Intro to New Media Studies, Spring 2008

Project Day 1

April 18th, 2008 by · Comments Off on Project Day 1

I really enjoyed the projects and the information they presented on Thursday.  I thought the lacrosse concept was very interesting, and the project of creating a social site that could turn into something bigger was great.  I really think that the site has the potential to go somewhere. 

It was great to see projects that involved topics that the presenters were passionate about and really wanted to learn about.  I think that’s why they were so interesting, because the presenters themselves were so interested in the subjects and really put their effort into them. 

 All in all, a good day, and I look forward to next Thursday’s presentations!

Original post by kateh

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Files from Finale Presentation

April 17th, 2008 by · Comments Off on Files from Finale Presentation

Here are links to see/hear what we created today.  Enjoy!  PDF      MIDI        MP3   

Original post by jeffzeiders

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Notes for Thursday Presentation

April 16th, 2008 by · Comments Off on Notes for Thursday Presentation

·        Janet Murray said, “The logic of the art world and the logic of new media are exact opposites.”  We feel that this quote is a perfect opening for our presentation because it represents the dichotomy between the old and new worlds of music craftsmanship.  However, the notational software Finale which we are going to speak about today can easily glide between those two worlds.

·        The use of Finale can be seen as basic as using a toaster; it allows for faster input and for cleaner results in a tangible sense.  Yet it also presents the modern composer (and non-composer) with a seemingly-infinite library of sounds, notation, and thus sonic possibilities.

·        We will start off with showing Finale as a basic input device – the pen in overdrive.  Now we know that you aren’t all music majors so we will give you a very basic music theory introduction: this is a score, staves, instruments, notes.  However, the knowledge we just shared isn’t essential to being able to use the program in a basic sense – kind of like how you don’t need to now linguistic theory to use WordInput is done in two main ways:1. Simple entry: the user essentially drags and drops the desired notational patterns onto a set of blank staves.2.  Midi entry: finale notationally captures a performance via a midi controller or keyboard, as inputed by the user – essentially ‘do what I do’.Basically, even without the midi controller, simple entry transforms the composer into a musician as well because of the wonderful playback feature. 


• In the beginning midi files used in playback were merely for reference.  Poor quality (if you’d like to call it that), essentially non-realistic and definitely non-human imitations. However, with faster processors and larger hardrives we have the ability to use sampled sounds which replace the human performer more effectively.  This human playback involves more than just sample sounds from real life but also calculated errors which simulate the randomness inherent to any live human performance.  So now that we have these sounds what shall we do with them? Oh anything we want.  


• A big part of being a composer is hearing your music before your audience hears it.  In the past, composers would need to hire performers or be able to play through their creations on the piano.  With the advanced features of finale, the modern composer is granted instantaneous playback which has a more than satisfactory quality level.  This transition has transformed the creative process of the composer.  Now everything is laid out, the guesswork is almost eliminated, and the process becomes more of a discovery than an invention.

·        To demonstrate this, we will compose a short (4-measure) piece for piano and clarinet.  This is a new piece we will we be creating live for you – we don’t know how it will turn out, and we don’t know whether it will be any good (probably not).  We’ll take turns, measure by measure, only allowing ourselves one minute per measure.  We’ll be using the playback features to build off of each other’s ideas.  Here we go!

Compose piece- 4 minutes

·        Here’s the piece which we shall play back in full. We are interested in the classe’s response to our piece for not only the quality of our composition skills but also pertaining to the audio of the piece.  Feel free to comment now on either wet paint of your own blog.  Now we will show you how to break up the score into individual parts for each instrument.

• Below are excerpts from an interview we had with Assistant Professor of Music, Dr. Craig Naylor on his experiences with Finale and how he feels it has shaped the world of music. 

• Mosaic (first composition program)Dr. N started using Finale in 1987 – serial was 1024 or something like that – it came on a 3.25 inch floppy drive – back in the days before internal hard drives – dual floppy drives – one to run the software, and one to store the information. – it was designed mostly for home and personal publication in the beginning.Playback in the beginning was very sparse – designed for the print medium pretty much. In the early 90s you could play back with instruments at a decent level.Beaming over the barline was a difficult thing to do with Finale, so many composers stopped doing that since it was hard to do – with normal notation, Finale makes things easier – but it has limited the experimental and extended technique of the composer.  Naylor feels less careful now with finale – it is so easy to revise now – whereas with ink, it was essential to make sure everything was perfect it allows him to be more experimental since it can be changed easier -the availability of the instruments have led to a decline in the ear and at piano playing back the music being written – it allows people to write more in a copy-paste, rhythmic, looping music more conducive (and popular) to the young composer. Finale hasn’t had a negative impact on the composer – people always use the best available tool? – Carpenters don’t use handsaws anymore.It’s just a tool. A rifle is a tool – you can use it to shoot dinner, or to shoot people.


• As we saw with the Engelbart video, computers are quite the communicative device.  Finale has four ways to communicate its information.1. .mus file2.  midi export/import3.  PDF viewing4.  audio recording


• We will now paste all of these files live onto my UMW blog to show how easy it is to share this newly created information in many ways.

• Now, Jeff and I will show you pieces that we have recently constructed that explore our individual musical fascinations.  Like the composer Milton Babbitt, I also feel the need to push the level of human audibility to the limits.  Finale allows me to do this.  Forsaking the aesthetic of the actual score itself (because I am not worried about conveying information to human players but just the computer player itself), and focusing on the aural realization,  Finale allows me to create things that are almost beyond our perception level and way beyond our performance level.  Here is my piece SWANPHAN for four trombones and four oboes which is an example of this.As a composer interested in real performers, I use finale equally as a compositional device as I do a publication device.  Here are two examples of my work.  The first is a piece for wind ensemble I finished last week.  Here is the score, and here are parts – all of which are realistically playable.  The documents finale makes are professional-quality, and these would be admissible to hand out to a professional group.  In fact, numerous publication houses use software like finale for their professional work.  The other example is a second movement from a piano piece I wrote in February.  As you can see, I was able to manipulate finale to produce scores which are a little different – many possibilities exist.

• As Kay and Goldberg said – “…devices, which variously store, retrieve, or manipulate information in the form of messages embedded in a medium have been in existence for thousands of years.  People use them to communicate ideas a feelings both to others and back to themselves.”

• in the beginning, we felt that programs like finale were bastardizing music and compositions by saying that notation programs could just make anyone a Beethoven.  But, what Kay and Goldberg were really saying is that the possibilities that lie within the world of notational software makes innovation and exploration more accessible to the user then ever before. 


For the full version of this paper, go to for the content posted during the presentation

Original post by jeffzeiders

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The Final Project

April 16th, 2008 by · Comments Off on The Final Project

I’d like to begin my presentation with a short little video that is indicative of the positive impact that videogames can have on children.

As you can all clearly tell, the excitement that little Billie felt about getting a brand new Nintendo 64 touches our very hearts and souls. This thoughtful gift from his parents, although some naïve observers would consider it reckless, has had a long-lasting effect on Little Billie’s outlook on life. Today, Little Billie is not so little anymore. He is twenty years old, is an optimist, and a hard-working student at MIT. He is majoring in both computer science and engineering and his dream is to create videogames much like the videogames that he grew up playing. Videogames have effectively introduced Big Billie to computers, one that has shaped his very character.

Now on the opposite side of the spectrum, this video shows the negative impact of videogames.

The story of Jonathan White is very sad indeed. He was a kind, gentle, and compassionate child who thought he had a family who really cared for him. However, last Christmas Eve, his dreams were shattered by a family who played a cruel practical joke and as a result, his innocence was lost forever. On Christmas Day, Jonathan should have been playing his brand new Xbox 360, but instead, he found a knife on the kitchen table, and as much as he tried to convince himself that what he was about to do was wrong, nothing could stop him from seeking vengeance on a family that should have loved him more. Today, Jonathan White serves an undisclosed amount of years in juvenile hall, never to achieve his dreams because he never had any to begin with.

Disclaimer: The two stories above are fictitious and thus should only be taken with a grain of salt. They were created for the sole purposes of entertaining the audience and also to transition from the attention-getter to the body of the speech.

Fortunately for me, my childhood was unlike Jonathan’s. My childhood was akin to Little Billie’s and to Jarish’s from Turkel’s essay, Video Games and Computer Holding Power. Jarish, too, had been positively influenced by videogames. Turkel writes, “Just as pinball gave way to video games for Jarish, video games are starting to give way to the computer” (504). Although I differ with Jarish and Little Billie, in that, videogames haven’t introduced me or interested me to programming, I know many gamers, actually many students in the Computer Science department of UMW, whose main purpose for majoring in Computer Science is to design and program a game. Thus, videogames can and do have positive impacts on children’s lives, no matter how much the media tries to convince you otherwise. Just as a brief side note, the stories that the media focus on are extreme circumstance situations, which are not representative of the whole videogame population.

Now that you all know a little bit more about Little Billie and Jonathan, and have already read about Jarish, I should tell you a little bit about me before I show you what I’ve created. I was born in the USA; however, I grew up speaking Armenian at home, so English was not my native language. Thus, when it was time for Elementary school, I can remember my writing, reading, and speaking skills were way behind my contemporaries. At school, I would barely speak to any of my classmates, I would barely read any of the readings that were assigned, and I would barely do the homework given. And when I say “barely,” I really mean that, on the surface, I actually did finish my homework, and actually read the books that were assigned mainly because my parents forced me to, but I never learned anything. This trend continued until, I’d say, about second grade or so.

My parents quickly took note of how playing videogames was the only thing I was interested in. They could have taken videogames away from me, and I may have ended up like Jonathan, but instead, they used my obsession to their advantage in a genius way. I believe it was by the third grade my dad brought home a new Toshiba computer with a ton of educational games (the Jump Start series to name one) just for me. By playing these games, I indirectly learned math, reading, writing, etc. and had fun. I used the computer daily. In fact, because of what I had learned from the computer, I began speaking to more of my classmates and the teacher at school because I was more comfortable with the language and, in turn, I learned more from them as well.

A year or two later, my family got dial-up and I was introduced to the World Wide Web. Naturally, the first website I went to was This website has arguably been the most influential on my education as it was a website dedicated to previews, reviews, and commentary on a topic that I was interested in (not to mention that everything was well-written by educated writers and editors). Thus, my skills were even more enhanced and by the time I made it to fifth grade, I was on an equal playing field with my other classmates. Perhaps I was even in a better position than a lot of them because of what brought to my education.

And so you see my interest in games have engendered an interest in computers. Additionally, videogames have also cultivated an education outside of school. I think Illich would be proud that I learned something meaningful outside the boundaries of an institution. In fact, he says that the same people who defend the institution of education, when “pressed to specify how they acquired what they know and value, will readily admit that they learned it more often outside than inside school…Their knowledge of facts, their understanding of life and work came to them from friendship or love, while viewing TV, or while reading…” (Illich).

Although the World Wide Web wasn’t available when Illich wrote his article, Deschooling Society, he alludes to many ideas that we now use on a daily basis. He says, “The operation of a peer-matching network would be simple. The user would identify himself by name and address and describe the activity for which he sought a peer. A computer would send him back the names and addresses of all those who had inserted the same description. It is amazing that such a simple utility has never been used on a broad scale for publicly valued activity” (Illich).

This peer-matching network to some degree exists within the community, albeit in a more business-centric environment. Buyers search for items in which they are interested in buying, and when they search for that item, the computer sends back a list of all sellers who have that very item to sell. Allow me to demonstrate with my shop:

(brief history while link is loading: is owned by Unlike, is a website that is solely dedicated to selling items that have UPCs in order to make the experience more user-friendly. does not charge you to list items, however, once you have sold an item, will take a 15% commision off the amount you sold it for. Just like, has a robust feedback system that helps maintain high ethical standards.)

There is a loop, as I hope you all have seen, in my presentation. My interest in videogames lead to my interest in educational computer games, my interest in educational computer games lead to my interest in learning more about the English language, my interest in learning about the English language has lead me to appreciate websites dedicated to professionally written videogame commentaries on the internet, and my appreciation for videogame sites were a result of my interest for videogames. Videogames have also encouraged me to start my very own business, because let’s face it, as Illich would say, I’m a registered student who is submitting to certified teachers in order to obtain a certificate of my own, and that certificate doesn’t come free. However, at least I can say that in one class, I didn’t have to walk on a bridge that leads to nowhere, if my creation on is any indication.

Original post by sonic911

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Web’s Success

April 16th, 2008 by etimberlake · Comments Off on Web’s Success

I was thinking about what Dr. C said at the end of Tuesday’s class: “The Web succeeded because it gave you more than you needed– it gave you context” and I realized how really true that is. One of the reasons why we are so hooked on the internet is because it is so helpful, when we’re researching about something it provides us with links to topics we may never have thought would be relevant. The internet essentially goes above and beyond– when we search for something on Google, even if nothing exactly matches our search, results will pop up that contain some of the words or contain related words or could possibly be related in another way…I think that’s pretty remarkable. I know that I’ve been doing research a lot of times and stumbled upon some side topic that I would never have thought to relate to the topic at hand but nevertheless was extremely helpful.

Links are another example of the context the internet provides, like when you’re reading an article on Wikipedia and some of the words are highlighted to indicate their linkage, it gives us the opportunity to contextualize the information and learn more about what we’re reading…again, the internet going above and beyond the necessary information to provide us with more than what we actually need. In a way, the internet is spoiling us. I mean, I don’t know how healthy it is to get used to this excess of information and always getting more than we need.

Original post by etimberlake

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April 14th, 2008 by · Comments Off on STAMMERINA

ok so a while back dr. c asked me to blog about stamina, well now is the time that shall happen.  so we all know that we only have so much time.  most of that time is spent sleeping or hustlin’.  usually we don’t spend those wee hours of the morn innovating.  after reading some excerpts from gig gigerenzer’s book on simple heuristics ive found that harnessing the human brain aint no easy thing to do.  the easiest way that i can relate is personally especially because this topic of stamina really helped form who i am.  story start:

so i was a junior in high school and a veritable nobody.  a waste of potential which is worse than anything.  i didnt try hard and barely involved myself in the things i did try.  i was so frightened that if i added anything more on my plate id crumble, lord knows i wasn’t doing so superbly but i knew my effort level was staggeringly low.  i dont know what did it but something started to happen around the second semester of junior year.  books finally started to make me sweat.  they made me feel good.  i discovered jazz.  holy shit did that do a number on me.  for some reason those things lit a fire under my worthless ass.  that fire screamed in my ear on a daily basis DO MORE DO MORE.  so i started to listen.  i started doing extremely well in school.  i convinced teachers to give me independent studies. i read like a crazy person. i played more music. i pushed myself to the edge and the edge kept moving back.  then i got to mary wash and woo wee i pushed that mother to the limit.  presidenting as many clubs as possible, dean listing it, overloading credits, studying abroad, and still hustlin’ like the best of em’.  i think i hit a threshold with while overloading on credits and taking three lit courses and trying to read every word of every page assigned (i aint one of those punk ass english majors, i try to read every word) but i mean it got to the point where after reading for 9 hours a day my emotions started to leave me.  i became a zombie and about a year later after the subconscious processing took place i had some nice tokens of knowledge in my system.    but so what i found is that stamina is allowing yourself the possibility of doing as much as you can.  we can all do an amazing amount more then we could ever imagine.  we cant do it in a whole night and when we leave a paper till the day before its due we feel the failure that comes from trying to do everything in one night.  but we cant run miles after sittin on our butts for an extended amount of time.  its funny how long distance running was the only sport i was really good at, i never had true speed but i had endurance and in the end thats what matters.  it matters to be the better editor then the better first draft writer. THE FINAL PRODUCT IS ALL WE HAVE IN THE END AND WE ONLY HAVE THAT BECAUSE OF THE BADASS JOURNEY THAT TOOK US THERE.  that process is important.  the famous graffiti artist Banksy said that “we don’t go to a restaurant to take a shit.”  and i think that works.  but with these things being said.  start training.  start working those brain muscles.  the right and the left side.  the smart and the dumb side.  pile up the amount of experiences until you feel as if your brain will explode.  because your brain is not a closet it is a soup, it absorbs!

my sister was writing a play for a class in her senior year of high school.  one of her main characters (who was basically herself) was extremely frightened that when they went to college they would have to substitute the high school memories for the new college memories because there wasn’t enough room in her brain.  i thought that was some great imagery (especially from someone who never thought of expression as being “cool”).  but it was more than that.  it was the common fear that i have been talking about this whole time.  the fear that we are already doing the best that we can and the fear that our best isnt even that good so how could we try to be better.  i mean there are many a pop song about how we are simple creatures who break under the most commonplace situations.  simple simple simple simple.  if anything we just need to get more dichotomies in our system.  i think that could be a simple way to exercise the brain.   spend time working your brain and spend time working your body and spend time working your soul and spend time working different parts of your brain and different parts of your body and different parts of your soul.  its difficult to plan this out. i mean i try, with the tennis and the yoga and the books and the movies and the music and the art and the computers and the computers and the computers but its still overwhelming especially when this doesnt incorporate anything like food or shelter or kids or SLEEP.  but all i can recommend for real. (basically what i said at the beginning) (but like i said if i stopped at the beginning there would be no journey just a piece of shit) is that you need to push yourself.  and when you think you are at the end of your rope, push yourself harder, and when you see the wall again, go harder.  you can sleep when your dead, but the trick is you wont die when you think you will.

Original post by adamreadwrite

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April 14th, 2008 by · Comments Off on facebookkkkk

so this is kind of random, but I thought it was funny…it basically makes fun of the eharmony and commericals.

Original post by sfinn2id

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a vision of students…

April 14th, 2008 by · Comments Off on a vision of students…

so i meant to post this after our class, but got distracted. I had mixed feelings about the video we watchthat students made. Part of my was like wow that was intense/impactful and part of my was like o so what thats their fault. I’m still torn. I thought overall the video was effective in geting across a somber and intense mood, especially with the music and the way it was shot. But going back to my negative feelings about it. I was angry (as someone mentioned in class) about the fact that it seems with issues like not reading to assignments or completing the work it was the students fault so I wasn’t going to feel sorry for them. Trying to connect it to what we have been discussing class and what not, it made me think of the role technology has with those issues. Maybe the addictiveness to technoogy or social networks like facebook and the WWW are to blame. Im not saying that students shouldnt be held responsible and realize time management skills, but its interesting to think about….a little devils advocate.

Original post by sfinn2id

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Quick Note about the WWW

April 14th, 2008 by · Comments Off on Quick Note about the WWW

The first thing I thought after reading this essay was, “Wow, I should just give this to my grandparents and the mystery will be over for them!”

Seriously, they both have this vague impression of these acts one does on the internet, and they want to do them too, but we keep having to explain to them what a cursor is, or why they aren’t successfully sending emails…“Um, are you sure the line is blinking after you’ve clicked in that spot?” (She had moved her cursor to the body of the email without clicking, and continued to type an email in the subject line. I think she eventually ran out of space.) My family has honestly spent hours helping them reach this goal of “getting on the internet”. I think they recognize that it must be important, but are clueless as to why this is or how they can take part in it.

This reading reminds me of the earlier texts, in the sense that it shows how the web truly was this novel thing. Having grown up in an era when the internet was, for the most part, integrated into daily life, it’s nice to be reminded of that difference on occasion. If it weren’t for the technical jargon used in the essay, I would photocopy this and send them on their way.

Original post by grace

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That Big Ole Web

April 14th, 2008 by · Comments Off on That Big Ole Web

This last article got me thinking back to my first experiences with the internet and my family’s first computer– I was ten or eleven when we got a computer in our house for the first time and it was this very mysterious new thing that my dad wouldn’t let me touch for the first several months. I was allowed to play with things like Oregon Trail and Paint but finally I was allowed to go on the Internet and make my own e-mail address. This was such a new and exciting thing for me- I had no idea how important the Internet would become in my life and how often I would be using it for so many different kinds of things.

It’s amazing to think that a few people’s conception of this thing called the World Wide Web could have such an impact on how the world functions, communicates, and learns. The so-called “pool of human knowledge” has grown by leaps and bounds since its early development. It has become so easy to gather and share information, and I don’t think anyone could have predicted that our pool of human knowledge could ever be so enormous and thorough…and it’s still growing! Who knows where the internet will take us in the future and what other developments will arise but I’m excited (and a little scared!) to see what people will come up with.

Original post by etimberlake

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April 14th, 2008 by · Comments Off on W3

It’s kind of funny how naïve people from my generation, including myself, can be about the internet. When people from older generations tell us how they had to walk fifteen miles through rough terrain without shoes just so that they could reach a library, we laugh at the ridiculousness of their tell-tale stories. And yet, as over-exaggerated as the stories are, we can’t help but feel a sense of wonder after the striking realization that the internet hasn’t been around forever, in fact, it hasn’t been around for that long at all. Perhaps that is the genius of the W3, that because of its complexity, and its seemingly infinite nature, we ascribe an everlasting quality to it. This is why it was so surprising to read the authors of this week’s reading telling the reader, “if you haven’t experienced the Web, the best way to find out about it is to try it” (792). If the article was written today, he may as well have been talking to three of four individuals on this planet, but back in 1994, I presume access to the internet was sparse. That should come as no surprise, but it does, because I can’t imagine a world without the Internet. But can you blame me?

The W3 has evolved extremely rapidly from a “pool of human knowledge,” where only a few people had access to its confined and finite body, to a “vast sea of human knowledge,” a body of information that extends to every human being who happens to have access to the shore. It is a body of information that has infinite possibilities, or a “boundless information world in which all items have a reference by which they can be retrieved” (793). All of this information is easily obtained, and the W3 is no doubt the simplest access to information available. No more going through card-catalogs or searching for reference numbers in order to find a certain article from the library (these methods seem all too ancient nowadays).

Prepare yourself. I’m about to go off-topic, but I have a point to make…I think.

Now, I had a lot of trouble reading the article because I am not technically savvy yet, and all this about W3 client-servers, HTML, HTTP, etc. left me in disarray. I’ve been feeling lost at sea without a beacon to guide me in the right direction. But yesterday, the light had shined upon my face as I watched the Compassion Forum with Hillary Clinton on CNN. There was something she was saying about God’s grace, and although I didn’t understand any of the mumbo-jumbo spewing out of her mouth, I still had a revelation. When I heard “God’s Grace,” the only thing running through my mind was Google. The first reason was because it was perfect alliteration (you know, Google, God, grace), and the second reason is because I realized that it didn’t matter if I didn’t understand the article, because I didn’t understand Hillary Clinton either! And thus, I went to and searched for God’s grace, and low and behold, I got this:

I was on a roll. I then searched for client servers and I got this:

And then I searched for HTTP, and I got this:

And so you see, ladies and gentleman, if you don’t come to grips with complex ideas, then you are not alone, because someone is thinking about you on the internet. It may not be God, it may not be Hillary Clinton, but someone out there has created a Wiki just for you so that you are not left in the darkness ever again. The Wiki has been thrown into a river of knowledge that is Google, and Google is thrown into a sea of knowledge that is the W3.

Original post by sonic911

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spring: fate of a country

April 14th, 2008 by · Comments Off on spring: fate of a country

maybe because its spring time and everything looks green and clean but i have been getting more and more aware about the environment and the world at large. (see my last blog about story of stuff) my boyfriend and i had lunch on sunday with our friend who is from costa rica. he nannied at the house i know nanny for and he decided to remain in this country for a while anyways.  He told us all about this concept called economic hitman. they are covert, secret individuals hired by our government  to take advantage of third world countries in order to make our country richer. it was insane! he said that costa rica is one of the most stable and well off countries south of the US. until recently, it had refused free trade with the US. all the countries that agreed are now collapsed (nicaragua etc) the us said that if they didnt agree to free trade, fine, but they would no longer be able to trade with the us, their main market.  so they agreed and now the govt can no longer provide services for its ppl. for instance, water is free, electricity runs about one house to be 4 bucks a month, cells phones 6 bucks a month, etc. with the new deal, the govt now has to give ALL companies who provide these cheap services money. which is fine but that now includes american buisnesses, such as walmart. (again “story of stuff”) it was that or NO money to everything. so now verizon is going to move in there, walmart, everyone and destroy costa ricas infrastructure. the country also has bountiful natural resources which the US will take and leave costa rica with practically nothing it all sounds crazy but it is absolutely true. do research.  i delicioused the url to the book: confessions of an economic hitman. im bummed im getting so interested in all of this now that i am so close to graduation. i wish i had taken more poli sci and international relations courses. in addition to some sociology classes on race in which i learned how the US has destroyed numerous third world countries under a guise of help, this conversation opened my eyes more big time.  i just wanted to share so that maybe it could have the same effect on more people.

Original post by Anika

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last reading

April 14th, 2008 by · Comments Off on last reading

Though The World-Wide Web was one of our shortest readings, I truly felt like I gained a better understanding about the basics of the web. Also, the format in which the article was presented allowed for concise summaries of the headers, which was a great way for someone like me who is not very computer savvy to understand the complicated computer/web. I was particularly interested in the first line: “The World-Wide Web (W3) was developed to be a pool of human knowledge, which would allow collaborators in remote sites to share their ideas and all aspects of a common project” (792). This original idea still holds true for the internet today, even though the use of the internet has expanded out to everyone and is used on a broader spectrum. To think how much research, both for personal interests as well as for professional reasons, is done by internet is incredible, and that truly was the original thinking behind creating a World-Wide Web. I enjoyed reading about the definitions of the all the Acronyms and what they mean, like URI’s etc, but I’m not sure I will ever feel like I need to use that knowledge; but who knows!

Original post by econway8

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Further Musings on My Final Project

April 13th, 2008 by gardnercampbell · Comments Off on Further Musings on My Final Project

Let’s see if I can post this before my internet goes out again . . .

Most of this is the stuff that I’m still untangling in my head, but–

I was thinking about webcomics in relation to the creation/escapism into alternate identities that we were talking about with the Turkel essay on video games, and putting aside the traditional argument of comics as escapist literature, I was wondering if webcomics might be even more so, while in a way being less so.  Since the writer/artist has more total control than they would in other publishing outlets, they can be said to be playing god to their comic in some sense, and some definitely use it to make their own identities “worth reading about,” so to speak, such as Karen Ellis in her webcomic, “Planet Karen.”  And a certain amount of that sorta happens in “Toothpaste for Dinner” on a fairly regular basis.  So is illustrating a version of yourself for internet publication the same as escaping into an identity, even if that identity is you? At least, the version of you that you choose to print.  And then what can you say about webcomics that feature a single long-running protagonist? Can you suspect the writer(s) of escaping into that identity? But if you can, what kind of guys would want to escape into the identity of Dr. McNinja?

And . . . Um, maybe that’s all for now, because the internet is being wonky again.

Original post by Alyssa Johnson

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Permission for Photography

April 10th, 2008 by eliz1 · Comments Off on Permission for Photography

For my final project on digital storytelling, I am hoping to take a few pictures during our New Media Studies class today. Dr. Campbell has given his permission, but said that we’ll need to see how the rest of the class feels.  If the class agrees, I will have permission forms to pass around. Here is a copy of the form for advance consideration.

Permission for Photography


For valuable consideration received, I grant to Elizabeth Downey, a student at the University of Mary Washington (UMW), Class of 2008, and his/her legal representatives and assigns, the irrevocable and unrestricted right to use and publish photographs of me, or in which I may be included, taken at UMW on April 10, 2008, individually or in connection with other material, in any and all media now or hereafter known, including the internet, and for any purpose whatsoever, specifically including illustration, promotion, art, editorial, advertising, and trade, without restriction as to alteration.

o       I understand that my name will not be published.

o       I am a legally competent adult and have the right to contract in my own name. I have read this document and fully understand its contents.

o       I hereby release Elizabeth Downey and his/her legal representatives and assigns from all claims and liability relating to said photographs.



Signature                                                                   Date


Print Name

Original post by eliz1

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For: Gwen, re: Jimmy

April 10th, 2008 by eliz1 · Comments Off on For: Gwen, re: Jimmy

So I wanted to respond back to Gwen about Jimmy, but the comment thing flipped out on me, so here goes:

So about Jimmy…
Because his disabled body rules his life so much, he should even more so face that unfair reality (the fact he is disabled), and by doing so learn to integrate better into society, and maybe by doing that, slowly learn to accept his body’s limitations, but also its abilities. Right now he is cloistering himself away and distancing himself further from others, which I can see being easy for him to do as a teen who is  even more insecure than most others because of his disabilities, but my point is that that’s not healthy- instead of testing to see what he is capable of actually doing, he is indulging in a false ‘perfection’ that juxtaposes harshly with what is actually true. I do feel for little Jimmy, and I hate predicting how that kid’s going to be five years from now (then?)-I assume even more socially distant, locked into this fantasy world, limited to this.

P.S.- Marty is most definitely a geek, and he stresses me out just reading about him!
P.P.S- Maybe I am just a heartless bitch. A possibility, perhaps. But really I think people should be pushed.

Original post by grace

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The Internet

April 10th, 2008 by gettodachoppa · Comments Off on The Internet

There wasn’t too much in today’s reading that seemed particularly new to me, but it was definitely interesting to hear someone talk about the benefits of the internet before many of its most popular features were implemented.  Still, the most interesting part of the article was the discussion about http and how it allows for reaching information worldwide.  It made me realize that I have always taken the “worldwide” part of the www for granted.  It is interesting that the people that set all this up were able to recognize from the beginning that it could be used for worldwide communication, instead of just something works only within different state networks.   Although most of the sites I regularly visit are American, or at least created by and for English speakers, but it would be interesting to see how different the internet would be if each nation had their own individual version of it.

Original post by gettodachoppa

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Video games and the World Wide Web

April 10th, 2008 by · Comments Off on Video games and the World Wide Web

Reading these articles got me thinking about the capability of virtual reality. I think virtual reality is the next big leap in video games and it can use the web for interaction with other people, like MMORPGs. There is a book by Piers Anthony that is all about the dangers of a virtual reality game called “Killobyte”. It’s kind of cheesy and at times sex-obsessed, but it was my first introduction to the idea of a virtual reality game. The three main characters are players in this game. One is a diabetic young woman, one is a parapalegic ex-cop, one is a psychotic teenage boy. The teenager is a hacker who got mentally scarred by a virtual sex program and makes a game out of trapping and messing with players in the game. The debate about violence in video games reminded me of this and it’s interesting to look at how players react to shooting and killing other people’s characters, especially in a virtual reality setting, where you are making the motions with your body and will actually feel the recoil and see the person bleed to death before you.

Original post by elemons

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The W3!

April 10th, 2008 by · Comments Off on The W3!

Awww…this was our last reading. This was the last article in the book. That is so bittersweet.
I got way, wayyy more out of this class than I ever imagined I would. “From Memex to Youtube”? No lie! I thought we’d merely talk about how Youtube reflects the degradation vs. value of pop culture. But this has been amazing!

On to the topic at hand. Today’s article. By a small army: Tim Berners-Lee, Robert Cailliau, Ari Luotonen, Henrik Frystyk Nielson, and Arthur Secret….I wish my name were “Arthur Secret.” (If I’m ever in need of a nom de plume…I’ll keep it in mind.)

Oh but seriously back to the article, “The World Wide Web.” It trips me out to see the authors try to explain the WWW to a reader they assume is unfamiliar with it:
“When is starts, it displays an object, normally a document with text and possibly images. Some of the phrases are highlightd: in blue, boxed, or perhaps numbered.”
Describing it at such a rudimentary level gave me pause. I mean I guess that’s how I would describe the internet. It makes the familiar strange, (to bite off a term from anthropology). Although the internet is a really new phenomenon, I really can’t imagine going through college without google, email, etc. Oy- email! Invaluable, that. But it is fascinating how such a…weird thing…became SO fundamental in our lives, and so quickly.

Original post by Gwen

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A Vision of Today

April 9th, 2008 by · Comments Off on A Vision of Today

In the last class we watched the film, “A Vision of Students Today”.  Unlike a lot of the students in class, I liked the film.  I felt that their method of showing the numbers and facts about students was very powerful.  It literally put a face to every since piece of information gathered about college students today.  While some of the things didn’t always make sense (like when the hours of the day added up to be 26.5 hours)…I felt like this made the video all the more powerful.

Since I am currently taking an introductory class in Anthropology, I really liked looking at the video from an Anthropological prospective.  What I mean by this, is that when I was watching the film I felt like I was an outsider observing a new culture.  While I am a college student, I suddenly brushed that fact a side and became an Anthropologist noting facts about this class.  While some of the pieces of information was person specific, I felt that in a way all college students can relate to the overall message being transmitted.  college doesn’t always make sense.

It might leave you in debt, stressed out, misusing technology and not knowing what you are going to do next…but at the same time, ironically, we are sitting in class, putting our money to use, ignoring our computers in front of us and watching a film about people like us.  Being a college student certainly helped the message impact me, but the film also allowed me to observe students from a different perspective.  A perspective of facts that you don’t know what to do it, but that is still different from what you used to know.

Original post by mere

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