Monthly Archives: November 2016

Assignment 9B

Vaidhyanathan says “we trust google with our personal info and preferences and without access to knowledge because we trust technology that satisfies our prejudices” and I would say that I agree with his argument to a certain extent. Google has become synonymous with the internet as we, for the most part, will have it as our default search engine and if not, we change it so that it is, we even have an expression dedicated to Google, “Just Google it” which shows just much we have come to trust in Google. I know I am one who doesn’t like using other search engines because they aren’t as tailored to my preferences as I’ve grown accustomed to.

However, that is not to say that we should simply trust Google wholeheartedly. Even though, we know how Google will track and sell our information, save our data, create customized searches and advertisements of  their own and of other sites, this doesn’t mean they should get a free pass. If Google is compromised, then, millions of people’s data would be liable to be stolen. Plus, the fact they store and collect so much information could even be seen as an invasion of one’s privacy, especially, when you take into consideration how Google will “read” your emails.

While Google seems to be a mainstay when it comes to the internet, we need to remember at the end of the day, they are not always looking for our best interests.

Assignment 10B

Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 is an example of a literature imagined future. The location of this imagined future is in Los Angeles, although the time period is ambiguous. It was published in 1953, in relation to current events such as the McCarthy hearings and the result of world war II. In his novel, Bradbury describes a futuristic American city in which books including any type of literature, are banned. Books are not only banned in this society, but are repeatedly burned. In addition to this, creative thinking, meaningful thinking, and spending time alone is not orchestrated.

As for books,“Guy Montag is a fireman who burns books…” (Sparknotes). So, in this imagined society books are burned by firemen themselves. It is up to Guy Montag the protagonist of this novel, to help his city as various destruction is occurring. He must realize his full potential and meaning of life, involving the value of literature. Luckily he meets renegade intellectuals and other intelligent people such as a retired Professor, who inform him of their way of life. In a city with no intellect or meaning, personalities seem dramatically bland. I found this novel I read in high school to be an amazing example of an imagined future, because if we removed books or any sort of intellect what would our society be? Bradbury gives a clear overview of how destructive life in a non-intellect valueless world would be, possibly leading to war.

Assignment 9B

Under Vaidhyanathans argument, sadly I do believe that I trust Google but it depends. What I mean by this is every time any of us are on the internet (or at least for me), there is an instinct to go to Google. For researching for basic facts or a problem in society, I go straight to google. I do trust google to bring me to basic searches on the web. For example, if I have a question I google it to see different answers. I then by my own judgment, choose a site I see best fit for my question. However in regards to personal life I have seen google shows my twitter account, Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube. With that in mind, google worries me. I do believe I trust google for basic searches as a I said, but NOT for personal accounts and knowledge. I do not trust the taking of my accounts in a way that anyone can find or see them. But is there a solution to this problem? Like am I supposed to just delete my accounts? I do have a privacy setting, but I am not sure if this is enough to protect my identity on google. Lastly as for knowledge being a college student in my third year, I understand how to find relevant, useful, and valid information. Iv’e used data bases every year in my previous English classes, I do not use google for information related to academic research or intellectuality. As a whole, I trust google on some level but not on all levels.

Assignment 8B

The concept of “Questioning Authority” from the Mezaros article refers to how we view and accept authority. Within the confines of a school setting, we tend to view certain people in positions of authority as opposed to others. For example, we may believe that going to the professor would be more applicable in a situation as opposed to a classmate because the professor is the “authority” in the case. They have this authority when we are in the classroom because they have knowledge or experience we are trying to learn or gain. At the same time, we may listen to them because we know that, at the end of the semester, they are the ones who will be giving us our grades, that affect our GPA, and any potential eligibility for scholarships or future work.

However, there are people who do not adhere to the idea of authority. They believe that we are all the same or equal and nobody should be able to wield authority over others. Either way, everyone seems to have some sort of authority in different situations and we shouldn’t be locked in to believing that there is only a singular person in “authority” we can go to  for a problem or question.

Assignment 9B

In their book, Vaidhyanathan argues that “we trust Google with our personal info and preferences without access to knowledge because we trust technology that satisfies our prejudices.” Personally, I agree with Vaidhyanathan’s point about people blindly trusting Google all the time because it is the fastest, easiest, and most convenient and popular way to discover information. Today, not as many individuals use the library, databases, Bing, or Yahoo compared to Google. As a result,  the response for a question a person doesn’t know will usually be “just google it” instead “find out at the library” or “check the databases.”

We share our personal information and preferences because we expect Google to use it to create relevant searches, advertisements, and events that fit our needs. For example, Google will show specific ads based on the videos we watch, clothes we buy, or articles we read. Unfortunately, sometimes the information we share will appear elsewhere. For instance, a persons personal information (such as an address or occupation) will likely emerge on other websites if their name was searched on Google. Hackers would be able to locate personal information if they wished as well.

As for myself, I trust Google, but only to an extent. I do not give Google data such as credit card information because I believe a hacker would be able to easily find it. I don’t bother with the advertisements Google creates either. However there were a few times I did find it helpful. Overall, although Google has become the most well known and convenient way of  locating information, it is not the best.

Assignment 10

In their article “Trolling: Who does it and why?”, Tom de Castella and Virginia Brown (2011) talks about the effect of trolling in modern times. They explain how trolling became part of an international phenomenon that includes cyber bullying. The Bill of Rights does not help solve this problem since, the first amendment protects free speech and makes it difficult to punish people for trolling online.  The authors deduce that people cannot help when it comes to this type of crime. They explain that anyone is capable to become a troll. Many people want the satisfaction of someone noticing what they wrote and this gives them the motivation to write something “emotional.” Since laws are not updated to match cyber crime, it is hard for police to stop it. However, in recent years the police system has tried harder to combat menacing people who hide behind the screen.  The authors explain a way to combat the trolling in newspaper, websites and other media. They state that media forums should employ sufficient moderators to prevent the comments from becoming petty vendettas. Tom de Castella and Virginia Brown explains what trolling is, the examples of it and why people may do it. They also mention a way to combat trolling, since free speech should not be taken away. We need to find a way to better deal with trolling behind the screen.

Assignment 10B

The Future of Literature: by Randy Malamud

This blog that I read is an example of an “imagined future”. It focuses on the prediction of what Literature will become in the next few years. He claims that books will be gone in a decade. The genre of literature will become more advanced. Some genres that he suggested was “hypertext fiction, kinetic poetry, and chronomosaic novels”. He then goes on to explain how media resources will replace commonplace books, manuscripts, and bookstores. Something he said that I found interesting is that one day “the digital compression will allow us to read the worlds longest novel on the world’s smallest reading device”. I think his prediction are head on so far because this is so because it’s already happening. People are already reading books on there tablets and phones. I think soon enough there will be no restrictions, all access to every reading material on any device.

Assignment 8B

MaryBeth Meszaros in her article “Who’s in Charge Here?” discusses how students in recent years have looked down upon and questioned the importance of authority figures in the education industry. students appear to only show respect and listen to authority figures such as teachers because they are an “‘administrative authority’ – an authority one has by virtue of occupying a position, an authority that faculty, possess as the welder of the grade.” As a result, teachers are asked for help more often and are valued higher compared to those with less authority.

On the other hand, those with the title of Librarian are not treated as well because they are not an “administrative authority.” Despite how helpful librarians may be, students do not see them as part of their information-support network, they refer to other authority figures for help, and they ignore their aid when given.

This difference of opinion may be explained through dualism and multiplicity: the ways students view authority figures. Duelists are an “empty vessel” of knowledge and do not base authority figures on their intellect, but their high position. In contrast, multiplicities views everyone’s opinion as valid and important, despite how high or low their authority may be.

Assignment 10B

In the article What is a Troll, and Internet Trolling? by Elise Moreau a troll is described as “Someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as a forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.” The article went on to make reference of another type of troll- The mythological troll. The mythological troll is known to be an ugly, dirty, angry creature that lives in dark places, like caves or underneath bridges, waiting to snatch up anything that passed by for a quick meal.

Elise states that in some ways, the mythological troll is similar to the Internet troll. The Internet troll hides behind his computer screen, and actively goes out of his way to cause trouble on the Internet. Like the mythological troll, the Internet troll is angry and disruptive in every possible – often for no real reason at all. Trolling mainly is frequent around social web, for example Youtube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to name a few. Places where anyone can comment on a status update, reply to a tweet, converse in a community thread or send an anonymous question.

Assignment 9B

I agree we do just trust not only Google but your electric devices with our personal information.  Vaidhyanathan argues that, “we trust google with our personal info and preferences and without access to knowledge because we trust technology that satisfies our prejudices.”  According to David McCandless we tend to believe some of the scares we see on social media. He gathered information from people statuses and was able to put together a chart about just from the course of breaks up in the year alone. We solely rely on technology to to hold our social security, passwords and even credit numbers and information.