Bradhuther’s Blog


Picture Analysis
December 31, 2008, 12:03 am
Filed under: Assignments | Tags: , , ,

Picture 1

I think the meaning the person in this picture is trying to portray is her love for the baby in her arms. She has a big smile on her face with the baby on her lap and she is smiling looking very happy. I think she wanted people to see that she has a baby in her life and to prepare that if someone ever met her, they had to accept the fact that she had a child. Her profile does go consistent with her picture because it says she is divorced and there is a sad song in her profile. I got the idea that she is a single mom who has been through a lot and her profile said she is looking for new friends and not a relationship. It also says she is a proud parent which leads me to believe the child in her lap belongs to her.

Picture 2

This girl’s default picture is a typical picture of a young girl on Myspace’s default. As we read about previously, it is a self portrait that is slightly manipulated. It is a pose of her trying to look cute in the mirror of her bedroom. She wrote “sexy J” across the picture in an attempt to relate the word sexy with herself. She probably wants guys to look at her picture and see the words sexy across and say “yeah she is sexy”. I feel like a lot of younger girls do this because of the world we live in and how image is so important. This girl obviously feels image is important and wants to look “cute” for the world. I think her profile does coincide with her picture because her profile is very girly and artsy with an interesting artistic view of sunglasses on the background. I would defiantly guess her profile to be one of a younger teenage girls.

Picture 3

This picture tells me that the girl and her significant other are happily together. Often a lot of people will post default picture of them and their significant other to show other people that they are happy and taken so as to tell people not to hit on them! Perhaps she also wanted to show her boyfriend that she was not afraid to put up a picture of him and her together and maybe proves that she has nothing to hide. I would not be surprised if his profile had a picture of them together as well. Often times when one of people in a relationship puts a picture of each other up together the other feels obligated to do so. Her profile goes along with her picture because she seems like she is very into her boyfriend and happy to be with him. It is filled with merry Christmas greeting and the background is full of snowflakes. It gives me the feeling of a good couple who spent a great Christmas together…

Picture 4

I think this picture of this girl was to show off her body. She knows she has a nice body and is fit and wants the world to see. She wants people to recognize that she excels in the excersise program and is more fit than a lot of other girls. She is holding her abs which attract attention to them for people to see. She is looking up into the air as if trying to make a more sexy pose such as a professional model would do. Perhaps she likes the beach which is why she chose her default picture on the beach. Her profile is consisten with her picture as well because it is very girls and “pretty” to the eye. Since she probably assumed her picture looked pretty, she probably made her profile that way.

Picture 5

This guys profile screams of ghetto fabulous. He is dressed in baggy clothes, wearing shiny “blinging” accessories, and there is a bunch of rap tracks playing the background. He is standing in a pose that could be considered as “tough” and has some type of writing on the side of his profile. He wants people to see that he wears nice clothes and likes fancy things but at the same time lives the “hip hop” lifestyle. He consideres himself to be a DJ and all of his pictures are of him in a particular pose with some type of writing along side of him saying “NOVA” which is his stage name. His profile goes along with his pictures 100% by the rap music playing, and the headphone and DJ equiptment background. He also has words saying I love hip hop and music all over his profile.



Keen Vs. Weinberger: Text
December 30, 2008, 11:16 pm
Filed under: Assignments | Tags: , , , , ,

Keen vs. Weinberger (text)

This argument which was transcribed into writing, was about two people who seemed to have very different attitudes toward the Internet: Mr. Keen and Mr. Weinberger. Mr. Keen seemed to trash the web 2.0 and Mr. Weinberger seemed to favor it and defend it any a number of different arguments throughout the discussion. One of the issues that came up was that there were too many voices from people who did not know enough about what it was they were talking about. Mr. Keen often refers to these people as “monkeys or cockroaches”. He believes that these people talk too much about insignificant things that do not matter and from the impression I got, should not even be part of the discussion at hand. He believes that the Web 2.0 gives people a false belief that they always have something interesting to say when in fact, they don’t. He think people are becoming too into themselves and thinking they are smarter than everyone else because of the things they are able to say over the Internet. The argument also states that the web is not a good source of news or information because a lot of the sites allow anyone to post topics up and participate at the discussion or event at hand. He believes the traditional ways of getting news and information is much more reliable and efficient than the web 2.0. He believes the media is flattened over the web because it is free. The issue of talent also was brought up over the Web 2.0. The argument of books and articles came up and discussed what method was better for publishing and writing: the Internet or traditional books. Anyone can post up a video of themselves singing or playing the guitar and Mr. Keen believes it takes away from the really talented people. The same concept goes with visual art as to who is credible or not for their works of art. I personally disagree with Mr. Keen on just about everything he said and would have defended Mr. Wienberger’s arguments because I believe Mr. Keen is taking the issue far too seriously. I think everyone has a right to say what they want and do what they want. America is the land of freedom and I believe the Internet lets us exercise that right. If someone wants to put up a video of themselves dancing or singing, whats the harm in that? I would be pretty happy if I put up a video of myself singing and I had talent agents calling me asking me to sign multi-million dollar contracts. I don’t see the harm that Mr. Keen implies on the Internet and I think he is making far too big a deal about it. He should give it another try and embrace it and I think his opinion would change.

  1. Do you think that the internet is a useful tool in finding talent?

  2. Do you agree with Mr. Keen when he said “Web 2.0 transforms us into monkeys”?

  3. Who would you side with more if you were part of this argument? Why?



Reading Assignment for 1/1: Reading assignement 3 part 2: DIY and Web 2.0
December 30, 2008, 10:42 pm
Filed under: Assignments | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Boutin, Paul “So you want to be a Blogging Star”

    Helft, Miguel “Great Photo on Flickr? Getty Might Pay You For It”

    Salkin, Allen: “Why Blog? Reason No. 92: Book Deal”

    Smith, Ethan, and Lattman, Peter: “YouTube Phenom Has a Big Secret”

    Blood, Rebecca “Weblogs: A History and Perspective”

    These 5 aritcles talked about how the internet can be a useful tool in order to get your opinion or talent on the internet and seen by the public. Blogging is a great way to express youself on the internet and there are many topics you can blog about: some funny, policitac, interactive, automobles, etc. Blogs can even be about companies or businesses. A lot of blogging effects people’s views about a certain topic or can help them with a problem. Webblogs are becoming very popular and are in tons of people bookmarks in their internet explorers. The second article discussed Getty and flickr merging together for a particular event/ contest. Getty planned to monitor Flickr’s website and comb through people’s pictures and art and pay them to use their art. This is another great way to get your work known over the internet and make some money. The third article explains how blogs can be turned into books. Someone wrote a blog about what white people like and it became a big hit! Because of this talent agents go onto blogging websites and look at people’s blogs in order to make books. This is another great way to get your ideas out there and make money off of them. The fourth article is about Youtube and a girl named Marie’ Digby who was a talented singer and posted herself singing on the internet. Word got around of her talent and tons of people started viewing her videos. Eventually a radio station even saw them and talent agents were bidding on her for a contract! All of the 5 articles I read basically described how the internet can be a powerful tool into getting your talent/work/interests out there and make money or even fame off of them. In addition, all of these people who’s work gets recognized do not pay a penny to put their stuff on the internet. Its a win-win situation!

    1. Why do you think the internet can be such a powerful tool into getting recognition?

    2. Do you think the Getty-Flicker contest is fair to paid photographers who try to make money off of their work? Esepcially since Flickr is a free service.



Reading Assignement for 12/30: Part 1 of Readings 3: DIY and Web 2.0

The Machine is Us/ing Us

The computer has become a major part in the life of everyone that helps us and harms us in many ways. This was a very creative video that showed some of the functions the computer preformed and what it does that makes us want more. Digital text is very different from written text because not only does it contain meaning, but it also could contain links that send us in other directions. The world of the internet is very complex with many different stems that branch out to different things. For example the word angry might be underlined in an article read online. You can scroll over the word “angry” and a window could pop up explaining what angry is or it could link us to another page explaining anger. I think the video was trying to show us that the computer learns from us by monitoring what we look at. I’ll use face book as an example of this. Tons of people use Facebook especially college students. The people who work for Facebook could see how many people click on the link every day, showing its importance. Also, it could even see what we write to people because a lot of the things we put on Facebook are available to the public. In my opinion, this video basically was trying to show us how the computer can be dangerous and how it hold such an important role in our lives. It also was showing us how the computer and the internet are very powerful tools that are readily available and can be used to our advantage or disadvantage depending on how you look at it.

1. What did you think the main point of this video was and what it was trying to display?
2. Do you think that the things we do on the computer or more monitored than we think they are? By this I mean do you think there are people on the other side watching what we do online at all times?

Watch this 10 minute video of Clay Shirky

(based on his book Here Comes Everybody for which there is also a blog, FYI)
The central theme about this video was love and helping others. Clay Shirky explained how the internet can be a very powerful tool into helping other people, voicing opinions, and innovation. He explains how he believe through commenting on message boards and blogging for companies can help give businesses better ideas for innovation and restructuring their companies. He compared these concepts to a Japanese shrine that was constantly being rebuilt as tradition to holy grounds. He explained how the internet and message boards are constantly rebuilding on ideas and concepts and keeping them going. He also explains how love is important as is caring and sharing. The central idea of this video was about how networking can help other people with problems as well as innovations for businesses, corporations, and companies. I do believe that networking could help businesses and it also makes the general population be more involved in their company. It gives people a sense of self-worth. I am for the idea of Pearl and message boards and think it’s a great way to safely voice your opinions and suggestions.

1. Do you think message boards and blogging for companies is an effective way to promote innovation?
2. Something that came to my mind when watching this is if someone posts something on a companies message board and the company that reads it puts that person’s suggestion into effect, will people be wanting recognition of their suggestion?

Read the Wikipedia entry on Do It Yourself

Do It Yourself refers to depending on yourself to complete a task rather than depending on other people to do it for you. The article argues that there were always people who were handy and did things themselves such as repair men, and there were also people who spent money to have people do something for them. The people who would spend money to have something done for them greatly exceed the number of people who do it themselves. Before the computer, do it yourself mostly focused on manual jobs around the house and business. Do it yourself People would perform repairs around their house or business would hire outsourced people to perform different tasks. However, with the growth of the internet, do it yourself has been given a new broader meaning. There are websites that strictly focus on doing things yourself, as well as magazines. If someone has a question about how to fix a sink that is leaking they can simply go online and post an entry on a message board and within minutes, could receive a number of different responses from other people who specialize in sink repairs. Not only does this save people money, it also gives them knowledge from people who specialize in the repair or learned from trail and error. Not only does online do it yourself websites help people, magazines and television shows strictly focus on projects. They help people get a better understanding of the task at hand and give them an insight as to how to approach the problem. I think do it yourself websites, TV shows, and magazines are great interactive tools that help people save money and gain knowledge.

1. How has technology change the “do it yourself” attitude?
2. Since the growth in popularity of the internet, do you think more people have been attempting projects by themselves rather than hiring people?
3. Do you think “do it yourself” websites could help businesses?

Listen to the first two excerpts of James Surowieki’s book:Introduction to The Wisdom of Crowds (MP3 downloads)

These excerpts were about an anthropologist/scientist who specialized in statistics named Fracis Galton, who tested the genealogy of people. There was a contest going on in town that involved guessing the weight of livestock. There were trained butchers and farmers guessing the weight but at the same time, the majority of the people were not experts in the area and just common townsfolk with different jobs. The people were to look at an Ox and guess its weight after it was butchered and dressed. After everyone had their votes in and received their prizes, Galton took their tickets and began to run his experiments. He wanted to see if the results yielded a bell shaped curve, resulting in a normal distribution. Much to his surprise, after putting the numbers in sequential order (highest to lowest), he began to calculate the mean, or average number. The average number was in fact, 1 pound away from the actual weight. This test demonstrated that even the average person can know something an expert can not and that our common knowledge may be more extensive than we think. The excerpt also discussed how crowds influence us and how many experts argue the idea that crowds can accomplish tasks more effectively than experts.

1. Do you think people who are not experts in a particular field help people who are in that field?
2. Does this excerpt make you think of the internet, message boards, blogging, or the “do it yourself“ concept? If so, how?
3. Do you think people’s knowledge is underestimated or taken for granted of in society today?
4. Do you agree when people say “chasing the expert” is a mistake?
5. Do you believe people that people learn better in groups or crowds? Why or why not?

Read: Nicholas Carr’s article: The Ignorance of Crowds

This article was also about crowds and peers and how they contribute to the internet and in turn businesses and databases. There has been many programs out there that have been set out for peer to peer sharing of information such as Wikipedia, Linux, and Bazaar. These websites enabled people to sign on and post things and help other with problems they might have. Some of the benefits these websites have are the diversity of the approaches to problems from different people. Everyone has a different approach to something and may have looked elsewhere for their information or help. As I said in the other article, people can see what others have done by trail and error or extensive research. However, these websites are also negative because it is hard to monitor what people say and whether it is true or not. Also, although the style of the websites are decentralized, most of them have a centralized power where things are monitored and looked into. That central power may find it difficult to read everything due to the massive amounts of input people put into their website. Another negative to Wikipedia and sites like it are since they are free and anyone can join, the material is often disorganized and poorly-written. In my opinion, this article explained how these sites are great tools but central authority is very important when starting a peer-to-peer or peer-to-business website.

1. Since anyone can post on Wikipedia, do you consider it to be a good source for information?
2. Do you think these sites need to strengthen their central authority in order to improve the reliability of the information on these sites?

Read: A History Department Bans Citing Wikipedia as a Reference Source

This article was closely related to the previous article on peer-to-website sharing by explaining the negatives of Wikipedia. It argues that since anyone can put information up, it is not a reliable source. There is cases going on right now about weather to ban Wikipedia from citing in colleges. They argue that it is not reliable enough to cite and people are learning or could potentially adopt incorrect ideas or meanings. It all started in a Japanese history class over a war that was started and how the students had false information in their papers due to information cited from Wikipedia. I already knew that Wikipedia could not be counted for a valid source of information, but I do however believe most of the information on the website is in fact true, at least the things I look up (such as town demographics, band information.) I never use Wikipedia for school so even if the information is false, the things I look up on it are not very significant either way. I do believe Wikipedia should be banned from college papers and tests because of the lack of reliability.

1. Do you think Wikipedia should be banned from college citations?
2. What do you think would make Wikipedia a more valid source for information?



Assignment: Pixel Portrait
December 30, 2008, 2:20 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Here is a self-portrait of myself in pixel form.

brad1



Reading Assignment #2
December 29, 2008, 3:06 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Article 1: Metaphoris: Circuit

The first article explains about how a circuit and networking are related and the importance of them. It discusses how circuits created networks such as computer social websites, cell phones, pagers, automobiles. The circuit is the “brain” of networking and everything stems out from it. This article also discusses about the evolution of our networks and how they evolved. It talked about the possible negative and positive effects it could have on the society and what networking is capable of doing. This article explains networks and how the evolution of them helps people stay connected, transport goods, and help others.

1. What are your thoughts on social networking

2. Give an example of how you think networking can be helpful and harmful in society.

Article 2: Metaphoris: World Brain

The world brain is a culture we adapt from things around us and what is taught to us. The Internet is a huge component for the world brain and almost everyone knows how to use it. It is also a very important activity in people’s lives and a lot can be learned and read very accessibly. What people learn and read changes the way they are and can even change their attitude about something.

People have been collecting things since the beginning of time. This has not changed much over time, however how things are being collected and shared has. Throughout time, there were two main places of collections: The library and museums. They were both actual places where you had to go in order to view its contents. However, as time went on and things changed and the Internet became more popular, people began inputing collections from these two places into computers and on the web. With the growing technological era we are in, we get massive amounts of information from collections on the Internet

As our source of collecting information has evolved, so has the mediums of the collections , especially in art. As technology increases and our knowledge for evolving becomes more complex, we see different forms of art. Images can be manipulated easily on a computer and special effects can be integrated by the push of a button. The computer and the Internet has changed art and moved it from traditional to futuristic.

1. Discuss how putting collections and information online can be beneficial and harmful.

2. Do you think there is enough control of the content put on the Internet?

Article 3: Elements of a Computer

Ever since the beginning of time society has had a number system to keep track of things. In early times they may have used stones or pebbles, carved things into bones or wood in order to keep a “count” on something. As time went on, the numbering system evolved in many ways, especially numbers associated with computer programming. A whole new, different et of numbering was created when they computer was created.

There are two ways thing are encoded within electronic devices, analog or digital. Analog is the physical movement of something and its past can be traced and seen as it goes past. Digital is a combination of numbers or symbols that are transcribed in order to make something. The most common digital language in computers is binary language which is made up of 0’s and 1’s. The different combination of these numbers create a unique sound, image, note, etc. Although analog is still used today, digital encoding is favored within computers.

With these numbers we can make all sorts of combinations contributing to algorithm, which is basically what something is made up of. It is a set of rules that are used to find the solution to something. Mathematics is algorithm and enables us to find solutions to a problem using a set of rules.

This article explains how the computer evolved and became what it is today. The computer was primarily a device that was evolved for mathematics and was constantly being updated and changed. It was not until 1948 when Claude Shannon invented the binary language and it was late put to use in computers. This language is what most of us would be used to seeing today. The computer was basically and instrument that was being constantly improved and updated by people and still is today.

1. did you know what the binary language was and the function it performed before reading this article? What more did you learn about it?

2. Did this article give you a better understanding of how the computer works? If so, name one thing you learned from this article.

Article 4: Dialog

Culture and technology are related in many ways and influence each other. People can simply go onto the Internet and read about someone’s culture. It also networks us together into separate groups. People can talk to someone they share interests in or are in a similar living environment with. The Internet has become a major means of communication and helps us socialize with people who we might not have ever met in person. I allows us to go beyond our comfort zone but at the same time feel safe doing so. The computer also contributes to people’s identities. Because we belong to certain groups and associate ourselves with other people, we are placed into different class-types of people.

Our identity tells who we are and that can be seen or stereotyped by the people that we associate ourselves with. The Internet is a meeting place and because of the easiness to create an identity online, people have to choose who they associate themselves with very carefully. In addition, your online identity can be easily manipulated and changed.

Survival is another aspect in life that creates our identity. Either you survive on your own or survive by the help of others. Everyone needs the basic things to live: food, sleep, and water. There are also different aspects to survival that come from happiness such as friends, family, and activities. These things are being influenced by technology and make it easier to acquire them from computers. Computers impact our ability and ease to survive.

Dialog and learning and education are also closely related. Dialog is very important to our learning experience. Although it is not the only way we learn, it the most common. Whether we are reading what someone has already said on the Internet, or sitting in a class room listening to our professors speak, we are learning. We also learn by common discussions with our peers and those around us. We can learn from saying something wrong or by saying something right. Dialog and learning is very important to our survival and existence. We learn how to live dialog and what people say to us does have an impact on one’s self.

The Internet is becoming a major influence on our lives and can help us or hurt us in many ways. We can network, learn, meet new people, be influenced to buy a product, or even find our significant lover on the Internet. The Internet and computer are source’s of many different activities and hobbies as well. People play video games on the computer or a gaming console with their friends and family. It is almost impossible to not use the computer and Internet in this day and age and the world will only become more and more dependent on their computers.

1. Why do you think the world is so dependent on computers?

2. Should be people be so dependent on computers? Why or why not?

3. Do you think computer are essential to survival in our society today?



Reading Assignment #1
December 24, 2008, 3:02 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Reading 1, Article 1: Boyd, Danah. “Viewing American class divisions through Facebook and MySpace”

Summary: This article is about the separation between Facebook and Myspace. It discusses what type of people tend to prefer one over the other. The author of the article discusses how he believes these two social network sites (SNS’s) are divided because of the  “class” of a certain person. He argues that through his research, he noticed the Facebook tended to be for the “good” kids and Myspace was for the “outcasts or bad” kids. He discusses how Myspace was banned from the military but Facebook was not. This article provided a good insight of how an expert in the field of SNS’s came to conclusions through research and observations.

Questions:

1. Do you believe Facebook and Myspace attract different “classes” of people? why or why not?

2. Do you feel that parents of teens should monitor their child’s SNS’s, and to what extent?

3. Are SNS’s dangerous?

Reading 1, Article 2: Boyd, Danah. “Social Network Sites: Public, Private, or What?”

Summary: This article describes how important social network sites (SNS’s) are in young adults lives and how it impacts social status. Although we live a life in where we meet at common places, there is also a complex technological world that youths in this day and age meet. These type of sites are called SNS’s. It describes how educators and parents need to get a better grasp and understanding of SNS’s. The main point of this article is how SNS’s are public and everyone can see your pictures and status. However people argue that it could be an invasion of privacy. However, this article explains how it could also be an invasion of privacy because too much information is given over the internet.

Questions:

4. Should adults and educators have a better grasp and understanding of SNS’s?

5. Could SNS’s help educators and adults help young adults by better recognizing their problems? and is this morally right or correct?

Reading 1, Article 3: Collins, Laura, “Friend Game”

Summary: This article explained the story of Meghan, a young adult in whose life was changed drastically by social network sites. Growing up Meghan was not mentally stable, was on medication, and very self-conscious about her overweight appearance. After making a deal with her parents for her 14th birthday, they agreed it was okay for her to have a Myspace profile as long as they monitored it and watched her as she was on it. Her neighbor’s, the Drew’s, decided to take advantage of Meghan’s enthusiasm for a Myspace page and since the Drew’s daughter and her were not getting along well, they wanted to see what she was saying about their daughter. The Drew’s made up a fictional character, named Josh Evans. They would talk back and forth to Meghan and she really adopted a liking for this fictional character as they exchanged messages and e-mails. The whole time, the Drew parents knew what was going on and did nothing to stop it. After a few weeks of conversing back and forth Meghan, her peers, and Josh Evans got in a fight in which a lot of negative words were exchanged about Meghan. Due to Meghan’s previous mental instability and self-consciousness, she was so distraught by what was said that she decided she wanted to commit suicide. After Meghan’s death, the Drew’s were persecuted by the public and recieved tons of hate mail, dirty looks, and negative internet publicity. This article give the reader a good understanding of how important SNS’s are in the lives of young adults.

Questions:

6. Has this incident changed your views about SNS’s?

7. Do you think the the Drew’s actions were properly punished?

Reading 1, Article 4: Williams, Alex. “Here I am Taking My Own Picture”

Summary: My final article for this assignment discussed digital images for default SNS pictures. These images are typically taken by the user of the profile of themselves and it is said that a lot can be said about their pictures. The author discusses about people taking their own pictures because they believe they can capture the angles that make them look the best. The author believes that self-portrait taking is a new phenomenon due to SNS’s and talked to many people who believe it is a form of art.

Questions:

8. Do you agree with psychologists and other who study teens when they say “The digital self-portrait is and extension of behavior typical of the young, like trying on different identities, like earlier generations might have expressed through clothing and hairstyle”?

9. Would you consider digital self-portrait taking to be art?

10. Could digital self-portrait taking for SNS’s be misleading? why or why not?