What is New Media?

4-what_is_new_media2New Media is a new way of what we call life that is evolving everyday. It is a container that isolates that shapes for a particular purpose. It allows us to access information quickly without waiting for it. Whether it be on our phone, computer, or tablet. The mediums in which we use are changing from day to day. Helping us access more information faster and more efficiently.

As Dr. Gerald R. Lucas talks about in his lecture Introduction to New Media when talking about Media the focus is not on the container but the inside of the container, which can be referred to as the content. It does not make sense to us or have anything significance until we can put it in a container. It is relatively meaningless until we give it a container. For example, if you were to read a newspaper article outside of the newspaper format. Then it just becomes a story, simply because the format is the container that gives it its significance.

New Media is the study of containers and how the content is shaped. We as New Media students should not spend our time looking at the container but at the content inside these containers.

Education is a medium and the message behind that is that students are being trained with the structure to work in a warehouse setting. They are commended on coming to class, sitting quietly at their desk and taking notes. Some students can not last in the environment that Theodore Nelson speaks about. That is a space where students get the opportunity to speak out in class and speak their minds in the middle of a lecture. Students have been brought up on structure and they can not survive in a culture with no structure. In Nelson’s work the school is the container and it is what is shaping the students. Yet the school is also the medium because the school itself is also teaching students an unspoken message that is the school has taught students the wrong and the right ways to act.

When the structure is taken away we turn to the bits for answers and the bits are not always bad things but you have to have some sense of direction when you are trying to follow the bits. Tristan Harris talks about how the Internet does not always give free will for what we are trying to find in “How Technology Hijacks Peoples Minds- from a Magician to Googles’s Design Ethicist”. There is a hyperlink here and a hyperlink there that connects us to where we think we should be and if we click too much we end up going off topic.

New Media gives us the ability to evolve and create new things. It gives us the chance to take something old and recreate it into something new that relates to myself and others, while still enjoy the benefits of learning where I came from as a person at the same time. New Media is giving a chance to remix our culture as Lessing talks about in his Remix. It is not just about the read only where the information learned is from a professional source. It teaches us to rely more on the read write culture where we can take what we love to do and create something new by using something we love.

This thing we call New Media deals with our perception of games also. Games are great for relaxation and also adventure when we need an escape. Playing a game with no narrative is like mindlessly sitting there wasting time. The games that are the most fun and captivating are the games that have some type of story line behind it because it then give you a reason for playing.

Games play with virtual reality putting you into the game as yourself or as a completely different person. Some games can make you feel as if you are apart of the game and  heighten your sense allowing you to feel and move freely. While and others allow you to have another life inside the game. Allowing you to do the things you do not normally do on your own time in real life.

Marshall McLuhan says the Medium is the message and Negroponte’s message is we have moved away form the old way of doing things, which is the atoms, and we now care only about the bits. The bits are all that we should worry about because being digital and without atoms means you are now cutting out your production cost. You no longer have to ship off packages. We have reached a world were you send off the bits and the customer can receive the product almost instantly.

It is the evolution of the technology we use everyday. From cellphones, to computers, to the prosthetics we use to restore what we have lost and give us the feeling a sense of normalization. The ability to pair human and machine together and create a super organism called a cyborg. My post on Humans and Cyborgs explores the thought that we as humans could already be cyborgs we just do not recognize ourselves are cyborgs because it has happened gradually over time.

New Media is a lot of things but most of all it is the evolution of technology and the ability to evolve. We move forward with New Media but we make sure the old media stays alive in way that we can learn from and she how far we have come. It is an online world of read write ammeters that have found the things that they like to do just so they can try to be heard. New Media has a broad definition it just depends on the person and what New Media means to them to understand what New Media is.

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Humans and Cyborgs?

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What is a Cyborg?

Cyborgs are a hybrid between human and machine. As Chris Hables Gray talks about in Cyborgology: Constructing the Knowledge of Cybernetic Organisms Cyborgs restore what we have lost, normalize by restoring to indistinguishable normality, reconfigure, and they enhance.

Humans Becoming Cyborgs?

Donna Haraway wrote an article in 1985 entitled A Cyborg Manifesto. She talks about humans becoming Cyborgs by the end of the 20th century.  “Why should our bodies end at the skin, or include at best other beings encapsulated by skin?” In this quote Haraway is saying that we should extend ourselves beyond the bodies we were born with.

The cyborg we believe we will come is this robotic armor we will put on just before wee go to war as if we were  in Terminator. Amber Case We are all cyborgs now: TED Talk she explains that we are becoming cyborgs. With the help of our phones and computers we are moving to be more and more like a cyborg.  Our phones and computers have become and extension of ourself. If we lose something connected to either one of those devices w then began to feel like we are missing something. We no longer have to send a letter and wait for a reply. We have text and email for that now. We can communicate quicker and easier with one another and we can also move from place to place quicker.

We might not realize it but we are becoming more and more like cyborgs everyday. The more advanced we become in technology, the easier it is for us to become cyborgs.

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Cyberspace and Our Digital Prints

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Cyberspace

When we think about Cyberspace we think about an alternate reality. Have you ever thought about your social media page or  your video games as an ecaspe to cyberspace? We deal with cyberspace on a daily until we cut ourselves off from computers and force ourselves to deal with the real world as it is.

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When we are posting our pictures and making our post on Facebook are we making an digital footprint of what who we are and who we want to be?  Rob Walker explains this notation in his article Cyberspace When You’re Dead printed in The New York Times Magazine. We focus so much on what we want to happen to our tangible possessions we have  while we are alive but never about the digital bits of our possessions. The question then becomes who is in possession of these thoughts, pictures, or whatever else we decided to post on the web. What is done on social media accounts is a big part of who we are and who we want to be. Every post we make creates a more vivid footprint of us. After we are dead a complete stranger can go back and look at our  pictures and blogs and know more about us than we even realized we were sharing.

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Sherry Turkle’s article Constructions and Reconstructions of Self in Virtual Reality: Playing in the MUDs, it talks about a world in video games where we can create our own characters, and not just the human form or male/female sense. Gaming with virtual reality gives us the ability to create an extension of ourselves to do things we don’t normally do. It allows us to live a separate life than what we are in.

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Should Copyright Laws Be Changed?

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The way we use media is starting to change. We are using media now more than ever to create new ways of learning and being entertained. In Lessin’s Remix he talks about how we are raising the read write culture. This culture is basically where they take an older form of entertainment, and make it their own new form of entertainment. The read write culture has a new way of looking at new media and our laws for media need to be updated. With new media changing so rapidly, should copyright laws still be around? Are copyright laws for or against the read write culture?

Copyright laws should exist, because as CNN’s article entitled Time to updat copyright law? talks about is that copyright is only necessary as financial protection for the one who that has invested their time into creating the work. However, as we update copyright laws to cover another medium. We are actually updating copyright laws for all mediums still protected by the law. This has made it almost imposible for read write culture to remix old media and make it something new without infringing on copywright laws.

CNN’s Time to update copyright law? also states that secret coypright laws offer no benefits to the digital age that we are adapting. By simply changing copyright laws and protecting creator that creating our classic works of arts. We can allow our read write generation more freedom of speech to create somehing new.

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Nelson and Boal In The Classroom

In the New Media Reader there is an inserted work by Theodore Nelson on page 308. He talks about school and how it is to get us ready for the work place. In this reading he shows us how the medium is the message. The medium in this case being our schools and the students being the content. As a student, as soon as we walk into a school we are conformed to the standards of the medium. Those standards and expectations being that in school we are to take our seats and be quiet, and pay attention. For years, students have been taught this way. No matter the school we taught the same way.

However, Nelson points out that this way of learning worked in the old days when people went to school to become factory workers. As of now, it does not work as effectively as we think. In todays time this method does not give any experiences of the real world. The structure that school has does not teach us to speak up for ourselves, or even to say how you feel even if you are wrong. It actually does the complete opposite. All be cause no one wants workers who are not afraid to speak their minds and speak up for themselves. The medium has been in control of us for so long we never thought about it. It controls how we act, how we think, what we say, and what we do.

Augusto Boal had a theory in From Theater of the Oppressed that the audience should take control of the show. What if the audience could tell the actors how they wants the show to go? What Boal wanted was to break down the wall between the actors and spectators. My professor took a page out of Boal book, and he break down the wall. He put the freedom to learn in our hands. We read and do more in to depth research on what we feel is important or what we want to know more about. He points us in the right direction so that we don’t miss key points but we lead the discussions with the notes from the reading we have taken.

The problem with that goes back to Nelsons argument about the way school has trained us. We have been conformed to these preconceived notations of school that say you can not speak out in class until you raise your hand. We have not been taught to function in situations like this. Which is how we have to be in the work place sometimes. Where we as educated professional began to seem unprepared.

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New Media and The Theorists

To give a dry definition of what New Media is, the Salem Press Encyclopedia says that it covers digital forms of media and communication, with the use of computer technology. It also allows us to access information quickly without waiting for it. Whether it be on our phone, computer, or tablet. Everyday New Media is advancing so it is never the same from day to day.
When talking about Media the focus is not on the content inside of the container just the container. It does not make sense to us or have anything significants until we can put it in a container. It is relatively meaningless until we give it a container. For example, if you were to read a news paper article outside of the newspaper format. Then it just becomes a story, simply because the format is the container that gives it significants.
What we really want is the content, and not so much the container. We want the song but we have to buy the audio file, but in order to listen to the audio file you to buy the iPod. In this case the content is the song and the file and the iPods are containers that allow you access to the content.
Theorist J.C.R Licklider came up with the Man-Computer Symbiosis which became a key text for the digital revolution. His works describe the relationship of human and computer interactions in at a specific point in the future. Licklider aim was “to enable men and computers to cooperate in making decisions and controlling complex situations without inflexible dependence on predetermined programs.” He was trying to get humans and computers to work together in a cooperative sense. Now we are cooperating with computer everyday if we actually realize it or not.
The McLuhan Equation states that the medium is the message. What it means is that the medium is what is used to get the point across. McLuhan states that it is not about what we say when we communicate but instead how we communicate. Also the way we communicate changes us as individuals as is explained more in the video The Medium is the Message. An example is in the Nixon Kennedy election, Nixon was winning the election until the public saw him on TV nervous and sweating but right next to him was Kennedy who was calm and collected. The medium which is the TV helped the people to see that Kennedy could handle pressure better than Nixon could.

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