cyborgs on TV and in movies


I found this list of movies and TV shows that feature cyborgs . . . there are quite a few! What's with Hollywood's interest in these man-machines?? Also, as someone mentioned their greatest fear of cyborgs in class as being their potential destructive capacities, I noticed a ton of these films and shows have very militant cyborgs. Interesting.

Elections gone viral!


This isn't breaking news, as it's been in the headlines since the weekend (As of this writing, Google News recognizes 78 articles on it), but I've been too busy to write about it until now.

Long story short, somebody took Apple's famous 1984 ad and mashed it up to make it an ad for Obama's Presidential campaign. Hillary stars as the big brother figure, and the lady who smashes the screen is wearing a shirt with Obama's logo. Anyway, enough with the description, just watch it HERE. That's the original YouTube post, and it already has more than 1 million views, plus a few more hundred thousand views of the same video under other usernames.

New syllabus?

Could the revised syllabus be posted to the blog or replace the now-outdated version that still sits at the top of the blog? Thanks.

machine-like bodies

As we discussed in class yesterday, our society is becoming more cyborgnated, and we are becoming less aware of this matter. While reading Stone's "Will the Real Body Please Stand Up?" I began to think more deeply about this notion On page 187, the line: "The socioepistemic mechanism by which bodies mean is undergoing a deep restructuring in the latter part of the twentieth century" really stuck out. I thought about my grandfather, who several years ago had a triple-bi-pass surgery and a pacemaker put into his heart. I also started to think about my mother's best friend who has recently gone deaf in her left ear, and will soon be undergoing a procedure known as the "Cochlear Implant" -- where an electronic device, resembling a microphone will be drilled in through her skull and placed behind the external ear to enable her to hear again. I thought about the increasing number of people who are commonly undergoing procedures like these on a daily basis -- as if it is natural to have forms of metal and electronic devices implanted in our bodies to save us from some sort of illness or disability.



I guess my term proposal is going to be fairly similar to my mid-term project proposal.

As you can see, Prof. F noted (last batch of comments, bottom of page) that the issues I originally wanted to explore regarding Facebook were too broad to cover in the amount of space we were given for the midterm, so I augmented my focus and only discussed the issue of privacy, free speech and appropriate conduct between students and college administration.
While doing research for the mid-term I came across some really interesting stuff that fit into my original proposal that I would like to explore, so I'm thinking that's what I'll do for my final term project. Also, looking ahead on the syllabus, there appear to be some readings that I feel could be a good basis for analysis for the Facebook issues that I want to explore. This proposal feels a bit like a rough sketch, hopefully as the semester goes on, with more readings to springboard off on, I'll be able to pinpoint more specific areas and points that I want to put in my project.

cyborgs and such

Harraway's piece once again put something I have very little familiarity with and didn't think was really at all relevant to discussing new media into a totally new perspective. Just as with Marxist though, I didn't really understand how it could be related until we got to issues of copyright and sharing information with hypertext. Honestly, I felt very lost very many times in the piece. Harraway is writing with an intimate knowledge of many thinkers of whom I am ignorant. That said, I will comment on a few ideas. With the dawn of a conscious fabrication of parts of our biological nature, older ideas that dictate gender constructs seem to become less important. I thought that Harraway saw in this new phenomenon a deliverance from what she saw to be 'dominating' and damaging concepts of gender that were based on superiority. Honestly it's difficult for me to get any further in than that without confusing myself.

Immediacy and the Uncanny Valley

Our discussions on immediacy in class reminded me of the Uncanny Valley Theory. I'll summarize it for those of you who don't want to read the lengthy wikipedia entry. The Uncanny Valley is a theory that a Japanese roboticist came up with to explain emotional responses between humans towards robots. Basically, the theory says that as a robot (or any depiction of a human) becomes more humanlike in appearance and motion then the human response towards it will become more positive, until a point is reached where the robot suddenly becomes repulsive to the human - this is the "valley" in the name, where the levels of empathy dip suddenly.

Blogging as investigative journalism


The LA Times included an interesting piece in today's paper about Josh Marshall and his TPM blog. It's a case of old media reporting on new media. The article begins by explaining Marshall's interesting role in the recent US attorney scandal. When TPM first started hearing murmurings of fired attorneys, Marshall utilized the technology's potential for reader feedback (comments) by asking his "100,000 or so daily readers to write in if they knew anything about U.S. attorneys being fired in their areas." He then gathered the evidence submitted by readers, and this put him at the forefront of the media investigation.

Breaking News


video games preservation

Well, I guess I have found a source to back our claim, or at least my claim, that video games are a staple of new media, and possibly our culture. Several video game experts (historians, designers, and journalist), have started to attempt to preserve video games. Much like the film preservation act passed in the late 80's, the library of congress would preserve a canon of the best video games ever.

Addendum - Just found this short

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