Bradhuther’s Blog

Readings 10: Democracy, Politics and Technology
January 13, 2009, 3:12 am
Filed under: Assignments | Tags: , , , ,

Flickring here, twittering there

This article discusses how technology has been changing politics recently. It starts off by telling about the different politicians that use the Internet to get their name out there. McCain has his own YouTube channel where people could go on and see what he had to say and previous clips of him discussing his policies. Obama is very involved with the Internet and has tons of sites supporting his presidency and views on certain topics. There are so many people on the Internet everyday and thats where tons of people get information from. In this day and age, the Internet plays a large role in the economy and politics. People can go on a politician’s blog site and discuss things involving his presidency or the economy with other people who share their interest. Also we get a lot of our new from the Internet which is also why it such an important tool in politics. Even with our mobile phones, Obama had a contest to text a number and a guess who his running mate would be and a prize would be awarded to the winner who texts the right answer first. I think its very important for a politician to know how to navigate through the web, use the Internet, and incorporate technology into his work.

Obama Uses Text Messaging With Eye on Nov 4 (listen: 4 min)

This short clip was very interesting to me and at the same time surprising. I did not know that if you texted that number, they had the right to text you about information whenever they please and encourage you to go through your phonebook and get other people to join. Basically at a rally for Obama, he encouraged people to text a number proving that they were supporters of his party and they were willing to receive information on their cell phones via text message from time to time and encouraged to get more voters for Obama. I don’t really like the idea of a number texting me sometimes that I don’t even know telling me about statistics and policies of Obama’s campaign. I would rather receive my information on my own such as through the Internet, newspapers, or television, not through a text message on my phone. If I were running for a political position I would probably not adopt this strategy and try to get my information out there more through the Internet, television, and newspapers.

How Much is YouTube Worth to Obama and McCain?

I think YouTube is a great tool in political campaigns. At one point in the article, the author describes how people are not FORCED to watch it as they would be on TV but they have a choice whether to watch it or not. Since the Internet is becoming such a popular online tool, I believe if politicians put their videos on the website, they would receive more views and popularity which in turn could lead to more votes.

Twitter: An Antidote to Election Day Voting Problems?

This article was a little confusing to me but what I got out of it was that Twitter is basically a database that you can text about anything and people write things back on your post or text. It is basically a chat line where people can communicate to each other and ask others for questions or opinions. This could help voting because it could reduce voting ballot lines and can even sway someone’s opinion toward a certain politician. With this type of technology we can apply it directly to voting and people can even send in their votes which can in turn give the public an idea of how many people voted for who, it could be like a secondary way of telling how many people voted for who. For instance, say there was a really long day at one of the ballots to vote, one person can go on twitter and explain to people that the line is long and to go somewhere else. We could get more people informed and voting with Twitter.

The Daily Me

This article discusses the concept of filtering and personalization. There are many different ways we can personalize what we want to see, hear and learn over the Internet and with technology. Websites that enable our news and information to be filtered give us a sense of personalization and help us see what we want to to see. The upside to this is that we can share ideas with different people a topic of interest. We can get different views and ideas about something other than our own and get an outsiders point of view on something we care about. The downside to all this personalization is that we may not be exposed to as much stuff as we should. Because our world is so small and we made everything so personalized for ourselves, we don’t think or learn about other things. All this personalization leads to people being sheltered and knowledgeable only about the things they care about. The daily me refers to the concept that we choose to get whatever information we want and we listen and read things that only benefit ourselves.

Web of Activism (local politics)

I think local politics using the Internet to their advantage is a great idea. As I have previously stated, the Internet is really becoming a useful tool in getting people, especially young adults, informed. Politicians in this article described how videos and SNS’s helped them get their names out there and in getting them recognized. I think this idea is flawless because when these people put videos up on the Internet or make an SNS page, they don’t spend any money at all! What more can people ask for while running for a political position or in signing a petition? Free advertising defiantly will help their cause. However, with all these videos and SNS’s on these people, they have to be careful not to offend anyone or say anything wrong or offensive because that could really sway a lot of people’s votes. The main reason I think local politics using SNS”s and YouTube for advertising and getting their ideas out there is that they are reaching out to the younger crowd. I know when I was a kid I could care less about local politics and if I saw a YouTube or Facebook for a local politician I would be pretty impressed and might take a closer look.


1. Do you think the internet can be a useful tool for politicians? why or why not?

2. How do you think someone running for a local mayor position could use the internet to his advantage?

3. What are the negative and positive results of being able to personalize our information so easily?

4. How could our cell phones change the proccess of voting?




Readings 4: Copyright and Creativity
January 3, 2009, 1:38 am
Filed under: Assignments | Tags: , , , , , ,

Article 1: The ecstasy of influence: A plagiarism

This article taught me a lot about plagiarism and someone else’s perspective on it. It basically discusses history of plagiarism and copyright laws and how they originated. The consitution states the copyright protection law and how any work “copied” from another person must be credited. Plagirism can be directly related to music, art, and papers. There were multiple artists who stole lyrics from others, however some artists did not mind while others did. Everyone has a different view on plagiarism and it is a very touchy subject especially with the growth of the internet. This article discusses the different of gifts and how for instance a commons is something that belongs to all people. Plagiarism is a very touchy subject that can be hard to pin point. Having something copywriten basically allows you to work off of other people’s ideas or inventions but gives them credit for the original thought. There is an argument that if people did not work off each other’s ideas how would anything get done? For this reason i believe copyright laws are very useful and protect artists. I do agree that people need to work off of other people’s ideas but they need to give the originator credit and recognition.


1. Do you believe copyright laws are too strict?

2. Do you think people plagiarise by coincidence? By this i mean someone writes something that has already been written with knowing?

3. What do you think the difference between being influenced and plagiarizing are?

The Generational Divide in Copyright Morality

I enjoyed reading this article because it was right to the point and very clear on its main issue: Do people think piracy laws are too strict and do what extent do people belive it is okay to copy something. David Pogue spoke to a lot of different audiences and discussed the issue of piracy. When he first started studying piracy, he knew what it was and that it was illegal and saw no shades of grey. However, when he started talking to people about the issue, he began to see where people do show shades of grey toward the issue of piracy. he began asking multiple question about piracy and have people raise their hands wheather they disagree. He spoke to many groups of adults who tended to put their hands up a good amount. However, he also spoke at a college and almost all of the students kept their hands down. Why is this you may ask? As i see it, it has to do with age difference and the culture we grew up in. First, cd’s today are expensive and due to the large amount of schoolwork and lack of career work students put in, i think they feel like piracy is not that serious. Alot of students can burn music and easily get away with it. I think they figure if i have no money and want to have music why not just download for free and the chances of getting caught are not very high. Also since the internet was not as popular in the lives of our parents, they do not realize what we do on the computer and are not aware that music can be downloaded for free and illegally so easily. Due to the lack of usage of the computer and internet between older parents and young kids, they are on a totally different level of computer knowledge. Also the article talked about people copying dvd’s from other sources or the television. The question involving this issue yeilded the same results.

1. Why do you think the adults raised their hands disagreeing with the senarios David spoke of but the college students did not?

2. Is it too easy to download music and movies illegally on the computer?

3. Do you record stores and movie stores are hurting because of the amount of piracy going on in the world today?

Lessig, Lawrence: watch this 20 minute presentation on youtube

This video was pretty interesting and informative on the issue of piracy. It discussed how creativity is being subsidized because of the government and the internet. Lawrence seemed to come across as a pretty liberal guy to me who thinks that people and the government are making piracy too big of a deal. I do agree with his point about creativity being challenged by piracy laws epseicaly over the internet. He discusses there needs to be some type of balance. I think that content like the videos he showed are fine because the songs are derived from someone else who already has recognition from them. I do believe however, if someone is going to make a video like the ones we saw, they should still include a small note such as “this song was originally performed by (Artist and song name). It is hard to enforce such a law because of all the endless numbers of spoofs on the internet already. I think what is done is done and maybe the governement should make internet websites require their submitters to properly cite their sources for their creative clips and images. The internet really complicates the plagirism issue and makes it hard to enforce it. I agree with Lawrence when he says the laws are not “balanced” and need to be more clear about what is okay especially on the internet. I do believe internet art should be cited more properly and they should try to figure out a way to tighten that enforcement.

1. Do you think that anime cartoons or “remixes” should be properly cited?

2. Do these remixes infringe copyright laws in your opinion?

3. How do you think plagiarism can be more effectively controlled on the Internet?

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?