Category: DIGC202

Cerebro AKA The Internet

In the X-men films, professor X uses a machine known as Cerebro, a device used to track and connect to all mutants telepathically anywhere around the world. Professor X is able to talk, read the minds and control the minds of not only mutants, but every human as shown throughout the films. Imagine a device like this that exists in the world.

While no minds are being directly controlled or read, the closest thing to this device is the internet. The internet connects to all of us, able to understand us through how we use the internet, able to control our activity by reading our cookies and able to influence our opinions. Another thing that is apparent is that the internet is connecting to not only humans, but can somehow connect to anything.

If Cerebro is the internet, who is Professor X? unfortunately it can be anyone, with any intention.

This means use of the internet could literally connect to anything, such as air conditions, fridges, cameras, watches, Antennaes, Television, hell I wouldn’t be surprised if it connected to chairs. Think about that, and then think about internet users who are capable of hacking and surveilling your every movement.

The Internet of Things, is a scary idea.

1cpr10

Advertisements

Hacktivists

1bwjtn

With last week’s topic bringing in the idea of social media sparking protest movements and riots, this week delves further into that idea and introduces online movements such as hackers or “Hacktivists”, whistle blowers and political campaigners who utilise social media to progress in making counter movements towards the government.

The presence of hackers bypassing security limitations within the internet has been around for a long time, but the focus of this week is it’s presence in affecting the world to a higher degree through hacking into private government documents which expose corruption and cause outcry.

One of the most well known online activist groups at this moment is a group called Anonymous. They have engaged in a series of publicised publicity stunts and attacks on government, religions and corporate websites. Pretty much, any high level events which occur in the world, Anonymous are sure to react such as the recent Paris attacks, ISIS, reclaim Australia movements and more. After all these events, days later a new video would be released by Anonymous

They operate to aid “the people”, whether it’s against the government or terrorist groups. They do this by using hacking to expose private documents to the public which as a result, causes movements in the public sphere, allowing the reality to come to light. They have no strictly defined philosophy however, but they are defined as “an Internet gathering” with “a very loose and decentralised command structure that operates on ideas rather than directives”.

Anonymous are one of many examples of online activists who have impacted the public sphere through using the internet and hacking methods to cause movements and discussions which influence revolution

Social Media and Protests

1b47l6

Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter provide users with a platform to express personal opinions which generate discussion or debate. This can relate to social and cultural issues, controversial events, and politics. Much content in this nature may seem to be the opinion of one, but the culmination of similar opinions about issues in masses can generate greater discussion, and in many cases result in protest movements. An example of this is the ‘Keep Sydney Open’ movement.

The Sydney nightlife as of recently has been bombarded with laws and regulations which as a result are slowly killing the once lively nightlife that Sydney is popular for. These laws are a counter act by the government to make Sydney safer due to high reports of violence and danger, but consequently these laws have left many people outraged.

Like all protests, it all starts with the news of the laws being made which lead to social media outcry, leading to mass amounts of people unhappy with this law, and then subsequently a movement against it is formed, and then leads to the ‘Keep Sydney Open’ movement.

This movement has created several protests in the street and also has a website now which promotes the movement, as well as provides information on how it will benefit Sydney, and how safety is being promoted.

 

 

“Filter it out” getting Filtered Out

 

1ap0de

This week  we were introduced to the idea of gatekeepers and gatewatchers in the internet.

Gatekeeper: Filters information

Gatewatcher: Observes the information flow

In the traditional form of journalism such as articles in newspapers and news broadcasting, the content that would be created were observed by the gatekeepers. These are the personnel who decides how content and information that is related to the story can be brought out to the public, or the gatewatchers, to ensure great and authentic quality articles.

However through our abilities as prosumers and consumers, and the presence of citizen journalism, the way content is filtered has slowly and slowly faded to the point we are at now, where any content can be posted and there is no filter of quality or appropriation

Journalism has changed from what it was many years ago before all these technological advancements; In the past authors publish at a cost and if content is not high quality, then you have no audience. Now there is no cost to publishing online, and there is no filter for quality

In the end the nature of journalism is summed up by what Ted said in the lecture:

“When information is scarce-content is everything
When it is abundant-coherence is everything”

Apple vs Android

Ahhhh, here we are again, “Apple vs Android”. Another throwback to BCM112. The general idea is:

1aeky9

Apple: Closed off
Android: Free

Instead of essentially copying and pasting the blog I wrote for this in BCM112, I’m going to implement the idea of the walled garden from last week into this.

Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others all hold Walled Gardens, as they are centrally controlled, and all users of these platforms operate in the platforms own little world, otherwise known as the Walled garden. Not only is the idea relevant to social media platforms, but also to companies i.e Apple

It is clear when I examine my friendship group that Apple is the most popular product, out of 15 people I can think of that I’m friends with, only 2 own an Android phone, and the rest own Iphones. This leads me to think that the development of media today has shaped humans to rely on centrally controlled products or platforms rather than free? or maybe they just like Apple?

Apple has really created a Walled Garden for their products and users, as you can only sync music from Itunes into your Iphone, and connect the Apple Watch and now, the bluetooth Apple earphones for Bluetooth. While Android has some of these features, it has a lot more freedom in their products and applications to be able to be used more freely.

may i have your attention…

19izvn

#throwback to an idea from BCM112; the produser. Remember all that about how the consumers are now becoming the producers? yep that’s it.

This is idea of the produser is due to the freedom of the internet. Legacy media is seen as high risk, exclusive, costly and has a strong quality filter, hence why the possibility of mass consumers being producers of content as well was non existent back then. But for the internet, something pretty much everyone in the third world engages in is no risk, no cost and no filter. And through those elements that the internet holds for the mass consumers, we are now able to create content as well as immerse ourselves in content.

So how this idea play into this week’s topic? It is pretty much an underlying aspect of the increasingly free nature of internet content, as we produce content and immerse ourselves in content, the reality now is that it is difficult to earn money through production of content as well as it very easy to get free copies of other content.

“The internet is a copy machine. At its most foundational level, it copies every action, every character, every thought we make while we ride upon it. In order to send a message from one corner of the internet to another, the protocols of communication demand that the whole message be copied along the way several times”

This is relevant in film making industries as eventually a film will always be released online through torrents, and once this happens, sales will be scarce. But the time window wherein the company would have money coming in is when the film is released in cinemas. The appeal of the content is what drives those to want to see the movie as soon as possible, and on a big screen with a big atmosphere. Such example is Star Wars: The Force Awakens release. Ain’t no way any star wars fan gonna wait months for the torrent to come out, they’d see it straight away. But then end up waiting months for the torrent to come out and re-watch it over and over.

To put it simply, with so much free copies of content being available in the internet, when it is so easy to access this content and without cost, this content becomes less valuable. And as a result, content that is more exclusive and scarce become more valuable. This obviously affects content producers as once upon a time, it was about selling copies of content, and with free copies that can be easily accessed, making money selling copies is A LOT harder.

 

 

 

Liquid Labour

190g2v

“a precarious life, lived under conditions of constant uncertainty”

When I heard the topic being called “Liquid Labor” I thought it would’ve had to do with scuba diving, underwater devices, water resistant phones and watches, you get the gist….

This week’s topic however delves into the shift from industrial labor to liquid labor, and how it affects the ‘information economy’. This refers to the shift from industrial machines to information machines and assembly lines to information processing.

In previous topics in the subject, the idea of the shift from hierarchal to distributed is delved into. From the network society to the global nervous system, it is clear that decentralisation of information and being distributed freely is efficient yet a mess. This too is the case in businesses operating within the information society. Such include office jobs, and probably every single job open to BCM graduates. So in saying that, the idea of liquid labour is indeed relevant to all of us.

Take an office job for example, like Ted showed in the lecture, do you really need to be in that office environment to get work done nowadays? Now that I’ve mentioned it in earlier in the post, I guess I could use it as an example as well… if you want to bathe in water, do you really need to travel to the beach or just take a bath at home? The point I’m getting at is that with development of technology within media industries, we are given access to get the same work done in an office at home. And that’s where “liquid life” comes to play.

Liquid life refers to the convergence of production and consumption, or simply,  work and life. With the importance and need of media in our everyday lives, it is clear that work and life intertwine with each other, as leisure and work somewhat become extensions of each other. An example of this would be me working on this blog this moment, and afterwards for leisure to watch clips on youtube. For both work and leisure, I am utilising the same device, my laptop, which both can be done in an office environment or at home. That’s probably a simple way to look at it.

 

Knowledge is Power, Power is Networks

Power is the driving force which alters and transform the shape and direction of the network society, and power is located within the networks which shape society

What does this mean?

First off let’s look at the meaning of “Networks”: A group or system of interconnected people or things. Networks is all about connections, and in relation to the network society, it indeed holds the key to power. For example networked businesses and companies are a lot more successful than those whom are independent. Think about how the big grocers are more successful than local fruit and vegetable companies who use their own resources in every aspect of business. It’s simply how a business networks which allows it to expand, grow and succeed.

18t2sw

In relation to the network society and media, the key to power”is located in the networks that structure society. Or, rather, in what I propose to call the ‘switchers’; that is, the mechanisms connecting or disconnecting networks on the basis of certain programmes or strategies”. It’s how technology and media connect to other aspects of society such as political, social, religion etc.

Simply, “networks are the underlying structure of our lives.”

In a society where the technological paradigm is the central medium for social organisation, it is clear that networks are a highly dominant presence within the population which shape the world today

 

SOURCES

 Castells, M. (2004) ‘Afterword: why networks matter’. In Network Logic: Who governs in an interconnected world? (pp. 221-224)File

A Global Nervous System

So the first topic of DIGC202 revolves around the development of globally integrated information networks and their role in the formation of the network society, as well as the shift in perceptions of time and space caused by the rise of global information networks.

And it all started with the telegraph…

As simple of a concept the function of a telegraph today may seem, it was the start of the communication of immediate information from distances in the world in real time. The first electric telegraph was in 1837.

Throughout time new forms of communication emerged through the invention of telephones, undersea cables, radio, television, satellites and eventually the internet. But in all it’s essence, all of these forms of communication functions just how the telegraph did in the 1800’s; The sending of real time information from distances

And all these culminate together and plays a large role in how we communicate with others in the world today, forming the global nervous system….

And it all started with the telegraph.

Thus as we observe that everyday each of us rely on sending information in real time to achieve daily errands and work, it is safe to say that the invention of the telegraph may perhaps be one of the most important technological advancements of all time.