Thursday, August 30, 2007

Web Literacy Narrative, the most painful blog yet

Describe the first time you used a computer. What are your earliest memories of using the Internet? How old were you? Where were you, who was with you, what was the occasion? How did you use the Internet when you were younger? When did you first have access to a computer and the Internet at home? What about at school?
The earliest memory I have of using the computer was for some simple art game, where I’d use computer markers to color in between the lines, then later print out the poorly done pieces for friends and family members. My little presents. I must’ve been about 7 at the time, using the computer by myself in my old home, with no reason except the desire for some fun. The internet really didn’t come in to my knowledge and general use until around 13, when it was mainly accessed for library research. It was about the same time it came into use at my household, for strictly library research, as it had extremely little appeal to me at the time.

What Websites do you remember visiting at 10? At 15? Did you regularly use the computers or the Internet as part of your schoolwork?
The internet had not yet come into popular use, as I recall, by age ten. By age 15, it was mostly accessed to look up research for homework, guides to video games, funny videos or stories, and women, generally naked and objectified. By then, computers and internet became a critical part of the education experience.

How has your use of computers changes since that first time? Describe your current computer uses. How much time do you spend using a computer and what are you doing with it (them)?
The only way I’d say it has changed is that I also use the internet for news, regular email, Facebook, and, as of now, blogging. I still use it for all that I have in the past, perhaps to an even greater extent and most definitely at a larger time: I’d say I spend at least three hours a day with some kind of computer usage, either to write up essays, articles, research, do some kind of homework or online class activity, or just for personal amusement. This time spendage never has exceeded five straight hours, to my knowledge.

What do you like best/least about the World Wide Web?
The best always comes in the form of Facebook/Worthy entertainment of some sort. The worst comes whenever one crosses into that dirty corners of cyberspace where only the desensitized can truly push themselves to. It’s almost inevitable to end up touching that dark spot every once and while.

Do you read from the Web? What do you read? Do you read traditional, paper-based texts? What sorts and why? Who is your favorite author and why? How is reading a paper text different from reading on the Web? Do you have different expectations, are you a different reader, etc.?
I still enjoy my funny stories and articles (websites like and the authors who write for them, usually are the only writers that I find enjoyable and actually funny. Paper-based texts, from time to time, are easy to access, but generally contain boring material, so they are often avoided when possible. My favorite internet author would be Zach Parsons, one of the writers from Something Awful who obviously spends as much time as possible behind a laptop, churning out often hilarious and sometimes insightful pieces of writing that is always makes for quality reading, regardless of how hard I might (or might not) laugh.

Do you have websites that you visit on a regular basis? What are they and why do you keep going back? What influence have these sites had on your life?
I visit Facebook, Something Awful, New York Times, and my online subscription to The Rocky Mountain Times almost every day possible. I keep going back to them generally because they are interesting, or funny, but they’ve had little impact on my life rather than acting as entertainment or sometimes thought material that never really drives me into action. The internet is still the internet; it just doesn’t stack up to the real world, for me at least.

How is your use of your computer different than that of other technologies?
I’d say it only does in the amount of time I spend using it, as it is the only piece of “newer” technology (besides a cell phone) that is critical to my piece of life. It’s the main source of my entertainment.

What do you do when you have a problem with your computer?
Unless it’s something simple that can be figured out, my computer will be taken to the nearest computer repair station in the hopes that they can drive out the evil hidden within the silicon and wiring.

Describe your attitudes about writing in general and your attitudes about writing with computers in particular. Do you enjoy writing?
I love to write! Be it in newspaper articles or short stories or even, surprisingly, these blogs. Writing on the computer is enjoyable and easy, and it can triple the experience when there is so much information to draw upon when writing out something. When I write a news article, I always am required to search for names, phone numbers, old stories, things I never knew about before, what ever I may need to make my piece of journalism make sense and not be labeled ignorant by whoever will be reading the article. But I’m sure that can’t be avoided every now and then.

Do you prefer to write by hand, or are you equally comfortable--or more so--writing with computers? Is the writing you do with computers different than the kind you do by hand? How are they different? Who reads this writing?
This is a dependable situation. When journaling (which I highly prefer to blogging and try to do as often as I can) or writing short fiction, doing it with the strokes of a pen seems to make my mind function much more easily than throguh the clickty-clack strokes of a keyboard, so in that case, I suppose it’s all about perspective and style. Maybe the fact that, usually, no one reads the written writing while it seems that the typed writing gets read oh so much more is the reason why it’s easier for me to go by the pen.

What is the one thing that you really want to learn about in this class? What is the one thing you are worried about?
More than anything, I suppose I’d like to understand and maybe even discover something out of the blog culture. I’ve never be very receptive of the blog culture, never really giving too much thought or care to the individuals who I don’t know in real life, and I don’t expect them to care what I think either, because I’m much more likely to become bored with their bluntness or lack of originality or even abundance of originality that overwhelms my simple mind. The one thing that I worry about this class is finding the blog culture to be just the boring landscape that I so terribly fear it to be. The coding sounds like a rather intimidating aspect as well.

You are the person of the year


As much as Time might be supportive of it’s Person of the Year award, this year’s winner goes to show just how meaningless and empty this award can truly be. You, all of the pasty faces self-diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, the light of the monitor screen lighting the otherwise blackened room filled with empty chips bags and hokey gimmick t-shirts and stacked collection of DVDs/pornography, YOU are the person of the year because you were smart enough to figure out how dub Japanese music over a Spongebob Squarepants cartoon and then posting on the internet, your delicate contribution to the world wide web. Time’s choice personally sickens me; this is the kind of schlock that gets critics like Andrew Keen all worked up over the state of society today. Time Magazine ought to be ashamed of their choice, no matter how difficult they attempt. The editors of the magazine should’ve spent a thorough 24 hours observing the internet in it’s finest and crudest forms before declaring YOU the winner: the sex fetishists of a horribly wide variety, the empty headed preteen “vloggers” (who chose video cameras to do their writing work for them), and the inane journeys made in the name of mongloid science (see clip #3). Then they might not be able to truly call YOU the person of the year. This is not the same Time magazine that once voted Adolf Hitler as Man of the Year back in 1938. (
This is the Time magazine that voted in Rudolph “Jerk-off” Giuliani over Osama bin Laden at the end of 2001. For those not in the know, Time says it bases it’s decision on the person that changed the world the most within one year, and regardless of your political philosophy stance, it’s hard to argue that the man who masterminded one of the most without-a-doubt-world-changing event would be beaten out by a greasy smiling city mayor who walked around Ground Zero just to make sure he looked good in the photo-ops, and earn that spot in American hearts that would one day propel him for a shot at the Presidency. If Time Magazine didn’t ruin its credibility right then and there, they have certainly done so now.

Reflection on "Internet Smackdown"

I enjoyed reading Tony Long's piece, not just because I agree with him, but because he makes some very encouraging points about the state of journalism.
Especially his point about the "on-site" insta-journalist. A fantastic example of this would be the ten second or so cell phone video some college student took outside of the Norris Building in Virgina Tech. What we were treated to on every single news channel was a grainy video in which one or two men are running about on the screen, almost immediately running off screen, and then the popping of several gunfire shots. Nothing more than this, and the empty roars of criticism were heard loud and clear across the nation about the inability for a camera crew to "capture the action" like this "brave" college student standing by the window of a building did with his trusty cell phone camera. As much as I dislike television media, it was rather senseless to place such shoddy footage of the incident on the air. For all we, the viewer, could tell, this could've been any college campus in the country, or any business square for that matter, dealing with some crazed gunman who's walking around with his gun in the air, popping off shots until his brains are finally removed from his head by the assistance of an officer's rifle.
Only when the amaetur proves himself worthy of our attention should it be granted to him.

Reflections on "The Cult of the Amateur"

Once again, it seems that Andrew Keen is repeating his belief that Wikipedia and Digg will be the sites that bring the downfall of man. Does Keen even associate himself with an educated crowd? Wouldn't he have figured by now that the majority of the educated (if not of all internet users) have forever conddemned Wikipedia as a simple playground where morons can go and shift and shape history however they please? Does he truly not understand that there is specific criteria taught throughout grades 6-12 to define what makes a website trustworthy and what makes it empty of useful knowledge? Why would any person who had at least attended a semester of online community college leave it up to Digg to determine what was important?
Facts have not yet been abandonded, and it's unlikely that Wikipedia, as condemned as it is, will be responsible for it's toppling. No one is looking to morons telling us about the minute details of their life in a day-to-day setting to replace actual entertainment, to replace a newspaper or a news report. No obese thirtysomething living in a Cheetos-encrusted environment (which he leaves three times a day) will replace our beloved smiling news anchor. If there even is any truth left in the media at all, then people certianly won't look to the common blogger to become their source of information.

Reflection on "Web 2.0"

The day a person becomes defined by Craiglist will be a sad day indeed.
But I feel convinced that that day will never occur in society. It's hard to imagine that someone would honestly believe that culture is becoming diluted by an "abundance" of authors. In the mind of author Andrew Keen, there is no longer a way to declare a blog entry insightful or worthless. Keen thinks society will no longer be able to decipher Monet from MSPaint, so to say. Media has not reached the technological extent where it can simply render shit into something valued. There is no doubt that there is an exponential amount of pretentiousness and emptiness in the billions of words in the millions of blogs, but it's suprising that Keen refuses to see that there are many among our society who are educated enough to see through the vanity and see work that's insightful and meaningful, art that is practiced and unique, voices that have been well-thought out enough to deserve being heard.

On "Relections on the first decade of blogging"
Blogs, I believe, are hit and miss. And it's especially difficult that we should put so much faith into a person's specific tale when we can't even tell whether they're speaking truth or just making things up as they go along. It's unfortunate really, but so goes the internet. I don't think we will ever be able to completely put faith into blogs, just as it's difficult for people to place faith in the media. There's no denying that blogs offer the ability for a thousand million perspectives to be told, endless stories and "truths" to be revealed, but it is not possible for these writings to recieve end-all faith from any intelligent reader.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Five words

Far too often people think they can't describe themselves using just five words but I can:
1) journalism
2) writing
3) rock-n'-roll (counts as 1 word)
4) travel
5) reading

Yes, that is all there is to know about me personality wise. I can see why some would judge me as shallow and/or lazy, and I cannot argue against this. All I hope is that I don't get lose points for this (whatsup CO 302)