Final Post (Video)

Posted in Uncategorized on May 1, 2011 by Jason

To view my digital diversity video click the button below.

Digital Diversity Video

My view of digital diversity is that it is any form of communication that expresses the differences and similarities between various cultures regarding the accessibility and usage of telecommunication and digital media.  When asked what I think it more specifically is, then I would respond by saying the digital divide, in my opinion plays the largest role in digital diversity.  The reason I believe this is because, even in our text book “Digital Media Ethics” by Charles Ess, it is said that the “disparity between what are sometimes called “information rich” and ” the information poor.”” (Ess, pg 126)  This is a great summarization of what the digital divide is and the diversity between those who have access and know how to use any form of digital media.

When the internet first was around was “much enthusiasm for the life online as a disembodied life in virtual worlds.”  This enthusiasm came from the “stripping of elements of an embodied self- including our identifying markers in terms of gender or members of specific groups and cultures.” (Ess, pg. 114)  By removing these markers everyone online becomes equal in every way, otherwise some people might believe that other people are inferior to them because of their gender or race. By having this disembodiement no one is able to tell what culture anyone else is from and therefore people cannot push their culture onto anyone else directly.  There are still other ways to do this which is called culture imperialism.

If we are able to close the digital divide then we learn about and from other cultures and “shift from the initial uncertainty, fear, and hostility that deep cultural differences often inspire, to a posture that is more open to and actively interested in such differences, both as they define the Other as Other.” (Ess, pg 111)

Sources

žEss, Charles. Digital Media Ethics. Malden, MA: Polity Press, 2009. 126-127. Print
 
žNelson, Alondra, Thuy Lin Tu, and Alicia Hines. Technicolor: Race, technology and Everyday Life. New York: NYU Press, 2000. Print.
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Assignment 11

Posted in Uncategorized on April 27, 2011 by Jason

My group did One Laptop Per Child and our thesis was “OLPC narrows the gap between third world African countries and developed countries through techonolgy access and education; however the program does have drawbacks and limitations.”  The way that we decided to break this up was by walking through the process of how we should present this to the rest of the class.  We first decided that we should first explain to the class what OLPC was and its goals. Then we discussed the training that the teachers recieve when the XO arrives at their school.  After this we went into the demographics of the children in Africa who are getting the computers and any ethical deilemmas there may be.  Next we discussed the actual hardware of the XO computer and finally we talked about the end result.  The way that we decided to present this to the class was by having a Prezi presentation.  I had never used Prezi before, luckly it is an extremely easy program to use and it is online so that no one group member would get stuck with doing a majority of the work.  Now that I am done with the assignment something that I would do different is that I would have set up more meeting times with my group and have more solid dead lines for when we were to have something done. To view prezi and to see how it works click here.

Assignment 7

Posted in Uncategorized on March 2, 2011 by Jason

The digital divide is the division of society, as a whole, into people who have access to computers and those who do not. “The digital divide isn’t just about personal computers; it’s about training, access, education, content, telecommunications infrastructure, and more.” (TRT pg. 15) Due to some people not having as much money as others, then these poorer people are less likely to have access to a computer due to computers costing money. This causes the digital divide to expand, because when people are young and do not learn how to use a computer then later on they are less likely to find a successful job because most successful jobs require some computer skills.

When e-waste is brought into the fold of how we are to consider the digital divide, then we must look at how it effects societies with a great deal of e-waste. In the movie “Ghana: The Digital Dumping Ground,” they looked at the country of Ghana, as well as others, with extremely high levels of e-waste. I do not think that e-waste is doing anything to expand the digital divide.  Where the e-waste is being dumped is in poor countries where the people that live there are living in poverty. Since they are living in poverty they are not making enough money to be able to afford a computer. If anything, I think that e-waste may actually be reducing the digital divide. For example according to the video we watched many of the computers that are shipped over are useless and are thrown into huge piles where it is burnt up in order to find the precious metals that are in it. However, there is a small percentage of computers that are still usable, which is then sold to people who normally would never have even close to the required amount of money to purchase a computer.  

I do however, think that dumping the e-waste in these poor parts of the world is unethical. This is very dangerous for future generations, because “generally we rely on people’s common sense and previous ethical experiences and judgement to help forge the new ethical guidelines that will become generallyknown and respected.” (DME pg. 13) This means if we allow this to continue then further in the future when people have grown up around all of this unethical e-waste dumping, then they will think it is the normal thing to do and it will never be a problem that is solved. For more information about e-waste then click here.

Assignment 6

Posted in Uncategorized on February 23, 2011 by Jason

In our debates my groups debates we discussed how video game violence can lead to societies desensitization of violence. Both sides provided a great deal of evidence supporting thier side of the debate.  However, according to our readings from Digital Media Ethics, “tempting and common it is for us to think in terms of exclusive either/ors, in point of fact there is a second kind of “either/or,” which is the possibility of two things being true simultaneously.” (Ess, pg. 139).  A compromise for this arguement is that violence does desensitize a small portion of our society in a very small way, however does not desensitize the majority. 

This compromise proves that both sides are right. Video game violence does infact desensitize people on a small scale.  This part supports the claim of my group claiming that video games desensitize society.  The opposing group can prove their arguement by claiming that video game violence only affects a small group of people in society and the group that it does effect, effects it in such a small way that it is almost none existent. On this website, there is a article that discusses the effects of video games on society.

Assignment 5

Posted in Uncategorized on February 14, 2011 by Jason

The revolution in Egypt has been a major topic in news the last few weeks.  After watching the video of young Egyptians protesting their government and hearing them say how important facebook and twitter are for people to communicate with eachother about their political views shocked me. I know that facebook is very popular in America but I didn’t realize it was so popular overseas, especially in a country like Egypt. The way that technology is framed in this video is that it is an extremely good thing for the people of Egypt. These platforms are being used in ways that they have never been used for. Facebook nor Twitter have ever been such an important player in a countries revolution like this.

There are some assumptions that are being made about the technology of facebook and its impact on the revolution. The first assumption is that since there is such a high poverty rate in Egypt (which the video even mentions) it is very unlikely that a lot of Egyptians are able to have access to a computer much less have constant access to where they can continuesly log onto facebook. The protestors in the video are framed as being from the elite Egyptian class so having access to these resources, such as computers and facebook, put them at an advantage when compared to the rest of the Egyptian population. As to the question about if they would be considered cosmopolitians. I do not think they would be considered this because they seem to just want a fare government for Egypt. They do not seem to care about what other governments are doing in other countries. However, they do seem to have the respect for people from other countries and cultures, which is a trait need for being a cosmopolitian. For more information about the Revolution in  Egypt click here. This website also has other videos of Egyptians posting their political opinions about the government and their actions during the protesting.

Assignment 4

Posted in Uncategorized on February 2, 2011 by Jason

In the two films that we watched both films took a stance against copyright laws and restrictions. The second film, “RIP; Remix Manifesto” seemed to be completely against all copyright laws and wanted all information to be used in any way that anyone wants to use it. I think that this wrong in the same sense that people cannot take someone elses creation, make a few small adjustments and then call it their own. All the while hiding behind a claim that it is art and that the government is trying to restrict your creative flow. To be fair however, what artist like “Girl Talk” were doing was taking such small parts of several different songs and “smashing” them together did seem to be creative. This came up in our ethics book “a community of readers can easily amend and modify an online text.” In this case the text is a song.  However, they are taking other peoples work of art and changing it. “Girl Talk” could just write his own music to avoid any such problems. To the copy right laws in detail click here.

The first film was more about how big businesses were using parts of cultures, specifically the maui culture in New Zealand,  creating products based of these cultures and making large sums of money from these cultures. One of the issues seemed to be that the maui people were upset that these businesses were doing this without their sayso and they were not getting compencated for anything. To me this is a different issue. No one owns a culture, there fore there is no one that you must ask permission to use parts, traditions, beliefs, or anything else of a culture. However, I do think that it is the right thing to do to accurately represent the culture that you plan to use. I do not think that a business should have to pay a certain group to use certain things from a culture. In effect all cultures are part of human history. I feel that all people should be able to use parts of a culture as long as it is not in a destructive or inappropriate way.

Google and Privacy and their Terms of Service

Posted in Uncategorized on January 25, 2011 by Jason

Terms of Service:

When someone uses a Google service a page pops up requiring the individual to agree to certain terms before they are allowed to use the service they desire. Most of everyone click the “I agree” button and do not even think twice about what they are agreeing to. Googles terms of service are that when ever someone uses their website a cookie is downloaded onto that individuals computer. A cookie is a small file that helps the website recognize your browser and some websites cannot function without a cookie. Google does collect information about everyone who uses their website. The information that is gathered is information such as web request, your interaction with a service, internet protocol address, browser type, browser language, and the date and time of your request. Google does also give its users a choice to protect their privacy. For a more detailed description of Googles terms of Service click here.

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