New Media

Final Post

New media is defined as anything that is digitally accessed. New media is the advancing of technology. Most new media technologies are ones that can be “manipulated, networkable, dense, compressible, and interactive” as stated by Bailey Socha and Barbara Eber-Schmid, authors of Define New Media Isn’t Easy. Most of these new media technologies are things that can be found in most every house hold such as: computers, Xbox, PlayStation, DVDs, and games for the consoles. New media is not “television programs, feature films, magazines, books, or paper-based publication- unless they contain technologies that enable digital interactivity” (Socha and Eber-Schmid). Digital interactivity is anything that uses the new media technologies. New media is the usage of words on a screen, images, sounds, and movement.

Media has created a digital divide. Older people such as grandparents, do not understand the concept of the Internet. This divide is caused by the differences in technology that is available versus the technology that was available when they were growing up. Our grandparents did not have the technologies that we use now, the same technologies that we cannot live without. Most grandparents do not know how to use a computer or have to be shown how. I remember a few years ago, I had to teach my grandmother how to copy and paste. It amazed me that she had to write down instructions so that she would remember. She has a cellphone like most people. However, she has an old flip phone that has now been working over 7 years. It works perfect and she refuses to get a smartphone. She does not know how to use them. My grandmother does not understand smartphones. It is difficult for her to call someone from my mother’s smartphone.

Every technology has a symbiotic relationship with man. J.C.R. Licklider, author of, Man-Computer Symbiosis, states “Man-computer symbiosis is a subclass of man-machine systems. There are many man-machine systems. At present, however, there are no man-computer symbioses.” This brings to light the reliance of man and technology. People are no longer able to do anything without Google. Machines are run and helped by people. Without people, there would be no machines. Without machines, there would still be people. The people who live in a world without machines would be forced to find various ways of entertainment, medical care, research, and ways to wake up. It is amazing that even an alarm clock is a machine that people depend on. It is something small and almost never thought of until it is time to wake up. It is blamed when people sleep through it as well. Machines may not survive without humans, but humans can survive without machines. We just do not want to. It would mean that we would have to get up and do work. The laziness that comes with machines would be gone.

The symbiotic relationship is different than that of a mechanical extension. A mechanical extension is an extension of something that is preexisting. This is not limited to robotic arms, legs, and fingers. Technology has the potential to achieve things the human mind cannot fathom. This reverts back to what was discussed in class today; infinite knowledge or a way to expand the brain’s capacity for information. A chip in the brain is different than finding a way to know everything. It is something that some people, like myself do not want. Yes, I wish I could open my head and stuff every one of my text books into it. I would be able to remember more. That would be amazing to remember everything from over thousands of books. The main thing that I would want from that type of technology would be to learn different languages. I would stuff as many different language books into my mind as I possibly could. It is difficult to learn a new language. I have taken Spanish for several years and I still do not know much. My goal is to learn American Sign Language and then move on to Dutch.

What makes us human? Thomas Suddendorf’s blog post “What Makes Us Human?” might have the answers to this specific question. Suddentdorf tells us that we have been surviving by our wits. We have the great capacity to build technology and cities. These things have changed the Earth in many different ways. The closest relative to humans are the animals, however, there is an enormous gap in the minds of a human and that of an animal. The things that make us human is our brain yes. But if you think about it, it is also our ability to make choices. Humans are emotional creatures. This also includes the male portion of the species even if they will never admit it. Humans have the amazing ability of free will to do as we want. This makes some people mad if we do not do what they want us to do. It is not easy having the ability to make choices. There are always pros and cons to the choices that we make. However, that is what makes us human and we have to live with the choices we make.

New media encompasses many different things. New media has become such a part of our daily lives that it seems to be taking over our everyday life. Tristan Harris is the author of the article How Technology Hijacks People’s Minds- From a Magician and Google’s Design Ethicist. The second argument is about the addiction to technology. Most people these days, mainly teenagers and young adults, spend most of their time on their phone. Most people constantly check their phones about twenty times in the span of two minutes. It is the fear of missing out. Missing anything that is going on in the outside world. Teens and young adults who are social active on various different social media accounts stress about not knowing that is going on in everyone else’s lives. Constantly refreshing emails, checking text messages, and checking notifications of any kind it has gotten us hooked to the point we cannot live without it. This fear of missing something has escalated to a point where people will not delete any social media app even though they do not use it. They might occasionally check it; however, they do not use it on a daily basis. They keep it so that they can stay aware of everything going on. Technology is taking over everything, not just our minds.

Digital literature is something that I believed only to be eBooks. I learned that it is more than that. Naomi Alderman shows the reader this in her article The first great works of digital literature are already being written. Video games are considered digital literature. My understanding of literature when I began this class was a text that was read. This article and learning that digital literature is growing increasingly popular has redefined how I classify literature. This technology for digital literature is more than likely in your house right now. Many houses have a console such as Xbox, PlayStation, or Wii. The first two consoles are the most popular. The third most popular is a PC. A PC allows users to play the same games as a console on their laptop. These consoles are categorized as accessories for digital literature because the game itself is the literature. The storyline that takes place is the literature. It is an interactive story that the player or players enjoy playing. Alderman talks about Portal and in one of my previous posts, I talked about Final Fantasy X. Both of these games contain storylines. The different characters have different missions and quests they have to fulfill. The choices that the player makes effects the outcome of the game.

I have done several different blog posts about subjects pertaining to the class. Most weeks I would post two or three different times, each on different topics. I have attended every class and participated to the best of my ability. I have enjoyed learning more about the cyberworld and what it has to offer. I have learned more about technology and how it should and should not be used. My current grade is not what I am hoping for in the class. I am hoping that it will be raised higher. I have tried to make sure that I do my best. I believe I have done the best of my ability. It has been my goal this semester to get the best grade in this class that I possibly can. With this being said, I have enjoyed learning about new media, cyborgs, or digital literature. I did not know about most of the subjects that were covered in class. It was nice to be able to research different things that were related to the course while learning new things about media and what it encompasses. New media is a subject that I have enjoyed learning about and will continue to learn as much as I can.

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New Media

Computer in your brain

The title of this article is interesting. It drew me in. It reminds me of implants. I watch many science fiction shows that deal with technology.

The name of the show is Nikita. One show has chips implanted into a persons side and then later on in the base of the skull. The chips that were implanted into the side were trackers. The ones that were placed at the base of the skull were also trackers. However, these also had a kill chip.

A kill chip is a chip that will kill you instantly if detonated by someone. That specific person has to have the remote. It can be triggered anywhere. There is no place that the chip does not have a signal unless underground or within the radius of a signal jammer.

The title reminded me that it is a possibility that these things could happen soon.

Putting a computer in your brain is no longer science fiction by Elizabeth Dwoskin.

The beginning paragraph shows things that we currently have such as self driving cars. These cars are serviced by Uber.

Johnson, technology entrepreneur that Dwoskin refers to, wants to make the human brain vie with technology and machines. He wants people to be as smart as, if not smarter than machines.

He is currently building a chip that will help people with brain diseases. These chips will eventually boost intelligence, memory, and other skills that are lost due to disease.

This is a good reason for the chip, however it can be used in the wrong way. Someone could possibly hack the system and use it against someone. There are pros and cons to this situation.

Maybe the fountain of youth and the computer chips should work together in creating something. That would be a sight to see.

This ties into an article written by Emily Ellis Nutt.

Nutt wrote In a Medical First, Brain Implant Allows Man to Feel Again. This shows the good things that can come from these implants.

New Media

Cyborgology

The study of cyborg.

Chris Hables Gray’s article Cyborgology: Constructing the Knowledge of Cybernetic Organisms” explains what it is about.

“Cybernetic-organism; the melding of the organic and the machine or the engineering of a union between separate organic systems” (Gray).

Not one king of cyborg, more than one.

Terminator to robot with human skin.

“A figure of the cyborg can help bring together myths and tools, representations and embodied realities, as a way of understanding postmodernity” (Haraway).

Cyborg society; full range of intimate organic- machine relations.

The idea of a cyborg intrigues me. It is something that, in my mind, is new and exciting. I know the idea of cyborgs are not new. They have been around for a while but just knowing that people are working on creating a person or thing out of machine parts is exciting.

Along with my excitement is worry.

I worry about robots and cyborg would take over the world. This is a silly notion, however, it is a real fear. There are movies upon movies about this type of thing. It is a dangerous thing that we are attempting to do. It is exciting to know what and how far we can push things and advance. However, it is also nerve racking when it comes down to the final second. Would we be able to survive an attack if it were to happen? Would the cyborgs be on our side? Would they go against us? What would or could we do?

Donna Haraway wrote Cyborg Manifesto.  She states at the end of her article that “she would rather be a cyborg than a goddess” (223). This article deals with feminism, gender, cyborg and how these things are all connected.

New Media

Young Forever

The idea of staying young forever is the driving force behind many cosmetic companies. They want to keep you looking young and radiant. This ensures that you continue to buy their products.

A fountain of youth is often in many games. This keeps the players young and healthy. But what if there was a pill that did exactly that?

A pill that kept you young.

Benjamin Wallace, author of An MIT Scientist Claims That This Pill Is the Fountain of Youth, might just have the answer.

Imagine being a doctor who has finally found a way to keep people young. This science can either make you rich or make you homeless. There is a lot of risk that is involved with the fountain of youth.

Wallace tells the reader that the pills will just delay the inevitable; heart disease, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, etc.

Why is the world so obsessed with finding a cure for aging?

It is because people do not want to get old and die. Most want to live as long as they possibly can, thus the search for a cure.

I believe that the research, time, effort, and money should be put towards research for cancer or something that is worth while. Everyone will eventually die. That is a fact. You cannot avoid death.

“The record officially belongs to Jeanne Calment, who as a child sold colored pencils to Vincent van Gogh and died in 1997 at the age of 122” (Wallace).

Would it be possible for everyone to live this long if the pill worked?

It is hard to be approved by the FDA, which is needed, due to the test subjects. The subjects are expensive and must be human. These humans are specific and must be as healthy as can possibly be. This is not easy to find.

The article is interesting, it brings up major points when thinking about the subject of a youthful forever.

New Media

Is Google making us stupid?

According to Nicholas Carr, author of the article Is Google Making Us Stupid? it seems so.

Now, I do not have much to go on personally, however, I do not disagree with it. It seems that since Google, most people would rather take the easy way out of doing everything. What is this? What is that? What does this? How do you do this? The answer is always the same, check Google. Google has become a scapegoat for the lazy. It has made even the hardest workers lazy. People would much rather get a summary of something instead of read the actual book. There is no one who is innocent of this, myself included. It is easier. However, this is not an accurate synopsis of everything that is in the book. If you want the entire content, you have to do the work. Read the book, do the paper, finish the article. It is not as easy as looking up work from someone else and attempting to copy it for yourself.

Google has also been a Godsend. It has helped those who need the extra push. It has helped writers come from writers block. It can help you find the book you need for the paper you are doing. It has multitudes of PDFs and online books at your finger tips. Many people use these for research and sometimes pleasure reading. Google has been an engine that is heaven and hell mixed into one huge database.

It has also been easier to get data and different things out to others. You are able to send a PDF of your paper or novel to a friend for editing. Before now, it was something you had to print and send off for weeks at a time. Now you can find editors online instead of having to drive states over to drop a copy off in person just to be rejected. The bounce back time is cut at least in half.

I do not think that Google is making us stupid. I believe that Google is making us lazy. Our generations do not have the attention span that we once did. Google is making it easier for instant entertainment.

New Media

Oral Bard; Storytelling System

Murray tells the reader that master works of literature were not produced by one singular person. Iliad and Odyssey were a collection of oral stories passed down through the generations.

The similarities that were noticed between Homer, a great writer, and oral bards that were still active at the time in Yugoslavia, were interesting to find. These similarities can mean that Homer heard the stories and wrote them down.

“Oral story composition relies on what we in a literate era devalue as repetition, redundancy, and cliché, devices for patterning language into units that make it easier for bards to memorize and recall” (188). Murray quotes Lord on this. Lord is the student who, along with Milkman Parry, discovered the similarities between Homer and the oral stories.

Oral stories rely on repetition. This way the storyteller is able to recall and memorize the story. The redundancy makes it more memorable because it seems stupid. Therefore, it is interesting. Clichés are always memorable because it is something that only so and so get. They are x amount rich and can afford to ride to work in a horse drawn carriage.  These stories are ridiculous in many ways, that is why they are easily recalled and repeated by so many ancestors.

Murray and Lord use the example MAD LIBS as a ‘substitution system’. A paragraph is missing a few words and the players have to give answers based on the syntax or category (nouns, body part, animal, etc.).

 

Two possibilities of millions in a hypothetical story; Version #1 “Do you wish to hear the story of the three big skinny beanpoles? The three big skinny beanpoles were watching them.

Version #2 Do you wish to hear the story of the three middling mediocre bushes? The three meddling mediocre bushes were watching them. Seeing themselves voyeurized in this fashion, the three alert peas, who ere very modest, fled” (189).

If everything was read or written like this, no one would read. The example above provides insight into how many people enjoy the simplistic language and words used in most fiction writings. The history or Old English is not something that many people can or do read for fun. It is not pleasure reading, more so academic.

Building blocks to help advance digital storytelling is difficult to establish expression for the interactive language. Expression helps sell the story. It can make a person believe and be drawn into the story. Or it can do the opposite. It might possibly throw the audience off and they will become disinterested.

Theme is something that is a key function in any story. Mainly focused on when memorizing a new story in order to tell an audience.

Plot events in games are drawn from epic themes. The material comes from different genres; fantasy, science fiction, comic book heroes, and folktales traditions.

Mature narratives are able o take advantage of formulas to redefine scripts; in order to offer the integrator a better experience and a wider range of behaviors.

The system conservative; fixed story from person to person  throughout each generation. Conserves the patterns to enable the teller to create different yet multiple acts with the same one story. It is considered a multiform story.

New Media

Eliza, Zork, and Computer Programs

Computers and computer based entertainments are becoming more story like.

These are becoming more and more popular. It expands the need and want for computers worldwide.

This greatly expands the power for computers.

Eliza is computer program that was created s an experiment in language. She became a sort of therapist to her communicators. She never gave advice, however she did respond to the patient. The main topics that were discussed were sex and family. There are keywords that Eliza looked for in order to formulate an appropriate response. If the word everybody was used, the response might be who is everybody or anyone person in particular. Eliza became a good therapist and became very persuasive. The creator was impressed, most people did not know that Eliza was a computer program.

ELIZA- computer program that was an experiment in the natural language process.

Sort of a therapist

Echoes back concerns of patient without interpretations

Sex and family

Eliza- persuasive and good therapist

Many things can happen with a computer. If you want to create or share something you need a computer. This goes along with the power of computers and the rules that they are based to follow.

Power of computer and rules

The computer is an engine

Zork is similar to Eliza in the way that Zork is made. However, Eliza is about conversation, whereas Zork is about a game; hero quests to be precise.

Zork- similar to ELIZA

Eliza- conversationalist

Zork- intellectual challenges, mock hero quests

Eliza- cleverness of the machine

Zork- experience of the participant

Set up to provide opportunities to make decisions and see the results

Zork tests the limits of the program

Creators anticipated each action even inappropriate ones

Earliest version of hypertext- classic American quest; wilderness, imposition of order, chaos, and mastering various resources

Computer stimulations are interesting because of the complexity

Computer is a tool for modeling systems in order to represent out ideas of world organization

Liminal- threshold; Latin; describe experiences in which an object, a ritual, or a story occurs somewhere between the world of ordinary experiences and the world of the sacred

Tristian Shandy does his best to remind the reader they are reading a book. A physical thing.

“Postmodern hypertext tradition celebrates the indeterminate text as a liberation from the tyranny of the author and an affirmation of the reader’s freedom of interpretation” (133).

Using the labyrinth means evoking and controlling terror in a story that gradually increases, also known as violence hub (135).

Accounts or incidents of violence, real or invented article from the newspaper, and it is explored from multiple view points; center of the web story

 

A linear story ends at one place.

Multithread story has multiple retellings, converge into a single event

Computer based quests have a satisfying way to end once the boss is killed and the mission is completed.

 

Computers and their software have greatly progressed since they first came around. This will continue to happen as long as we have curious programmers and software designers. Ones who are willing to push past what they have done. Eliza and Zork are the base programs for anything we do today. Zork can be seen as the basis for any video game, pc game, or console game in existence. The quests that are constantly played are a part of Zork’s quest hero missions.

Eliza makes it easier to talk to others via internet and computer. It is easier to open up to someone when you do not have to see their face or hear judgment in their voice.

 

These programs have progressed in ways that were unimaginable just ten years ago. If we continue down the road we are currently on with our technology, there is no telling what we will come up with next.

New Media

Hamlet on the Holodeck

Thoughts and opinions on Janet H. Murray’s Hamlet on the Holodeck.

The holodeck is from Star Trek.

The holodeck is essentially a way for a person to be transported into an alternate world. One that is so close to reality, it might be possible to forget it is all an illusion.

It seems to me that the holonovel that Murray talks about is the same thing as the holodeck. However, the holonovel “offers a model of an art form that is based on the most powerful technology of sensory illusion imaginable but is nevertheless continuous with the larger human tradition of storytelling, stretching from the heroic bards through the nineteenth-century novelists” (26).

The last quarter of the 20th century was the beginning of the digital age. People had easier access to computers. They started to become cheaper for the everyday person to buy. The computer is an important and amazing invention. It connects people all over the world. It is easy to access information on a variety of subjects. The computer has changed the way the world works.

Murray uses It’s a Wonderful Life as her example for a multiform plot. This is a Christmas tradition in my house, we watch it every year. It is a sad story, but it does get a happy ending. The main character, George Bailey, is given the chance to see how differently life would be if he had never been born. It seems so strange to see that he had as big of an impact as he did. The story is broken into two realities, one where he lives and one where he never existed. The reality that he does not exist has no effect on the present-time reality.

 

When the writer engages in multiple possibilities, the reader becomes more engaged. This can cause the reader to question or second guess themselves, most of the time, this leads to discomfort. But it also stimulates the creative process in the brain. Some readers begin to analyze each and every move they make, wondering how one will effect another.

Murder mysteries are a great example of the writer purposefully making the reader second guess themselves.

Murder mysteries are one of my favorite things. They cause the reader to psychoanalyze tiny detail that they observe. Anything that seems out of the ordinary can be a clue or even something that seems a bit too normal. There are endless possibilities.

New Media

Discussion Questions Over Murray

These questions are based on the book Hamlet on the Holodeck by Janet H. Murray

  1. What is narrativism?

Narrativism, refers to gaming, it is a way to have the player immersed in the game. The player has an active role and their choices affect everything they do. They are not limited by having x amount of choices. The player becomes more sympathetic towards the ending of the game.

  1. What is multiform story?

It is one reader who has multiple ‘copies’ in order to have different perspectives.

Murray describes the Multiform Story as “a written or dramatic narrative the presents a single situation or plot-line in multiple versions, versions that would be mutually exclusive in our ordinary experience” (30).

  1. What is a holodeck? Where did the term come from? What does Murray do with it?

A holodeck is a place where a person can experience holographic environments,  think Hunger Games. The term is from Star Trek. She tries to show the possibilities of narrative in the world of gaming.

  1. What is the importance of narrative for human culture?

The narrative is a way for people to express how they feel. It is a way to tell a story or something interesting. Oral storytelling and books are a part of narrative.