Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Blog Compilation

Blog posts

1. Hi everyone!!!
 I'm Melissa Quirk and I am freshman at UW Madison. I plan to apply to the business school and am interested in possibly majoring in marketing. I love to sing and teach myself songs on the piano by ear. My favorite type of food is Italian(similar to everyone) and I have been obsessed with Italy ever since I went there last summer. I interned at TD Ameritrade over the summer and this sparked my interest in marketing. This class seems like it is going be very interesting and I am looking forward to getting to know all of you.

2.A look into “text messaging”
I decided to look into the past of the term of “text messaging” in relation to its meaning in the modern information society. Both the oldest journalistic article and the oldest scholarly article’s mention of this term use a tone of excitement towards this “new technology”. I found an article in the New York Times from May 14, 1998 titled An Even Smaller Phone With Even More Stuff, where they brag of the latest cellular phone being able to send phone-to-phone text messages and voicemail. It is somewhat comical to read an article or advertisement bragging about the features of the newest cell phone during that time because of the comparison of the numerous features of the modern cell phones today. Text messaging was a mere extra feature at that time for cell phones in addition to voice calls, and is now the main form of communication in the cellular world (An Even Smaller Phone With Even More Stuff, 1998). I also found an article through ProQuest from April 5,1982, titled Integrating a Voice Store and Forward System in an OCC Network, which discusses the features of the VS&F system. The article boasts about the “text messaging” feature in the system. It is interesting to note that this article’s reference to the term “text messaging” does not hold the same connotation as the term does today. This mention of text messaging was in reference to a computer-like system that was targeted more for office and business use in order to create an efficient work place. The way society thinks of this term now is in the form of cellular use, not computer use (Integrating a Voice Store and Forward System in an OCC Network, 1982). Text messaging was displayed as a great advancement in both these articles for both computer systems and for cell phones. However, text messaging now is seen as an essential application in our cellular devices and of today’s generation. Text messaging is just one of the main features of cell phones in addition to the thousands of new applications and features cell phones offer today.

3. “Nation at your Fingertips”

This video focused on the creation and development of the telephone. It was funny to see how amazed the reaction was to this technology in this time was, when in present times we have the opportunity for constant communication with anyone in the world at any time. This video on the information technology relates to the Information Society class because it shows how transportation of communication was evolving, and the reaction of the public to this. It is also interesting to compare this advancement to advancements and present forms of technology present now.

The video began with an older couple receiving news by letter that their new grandchild had came down with the measles. She decides to use her new telephone to call her daughter across the country in San Francisco to make sure everything is okay. This part of the film uses Pathos to play on the emotions of the viewers to enhance their positive viewpoint of the telephone.

The video then continues on into an explanation of how the telephone system works with the "boy operators" working hard all day, and then transforming into new "girl operators" working the system. Another aspect that was comical about this film is the stress on gender roles in jobs during this time. The film goes on to explain the new computer-like system that controlled this telephone technology. A piece of paper would come out of the machine with codes that would need to be deciphered by professionals. Phone numbers were described and area codes were created.

Telephone communication began with across-town communication, spread to across the country, and eventually across oceans. The video displays people using the telephone in excitement. This new technology that enabled communication transportation without people having to physically travel was amazing in this time. It is interesting to compare this to present times when phone calls are one of the many fast forms of communication available.

4. “The Culture of Connectivity”
I began my search by typing in "digital divide" to the advanced Amazon search and came up with a book actually titled "The Digital Divide". Although the book seemed interesting and relevant to much of the class material, it was too old. I continued my search by searching "social networking" and narrowing down the date to after October 2012. I came up with the book, "The Reputation's Society", which seemed very interesting and was around 220 pages. It was also around two years old. This was available at Madison Libraries which was also a plus. However, I didn't find very many reviews on this when I looked on Google Books and when I flipped through the actual pages it didn't seem as interesting as my last book find. I found my third book option by typing "social media" into the Amazon book search and found the book "The Culture of Connection". This is by Van Dijk, who we read an excerpt from for our LIS201 class. This focused on the history and future of social media, which I find very interesting. I am considering a major in marketing and want to learn more about how social media affects society. This book is around the same amount of pages as "The Reputation's Society" and was published less than a year ago in January of 2013. I also found many good reviews on this through my search in ProQuest. One of the best was "The culture of connectivity: a critical history of social media" by C. Wankel. This book focuses on the many aspects of social media, and I am excepted to see Van Dijk's analysis.

5. “Memex”
It was very interesting to see Bush’s initial thoughts and predictions in “As we may think” on the “memex”, or future advanced society. He was very close and even accurate in many of his points and predictions of what the future would bring and the vast improvements and flaws. It was almost even more intriguing reading Bush’s article twenty years later on the “memex revisited” as time had passed and advancements had occurred. The reactions of the many scholars at the Symposium held at MIT in 1995 added some great points and insight on Bush’s idea of the “memex” and the outcome and flaws of his predictions. It was also interesting to see how although this was the most recent required reading on the “memex”, there was still so many advancements ahead of their arguments in light of today’s society and technology. Bush was very descriptive and clear in his predictions and I enjoyed reading them and comparing them to life and technology today.
I searched for a commentary on Bush’s idea of the “memex” and found “The lost manuscripts: commentary on Bush’s memex” by Michael Fraase. Fraase did a wonderful job of commenting both critically and positively on Bush’s predictions and articles overall. He touches on the idea of mass storage and Bush’s doubt in this capability. However, we now have great capacity for mass storage. I agree with Fraase’s critical analysis of Bush’s doubt in society’s future capability in storing mass amounts of information within technology. Just look at how much information and technology the iPhone can hold, and it fits in my pocket! I also liked how Fraase touched on the idea of communication technology, as I took great notice to this as well when reading Bush’s articles. However, I wish Fraase had used more examples and gone more in depth. Although considering his commentary was written in 2009, he did not have quite as many communication technology examples as are present today five years later. This brings me to Fraase’s mention of the speed in which technology has grown. He acknowledges Bush’s prediction of the technology growth and speed of the “memex” and ties it into the present quick growth of technological advancement. My only critique is that I wish he had gone more in depth of how quickly technology transforms in society today, but again, this commentary was five years ago. Overall, Fraase did a wonderful job of analyzing and linking the ideas in Bush’s article with society’s advancements and technology today. I enjoyed reading all these articles and seeing Fraase’s view.

6. Lyon Article Blog post
Lyon’s article “Surveillance, power, and every day life” focused on the surveillance present all around the world and the growth of surveillance. The main idea of the article focused on surveillance in its different forms, the issues and controversy that follow types of surveillance, and the new technologies that contribute to the transformation of surveillance. One interesting idea and question I pulled from this article, is whether excess surveillance is positive or negative for society?
David Lyon is the Director of the Surveillance Studies Center, Queen's Research Chair in Surveillance Studies, Professor of Sociology and
Professor of Law at Queen’s University, Canada. Lyon has numerous books and publications on the topic of surveillance. This article was geared towards the audience of both professionals and the general public. It came from the Oxford Handbook of Information and communication technologies and came out in 2009. Surveillance is a hot topic in our society today, and Lyon’s investigation, insights, and research contain interesting viewpoints that are widely recognized.
 Lyon points out that surveillance can be more democratic than one would think.  He touches on the idea of “the end of privacy”, and describes that privacy is relative. “The Chinese have little sense of personal space as Westerners understand it, and the Japanese have no word for privacy in their language”(459 LYON).  A “surveillance society” is in place in society today which is much more democratic. This differentiates the surveillance in the western society from the common idea of a higher-power surveillance. Lyon mentions that this new surveillance society takes away the attention of the totalitarian and disciplinary surveillance models.
 Surveillance creates large controversy. Not only is the end of privacy an issue that accompanies surveillance, but “social sorting” as well. Lyon explains how social sorting in government safety surveillance increased and transformed greatly after 9/11. Many innocent people are targeted as “suspects”. Similarly, people are targeted through marketing techniques. Computer surveillance of peoples’ online activities helps companies target ideal customers without customer request. Surveillance’s lead into social sorting and privacy issues creates great controversy, especially as surveillance continues to increase.
 “Dataveillance” is a term Lyon uses to describe the new form of surveillance found in society, which makes surveillance more democratic. The transformation of technology in society creates a new form of surveillance that is not only led by the higher powers, for example government and corporations, but by the public as well. Citizens have numerous simple and advanced technologies that all serve as surveillance technologies. Lyon does a great job at breaking down the idea of surveillance to more than just the feared over-watching power and shows the democratic side. Any person with a cell phone can take a picture and post it for the world to see.
Is surveillance negative or positive? It is difficult to determine this as citizens who are active in surveillance as well. Surveillance keeps society safe and informed, but it also can have great negative consequences

7. Melissa Quirk Internet Search
I first searched my hometown on and found that in 2013 13,171 people lived in my hometown of Western Springs, Illinois. I then looked on and found the demographics for Cook County, and saw that the population is around 5,257,0001 and it is 45% white, 25% black, 22% Hispanic, 6% Asian, and 1% other. I moved on to search myself, and was a little weirded out by the results. I googled my full name and the first thing that came up was Facebook accounts. When I clicked this, mine was the first account to come up. This may be because of cookies tracking, but this creeped me out because I try my best to keep my Facebook private. When I clicked on the account it showed a few of my profile pictures and some music I had liked a very long time ago. I moved down on the Google search results and found that both my old and new twitter accounts were listed(I had forgotten the password to the first one and had to make a new one). The tweets are open for everyone to see, which I also found quite creepy. However, I don't really post anything inappropriate or controversial and don't use Twitter much at all so I was not too worried. The next thing that came up on the search results that was actually linked to me was the link to this class blog. When I looked in Google images the only image I found that was related to me was an old tweet I had posted with a picture of my sister and I. It is frustrating that I am not able to make my old accounts more private without the passwords. It is also  was weird that there was so much information available on me when searched However, I am conscious of what I post on social media and will continue to be even more so after this in depth search.

8. I am Malala Extra credit
I really enjoyed seeing Shiza Shahid speak, she was very moving and her story was extremely interesting. Shiza Shahid spoke about her life story, goals, and things she learned. Shiza Shahid came from Pakistan and grew up in an extremely violent time. She discusses her childhood, the terrorism, extremism, and focuses mainly on the restriction of women. She discusses how she spent her time with other people facing hardship as well. It was appalling to hear that women and girls were not allowed to leave a room in fear of their brothers being ashamed of them. Shiza Shahid's insight into her horrible world was eye opening and what she took from it was inspiring. Shiza took this terrible environment she lived in and decided to make it her mission to help others. Shiza even organized a protest at the young age of 16. She describes how even when she had moved on to Stanford University, she still wanted to make a change for women and young girls facing the terrible discrimination in her home country. She explains that she saw a video of a young girl saying that she was not able to go to school because the Taliban would not allow it. This struck Shiza strongly, and she decided to make a plan. She made anonymous videos of young girls speaking on the discrimination and their inability to go to school. It was disturbing to hear that a little girl could not even put on her favorite pink dress because the Taliban did not approve of bright colors. Shiza's main points were to live with passion, constantly innovate and create, and overall know that you are strong. It was so eye opening to hear about how in other countries women do not have the same rights that we take for granted. It was also interesting to hear Shiza's relationship to Malala and how she faced similar hardships. This speech inspired me because of how much Shiza and Malala did, with such terrible circumstances. 

9. Failed Attempt at Disconnect
As sad as it is to admit, I don't know what I would do without technology in today's world. I tried to completely disconnect myself and was actually doing quite well on Friday. I got a lot of homework done, cleaned my room, and had time to think without the constant distractions. It became harder as the night progressed and I tried to make plans for Halloween. Luckily, my roommate and I are good friends and were going to be together for the night, so I let her make the plans and contact people. I made it through Saturday as well, but wow was it hard to not be able to check Instagram, my texts, my Groupme etc. I was more anxious than usual. As saturday evening rolled in, I gave in and turned on my phone. It's crazy to see how much I missed within just one day! This was a really eye opening experience. I feel that if our society as a whole was not so addicted and connected to technology, I would have found it easier to disconnect. Sometimes I even like to disconnect so that I can concentrate or even just not worry about the outside world for awhile. However, when it comes to every day life, making plans, and having no phone for Halloween, I can't say the same.

10. Manpower
This activity was very interesting. However, I was surprised that the majority of the jobs listed were entry level jobs that were only temporary. I looked up jobs around Madison and only found 13, most of which were manual labor type jobs, small management, or assistant work. I then looked up jobs around Chicago, since this is where I was from. There were a much greater number of jobs listed for the Chicago area, but the trend of entry level non-permanant jobs remained. The jobs did not peak interest for me in either city, but the jobs that were listed were similar to one another. This activity made me realize how competitive the job market is for degree required jobs. In such vibrant cities like Madison and Chicago, I would think there would be more job listings with higher pay and position. I enjoyed this activity and it opened my eyes to the rough job market in our country today.

11. ARIS
When I downloaded the ARIS app onto my phone I chose to play the UW Campus Tour game. This game allows you to move around campus and provides you with maps as well. I found this funny in a way because personally, I am so bad at directions. I got lost numerous times on my way to classes my first two weeks and still can't always find my way to places now. Therefore, this game may have been helpful to play before I came to campus this year. The game also gives historical facts about each place on campus that the tour stops at. This would be great for those considering Madison as one of their college choices, or those who never had the chance to take an official tour. I enjoyed this activity because it was fun, interesting, and I learned a lot.

12. Thanksgiving Break
Over thanksgiving I decided to talk to my dad about technologies role in his life. I knew that he would be the perfect person to talk about this with since he is always glued to his phone or computer checking emails. He even texts and emails when he's driving despite the fact he tells us never to do this. My dad talked about how checking his email constantly has become a necessity in his job. Phone calls used to be the main source of communication, and while these are still used for important conferences and meetings, email is the most commonly used for simple communication. After hearing my dad talk about how much is communicated through email and how often, it made me realize why he is glued to his iPhone and computer all the time. The advancement of online communication and technology in general has not only expanded society's social networks, but the work place as well. Even when people are not at work, they may be receiving work related communication that expands the workplace a great deal. I guess this can be seen in both a positive and negative light. We are all connected very well and this creates for great efficiency and networking possibilities; however, being too connected leaves no free space or time away from work, friends, school and constant bombardment of information. This definitely gave me a lot to think about and I found talking to him about this very interesting.

13. Online Blog Self
It was very interesting to go through and look back at all my blog posts throughout the semester. I feel that I kept a pretty constant voice and tone throughout and shared my honest opinion in each post. It was very interesting to see how some posts were much shorter than others depending on when it was in the semester and how interested I was in the activity. I enjoyed sharing my thoughts in a blog post each week and reading others as well. I also enjoyed comments and was glad we had to do this because if we were not I feel like people may have not taken the time to read others posts. It is very cool to read people's post and get a feel for their personality based on their ideas and the way they write. It helped me to get to know them better beyond the classroom. I feel that I was consistent in my voicing of opinions in both discussion and my blog posts. However, it is hard to judge myself when I haven't been listening to myself talk in discussion all semester like the students in my discussion have. I enjoyed blog posting weekly, but in the end I got more out of the weekly discussions. It was interesting to read people's blog posts and ideas, but it was more interesting to me to hear their ideas and be able to think about them and discuss them on the spot with a class full of thinking people.

No comments:

Post a Comment