Author Archives: Siera Whitaker

Assignment #9B

I think Vaidhyanathan is correct when he says, “we trust Google with our personal info and preferences and without access to knowledge because we‚ÄĮtrust technology that satisfies our prejudices,” because some people are unaware of how much control we give Google over our information, but we also want certain technological tools that help¬†meet our needs.¬† I think Google is a powerful tool.¬† I don’t trust any online entities 100% percent, but¬†Google is one that I trust more than the others.¬†¬† I trust Google to a point because it always give me what I am looking for, and maybe that is slightly biased but I believe this to be true.¬†¬† I think Google is the best search engine around and¬†I say this due to my dissatisfaction of¬†using other search engines that I don’t feel delivers results in the way Google does.¬† If Google were to crash I would be highly upset and worried.¬† I would be upset because of how I currently feel about it and worried that my information will be available to anyone.

Assignment #10B

My example of an imagined future in pop culture would be the dystopian future in The Divergent Series. ¬†The Divergent Series is a book series, but it is currently being made into movies. ¬†The setting takes place in Chicago in the future. ¬†The series contains many aspects of classism and classification. ¬†The world is divided into five factions with their own meanings: Erudite(knowledgeable), Candor(honesty), Amity(peacefulness), Dauntless(bravery), and Abnegation(selflessness). ¬†There is also a place for those who do not fit in with the factions and that population is called the Factionless. ¬†The people who fall into one of the categories are placed in their correct group. ¬†The information is basically restricted because the people have been programmed to only possess the characteristics that align with their group. For example, those in the Candor faction can’t lie and always have to be honest; they are programmed to tell the truth. The factions exist because the people in power, those belonging to the Erudite faction(the knowledgeable people), don’t want the population to possess the characteristics people possess today; they would be considered too powerful and dangerous. ¬†The entire concept of the series has to do with information because those in authority want to keep as much information as they can away from the population, so they take away each person’s true nature and strip them down to their best characteristics. ¬†Everything about everyone is in the hands of those with the most knowledge. ¬†The technology is advanced and there is a high emphasis on science and technology.

Assignment #8B

In the Meszaros’ reading, the concept of “Questioning Authority” ¬†means in academia there is an underlying hierarchy of authority figures where faculty such as professors are seen as more authoritative than librarians when it comes to research. ¬†This concept creates a problem for the faculty, librarians, and students involved. ¬†The reading points out how bizarre, but commonplace, it is for undergraduates to turn to faculty and peers for resourceful information regarding research than to seek help from librarians. ¬†However, students don’t listen to their professors because they believe the information they convey, they do it because professors grade their work. ¬†¬†Meszaro states, “To be sure, faculty may be recognized by their peers as cognitive authorities, but that recognition does not necessarily entail recognition by novices.” ¬†Young adults tend to question the credibility of faculty because they are dualists or multiplists. ¬†Students don’t realize that librarians are trained and educated in research and that they can be helpful, they think opinions can be valid, and don’t feel the need to see supporting evidence. ¬†Meszaros thinks the solution to the concept is for librarians to understand students attitudes and perceptions of knowledge, expertise, and cognitive authority, and to help faculty teach students more beneficial ways to conduct research.

Assignment #7B

The Freedom of Information Act allows people to access information and records ¬†from federal government agencies unless the information has been subjected to certain disclosures. ¬†Congress passed the Freedom of Information Act and the Office of Information Policy of the ¬†U.S. Department of Justice administers the work proposed in the FOIA. ¬†I think the Freedom of Information Act does benefit citizens because it allows people to put forth claims about certain government agencies. ¬†However, I still feel the government can do what it wants because people are just not as powerful as the government. The government has the ability to determine what they want to do with the FOIA requests. ¬†The Archive website says it can take a month or even years for people to hear back from federal agencies once they’ve put in certain claims. ¬†While I have reservations about the efficiency of the FOIA requests, I do think this act has a place in American society and can be beneficial.

Assignment # 6B

I think Brian Martin’s book is available online as a PDF because he wants people to be aware of how knowledge is restricted by the agendas of corporations and governments. ¬†I think he wants people to sample the book and to get an idea of how research is conducted and by who. ¬†He states, “The work of professional researchers is strongly influenced by funding, disciplines, hierarchy and competition. As a result, it is mainly useful to corporations, governments, professions and researchers themselves,” and to people that have never realized this, it will undoubtedly be of interest. ¬†I think his point of having the first chapter available in an accessible format ¬†is so the everyday person who has some sort of interest in the whereabouts of knowledge can question its credibility and think about why certain research is more available than others and to challenge them to become more engaged in research.

I do believe Martin’s choice to make this chapter of the book available online supports his belief that scholarship should be liberated. ¬†The chapter’s sole focus is to address who does research and how it helps their agendas and ultimately is not as useful to the general public. ¬†He even goes into detail on how more social organizations and activists have less financial support because the government and corporations don’t support them like they do experts in certain fields. ¬†He says that his purpose isn’t to advocate for change, but I think he sees an issue and wants to find a solution.

Assignment 5B

In “Too Big To Know,” David Weinberger discusses how the concept of knowledge has changed from us wanting to “know our world” to us really trying to understand what knowledge truly is with the creation and increasing usage of the internet. ¬†Weinberger says our culture has viewed knowledge “as the most profound of human goals”, but knowledge¬†has come to mean different things to everyone and that is what makes the internet the perfect foundation for knowledge to thrive and evolve. ¬†Weinberger states:

“Rather than knowing-by-reducing- to what fits in a library or a scientific journal, we are knowing-by-including every draft of every idea in vast, loosely connected webs. ¬†And that means knowledge is not the same as it was . ¬†Not for science, not for business, not for education, not for government, not for any of us.”

Knowledge is too vast and encompasses so many layers that it has to be contained in some way to be understood. ¬†By using the term, “the infrastructure of knowledge,” Weinberger is referring to the system or platform knowledge relies upon to be understood as knowledge.

Understanding knowledge infrastructure can make us better researchers because we can have the option to use multiple sources and come up with our own interpretation of what we are researching. ¬†This ultimately will allow us to come to our own conclusions and understandings of a topic. ¬†It also helps us see there is no correct way or “one-way” in approaching a subject and that we can pull information from various places to become more knowledgeable about something. ¬†Knowledge is dependent upon connection and networking.

Assignment 4B

Classification is important because it is not only a way to organize information, but it is a way to narrow down more complex and broad information. ¬†Classification helps in gathering the most specific and relevant information that is being sought. ¬†There are many topics that fall underneath a general topic and classification makes it simpler for people to access something specific more easily. ¬†In Jessica Dye’s article about folksonomy, she discusses how it is becoming commonplace for users of the internet to tag different sources of digital information so they can find the same information later on. Classification can shape a user’s experience online because the things they are interested in will be at their fingertips, especially if they want to revisit something of interest. ¬†With classification, they can get straight to the source. ¬†Dye suggests that classification systems like tagging helps connect people in online communities because people get to see what each other are exploring. ¬† ¬†Classification¬†can be used for research. ¬†Badke discusses how research entails many steps such as coming up with a viable topic and conducting a thesis statement. ¬†Classification becomes important here because in order to come up with a topic when researching, one has to take a broad topic and come up with a specific question from that topic that can be answered. ¬†Classification has always been an integral way to manage information as Wright reiterates when he says humans have been sharing information, collecting it, and organizing it for over 100,000 years and coming up with tools along the way to contain that information in creative systems.

Assignment 3B

I think people do have the right to be forgotten because it is their information and so they should be able to address what they want to share and what they don’t. ¬†I don’t think the right to be forgotten clashes with the first amendment’s free speech rights because when it comes to sharing information a person has the right to their privacy. If they express (expression is what free speech is all about) that they don’t want certain information so easily available, then I think the right to be forgotten directly relates to a person’s privacy and how they feel they want their personal ¬†information to be viewed. ¬†I don’t feel press companies have the ability to put out what they want about a person. ¬†For example, the Gawker article we just read is an example that press can’t just publicize everyhing about a person.

Digital identity is any online or network presence that is available via the internet that traces back to a person or organization: for example, an email address or website domain.  The organizations people use to create these identities are in control of our digital identity because they set up the privacy and security of our information.  For example, Facebook has control of our security and privacy when we use their platform to create a profile.


Assignment 2W

Questions for “Learning from Gawker’s Attempt to Erase the Past”

  1. Have you ever seriously considered what kinds of articles journalists have the right to publish? If so, give an example.  If not, why?
  2. What do you think the consequences of not following journalism ethics could mean for a news entity?
  3. Do you think Gawker did the correct thing in removing the article and why?

Questions for “What the “right to be forgotten” means in the digital age”

  1. Do you think the “right to be forgotten” is a good measure in ensuring privacy of peoples information?
  2. How do you think the “right to be forgotten’ effects companies free speech?
  3. Do you think the U.S. will eventually adopt this method?

Assignment 2B

Corporate interest effects the information we receive by controlling what information gets published and by targeting a specific audience to generate profit. ¬†Therefor, their ability to reach the masses is great and they are able to influence how many people think. ¬†The companies that make up mainstream media are the big corporations with¬†the most well-known names and the most assets and money ¬†in the media industry that deliver news to the public. ¬†Some of these entities include CBS and The New York Times. ¬† These corporations play a major role in determining the focus of society’s attention because they are putting the information out there. ¬†They have the most profit and can advertise as well as control what gets advertised. ¬†They also effect smaller and less known media organizations, sometimes referred to as alternate media, because the topics they discuss trickle down to them. ¬†The topics that are discussed in mass media are often political in nature and have underlying motives not in favor of the general public, and focus to attract the more elite population.

An example of a topic that may be portrayed differently by a mainstream organization than by an alternate organization is the violence surrounding ¬†J‚Äôouvert, a party celebrating Caribbean heritage that takes place in Brooklyn, New York during Carnival before Labor Day’s West Indian Day Parade every year. ¬†In an article published by New York Amsterdam News (an independent news publisher centered on news pertaining the African American community) titled, “Electeds say blame violence, not carnival,” Stephon Johnson discusses how Brooklyn elected officials disagrees with mainstream depictions of ¬†the continuation of J’ouvert as the root cause for the stabbings and shootings surrounding the annual event. ¬†Brooklyn officials and some Brooklyn residents don’t see J’ouvert as a negative, violent-ridden event, but believe in its cultural value and think the party should still continue every year. ¬†They clearly view the violence and the carnival as two separate entities. ¬†New York City Council Member Laurie Cumbo states, “Gun violence in New York City is an epidemic, and it has been an issue for some time.” ¬†However, J. David Goodman’s ¬†article “Violence Casts a Shadow Over a Celebration in Brooklyn,” (published by The New York Times) focuses primarily on J’ouvert as “plagued by violence,” discussing the death of one of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s former aide’s, Carey Gabay,who was shot and killed when a gun feud between rival gangs took place near the J’ouvert party in 2015. ¬†The article provides examples of violence that took place in J’ouvert’s area over several years and seemingly waters down the prevalence of gun violence in New York City. ¬†Goodman states, “…shootings are at near-record lows, 969 people have been shot this year.”