Screen vs. Text

I’ve never much been one to make a lot of videos or share much on social media. So doing the Concept in 60 video was a little bit more work than I’m used to for sharing anything on an online medium. That being said, I did have a lot of fun doing it.

One of the things that using video allowed me to do was to be as creative as possible to appeal to as many senses as possible. My voiceover appealed to hearing, my video to sight, and perhaps the sense of touch as you pushed play and awaited the great cinematic experience of “How to Tip your Server Properly.” These are some things that cannot be done through writing text. We each read in our own  voice, so it’s harder as writer to convey tones, emotions, etc. as easily as it they are conveyed through video.

In “How to Properly Watch a Movie,” you could tell that he had a lot of fun making the 60 second video, and that made the video more enjoyable for me to watch. So the conveying of emotion was made easier in a short 60 second video, than it would have been if he’d simply written out his thoughts on how to watch a movie at home. I can’t say I would have laughed as much as I did had I read that on a piece of paper.

Amanda’s video took a more complex concept (subtweeting) and made it simpler through her explanation with her voice, and her use of time-lapsing so that key words could be emphasized with the creativeness of writing them on paper, yet keeping them on screen to be used like stills in a movie. This helped contribute to the creativeness of the concept video, and helped to simplify the complex phenomenon of subtweeting.

“How to get dressed in the morning” also utilized time-lapsing to speed up a process that can take about 10 or 15 minutes. This emphasizes another affordance of video that we cannot get in writing – the essence of time. Reading written text takes as long as the reader needs to, so it can take a lot longer than the writer might have expected. However, with a video, the time stamp is how long the video will take (save for any pausing or rewinding any comical parts of the video), and this affordance allows us to budget our time of how we take in these pieces that we can’t really do with written text. Maybe if you give yourself 15 minutes, and you skim, but then you’re not really taking in what you need to get from reading!

Overall, video affords us certain things that written text can’t and I think our Concept in 60 videos really emphasized a few key things as I wrote about. Great job on the videos everyone!

Keep Out: Private!

Some background music to listen to while you’re reading this post.

Privacy has different meanings. On one hand, it’s a person’s ability to hide something, and on the other hand it’s the ability to share what you want. Doesn’t that sound like the same thing? Hiding things can be very intentional, and have the “sneaky” undertone that we usually connect to “hiding” something. Sharing what you want is a person’s ability to dictate how they are perceived (either online, or otherwise). boyd notes that parents don’t think teens care about their privacy, and will just post anything. But also she notes that we are much more aware than initially perceived. The way that she talks about privacy is interesting and I believe can relate to parts of my life, as I’m sure it can relate to some of yours.

Persistence of content – stuff online last forever (boyd’s wording sounds fancier). This is one the most repeated phrases at my parents’ house that I heard growing up. Be careful what you put online because it lasts forever, anyone who wants to can find it eventually – or some paraphrase of that. This aspect of boyd’s writing is very true. How she notes that things from long ago online can resurface and be used out of context in an argument – a present self having to defend a former self. It isn’t necessarily fair that this can occur with use of online postings, it is ultimately, a trade-off, or necessary evil (I’m not sure which term would be more appropriate) of posting things online. Ironically enough, this post that I’m writing right now is subject to the same perpetuity as the rest of our classes content, and the same perpetuity of news articles, Facebook posts, Trump tweets, etc. I think that, as a younger generation, we aren’t ignorant to the fact that what we post online lasts forever, however perhaps we are… numb? Indifferent? Or maybe we use this fact as the center of motivation to rebel – let everyone read this, I could care less, this needs to be said.

I know writing online can be an outlet for some, so couldn’t it also be an outlet for rebellion? With the use of online mediums, more people hear your voice that wouldn’t necessarily have heard it before social media. Sure, you could have sent a thousand angry letters to whomever, but you’d ultimately end up with carpal tunnel and no change. The fact that “stuff” online lasts forever can help social activism and other aspects of society due to the fact that it can garner support weeks, even years after it was posted because it does indeed last forever.

So, yes, our content lasts forever. Should we update our privacy settings, or produce better content?

Shrinking or Expanding?

reliant-on-tech
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In the latter part of his book, Carr really delves into his argument for what the internet, or technology as a whole is really doing to our minds. I thought it would be interesting to compare his beginning thoughts, or his recognition of certain technologies as neither really good nor bad to his later argument. To do so, I’m going to call back what I wrote about in my first response to Carr on this page. My example starts on page 44 when Carr writes, “Every technology is an expression of human will,” and continues to categorize technology into four categories. The fourth category was of particular interest to me – being the category that Carr cites as “intellectual technologies” that help us to measure things, articulate certain ideas, and to support our mental powers.

Later on in the book, on page 212, Carr uses the example of London taxi drivers. He starts the paragraph in an interesting way, with a definite difference in language of how he approaches the use of technology: “We’re likely going through another such adaptation today as we come to depend on computerized GPS devices to shepherd us around.” I want to call attention to Carr’s diction of “shepherd” in that sentence. The connotations that follow that choice of word certainly set the tone for the London taxi driver example, and he follows through by citing Eleanor Maguire, the neuroscientist who led the study of the brains of London taxi drivers. The neuroscientist is quoted in this example saying, “We very much hope they don’t start using [GPS]…the area of the brain increased in grey matter volume because of the huge amount of data [the drivers] have to memorize. If they all start using GPS, that knowledge base will be less and possibly affect the brain changes we are seeing.” GPS essentially being like a map – the fourth category of technology, that is supposed to SUPPORT our mental powers – is then shrinking them. A curious case.

First, I want to note the change in tone from the beginning of the book to the latter half. Carr doesn’t necessarily praise technology when he categorizes it, but he certainly notes the merits of each category, and how it’s simply human attempts to control a certain thing in their lives. And then as he gets into the meat of his argument(s) we not only see the change in tone, but also the examples he uses to show us how even these technologies that should inherently expand our knowledge of the world (GPS), can also hinder our ability to gain knowledge if we become reliant on these technologies. This example of the London cab drivers is just one example, and I’m not saying I agree with him, but it makes me think of where I’d be without Google Maps, or my iPhone. Have I become that reliant on all of these things? Could I be as efficient without them? How would my life change without them? Is technology shrinking or expanding our mental faculties?

Measure and Calculate (attempt 2)

The idea that Carr talks about starting on page 44 is one of the most interesting to me. He talks about how, using technology as our tools, we “seek to expand our power and control over our circumstances.” As he continues on to classify them into four major parts, it is interesting how spot-on he is about how technology is simply human attempts at gaining control over nature, over each other, and over a thousand different things that we don’t SEE technology as, but it truly is this attempt to gain control.

Apart from Carr’s example of a fighter jet as an example of physical control (fighter jets are awesome), I believe the fourth technological classification category to be the most applicable to me as a business student. Carr notes that they can be referred to as “intellectual technologies.” A map or a clock would be examples of this category of technology. These are technologies we use to classify information, form ideas about certain things based on data and numbers. My laptop and the internet are examples of this technology as well because it expands my mental capacity and my ability to support my mind.

I found it very interesting that I don’t really stop and think about how much we calculate things – especially as a business student – and how I less often think about how someone had to “think up” a way to calculate this or that. How primitive certain calculations must have been thousand of years ago. How did we move from that to calculus, finite math, physics? Who was the first one to think of certain accounting principles for businesses? It’s insane to think about how much we calculate and try to understand things with research and data, but yet we don’t stop and think about how those calculations came to be. And how certain calculations at certain speeds weren’t available in the near past. How many math equations were done at NASA by hand before computer technology was really advanced?

Don’t get me wrong – I believe that the other categories of technology are important; extending our physical strength, extending the range of our senses, and reshaping nature to fit our needs are all important. I just thought that the technology that allows us to measure and calculate things and support our mental powers were more applicable to me as a business major. With all the calculations I do for classes, I don’t know where I’d be without technology helping me.

Measure and Calculate

The idea that Carr talks about starting on page 44 is one of the most interesting to me. He talks about how, using technology as our tools, we “seek to expand our power and control over our circumstances.” As he continues on to classify them into four major parts, it is interesting how spot-on he is about how technology is simply human attempts at gaining control over nature, over each other, and over a thousand different things that we don’t SEE technology as, but it truly is this attempt to gain control.
Apart from Carr’s example of a fighter jet as an example of physical control (fighter jets are awesome), I believe the fourth technological classification category to be the most applicable to me as a business student. Carr notes that they can be referred to as “intellectual technologies.” A map or a clock would be examples of this category of technology. These are technologies we use to classify information, form ideas about certain things based on data and numbers. My laptop and the internet are examples of this technology as well because it expands my mental capacity and my ability to support my mind.
I found it very interesting that I don’t really stop and think about how much we calculate things – especially as a business student – and how I less often think about how someone had to “think up” a way to calculate this or that. How primitive certain calculations must have been thousand of years ago. How did we move from that to calculus, finite math, physics? Who was the first one to think of certain accounting principles for businesses? It’s insane to think about how much we calculate and try to understand things with research and data, but yet we don’t stop and think about how those calculations came to be. And how certain calculations at certain speeds weren’t available in the near past. How many math equations were done at <a href=”https://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/5-8/features/CalculatingByHand_Feature_5_8.html”>NASA</a&gt; by hand before computer technology was really advanced?
Don’t get me wrong – I believe that the other categories of technology are important; extending our physical strength, extending the range of our senses, and reshaping nature to fit our needs are all important. I just thought that the technology that allows us to measure and calculate things and support our mental powers were more applicable to me as a business major. With all the calculations I do for classes, I don’t know where I’d be without technology helping me.