shimla2901's blog

Who owns the commons?

In chapter four of his book Convergence Culture, Henry Jenkins writes about fans using the Star Wars universe for their own videos or literature, and LucasFlims prohibiting parts of this appropriation. This battle between the producers and the consumers raises the question, who has the rights to these media productions such as the Star Wars movies? Is it the producers who create them, or is it the consumers who have grown up with them, explored them, and may better understand them?

the Internet is not yet a mature technology

I watched the South Park episode "Over-Logging (On)" recently, in which the characters find that the Internet has suddenly disappeared. Pandemonium ensues. No-one, not even the TV news anchors, remembers how to get news, and some of the characters journey to California in a Great Depression era migration spoof to try and find some Internet there.
However, if for some reason the internet really did disappear (maybe due to some flesh-and-fiber optic cable-eating bacteria?), what would happen? Could our society easily go back to normal?

The End of the Long Tail

here is a link to my final project. I hope it is more enjoyable than some of the videos it uses.

A Legacy of Torture

Earlier I attended the screening of "A legacy of Torture" at Hahn. I went because it seemed interesting and I thought we would get extra credit for it, but I'm wondering if I went to the right event now because I did not see anybody else from our class there. Anyway, either way, I'll write my blog post on it.

Woman, Children, and Laws

Laura Miller's article "Women and Children First" really made me question many of my assumptions about gender and gender roles. After reading "A Rape in Cyberspace," I had been strongly in favor of prosecuting the "rapist" as well as protecting women on cyberspace from virtual sexual assault. Furthermore, I had assumed that I was being thoughtful and considerate in their viewpoint. I was even a bit self satisfied for arguing it.

Sterility and Community

Avaital Ronell argued a couple of points in her eloquent yet hard-to-follow essay "a disappearance of community." It seems to me that her two main arguments are that virtual realities are giving us a sterile impression of a war that is dirty and bloody, and that the virtual reality discourages community. These are good points and make sense, however, I don't fully understand the relationship between them.

Why are boring things so funny?


For my term project, I've been trying to film the most uninteresting videos fathomable. I will post them to YouTube, and then see if anyone watches them. The point of this project is to test just how far the "long tail" goes. However, as I have been creating it, this project has raised some interesting questions about the relation between boredom and humor.

the future of news

Recently I've gotten really into reading my news online. I click on the little newspaper icon on Firefox, and I get links all of the important news stories, as judged by Google. They come from various media outlets, such as the Washington Post, the New York Times, or less widespread papers such as the San Jose Mercury News. Usually when I'm in college I don't have the time or effort to pick up and read a newspaper, so these online news sources are keeping me much more informed than I would be.

reading response 8

An aspect of the development of cyberspace which I think Sandy Stone doesn't fully address is the question of why we are using technology to separate ourselves from out bodies. She well describes this separation.

reading response 9

After reading this piece, what stood out for me the most was the reality of the "virtual reality" that the participants of LambdaMOO had created. Let me explain. It seems like the "virtual reality" should be an escape, where the constraints and problems of the world we live in today wouldn't apply. Yet the character Legba cried real "posttraumatic tears" after she was virtually raped. Even though the woman playing the character Legba was in no way physically threatened or hurt, she was still emotionally distraught. The "virtual" experience affected her in the real world.

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