Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Blog Post Compilation - JD Keiles

Hello Blogger,

My name is JD Keiles. The JD stands for Jonathan Dean in case you were wondering. I grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After I graduated high school my parents decided they had enough of the suburbs and they moved into downtown Philadelphia. The move has been really nice and I really enjoy living in the city. It is a bit of a hassle when I have to drive back and forth to the suburbs to see my friends but it isn't too big of a deal. I am a sophomore at UW and am majoring in Economics. I have always had a business type of approach to things and I think economics will give me a good chance to pursue that route in a creative manner. I decided to come to UW because it really was my best option all around when it came down to it. I really wanted to go to Michigan and Vanderbilt but after being denied on the same day from both I had some thinking to do. When I came out to Wisconsin to visit in January I loved the campus and decided to just go for it. It has been a great choice. Here at school I am involved in the Sports Business Club. Last fall I also joined a fraternity and it has been a great experience socially that has allowed me to meet some great friends. In my free time I like to hang out with friends, listen to music, play sports, chill outside, snowboard, and some other even less interesting things. My favorite sport is by far basketball even though I played tennis all of high school. My love for basketball has translated over to me being a huge Philadelphia 76ers fan. Despite the fact that they are usually terrible, I keep on cheering. I look forward to this class and studying more about the Internet as a form of mass communication. I think about social media a lot and how it will affect our generation and sometimes it worries me. This class will hopefully give me more substantial information on the Internet and this "information society."


I chose to explore the term "smart phone" because it is so ubiquitous in today's society. I started reading one article from June of 1996 and began to learn about the smart phone before it was in everybody's pockets. They described the phone as something that would make reaching the Internet easier and more affordable for people. I also read an advertisement from the Chicago Tribune. It was using the term smart phone as a new operating system that would help making calls easier and putting people on hold more efficient. This advertisement said that it will make phone calls more efficient and businesses could be more profitable. At this time this use of the term was very different from what it is used today. I believe that is because this technology is so much ahead of the time today when compared to 1988. People couldn't even imagine that a phone could also help you explore the Internet. At this time a lot of people didn't even know about the Internet and its wonders. An article in the Los Angeles Times called, "Those New Private Pay Phones: Some Won't Get the Messages: CONSUMERS" discussed the idea of these new "smart phones" that were private pay phones. It was actually funny to read this article and hear them talking about a private pay phone as if it was something so crazy. They said that these phones are smart because of a processing chip they use to make the phones have callback options that don't use a centralized network. After reading some articles from today's scholarly sources it became clear of some of the stark differences. It makes sense that the term "smart phone" is used so differently today. In the past, phones were called smart because of hardware updates that seemed revolutionary. Today that is also why they are called smart, but the affect of these technological advances on our society is staggering compared to the past. Some might even say these "smart" phones are making us dumber. Humans have a harder time focusing with such a distraction in their pocket. Only time will tell where phone technology will go and what affect it will have on our consumers and our society.

The Control Revolution - JD Keiles 9-16-14

James R. Beniger’s  “The Control Revolution” discusses the gradual changes in our society that have been fueled by slow and explicit technological advances. Starting in the 19th century and continuing through 2014, technological changes have affected everything from our social interactions with others; to the way we consume goods. Beniger stresses how important communication is to the process of controlling people’s behavior. He goes into depth about the different modes of communication, their history dating back to the telephone and postal service, and how the progression to today’s rapid forms of online communication are only another stepping stone in this long and complex method of control.

This article is actually an excerpt from Beniger’s book “The Control Revolution,” published in 1986 by Harvard University Press. James Beniger is an associated professor at the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. He is a graduate from Harvard University and has a Ph.D. from Princeton University, where he has also taught classes. This book is applicable to really anybody living in today’s technology and communication dominated society. This book is great for an audience interested in both technology and societal studies. It explores how the two subjects intermingle to create a consumer-based culture.

Based on Harvard University Press’s review section, the book has been acclaimed as a good read. Critical Review stated that “It is beautifully done and is built to last… Everything about the book is intelligent.” Another book titled, “Living in Information Age: New Media Reader” by Erik Bucy similarly discusses the changes in technology and how they have affected society’s media landscape. Based on an online synopsis from Powells.com, Bucy encourages readers to look into how media industries are changing because of digital convergence and an economy increasingly dominated by big businesses.

Overall, I really did enjoy reading this except. It was nice to see a formal explanation of how business can exploit the use of media to get consumers to buy their products. I liked what Beniger had to say about rationalization and how more control can be gained through increasing consumer’s ability to process information while at the same time limiting the amount of information they are exposed to. It really is a lot more complex than I imagined. After learning about both rationalization and bureaucracy, it was interesting to see how they both work together to affect “three distinct areas of economic activity: production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services” (Beniger 61). As little as citizens realize, each of their decisions, both socially and financially, are influenced by the people around them and the media outlets they are exposed to. I’m curious to see how control over consumers will be affected as technology continues to become more accessible and specific to the public. As big business like Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Wal-Mart continue to grow it will be interesting to see how technology, communication, and consumerism will be affected in the future.

I watched Work Pays America (Part 2). It was a very interesting short clip about art in America. I didn't realize how important it is and how much goes into preserving art, especially stained glass. It was nice to see how different types of workers in America shift to do the types of work most needed. The clip later discussed how the WPA stepped into to help clean up wreckage from the flood and distribute food to the victims. The video touched on the importance of cleaning up and how the Works program took priority in stopping disease from spreading after the natural disaster. From this video, it shows how important the WPA is to keeping this country afloat in the areas where it was suffering most. It was nice to see that the Works Program focused its efforts to preserve natural resources too. We as current American citizens can learn the importance in raising a good youth generation. They really are the future of the country so it is important to raise them on good morals and values. The WPA took on a lot of responsibility in its 120 projects to better the country. Overall, this video showed the organization America had over both bettering its country's land and its citizens alike.


 Closer Together, Further Apart book research JD Keiles 10-12-14

I decided to search Amazon first with Information Society. After that I decided to search "information society effects" because I am more interested in the future of all these changes. I found three books of interest, Closer Together, Further Apart: The Effect of Technology and the Internet on Parenting, Work, and Relationships, The Interface Effect, and The Copycat Effect: How the Media and Popular Culture Trigger the Mayhem in Tomorrow's Headlines. All of these seemed pretty interesting because they evaluate our current society and see how the Internet affects it. They also all delved into what our society could look like in the future considering how indulged we are in the Internet already today. Copycat Effect: How the Media and Popular Culture Trigger the Mayhem in Tomorrow's Headlines was the most pages and also the most expensive. It seems that all of the books are represented well on World Cat. If any of them was more I would say that The Copycat Effect was pretty well represented. Also, The Copycat effect had more buzz on the Internet than the others. That might have to do with the fact that Closer Together, Further Apart: The Effect of Technology and the Internet on Parenting, Work, and Relationships just came out this summer. When I signed up for the Library Thing and searched for these books I couldn't find any of them. I'm assuming that's because these are so many new books about this fast paced world and a lot of them are just coming out now. Based on this research, I've decided that I think I want to read Closer Together, Further Apart: The Effect of Technology and the Internet on Parenting, Work, and Relationships. After that long process I think this book aligns the most with some of the things about relationships and parenting that I have been thinking about outside of the class. I'm curious to check out this book in a genre I've never explored and see the author's point of view on the Information Society and the social and cultural effects of it. 
Description: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-aDAzv6aKkWo/VDsscDO-PJI/AAAAAAAAAHs/EMC8tg-Hy5E/s1600/jpeg.jpg

Works Cited
Beniger, James R. The control revolution: technological and economic origins of the information society. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1986. Print.
"Living in Information Age: New Media Reader (2ND 05 Edition)." Powell's Books. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Sept. 2014. <http://www.powells.com/biblio/9780534633400>.
"The Control Revolution." Harvard University Press. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Sept. 2014. <http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674169869&content=reviews>.
After reading about this hypothetical idea expressed by Bush's 1945 article entitled "As we may think" I have a new understanding of the Internet and the society that existed before its creation and ubiquity. I went on to read an article titled "The Memex has been Missing a Database – and it’s finally here!" This article discussed how Bush was able to tell with great insight the inevitability of an information system that connects users and information easily and quickly. The article then outlined that there is still some gaps in the internet if it wants to completely represent "a flexible, personal database that lets us "remember” and organize things in as flexible and interconnected a manner as your memory" described by Bush.  It was mentioned how typical database searches today sometimes exclude information from the deep web. It also fails to do much more than just spit out a list of links that users can explore. Ideally, Memex was supposed to store information and handle "all of the organization types simultaneously and seamlessly." This article highlighted the fact that the Internet is still not complete because there are more advancements that can be made to help users in more ways. Bush was a visionary in realizing how far technology, communication, and science have come. With this insight, he was able to predict a future that would change the way people live, work, and socialize today. 


After doing some research on the Internet about myself, I wasn't too surprised about the results that I found. Years ago when I first started getting into the internet, I didn't think twice about posting whatever I wanted to post online. About a year ago I started realizing how when you post something online it is there for anybody to see and it will never go away. This fact was concerning for me so now I take more precaution from posting anything too crazy. After searching my name the first thing that came up was my Twitter. I was a little surprised by that because on twitter I go by JD Keiles when my actual name is Jonathan.  So now I know that it is so easy for somebody to read any of the thousands of tweets I have had in the past. Overall my Internet persona does not portray anything too shocking about me. By using my phone number, anybody could find out where I live or where I even go to school. With this information, they can make judgments about who I am just because of the town I came from and the demographics of it. I was able to find out who my entire family was through stalking myself, especially my mother who uses Facebook frequently. It is concerning that today we live in a place where the only time you know you're having a private interaction is when you're face to face with them. My other concern, and only real concern, is that I cannot see how much my behavior online is actually visible. My "data" is very valuable from an advertisement standpoint and I can't even see what that persona of me looks like to advertisers. Overall, after exploring myself online I realize that it is very important to watch what you post because people might define you by your posts and not actually by whom you are as a person.

It's sad to be writing this blog post already considering it is 3 PM on Saturday but damn did I fail. I started off fine on Friday but trying to keep off my iPhone off got very tough as the night approached. I realize now more than before how many different people I communicate with over text each day. I use it for planning hangouts but also just keeping in touch with people. Another tough thing to ignore was the application Groupme. I use it with my fraternity brothers as an ongoing group chat. There's always funny things being said and plans being made so when I couldn't look at it I felt pretty disconnected. When it came down to Facebook, I had a much easier time keeping off it. Although when I woke up this morning all of the Halloween pictures from the night before got me hooked on the website for a bit. It is hard to realize because we are in the moment, but our generation is connected to their phones so much. People are able to gain social status by having very few face-to-face communications and just creating an online persona. Overall this was an interesting experiment for me to try. Next time I try and pick up my phone to look at some application that is a waste of time I might think twice.

Manpower Search- JD Keiles 11-9-14
After doing some research about Madison, Milwaukee, and Chicago the results I found were not too surprising. Madison offered the least amount of jobs. A lot of these jobs offered in Madison were temporary positions. Although some might consider this a good thing I don't think it is great because we can still get more people making money even if they are underemployed.  What was nice about the listings is that they were offered across a lot of different fields, a lot of them being service or administrative jobs. That is good to hear because people looking for different things can still get the proper use out of this website. Milwaukee had the next most amount listed and then finally Chicago had the most. It was cool to research the differences in what type of employment opportunities these Midwestern cities had to offer. Although it is a shame a lot jobs listed were temporary, it is still a good thing that people can use the internet to find employment opportunities today.

Attending the seminar was a very eye-opening experience. Americans fail to realize how progressive we are politically. The seminar was broken into a couple of different parts. It started with a couple speakers talking about the religious and political landscape in Pakistan. The first speaker, Sidra Kind talked a lot about equality and education for girls. She was the first girl to be going for her PhD from her tribe. She detailed the rallies and protests going on in Pakistan to allow girls to be educated. She said every girls' dream is to be educated and empowered and yet they're forced to stay home. It is sad to hear that the United Nations doesn't even intervene with these issues that cause so much turmoil in Pakistan. Religious extremist groups are against education reform for equality for girls as well.
The second speaker talked more about the Mallala Phenomenon that helped start these movements. Another girl named Naveila was also recognized for her service but in different ways than Mallala. Mallala got to go to the White House and receive recognition from the United States. Naveila was less recognized because she did not get personally signaled out like Mallala did. He finally discussed the relationship between religion and violence and how the nation state of Pakistan does little to ease tension. Overall, this was a very interesting seminar and I learned a lot about cultures and problems overseas.

Similarly to Jacob Lorig and Adam Carney, I also did the UW Campus tour virtual gaming experience. We went through it a little bit together but then we discussed its merits after. It is a pretty cool idea that gives people a chance to experience real life like situations via the computer. After checking out some of the other games too, this one seemed like the coolest. None of them were really "fun" but at least this one allowed me to see and learn some things about my campus that I didn't know before. This type of virtual tour kind of reminded me of google earth. Google Earth allows people to explore the planet while in the comforts of their home. That, and this virtual tour, are awesome benefits of living in today's technologically advanced society.

After reading all of my blog posts I think my tone stays pretty similar throughout the semester. I keep seeming to voice concerns about how the Internet will affect our society in the future. When I share in class, I definitely present a more worrisome side to the arguments. I don't like all of the data that is being used by big companies for advertisements and I don't like the fact that once I post something online it will be there forever. I definitely think I voice my concerns about security through both the blog posts and the in class discussions. As the semester passed, I think I became more educated on the reality of the Internet. I think this shows through my increased pessimism in my posts and speeches. Overall, my blog posts were pretty explanatory and summarized different topics of this class well. I think my best one was my post on the reading about the Control Revolution by James Beniger. I think I wrote concisely and accurately and connected it well to the class topics. Sometimes when I write I get too wordy and stray away from the big argument I'm trying to make. In this post, I think every detail I put in there worked well to both summarize the article and make a bigger statement about the control revolution. Overall, I think that writing the blog posts were a good part to this class. They allowed me to explore different topics from the past and look into current trends on the internet today. Only time will tell what this Global Network Society will turn into and how our behavior will change both socially and as consumers in this modern economy.
Thanksgiving Assignment JD Keiles
Over the break I decided to interview my Dad about different technologies that impacted his work life. He talked a lot about how e-mails change the workplace a lot. After digging a little deeper I was able to come to the fact that he views his iPhone as his most important technological device of his career. He said that the iPhone allows him to connect with so many people across many different media platforms so quickly. He owns a marketing firm that specializes in having a big internet presence as part of a company's marketing plan. He says that with his iPhone he can use different applications to get real time updates about different companies website's activity. The conversation ended on the fact that his iPhone also allows him to check his e-mails wherever he is which is great for keeping in touch with different clients. He said that it does make the workplace more accessible but the problem with it is that he is always tied in. He said that this can make it seem stressful because he always has tens of e-mails just waiting to be answered right in his pocket even if he is trying to relax. Overall it was an interesting interview and it was cool seeing how something like the iPhone effects different generations than my own.

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