Author Archives: joberg1

Authoring Project 2



Smartphones and Social Networks Digitally Dividing the Young

Rushkoff’s Commands


For someone living in the modern world in the digital divide, where access to a computer is difficult, Rushkoff’s commands would have a very different affect on them than those with digital access. Those in the digital divide might not be affected as much as someone who is constantly interacting with digital media, but they also have no control to program or make a change in the digital world. For instance, in Rushkoff’s first command he states, “digital networks are biased toward social connections-toward contact” (Rushkoff 91). Now someone who does not participate on the digital network will not have to experience all of the seemingly meaningless social contacts that go on online in the form of messaging or spreading memes. However, many times what is created on a digital network leaps to the actual world such as political ideas that stir revolution. In these cases those with digital access are actually changing the world and those without have no opportunity to add their voice to the conversation. When it comes to facts, those in the digital divide are never influenced by the overabundance of false information that floats around online, but they also miss out the access to all of the relevant true information as well. “Digital networks were built for the purpose of sharing resources, technologies, and credit on order to create it.” (Rushkoff 118) Someone could be very talented at something and want to share it with the world but still live in the digital divide. They are at a severe disadvantage because more and more people are choosing to spend their free time looking and buying stuff on digital networks as opposed to the real world. Finally Rushkoff make the point that “we must learn how to make the software, or risk becoming the software” (Rushkoff 134). Even though someone might not be on a digital network, they can still be programmed by it just from the amount of change to our culture computers have caused in the last few decades. However, those in the divide have absolutely no way of learning how to make the software and thus can never program and will always be those who are programmed.

Locative Art


After searching the term “locative art” I discovered there were many differences between the different search sites. Each search site was different in its credibility and usefulness. Searching the term locative art on Wikipedia gave me a very quick, down and dirty definition of what locative media is in general. Now where Wikipedia is the least credible of the sources because it can be easily edited by anyone, it does seem to be a good launching off point because the page gives you a general definition that you can wrap your mind around and provides many links to more reputable sources on the subject. Searching the Leonardo Electronic Almanac was interesting. The LEA seems credible since it is the collaborative effort of many universities including MIT and centers around art, science and technology. However, the information it provides was a little cluttered for my taste and was definitely not as easy to find as on Wikipedia. It took me awhile to find an article dealing specifically with locative art and even longer to find a definition on the term. The same was with World Cat, which even though it is a trusted credible source of articles run by WSU, it took significantly longer to find a relevant article and a definition specifically about locative art. This trade off of ease of access and credibility seems to be the norm online. If you want to find an article that is both useful and credible, be prepared to spend time digging through trusted yet non-optimized databases of articles.

No Tech Day

I went “off-line” Sunday when I knew I was going to have less things to do and thought it could be more manageable. I was honestly very surprised on how much of a change being off my phone and computer was on my life. I never before recognized how dependent I really was on them. I might even go as far to say that I am addicted to them. My phone has my schedule, contact info, pictures, reminders, and even alarm. If I wanted to know what time it was I actually had to go find a clock. If I needed to get in touch with a friend I would have to use a home phone and even then I have no idea what the phone numbers are of the people I know. If I wanted to just relax I could not just surf the web, I had to actually find something to do. I would think that it would be extremely frustrating for those with seldom computer access to try to compete in our highly technology driven world. I honestly wouldn’t know where to look for a job or housing. Perhaps the newspaper, but I bet more and more companies are going away from a paid ad in a newspaper and just putting free ones on job websites. As for homework, I feel like I would probably spend all day at the library searching for articles, definitions, facts. In addition to having to write entire essays by hand which I feel is way harder than on the computer. However, after the entire day of no technology I actually felt better not worse. I felt less distracted and felt like I had a little more control over my life. But I am definitely not giving up my technology anytime soon.

Social media

When we look back in history, we see that some of the greatest social changes were brought about by stories. Many times it was done through novels, short stories or even film. Zandt even proposes that, “storytelling has been the most powerful building block for social change”(1). But now we have been given a new medium through which to tell our story and that medium is social media. According to Zandt, “social networking gives us unprecedented power to share our stories” (1). We have seen this truth occur over and over again. What once took getting published in a newspaper or a novel to have your ideas seen by the masses now can be done instantly through social networking. Social media offers many advantages over previous media when it comes to sharing stories. The first advantage social media has is accessibility. A blog or a Facebook group can be accessed by anyone with an internet connection which latest statistics show to be about 2.4 billion people. Even the most popular and world changing stories in the past could never be available to this many people. Social media also groups people by their interests making them more engaged in whatever story is being told. There are an endless variety of forums and groups that all specialize in a different idea or activity. So instead of only getting ideas by means of publishing houses, newspapers, or what the small amount of people we know told us, we can now go and seek out our own information and stories that perfectly match up with our interests. This is great because when people hear an idea by means of a story they like, they are more likely to actually do something to promote it. Finally, social media is a much better way of spreading a message because most of the time social networking is free to the reader, making them much more likely to read the story than if they would have had to pay money to see it.


A manifesto is a written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, or views of its issuer. I would say that the intentions of the Hacker Manifesto were to show that not all hackers are criminals but that most of them actually just want to break things down, see how they work and share that information with others. Because when you share information with other people, they can take that information and go farther with it and hopefully create something new. I think this idea is best stated when the Manifesto states, “We explore… and you call us criminals. We seek after knowledge… and you call us criminals. We exist without skin color, without nationality, without religious bias… and you call us criminals. You build atomic bombs, you wage wars, you murder, cheat, and lie to us and try to make us believe it’s for our own good, yet we’re the criminals”.

On the other hand the Cyborg Manifesto is more about the accepting of technology in our lives and how technology could create a better world and society. Haraway talks about how socialists and feminists seem to be against technology when she says, “One of my premises is that most American socialists and feminists see deepened dualisms of mind and body, animal and machine, idealism and materialism in the social practices, symbolic formula-tions, and physical artefacts associated with ‘high technology’ and scientific culture”. She then goes on to present her idea about how cyborgs could lead to a better world when she states, “a cyborg world might be about lived social and bodily realities in which people are not afraid of their joint kinship with animals and machines, not afraid of permanently partial identities and contradictory standpoints”.

My manifesto is about the gamer culture.

Track games.

Field games.

Sports games.

Board games.

Out of all of the games in existence why do people have such a negative view on video games?

Video games require concentration.

Video games require cooperation.

Video games require creativity.

Out of the many things a young person could be doing why would we encourage them not to partake in an activity that require them to think and expand their minds.

Video games are new.

Video games are different.

Video game can be scary.

But new, different, and scary are usually good things for society.

If we took a step back and gave the gamer culture a chance, perhaps we would see how it is not a culture of wasted time, laziness or worthlessness but one of awareness, teamwork and imagination.

Week 9 Blog Post


I definitely feel that social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter can change and influence the people that use them. I agree with Coleman’s statement, “Media use changes the user. With each shift in automation, simulation, and transmission, we discover not only new technologies but also new facets of ourselves.” I look at my Facebook page and I see photos of myself and of my friends, updates about what are going on in my friends’ lives, relationships forming, relationships falling apart and of course advertisements for a variety of different products that somehow are applicable to me. Because I was able to communicate with my friends more easily and more frequently through social networking sites, I definitely feel that I became a more social person in my teenage years. It was through Facebook my friends and I arranged parties and had conversations about our lives and got to know each other better. However, there is another side to social networks that can change users for the worse. Coleman also talks about how these new realities allow someone “to be cooler than in life”. Many people abuse these sites from innocently training themselves so that they can only communicate with people from behind a computer screen to overtly deceiving people about who they are and what their motives are. As long as people use these sites in moderation and in conjunction with their lives and not as a replacement for socializing in the real world, I think Facebook and Twitter will have a positive effect on the user using them.



I found Donna Leishman’s work, “Redridinghood” very entertaining. Being able to take a familiar story and make it new and exciting is not easy. However, the ability to utilize a new medium to present the story gives you the opportunity to experiment with more facets of the story than you could with traditional print. In Marshall McLuhan’s book, “Medium is the Massage” he states that, “Media, by altering the environment, evoke in us unique ratio of sense perceptions. The extension of any one sense alters the way we think and act – the way we perceive the world” (41). Because Leishman was able to use electronic literature and the computer screen to present her story, she was able to evoke different kinds of senses in the reader. For instance, instead of letting us interpret the visuals of the scene, she provides us with how things look through animation. Being able to play with colors and movement is something you cannot do with print but is very important to “Redridinghood”. A lot of the feelings that I got from the story came from the colors and animation and not necessarily the words on the screen.  Also, instead of it being an entirely linear story, we are allowed to make choices that effect the direction of the story. There were also some optional “easter eggs” that I found you could click on that give you more information to the story, which made me feel more immersed and made me feel that I was personalized with the story.

Week 7 – Electronic Literature – Justin Oberg

Out of the three electronic literature pieces I watched I enjoyed Shy Boy by Thom Swiss the most. Shy Boy is definitely a moving piece of electronic literature and could not be nearly appreciated if it was converted somehow into print form. The combination of music, text, animations and color are all key to making Shy Boy an effective piece of literature. However, it is these aspects that also make it not able to be made in print form but require it to be electronic. In N. Katherine Hayles’ article “Electronic Literature: What is it?” she states, “Unlike a print book, electronic text literally cannot be accessed without running the code. Critics and scholars of digital art and literature should therefore properly consider the source code to be part of the work, a position underscored by authors who embed in the code information or interpretive comments crucial to understanding the work” (3). This is very true for Shy Boy concerning the code. All of the multimedia features going on like the music, colors and animations are only made possible through someone putting in code. From HTML markups down to the binary code that makes up the flash animation, these code-based elements are what give this piece of literature more depth and I think more power over the reader. The multiple stimuli of text, music and movement just naturally serve to grab my attention more than just if I were reading it in text in print form. This is why I would say that I enjoy reading electronic literature more than traditional print literature.

Justin Oberg – Authoring Activity 1