All posts by cncornejo

How “Medium Theory” explains the Evolution of Society – By Carla Cornejo

A big part of society’s evolution has come through the different forms of media and technology that have been created. Many, if not all, of these technologies have been designed for the benefit of society, to simplify the lives of many individuals, and to connect the world even more. Joshua Meyrowitz explains his focus on how different forms of technology and their characteristics have impacted society in “Medium Theory”.

evolution of communications

Meyrowitz explains that “Medium theory focuses on the particular characteristics of each individual medium or of each particular type of media.” A simple question that is asked to analyze the medium theory is “What are the relatively fixed features of each means of communicating and how do these features make the medium physically, psychologically, and socially different from other media and from face-to-face interaction?” (Meyrowitz). One level (the micro level) examines individual mediums and compared them to other while the other level (the macro level) examines how all media affects the society as a whole.

In “Medium Theory”, Meyrowitz believes the first medium was oral tradition. This mainly focused on memory and was mostly seen as “rhythmic poetry and easily remembered mythic narrative” (Meyrowitz). A concern that is discussed in the essay is the fact that oral traditions tend to only relate to those who physically have lived them. Oral tradition also has a tendency to focus on the symbolic nature of an account. “the first oral tradition is not an attempt to remember exactly what happened, but is rather a return into the symbols of the tradition that could explain an event” and because of this, “the move into a formulated tradition that looks as if it was a description of the actual historical events is actually the end result of such a development.”

The world was also greatly impacted when individuals began writing instead of passing down works orally, which eventually led to the printing culture. Writing enabled people to record longer ideas because they did not have to only rely on their memory. A problem with this, however, was that it required people to be educated in reading and writing, which is not always accessible to many. In the beginning, the only literate people were from upper classes, so “that means that while the historical period is exponentially better understood than the experiences of humans before writing was invented, written accounts are largely about the experiences of the upper classes.” This caused a rift and promoted the importance of education throughout history.

Now, it is evident that we are in an electronic world, where things like the internet and social media prevail. According to Meyrowitz, this brings us back to an oral society and “sensory experience again becomes a prime form of communicating.” Works created on electronic media can be accessed from all different places and all different kinds of people. Social networking sites are a great example of this evolution of media. “Social networking sites”, explains Janey Lee, “explores social media as a primary avenue for gathering news and political information and for formulating perceptions.” This means that what was supposed to be used to connect people on a personal level, now connects us to the greater world and makes us aware of what is happening around us. The evolution of these different mediums and the creation of other mediums in the future will have an even greater impact on how people form opinions and interact.

word count: 567

Resources:

“Medium Theory” by Joshua Meyrowitz

(links included in text)

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/religion/story/oral.html

http://www.livescience.com/2283-writing-changed-world.html

http://phys.org/news/2014-09-impact-social-media.html

Evolution of Communications Picture: https://dreamagainststream.wordpress.com/2014/10/25/evolution-of-communication/

Jimmy Wales and his Views on the Free Culture Movement – By Carla Cornejo

According to biography.com, Jimmy Wales was born in Huntsville, Alabama to a humble family on August 7th, 1966. As a child, he was known for his intellect and interest in reading encyclopedias. He studied finance in college but dropped out for entrepreneurship. In the internet’s earliest days, Wales had many visions to further develop it and make something greater of it. His main vision was to create an online encyclopedia, something that was driven by both of his biggest passions. In March of 2000, he created “Nupedia” which was an “open-content, peer moderated reference site”. The next year with the help of his co-founder, he adopted the “wiki” model and “wikipedia” came into existence. Evidently, “Wikipedia” became more popular than “Nupedia” and is still very prominent on the internet now. Along with the creation of Wikipedia, Wales is also known for his views on free content and his objective views on  “individualism, capitalism, and reason”.

In the book “Jimmy Wales: Vision: Wikipedia and the Future of Free Culture”, Wales explains the concepts behind his design of Wikipedia and how it impacts the “free culture”. He describes his social innovation and his views on providing things, like an online encyclopedia, to be accessible for anyone to edit. His vision for Wikipedia was “to create and distribute a free encyclopedia of the highest possible quality to every single person on the planet in their own language”. One of the most important topics in the book is the copyright debate. Like many people know, Wikipedia is popular for enabling users to access and edit any content in the encyclopedia.

The free culture movement is defined as “sharing, reuse and cooperative production” and “has always existed in computer networks, long before there was a proper name for it”. A specific quote from Wales’ novel that struck to me regarding the free culture movement was, “If you prevent people from doing bad things, you prevent them from doing good things, and it eliminates opportunities for trust.” He believes taking the risk of putting specific content in the hands of the public is worth it because it creates opportunity for better ideas to be shared. Every edit is an improvement for Jimmy, and being able to share and distribute any content is beneficial for everyone.

This book report was based on the novel “Jimmy Wales Vision: Wikipedia and the Future of Free Culture” and the following sources:

http://www.biography.com/people/jimmy-wales-39135#personal-life

http://longnow.org/seminars/02006/apr/14/vision-wikipedia-and-the-future-of-free-culture/

http://felix.openflows.com/pdf/FreeCulture_Kosmos_full.pdf

How Spotify has Evolved by Michelle Pooran and Carla Cornejo

Spotify is a commercial music streaming app that allows you to listen to unlimited free music. It is evident why many people around the world have become attracted to this app. This app was founded in 2006, and started in 2008. The music is provided by record labels including Sony, EMI, Warner Music Group and Universal. One can use Spotify on any device such as phone, computer, iPad… etc. One can use this app without paying. But this however, includes listening to advertisements every six songs. One can also use this app by purchasing premium which costs around $4.99, which removes the ads. Something that made this app even better was that there was a student discount available. This definitely attracted the youth to purchase Spotify premium. Another reason for why Spotify is becoming more popular is because it streams a lot faster than apps like Pandora or iHeart Radio. The fact that it is free and you can listen to whatever music you’d like attracts users. Over time it has replaced music sites such as iTunes, Google play and Pandora. With Spotify, you can skip as many times as you want, an advertisement will pop up every now and then and you can create your own playlists and “follow” your friend’s playlists.

We asked a few students around campus to see what their opinions on this technology was. We asked them if they used spotify and how often. We also asked them how they think it has evolved and what it has replaced. Our friend Bria said she uses spotify all the time and she believes it has replaced Pandora because she has unlimited access to whatever music she wants and can skip how many times she wants. She has spotify premium, and she pays for it because she thinks it is worth paying at the student discount for an ad-free listening experience. Our friends Britney and Eli do not have spotify premium because they were okay with the advertisements, and still enjoy listening to their music even with the limitations. Another first-year here at Loyola, Eva, subscribed to spotify premium because she was tired of paying $1.30 and believed that was a waste of her money. She would rather pay a monthly subscription at the student discount for an unlimited variety of music.

Over the years, Spotify has gone through an extensive “evolution”. The company’s biggest obstacle since it’s beginning has been the many viruses that have been taking over the system. Through donations, the industry itself has innovated by developing stronger software to combat these viruses. They have also improved their marketing by adding the facebook connectivity, which has greatly increased their number of users. By connecting to facebook, users can connect to their friends and discover even more music. The “premium” account also innovated the user accessibility by giving people the option of better listening quality.

Experiencing Puerto Rico by Carla Cornejo

I decided to do my project on my trip to Puerto Rico last summer because I learned the most on that trip. There is a lot I could talk about in this project and I took many pictures that I thought I could use. The hardest part of this project was finding the ideal pictures to include in the video. If I put all the pictures I took during the trip, the video would have been a lot longer, so deciding on what pictures to put was difficult. I think the best part of my video was the research I did on the history of the country and things like the Bacardi factory. Making this video made me very nostalgic for the trip and I enjoyed producing it.

How Cara Delevingne and Chris Evans relate to their fans by Michelle Pooran and Carla Cornejo

Cara Delevingne is a british model and actress whose most famous on social media for her beauty and wacky personality. Her most prominent social media outlets are twitter, instagram, and facebook.  She is known to stand up for many issues she believes in and makes sure everyone knows them. Another good way of getting attention is the when she posts pictures with other well-known celebrities her fans might admire. She also uses her social media pages to promote other individuals’ projects or work.

Chris Evans is an actor who also uses twitter and facebook often. He seems to gain the most popularity by the way he shows his appreciation to his fans and other people’s works. His posts seem to be less about his career, but more about everyday events. Like Cara, he tries to communicate with people by being relatable and discussing ideas everyone can understand. They both also connect to their fans through their humorous personalities.

We asked four students at Loyola University what their opinions were on these public figures and tried to relate them to our research. We asked them to choose one of the two celebrities and explain why they believe the public figure resonates with them the most. Student #1 explained that Cara Delevingne “is attractive, appeals to young women, and starts trends.” A similar response was given by Student #2 who believed “Cara is a figure of beauty to teenagers and many people, like myself, like to follow her projects and interviews.” Our research on her humorous personality seemed to be reflected in Student #4’s response when she explained that “Cara is funny and following her instagram brightens my mood. She is not afraid to say what she wants and has strong opinions on important subjects.” It seems the students that picked Cara believed she connects with more people because of her beauty, personality, and opinions. They also mentioned an appreciation for the attention she gives to her fans and how relatable she is. Another interesting point is that all the students that picked Cara were female. The only male interviewed, Student #3, was a fan of Chris Evans because “his name sticks out more to male teenagers like myself and someone like Cara would seem to appeal to women more.”

The information that we collected helped further our analysis on how students view certain celebrities such as Chris Evans and Cara Delevingne. It is evident that students connect with these public figures due to their ability to manage social media. Stars use apps such as Instagram and Facebook to communicate with their fans in different ways. Ultimately, we can see from the responses we acquired, that students/fans do connect with their role models.

Blade Runner Analysis – by Michelle Pooran and Carla Cornejo

Blade Runner (1982) is a critically-acclaimed film that posed a big question for viewers to think: what does it really mean to be human? In the film, Replicants are created that look and act just like humans. The movie takes place in Los Angeles in 2019, where earth has seemed to develop into a dystopian society. Los Angeles itself looks rainy and dull, and although it is very technologically developed, slums and poverty are evident. Deckard, a blade runner, is supposed to seek the replicants, which are banned from earth, and eliminate them. The movie is popular among sci-fi fans and is still considered a classic today.

 

Blade Runner has been so influential to our society and has contributed enormously to all the technological advancements we have made until this day. This film was initially not successful and received criticism about what exactly the moral of the film was. As people began to analyze what the movie was actually attempting to display, they realized that it was essentially depicting the relationship between humans and technology. The idea of Artificial Intelligence was not popular during the 80’s. Blade Runner, however redefined the possible. It allowed human beings to make the thought/ idea of AI become even more developed.

 

Some of the most interesting aspects this film are the ways that the it pushes the limits of the definition of being human. The relationships between the characters in Blade Runner, changed throughout the film. The movie comments on humanity and ethics by having the characters navigate the relationships between humans and non-humans.Deckards relationship with Rachael is an example of the concept of love and humanity shown in the movie, when Deckard is supposed kill her, however he ends up falling in love with her. ​

 

So what makes us human? Some Replicants, like Rachael, show human emotions while the humans themselves are showing no sympathy towards those who only want to live a human life. The question about artificial intelligence and what makes us human is more relevant today because of how we have advanced technologically and how much more realistic the possibility of major technological advancements are.

The Controversy with Net Neutrality

by Precious Uwaya, Michelle Pooran, and Carla Cornejo

Net Neutrality, also called internet neutrality or network neutrality, is the concept that internet services should provide nondiscriminatory access to internet content. Meaning companies providing internet services should not manipulate the source data regardless of its source or destination. Net neutrality is very controversial because the lack of free access to contents could change the accessibility of the internet. In 2014, the verdict to the court case “Verizon vs FCC” ruled that the internet service provider Verizon change FCC (Federal Communications Commission)  regulations regarding Net Neutrality, giving Verizon leeway to disregard Net neutrality laws.  Internet Service Providers are  classified as “information services” meaning they are not required to provide equal services to everyone.

President Obama said he was “urging” Tom Wheeler, the president of the FCC, to set certain rules to “reclassify” ISPs as common carriers. He does not actually have the official authority to change what he wants from in the FCC, so he cannot directly control net neutrality. That is why many people are not relying on him and are taking matters into their own hands. Organizations are pushing people to contact the FCC on websites like dearFCC.org to express their opposition to a ban on net neutrality.

The supporters of net neutrality believe there should not be any prioritization within the internet. They want all websites to be treated the same because if a big company like Netflix, for example, pays to be prioritized, smaller competing companies will not have a chance to develop because they will not be able to pay Internet Providers.

Opponents of net neutrality mostly have a difficulty with the involvement of the government. According to gawker.com, “opponents argue that if broadband ISPs cannot collect fees from companies who take up an outsized portion of their bandwidth, they lose the incentive to invest in maintaining and upgrading their current infrastructure, which could hurt consumers”.

Consumers often benefit from gaining access to a wide range of service options over their broadband connection. However, for this access one must pay a monthly fee and any additional charges. People don’t usually see the composition of the charges they pay. ISP’s are ultimately attempting to offer many services within a package in order for it to be at a regular price. While ISP’s are being denied revenue, they are also being forced to pay more for fewer service.

If net neutrality is in fact interpreted to have operators invest in network infrastructure, the economy would ultimately be the group largely impacted. As this has been assessed, it has been concluded that the impact would most likely involve a decrease in jobs that are supported by Internet infrastructure.