Author Archives: Christopher Navarrete

Assignment 10B

One example of an imagined future is Betheda’s Fallout. Fallout is a video game series where players traverse through a post apocalyptic world to put their survival to the test. While the game is set far in the future, the setting is based on the early 1940s and 50s era.

Unfortunately, in this world, written information is difficult to obtain since books were either destroyed during the nuclear blast or used as material for fire, clothes, and houses. However, oral communication is still alive and well as there are a number of individuals who pass down what they know to friends, family, neighbors, and passerby. A few of them travel to other cities with a caravan or by themselves to spread the word of religion, dangerous creatures roaming the area, important people, events, etc.

But in Fallout 4, the latest game in the series, lies a large city (practically the capital of the area) that creates daily news for their inhabitants. Most of the towns folk read these papers so it can be assumed that a decent chunk of people in the fallout world are literate. There are also multiple computer terminals scattered across the wasteland; while most contain writing from before the nuclear blast, several have journal entries that were recently filled.

Assignment #5B

In David Weinberger’s book titled “Too Big to Know,” he discusses the infrastructure of knowledge; or in other words, the process of reducing/filtering information into something more manageable to prevent information overload (having too much information). For example,  libraries usually throw away old  books in favor of those that are more new and informative to their users.

We generally reduce information by using resources such as online databases,  libraries, and Google. However, a deep understanding of these resources’ taxonomy  is required in order to become a great researcher. Knowing what category, keyword,  or year of what we want to locate will help reduce the amount of information given drastically. Otherwise, reading every result google displays would take months or years.

To conclude, finding the right data in the limitless pool of information would be impossible (information overload). Only an understanding of the infrastructure of knowledge, or the process of filtering information, would make it possible. Mastering this process ultimately makes us better researchers and learners.

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 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 7B

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) was created to allow any American citizen the right to view records developed by the federal government. However, information that falls under one of the nine exemptions cannot be viewed. This includes trade secrets, law enforcement records, personnel files, and geophysical information among others.

The American agency that administers the work proposed in FOIA is the Archive. The Archive contains published material that has been collected from the FOIA act, Mandatory Declassification Review, presidential paper collections, congressional records, and court testimonies.

Yes, I believe the FOIA benefits the general public greatly because it allows them to know the truth. As a result, the government gains trust from the general public and the general public learns information that can prevent or aid future and current issues.

Assignment 6B

Brian Martin’s book is available to read as a PDF document on the web because he wants his peers to realize how many factors interfere with a professional researchers ability to complete useful research. Typically, a  professional researcher creates documents that are only useful to governments, corporations, professions, and themselves. The general population hardly notices it because researchers are asked to complete research that fits a company’s agenda only.  For example, if a professional researcher is asked to determine general information on a drug, then they are allowed to do only that. They are unable to delve deeper on the topic and cannot, for example, discover how to reduce tension without said drug because there is no profit in doing so.

I believe Martins choice to allow users to view this book for free does exemplify the idea of liberated scholarships because the chapter entitled “The politics of research” revolves around researched information not being useful to the public. While there are communities  such as churches, environmental groups, and women’s groups that fund research, the amount of money available is significantly lower compared to the military and government. The belief that scholarships should be liberated is certainly reflected in Martins description of this issue as without the proper funds, smaller companies cannot find useful information for everyone.

Assignment 4B

Classification is defined as the act of organizing and categorizing something based on their similarities. For example, a cat and a dog would be classified as a mammal and an animal. However because cats and dogs are of different species, they would go under different categories.

According to Alex Wright in Glut: Mastering Information Through The Ages, humans have used classification (specifically biological classification) for the past 100,000 years. Without it, they could not have survived for as long as they did because it would be impossible to know what plants are poisonous to consume or what animals are dangerous to approach. As Wright states, “the practice of biological classification ranked as one of humanity’s most essential culture pursuits.”

William Badke in Research Strategies: Finding Your Way through the Information Fog explains the importance of classification when searching for information online. A common method of searching for information is Google because it easily locates data based on the words and letters you type. However, it may be difficult to find exactly you are looking for because of how massive and unspecified the results are.

A superior method of searching for information lies in databases. According to Badke, databases use metadata, defined as data that gives information about other data to locate exactly what is searched. For example, a search of “elderly healthcare survey” on a database will contain more accurate and useful information compared to search engines such as Google. Overall, with databases, students can find research faster and more accurately due to metadatas usage of classification.

Assignment 3B

I believe that the right to be forgotten is a tricky subject because of how it can theoretically be taken advantage of. Is anything related to past crimes or other incidents where the person is clearly at fault allowed to be deleted with ease? Yes, there will still be police records, but that type of information should be left online as a means of informing others of their misdeeds. In my opinion, being able to freely delete such data will cause the person who committed those acts to feel as if they can do whatever they please with almost no repercussions. They will probably learn nothing and continue to do the same thing over again;  an especially bad message for children.

In my opinion,  the right to be forgotten conflicts with our right to free speech because a person can remove anything that is directed towards them, including incriminating articles placed on blogs, websites,  and forums. For example, a blogger may post how unappealing someone’s clothes, food, attitude or food is. Yes, the person being on the receiving end of these insults will be angry, but the blogger has the right to free speech. Deleting these posts without the bloggers consent definitely goes against the 1st amendment.

Digital identity can be defined as the persona we create for ourselves online. It includes our username, attitude, typing habits, posted videos, articles, tweets, posts, and more. Based on these factors, we may present ourselves as a serious, fun, or angry person. However, it’s impossible to be completely in charge of our digital identity as people will always have differing opinions about our persona. There may also be information online that cannot be removed for whatever reason. Because of this, it’s best to look past such negativity and present yourself the way you feel best.

Assignment 2W

Questions for Seaman’s article:

  1. Do you believe Gawker was right to remove their article? Why or why not?
  2. What do you think are some of the ethics associated with journalism?
  3. Once something is removed from the internet, do you think it’s completely gone or can it be accessed again? If so, how?

Questions for Newman’s article:

  1. Why or why not should the right to be forgotten be enforced in the U.S?
  2. Do you agree with Europe’s right to be forgotten law?
  3. How can Europe’s right to be forgotten law be taken advantage of?

Assignment #2B

Corporations are infamously known to portray facts or opinions in a different light in order to give themselves an advantage in the market. According to Aidan Lewis of BBC News, such tactics can be dated back to the 1920s where the auto industry used jaywalker as “a term of ridicule against pedestrians crossing roads” (Lewis) at the wrong place. Jaywalker was originally defined as a countryside person who would stop at every attraction they see. It was changed in order to “shift the blame for pedestrian casualties from drivers to walkers”. This ultimately caused many to hate citizens who jaywalked and started the love of automobiles. Since then, the term is defined the same way and rules have been enforced to prevent jaywalking.

There are various events that news channels such as Fox 5 wont air because of company interest. Jason Walker of the Truth out, an independent news website, discusses a topic that will most likely never see the light of day on other sites. His article “Unpaid labor in Texas Prisons is Modern-Day Slavery” talks about how prisons abuse prisoner rights. Because the Texas Department of Criminal Justice is one of the most profitable prisons in the nation, they would most likely be able to pay any notorious news channel a hefty sum to not air this event. If they did decide to air this event, they would perhaps find a way to make it seem like the prisoners deserve the treatment they received.