349 Matching Annotations
  1. Nov 2017
    1. o read and write in page-bound, official, standard forms of the national lan-guage. Literacy. pedagogy, in other words, has been a carefully restricted project -restricted to formalized, monolingual, monocultural, and rule-governed forms of language.

      People are taught primarily, and in some cases only, the language and culture of the nation or country they reside in, as this is where they are expected and hoped to spend most of their time and productivity. Thus, they are generally unprepared to communicate or socialize with people from other societies and cultures, hindering socialization and the spreading of ideas between groups.

  2. Oct 2017
    1. One cool thing about multimodality is that it can attend to multiple senses, which is sometimes necessary ii a reader has a preference or need for one mode of communication over another

      This is another compelling reason to add multiple modes to your work. Although quality in a work is important, quantity is important as well. The larger the audience that you work can reach, the more likely it is to accomplish its goal. If certain people can't access your work, whether it is because it lacks visual modes and the person is deaf or auditory modes and the person is blind, then you are automatically eliminating the chance that your work will have the desired effect upon them.

    2. Different media use different combinations of modes and arc good at doing different things.

      For example, a protest, such as the 2017 Women's march, can use both visual modes, such as the sheer number of the protesters, auditory modes such as chants, and written modes such as signs; each mode's strength contributes to the "work." The visual modes can show an onlooker the size of the protest as well as the solidarity of a group, the auditory mode grabs attention as well as conveying short, memorable parts of the protest's message, and the written mode can both grab attention as well as convey a message.

    3. ou may not use all of them for a single project, becau~e each mode has its own strengths and weaknesses in specific situa-tions-just clS a wrench is more useful in fixing a faucet than a ham-mer is.

      I feel that this is a very important point to make. Although multimodality is an important aspect of a solid, credible work, like most higher-level writing mechanisms it is important to remember that it is not black and white. An overabundance of modes that add little to no substance can actually make a work more difficult to read and even less credible.

    4. what about the increas-ingly tense background music in a lV drama, or the sounds that let us know when a computer is starling up? Whether big or small, each of these aural components conveys meaning.

      In psychology, classical conditioning is a type of associative learning that links automatic behaviors with previously neutral, or unrelated, stimuli. Ivan Pavlov’s experiments on dog digestion first introduced the concept of learned associations to the psychology community by demonstrating the transformation of a neutral stimulus into a stimulus that can prompt unconscious behavior. In his experiments, Ivan Pavlov recognized that the natural, unlearned response of dogs to the presence of food was salivation. Salivation was not a learned behavior, but an automatic response to a natural stimulus (food) in the dog’s environment. In this case, food is an unconditioned stimulus because it always induces salivation, which, itself, is an unconditioned response. These two variables encompass a natural stimulus-response relationship, which Pavlov sought to infiltrate with a third variable.

      Ivan Pavlov:

      Ivan Pavlov wondered if introducing a neutral stimulus before the unconditioned stimulus would cause a dog to associate both stimuli with salivation. In other words, would the dog execute the unconditioned response of salivation even before the unconditioned stimulus is presented? If this neutral stimulus, able to be perceived by the dog but not naturally associated with his experiment’s unconditioned stimulus (food), regularly preceded the arrival of the unconditioned stimulus, would the dog eventually begin salivating before the unconditioned stimulus (food) even arrived? The answer is yes. Pavlov and his fellow researches sounded a bell before presenting a dog with food for several trials. Once the food was given to the dog, the dog would salivate.

      Principally, the sound of the bell was a neutral stimulus. It did not naturally cause the dog to salivate. However, through its continuous pairing with the unconditioned stimulus, food, the sound of the bell became conditioned. Acquisition took place as the dogs learned the link between the sound of the bell (the neutral stimulus) and the arrival of food. Eventually, as classical conditioning completed, the dogs salivated at the sound of the bell alone because they began to anticipate the arrival of food.

      One episode of The Office demonstrates this concept of classical conditioning. Jim, a character on the show, conditions his coworker Dwight to reach for an altoid every time his computer shuts down. Because his computer emits an audible noise every time it shuts down, Jim is able to condition Dwight into associating meaning with the sound of his computer shutting down. As mentioned in the text, “small aural components convey meaning,” This clip of The Office demonstrates why and how, seemingly insignificant aural sounds like the sound of a computer turning off, can provoke unconscious or conscious meaning in our lives. In this case, every time Dwight hears the sound of a computer shutting down, he unconsciously reaches for an altoid.

      The following variables are necessary to understand the following clip of The Office:

      Unconditioned Stimulus: offering an altoid

      Unconditioned Response: reaching to grab the altoid

      Conditioned Stimulus: sound of the computer shutting down

      Conditioned Response: reaching to grab the altoid

      Jim Classically Conditions Dwight on The Office: https://vimeo.com/35754924

      Link to photo of Ivan Pavlov: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivan_Pavlov

    5. For instance, lolcats, a well-known Internet meme, are multimodal. They combine photographs of cats with words written In humor-ously incorrect grammar to create a text that uses both visuals and language-11111/tip/e modes-to be funny.

      (Image result for lolcatz)

      This is a photo of the example given, "lolcatz"

    6. The word multimoda/ is a mash-up of multiple and mode. A mode is a way of communicating, such as the words we're using to explain our Ideas in this paragraph or the images we use throughout this book to illustrate various concepts.

      True to the theme of the article, it uses many different modes in order to get its point across, photos and text as well as charts and graphs.

    7. Text traditionally means written words. But because we want to talk about the visuals, sounds, and movement that make up multi-media, we use the term text to refer to a piece of communication as a whole. A text can be anything from a lolcat to a concert tee shirt to a dictionary to a performance.

      This definition of "Text" is laid before the reader within the first few paragraphs of the article so that later when the author refers to "text" the context and personal definition is already known, seeing as it is most likely different than the reader's previous understanding of the word. In my opinion it is a rather misleading, non-intuitive use of the word. "Text" and its usual definition are well-known, so the author's use of it is counter-intuitive to his article, which attempts to explain multi-modality, a word that refers to the use of more than just the written word.

    8. To produce a successful text, writers must be able to consciously use different modes both alone and in combination with each other to communicate their ideas to others.

      The use of the "pussyhats" in the Women's March is good example of a "writer" using multiple modes in order to produce a successful text. In this case the successful text would be a protest that grabbed attention, was memorable, and was able to easily and clearly broadcast its message. The use of the bright-pink hats did just that. Their unique name, design, and color gave the protest a physical symbol that caught the eye and was hard to forget.

      source: (https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/pink-pussyhat-creator-addresses-criticism-over-name-n717886)

    9. All kinds of texts arc multi modal: ncw~-papcr-., science reports, advertisements, billboards, scrapbooks, music videos

      All of the texts mentioned have some sort of purpose, a goal that the creator set out to accomplish through creating them. The use of multiple modes in these texts is meant to strengthen their ability to accomplish said goal. For example photos, videos, and links to other articles that support a scientific finding would help to strengthen a science report's validity. This can also be seen in The Women's March; the goal in this case being to get across a message in the most public way possible. The march itself, the signs of the protesters, and the pussyhat all worked towards the accomplishment of that goal.

    10. Although each mode plays a role in the overall message, 1t is the combination of modes-the 11111llimodality-that creates the full piece of communication.

      This example highlights the reason that multi-modality enhances the ability of a text to perform its function. While a simple still photo of the product and written description of its use may be enough to endear it to some viewers, the addition of the other modes makes it more appealing.

    11. ndon Group

      The New London Group was a group of ten researchers, educators, and visionaries. Together in New London, New Hampshire, they assessed how new technologies were influencing society. Based on these assessments, the group devised the multiliteracies approach.

    12. A Performance Is a Multimodal Text

      The supplemental text I chose to analyze is entitled “The inside story of Terminus, the new dance company by five ex-Atlanta Ballet dancers.” Author Scott Freeman details the timeline of the idealization, creation, and implementation of Terminus Modern Ballet Theater through a journal-like storytelling of events. As a writer for ArtsATL, Freeman was assigned to observe and report on the novel dance company as its members navigated strategy sessions, funding requests, and secret ambitions. Four months of weekly, private meetings between Terminus’s five dancers engendered an eloquent disclosure of the modern company’s origins and aspirations.

      In September of 2015, the Atlanta Ballet declared that its artistic director, John McFall, would be leaving his position. So, Tara Lee, Christian Clark, Heath Gill, and Rachel Van Buskirk, four of Atlanta Ballet’s star dancers, were selected as members of a dance search committee; the committee would consider three finalists for artistic director, and recommend a candidate to the Atlanta Ballet’s Board of Trustees. As they contemplated the final three candidates, the aforementioned distinguished dancers imagined what an ideal dance company would look like. What would be that company’s values? How would the company’s art be shaped and presented? What would its leadership style comprise?

      John Welker, the founder of Wabi Sabi, a summer arts troupe that performs modern dance numbers outdoors, was one of the candidates considered for artistic director. At the time, Welker was an established star dancer of the Atlanta Ballet. To better prepare himself for the role of artistic director, Welker completed a degree in dance at Kennesaw State University and received a master’s degree in business. Star dancers Lee, Van Buskirk, Gill, and Clark all agreed that John Welker was the best fit for the Atlanta Ballet’s position of artistic director. Unfortunately, the Atlanta Ballet already appeared to prefer another candidate, Gennadi Nedvigin. During this time, Nedvigin was retiring as principal dancer at the San Francisco Ballet.

      As rumors of Nedvigin’s probable appointment began to spread, dancers Lee, Gill, Van Buskirk, and Clark jokingly considered starting their own company if Welker was not chosen as the Atlanta Ballet’s new artistic director. When Welker’s candidacy was rejected and Nedvigin became the ballet’s appointed artistic director, the four dancers, along with Welker, felt defeated. Under John McFall, the company’s repertoire presented a modern injection of dance that Lee, Gill, Van Buskirk, and Clark enjoyed immensely. However, Nedvigin was trained in classical traditional ballet at the Russian Bolshoi Ballet School; his classical roots seemed to wrap around the ballet’s modern repertoire and squeeze and diminish its presence. With Nedvigin’s appointment, the dancers felt that their “freedom [...] was being taken away” (Freeman). So, after giving Welker time to heal from his rejection and prompt retirement, Gill, Lee, Van Buskirk, and Clark approached Welker with their desire to form a new modern dance company in Atlanta.

      In September of 2016, the group, including Welker, met at Kennesaw State University, which they initially saw as hosting a potential performance space for the new company. Having been taught to empower themselves by John McFall, the Atlanta Ballet’s retired artistic director, all of these dancers felt that they had a responsibility to create something they believed in. After ensuring that the four star dancers then performing with the Atlanta Ballet wanted to create meaningful art for the city of Atlanta, Welker felt convinced of the project’s hopes and worth. To Welker, it was critical that the dancers not seek to spurn and remove themselves from the Atlanta Ballet’s legacy; their careers with the Atlanta Ballet were valuable and influential. The new company’s motivation must be devoted solely to the creation of a new vision, not a competition with their past.

      The five dancers kept their plans to retire from the Atlanta Ballet and form their own company secret until April of 2017, in which ArtsATL revealed that Lee, Gill, Van Buskirk, and Clark (along with nine other dancers) would be retiring from the company. In May, the retiring dancers shared details about their plans after retirement with fellow dancers in the company. Their start-up dance company, formally known as Terminus Modern Ballet Theater, presented by the Serenbe Institute in cooperation with the Westside Cultural Arts Center, would have two headquarters and five principal dancers. May saw the last performance of Lee, Gill, Van Buskirk, and Clark for the Atlanta Ballet. They performed Camino Real, which incorporates both stage acting and dance. Their time culminated in an emotional finale, yet their ending at the Atlanta Ballet marked a new beginning.

      Bibliography: Freeman, Scott. “The inside story of Terminus, the new dance company by five ex-Atlanta Ballet dancers.” ArtsATL, 18 May 2017, http://artsatl.com/story-terminus-dance-company-founded-ex-atlanta-ballet-dancers/. Accessed 1 October 2017.

    13. olor • layout • style • size • perspective

      An example of how these might be used in a text might be how fonts are used in accordance with standard guidelines for various assignments, such as MLA formatted articles written with size 12 font, Times new Roman, in order to be accepted, or how in websites users can bold or italicize words to give particular emphasis to words. By purpose or accident, chaotic usage of fonts, capitalization and emphasis gives a sloppy or careless feel to written works, while the insertation of emojis or images may help break the monotony of words and retain reader interest.

    14. Like the tools in a toolbox, though, modes can sometimes be used in ways that weren't intended but that get the job done just as well (like a screwdriver being used lo pry open a can of paint).

      An example of a mode being used in an unintentionally effective way would be the aural mode of Flannery O’Connor’s voice as she reads her short story “A Good Man Is Hard To Find.” Before reading the linguistic content of her story, my high school professor played an audio recording of O’Connor reading this story in a ballroom theater.

      O’Connor is a Southern author from Savannah, Georgia, so one of the first characteristics I noticed of her voice was its accent. Next, I noticed the bluntness with which she spoke. Her voice sounded rather dry and sarcastic at times, which perfectly illustrated, even softened the uncomfortable humor present in the story. I became so engrossed with the aural mode of O’Connor’s short story that once the linguistic mode caught up to me, I felt shocked by the grotesqueness of the events unfolding.

      The aural mode of O’Connor’s reading deceived me and lured me into a state of selective-attentiveness, however, this deception worked well to demonstrate the content of her story. “A Good Man Is Hard To Find” is, itself, an illusory and misleading narrative that culminates in a dreadful tragedy which appears quite suddenly and viciously. Until one rereads the story and recognizes the points of foreshadowing present all along, O’Connor’s voice served an unintentional purpose of misleading the (in this case) listener.


    15. ambient noise/sounds

      Ambient noise helps act as a form of aural mode as it can help provide context for perhaps how or why a person is presenting information and background for the setting. For example, a person with lots of ambient noise to distract from their speech may not have the resources or time to find a quieter place to present their arguement, and it may irritate them and cause them to alter or forget parts of their message in response to the stimuli. Sounds within ambient noise can also provide clues to the reception to the presentation, such as applause after a concert or boos after a speech, or the time and location of the presentation, as the sounds of an AC would indicate somewhere warm during summer, while the heater would be someplace cold or during the winter.

    16. tngu1stte, visual, aural, gestural, and spatial

      These are the 5 basic modes of communication. I would say that linguistic, visual, and aural are all pretty common, but I have never thought about spatial and gestural as being that common. I think it's pretty interesting that the New London Group decided to put those on the list.

    17. Each of these modes plays a role in lhc advertiser's argument for why you should buy its product.

      Modes can be used in a persuasive manner. The way that the announcer says things or the music can all affect us in different ways, even if we do not think that they will. When you choose what to use for each mode it is important to choose things that will affect people in a way that you want them too be affected. For example lets look at 2 different pieces of audio.

      Audio 1

      When you listen to this piece of audio, most people will generally feel afraid or scared since the audio gives off a spooky vibe. Someone might use this audio in a scary movie or an ad designed to frighten people.

      Audio 2

      When you listen to this audio, you become happier since the music has a bright and cheerful mood. This affects us in a different way than Audio 1 does.

      I think that if you are trying to persuade someone via a commercial or video advertisement, than it is important to make sure your audio matches with what you are trying to advertise. If you are advertising a stuffed dog toy for kids, then it is not appropriate to use scary music or else you might deter people from buying your product. And the aural mode is just one mode out of 5, so it is key to make sure that the other modes are also in tune with what you are trying to communicate.

      Source 1:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OrPEoqp4sjg


    18. a gaming raid with friends,

      When playing games with friends, oftentimes one may not be able to see the faces of others due to each being fixated on their own screen, and thus limiting the gestural mode of each person. However, in game behavior can still display traits of the gestural mode, such as rushing, careless behavior and striking in an uncoordinated fashion, while standing still or slow movement may indicate a lack of engagement or otherwise preoccupation.

    19. ·1 he gestural mode refers to the way movement, such as body lan-guage, can make meaning. When we interact with people in real life or watch them on-screen, we can tell a lot about how they arc feel-ing and what they arc trying to communicate. The gestural mode includes:

      When I think about the gestural mode, my first thoughts are about job interviews. When you are at an interview, body language and eye contact can play a huge part in the interview. I think that this comic perfectly supports what I am saying. The way the man is sitting makes people think that he does not care about whatever he is doing. His body language is communicating his laziness and how he is not taking the situation seriously.


    20. Gestural Mode

      Gestural mode is all about the way you hold your body in real life. This mode is seen in real life, and a lot can be seen from body language. Some examples of this mode are news anchors, speeches, and talk show hosts. All 3 of these things include people that need to have good use of the gestural mode. For example, when a news anchor has to speak on live television, they have to carry themselves in a way that makes watchers believe that the news anchors are taking what they are talking about seriously. If the news anchor is sitting lazily, the watchers may not respect them as much.

      Although most of the other modes are seen throughout the supplemental reading, the gestural mode is not included since there are no live interactions between people in the reading. However, I think that ballet puts emphasis on the gestural mode. Ballet dancers carry themselves in an elegant manner and show delicate body language.

    21. Attention to the spatial mode has become increasingly important as we crc,1te content for and interact within on line environments. The author of a text must pay attention to how his or her content is organized so that readers can find their way through the text without difficulty.

      When I first read this, I immediately thought of our wordpress site and what we talked about in class during the first week of school. We talked about how our site will be seen in the public, and instead of our site being a big mess, we should organize it so that our readers can effectively look at what they want and not have to search for it. To prove my point, look at this site. When you look at this site, you automatically get a headache due to how messy it is. I imagine that it would be really hard to find what you are looking for. Hopefully my site will look completely different than this.


    22. Spatial Mode

      Spatial mode relates to how things are organized and arranged. This mode can refer to the organization of an essay or project and can range all the way to the organization of stores or classrooms. This mode is heavily used throughout both the supplemental reading and this reading. Both readings organize their writings in paragraphs with headings in order to display what they are going to be talking about.

      When I saw this mode, I immediately thought of when I was writing my primary source description for the AIDS quilt. In class, we discussed the importance of headings in our essays so that our readers can get a sense of progress when they are reading, since the wordpress site that we use is just one long page.

    23. Aural Mode

      The aural mode is all about sound whether that be music or sound effects or even the absence of sound. While this mode is not used too heavily in the supplemental reading, it can still be seen in the video at the beginning. The creators of the video use the aural mode to convey the emotions of what the ballet dancers are feeling. All throughout the video, ballet music can be heard. The creators specifically chose this type music, since it very much relates to the subject of the video, which is the Terminus group. And I think that the aural mode actually, plays a big role in ballet dancing, or any dancing as a matter of fact. A big part of dancing has to do with the music/audio. Dancers dance to the beat of the music or the mood of the music.

      I think that the aural mode is one of the most important modes because of how easily I get affected by it. Whenever I watch movies and an especially powerful piece of music starts to play, paired with an emotional scene in the movie, it is easy for me to get moved by that. Whether I want to or not, I get affected by the aural mode as it so effectively communicates emotions and feelings more so than visual or lingual.

    24. We can u-;e this mode to communicate representations of how something look~ or how someone is feeling, to instruct, to persuade, and to entertain, among other things.

      I think that the visual mode is a very powerful mode and can affect us heavily.

      When I see this picture it is easy for me to feel sad for this person. The aspects of the image all allude to a sad mood and tone. The empty room suggests her loneliness, her position shows how sad he is, the colors give the picture a dreary tone. I think that a major reason why visuals are so powerful is because there is a lot of depth behind every aspect of the visual. Every color, every setting, every object is chosen for a specific and unique reason and gives off a unique emotion. I think that this picture perfectly exemplifies this idea and the visual mode.


    25. Visual Mode

      The visual mode is found in the form of pictures, videos, flyers, etc. The supplemental reading implements a lot of visuals in it in places where words cannot effectively describe the subject at hand. Throughout the reading, there are many pictures of the members of the dance crew. Rather than Freeman having to meticulously describe every feature of every member, he saves a lot of time and effort by just putting in pictures of each member. I think that an advantage of the visual mode is that when you are trying to describe an object or image, a visual can accurately portray that object/image where as it is much harder to portray that in words.

    26. !'he linguistic mode and the ability to use it carefully matter very ~ much in contemporary communication.

      This statement is saying that the our words and the way we write have a lot of power, and we should be diligent in our writing so as to communicate our ideas in a way that will help others understand our ideas better. This makes me think of our quilt project and how the words we use to describe our panel have such a big impact on how readers will picture the panel. We use certain words to portray specific meanings. If we do not use our words in a way that exemplifies our ideas and thoughts, than what we write or talk about will differ from what we are trying to communicate.

    27. mangement • organization • proximity between people or obiects

      Spacial organization can has a variety of different subsections, but there are a few primary methods with stand out. For example, two objects on opposite sides of another may indicate duality, opposition, conflict or differences. Objects placed together may have some common theme or trait and thus be placed organizationally, and people placed together may have a close relationship in order to bear the other's presence.

    28. Linguistic Mode

      Linguistic mode, as it sounds, is related to the use of language typically in the form of writing or speaking. Much of the supplemental reading: "The inside story of Terminus, the new dance company by five ex-Atlanta Ballet dancers" uses this mode. In the very beginning of the reading when Freeman is describing the setting and their group, Freeman specifically chooses to use the linguistic mode since this is the most effective way to portray the scene. If it were to be in picture form, or video form, I think that many of the emotions Freeman was trying to portray would be lost.

    29. At other times, words may work better than images when we arc trying to explain an idea because words can be more descriptive and to the point. It may take too many pictures to convey the same idea quickly (see Fig. 1.18).

      For the Primary Source Description assignments, students are required to make heavy use of the linguistic mode in order to communicate the imagery of the quilt. Rather than composing an essay of photographs, students must provide enough detailed and descriptive language of the quilt that potential reconstruction of the panel discussed is possible. As this quote shows, knowing when visual modes and linguistic modes are necessary for the most efficient communication will be an essential skill in our college education. Though the Primary Source Description calls for extensive use of the linguistic mode, the visual mode must also be evoked.

      Careful collection and presentation of visual aids will hopefully augment the reader’s imagination of the author’s linguistic mode, instead of overpowering it. My class notes on how to execute a well-rounded Primary Source Description can be seen below, as well as on my website:

      Be Specific and Comprehensive in Your Description

      • Don't just focus on visual descriptions.

      • Describe the texture of the panel, and even its sound.

      • Does the panel feel sturdy or thin and frail with age? What is the tactile sensation you observe?

      • What are some of the spatial relationships between images, objects, or other attachments on the Quilt panel?

      • How much does it weigh?

      Images in Your Primary Source Description

      • One should include images that quote details from the panel.

      • Images may help to support your description.

      • You don't have to have a picture of the entire panel.

      • In fact, be sure that the images you do include do not supersede the text. The text must remain relevant, so use detailed images that are subordinate to your description.

      • Use pictures that help to explain certain details on the Quilt.

      If there is a flower on your panel, describe how many petals there are. Use analogous language to better convey the color of an object or the size of it. "The blue is similar to the color of a robin's egg."

      Click to view the totality of my notes on how to write a Primary Source Description

      As Kenneth Haltman notes in the introduction to American Artifacts, the ability to recreate an object’s “visual and physical effect in words” is critical. Knowing how to use language to effectively describe and interpret visual information can even provide a more comprehensive analysis of that object.

      Click to view my annotation on Haltman’s advice in Hypothes.is

    30. The supplemental reading I chose is "The inside story of Terminus, the new dance company by five ex-Atlanta Ballet dancers" by Scott Freeman. The article basically follows the creation of the Atlanta ballet company: Terminus. Essentially, Terminus, was already a 5 person dance group, however they were in the process of becoming an actual dance company for a couple years. The reading follows the beginning of Terminus, finding a place for Terminus to call home, getting enough funds to start it, and eventually the creation of Terminus dance company.

      When I first read this supplemental reading, I was confused as to how ballet dancing relates to multi modality. However I begun to see multimodality in the article itself. So for most of my annotations I decided to focus in on how each mode is used throughout the supplemental reading. I think that the reading utilizes the 5 modes of communication quite well despite not including the gestural mode. The article is well formatted and includes a video and also many images where it is appropriate. And the writing of the article is also well done too, as many parts communicate Freeman's ideas clearly. I think it's pretty interesting to see all the different modes being used and how they are all working together to create a well done piece.


    31. These different strengths and weaknesses of media (video, writing, pictures, etc.) and modes arc called affi1rda11ces. The visual mode affords us the opportunity to communicate emotion in an immedi-ate way, while the linguistic mode a(fimfs us the time we need to communicate a set of detailed steps. Writer/designers think through the affordanccs of the modes and media available before choos-ing the right text for the right situation. Keep in mind that modal affordances largely depend on how the mode is used and in what context. In other words, the strengths and weaknesses of each mode arc dependent on, and influenced by, the ways in which the modes arc combined, in what media, and to what ends.

      Different forms of modes have their own benefits, which must be balanced by the authors and creators for the right amount and type of impact on the audience. Aural modes primarily are transmitted via sound and the ear, while gestural, spacial and visual typically rely on sight and the eyes. Linguistic straddles the line between the two sides, as language can both be spoken and read.

    32. I chose the article "Forty Years Later, the Golden Record Goes Vinyl" by Marina Koren as my supplemental text. The article focuses on the Voyager Golden Record, which is an actual golden record that was launched into space in 1977 with Voyager 1 and 2 spacecrafts. Voyager 1 is currently the farthest human-made object from Earth. Both spacecrafts have left the solar system.

      The record itself contains "popular songs, sounds from nature, photographs, spoken greetings in dozens of human languages and one whale language" and most importantly directions on how to find planet Earth, and its target audience is an intelligent alien civilization that is capable deciphering the message on the record.

      The content of the record was not intended for public consumption; the copies that remained on Earth were distributed mostly to NASA facilities. However, recently Ozma Records has put the Golden Record on vinyl for the first time. David Pescovitz and Timothy Daly, the co-founders of Ozma Records were surprised by the lack of a vinyl version of the Golden Record in these digital days. The two paired up with Lawrence Azerrad, a graphic designer, to launch a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for the project. Originally, the group planned on raising $200,000 to make 2,000 sets, however, the internet responded with $1.3 million. Due to such a turnout, 10,000 special edition copies were made for those who backed the Kickstarter project. A different edition is now sold on the Ozma Records website.

      Pescovitz and his collaborators did not have much trouble finding the original tape recordings of the Golden Record; all they had to do is contact Sony and visit their studio to listen to the tapes. The hard part was obtaining permission to use copyrighted material. The difficulty was in "tracking down the owners of some of the more obscure content, like melodies by indigenous groups". It came to the point where Pescovitz "was calling Papua New Guinea at 2 o’clock in the morning, and working with amazing ethnomusicologists around the world to try to track down as much information as possible, to find out about who these people were, what the music was, who collected it and when".

      Koren, Marina. “Forty Years Later, the Golden Record Goes Vinyl.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 25 Aug. 2017, www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/08/voyager-golden-record-vinyl/538035/.

    33. silence

      In audio/aural modes, silences serves as a spaces do in written or spoken modes, to serve as a separation and break between concepts and as a foil and contrast to solid sounds and words so that actual information can be emphasized more in the absence.

      For example, John Cage's 4 minutes and 33 seconds https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTEFKFiXSx4 is a piece of music which does not in fact have any music, and primarily consists of visual cues by the musician to the audience, intending for the audience to draw meaning from within themselves rather than from the music.

    34. It's easy to conceive how a spoken message communicates, but what about the increas-ingly tense background music in a lV drama, or the sounds that let us know when a computer is starling up? Whether big or small, each of these aural components conveys meaning.

      In many horror movies, many times tense music is used to ready the audience and prepare them for an upcoming scare, as the escalating music echoes the rising stress and tension the audience and characters feel. Some modern movies also subvert peoples expectations of this by cutting off the music and showing a mundane or unintimidating scene, lulling the audience or characters into relaxing, before suddenly pulling out the real jump scare.

    35. You might be saying to yourself, "Wait, Is a lolcat really a text?" Yes. Text traditionally means written words. But because we want to talk about the visuals, sounds, and movement that make up multi-media, we use the term text to refer to a piece of communication as a whole. A text can be anything from a lolcat to a concert tee shirt to a dictionary to a performance.

      The authors of the textbook establish this idea in the very beginning of the chapter which they will follow throughout the chapter. Personally, I disagree with this idea because for me internet memes are images in the first place and text in the second place. When deciding if a meme is worth looking at, I first look at the image it portrays and only after I pay attention to the text, and if the text is too long, I will most likely not consider reading it. Only if I am looking at a news article or at a book, or other multimodal media that has the purpose of conveying information, I regard it as text first and other modes second.

    36. Academic

      The supplemental reading I chose was the article titled "Deaf community outraged after interpreter signed gibberish before Irma." This article was written by Alex Mendoza, an associate digital reporter/producer for the New York Post. Three weeks ago, a category four hurricane Irma passed through Florida. Before the hurricane passed through, everyone in Florida was either getting ready to leave or making preparations to survive the hurricane. In the article, Mendoza describes a press conference where the leaders of Manatee county were giving crucial information regarding the hurricane. The problem as Mendoza points out is that the press conference needed an interpreter for the deaf and the leaders chose an amateur, Marshall Greene. Greene was very bad and would occasionally say words that did not relate with the press conference by accident.

      Mendoza later talks about the different reactions people had to this incident. Charlene McCarthey, the owner of a company which provides interpreters, was upset with the whole situation and said she felt bad because she could have provided a much better qualified interpreter, however, the county leaders never asked her. Greene's family was quick to defend him and said that he was just doing his job that the county had asked him to do. Many people on social media were furious and criticized Greene. Others defended him. The deaf community wants an apology for this whole incident. Mendoza, Alex. “Deaf community outraged after interpreter signed gibberish before Irma.” New York Post, New York Post, 16 Sept. 2017, nypost.com/2017/09/16/deaf-community-outraged-after-interpreter-signed-gibberish-before-irma/. Accessed 2 Oct. 2017.

    37. Writers choose modes of communication for every text they create. ror example, the author of a lolcat chooses the cat photo (usu-ally based on what is happening in the photo and whether that action might make for a good caption) and decides where to place the caption on the photo and what color and typeface to use for the caption. Sometimes these choices arc unconscious, like when an author uses Microsoft Word's default typeface and margins when writing a paper for class. To produce a successful text, writers must be able to consciously use different modes both alone and in combination with each other to communicate their ideas to others.

      While it is true that conscious mode choices can greatly enhance the end result, sometimes conscious effort may hide under the disguise of nonsensical randomness. Let's examine the case of millennial internet humor, which could be classified as neo-Dadaism. To ordinary people, the internet creations of so-called millennials would make absolutely no sense. Even in the analysis of neo-Dadaism in an article posted on Medium, Megan Hoins fails to expose the true core of this seemingly absurdist movement. People who create such absurdist content do their best to exaggerate things out of proportion, which they define as irony. Many pointless internet memes are created out of sheer desire to convey irony; such irony is not your every day irony but instead is something pointless done on purpose just because it is pointless. If you ever had encountered something that was so bad or so poorly-constructed that it made you laugh, then perhaps you are aware of this phenomenon. To conclude, sometimes it may seem like certain multimodal works had very little conscious effort put into them, when in reality every single decision in the making of such a work was carefully planned to yield a specific result.

      retrieved from http://knowyourmeme.com/photos/1202553-meme-man

      Hoins, Megan. “Neo-Dadaism.” Medium, 23 Feb. 2016, medium.com/@meganhoins/neo-dadaism-absurdist-humor-and-the-millennial-generation-f27a39bcf321.

    38. The visual mode refers to the use of images and other characteris-tics that readers see. Billboards, flyers, television, Web sites, lighted advertising displays, even grocery store shelves bombard us with visual information in an effort to attract our attention. We can u-;e this mode to communicate representations of how something look~ or how someone is feeling, to instruct, to persuade, and to entertain, among other things.

      Personally, I find the visual mode to be the most important and most powerful modes out of all. According to Worldwide Health Organization, 285 million people worldwide are estimated to be visually impaired, which is only 3.8% of the current world population; out of those 285 million people about 86% have low vision, which sometimes cannot be detrimental to every day activities and can be fixed with glasses. When this is taken into consideration, it becomes evident that the vast majority of world population can interpret visual modes without problems. It is indeed true that pictures are worth a thousand words because more information can be packed into a picture than into a paragraph, for example. Just think of all the advertisements or propaganda posters you have encountered: did any of them not incorporate a visual mode?

      The Golden Records that were sent into space contain a great amount of visual information on them. It is unclear whether the instructions on how to use the record and how to find our solar system are carved into the record, but if they are not, then it would be more difficult for an alien civilization that does not have eyes to make sense of the record and potentially locate our planet.

      image acquired from https://nmbx.newmusicusa.org/record-created-for-extraterrestrials-now-available-for-everyone/

      image acquired from https://creativecommons.org/2014/11/08/the-voyager-golden-record/

      “Visual Impairment and Blindness.” World Health Organization, www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs282/en/.

    39. And in other situations in which we arc trying to communicate how something should be done, it can be more useful to create an animation or video that demonstrates the steps in a process than to write out instructions.

      In the golden age of internet videos, I find it difficult to follow written instructions whenever I need to learn how to do something because sometimes they tend to be unclear or even wrong. Instead, I find myself watching YouTube videos that teach me how to do the exact same thing. It is easier to see how to do something you don't know and then repeat it than to read how to do something, play it in your head, and then try to repeat it yourself. In the case of the Voyager Golden Record, we had done our best to instruct an alien civilization how to find planet Earth; we just have to hope that if the record will be received by an intelligent life-form, the life-form will be intelligent enough to make sense of a binary code.

    40. Different media use different combinations of modes and arc good at doing different things. We've all heard the expression "a picture is worth a thousand words." Some-times it is much easier and more effective to use an image to show someone how to do something or how you arc feeling. Say, for example, that the reason you wanted a picture of your dog is to show your friend in another state what the dog looks like (see fig. 1.17). A picture will quickly convey more information in this situation than will a written description.

      In this digital age the value of a photo has greatly deteriorated because practically anyone now owns a smartphone that can take high resolution photos, and due to social media where thousands of new photos are uploaded every second, our constant encounter with such media makes us appreciate it less. As someone who was a child in the 2000s, I remember being very excited about picking up different encyclopedias from the library and carefully analyzing all the photos, even imagining myself being in them. Nowadays, however, a child would not even bother to open an encyclopedia and instead would prefer to go online and mindlessly scroll through his or her social media in hopes of a faster passing of time.

    41. Consider, for example, how Katie Courie opened her first CBS news-cast standing alongside her desk, and contrast ii with Hrian Wil-liams's stiff and formal posture behind his desk during his newscast (Figs. 1.13 and 1.14). Couric's body po~ition was an attempt to be more approachable than other anchors, but her more personable gestures translated to more gender-stereotyped ideas of feminin-ity, which worked against Courie, the first female solo anchor on a prime-time broadcast network newscast.

      I was always fascinated by the power of body language since it is an important factor that decides your place in society. The way you sit, stand, or look at people can have a great impact on them. Sometimes it is obvious when people try to have a particular effect on their audience, which in a way diminishes the power of the speaker. One of these people is Mark Zuckerberg; I find it funny watching him converse with other people, because oftentimes it is very obvious that he is trying to look tough. It may be possible that only earthlings are capable of understanding the power of body language, so we should appreciate our ability to understand it.

    42. And although we've ~ listed it first-and though it's the mode you probably have the most practice with-the linguistic mode is not always the most impor-~ tant mode of communication. (Whether it is or not depends on ~ what other modes are at play in a text, what kind of text it is, and ~ many other factors.)

      Not every audience is the same and therefore sometimes one mode may be appropriate for one audience and completely unsuitable for another audience. In the case of the linguistic mode, some people may not speak your language, so your reach would be limited, or it could be possible that your audience is deaf or blind, which would force you to alter your linguistic mode.

      When sending a message to an intelligent alien civilization, we can be one hundred percent certain that they are not speaking our langange, however, we can hope that they have the means of deciphering it. Alien civilizations could also not posses the gift of sight and instead rely on echolocation like bats. It is also possible that an alien civilization is not capable of hearing and instead uses telepathy as a way of communicating with its species. Evolution can create wonders in environments we have not explored yet, so encompassing every single mode we are aware of onto a golden record would substantially increase the chances of an alien civilization being able to make sense of our message.

    43. A Performance Is a Multimodal Text

      Since a mode is a way of communicating, not all multimodal projects have to contain text. A performance can be comprised of aural, gestural, spatial, and linguistic modes and still be considered a multimodal project.

    44. ambient

      Ambient- existing or present on all sides. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ambient

    45. Although each mode plays a role in the overall message, 1t is the combination of modes-the 11111llimodality-that creates the full piece of communication.

      The authors make an excellent point here. Nowadays with all the technology available, it is almost expected of us to incorporate multimodality into all of our works. If you were to make a PowerPoint and present into to your target audience, you would certainly not present a blank page with text on it because it would most likely not grab your target audience's attention; it would be a good decision to add pictures, animations, and perhaps even sound and video if appropriate to make your work as interesting as possible.

      In the case of the Voyager Golden Record, there is surely no better way of describing planet Earth and humanity to an alien civilization other than including every single most important aspect of planet Earth and human achievement, which are naturally multimodal because that is one underlying characteristic of intelligent life.

    46. The designers of Twitter chose how to lay out the basic profile page (with the tweets in the right column and info about the user on the left), and users can choose design templates and profile images-all of which means that lil}'Ollt draws on spatial, visual, and linguistic modes of communication, showing that it's nearly impossible for a text not to use multiple modes at once.

      Personally, I dislike Twitter because of its 144 character limit. My thoughts almost never can be expressed in 144 characters or less, which is the prime reason I do not use Twitter. To circumvent this, it is possible to write out your message, screenshot it and post it as an image, but that undermines the purpose of Twitter, in my opinion.

    47. These different strengths and weaknesses of media (video, writing, pictures, etc.) and modes arc called affi1rda11ces. The visual mode affords us the opportunity to communicate emotion in an immedi-ate way, while the linguistic mode a(fimfs us the time we need to communicate a set of detailed steps. Writer/designers think through the affordanccs of the modes and media available before choos-ing the right text for the right situation. Keep in mind that modal affordances largely depend on how the mode is used and in what context. In other words, the strengths and weaknesses of each mode arc dependent on, and influenced by, the ways in which the modes arc combined, in what media, and to what ends.

      Each affordance is good in their unique situations. Mendoza chose to use linguistics and describe the video because that was the best affordance to use in his situation. An animation would not be the best and most precise way to describe the event that happened.

    48. ·1 he gestural mode refers to the way movement, such as body lan-guage, can make meaning. When we interact with people in real life or watch them on-screen, we can tell a lot about how they arc feel-ing and what they arc trying to communicate. The gestural mode includes: • facial expressions • hand gestures • body language • interaction between people

      Gestural mode is another mode of communication. This one is not as important as the other modes of communication. An example is comparing a confident person to a person who is not confident. The confident person will be relaxed and look at people straight into the eyes. A person who is not confident will avoid eye contact with people and slouch. (Insecure person on the left, confident person on the right)

    49. word choice

      The decision of Welker, Lee, Clark, Van Buskirk, and Gill to name their dance company Terminus was intentional and purposive. The name Terminus comprises multiple elements of symbolism through which meaning can be derived. Terminus was one of Atlanta’s original names, and it describes the former setting of the Southern city. Terminus means “end of the line,” which indicates the spirited growth of Atlanta around the railroad’s stopping point between Georgia and the Midwest. Not only is the name Terminus historically significant to the company’s homebase city, but it is also metaphorically significant.

      Photo of Tara Lee by Joseph Guay; Lee is a dancer for TMBT

      To the dancers of Terminus, the “end of the line” simultaneously serves as the origin point of a new journey. Their inception as a dance company flourished from their conclusion with Atlanta Ballet, a significant chapter in all of these dancers’ careers. Tara Lee describes a terminus as an “intersection and meeting point of ideas” in which “people [come] together to create something new” (Freeman). She believes that this definition describes the Terminus Modern Ballet Theater dancers well. The name Terminus is multimodal because it evokes specific imagery related to the railroad as well as a symbolic interpretation critical to understanding the motivations and origin story of this ballet company. As the text demonstrates, understanding the full message of even a single word requires a multimodal analysis.

      Questions one might ask:

      Are there images associated with the word?

      What is the word’s historical context?

      How is the word presented?

      Does it belong at the fore of the conversation?

      Does it compete with and/or complement another mode?

    50. You may not use all of them for a single project, becau~e each mode has its own strengths and weaknesses in specific situa-tions-just clS a wrench is more useful in fixing a faucet than a ham-mer is.

      The key to using the modes is to think logically on how you want an idea to come across. You have to think on a case by case basis for what would be the most effective strategies to accomplish a goal. Gaining attention can easily be done by sensory cues: auditory and visual, which can then by followed up with a combination of the other modes as well as the previous two to spread an idea.

    51. The aural mode focuses on sound. Whether we are talking about a speech, a video demonstration, sound effects on a Web site, or the audio elements of a radio program, the aural mode provides multiple ways of communicating and understanding a message, including: • music • sound effects • ambient noise/sounds • silence • tone of voice in spoken language • volume of sound • emphasis and accent

      Aural mode is another mode of communication. Different styles of music also affect how people feel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4pcg7bXgmU https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zI5ncQ9_wGs https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6tR78d0cmA Here are three movie scenes. What do they all have in common? They all use music to create suspense. The aural mode adds to the visual mode to make the scene better. Another aspect of aural mode is tone of voice and accent. A person who talks with a sophisticated manner will be perceived as more intelligent than a person who talks with slang.

    52. The supplemental reading I chose, Talking to the future "hey there's nuclear waste here", discusses the use of multi-modal media in order to convey messages to future generations. Inspired by the current move towards nuclear energy as a fuel source for modern America and the present construction of new Nuclear waste storage facilities, the article primarily focuses on the risk that future society faces in the possibility that nuclear waste may be dug up by unsuspecting miners, causing sickness and disease, and possible methods that present day scientists could use to deter such infringements. These include a strong societal and cultural integration of warnings of the danger of nuclear waste, monolithic statues to intimidate future explorers, electromagnetic wavelength markers, and translations of modern day languages to convey warnings. Primary subissues of these methods include the fact that explorers may not be able to understand or interpret these warnings, view them as impotent, or, even knowing their meaning and truth, ignore them anyways. The article ends noting that nuclear waste for the most part is not as toxic as primarily depicted, will most likely not last long enough to adversely affect future societies, and that any future society advanced enough to be able to both detect and access the interior of nuclear waste facilities will most likely be well aware of the risk involved.

      The article involves multi modal composition due to its discussion of possible methods for warning future civilizations, through the combination of various modes discussed in this article as well as the limitations of each mode by themselves as well as the risk of change due to change in how culture perceives various symbols over time. The article also discusses the difficulties that modern day linguists and historians have with analyzing fairly recent changes in culture and language, and how this may translate to future societies.

    53. The linguistic mode often affords readers specificity, exactness, and logical connections, but this can slow readers down as they work to make sense of the information. The visual mode, on the other hand, often can't be as detailed.

      The best way to provide information of this type and scale would be to apply a combination of the modes more evenly as shown in the map. By combining the geography and locations of the map with the numerical information from the chart, a better sense of scale is created. Visually, a striking image is shown of the lands affected by the Works Progress Administration as well as how population could be centered, with larger populations receiving more government assistance. Linguistically, while less numerical values are shown, they are reflected in the color coding of the map area to area, which shows greater relations, instead of general, overall totals, which do not reflect the dispersion of the WPA's assistance programs.

    54. At other times, words may work better than images when we arc trying to explain an idea because words can be more descriptive and to the point. It may take too many pictures to convey the same idea quickly

      Relating it back to our lit class, this is the whole point of Primary Source Descriptions. The source descriptions not only give a physical description of what can be seen in a picture, but they also provide further insight to the physicality of an object that cannot be determined solely through images, such as textures, and descriptions of colors that don't always appear accurately in digital images. The descriptions that accompany images in primary source descriptions can also provide context by including other related documents that give the object a more clear depiction to how it fits in place and time.

    55. Multimodal describes how we combine multiple different ways of communicating in everyday life.

      Photo by Felipe Barral: Terminus Modern Ballet Theater The dancers of Terminus Modern Ballet Theater have built illustrious careers dancing to the beats of other artists’ inspirations. For a long time, they have confined and defined themselves by the expression of other people’s work. Yet, once the Atlanta Ballet embarked on a path that was unfit for their individual artistry, the dancers of Terminus Ballet decided to tread their own path, away from the crossroads that had come to challenge their willingness to be brave. Though these dancers are terrified of the unknown that they have plunged into, they also feel excited and invigorated by the pressure they feel. Pushed by the prospect of failure, the Terminus Modern Ballet Theater dancers are characterized by their intense motivation to introduce new modes of expression into dance. As artists, these dancers hope to experiment with their image as it is presented in all of the contexts that a new company requires.

      These dancers, thus, have to be multimodal.

      Tara Lee, Heath Gill, John Welker, Rachel Van Buskirk, and Christian Clark don’t only dance; they also contribute to their company’s website, design company logos, contemplate appropriate studio and performance space design, and engage in business strategy sessions. Hoping to present to their audience contemporary modern dance fused with elements of classical ballet, the dancers of Terminus Modern Ballet Theater contain a diverse set of skills, not only in dance, but also in marketing and business. Just like their style of dance cannot be categorized into a specific genre, neither can the capabilities of these performers be categorized or limited by the traditional expectations of dancers. These dancers recognize their need for a multi-modal skill-set so that they can create visual art through both their dance and their digital webpage. They will appreciate the importance of the spatial mode as they block stages for their choreography, and finalize the design of their company logo. Working on multiple interfaces (at the physical, tangible level as well as the digital level) has bolstered this dance company’s intimacy with their creative expression. Their ability to fathom multiple modes is critical to their success.

    56. The documents in Figures 1.19 and 1.20 were created by the US government to communicate information about nationwide economic recovery efforts. In the 1930s, the United States was suffering through a severe economic meltdown, known now as the Great Depression. To help alleviate the situation, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) created the Works Progress Administration

      I do not understand why the authors of this textbook, including millions of other Americans think that FDR's economic policies helped "fix" the Great Depression. The truth is that the economic policies during the Great Depression only prolonged it.

      FDR was knew nothing about economics. The tax rates under FDR's presidency were enormously high, reaching a 94% tax rate on the top bracket in 1945. In fact, in 1942 FDR proposed a 100% top tax rate, which is absolutely ridiculous. The ridiculously high top tax rates took away all the incentive from businesses to produce because in the end they would barely make any profit. What America needed during the Great Depression was lower taxes, not crazily high taxes.

      Creator, Chloris. “FDR's Proposed Marginal Tax Rate Was 100%.” Daily Kos, 23 Feb. 2013, www.dailykos.com/stories/2013/2/24/1189512/-FDR-s-Proposed-Marginal-Tax-Rate-Was-100.

      “Taxation History of the United States.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 30 Sept. 2017, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxation_history_of_the_United_States.

    57. The spatial mode can also refer to the placement of navigation on a Web page to maximize access for users

      The arrangement of a website is crucial to keep users coming back to it. If a user interface is clunky and difficult to use, then what could have been potential returning users could easily never return, instead, turning to other sites that do essentially the same thing but with better UI. If a website has many pages that could be linked and organized together, but has no tabs or other layouts to arrange this, it likely won't have as many users as one that does. Similarly, having a layout too close-knit can be an issue; writing, be it on a webpage or an essay that doesn't separate ideas with effective means (such as paragraphs), will not have the same traction as one that does.

    58. but what about the increas-ingly tense background music in a lV drama, or the sounds that let us know when a computer is starling up?

      Sound is a necessity to the success of any film or show. Soundtracks provide an atmosphere to the feeling a film is trying to give off. With a shift in soundtrack (as well as some visual changes), the animated kid's movie Frozen can become a dark scene of horror https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eD2UpdhbwA Sound is another strong psychological trigger, that can cause reactions anywhere from joy and elated moods, to lowered heart rates and relaxation, to anxiety and fear. For example, the song Weightless by Marconi Union https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfcAVejslrU was created with the intention to relax listeners, and was found by neuroscientists to effectively accomplish just that (https://health.good.is/articles/relaxing-song-ever-recorded-stress)

    59. The visual mode refers to the use of images and other characteris-tics that readers see. Billboards, flyers, television, Web sites, lighted advertising displays, even grocery store shelves bombard us with visual information in an effort to attract our attention. We can u-;e this mode to communicate representations of how something look~ or how someone is feeling, to instruct, to persuade, and to entertain, among other things. ·1 he visual mode includes: • color • layout • style • size • perspective

      Visual mode is another one of the modes of communication.One of the most important aspects of visual mode is color. Different colors make people feel a certain way. An example is the McDonald's logo. The colors red and yellow are said to make people hungrier so the founder of McDonald's chose those colors on purpose. https://sites.psu.edu/siowfa15/2015/09/09/does-red-and-yellow-make-you-hungrier/ Another aspect of visual mode is layout. An organized article is easier to read and more professional than an unorganized article. Mendoza's article is very well organized making it more professional and easier to read than it would have been if it were not organized. His article starts with a video, followed by an explanation, followed by the reactions, and finished with the conclusion.

    60. These Twitter prolilcs (Figs. 1. 7 and 1.8) have a lot of words (the linguistic mode), but their visual mode-the colors, layout, prolilc pictures, and logo-plays a big role in how users read and under-stand each page.

      The visual mode seems to be essentially the most important of the five modes in today's society. To most, appearance is everything; with news sites needing viewership to generate income, sensational titles that don't always reflect the article accurately are highly demanded. If someone is scrolling through a site and doesn't see an article that interests them, then they aren't likely to click on anything. Not only online, visuals are key to many productions for film and art. Mental cues can be triggered simply from colors, but can also be more direct with present images. For example, the pussyhats worn during the Women's march were pink, a color specifically chosen as it is viewed as a color of the weak by society, a color that is feminine. The hat, rather than promote the color as weak, sought to represent it as a powerful color, a sign of women's strength.


    61. Visit the home page for your favorite retail, entertainment, or news Web site. Notice how the spatial mode is used: Where is your eye drawn? How are the elements on the page laid out? Whal effect does this spatial arrangement have on how you read, use, and understand the information on the page? How would your interaction with the page be different if, say, the information found at the top of the page were suddenly swapped with the information at the bottom?


      This is the home page for the online web serial Worm, by Wildbow. The first thing a user is drawn to is the sparkling nightscape of a coastal city, with the title of the web serial, Worm, bolded above it. Below the image, there is a bar with important links, such as brief and in depth character overviews, a table of contents, and a link back to the homepage if need be. Underneath that, there is an immediate link to the start of the story, if someone doesn't' want any information about the story going in, with further details afterward if someone does desire disclaimers and a general idea of the basis of the story, finally ending with a comments section. Thus, the page slowly introduces a reader to the ideas of the story, starting with a general impression before feeding more options and information. If the layout was flipped, then readers would start with the comment section, which would provide them with both spoilers and not the right details about the story, and deprive them of links to read the story.

    62. ·1 he gestural mode refers to the way movement, such as body lan-guage, can make meaning. When we interact with people in real life or watch them on-screen, we can tell a lot about how they arc feel-ing and what they arc trying to communicate. The gestural mode includes:

      When using Gestural Mode, one needs to be sure not to use overly dramatic gestures, otherwise they may distract from any linguistics being used. However, a lack of proper gestural mode, such as facial expressions, may seem to indicate a lack of caring about the subject matter involved, and detract from any message the person may be trying to convey, as can be seen by criticisms of actors who are unable to properly utilize Gestural mode.

    63. The linguistic mode refers to the use of language, which usually ~ means written or spoken word~. When we think about the ways ~ the linguistic mode is used to make or understand meaning, we can consider: ~ • word choice ~ • the delivery of spoken or written text !) • the organization of writing or speech into phrases, sentences, ~ paragraphs, etc. ~ • the development and coherence of individual words and ideas

      The linguistic mode is the most important mode of communication. The words a person chooses reflect who that person is. For example, if an author uses terrible grammar and uses slang words, the audience will ignore what the author has to say. If an author speaks with good grammar and uses more advanced words, the audience will believe the speaker is smart and listen to what they have to say. If Mendoza would have written his article with terrible grammar, I would not have read his article in the first place, but even if I would have I would still not believe anything he said. In his article, Mendoza does indeed write well so I can believe what he says.

    64. This mode helps us to understand why physical spaces such as grocery stores or classrooms arc arranged in particular ways to encourage certain kinds of behavior (such as all chairs in a classroom facing toward the center of the room to encourage discussion and collaboration).

      Grocery stores are displayed so that items which are more expensive and prone to spoiling, such as fresh bread and fresh vegetables, are near the front where they will catch the customer's attention, while items which can last longer, such as tools, appliances and general supplies, or items which are cheaper, such as on sale items or clearance items, are stored nearer to the back so customers are less likely to see them. In addition, frozen items are stuck closer to the back so that there is less transit time in delivering them from cold storage, so that they are less likely to fall. The seats in the classroom are typically all facing forwards so that the teacher can interact with them more, so that the students can focus on the teachers instead of facing each other, and so that the teacher can see which way their eyes are looking and thus what is their focus.

    65. his ~ choice of words-"small people" -infuriated the public because it • demeaned those impacted by the spill

      No matter how well intended a cause is, there will always be those who are offended by positive attempts to solve a problem. With this, it was the phrase "small people" that caused audiences to find issue with his actions. While this not only detracts from his point, Carl-Henric Svanberg's message is completely derailed by these grievances. Similarly, while the pussyhat was meant as a symbol of femininity used to unite, critics took it to be a sign of transphobia and in a much farther leap racism. The critics took the initial point of the hat, and turned it against itself, creating negativity towards an object solely meant for awareness and unity.


    66. All kinds of texts arc multi modal:

      Pretty much everything is multimodal. The difference, however, is the varying use of modes. A book may be multimodal because of its use of words and pictures, but the book is not the same as a tv show. The tv show would be multimodal because of its use of video, sound, words, etc.

    67. We can u-;e this mode to communicate representations of how something look~ or how someone is feeling, to instruct, to persuade, and to entertain, among other things.

      As page 9 notes, "audio can also have visual impacts." This quote demonstrates the multi-modality of singular objects and subjects, a fact that exhibits the importance of multidimensional analysis. One of the panels on the AIDS Quilt contains a patch of leather, which has both a visual connotation and a distinct aural context. Leather evokes the Danny Zuko stereotype by conjuring images of enigmatic characters and inviting the sounds of rumbling motorcycles.

      Cardiac monitoring, similarly, is a common image in popular media that also contains multiple influences and connotations. Cardiac monitoring is typically executed with electrocardiography, a machine that monitors a person’s cardiac rhythm. At its core, though, the sound of a heartbeat monitor relies on the heartbeat itself. Our pulse of life.

      Image result for heartbeat monitor

      The human heartbeat is primal and intrinsic to our humanity. It betrays our fear and reveals our desires. Its visual and aural modes are ingrained within us all, for it is both a familiar sight, and a calming sound. The following short film presents the significance of our heartbeat in finding our truths, facing our fears, and embracing love. Relying heavily on visual and aural modes to encapsulate a story of heartache and romance, "In a Heartbeat" communicates a tale of love by personifying a famed motif, the heart itself.


    68. This ability for quick comparison is an affordance of the visual mode, particularly within the particular medium of the printed map.

      The combination of both visual and linguistic elements serves to make articles multilayered, allowing people to dive deeper into any information in the visual area they are interested in via the linguistic section. Thus, they complement each other in transmitting information, one to attract the reader and the other to serve information.

    69. Knowing what kind or text it is will influence the way the audience reads it.

      This is a very important statement. People should be reading different types of texts differently. When people read textbooks, they expect to read everything as a fact. For example, I read this book trusting the author is only using facts and not expressing their opinions. On the other hand, when people read an article online, they must be able to read and see if the author of the article is trying to manipulate the entire truth to express their beliefs.

    70. all of the mode-. at play in a simple TV

      I feel like the idea of the pussyhat fits in well here. Not only was the pussyhat multimodal, but it could also be used to amplify the multimodality of the Women's march it was used in. While the Women's march was most certainly spacial, taking up large spaces with the numbers in attendance, it was also visually striking with those present, particularly so with the flashes of color from these pussyhats.


    71. The spatial mode is about physical arrangement.

      This section provides further explanation for the earlier assertion that writing alone can be multimodal. I feel like that section, however would be much better placed around this section of the text. Logically, it fits better as a sidenote here, where it can be referenced easily to the text as opposed to at the beginning where no supporting material can be found.

    72. The supplemental text I chose was the NBC article "Pink ‘Pussyhat’ Creator Addresses Criticism Over Name". The article goes over an explanation of what the pussyhat is: a hat worn at the various Women's Marches that occurred in January, created by wearers to promote feminism, then goes on to describe a controversy involving how people viewed the hats as transphobic and in some cases racist. The article continues by provide the creator of the pussyhats' reaction to this, with her feeling that none of the perceived issues were intentional, and explaining her reasoning for the specific issues. I feel that this text relates to the main text due to its dealings with the hat itself being multimodal. The creator Krista Suh stated in the article the name of the hat's significance,“I think ‘pussy’ refers to the female anatomical part, but it’s also a word that’s used to shame people who are feminine … whether they are men, women [or] genderqueer. And I think what it comes down to is that femininity is really disrespected in our society.” Along with the name, the color is also used to represent this femininity, with pink typically being seen as a weak color by society.

    73. The answer is yes! Let's take Figure 1.2 as an example. It might seem that an audi-ence could understand this text's argu. ment just by reading the written words. In fact, to understand the full message being communicated in the text, the audience has to make sense of other elements as well. They must also look at the images and read the captions that explain what the images contain. The format of the text-a single column of black printed words on a white background, with a margin on either side-also tells the audi-ence something important: that this text Is probably an academic work of some kind . (In fact, it's a page from fenny's disserta-tion.) Knowing what kind or text it is will influence the way the audience reads it.

      This section is confusing and somewhat conflicts the section of the text it is in and personally, I find that it detracts from writers' ethos. In the surrounding text, the multimodal examples provided all clearly incorporate distinct modes of communication, while describing solely writing as multimodal stretches this schema. The explanation for this is that the lack of images combined with the readers view of the columns of words act as an image because from this, the work can be determined to be academic in nature. I feel like this isn't a valid argument, however, due to the basis of it is that the lack of images as a second mode acts as an image in itself. It provides an argument that isn't overly clear or persuasive.

    74. But a visual presentation of complex information can allow readers to make quick com-parisons.

      In her TEDx Talk, Amy Cuddy shared research of other scientists in her field that demonstrates the significance of body language in our conscious and unconscious judgements of others. The “quick comparisons” of “visual representation[s]” mentioned in the text can be directly related to Nalini Ambady’s research on what she termed “thin-slice judgements.” Thin-slice judgements are often unconscious, initial evaluations of another person’s character, yet they influence our perceptions and long-term impressions immensely.

      Nalini Ambady’s research challenges the popular belief that human intuition is biased and inaccurate. Brief observations, such as those based on a singular photo or 2-second clip, are powerful demonstrations of “fast thinking.” Fast thinking, despite its quick judgement and conclusion, is no less significant than long-term evaluations. According to Ambady, quick comparisons shape our preference towards both job candidates and romantic partners. They even accurately predict the teaching effectiveness of college professors.

      In 1993, Ambady published her first findings on the significance of nonverbal behavior in our determination of another person’s character. In this study, Ambady produced 30-second soundless clips of college lectures; she then asked participants to whom the professor was a stranger to evaluate that professor’s teaching effectiveness. Students of the professor also rated his or her teaching effectiveness, and surprisingly, independent scorers and actual students of the professor produced similar assessments of teaching effectiveness.

      Even when shortened to 10 second, 6 second, and 2 second clips, brief, soundless college lectures induced similar ratings of teaching effectiveness between independent raters and actual students. Ambady’s following studies further supported her assessment of the accuracy of “thin-slice judgements, showing that nonverbal behavior (which can be taken into context as all that does not encompass the linguistic mode or the aural mode) efficiently communicates information about our environment.

      Alex Todorov of Princeton University conducted a study that found that 70% of the outcomes of Senate and gubernatorial races could be predicted solely based on photos of the candidates’ faces.

      Thin-Slice Judgements in the Clinical Context by Michael L. Slepian, Kathleen R. Bogart, and Nalini Ambady

      The 30-Sec Scale: Using Thin-Slice Judgements to Evaluate Sales Effectiveness by Nalini Ambady, Mary Anne Krabbenhoft, and Daniel Hogan

      Nalini Ambady, Stanford psychology professor, dies at 54 by Bjorn Carey

      Alex Todorov's Research: On the Face of It: The Psychology of Electability by Maria Konnikova

    75. body language

      Amy Cuddy is an American social psychologist who has produced significant research on nonverbal behavior and language. In her TEDx Talk, Amy Cuddy shared research (both her own as well as that of others) that demonstrates the significance of body language and other nonverbal cues in our daily interactions and perceptions of our environment. Our emotions and our physiology are influenced by and understood through our nonverbal expressions. Nonverbal expressions of power and dominance cause humans and animals alike to make themselves bigger. When we feel powerful, we take up more space by spreading ourselves on a couch or entering a room emphatically and assertively. These expressions of power are “universal and old.” In fact, they are ingrained within us. Congenitally blind people and those born with sight perform the same gesture of pride when they win at a physical competition. It doesn't matter if they've never seen anyone do it. Both groups of people lift their arms over their head in a V shape and lift their chin - this is the posture of pride studied extensively by Jessica Tracy.

      In contrast, expressions of powerlessness make the person or animal small. When we feel powerless or scared, we close in on ourselves, and wrap ourselves up. We don’t want to bump into the person next to us. As a professor at a competitive collegiate institution, Amy Cuddy has observed classic cases of alpha male gestures of dominance as well as gestures of powerlessness most often occurring within populations of women in her classes.

      Some people raise their hands really high and occupy a lot of space in the classroom environment; others appear to be “collapsing in on themselves” when they enter her classroom. Correlated with gender, expressions of power engender greater participation in class; expressions of powerlessness are associated with lower participation in the classroom setting. So, even though equally qualified women and men enter the same university, they still experience differences in grades, a fact that seems to be partly attributable to participation. So Cuddy hoped to answer the question of whether or not our nonverbal expressions govern how we think, feel, and behave. She also wanted to explore if one could experience a behavioral outcome by faking confidence and enthusiastic participation.

      Physiologically, those who feel more powerful are more likely to be assertive, confident, and optimistic; these people feel that they will win even at games of chance. Powerful people take more risks, and show higher levels of testosterone or the dominance hormone, and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. For one of Cuddy’s experiments, people were made to adopt either high power poses or low power poses. First, participants spat in a cup. Then, for two minutes, participants would either adopt a high-power or low-power pose. After two minutes, participants are asked to rate how powerful they feel on a series of items. Then, they are given an opportunity gamble, and afterwards spit in another cup.

      Cuddy’s results:

      1. 86% of the participants who adopted a high-power pose gambled.
      2. 60% of the participants who adopted a low-power pose gambled.
      3. People who adopted the high-power pose experienced a 20% increase in testosterone.
      4. People who adopted a low-power pose experienced a 10% decrease in testosterone.
      5. Participants who adopted a high-power pose experienced a 25% decrease in cortisol.
      6. Participants who adopted a low-power pose experienced a 15% increase in cortisol.

      Cuddy’s results demonstrate that as little time as two minutes of power-posing can lead to hormonal changes and behavioral differences, causing us to either feel confident or stress-reactive. In order to apply the significance of body language and power posing to real life, Cuddy and fellow researchers needed to choose a situation that is comparatively evaluative and invites social threat, and other stressors. They felt the most relatable situation would be that of a job interview. Participants in this second study either adopt low-power or high-power poses and aftwerwards undergo a stressful, five-minute job interview. Participants are recorded and judged during the interview. Judges are trained in nonverbal cues, and appear with stoic expressions the entire time.

      Four independent coders then evaluate the interview tapes of the study’s participants, and determine who they would hire. These coders are unaware of the hypothesis and conditions of the experiment’s participants. Participants who adopted the high-power poses were hired, and rated more positively overall. The content of the participants’ speech was not necessarily the determining factor. In other words, their linguistic communication did not significantly influence their hiring. The presence of their speech (their enthusiasm, passion, and seeming authenticity) did, all of which was influenced by their initial body language.

      Amy Cuddy’s TEDx Talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ks-_Mh1QhMc

      Link to photo of high-power and low-power poses

      Link to photo of Allyson Felix

    76. Although most of us arc used to hearing sound all around us every day, we don't often pay attention to how il signals information, including feelings, responses, or needed actions.

      One of the activities in our class textbook, Guide to First-Year Writing (6th Edition), asks us to “consider a song as an argument” (70). This activity (activity 2.12, found in chapter two) requires the participant to locate a song that appears to make an argument and answer the activity’s given questions. For this exercise, I chose the song “Love Is Dead” by Estonian musician Kerli.

      The title alone presents Kerli’s argument: love is dead. Answering the activity’s given questions, however, caused me to contemplate Kerli’s song as a complex communicative device; I soon realized that Kerli’s message is not as simplistic as the title implies. In my response, I hypothesize that Kerli is a mistress who has made the difficult decision to leave a secret relationship. By referencing lyrics that support my interpretation of the song’s argument, I was able to appreciate the narrative present in the song, and analyze its method of storytelling.

      Previously, I felt most drawn to the aural mode of “Love Is Dead,” however, this activity prompted my explicit admiration of the song’s linguistic mode as well. Through the following questions, I discuss how and why the linguistic mode of the song’s argument is supported by its aural mode:

      How would you describe the musical style of the song? In what ways does the style of singing and instrumentation help convey the rhetorical argument?

      Here is a snippet of my response:

      *The composition of the piece seems to describe the navigation of a dangerous path. It’s as if one has to look over one’s shoulder while listening to this song. By employing a sense of danger, the ballad mimics the traitorous and deceptive nature of Kerli’s secret relationship.

      In the song, Kerli’s vocals are slightly distorted. She sounds as if she is singing from behind a glass wall, showing that she is both unsure of the words she is singing to herself, and afraid of being honest about her doubt of the worthiness of her relationship. The instrumentation is forceful and almost overpowers Kerli’s voice at times. One is never unaware of the thematic orchestra scoring Kerli’s ascent through perilous territory. As the song advances, however, Kerli’s angelic voice increases in power. She continuously repeats and chants variations of “love is dead, love is gone, love don’t live here anymore,” alternating between singing these words, chanting them, and crying them to the audience.*

      As this article’s authors point out, the aural mode of media “signals information” even when we are not consciously aware of those signals.

      At first, I only appreciated the superficiality of the composition of “Love Is Dead,” and simply recognized that it sounded good to me. I now realize, however, that the aural mode of the song also performs the deeper, more complex function of storytelling. The sound of Kerli’s song influences the emotions that I feel upon listening, and the imagery I conjure in accordance with the music.

      Read the full response on my website, Postscript Reverie: My Analysis of "Love Is Dead"


    77. To produce a successful text, writers must be able to consciously use different modes both alone and in combination with each other to communicate their ideas to others.

      The best texts are made when an author can blend various modes together and when it is clear an author does things consciously. Mendoza's article is an example of a "successful text" because he intentionally has the first thing of the article be the video. The audience first has to watch the video and see what is going on. Mendoza then follows the video with his words to describe the video the audience just saw and to further discuss topics, such as the reactions, which are not present in the video but are related to the video. By describing the video, Mendoza is able to effectively blend the two modes.

    78. The word multimoda/ is a mash-up of multiple and mode. A mode is a way of communicating, such as the words we're using to explain our Ideas in this paragraph or the images we use throughout this book to illustrate various concepts. Multimodal describes how we combine multiple different ways of communicating in everyday life.

      This article and Mendoza's article are both multimodal. This article uses the combination of text and pictures. Mendoza's article uses the text and the video to fully describe what happened. The video was a primary source and his words he used to describe the video was a secondary source.

    1. cat-eared protesters poured into cities worldwide to take a stand for women’s rights, leaving a sea of pink in their wake

      A mode is a way or manner in which something is expressed, therefore both the protesters themselves and their "pussyhats" represent two modes of protest. Multi-modality is commonly used to strengthen an argument and in this case the addition of the hats as a mode, a bright, easily-recognizable symbol, strengthens to the protest's ability to grab attention and stand out.

    2. The cat-eared “pussyhat” became the crown of the Women’s March in January. Many saw it as a symbol of female empowerment

      The Women's March made good use of multi-modality, using signs, spoken words, and the physical "pussyhat" in order to get their point across.

    1. reject this argument on the grounds that educating readers how to value good writing proved to be a better solution in the age of print than the rem-edy attempted by monarchies: licensing publishers.

      Anyone who has googled a simple question and sifted through pages of biased, promotional, or outright false blogs and articles in pursuit of a legitimate answer can affirm that "democratized access to publishing leads to so much crap that it's killing culture" (Rheingold). Rheingold explains that licensed publishing once proved a durable solution to this highly relatable issue, but is no longer affective or even relevant due to universalized web access. A new, reformed solution, he proposes, is teaching readers to recognize the differences between 'good' and 'bad' writing.

    2. summa bonum

      Summa bonum : the highest good, especially as the ultimate goal according to which values and priorities are established in an ethical system.

      "...the summa bonum of educated life"

      Clay Shirky uses this term in reference to a refined balance existing between media and its interpreters. This point plays directly into Rheingold's argument that we are currently in a period of media saturation and information over-exposure, and moreover that this is a phase in a historically repetitious cycle.

    3. In the early twentieth century, the young print journalist Walter Lippmann claimed that U.S. citizens are too gullible and ill informed to govern a modern, complex society.

      Although the young Walter Lippman was addressing an entirely different set of issues when he claimed "U.S. citizens are too gullible and ill informed to govern a modern, complex society" his statement still applies, to some degree, to twenty-first century America. It's a bit extreme to say Americans are incapable of governing a modern, complex society, but it is no exaggeration that gullibility and misinformation play a major part in modern American media. Without the prevalence of gullibility and misinformation, Russian propaganda would not have so easily penetrated American news feeds and likely would have had no influence on the 2016 presidential election.


    4. I conclude that teaching people how to practice more mindful mediated communication seems the most feasible remedy.

      Rheingold spends a lot of time addressing and evaluating the issue of media-induced dissolving of sustained attention. Unlike many other writers such as Carr and Jackson who also recognize this issue, Rheingold goes a step farther to say something can be done in response. At this point in his argument, Rheingold moves away from simply stating, restating and restating again that human agency opens up the possibility for proactive behavior, and provides actual examples of possible actions that can be taken. An example of possible remedies he provides is teaching meditation practices and attention training in the home, classroom, or even workplace.

    5. Humans have agency. The Web wouldn't have existed without that agency, even given the technical medium of the Internet.

      "Humans have agency."

      This incredibly simple statement both condenses Rheingold's counterargument towards "technological determinism," and summarizes one of the major themes present in the reading. We may lose the capacity for sustained, focused attention. We may read in a nonlinear, scattered manner at the expense of depth and concentration. We may even substitute the web for personal memories. These affects, however, are not guaranteed, because humans have agency. Humans maintain the ability to observe new technologies, adapt to the environments created by them, and thrive.

    6. I take issue with Carr's assumption of inevitability: a culture can choose to educate widely, as post-Gutenberg Europe and the rest of the world did, in response to a disruptive abundance of communications and ways of communicating.

      In 1440, Johannes Gutenburg brought mechanical movable type printing to Renaissance Europe, introducing an era of mass communication which permanently altered the structure of society. Rheinburg, just as he did before with the invention of writing and the telephone, briefly exemplifies Gutenburg's media revolution to support his argument that, in response to a disruptive abundance of communications, a culture can choose to educate widely and benefit greatly. If Gutenbrug's 'printing press' managed to break the literate elites' monopoly on education and learning, spiking massive increases in literacy, what can we expect with the growing presence of the internet and worldwide web connectivity?

      image from http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/

    7. Again, I reject the simple deterministic answer that the machine's affordances inevitably control the way we use the mechanism. Shallow inquiry-the uninformed way in which many people use search engines to find answers-is the deeper problem, and one that can be rem-edied culturally.

      Rheingold continues to combat anti-internet hysteria, this time in defense of search engines. He brings up an interesting point that the machine's affordances, or properties that define its intended use, do not limit the way we use the mechanism. This point interests me because it not only serves as an effective counterargument to Carr's statements regarding search engines and hyperlinks, but also holds true to more situations than just the search engine instance. Yes, search engines reduce the online exploration process to a person's ability to recognize and input key words, but this does not debase the entire research process, rather accelerates it.

    8. attention training

      Earlier in the chapter Rheingold did mention being able to train mindfulness without going through rigorous "attention training." One has to wonder, does the professor of mindfulness always practice what he preaches or did his earlier statement fall outside of the forty things he could attentively focus on by the time he got to this point in his writing?

    9. Naomi Baron

      After researching all of the people mentioned in this section, the most interesting seems to be Dr. Baron. American University has a faculty page for her and it states "Professor Baron is interested in language and technology, reading, the relationship between speech and writing, the history of English, and higher education. A former Guggenheim Fellow, Fulbright Fellow, and Visiting Scholar at the Stanford Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, she has published eight books. Always On: Language in an Online and Mobile World won the English-Speaking Union’s Duke of Edinburgh English Language Book Award for 2008. Her newest book, Words Onscreen: The Fate of Reading in a Digital World, appeared in 2015." She has taught and done research at multiple universities including the Ivy League (Brown). One of the best interviews pertaining specifically to her research was on C-Span2 and is now on youtube. It is linked below and is about ten minutes long but is actually fairly interesting given that it is daytime public television programming.

    10. Given my circumstances, gaining the power to click into a virtual community increased my daily social interaction, since I was already isolated. After twenty-five years of online socializing, however, I understand (and caution others against) the danger of confining myself exclusively to communities I can click on and off.

      In this a good point is made, social health can be ruined by too much online interaction and not enough in person social interaction. I urge you to learn more about this phenomena through a Ted Talk given by Sherry Turkle linked below (she is actually mentioned later on but I had seen this TED Talk prior to the reading).

    11. Gaining control of your attention while you are online requires, first of all, intention. When you formulate a goal, you need to intend to achieve it.

      Remove online from this statement entirely and the statement itself would still ring true with many philosophers and successful people in today's culture, however this distraction or lack of focus and attention has happened since the beginning of time. People aren't 100% consciously at fault for having quick attention shifting qualities. As nomads, a quick attention shift to something out of the field of immediate attention may be helpful for detecting a predator early enough to run or hide. It is only now in the age of advanced media that this shifting field of attention has become a "problem" as the internet facilitates time-sucking unproductive attention shifting, even if it is in the instinctive mold to be constantly alert to new or different stimuli hitting the brain. So instead of allowing the brain to be bombarded into submission by moving attention (or lack there of altogether) setting out with standards, goals, and a light at the end of the tunnel is one incentive to work with to help with mindfulness.

    12. I'll start with the general dangers of distraction before considering several contemporary arguments that the way we use the Inter-net is, as Carr puts it, "making us stupid.

      In talking about attention, Rheingold spends as much time articulating how little attention people with modern technology pay to their surroundings and indeed even the things that they are supposedly paying attention to. Have you ever witnessed a teenager on a cell phone walking and scrolling through Instagram or Snapchat much too quickly to actually consume any meaningful information from the platform? While this imaginary (yet very real) teenager is walking how many people do they almost run into? How many objects? How many times do they almost walk into busy intersections and in some cases walk right through them without a second thought? All of that to say when Rheingold talks about lack of attention through his 2012 lens he was still at the tip of the iceberg, five years removed it is only getting worse in terms of his favorite subject, lack of attention. The current pace of loss of mindfulness is almost unsustainable without some sort of referendum and in time that may come but until then expect a lot more stories like the one below to start entering the media, our imaginary teenager can only dodge so many bullets, or SUVs.

    13. This skill at screening out information before it reaches full awareness is not something that social media itself can do for me;

      In fact there is no aid for this problem, no outside source that fixes all distractions in situations of great importance, but it does highlight a particularly attractive feature of being a more mindful person, the ability to accomplish tasks in an expedited manner because of the highly groomed filtering ability that a mindful person works years to develop.

    14. So she consciously told herself to be particu-larly mindful when she got into her car a few hours later, reminding herself that her thoughts were likely to drift back to those footnotes

      This is an act of mindfulness most people can relate to, after almost messing up in a little way, the attentiveness and mindfulness to things that are much larger and demand more attention suddenly come into sharp focus. Usually this is associated with driving and almost hitting something but it can also be for smaller things that are taken for granted just as much like using scissors and almost cutting your hand or even not paying attention to things in a walking path and stubbing a toe on a piece of furniture. Little wake up calls like this happen to everyone and serve as big reminders that mindfulness is an important skill that most still have not mastered.

    15. Claude Fischer of the University of California at Berkeley, author of the classic 1991 book America Calling: A Sodal History of the Telephone to 1940, noted recently that "if you go back 100 years, people were writing things about the telephone not unlike what people are writing about these technologies. There was a whole literature of alarm-how it's turning everything upside down."41

      "...people were writing things about the telephone not unlike what people are writing about these technologies."

      This quote from Claude Fischer shares a connection with a quote from Plato later in the reading regarding the invention of writing.

      "...The fact is [writing] will produce forgetfullness in the souls of those who have learned it. They will not need to exercise their memories, being able to rely on what is written.. "

      The underlying connection between these unique scenarios is an introduction of crucial new technologies into society. The internet, and more specifically social networking, serves as the third wave of revolutionary technologies in human social connection and society in the aggregate. With this new wave of revolutionary technology follows a new wave of perspectives and interpretations, many of which, as Rheingold acknowledges, take a harsh tone of forewarning. Where many critics may claim the internet and its properties are in the process of degrading human interaction and brain function, Rheingold takes a more proactive stance. He chooses not to isolate his focus on the situation, but instead ponders what can be done in response to the situation.

    16. The next task for your atten-tion in training is to develop the most important skill mindful digital citi-zens require to make it through life successfully these days: crap detection.

      The ability to "detect crap" is an incredibly useful skill that without it, my life would be much more stressful and confusing. If I can easily detect crap then I can devote my brain power and effort to more important and meaningful tasks. I believe that I am inherently good at crap detection and because of that I've always been able to work more efficiently. I know when something is a waste of time and what's truly important in the grand scheme of things. Crap detection is a useful skill that everyone should work on improving.

    17. the atten-tional process we will later learn to recognize as the "narrative network," turns our ability to mentally rehearse something we've seen others do into a tool for controlling our own awareness.

      In this linked article there is a discourse on how to stop terrorists from recruiting through social media. This may seem unrelated at first but through repetition, Isis recruiters have learned how to identify a target and convert them into a member of the organization of hate they run. If these recruits were focused on and emulating social justice warriors dedicated to fighting Isis they might never have become part of the terrorist cell. The success of Isis in recruiting new members has to do with this "Narrative Network" Rheingold mentions. In highly oversimplified but rather poignant terms "Monkey see monkey do." The Isis recruiters train the brains of mainly young impressionable men to see and "mentally rehearse" actions that further the organizations agenda. In isolating these young men and only exposing them to one very powerful side of an even more powerful two sided argument they obtain new members and one of the key ways to combat that as mentioned in the article is to destroy that isolated state, or as Rheingold might put it to change or expand the narrative network of the minds of the people Isis tries to recruit.

    18. When I intentionally aim the beam of my self-awareness on my breath, I strengthen networks of brain cells that eventually begin to function together even when I'm not consciously meditating. Being aware of my own thoughts, I realized, is a skill that can be learned through patient rep-etition.

      Self-awareness is a learned behavior. We can do so much with our brains if we just go through the effort of learning how. Our brains are full of limitless untapped potential and the more in touch one is within themself the better understanding of their brain they have achieved. We are capable of learning infinite skills with infinite uses. The brain is a powerful tool that people should really take more advantage of when they have the opportunity.

    19. Mindfulness in its most general sense is about waking up from a life on automatic, and being sensitive to novelty in our everyday experiences.

      Being mindful is an important quality for one to possess. Being mindful is about turning off the auto-pilot and stopping to smell the roses. Everyday is special and unique in its own way, but if one allows himself or herself to do so one will never notice. All it takes is a little effort, and a conscious flip of a switch to truly wake up and look at each day as a new and unique experience.

    20. You moved various snapshots of memory from the "back of your mind" into the spotlight of your attention. Part of your brain coordinated attention and memory in a mental simula-tion of a spatial search.

      To simplify this example, in order to find the keys, the brain doesn't use a visual memory of you placing the keys somewhere. Instead your brain uses the are and spaces around it "spatial awareness" and pieces together the location based on things like how high your hand was when the keys were dropped or what sort of feeling did the surface have when grazing your knuckle against it while walking away. This is why when searching for things (i.e. keys) many people hold out their arm while looking, because the height that their arm is held is going to be at a similar height to the keys because their spatial memory is telling the arm what height to search at.

    21. Another reading expert, Dehaene, calls this adoption of previously evolved brain mechanisms to serve new tasks "neuronal recycling."

      http://www.unicog.org/publications/DehaeneFyssenChapterPreemption2004b.pdf "the human capacity for cultural learning relies on a process of pre-empting or recycling preexisting brain circuitry. " - the definition of neuronal recycling according to Dehaene's paper

    22. Humans are born biologically equipped to recognize visual patterns, then extract meaning from them, but meshing language, vision, and atten-tion to transmit knowledge was invented

      We as humans are not intended to be able to engage, attention, linguistic, and visual skills all at once but we have trained ourselves to do so. As society evolved and technology grew, so did the capacity of our brains. Although few physical changes have taken place in our brains, we have learned how to achieve so much more with what we have. This is what makes humans so much smarter than other animals. We do not need to wait for evolution for our brains to grow. We are always learning and developing knew skills. Human potential is limitless.

    23. Extremes make for good storytelling, but framing the question of how social media affects individuals

      Social media had a terrible effect on Mr. Costacura when Russia took his pictures to spread propaganda. The effect of social media on us as individuals is much stronger than we realize. When a post is made it is archived for virtually forever. One has no real way of knowing who exactly has seen their pictures and posts on social media, whether it's an old ex or Russian hackers. It is for this reason I always make sure to carefully consider a post before it is made on social media and be absolutely sure that I want to post it.

    24. all peo-ple and media are available all the time, and in all places, but relatively few people appear to use ubiquitous informational access and social connectiv-ity politely and productively.

      In his focus on attention, Rheingold also touches many times on media consumption manners and the collective societal responsibility to consume and manage habits of consumption to acceptable times and settings. For example watching cat videos instead of working is generally not an acceptable form of media consumption. This chapter was written in 2012, in the past five years societies media consumption has gone from bad to worse, people are more distracted than ever and that distraction is happening at less and less opportune times as time goes on. So in his speaking on media attention, focus also on Rheingold's underlying message of socially responsible media consumption.

    25. Oversimplification num-ber one: attention, memory, and executive control are the fundamental com-ponents of thinking-and the executive control process is the particular power you can tap to control your use of social media.

      Is social media a progress or problem?

      Social media is instant and constant entertainment by profiles, pages, pictures, and post that are visually pleasing and stimulating to the individual who views them. Social media connects people from all across the world and forms communities of similar interests. An example of a positive online community would be the AIDS Memorial Quilt NAMES Project Foundation website (http://www.aidsquilt.org/). This site brings together friends, family, and individuals who have suffered from AIDS and HIV and memorializes the lives that have been lost.

      Not all online forums are used for good. ISIS cyber terrorism is an example of a negative community that spreads fear via social media. Dann Lohrmann, the author of How Terrorists' Use of Social Media Points to the Future, states that "Global experts agree that ISIS has been very successful in using the Internet to recruit new fighters via social media" and then continues in his article on how to respond to the online terrorism we see in our society. http://www.govtech.com/em/safety/Terrorists-And-Social-Media.html

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=238&v=0_wyFgpShU0 Mustafa Tameez, former consultant for the Department of Homeland Security, discusses social media's role in recruiting for terrorist organizations.

    26. Unlike most species, we are able to learn by imitation, and this faculty is at the basis of human culture

      Social media is an outlet for material culture of this generation. Just like the AIDS quilt shares multiple stories of a community filled with sorrow for the lives lost and hope for better prevention and a cure, youtube, instagram, twitter and snapchat are platforms that share a digital material culture. Once put out on the internet, a post never really goes away. A virtual footprint is left behind sharing its own history. I personally notice that these platforms reveal trends surrounding teenagers of a specifically short time period. These trends are usually imitated from celebrities or memes but then spread like a disease through the community. Human culture is copied and shared.

      Examples of tends form 2016 include: Ted Cruz the Zodiac Killer, highlighter makeup, rose gold everything, avocado toast, apple watches, succulents in every room of the house, the water bottle flip challenge, Harambe, smoothie bowls, waist trainers, chokers, and the list goes on.

      While may of these trends are fashion and life style based, they can also reach a lot further into learning trends due to the development of newer technology.

      E-Learning Trends of 2017: https://twitter.com/jblefevre60

    27. When you are online, how often do you control your own focus-and how frequently do you allow it to be captured by peripheral stimuli?

      Rheingold brings up an interesting point. Are you really in control of your learning? I know that when I am trying to study documents on my laptop I am always distracted by responding to emails, checking facebook notifications, and online shopping. A review session that should have only lasted two hours at maximum ended up taking all day until I fully understood what I was studying. While I could have easily avoided these distractions, I believe that for bigger social or lifestyle issues some distractions are put in place on purpose to subconsciously alter the thought process of an individual. This is known as subliminal messaging. By hiding picture or words in different modes of media, advertisers can persuade the audience to think a certain way about what is being advertised. One well known example of subliminal messaging is in a commercial for the Bush Campaign. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NPKxhfFQMs

      If you slow the video down between 0:22 and 0:24 the word "rat" is displayed when talking about Gore.

      Here are more examples of sublimital messages in advertising: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umi7pbkVaeg

      Subliminal messaging like this goes on in every aspect of the media. It happens in food commercials, tobacco and alcohol ads, it could have happened in the Trump and Hillary Campaign. It is interesting yet frightening to think that subconsciously we can be exposed to stimuli that alters our thought process. Subliminal messaging should be considered when discussing cyber-terrorism recruitment. Below is an article discussing how cyberspace is a new arena for terroristic propaganda. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3510409/

    28. Writing a goal can, and in this exercise should, become the first step in setting your intention.

      Whether you have to write down you goals for working, set aside twenty five minutes without breaks to complete a task, eliminate all distractions or turn off social media, focus can be attained. Attention is valuable and should not be wasted on "crap detection".

    29. When external stimuli tempt attention away from the intended focal point, the external stimuli are usually regarded as distractions

      Distractions are a major problem in today's digital society. When one is sitting at their desk in a lecture with their laptop in front of them, the distractions are limitless. One could be distracted by anything from the New York Times to pictures of pigs wearing tutus. Distraction also poses a danger to people in their daily lives. One of the most dangerous things one can do while driving is use their cell phone. The cell phone is a modern distraction that will tempt one's attention from the intended focal point. Distractions are everywhere in our world today, and it is up to us as humans to block it out and keep ourselves focused on what is really important in the world.

    30. "Knowledge" is an abstraction; whatever it is, it's rooted in the activi-ties of the brain. Neuroscientists are using new tools to look at the neural substrates of attention, thought, and knowledge. Meditation practice turns out to be a highly desirable experimental variable for those trying to study whether attention training can improve attentional agility.

      Success is determined by effort, grit, and focus. Rheingold incorporates a small excerpt from David Rock's article, "The Neuroscience of Mindfulness" to back up this idea. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/your-brain-work/200910/the-neuroscience-mindfulness

      "Mindfulness is the foundation for all other learning, all other success you will have throughout you life." -Rossi

      Why Aren't We Teaching You Mindfulness? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yJPcdiLEkI

    31. When you shift your attention, there is always a short interval during which you must reorient, refocus, and filter out competing information in order to move from one stable theme to another

      Shifting one's attention can lead to a lapse in attention as well as information. This lapse can be a big deal if something critical happens during those few seconds. Much akin to how easily Mr. Costacura's identity was stolen by Russia. In an attentional blink of an eye Mr. Costacura found pictures of himself being used to promote Russian propaganda. One's attention is important when it comes to both real life and the internet. Although Mr. Costacura discovered the use of his profile, if the people at Facebook were paying more attention they should have been able to catch the fake profile. Attention is important in both the physical and digital world, and shifting one's attention in both can lead to undesirable consequences.

    32. In addition to the stimulant dopamine, another chemi-cal, oxytocin-a normally occurring human hormone that appears to facili-tate bonding between friends, lovers, or parent and child-appears to come into play as well, especially when social media take up a regular part of one's life. Oxytocin was first recognized for its facilitating role in infant-parent bonding, and today it has been described more generally as "the human stimulant of empathy, generosity, trust, and more."33

      Rheingold examines the increasingly accessible web as a kind of new frontier that grants new opportunities and poses new threats. Directing his focus mainly at the affects of this new frontier on people's attention and ability to concentrate, the negative affects detailed by Rheingold are, for the most part, limited to distractions from goals and interpersonal relationships. The threats posed by this growing frontier, however, go far beyond social media addictions and poor parenthood.

      Also taking advantage of growing web connections are terrorist groups such as ISIS. People with the potential to commit horrific acts that may not have otherwise been reached by these groups are now highly accessible via internet presence and social media profiles. J. M. Berger outlines the multi-step, online recruitment process used by terrorist groups

      "...Isolation – Potential recruits are encouraged to cut ties with mainstream influences, such as their families, friends and local religious communities"

      If oxytocin really is capable of being released via digital stimulus, it may be the active ingredient in the toxin that is online terrorist recruiting. Recruiters are capable of showing potential candidates support and understanding that candidates likely never experienced through relationships with family and friends.


    33. Mindfulness in its most general sense is about waking up from a life on automatic, and being sensitive to novelty in our everyday experiences. With mindful awareness the flow of energy and information that is our mind enters our conscious attention and we can both appreciate its contents and also come to regulate its flow in a new way.

      Be mindful of what you take away from the internet and what you post on social media. Watch out for false information and avoid spreading it yourself. Bring awareness to issues that are important but remember that it is important to disconnect from distractions as well. Portray yourself in the best light and realize the dangers you face from sharing your world on the internet. Daniel J. Siegel states that "constant attention" can be achieved by mindful awareness. Rheingold incorporates this quote within his article to express caution to the readers when entering the advancing multi-modal/multimedia world.

    34. Could it be that he was no more or less Attention! 37 attentionally endowed than other students but had learned something that others could learn?

      The thought that the ability to multitask is a learned trait and not innate is an interesting concept in itself. When one asks a friend whether he or she is able to multitask he or she is most likely to say either "yeah I've always been good at it", or "nah I'm not much of a multitasker", or some other variation of those statements. The article poses an interesting concept that multitasking is a learned skill therefore anyone is capable of multitasking if he or she is willing to put in the effort.

    35. While ISIS is not exactly in the media spotlight at the moment, they have been hard at work in the shadows damaging lives and uprooting peace all over the world. J. M. Berger writes an article on how ISIS uses technology and social media to recruit followers for ISIS, but also how to disrupt the communication to prevent ISIS from gaining footholds.

      Berger, J. M. “How Terrorists Recruit Online (and How to Stop It).” Brookings, Brookings, 9 Nov. 2015, www.brookings.edu/blog/markaz/2015/11/09/how- terrorists-recruit-online-and-how-to-stop-it/.

    36. Leaming (and cultivating an internal observer is definitely a kind of learning) changes neuronal structure by strengthening connections between networks of neurons, a concept originally postulated by Freud and later reformulated by Canadian behavioral psychologist Donald 0. Hebb.

      Having a physical change occur in the body due to a conscious choice can be the most satisfying thing to experience, whether it be working out or changing the neuronal structure in the brain. Seeing that your choice can make a difference in your life gives a kind of power that shows you have control. Choosing to ignore hate-filled accounts on social media will make the choice easier and easier over time, to the point where the choice is not even conscious anymore.

      Here is an article on how our brain decides to make decisions and what happens during those choices.

    37. intelligence is largely at the mercy of self-control,

      According to this point easily distracted people are more likely to be less intelligent due to self-control issues. Does this mean that someone who allows their social media lives to be easily influenced by the likes of ISIS is automatically less intelligent than someone who knows to report or block these nefarious distractions?

    38. What are my media practices doing to my brain?

      Technology provides many people with ways to express themselves they would not be able to otherwise, as well as discover other people who share common values or goals. While this is a major positive for many situations, it can sometimes lead to an echo chamber effect where the only opinions one hears are shared. This effect reinforces the idea that their opinion is correct and others are wrong. This is shown to be the case when recruiters for ISIS surround a potential recruit and shower them with ideas that they have comrades with similar ideals in ISIS.

    39. Use technology as an opportunity to think about your values. Technology has been a great gift. We have new possibilities for wonderful new things.

      Technology provides many people with ways to express themselves they would not be able to otherwise, as well as discover other people who share common values or goals. While this is a major positive for many situations, it can sometimes lead to an echo chamber effect where the only opinions one hears are shared. This effect reinforces the idea that their opinion is correct and others are wrong. This is shown to be the case when recruiters for ISIS surround a potential recruit and shower them with ideas that they have comrades with similar ideals in ISIS.

    40. you'll need to train yourself to recognize and withdraw attention from activities unrelated to your intended goal of the moment.

      Accomplishing a goal on any kind of social media can be a difficult task for anyone. With all the distractions like comedy pages, news stories, and a host of other entertainment venues, it is a wonder that anything can get done. Unfortunately, these distractions can sometimes be disguised as something sinister. The Islamic State is an organization that employs terroristic tactics to achieve their goals. Due to the advancements of technology, IS has been able to use social media to recruit people for their war. If an unprepared person happens upon an IS recruiter then they could be swayed to join or participate in IS activities.

    41. The simple-minded accounts of how the Internet is ruining our attention would not connect the teakettle with the stray dog.

      This point hints toward how many people will complain about new technology no matter what the technology is. If the internet had not existed and horse and carriage was still popular when Davidson had this experience, she still would have likely hit the dog. Because Davidson made a conscious effort to pay more attention to her surroundings, the dog was saved and she learned a lesson about the human mind that could not be learned otherwise; our attention can be tracked and learned from.

    42. Stanislas Dehaene

      Stanislas Dehaene is an accomplished professor at the Collège de France, author, and director of INSERM Unit 562. He is most recognized for his work on numerical cognition, which began as a test to understand whether numbers were understood in an analog or compositional manner.

      Stanislas Dehaene

      Here, he is arguing his view that consciousness is not philosophical, but an evolving process.

    43. Was this young man born with the talent to juggle multiple parallel informa-tion streams without dropping anything, the way some people are born to run swiftly?

      Rheingold ponders whether or not genetics have a significant impact on what he observes as multitasking. When he presents the same question to Clifford Nass, Nass reveals that what the student is most likely doing is task switching rapidly. In fact, Nass says that when people multitask, productivity goes down.

      This is a Clifford Nass TED Talk on the matter.

    44. Howard Rheingold

      Howard Rheingold has been a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and Most recently, Stanford. He has been interested in how the human mind interacts with the internet almost since it was available to the public.

      Here is his TED talk with nearly one million views.

      Here is his personal website.

    45. If you are a parent, beware of the media equivalent of secondhand smoke: the impact of how you use media in your children's presence.

      Neglecting children due to social media happens more often then not. This is just one of the negative effects of progressing social media that Rheingold warns his audience about.


      Below are two articles that express the same concern as Rheingold about parenting with technology: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/mother-tongue/9280194/Mobile-addict-parents-guilty-of-child-neglect-warns-psychologist.html


    46. attentional blink

      The US National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health define attentional blink as a deficit in reporting the second of two targets when presented in close temporal succession. Some researchers believe that attentional blink occurs to help the brain ignore distractions and focus on comprehending the first target presented.

      Basic Attentional Blink Paradigm:

      Example of an Attentional Blink Test: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsCz78VfEg4

    47. People multitask because they believe they can get more done, but Nass has solid evidence that the opposite is usually the case.

      Multitasking Is Killing Your Brain By: Larry King https://www.inc.com/larry-kim/why-multi-tasking-is-killing-your-brain.html

      Nicholas Carr discussing Why The Human Brain Can't Multitask https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpD3PxrgICU

    48. Was this young man born with the talent to juggle multiple parallel informa-tion streams without dropping anything, the way some people are born to run swiftly?

      Can you be born with the ability to efficiently take on multiple tasks or is this skill developed over time?

      Efficiently multitasking is a contradiction in itself. To become efficient at a certain task, research shows that eliminating distractions along with narrowing your focus is the best method. Younger kids are brought up in a world with more and more distractions. For example, while an elementary school student is doing homework in the evening, they might be sitting at the kitchen table with their television on in the background, their phone vibrating from texts or social media notifications, and they might even be looking up information on a laptop with tabs of games or music opened. I believe that these newer generations of children can shift through multiple distractions with ease compared to adults yet efficiency will always be compromised while multitasking.

      How To Become More Productive By Doing Less:


    49. Many of our children learn to code-switch between two or more oral languages, and we can teach them also to switch between different pre-sentations of written language and different modes of analysis.

      Children absorb everything at a young age. Rheingold brings light to the idea that this multi-modal connection is a skill that younger kids can easily learn. As you get older it is harder to learn how to balance different modes of analysis just as it is more difficult to master a new language. A question to consider: Is it too late for older generations or even parents within this generation to adapt to the modes of information that are utilized today?

      Concern arises for the parents of children on social media platforms. It is important to understand how different social media aspects work in order to monitor children while they are on these sites to keep them safe.

      Not only are there dangerous and inappropriate sites with predators and bullies, but now J. M. Berger, the author of How Terrorist Recruit Online (And How To Stop It), brings awareness to cyber-terrorism and states that "social media makes it possible to sift efficiently through more potential recruits than ever before". In his article, Berger lays out the steps that ISIS takes to function online; discovery, create micro-community, isolation, shift to private communication, and identify and encourage action. Berger also brings awareness that social media can amplify current political issues and some potential recruits may have stumbled across ISIS in the media rather than seeking it out first.

      How terrorists recruit online (and how to stop it): https://www.brookings.edu/blog/markaz/2015/11/09/how-terrorists-recruit-online-and-how-to-stop-it/

    50. "Pomodoro Technique."

      The pomodoro technique was created by an Italian graduate student to help him with studying. He utilized his kitchen timer which was shaped as a tomato to help keep track of how long he he spent on each subject. In Italian, the word from tomato is pomodoro.

      Pomodoro Technique - Improve Studying and Productivity https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNBmG24djoY

    51. In Always On: Language in an Online and Mobile World, Baron looks criti-cally at the consequences of a rapidly evolving linguistic environment in which LOL (laugh out loud) and SMS (Short Message Service) seem to have created an abbreviated jargon overnight. She suggests that "email and its descendants" have triggered two fundamental changes. First, new com-munication technologies give us increasing control over how, when, and with whom we interact-what Baron calls "volume control." Second, as we replace much of our spoken interaction with written exchanges, Baron fears that quantity increases and quality suffers.52

      Not only is social media impacting internet safety and material culture, but it is also changing the game on linguistics. Proper grammar is decreasing as abbreviations, acronyms, and emojis become more prevalent.

    52. For my annotations, I preferred to focus on three main themes in Rheingold's 'Net Smart'.

      1. Distraction and how to address it.

      2. The history of disruptive media and its role in Western culture

      3. The epidemic of media stratification; how the Internet has amplified how we organize and surround ourselves with sources that confirm our opinions and biases. This theme is central in my discussion of the article 'How Terrorists Recruit Online (and how to stop it).

    53. John Dewey

      Dewey and Lippmann had a well-documented public feud over the role of citizens in democracy.

      Here are two articles a about their frequent debates:



      Dewey, unlike Lippmann, believed in the underlying principle that humans were capable of discernment and if they were taught the skills to correctly identify inaccurate media sources, then we would have better journalism because citizens demanded it. This theme of human agency in media is a dominant one throughout this section.

    54. When it comes to interacting with the world of always-on info, the fun-damental skill, on which other essential skills depend, is the ability to deal with distraction without filtering out opportunity.

      Rheingold uses this closing statement to transition out of the introductory portion of his argument, and into one of his argument's main themes: "[dealing] with distraction without filtering out opportunity."

      Already covered at this point in his argument is the idea that the limitless nature of the internet presents new dualistic opportunities for learning/distraction. Reihngold employs anecdotes regarding attention and distraction, as well as examples of neurological studies to subtly develop his response to this growing issue. With this selection from the reading, Reihngold explicitly summarizes his response that the benefits and harms of internet are not inevitable factors that affect the internet's users, but are instead harnessable and avoidable.

    55. meditation in the classroom


      This study conducted by four psychologists of three different Italian Universities shows the effects of mindfulness meditation on 7 and 8 year olds in Italian primary school. Here's what they say:

      we found a specific positive effect of the mindfulness-meditation training in reducing attention problems and also positive effects of both trainings in reducing children’s internalizing problems. However, subjectively, no child in either group reported less depressive symptoms after the trainings. The findings were interpreted as suggestive of a positive effect of mindfulness-meditation on several children’s psychological well-being dimensions and were also discussed in light of the discrepancy between teacher and children’s reports.

      The study was shown to, "improve children's cognitive, emotional, and social abilities...", particularly with children who had a healthy mental state.

    56. "What we're experiencing," says Carr, "is, in a metaphorical sense, a reversal of the early trajectory of civilization: we are evolving from being cultivators of personal knowledge to being hunters and gatherers in the electronic data forest."

      Rheingold includes a large swath of Nicholas Carr's quotes on this page and next, which I'm not sure is helping his larger point. I happen to agree with some of Carr's arguments including this one. While I do believe its overstated, I think that his point that with there being so much content just 'out there' on the Internet, its hard to wade through the sludge for correct information, particularly if you don't have well-developed digital literacy skills.

      This is another area where media stratification comes into play. The Internet has exacerbated the issue of confirmation bias in current events, because of its democratized nature. Everyone can publish content on the web, and because of that then anyone can find a source that aligns perfectly with their beliefs and biases, whether they're grounded in fact or not.

      This is a huge contributor to the rise of the alt-right over the past year and a half. The publication of conspiracy theories, of abhorrent racist content, of confederate rage that make up alt-right circles on the Internet was a major news story during America's most recent election. Carr's point about the Internet forcing us to become 'hunters and gatherers in the electronic data forest' means that people naturally flock to sources that confirm biases they already hold.

    57. The fact is that this invention will produce for-getfulness in the souls of those who have learned it. They will not need to exercise their memories, being able to rely on what is written, calling things to mind no longer from within themselves by their own unaided powers, but under the stimu-lus of external marks that are alien to themselves.

      Again, the theme of people fearing the potential consequences of disruptive media that has become absolutely essential to the flow of modern day life. This quote from Plato demonstrates that even the wisest among us sometimes can't see past their own nose. Yes, Plato correctly predicted that writing and literacy would lead to a decrease in memorization and a de-emphasis on the intellectual oral tradition. But if not for disruptive media, we would all be lounging in the Athenian agora like Plato, believing the sun revolved around the Earth.

      Often times, the zenith of disruptive media brings with it exaggerated hysteria over the potential ill-effects of what it will do to our current forms of media. But these doomsday predictions never seem to come to pass. The television didn't kill the radio. Email didn't kill face-to-face human interaction, and neither did the telephone. Writing didn't kill knowledge. Many of these Luddites forget human agency, the ability of humans to balance media consumption and manage the emerging new forms of media with classic forms.

      Rheingold begins this section called '(Using) the Internet Makes Us Stupid (or Not)' in order to promote restraint and emphasize the forgotten element in all of these negative predictions for disruptive media: choice.

    58. , I'll zoom in on the long debate that sociologists have had about the effects of trains, telephones, or televi-sions on the quality of human social connection in large social groups, or "society" in the aggregate.

      One of Rheingold’s central rhetorical devices for building ethos in this introductory chapter is to highlight the now-laughable negative reactions to technology that has become irreplaceable to our daily lives. This article from Vaughn Bell in Slate is useful in amplifying Rheingold’s point, that the new digital forms of media are just the latest in a long tradition of disruptive media sources. Bell writes, “Worries about information overload are as old as information itself, with each generation reimagining the dangerous impacts of technology on mind and brain.”.In it, he mentions a long litany of naysayers against technologies like the printing press, the radio, and the television. Obviously all of these technologies have fostered human progress more than it has hindered it. I think this is the position Rheingold would take as well, that cries that the Internet is making us dumb or that social media is ruining our politics are huge overreactions to small kinks in a technology that’s benefits vastly outweigh its costs.

      Is Google Making Us Stupid? - the Atlantic (this is an article that Rheingold references several times) https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/07/is-google-making-us-stupid/306868/

      Did Social Media Ruin Election 2016? - NPR http://www.npr.org/2016/11/08/500686320/did-social-media-ruin-election-2016

    59. Our transition generation has an opportunity, if we seize it, to pause and use our most reflective capacities, to use everything at our disposal to prepare for the formation of what will come next.

      Growing up today, unlimited knowledge is just a google search away. This generation, along with future generations will have instant access to anything imaginable. With a combination of written text, social media, the internet, virtual primary sources and multiple more platforms, the answers that are being searched for will never fall short.

      With technology rapidly advancing, will children who grow up in households without technology or internet access lose their opportunity to become proficient using other modes of learning?

      From Children Trends https://www.childtrends.org/indicators/home-computer-access/

    60. Howard Rheingold

      "I ventured further into the territory where minds meet technology" -Rheingold

      Howard Rheingold's story begins before the internet was even born. Today in his 70's, he is known as a critical thinker, writer, and educator on the impact of advancing human communication methods involving multimedia and virtual communities.

      An image of Rheingold from his website:

      Here is his official website: http://rheingold.com/

    61. I chose the supplemental reading titled Mystery of Russian Fake on Facebook Solved, By a Brazilian. The article followed the story of how Russia created fake profiles on Facebook in order to spread Russian propaganda and denounce Hillary Clinton. A Brazilian salesman noticed that his pictures of him and his daughter were being used for fake American profiles. The profile in question was "Melvin Redick", and he would openly promote the Russian propaganda website DCLeaks.com. The NY Times tried to track down Mr. Redick, but upon further investigation, he did not seem to exist. After the Times reported this to Facebook the profile was soon removed from the website. Reading this article which contained quotes from Mr. Costacurta on how he felt about his pictures being used was eye-opening. The article shows how little the Russians care for the privacy of others as well as how our internet profiles may be a lot less secure than we think. The Russian government stole the pictures of an innocent Brazilian man, in order to influence another country's election. The blatant disregard for morals and Costacura's value as a person are very evident through Russia's actions. They took advantage of how Google blocks image searches of its Brazilian users (a rule that is intended to protect the privacy of users) in order to influence the 2016 election.

    62. Howard Rheingold

      Howard Rheingold is a psychologist/neurologist incredibly invested in the effect today's digital net world has had on society. He has written a large amount of article, launched a magazine, and delivered a TEDtalk on his findings. His about website is http://rheingold.com/about/

    63. We must teach our children to be "bitextual" or "multitextual," able to read and ana-lyze texts flexibly in different ways, with more deliberate instruction at every stage of development on the inferential, demanding aspects of any text .... My major conclusion from an examination of the developing reader is a cautionary one. I fear that many of our children are in danger of becoming just what Socrates warned us against-a society of decoders of information, whose false sense of knowing distracts them from a deeper development of their intellectual potential. It does not need to be so, if we teach them well, a charge that is equally applicable to our children with dyslexia.

      People might start feeling so smart and "all knowing" that they will shut out anything they personally don't intellectually identify with. The main problem in today's society is that others don't think they should know anything else about other people's experiences and ideas and they'll label these types of informations as unnecessary. Basically, they will make up their mind that they are right anyway so they shut out anything that will probably enhance their culturization and most likely change their minds on a certain topics. It's easy enough for people to surround themselves in a community that will agree with their views and thus they will no longer mentally grow because they only expose themselves to their own side. this is the type of distraction that Wolf claims hinders "intellectual potential".

    64. Democratization enables vulgarization. As cultural practices become more common, they also become more coarse and misinterpreted. In the early twentieth century, the young print journalist Walter Lippmann claimed that U.S. citizens are too gullible and ill informed to govern a modern, complex society. In response, philosopher-activist John Dewey responded that in a democracy, the answer was not, as Lippmann sug-gested, to confine governance to an elite but rather to make the entire pop-ulation less gullible through better public education and better informed through better journalism.6

      This hits the nail on the head in reference to one of my previous annotations on the fact that the only reason Russia felt bold enough to invest time to create fake American profiles was because they felt the American people were gullible enough to fall for their propaganda. It is up to the people to educate themselves into not falling for this series of media directed attention.

    65. our brain had at its disposal three ingenious design principles: the capacity to make new connections among older structures; the capacity to form areas of exquisitely precise specializa-tion for recognizing patterns of information; and the ability to learn to recruit and connect information from these areas automatically.

      It's interesting for me personally to read about how the brain basically rewired itself when we started developing our own system of reading and writing. Neurons connected themselves in different ways to accommodate our new method of communication. Most likely, our hippocampus enlarged to support this new feed of info. It makes me wonder how exactly the mechanisms in our brain changed to make space for this enhancement, like did we lose some sort of heightened senses such as sight and hearing to make room for our reading abilities? Are our brains changing once again since the advancement of the internet? For example, will we become near sighted to increase our short attention span since we spend such a long time reading information and needing to pay attention more today than ever before?

    66. self-control along with the skillful use of attention, participation, crap detection, collaboration, and network awareness through social media ought to be taught to future netizens as early as possible.

      It is vital that from now on people grow a sensitive sense of detection of false information. In this day and age it is easy to become engrossed in the multitude of data being spread. People need to reverse look up anything they are not sure of, and have a general idea of which sources can be trusted and which cannot. Otherwise, it is easy to fall victim and be guilty of spreading misinformation. Ultimately, it was this lack of skepticism that enabled Russia to spread its agenda undetected throughout facebook.They stole a Brazilian man's pictures and made up false addresses and education in order to do this, when a simple search of this fake profile would have been easily exposed.

    67. I conclude that teaching people how to practice more mindful mediated communication seems the most feasible remedy. I like Jackson's query in an excellent Boston.com article about attention training: "If focus skills can be groomed, as research has begun to hint, the important next question is whether, and how, attention should be integrated into education.

      The key to understanding the world around us is face to face communication that is "mindful" and "mediated". Personally, I believe that people lose their sense of empathy online because they don't have a physical face in front of them talking about their experiences. Usually, all you truly see online are either data or opinions, and it becomes incredibly easy to side with one issue because one absorbs information with no consideration on how different types of people are involved. According to the article "is the internet killing empathy?" it is stated that

      Their brains have become "wired" to use their tech gadgets effectively in order to multi-task -- staying connected with friends, texting and searching online endlessly, often exposing their brains to shocking and sensational images and videos. Many people are desensitizing their neural circuits to the horrors they see, while not getting much, if any, off-line training in empathic skills. And the effects may even reach young people.


      The effects of widespread media and propaganda most likely will make it easier for the consumers to become self centered and desensitized to others and thus fall for the Russian social media plants which caters to these types of mentalities.

    68. A search engine," he writes, "often draws our attention to a particular snippet of text, a few words or sentences that have strong relevance to whatever we're searching for at the moment, while providing little incentive for taking in the work as a whole."

      Although Google is made out to be a great search engine for whatever people want to look up when they need to be distracted, Google still doesn't use a database containing everything that's on the internet. in "Mystery of Russian Fake on Facebook Solved, by a Brazilian", it is mentioned that

      Before publishing the photos, The Times tried to find their source using Google’s image search function, but nothing turned up. This suggested that they might belong to a Brazilian Facebook user because Facebook blocks image searches of its profiles. The company declined to say whether it had searched internally and found the photos before Mr. Costacurta came forward.

      This shows that even when our attention could be completely focused on finding as much information as we can for one subject, in the end our dedicated attention may have been in vain overall.

    69. Only you can know your goals, and only you can determine which stimuli are relevant at any moment.

      Because almost the entirety of the country already had predetermined that the most relevant issue in 2016 was the presidential election, it became all the more easier for Russia to create fake profiles in the heightened scrutiny that both of the candidates were under, and repeatedly post about politics and their "opinions", and influence people who's goals were to figure out who to vote for.

    70. Humans pay a lot of attention to other humans-hence the success and seductive distractions of social media such as Facebook and Twitter. The discovery of "mirror neurons" in primates strongly implies that paying attention to others is one of the few human cognitive capabilities that may be neurally "hardwired." Mirror neurons fire when you do something, but they also fire in the same way when you watch someone else doing the same thing. The scientists who discovered mirror neurons believe they are fundamental to social behavior: "If we want to survive, we must under-stand the actions of others. Furthermore, without action understanding, social organization is impossible. In the case of humans, there is another faculty that depends on the observation of others' actions: imitation learn-ing. Unlike most species, we are able to learn by imitation, and this faculty is at the basis of human culture.

      This is quite possibly the main reason the Russian government was creating fake profiles in the first place. They wanted to spread propaganda about Hillary Clinton and her emails in order to sway the public vote to Trump. It has already been proven that Russia had a hand in hacking the 2016 elections, but it appears that they wanted to go a step further with this propaganda. Because they had a lot of plants in the social media community highlighting the problems with Hillary, due to mirror neurons, it most likely caused the people who saw these posts to attribute a "regular American person" to thinking that Hillary was bad, thus swaying their thinking to gear more toward Trump.

    71. Oversimplification num-ber one: attention, memory, and executive control are the fundamental com-ponents of thinking-and the executive control process is the particular power you can tap to control your use of social media.

      Attention to detail, one of the vital necessities of media navigation, was needed for the people who were being exposed to things such as fake profiles, like that Russian propagandist that was posing as a regular man on facebook that spread certain types of information for whoever followed him to see. If they were not paying close enough attention to whoever was behind the propaganda being exposing them to these ideas, then they will fall victims to the pushed ideas.

    72. The supplemental reading I chose was the article "Mystery of Russian Fake Facebook Solved, by a Brazilian" This article examined the fake profile the Russian government made during the 2016 election between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.The reason for this was to perpetuate the email scandals that Hillary was involved in to sway public opinion toward Trump. one specific fake profile, Melvin Redick, had pictures stolen from a Brazilian man from 2014 that was only identified when the pictures were made public in an effort to find out who the man really was. It was also discovered that the addresses, jobs and schools claimed to have been attended never had heard of the person in the profile, raising quite a few red flags to the investigators. In all, when the true man of the photographs was contacted, he was unnerved at the fact that his pictures had been taken from him due to the fact that he had had his facebook profile on private, not to mention that when reverse looking up his pictures on Google, it leads to zero results because Google blocks Brazilian Facebooks. It just goes to show that no matter what type of privacy precaution one can take, hackers are still able to take pictures without permission and use them to their own gain. This also personally makes me realize how undeniably corrupt governments can be in order to influence elections not even in their own country.

    73. There are two main issues that need to be addressed when talking about this Russian, and by extant all, propaganda endeavors: internet privacy and gullibility. Everything can and will be seen on the internet, no matter how many precautions one will take, that's why it's important to limit the amount of media you post publicly. Governments will have access to your information and could use it to push their own agendas.Tying more closely with the main text, Net Smart by Howard Rheingold, is the gullibility issue. It's brought up that paying attention in the age of the internet has become incredibly difficult for today's society. Because people aren't paying attention to the world around them, and to an extent the world on their phones, they are missing the crucial details in life. People are letting this excess flow of information take over their lives and influence their opinions and ideas. This is the main reason why Russian propagandists posed as regular American people in the first place; they knew the Americans scrolling through the posts of this fake profile will inadvertently subconsciously take into account the posts that the fake profile feeds to them. One needs to become aware of what they are reading online, why is was posted, and by who. By researching, becoming skeptical of online presences, and overall being aware of their thoughts while reading texts online, one will be more prepared to deflect propaganda planted into their social media feed.

    74. Unproductive for the goal oriented • Unhealthy for everybody • Fatal for a growing number • Addictive for some • An invitation to bad parenting • Sodally alienating • A cause for a dangerous loss of solitude

      This list of potential consequences of media-related distraction that Rheingold gives us also happen to create conditions for how ISIS recruits online, according to this Brookings article


      Digital isolation is a key component in the ‘Discovery’ phase of terrorist recruitment that J.M. Berger lays out and also identified as a consequence in Rheingold’s assessment. Now of course, it’s not as if every time you get distracted from your homework and take a BuzzFeed quiz you’re a target for terrorist recruitment. It requires a concerted effort to learn more about ISIS in order for the organization to pick up on a recruit’s interest. The idea is that the more distracted you become by delving into ISIS-friendly spaces on the Internet, the more you become a potential target of ISIS recruiters. This is also an example of media stratification. The way that terrorists radicalize targets is by surrounding them with a digital community in the ‘Create micro-community’ stage of recruitment, further segregating the potential recruit into pro-ISIS circles. This experience of ISIS recruitment shows the extremes of media-triggered distraction.

  3. spring2018.robinwharton.net spring2018.robinwharton.net
    1. The

      Altman's article begins with a recount of black lives matter movement leaders' meeting with Hillary Clinton. He also mentions how Clinton quickly gave in to the demands of the heads of the movement. From there Altman discusses the beginning of the BLM movement in 2013 with the Trayvon Martin case, and he mentions how the movement quickly spread throughout college campuses and cities across the nation. Altman then goes on to discuss the origin of the phrase "Black Lives Matter", dating it back to a Facebook post and discusses the power of said phrase. He then mentions the varying and diverse agenda of Black Lives matter. Different chapters have different localized goals around the country. These ideas were appealing to college students, and Altman discusses this and how protests began at UMO and UVA. Altman then transitions to a discussion of criticisms of BLM protesters and their movement. He refutes these criticisms with a tale of a Minneapolis protest that remained peaceful despite white supremacists spraying bullets into the protesters.

  4. Sep 2017
    1. One boy reflected on how his father kept the BlackBerry on the nightstand as he read him Harry Potter

      This entire anecdote having to do with the effect of technology on children was very moving to me as a reader, and therefore was very smart to include on Rheingold's part. When people try and argue that technology is damaging to kids, they're usually citing examples such as violence in video games or lack of outdoor activity, but this example explores a whole new facet of technology's effects on children.

      This idea definitely takes advantage of a reader's pathos rather effectively. Imagining a child trying to get their parent's attention, trying to tell them a story about their day at school or showing their parent their favorite movie and waiting for a positive reaction when all they'll get is a, "Uh-huh, okay," while their parent focuses on their Blackberry is pretty heartbreaking. This anecdote, including Turkle's quote, is very persuasive.

    2. "If we want to survive, we must under-stand the actions of others. Furthermore, without action understanding, social organization is impossible. In the case of humans, there is another faculty that depends on the observation of others' actions: imitation learn-ing.

      The concept of imitation behavior having to do with humans' fascination with social media is a really interesting and compelling one. Instead of solely being interested in 'stalking' each other, which many people suggest is the only purpose of social media, this concept actually suggests that social media plays an important role in a learning method that humans and other animals alike have used to discover and apply new knowledge.

      The following photo shows a more cut and dry version of imitation learning-- the children in the photo learn behaviors, in this case dances, by imitating the adults. The same can be said about social media; if we see someone we follow being punished for a certain behavior online, we're much less likely to engage in that behavior on our own time. If we see someone we follow commended for a behavior online, we're more likely to engage in that behavior. This sort of interaction is also when the attitudes of people or groups that a person follows online would come into play.

    3. may be neurally "hardwired."

      While the Bobo Doll experiment suggests many things about how someone's parenting style could affect their child in the long run, it also poses a worrying notion about what social media may end up doing to children. We're already able to see some of the adverse effects of children imitating what they see on social media, such as young people engaging in increasingly sexual acts on applications like Instagram or Musical.ly [sic] because they see adults doing lewd acts on the same platforms. When I look at the Instagram pages of tweens and teens that are younger than me, I feel as if they're completely detached from childhood. Some fourteen year olds look even older than me in their photos.

      Here is the Wikipedia page for the Bobo Doll Experiment:


      Below is a photo of Loren Beech who is a 15 year old Instagram and Musical.ly star. In my opinion, she looks as if she could be in her twenties in some of the photos she takes.

    4. may be neurally "hardwired."

      The idea of "mirror neurons" being hardwired reminds me of an experiment I once read about called the Bobo Doll Experiment. Here's a summary of this supplemental reading:

      In the experiment, children would sit in a room with adults, being told that only the adults could play with certain toys in one corner while the children had to play with their own (this mimicked the sort of separation that exists between children and adults in society). One group of children would be exposed to an adult being violent, both physically and verbally, to the Bobo Doll, while the other group was not exposed to this violent behavior. The children exposed to the violent behavior were much more likely to become violent once they were frustrated as compared to the other group of children who were not exposed to the violent adult.

      Here's a photo of the doll that the adults would be violent to during the experiment:


    5. With the students' permission, I made a video of how my classroom appeared from where I stood and then projected it at the front of the room

      To make a summary of one of my supplemental readings, The Honest Truth About Dishonesty, I first have to make sure a reader knows that being a liar is not something that is inherent and is instead something that is situational. In the book, the author describes putting various students in different situations and testing how their honesty or choices would be affected. For instance, a group of students would be more likely to cheat on a test if there was a reward as compared to if there was no reward at all. The students would be less likely to cheat on a test if there was a proctor watching them as opposed to an empty room. The book is an extremely interesting nearly 200 page analysis of human nature, and it's definitely a good read.


    6. With the students' permission, I made a video of how my classroom appeared from where I stood and then projected it at the front of the room

      This sort of experiment reminds me of a book I once read called 'The Honest Truth About Dishonesty.' The fact that Rheingold made the students aware that he was recording them could have vastly skewed his results (even if some students did still surf the web or check their emails). If somebody knows they're being watched, they're much less likely to engage in a behavior that's perceived as being bad, such as surfing the web instead of paying attention in class or playing an RPG while the teacher is trying to lecture. Many more students may have engaged in these behaviors and, therefore making for different observations, if the students were not made aware that they would be filmed. I can see how filming without consent could be considered unethical and an invasion of privacy though.

      Here's a PDF of the book:


      Obviously you can't read the whole thing in a short amount of time, but even looking over a few chapters is interesting.

    7. © 2012 Howard Rheingold

      In any piece written about the internet, I find it extremely important to note the publishing date and to consider any biases the author may have, especially based on age. First of all, it's quite promising that the publishing date of this piece is 2012, as that's very recent and there haven't been any monumental changes to the internet within the past five years. If the article was written some time in the late 90's, I would have been much more skeptical when analyzing, or would at least look at it in a different light. Next, it's important to note that Howard Rheingold was around 65 years old at the time of writing this piece, which may indicate that he isn't as knowledgeable about the web as other younger scientists. In my experience, older generations tend to have an inclination to blame the internet rather than explore the opportunities it presents. Rheingold's older age is definitely something to keep in mind when reading this piece.

    8. "awareness test"



      This is the video of the test that was described, along with the essay ‘Gorillas in our midst: sustained inattentional blindness for dynamic events’ describing the phenomenon, written by two Harvard psychology researchers David Simon and Christopher Charibus. When the viewers focus on the white team passing the basketball, they experience both change blindness and inattentional blindness. They define change blindness as the lack of detection of large changes in objects or scenes and inattentional blindness as paying so little attention to an object that you cease to notice it entirely.

      Their conclusion is that, “we perceive and remember only those objects and details that receive focused attention.”, and without us committing our sustained focused attention on a specific object or event (like looking for a moonwalking gorilla in the middle of a basketball game), then we fail to register it entirely.

      This demonstrates the incredible power of distraction. When we are distracted, not only do we find it more difficult to quickly switch back to the task we were doing previously, but by severing our sustained focus on something to check the new notification on our iPhone, we potentially miss really obvious connections. All the more reason to “pay attention to attention”, as Rheingold says.

    9. When you are online, how often do you control your own focus-and how frequently do you allow it to be captured by peripheral stimuli?

      As Rheingold points out in the paragraph below, some distraction is ingrained in evolutionary human instinct, like, "jumping at a loud noise or applying the brakes at the sight of a dog in the road...". But this distraction is not what he describes as 'peripheral stimuli'. This stimulus is rooted not in productivity nor rest, but in distraction. A cell phone buzz from a Twitter like or a SnapChat eagerly waiting to be responded to, is a constant sap on our attention.

      As he points out later, the human brain can only hold seven (give or take two) thoughts at one time. The near-constant presence of our smartphones and digital devices represent distraction that disrupts our focus on productive tasks. Even as I type this annotation, I'm also thinking about the playlist I'm listening to on Spotify and the three new notifications from GroupMe awaiting my attention. Rheingold takes the view that a smartphone is an incredibly powerful and useful tool, but just like any tool, there's a proper way to use it optimally. This optimization of digital tools includes not just the notification settings of the actual device to manage distraction, but also human agency. Putting your device in another room, or turning it off for an hour is one way we can improve our attention. Mindfulness and equipping a digital mindset is another. Rheingold's overarching goal in 'Net Smart' is to acknowledge the benefits of the Internet age and improve our digital lives without throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

    10. e development of a vast mass communications industry, concerned in the main neither with the true nor the false, but with the unreal, the more or less totally irrelevant. In a word, they failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions.

      This quote is how Rheingold introduces one of his central themes: distraction, its evolving role in our constantly connected world, and how to deal with it productively.

      But this quote also provides an avenue to a topic that Rheingold briefly touches on later that I think is at the core of the intersection of our current political and digital discussions. That is, what is the impact of media stratification on our society? In all manner of our current dialogues, from the 2016 election, to opinions on climate change, even to the strategies of 21st century terrorist recruitment, how do we as digital citizens fight through the noise of partisan, unaccredited content to find truth? In many instances, especially in cases where someone may not possess the digital skills necessary to adequately judge the veracity of sources, we end up falling into traps of only trusting media outlets that confirm the opinions we already believe to be true. Huxley, and by extension Rheingold, points to humanity's bent towards distraction as the main source of this media stratification and increasing digital isolation into circles that continually reinforce whatever beliefs are held up as true.

    11. Stanislas Dehaene

      Dehanene is a professor at the College de France where he specializes in cognitive psychology. He received his bachelor's degree in Mathematics, completed a PhD in cognitive psychology, and conducted post-Doc research in the field of nueronal modelling studies -- understanding how the brain processes information.

      In the video below, Dehaene gives a talk about how the brain learns to read and learn, particularly with early childhood education.


    12. Human thinking processes are neither wired nor rewired, although it is convenient to think of them in that way. Even if the probability that a specific set of brain cells will fire in synchronization does resemble fixed circuitry, the brain works in a more dynamic way than the wiring metaphor implies. Wolf emphasizes that groups of neurons create new connections and strengthen pathways between them in specific networks whenever a person acquires a new skill

      It can seem much easier to think of the brain as a circuit-board, especially in instances thinking about the rapid changing of tasks. Unplug a wire from one task and plug it into another. Truthfully though, you can think of these wires as different pathways that can be changed, or upgraded, over time. You can choose to 'upgrade' certain parts by doing exercises like meditation, focusing on different things in order to make different parts of your brain stronger. If you focus too hard on one though, that wire might short circuit.

    13. intelligence is largely at the mercy of self-control," and more specifically, the self-control of attention.8

      This quote does a very good job of describing a feeling that I believe nearly everyone experiences once in a while, whether it be doing work or homework. It's a really interesting way to think of attention though. Instead of just inherently being bad at paying attention to things for a long period of time, doing homework for hours without giving into the itch to watch Netflix or play a video game is instead an exercise of self-control. Thinking of an attention span that way actually makes it much easier to get work done quickly, while also making it much nicer to reward yourself afterwards.

    14. This insight is the basis for a simple attention-training methodology known as the "Pomodoro Technique

      I feel like I've tried certain variations of this technique on my own, but without the organization. I think this is definitely the best way to go about trying to get things done. Instead of forcing yourself to sit down and work on the same exact task for hours without breaks, work on separate tasks and get more work down over time. This also would most likely produce higher quality, less tired work. On top of that, it makes big blocks of tasks seem a lot less overwhelming and very manageable as compared to looking at many large tasks all piled up.

    15. Using) the Internet Makes Us Stupid (or Not)

      I recall many, many AP Language questions have to do with the internet changing people lives and taking away their jobs. For instance, one of the ones I could find online accused Google of taking away the jobs of librarians and effectively getting rid of public libraries altogether.


      I also recall doing another (that I can't manage to find online) that said having information readily available online makes our lives move too fast, instead of just acknowledging the fact that search engines can make our lives easier.

      Since older academics tend to be in charge of AP exams, it makes sense to me that a lot of the questions, especially in the argument essays, would be centered around 'negative' effects of the internet. Still, it got fairly tiring to write about.

    16. n academic circles, the attitude taken by Carr and other critics I consider here is called "technological determinism," and in my opinion it can be as dangerous as a lack of awareness of technology-enabled pitfalls

      I really like the way that Rheingold addresses the fact that many academics (usually members of an older generation) tend to blame technology, and especially the internet and social media, for shortening attention spans or making kids 'dumber.' Rheingold goes on to say that humans made the internet and social media themselves-- if we want to blame anybody, why not blame the humans who created what many are working so hard to turn into some sort of evil force? It's very rare to see an academic actually defending the good parts of the internet, and it's extremely refreshing to see Rheingold doing just that.

  5. spring2018.robinwharton.net spring2018.robinwharton.net
    1. that people would lose their Mohegan identity when they left the tribal lands:'


      As a quick summary, the supplemental reading that I chose describes a devastating earthquake in Italy that destroyed important historical sites. Nearly 300 sites were damaged while 50 were completely destroyed. Specifically, many important religious buildings were damaged, such as the Basilica de San Francesco or Cattedrale di Urbino, an ancient Roman cathedral. Still, the article describes 'solidarity with the population' given the loss of important cultural artifacts, when citing that all proceeds from state museums will be given to the communities hit the hardest. This article shows that even if someone's cultural artifacts may be lost or damaged, their culture still lives on in other forms, as well as in the support of a community.

    2. Further research determined that the box had been sent by minister Samson Occam from the Mohegan community in Brothertown to his sister Lucy at Mohegan as a record of the journey.

      This excerpt serves as an example of a Mohegan basket going beyond its practical use. In the place of a letter or journal, a minister from the Mohegan community sent his sister a basket as a record of his journey. The basket, along with serving as a record of events, may have contained objects that tacitly revealed other aspects of his journey.

    3. stylized leaves and strawberries represent not only the Mohegan land. but also the plant beings and the food and medicine they provide, which signifies the interdependent relationship between the people and the land. The dot element represents the Mohegan people. T

      The author takes some liberty here in explaining the cultural significance behind the stylized leaves, strawberries, and even the individual dots. The designs, so carefully and intentionally applied, likely possess multiple layers of significance, and are certainly subject to multiple interpretations, but planr beings, interdependent relationships between the people and the land, and dots as people might be taking it too far. The author makes several claims of debatable accuracy, but fails to provide any citations of evidence. It's possible that this interpreter has begun "[allegorizing this] textual object out of its materiality." (J J Cohen, The Life of an Object)


    4. They range from carrying baskets with handles to small sewing baskets and decorative wall pockets to coarse draining baskets and the typical rectangular covered storage basket such as the basket in Figure 1,3

      By examining the tools used by the Mohegans, we take a direct look into their daily life and practice. The specialization of individual baskets testifies to the Mohegan's sophistication in the field of basketry. Additionally, the specialization of baskets raises questions about the baskets' ceremonial and utilitarian properties. Does a particular kind of basket play a stronger cultural role than others?

    5. In sum, by touching every aspect of daily Native life, both past and present, basketry is imbued with cultural and spiritual power. 63

      In response to an earthquake that damaged or destroyed hundreds of Italy's cultural and historical sites, the Italian minister of culture Dario Franceschini encouraged Italian's to visit museums located in regions hit hardest by the earthquake "as a sign of solidarity with the population." By destroying the buildings that once stood in these Italian historical sights, the earthquake reduced the cultural value of the area. This cultural value came simply from the age of the buildings that once stood in these regions, and more specifically from the generations of Italians that witnessed, maintained, or even lived and worked in the buildings.

      The demolished buildings, without their humble presence in Italian history, are little more than rubble. Mohegan baskets are affected similarly by their practicality and humble presence in daily Native life. Without the ritualistic process of their creation and the understood meanings of their designs, Mohegan baskets are little more than baskets. However, "by touching every aspect of daily native life, both past and present, basketry is imbued with cultural and spiritual power."


    6. he basket is decorated on three sides, painted free hand in Mohegan pink ( a mixrure of red and white lead) and green, using a handmade twig brush. The design pattern consists of traditional Mohegan symbols: rhree four,domed medallions and a linked chain of stylized leaves, strawberries, dots, and trel, lises.

      For an article focusing on the cultural significance of a object and its adornments, a visual understanding of the subject matter is crucial. Without the in-depth physical description provided at this point in the passage, the reader would be completely dependent on the black and white, single frame photo shown at the beginning of this excerpt. When it comes to the intricate color designs on the basket's exterior, the photo does not do the work much justice.

    7. To consider early Native painted wood-splint baskets as texts is to decenter or problematize current critical conceptions of early Native literacies and tex• tualities.

      A common place of misconception is the absence of a common alphabet among early Native cultures. Although evidence of texts and manuscripts exists, these inscriptions don't always parallel the outreach or application of western alphabets. In terms of established alphabets early Native literacy is largely theoretical. However, by the standard of Native text beyond written word existing, widespread Native literacy becomes an arguable concept. The passage includes wood splint baskets, pictographic signatures, and painted plain tipis as possible examples of texts that may transcend written word.

    8. Ultimately, the news· paper linings are intended. not as a means of communication but as protection for the basket contents. T

      Something to account for when considering objects as texts is the unintentional narratives that objects often tell about their makers, and origins. In the case of the Mohegan painted wood-splint basket, the painted exterior undoubtedly tells us much about the maker's concept of aesthetics, but the practical details such as the newspaper lining reveal far more about the Mohegan culture and the circumstances prompting the creation of the basket. For instance, the fact that a newspaper from 1817, Hartford, Connecticut was used as the basket's lining immediately orients the basket's creation both geographically and chronologically. The date and location provided by the newspaper do no give us exact historical coordinates, but they certainly serve as strong hints in the right direction.

    9. Newspaper linings were common practice during the nineteenth cenrury.69 Laurel Thatcher Ulrich has considered a similar covered storage basket-probably Mahican or Schagticoke, based on its distinctive construe· tion and design-lined with pages from the Rutland (Vermont) Herald dated from 1821 to 1822.

      The use of newspaper linings, an interesting display of Native cultures' innovative and adaptive inclinations, goes beyond just the Mohegan culture. Natives heralding from differing nations used this same peculiar method of protecting a basket's interior goods which introduces a third, intriguing quality of Native cultures: homogeneity in the way of invention and practicality. If practices as specific as the use of western newspapers on the interiors of baskets can be found from nation to nation of Native people, what other qualities of baskets are shared among nations, and can basket stylization be understood as text?

    10. a gendered cultural form, the basket is the embodiment of the role of women

      "Women played a very important role in the life of the Native American. They were more than just mothers of the tribes’ children. They were builders, warriors, farmers, and craftswomen. Their strength was essential to the survival of the tribes." ***http://indians.org/articles/native-american-women.html

    11. F~nally, as a text, the basket assumes primacy over its newspaper linmg, reducing 1t to a utilitarian function devoid of communicative practice.

      Despite the basket assuming primacy in function as opposed to as a communicative means, it truly is a text. The content on the surface of the basket is open to interpretation and could relay both spiritual and historical Mohegan tales. The basket is not "devoid of communicative practice". It is merely devoid of western communicative practice. The basket is a cultural piece that belongs to the Mohegan, and it communicates the traditions of the Mohegan.

    12. I read the design pat-tern of this basket as a possible retelling of the Mohegan original migration story

      Every story has multiple sides to it. The interpretation earlier in the essay is much more metaphorical and spiritual. McMullen on the other hand sees the designs of the baskets as purely historical. The interpretation of the basket is very much up to the reader. Whether it represents the spiritual culture of the Mohegan or the rich cultural history, it is up to each reader to make that judgement.

    13. Many of these basket sellers, noted for characteristics ranging from wit to sto-rytelling to musicianship, became legendary figures in the communities they visited.

      The necessity of extroverted and charismatic people to sell the baskets indicates that the basket sellers were almost a form of entertainer for their time. They had characteristics such as storytelling and musicianship, indicating that they not only brought baskets to the people, but also joy.

    14. o read the Mohegan narrative of the basket, we must make a critical move that elides the Western print symbolic system in favor of traditional Mohegan communicative practices: We must turn to its surface.

      The Mohegan's use of newspaper as a lining to the basket is merely a form of protection from the elements. The newspaper conveys no deeper meaning aside from giving a date to the creation of the basket. The lack of meaning in the newspaper can be compared to the lack of meaning in news today. People have become so desensitized to violent crimes and murders that most stories leave people unfazed nowadays. This is why the Black Lives Matter protests came as a bit of a shock. People had developed a sense of indifference to every shooting, but when the protests began people really started to see the deeper meaning behind each shooting.

    15. .Wood~splint basket making was not a solitary effort; it was one that involved contributions of labor from within the community.

      Community has been a driving force behind many cultures throughout history. The Mohegan really valued community and the sense of pride that came from working together to create something that was representative of their culture. This is much akin to the Black Lives Matter protests where the connection in the black community has greatly strengthened. African Americans are coming together to complete a common task. The Mohegan task was to pass on history and weave a basket that could be used both practically and analytically. The task of the African American community is to bring about equality in 21st century America and to do so through protests.

    16. box embodies the continuity of Mohegan culrural traditions and identity in a time of tremendow change.

      Much like the modern day Black Lives Matters protesters, the Mohegan were going through a very stressful and trying time. Ever since the Trayvon Martin decision, protests for the black lives matter movement have sprung up across the nation. It is a "time of tremendous change" for African Americans in the US as they have brought to light and subtle and systemic oppression that occurs in this nation everyday.

    17. How does the inclusion of forms previowly not considered texts change conceptions of literacy and com· municative practices?

      What really defines a text or literacy in a culture? Google defines the word text as *"a book or other written or printed work, regarded in terms of its content rather than its physical form." If one were to focus on the first part of the definition then the basket does not meet the definition of a text in any way shape or form. Although, when one looks at the second part of the definition then the description could be applicable to the basket. When viewing the Mohegan basket, one must consider the content of the basket or the designs and the patterns that went into the creation of said basket. This content that appears on the basket is indicative of Mohegan culture and therefore allows the basket to be considered a text, despite not fitting what one's preconception of a text is.

  6. spring2018.robinwharton.net spring2018.robinwharton.net
    1. Through care-ful looking, one comes to see an object as significant-as signifying; one comes to possess, to a greater or a lesser degree, a privileged historical knowledge and understanding.

      This statement ties back to Haltman’s earlier classification of an object’s gerundial meaning or purpose. Material objects contain a present impact to assess and, perhaps, differentiate, from the significance of those objects in the past. After reading Lepawsky and Mather’s article on the history of the cathode ray tube, I came to know a lot more information about CRTs than I ever knew before. Their impact is astounding. For example, the cathode ray tube was instrumental in bringing television to the United States, an object our culture has since entrenched in nearly every part of society. The television is especially important for communication and media consumption; it was the television that cost Nixon the election! Not only did the cathode ray tube inspire one of the greatest cultural tools in history, it also dramatically restructured American society. Family life in the home was restructured around the television, and industry responded wholeheartedly to this rapid change. The mining industry surged in order to supply materials towards the creation of CRTs, and now CRTs leave a physical footprint in the history as they dwell, unwanted, in warehouses across the country. The CRT was a vital invention that snowballed technological infiltration and advancement of the American workplace, home life, and society. "The Day Politics and TV Changed Forever", an analysis of the 1960 election

    2. read lustory, amt to dream hi~tury, emhedJed in-inscnhed in-objt"cts, m:hly and dynamically.

      These words practically jump off the page with liveliness! This quote is a wonderful description of why objects and material culture are essential to our understanding and interpretation of society and of history. The insistence that objects are not simple, nor singular-purposed, allows readers to question the materials they have taken for granted in their own lives which likely contain a greater significance than they realize. Objects are vessels of culture, history, and story. Objects represent us; they even speak for us. Objects reveal our interests and desires - our fears and our weaknesses. What story might an object tell the next generation? Or yet, what story might an object from this lifetime tell to a generation that has no connection to this current time and place? The apocalyptic wasteland present in Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake makes apparent that humans don’t always get to consciously choose which objects are passed on through history, and which ones are not. Who knows what parts of material culture will survive, and which parts might be obliterated forever from the minds of future generations? Discussing the AIDS Quilt in the way this class plans to will ensure a connection between the historical artifact and the future.

      Image of the cover of Oryx and Crake:

      Link to photo of Oryx and Crake

      Description of Oryx and Crake on Amazon: Amazon's Book Description

    3. meeting with instructor

      I am excited that we not only have access to guidance from Dr. Wharton, but also the administration at the NAMES Project. For example, information about the process through which a block on the AIDS Quilt is pieced together could not be inferred by looking at the block itself. Knowing that one woman handles this creative responsibility by blasting disco music and separating panels into colors like that which is found on a paint palette, is both awe-inspiring and crucial to the context of the Quilt. The NAMES Project hosts a dedicated staff that also contribute to the storytelling of the Quilt. The emotional labor that comes with opening the world’s eyes to the beautiful stories of those whom loved ones have lost to AIDS and HIV is compelling. It is this narrative that also feeds into the life of the Quilt.

    4. Moreover, such polarities and oppositions offer effective analytic "hooks" of use in organizing insights

      Good art, in classical Greece, contained four essential qualities: vitality, beauty, sensuality, and soul (Stewart, 8). Beauty informed by geometry was best, so, symmetria, or proportion, shaped Greek ideals of beauty (Stewart, 10). The Artemision Zeus is one such object and sculpture that encapsulates the balance and control cultivated through the use of polarities or opposites (Stewart, 46). This sculpture of Zeus embodies chiasmus, a state that mirrors the Greek letter 𝛘 (chi); a state of chiasmus projects a perfect alignment of binary opposites, an ideal critical to individual and societal harmony. For example, the Artemision Zeus flexes a right arm that is tense and engaged, yet a left arm that is straight and relaxed. Zeus’s left leg is flexed and engaged, but his right leg is relaxed and straight. This “clash of opposites” establishes kosmos, or order, in the figure by rhythmically instilling poise. Zeus’s absolute authority over imbalance and discord manifests as a combination of carefully constructed proportion and impassive control over opposing features. Completely inscribed within a seven Attic foot square, the Artemision Zeus epitomizes divine discipline and order through a meticulous occupancy of space. The top of the Artemision Zeus’s penis is the midpoint of the square, from which his knees and navel measure one and a half feet. Zeus’s sternum is located one and a half feet away from his navel, and his nipples are one foot apart (Stewart, 47). As Haltman describes here, the polarities present in an object help fuel our interpretation of that object’s significance, substance, and narrative. Polarities provide a multi-layered, multi-dimensional context to an object, and require one to analyze the object from different perspectives. Link to photo of the Artemision Zeus Stewart, Andrew. Classical Greece and the Birth of Western Art. Cambridge University Press, 2008. See this text, Classical Greece and the Birth of Western Art, on Google Books

    5. anything left out of descrip-tion is lost to interpretation forever.

      Visiting the NAMES Project illuminated the importance of archiving monumental pieces of craft and storytelling such as the AIDS Quilt. To be able to recreate an object’s “visual and physical effect in words” holds much greater significance than one might think (Haltman, 4). As Dr. Wharton discussed during our first visit to the NAMES Project, our work on this long-term project will have a greater reach than its effect on our grade in this class. Our descriptions of the panels on the AIDS Quilt will contribute to an interactive database for the AIDS Quilt, thus we have a serious responsibility to preserve and honor memories, history, and life. Additionally, fully recreating a panel’s “visual and physical effect in words” prevents it from falling vulnerable to obliteration without hope of recovery. As Roddy noted, the staff at the NAMES Project have photographs of all the panels as well as other information on file about them. When a panel needs to be repaired, thus, the staff knows exactly how the fabric should link together, or what a missing piece used to be, and where it goes. As Dr. Wharton mentioned, if an item in an archive is destroyed, there must be sufficient information about that item or object to inform future generations of its significance. History must be accessible to future generations as well as to as large an audience as possible. So we must recreate an object’s “visual and physical effect” as if it may no longer exist soon thereafter; perhaps that way, we might honor the nuances, intricacies, and impact of an object rightfully and most immediately. The Names Project Luckie St. Location:

      Link to photo of Luckie St. Location

    6. From what that you see or know or feel has your sense of your object's thematic content emerged?

      The term thematic content stood out to me in this sentence. I admire the way it indicates an active possession of qualities or characteristics.Thematic content encompasses both the intentions and interpretations of an object. Though the supplemental text I read did not explicitly analyze the physical and emotional qualities of the cathode ray tube, I believe that several inferences can be made about the CRT from the information that authors Lepawsky and Mather did include. Primarily, the CRT’s life showcases the usurping nature of technological advancement. Lepawsky and Mather describe the CRT’s first burst into mainstream culture as a colonization of “new terrain [in] the home” (Lepawsky, Mather). Through the medium of television, CRTS “displac[ed] other things, like pianos, that had once been centerpieces of home life” (Lepawsky, Mather). Yet in the 90’s especially, the CRT experienced its own removal from throne. The progression of knowledge often weeds out that which is no longer suitable to the current mainstream environment; however, it is clear that Lepawsky and Mather hope readers understand that the technological products we discard do not disappear, nor are they easily recycled. Finally, though objects may be discarded, it is important to note that their remnants may still circulate - perhaps the thematic content of the CRT implies a sort of invincibility. Though the CRT is not as popular as it once was, it still “makes a living” by entertaining from old television sets or arcade consoles. It also refuses an easy demise. Full of toxic materials, the CRT cannot be landfilled and does not break down. Instead, CRTs find themselves transformed as their parts are stripped and reused in other objects. So, they live on.

    7. Because the method places value on the interpreter's own input, it requires "active learning"-che system ,thsolutely cannot work without it

      The Prownian analysis makes the students to be engaged more in their writing. This is something Maguire mentions in his article because he says that students nowadays are just not as engaged as before.

    8. Speculation, moreover, reaches beyond unitary readings to lay stress instead on recognizing the object as a site of contested meanings

      In “A Terminal Condition: The Cathode Ray Tube's Strange Afterlife,” authors Josh Lepawsky and Charles Mather challenge the assertion that the cathode ray tube is “dead.” In arguing against the CRT’s death, Lepawsky and Mather simultaneously question whether or not it is possible for any objects or aspects of material culture to “die.” If material culture’s physical properties signify that it is alive simply because it exists in the physical realm, then, yes, the cathode ray tube does live on. Its life is not glamorous - for many CRTs live in waste dumps or abandoned warehouses - yet they are still here. Even with all the objects that culture may shift toward (in this case, flat screen televisions), perhaps there will always be remnants of what came before. The cathode ray tube, thus, is also a “site of contested meanings.” Is the CRT a present member of material culture? Some believe not. In my opinion, the CRT does live on as a piece of material culture. Its current circulation through the waste stream and, still, the entertainment sphere is worth analyzing so that we might seek its narrative. Though quieter, CRTs nevertheless remain. That is worth talking about.

      Bibliography: Lepawsky, John and Mather, Charles. “A Terminal Condition: The Cathode Ray Tube's Strange Afterlife.” The Atlantic. April 29, 2014. www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/04/a-terminal-condition/361313/. September 4, 2017.

    9. All objects signify; some signify more expressively than others.

      Any physical object can have meaning. Even the everyday items which we do not even think about still are a part of culture. For example, if we found a piece of clothing from a culture hundreds of years ago, to them the clothing would be something normal to them, but for us it could give us an idea of how the people dressed and what material they used to make the clothing. Another example is the AIDS memorial quilt. This quilt is no ordinary memorial. Memorials tend to be the same as other memorials. However, the AIDS quilt is more special than an ordinary memorial because by looking at it, you can see all the detail people put into making it. Also, keeping in mind that this quilt was made by millions of common people makes the quilt even more special.

    10. elucidated

      definition: to give a clarifying explanation. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elucidate

    11. The key to good description is a rich, nuanced vocabulary.

      Descriptions become better and more vivid as the words one uses to describe become better. This is because the more rich vocabulary tends to be more specific giving a more accurate description. Rich vocabulary can also give off more feelings because they are not as commonly used. However, like Maguire suggested in his article, it is not wise to use big words if you do not really know how to use them. Using a rich vocabulary without really knowing how to do it well can create the opposite of your intended goal and make a very bad essay.