24 Matching Annotations
  1. Oct 2017
    1. 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/

    2. 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".

    3. 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.

    4. 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?

    5. 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.

    6. 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.

    7. 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.

    8. 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.

    9. 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.

    10. 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.

    11. 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.

    12. 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.

  2. Sep 2017
  3. spring2018.robinwharton.net spring2018.robinwharton.net
    1. 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.

      These woven baskets (and other materialistic cultural items) should not be considered and analyzed as texts, and therefore not be treated as such. In general, doing so would result in missing some of the most critical components of the reason they exist or what they truly symbolize. There is no true author, there is no audience, and there are no literary devices to analyze.

    2. e the one from Oneida:'


      The Oneida Indian Nation is an indigenous nation of Native American people whose sacred and sovereign homelands are located in Central New York.

    3. earing inscriptions of the Trail of Life and Path of the Sun design patterns, the box embodies the continuity of Mohegan culrural traditions and identity in a time of tremendow change.

      Samson had compared his uprooting to the original migration tale of his people. He probably felt a deep connection to the story, as he could relate to it, and in order to fully reflect the message back he sent a basket with that story to his sister. An act like this proves that physical objects contain more feelings than a simple letter would have been able to impart.

    4. The selection of an appropriate log, the soaking process, the separation of the wood rings, and the preparation of the splines are all required before the actual weaving of a basket can begin.

      Created a sense of community within the Natives. It was a collective effort to weave the baskets. Possibly a type of ritual where everyone felt they had their own place

    5. The weaving of Mohegan baskets was gener-ally a communal winter activity. It was performed by women to the accompani· ment of stories and songs, which in tum become part of the basket, joining together two traditions, oral and textual.

      No one person truly created the baskets. The essences of the lores spoken to the weavers made their way to the look of the baskets. This excerpt also shows that women played a vital role in passing on the culture of the tribe; they weren't excluded from the history.

    6. Once a ready supply of baskets was completed, they were sold door to door by their makers or by family members on routes that often covered the entire length and breadth of New England.

      These baskets were not only for decoration within the community, they were also used for trade. These people made a living out of passing on their traditions to whoever liked them, either for the historical context or for the aesthetic. When was the last time someone paid hard earned money for a letter you wrote to a loved one? The Natives managed to sell one of the few and unique things they had to offer to the world: their culture.

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

      They had to send their most charming and most popular people in order to sell and encourage people to buy the special cultural baskets.

    8. The significance of basic materials created within a certain cultural structure is vital to the advancement of the traditions and ideals of the cultures. In both "Mohegan Wood-Splint Basket" and "Mark Their Words: Medieval Bookmarks" two incredibly overlooked yet culturally significant material usage objects are observed. It's the simplest of items, the ones that are rooted in the daily routine of the people, that have the most stories to tell.

      The woven baskets (and other materialistic cultural items such as bookmarks) should not be considered and analyzed as texts according to the Mohegan Wood-splint Basket chapter, and therefore not be treated as such. In general, doing so would result in missing some of the most critical components of the reason they exist or what they truly symbolize. There is no true author, there is no audience, and there are no literary devices to analyze.

      Rather than analyzing the literal contexts of the materials, one has to make meaning of each three dimensional detail and why it is there. For example, in the case of the Mohegan basket, the lining contains scraps of newspaper from 1817, which gives an accurate time period of when it was made. The same can be said about the found item type of bookmark during Medieval times. For example, a leaf used as a bookmark can tell you that the person had been reading outside, and you can even go as far as to find out what type of tree the leaf was from, and draw conclusions based upon that.

      There may exist some opinions that stake the claim that typical items that were used in the general lives of individuals are not as important as written primary source documents. Although it is true that written documents are more likely to contain confirmed specific details, they sadly cannot provide a true visual perception of the writer's life. Materials are far more tangible and physical to provide a deeper look and the historical aspects of a culture that cannot be represented on text.

      Culture analysis does not have to solely focus on written media. Looking past the surface of materialistic culture is also as vital to the development of ideas of how a certain community lived in the past.

    9. Through the use of this symbol, the basket pattern offers a view into traditional Mohegan belief and cosmology. T


      East (Yellow) - ...the beginning of a new day. It is also the beginning of understanding...

      South (Red) - ...warmth and growing. The sun's rays are powerful in drawing life from the earth. It is said the life of all things comes from the south....

      West (Black) - ...the end of life. ...also the source of water: rain, lakes, streams and rivers. Nothing can live without water, so the west is vital.

      North (White) - ... hardships and discomfort to people. Therefore, north represents the trials people must ensure and the cleansing they must undergo.

    10. people would lose their Mohegan identity when they left the tribal lands:

      Because they were losing their culture, the Natives now have another reason to create these already-important materials; so they don't forget were they come from due to the cultural genocide happening to them.

    11. ully lined with pages .from an 1817 Hartford, Connecticut, newspaper.

      The pages that line the basket paints a time era in which the basket was woven (early 19th century). It also reveals that the Natives who wove the basket had access to (and quite possibly read and understood) the newspaper

    12. Ancient Bookmarks https://medievalfragments.wordpress.com/2014/07/11/mark-their-words-medieval-bookmarks/

      Bookmarks have been used to save reading spots in books since the middle ages. In general, they were used for Mass book readings. There were originally three different kinds of bookmarks; Fore-edge bookmarks, Register bookmarks, and Found Object bookmarks.

      These cultural bookmarks ranged from complicated to generally simple designs. Register bookmarks were the most overtly complex, either from having multiple strips or ribbons to mark multiple places, or a mechanic type of dial that can mark exactly what paragraph and column one left off on. Fore-edge was a basic index tab type of bookmark; pages were cut and folded in such a way that they jutted out and could easily lead to a marked page. The simplest bookmark was just created from found items.

      Personally, the most intriguing bookmark was the found items type of bookmark. Seeing what type of random items people had laying around when they were reading is almost like a time and location stamp. For example, a leaf used as a bookmark can tell you that the person had been reading outside, and you can even go as far as to find out what type of tree the leaf was from, and draw conclusions based upon that.

      Jansen, Jeneka. “Mark Their Words: Medieval Bookmarks.” Medievalfragments, 10 July 2014, medievalfragments.wordpress.com/2014/07/11/mark-their-words-medieval-bookmarks/.