Facilitates connections

*Increase reach & scope, activities and audience

*Multiplicity of voices/viewpoints

*Creation of new publics e.g creators & consumers

* Empowering individuals

*Increased transparency e.g Wikileaks

*Increasing critical skills

Cons:

*Dilution of responsibility

* Homophily =like seeks like

* Armchair Activism

*Trolling

*Disempowering people

*Astroturfing campaigns

*Validation of antisocial behaviour

*Third party agreements

*Criminalisation of Creative everyday activities

Reference :

Gauntlett, D, 2011, ‘Making Is Connecting’, posted on Youtube by davidgauntlett01,http://youtu.be/TIyXZoz0aLY, last accessed 23 May 2013

Gregg, M (2011) ‘Know you product: Online branding and the evacuation of friendship’ in Work’s Intimacy Cambridge: Polity: 102-118

Syrian Refugee Crisis Visualization

Definitions 

  • Data visualisation is a technique used to make the invisible, visible
  • Data visualisation is being deemed the modern day equivalent of visual communication
  • It aims to present information or data in a clear and effective manner through the use of images such as tables, graphs, charts or even through more artistic and non conventional forms
  • We believe data visualisation is very important for our society, which is suffering from a lack of attention and mindful infotention
  • As Howard, in the week six reading said, visualisation is a way of combatting these issues

Syria

  • We wanted to create a visualisation that is current and relevant
  • We chose the Syrian Refugee Crisis and focused on the number of people being displaced
  • Most of the facts and figures about this issue are being represented in a dense and difficult to digest manner
  • Our goal was to create a visualization that people could quickly and easily understand, informing them about this topic
  • This would allow them to form their own opinions and join in the conversation
Visualization by Monique Campanella
Visualization by Monique Campanella and Anna Daras

http://www.easel.ly/create/?id=https://s3.amazonaws.com/easel.ly/all_easels/1160969/RefugeeCrisisinSyria&key=pri

Visual Techniques

  • We chose to use the colours that are found on the Syrian flag – red, green, black and white
  •  These colours are used not only for their cultural and traditional significance, but also to help draw the eye to different data being presented – the red and black draw the viewer’s
    attention to the most important facts

Why this visualisation should be published

  • The purpose behind the publishing of this visualization would to be create a ‘buzz’ on social media
    • Preferably the visualisation would go viral with lots of ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ as this would mean it reaches a wide audience
    • This visualisation would also inform people who normally wouldn’t spend the time trying to understand this topic
    • By creating awareness of this issue, more people will become informed of the facts and will potentially do something about it – e.g. donate to charity or sign a petition

Research

  • The reading by Timo in week 8 inspired us to use the ever dashing dashed line to draw attention the amount of Syrian people each country have taken in – it also represents the refugees not ‘fitting in’ anywhere
  • We read a lot of newspaper articles about this issue to gain statistics
  • We did not find any representations of these statistics in such a simple form as the visualisation we have created
  • We found a lot of background reading is required to understand this particular topic, the simplistic nature of our visualisation aims to reduce this research

Strengths and weaknesses 

  •  We left out data from some countries as the information was inconsistent and not reliable
  • Visually concise and easy to read/understand data
  • Visually pleasing and interesting
  • Perfect for people who suffer from infotention

Reference:

http://www.nearfield.org/2006/09/the-dashed-line-in-use

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com.wwwproxy0.library.unsw.edu.au/doi/10.1111/emip.12039/epdf

VISUALISATION

IMAGE BY MONIQUE CAMPANELLA
IMAGE BY MONIQUE CAMPANELLA

Data visualisation is being deemed the modern day equivalent of visual communication. It aims to present information or data in a clear and effective manner through the use of images such as tables, graphs, charts or even through more artistic and non conventional forms

I personally believe that in a social media/ Internet driven society who are suffering with a lack of attention and Mindful infortention as we looked at in the week six Howard reading that data visulisation is a way of combating these issues.

For example the current social and environmental issue such as global warming is complex and information dense, leaving most of the general public scratching their head and opting to remain naïve on the subject. As one of these people who is often confused by the global warming debate I found the reading titled “The Global Warming Sceptics versus the Scientific Consensus” extremely interesting and helpful. This reading is a perfect example of how visualisation can be used to explain complex issues and data to those of us who don’t come from scientific backgrounds.

When thinking about what makes data visualisation effective and how my group and I can create/ produce an image that effectively communicates information I have come up with a list of what can make data visualisation effective.

It should:

  • Clearly display or portray the data
  • Use colours to differentiate the different data especially if you are overlaying and presenting data from two different eras in time
  • Use creativity to entice audience to pay attention to the visualisation thus encouraging them to learn the information and data presented to them
  • Make sure if you have large amounts of data that it is coherent
  • Present factual data
  • Have a clear purpose behind the presentation of the data

REFERENCE:

1) Anon. (2009) ‘The Global Warming Skeptics versus the Scientific Consensus’, Information is Beautiful. the-consensus/>

2)Anon. (2009) ‘What does the global warming hockey stick look like when you don’t hide the decline’.
http://www.ihatethemedia.com/global-warming-hockey-stick-debunked

3) Al Gore, 2008. ‘Al Gore’s Journal’.
http://blog.algore.com/2008/09/hockey_stick.htm

Am I suffering from Archive fever? Should I call a doctor?

Photo by: Monique Campanella
Photo by: Monique Campanella

What did you post on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook on this day 1 year ago? Can you remember? How about 5 or 10 years ago? No? Well don’t worry because now there is an app for that. Introducing TimeHop.

“Timehop helps you celebrate the best moments of the past with your friends. It’s like #tbt every day! What were you doing a year ago today? Two years? Three years? Timehop brings together your old photos and posts from your iPhone, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Foursquare and replays your past a day at a time. You’ll quickly fall in love with checking your daily Timehop. Give it a try today!” [https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/timehop/id569077959?mt=8 ]

When I first started thinking about archives I thought of crusty old mould smelling books buried away in a library that had not been touched for years. My mind drifted to thoughts of intense sorting systems that stored away ancient information from centuries ago. This is what I imagine most people would think about when they hear the word archive. However the word archive simply relates to anything that stores information. So this could be a simply as my high school diary to something as advanced as an app like Timehop that stores al my past statues from Facebook or selfies from Instagram.

So when thinking about archives one must remember that then can come in both physical and digital forms. For example physical forms could be letters or books where as digital forms could be anything from YouTube to ones email inbox. Jacques Derrida, author of ‘Archive Fever’ explains the importance of understanding and studying archives because they lay the basis of authority as they essentially decide what is “inside” or “outside” of culture.

When talking about social media platforms this same idea could stand as what we chose to publish or not publish relates to our sense of ourselves. It as been said in the past that social media sites are hard to navigate in terms of trying to find a status or picture you uploaded a year ago today or even five years ago. However with apps such as TimeHop it is now easier than ever before to see what the old you was doing on social media as these apps do all the work for you.

Could it be said then that anyone who indulges with apps like TimeHop daily could be suffering from Archive Fever. I must admit that at one point not long ago I was interacting with TimeHop daily. As someone who spent the last two years traveling the world I became obsessed with the app and found myself looking at it everyday as it informed me what part of the world I was in on this exact day a year or two ago. I deleted the app as I found myself constantly living in the past as I tried to cope with entering back into the mundane routine of work and uni life. Could it be said then that I was suffering from Archive Fever.

Reference:

Ogle, M 2009, ‘Archive Fever – A Love Letter To The Post Real-Time Web’’,http://mattogle.com/archivefever/ accessed 25March 2011

Enszer, J.R. 2008, ‘Archive Fever: A Freudian Impression by Jacques Derrida ,http://julierenszer.blogspot.com/2008/11/archive-fever-freudian-impression-by.html , last accessed 26 March 2011

 Stokes, J 2003, ‘Reading Notes: Archive Fever’, http://arstechnica.com/old/content/2003/06/130.ars , accessed 25 March 2011