William Gibson

Some reflections on digital culture and literature

A few weeks ago, I found an interesting article in the New York Times, in which several authors responded to how they thought new technologies, specifically the Internet, has or will affect storytelling. Some commented on the obvious logistical changes; how characters communicate, get to one place to the next, etc. Another said “There’s nothing…

Our compliancy with government privacy violations

In light of the Edward Snowden events that erupted this past summer, the discussion on privacy and Web 2.0 cannot be timelier. I think most people were aware on some level that they were being micro-targeted, that is, advertising companies were building an aggregated picture of a person based on his or her digital footprints…

Filtering and Blocking Web Content in Schools

Perhaps I’m missing the whole point of Raiford Guins’ argument in Edited Clean Version but are there perhaps instances when control might be desirable? On a macro level, I understand his concern that control, through blocking, filtering, sanitizing and other forms, is now “exercised indiscriminately, ubiquitously” (5). Guins cites a personal example of how his…

Twitter and political participation

In the conclusion of their article on hacktivism and #wikileaks on Twitter, the authors Lindgren and Lundström write, “The fact that many people have a declining interest in traditional formal politics should not necessarily be interpreted as an indicator that there is an actual lack of political orientation or action in society at large…In today’s…

Upload to YouTube

Is “playbour” exploitative?

Mark Andrejevic’s article “Exploiting YouTube: Contradictions of User-Generated Labor,” provides a rather sinister reading of YouTube, a site heretofore we have considered a democratizing platform. At first thought, most wouldn’t consider a site that allows users to create and distribute content, many of which are “homemade,” as being exploitative. After all, those who use YouTube…

How does Harry Potter change culture?

Like many people my age (around 21), Harry Potter is a cornerstone of my childhood. I distinctly remember my second grade teacher reading us chapters of the first book during out story time, and the arduous gaps J.K. Rowling forced me to endure as I waited for the next installment to be published. I also…

Challenging White privilege in video games

Why is it that America is becoming more diverse and yet refuses to acknowledge it in our art, books and, as this week’s readings have shown, our video games? According to US Census data, minorities make up 37% of the population and by 2043 the population is projected to be a “minority-majority” nation, meaning that…