What is privacy?

Privacy is an ambiguous terms that has different meanings among different generation of people. The idea or concept of privacy is interesting because it reveals a gender divide that many people forget still exists well into the twentieth century. In my case I always think about my parent’s view of privacy and then my own view of privacy, and I realize how radically different each view is when compared. However playing in the larger context on when is privacy good and when is it violated I think traces back to the fundamental ideal of what is privacy.

When you go online you automatically know you are interacting within a public environment and among a public community. This is a personal choice one makes the moment they begin to interact with an online social community. However, there is an argument to be made that the usage of privacy in the sense that anything anyone puts on in a public setting should not be violated I believe has no validity.

For instance, facebook, intagram, and twitter do not charge you to use their site, nor do they force you to deal with annoying ads (as of now facebook is working on preventing businesses from entering your timeline on a frequent basis through posts and status updates as well as pictures). If these sites do not charge you to use their site, then I do not quite understand the reason people advocate to push for their private information to be their private information. Secondly, most people already knew through their choice that they were publishing on an active public network, obviously to garner attention from their active public network, so how is that even private?

Now lets say Facebook begins charging you for your usage on their site, then yes all of our posts should be private because we are paying for our autonomy as well as signifying that we want a limited audience and a small group acknowledging our posts. Like ancestory, which charges members monthly, all information is stored for your conveinance unless stated otherwise by the member. This is also true for other websites you pay for like Sirius XM and JSTOR, which all have limited accessible communities, and whose communities choose to be limited and accessible.

In conclusion, the whole idea that privacy should be defined and respected is a paradox. It is even more ironic when you understand the reason why people have social media sites.

What does it mean to ‘share an idea?’

Sharing an idea I think is great, but it has its consequences. Following up on our discussion of the sharing of ideas and the creation of ideas, I find that with the internet there comes problems.

For instance, take Picasso, someone who was seen as a great artist by some, and a terrible artist by others, but he was still talented. Take Charles Dickens or Jane Austen, and you have two very popular and strong literary authors, many disagree, but they had talent like Picasso. However, where does talent like mentioned prior, and the accessibility of spreading ideas on the web, end?

The argument is that with every instagram there comes a new photographer, someone who thinks they can take a picture because they placed a filter on it, or changed the brightness. Then comes facebook, where you have people posing as models because they paid $300 to have their picture professionally taken, suddenly they are the legit thing… though they are neither signed or recognized by a modeling agency. Now we have blogs, twitters, and all these other social sites that are an accumulation of identities, images, and ideas, but WHAT is talent?

Taylor Swift made a brilliant argument in her recent interview (I cannot remember the magazine) that the music industry is no longer about talent, it is about how many likes you have, how many EP’s you have, how many retweets, favorites, etc, you have on the social media site.

Now with ideas there comes some great movements, just take John Locke, Socrates, or Karl Marx. But in an age where everyone can access each other, everyone has the opportunity to have an idea, what is a movement and what is a person’s opinion becomes a challenge.

So with all these examples let us have a discussion about talent. Does the internet allow people to have talent? No. Does the internet garner leaders? No. Does the internet help spread news? Yes. Does the internet help spread ideas? Yes. And this discussion can go on and on, but then there comes a problem, unlike the past, there are so many people on the internet that you begin to wonder who is REALLY the photographer, and who is REALLY the music artist? You begin to wonder, who IS legit, and who IS actually someone like… a pornstar? Do we know? No. What proof do we have? A hometown…maybe?

See my point is, even with all these platforms and great ideas, there is no longer an idea of what is great, there is no longer a level. That is, there is no longer an image or some thing to strive for because no matter where you go, as long as you do it right, you can always have an audience. This audience can be small or large, but it is so diverse and comes in so many ways that there is no longer those epic movements, there are no longer those impacting moments of society, rather an accumulation of ideas and possibilities. Thus, everyone suddenly becomes a humanitarian.

Now I am not saying that all ideas are bad, for example the Rolling Stone’s article “A Rape on Campus,” or the New York Time’s timeline of Syria, and the ideas go on, have impacted how we perceive our world, and it has forced us to become more cohesive. But let us talk about an idea, like a backpack for men, and we suddenly see someone who thinks they have a great idea because they have an audience…

But let us be realistic, no man will ever wear a backpack like a purse.

 

What is privacy?

In Souza’s article “Not Just Data: Privacy in the Digital Age,” which is a reading for November 13, the very intricate details of the web is presented in a curious format. That is, as web users we take for granted the many usages of the web without acknowledging the ‘how much less private your life was’ before you interacted with the various domains and communities on the web.

The idea that your life can be private I think is a question we have been dealing with as a class. I feel like if we are all presented with the option, that we would feel more threatened then secure in pursuing a private life because it is seen as different from everyone else. Do we even know what privacy looks like or feels like in the greater social world we are interacting with? In other words, if we had the option for privacy would we see it as a threat to our individual identities or an opportunity to truly break away from the image that we have created? In order to understand the development of a private identity, we need to acknowledge the fundamental creation of a social identity.

A social identity is some thing that we create and recreate, which completely destroys our autonomy. But I do not think this ideal is restricted to the social networks we interact with on a daily basis. Though many people argue like in Souza’s article that we develop and create multiple identities in an internet community, I think this ideology holds true to  non social networking communities. On a daily basis we interact with people always coming to understand that person as well as ourselves. But we are never the same with different groups of people or a person because people bring out different parts of us in both a negative and positive way. Therefore, though we have the option in a internet social community to create and recreate our identities, which makes our need to mold ourselves more prominent, it is not restricted to an internet community. Thus, privacy is not relevant because even in our daily interactions with people, we are still acting in a public setting, creating a public self, so I ask, what is privacy?

Privacy is a word we create to explain our public selves and the development of internet communities and the public forms we find ourselves on every day. But privacy is also a word used to explain the very dynamic roles of our lives and that we are never truly private, nor do we truly understand the definition of privacy because let us face it, with or without an internet community, who wants to be that person who does creepy things in a motel commonly referenced in horror movies?

Propaganda!

When starting this project I first thought this was going to be easy. My second though was governments and various other public agencies do this all the time. That is, using propaganda for the negative: to brainwash, to bring people into their arena, but also to initiate them into a specific agency or group’s way of thinking.

That is when I started to think, and I began to realize that it was no easy task to create  a project around propaganda because not only do you realize that you are using propaganda in a negative way, but also you are using it to sway people in the direction of how and what you want them to think. I immediately thought of V for Vendetta, which I have attached a clip to this post. I then thought of Hitler and his book Mein Kampf.

When we came together as a group, I was ecstatic to know we were doing a project around books, more specifically themed around the popular Fahrenheit 451. After we discussed a specific theme  for our project we chose specific political books that would be banned if legislation was passed to remove books from the shelf. I chose Mein Kampf.

I chose Mein Kampf for a specific reason; that is, Hitler’s ideology was an extremely successful piece of literature that impacted Germany and made Germans feel they had a purpose. Though, much of the book is extremely vulgar and controversial, its power over a mass of people is undeniable. The idea that words could have that much impact on people reveals how much people pay attention to the details and the little things we all believe are just a part of communication. Though it is a broad stretch, think about that one thing your wife said to you about two days ago, and you cannot get it out of your head. Or think about that terrible thing your friend said about you in Middle School, five years later you remember it all.

That is words have powerful messages and getting rid of these messages would be vital for any government to censor. More importantly destroy. Thus, propaganda against books is probably the most intriguing project we have done all semester.

Propaganda Poster 1

 

GOOGLE

Today we talked about a really interesting topic that Winston brought up on how the internet developed. But I also want to expand on how his writing in 1998 on the development of the internet is relatively different from today’s view of the internet.

I think this is an extremely important topic because it exhibits how much people learn within a couple years and how scholarship develops due to the evolvement of various areas of scholarship. Thus, Winston’s perspective of the early internet and its impact of society is just one example on how various historians and scholars analyze a certain time period from that actual time period. Therefore, not only are they literally writing down what they feel, but they are making it a future area of reference for any scholar who might be tracing back a certain historical development. This historical development in Winston’s case is his book and opinion, which adds to a growing historiographical understanding of the development of not just the internet but technology.

When I took my Hist 299 class I remember constantly searching for scholarship after the 1990’s. I was also always reminded how tracing the development of scholarship over a period of years shows how scholarship on a certain topic develops, expands, and adds to existing scholarship. Sadly, when I was taking this class it really made little sense to me, but I eventually saw its importance in history and understanding the historical process of society. Thus, in the case of Winston’s book written in 1998 it shows how different the perception of the early internet was and how it was impacting people in the late 90s. Fast forward almost 15 years and already the this 90s view of the internet has drastically changed because how the internet developed in reality did not fit Winston’s original assessment. Therefore, the argument can be made that the importance of various scholarship depends solely on when the scholarship was being written, why it was being written, and how it was understanding the development of some thing like the internet in the historical time frame it was written.

In conclusion, I think the understanding of scholarship and the year and time of which is was written is not inly vital to historiographical interpretations but also extremely important in understanding the development of society. But it also enhances the idea that being skeptical and risky is some thing that can have a negative and positive consequence so it is not set in stone with a desired or known outcome. Thus, some thing like history is obviously not business, so taking a scholarly risk by talking about one’s opinion does not add to the desired topic but to the overall development of scholarship. This is exactly why history is such an amazing topic.

Just look at the development of the google logo as a microscopic of the point made prior.

Early Google Logo
Early Google Logo
Modern Google Logo
Modern Google Logo

 

Google logo evolution
Google logo evolution

Film

For this past week I have read a lot of summaries about film and movies  and though they are all interesting readings none of them really captured my attention.

I know that there is a lot of literature out there that talks about the development and influence of film over the past several years. Actually, I recently watched a film called Hugo, which talks about early film and its development from silent film to sound film.This came problem is depicted in the movie the Aviator. Thus, the problem that arose for Howard Hughes producing silent film versus the popularity of sound film impacted his profits and forced him to add sound to a movie. Therefore, the development of film is not just about the plots or inter relations between countries but is much like the  radio.

The radio and film basically develop out of similar situations. The radio is first an AM transmitter and eventually the frequency is changed to FM, but it is building on previous technology, which is being tweaked, rather then creating new technology and enhancing it. The same goes for film, which is first seen as a silent entertainment, where each piece of film has to be manually colored. Over time, the silence of film is no longer seen as interesting by the audience forcing film makers to add sound to film (this sudden change can be argued to be impacted by WWI.)

In the article about the development of modern film industry shows that profit and audience dictate much of the development of films over time. Yes, films and movies are  an imaginative creation, one that creates illusions and full fills fantasy, but  also  allows the audience to escape reality for a couple hours.  The idea that movie goers today have the opportunity to take part in the film not as a distant audience but literally  as a member of the film calls for serious attention. That is, like the development of sound in film there is also a feeling invoked by film, a sense of oneness and compassion the audience feels for the character or characters in the movie, which has become more prominent in the 21st century.

Therefore, I feel the couple articles we read were interesting but they missed the bigger picture, so they acted more as summaries rather then thorough commentary.

Louis Brooks- sound film circa 1920s
Atonement- circa 200

The Titanic Sinks!

For table 4 this radio broadcast idea is the bomb. Thus far we have decided that it should be 10min in length. But also, we want to make sure the audience is well informed on the Titanic (not just the movie) so we are going to have facts and play people who actually survived, giving their life stories of the aftermath of the Titanic via interview.

Actually, upon researching my character I learned a lot about the Titanic I did not know, for instance when the Carpathia docked, there was a crowd of almost 40,000 people waiting to see the survivors. This made me realize though they were communicating via telegraph, the information had spread relatively quickly so that people on mainland England and the United States had heard of the sinking even before the survivors were safe on shore.

I find this fast communication interesting in comparison to what we have read and the assumptions we have drawn in class. That is, even though people were paying by the minute and the telegraph language was no easy feat to learn, it was very influential in transmitting information. I think it broke the idea of time and though we drew conclusions that it might have not been easily accessible, it was accessible by media outlets and government officials. In both circumstances the sinking of the Titanic would have gotten to them far before the public and eventually through gossip and publication finally received by a public audience.

This trickling of information is vital because it shows that not only are we misinformed about how advanced we are in circulating information, but how much we see the past as displaced from ourselves technologically. In conclusion, 1912 was really no different from today except we have the technology in the hands of the public rather then the select few.

Timeline ideas- table 4

So before Table 4 left Thursday from class, as a group, we decided to focus our timeline on a specific technological ideal. From here we decided on various representatives of that idea using a google doc, which we have all been working on throughout the weekend. Our focus was around communication and how movies, cars, TV shows, books and other modern areas of literature and art expression conceive and reinterpret areas of communication.

Upon each of us submitting our five ideals of communication technologies, the google doc became more intricate and expressive of communication technologies. These technologies  varied significantly and each seemed to represent different areas of communication. Actually, you will notice that not only is there a wide array, but there is not a single uniform area of expression, rather there are many outlets that can be used as areas of communication.

For instance, in many films set in the future there is a usage of holograms  in place of telephones.  But there is also the idea of a two sided TV that not only transmits  images but also receives images, so  people can glimpse into the living room wherever the TV was situated. However, both these areas of communication built on an existing notion of communication like the telephone or telegraph. Thus, areas of communication and how they are represented are not uniform but building on other ideas and creating new areas of communication.

Take the car for instance:

At one point the car did not have a radio -> once the radio was added people could ‘tune into’ broadcasts -> the development of CDs and cassettes  made  the radio personalized -> eventually the radio offered a wide variety of channels that you could then synch to your car’s memory-> fast forward  to the modern era, cars are now being used in place of communication technology acting as the source of communication rather then an area of personal expression or personal entertainment.

The development of technologies in a car show that there is never a uniform area of expression, and a single outlet can lead to a wide set of ideas of communication that can be built on, revised, and then re-marketed to an audience of people. However, communication of a car is only one representation of the development of areas of communication. The idea of communicating continues to lead to new ideas on how people communicate that builds on already existing communication technologies.

Finally, communication in terms of a timeline is extremely intricate and will require the focusing of how areas of communication developed over a period of time in regards to literature and artistic ideals.  This will be no easy feat, but it will definitely be a paper trail that could just revolutionize how one sees communication in their daily  life, and how that area of communication can lead to new ideas and better technologies.

The link to the google doc is as follows:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1rEqC1bqVy5TMAX5KRv4iicePdsI92VUw4icxBh60cM8/edit

The Cavemen

Our first project was an interesting combination of ingenuity and imagination.

I think we were all quite obsessed with the map, which was shown to us earlier in the semester. But when we were creating the map we found that the caves were geographically all over the globe, and no two caves were really the same. Actually, when I was drawing I noticed that the picture was far more intricate then I originally imagined. That is, which I drew the main figure of what i believe is a bull, I noticed several other figures throughout the picture.

When I saw all these other animals I realized that there was a message being conveyed that I will never quite understand, since I live in a time and place where interaction with animals is limited to my cat. But the actual impression it left was the animals were running, and I could not tell from what because the picture cut most of the rest of the cave painting out. But thats when I noticed what was originally a shadow under the bull was actually an animal. I think it might be a baby… But I will leave that up to you.

 

Projects, Creativity, Ideas

There are many types of research projects, which were highlighted in the Google Doc that I think would be cool. I actually feel like all the project ideas are good and creative, and they can all be done in a relatively good manner. However, I have listed below three research projects that I think would help keep one’s focus on history, while also seeing the ‘golden’ future of technological possibilities.

1. I really like the idea of tweeting an event and seeing how the action of tweeting could have impacted a historical event like the Titanic. If we can somehow take the year 1912 and translate it today, I think that would be a nifty project that could deal with so many aspects of a building. Particularly the Green Screen or Incubation Room. But this historical event could be some thing like Paul Revere, could he have warned the colonists of the British if twitter existed? This concept could also be applied to the French Revolution. That is, if Marie Antoinette and Louis XIV were more informed about people’s problems like #starving #downwiththemonarchy #eatcake, maybe the royal couple would have been more informed on the social life surrounding the French people.

2. The recreating of a radio broadcast would be cool. I am actually in Dr. Ferrell’s 1920-1930’s class, and we just watched a documentary on radio and how it impacted the social lives of people. It would be cool to do a project tracing various radio broadcasts and how they evolved with technological innovations.

3.I REALLY like the idea of recreating an old film using new technologies and other technological advances. Some films like Star Wars,  Metropolis, maybe even Artificial Intelligence, though it was made in the 2000’s. The recreation of old films does not necessarily have to apply to retro films or TV shows from the 1950’s or 1960’s, but more modern film from the 90’s or early 2000’s. I say this because technology is evolving every year, and with each new technological advancement comes a new technology.

Information any moment