Author Archives: Kailei

Week 7: SOPA/PIPA

SOPA, or the “Stop Online Piracy Act” refers to websites ending in ‘.com’ and ‘.org’, so some examples include facebook.com or tumblr.com, two very prominent leading websites for most anyone to vocalize themselves. Although this deals with what’s called a domestic site, it can deal with foreign sites, too. Protect IP is a little different than SOPA in it’s authoritative powers. For example, SOPA deals with U.S. sites and “copyright infringement,” whereas Protect IP deals with copyright counterfeit; it deals with the activities of the site.. Although these things seem interchangeable, we can think of each of these terms as having very fine lines and very fragile boarders. In the article “I Hope SOPA Passes,” the author makes a very blunt and interesting idea; “it doesn’t address any problems, only the symptom.” Although the author means this in the context referring to people who think that doing slight things will make a huge impact, I think that, in a way, it can also refer to piracy as a whole. Online piracy is a serious issue, and one SOPA/PIPA came along, any felt threatened and concerned that their “voices” on the internet would be taken away. This was something taken for granted, until threaten to be taken away. Once it was threaten, people jumped at the chance to help the cause. The “symptoms” were that people simply did not think about their “voice” on the internet or piracy until it became and issue. Anonymous is another great figure in internet protection. Fighting for their rights to a voice, they use their power to actually do something about SOPA and Protect IP. They deal largely with the political circumstances of the campaign, dealing almost directly with legislators and the public. I think some ramifications of movements such as these and threats such as SOPA are that people may get anxious about what they post on the internet and if it will be censored. We have our voices, and we want to keep them. But how can we do so without stifling creativity and pure enjoyment of the internet?

Week 5: The Internet (due June 13th)

In the article “The Computer as a Communication Device,” I agree with many of the ideas and views brought up by the author. We must understand upon reading this article, however, that it was published and written in 2001. Although this may not seem like very long ago, we must remember it is actually over a decade ago. So much has happened within the last few years, and Licklider predicts our communication processes beautifully. Licklider brings up many great points about our technological advances, in this case the prime example being the computer, being tools we use not only for data collection like previously used, but also, and more modernly, used for communication purposes. Of course, Licklider delves into the actual logistical and fundamental ways in which and reasons why technology works, but more so, he describes that this technology is more than just one communicator to another. In fact, he says “to communicate is more than to send and receive.” Indeed, to communicate has more profound, deeper layers, both technologically and socially. I find it quite intriguing that Licklider predicted such ideas about computers revolutionizing how we see and use technology. He talks much about the literal cost of computers. He says that in six years (from 2001) dominate costs will go up. This includes the costs of hardware, accessories, and anything else we now use. Although I think is predictions may have been a bit off, I do agree with the “cost” that comes socially. Socially, with the technology we have acquired, we have little reason to be social beings. We can communicate directly through the computer, telephones, whatever it may be. Due to this, social interactions have dwindled. I think the podcast sheds light on the same subjects. Although our communicative technology we have now is in fact glorious, it hinders traditional interactions. Sherry Turkle believes as a whole that we are using computers in a totally different way than intended. This is fine, however, many ideas are brought up about how narcissism in regards to technology. This simply means that we are using our technology in “glamorous” ways. With Facebook, Twitter, and everything in between, computers and technology become something more for our personal use, rather tan what intended. I do agree, from both the article and podcast, that we have a larger, more intimate relationship that we should with technology, and the humans we “meet” through this technology, rather than humans themselves.

Blog Week 4: Simulation and History, Anthropology of Social Behavior (due 6/6)

In the article Simulation and History: Let’s Get Beyond Good and Evil, the author brings up some beautiful points about gaming and technology as a whole being used a tools. For example, in junction with the video gaming unit and topics, video games can be viewed simply as fun and stimulating resources of game-play, however, in this article, the author makes a point that video games “has a ‘de-historicing effect.’” Many of our best kept tools, those of our bodies and formal communication, are lost in this digital age. It is not being said that this is a completely negative thing, however, it is just fact; this is the age we live in, and we must adapt, yet at the same time, look to the past for our natural ways of functioning.

An excellent point being made in this article is that “history does not have a beginning middle and end.” It is with this idea and concept in mind that we must remember that, in fact, gaming is skewed. By this I mean, simulators such as gaming devices and even forms of technology can bring forth a false sense of these “tools” the author is referencing. Our bodies and minds are our greatest tools, which plays into the social aspects of this article. We can easily become lost in our technological society, forgetting that our most basic tools are our most powerful. The author strays away from the topic of gaming here; however, it is necessary. The author then makes the point that history is a way to understand our “tools.” In fact, we look to the past to understand said tools, which can very much be lost in this age of technological advancement. Another great tool the author mentions is text. Socially and culturally, I agree with the author that we do not use our basic tools as well as we should.

Many comments do not spark a debate with the author, rather, the readers whole-heartedly agree with the argument being made. Many talk about lectures they have either given or been to where many forget about simple forms of communication. In this age of technology, text, body language, and simple forms of communication can be lost.

In the article by Katy Meyers entitled Anthropology of Social Behavior in BioShock, talk of an “investigation” having to do with choices made in the game are discussed and look at in depth. Meyers gives a little bit of background about BioShock; we get to take a bit of an adventure through a different land, a different world, with narrative operating. Through this technique of game play, Meyers decides to further research how this affects the gamer and what reactions the player will have in the game. There is much talk about “anthropology” in this article, in which the author says it is “multiple levels at which people operate.” There is much explanation of levels in which one abides by in this game; these include the actions a player takes, personalities they take on, and the objective of their game play.

This article deals particularly with social importance of the game. In game play, the player is making cognitive decisions, and their behaviors are actual. There is debate with the author itself on the argument that what people say they are doing may or may not reflect and be accurate of the person behind the action. However, whether the action is a reflection of the player itself, in game mode or out, it still connects to social behaviors, actions, and most importantly, decisions. Another point the author makes, perhaps more along the lines of political importance, would be that there are rules established. Much like our “real life” culture and society, there are rules one must abide by. These help mold you as a person, assuming one abides by said rules. The author says, “the player engages with these three levels of behavior whether they are aware or not,” which is very true. I agree with this statement, for in this particular game, as well as in society as a whole, we are subjected to behaviors even if we do not necessarily see ourselves as “victim” this these action.

There were no comments on this article, so little debate can be stirred, however, I believe the author does a lovely job of breaking the game down in both social and political justifications and connections to the game and the “real world.”

Post 3: The Future of Video Games (5/31)

In the past, not too long ago, video games in comparison to today’s “inventions” seemed almost bleak. To modern-day gamers, older systems and games may seem simple and almost boring, whereas to the gamers of said time, the best and brightest technology was at their fingertips. Findings in gaming such as “Hyperspace,” a controversial tactic in which you could disappear from the game and reappear in a different location in a matter of seconds, was the pinnacle of gaming technology. However, as time moved on, new findings were introduced to the game world. As glitches were smoothed through and gaming became more and more seamless, technology too hold on the industry and introduced new consoles and games. As video games moved to PC form as well as other forms, the ideas and options became more limitless. With this is mind, I believe that with the technology we now hold, as well as the findings we obtain each day, we will soon be able to become more immersed in our games. We already have the technology to simulate our motions and actions, and soon, I believe that the gaming industry will find ways to fully submerse the gamer into the game. Not only will the actual games be able to be live-action, but the actual consoles will probably be absolutely tiny. We are coming to an age in which all of our devices are strangely small, and gaming consoles will be no different. Aside from this, I believe that in the more immediate future, more games will emerge in various fields and topics. There are games out there for everyone; from games about cooking to running your own zoo. The arrary in options will only continue to grow.

Week 2 Blog Post- How the Computer Became Personal (5/23)

I think the leap between the two extreme ideas behind computers stems from the understanding of technologies and their upbringing. Computers started out as means for data collection and mathematical endeavors. In the earlier days when the technologies were just starting out, Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace were the pioneers of this technological advance. Later, we see inventors such as Steve Jobs take charge in the computing fields. Steve Jobs, in addition to many other inventors and masterminds, take the large, government-based technologies, and make them personal and simple. Computers for personal use consist of organizational and communication needs. In earlier days, prime communication means consisted of the radio, and once the radio became wireless, it brought along with it a sense of popularity and usefulness. More and more people used it for communication and means to stay in the loop with current affairs and news. It was wanted by the general public, in mass amounts. The personal computer had the same effect; once simplified and made easy for the consumer, it was a targeted item for persons everywhere. In conclusion, the leap from small-scale to large-scale consumerism of the computer started with the principles that the computer was based off of. With this in mind, the personal computer was something people everywhere felt a want and need to have. Once the word about the uses of a personal computer came out to the public, it was clear that this technology was needed in order to stay at the same pace with the rest of society.

Week 1 Blog Post: Ada Lovelace

As the ages advance and we enter a world filled with newer and newer technologies, we must ask ourselves where the first signs of “life” in the technological field occurred. The current generation is plagued (for lack of a better term) with a fast-paced, technological environment; often times we can thank Steve Jobs for his inventions and contributions to the tech world. But who, really, was one of the first computer programmers? Who was one to set a foundation for all that we know today? None other than Ada Lovelace. Lovelace, an accomplice to Charles Babbage, invented an “Analytical Engine,” which to the current generation, gave a basis for computer programmers to work off of, helping us achieve the technological age we are in today. Not only did she physically help with the creations of Babbage, but she gave him moral support along the way. She wrote essays for Babbage, set up mathematical proportions, and published notes on Babbage and her’s success. In a field dominated by men, Ada Lovelace was of a special kind to be a women working in such fields of technology. Due to this, Lovelace was able to partake in a secret life of gambling. In addition to this, her mother was portrayed as a typical “Victorian” women; Ada Lovelace, however, was portrayed as wildly intelligent, beautiful, and a loud, outlandish spiret. In turn, this made peers and historians alike fixate on her character, giving her power in not only in the technological realm, but giving her power as a women as well.