No Escape: The Ramifications of Web 2.0 and Digital Connectivity

Building off of our dismal discussion from last week’s class, our readings by Robert Gehl and Preston C. Russett addressed some of the side-effects of our continuing corrosion of privacy. Gehl’s The Archive and the Processor: The Internal Logic of Web 2.0 outlined the cost of the instantaneous connectivity afforded to us via sites like Twitter and…

The Duplicity of Choice in the Digital Age

In the modern era, the idea of censorship is a fairly universal notion. This practice did not begin with the digital age or even with film and cinema, but long before these inventions. In fact, since the debut of acting and theatre, audiences were limited in terms what they could and could not see. Actors…

Don’t Crash the Party: Advertisement in the Digital Age

In the movie The Social Network, Justin Timberlake’s Sean Parker explains to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, played by Jesse Eisenberg, that they shouldn’t insert ads onto the platform yet. His rationale? That having ads “is not cool” and will send potential and current users away because they don’t want sales pitches clogging up their online experience. People were…

All for The Commons-Based Good

Amongst our capitalist and commerce-driven society, it’s hard to imagine a utopia such as Burning Man. In the same vein, the idea of ultra-useful, user-friendly or general powerful software for free is also pretty remarkable. During last week’s class, we began to touch on the divergent demographics and markets among the digital realm, namely the difference between open-source…

The Cultural Rift

In last week’s class, we attempted to contextualize David Leonard’s “Young, Black (& Brown) and Don’t Give a Fuck: Virtual Gangstas in the Era of State Violence” through playing Grand Theft Auto San Andreas. Though the other readings were similarly focused on race and racism in video games, Leonard’s was the one which focused primarily…

Color-Coded

In reading both “Blacks Deserve Bodies Too!” and Digitizing Race: Visual Cultures the double-edged nature of digital anonymity revealed itself to me. In Kafai et al.’s “Blacks Deserve Bodies Too!”, the analytical focus on the popular virtual teen world, Whyville, unveiled the persistent nature of racism even in the digital age. In spite of this study,…