Final Project

https://dtc-wsuv.org/dtc101-luers/justine-vaca-final.html

Attached above is my final project. I chose to use Twine in order to explain how can we use digital technology in order to combat false information that is being passed from one person to the other. Digital media has allowed us to share information across the world, like wildfire. There are many pros to this, but there are always cons to such great advances in technology. There is no way to avoid avoid false information, other than to fact check yourself or to use digital technology. This related to the class modules and readings because possible preventions could be used within the internet. By creating security systems, algorithms, or apps, they can individually target nodes and connections that the internet supports; thus creating a centralized governance in which the reading states there isn’t one. Other than narrowing down to each interconnection and node, we could also broaden the spectrum and modify or inspect applications or other forms of social media. In this twine story, I specifically discuss news stations, social media, as well as people, friends, or strangers through the digital world. News stations are not always the most reliable source because the certain tv station could be biased. Although there is no way of telling due to it being live, digital technology wouldn’t be able to verify this information until it is already published to websites and such. Social media on the other hand is an open space for people to discuss their own feelings and forms of communication. This isn’t the most ideal form of verifiable news because people are just as biased, if not, then more so. These are not intended to obtain fully correct forms of information due to its original intent and such. Using digital technology to communicate to people as friends, family, and strangers is a better way of obtaining false information. The reason for this is people have no obligation or any sort of rules that need to be followed as news stations or certain websites. As mentioned before, digital technology could be able to use algorithms to inspect repeated terms or common sentences that form the false information being sent. Digital technology has many uses for various of reasons, bots are created through the internet and technology to destroy or cause mass hysteria through out the world. This causes more separation between people than the space we all have between us. Through the used of digital technology, I hope we can be able to clear or rid of majority of the incorrect information being passed through.
Sources:
Luers, Will. “5.0 Social Media.” Digital Technology and Culture 101. Digital Publishing Initiative. 2019. https://dtc-wsuv.org/cmdc/nouspace-pub/dtc101/internet.html#toc-2
Luers, Will. “3.0 and 3.1 The Internet” Digital Technology and Culture 101. Digital Publishing Initiative. 2019. https://dtc-wsuv.org/cmdc/nouspace-pub/dtc101/internet.html

Final Project

For my final project, I chose to focus on how digital technology has changed the reef aquarium hobby. The advent of affordable and accessible digital technology has transformed the hobby on a social and technological level.

Although it is a strange example, the reef aquarium hobby in many ways shows how digital technology has changed the culture and the way people interact and consume media and information. I chose this because it highlights many of then negative and positive effects that digital technology has had upon society as a whole, without involving politics.

Please Note: The PowerPoint containing my Final Project was too large to be uploaded to the blog. The final project will be emailed to Professor Luers.

Final Project

My final project is about the future of the VR system and how it will become a popular system that just about everyone across the globe can own. I didn’t include it in the presentation but if anyone has seen the movie “Ready Player One” it is based around the VR system and I feel like that is not far off from where the system is headed. The Future of VR

Final Project

For my final project, I decided to create a Twine story that explores how social media has and will change society. Rushkoff went through this in many ways in his book, as did our other assigned readings. In my story, I tried to bring up our complacency in letting digital technology control us by shaping and molding our way of life, instead of us shaping and molding technology around our way of life. McLuhan predicted this very thing when he said, “The medium or process of our time—electric technology—is reshaping and restructuring patterns of social interdependence, and every aspect of our personal life” (McLuhan 8). And as our “embodied lives [become] more dependent on non-human systems and more open to surveillance, cognitive manipulation, and control,” the ways in which we socialize have been, and will continue to be, negatively impacted (DTC 1). Furthermore, now that Covid has locked down our culture, the tech industry is booming and we are being further driven into social isolation, with the facade that having the internet makes up for that lack of face to face communication. 

As Rushkoff points out, “only 7 percent of human communication occurs on the verbal level. Pitch, volume, and other vocal tone account for 38 percent, and body movements such as gestures and facial expression account for a whopping 55 percent” (92). Any digital communication, therefore, just cannot make up for person to person communication. Yet society continues to dive deeper and deeper into the digital realm, and we—in essence—are becoming more and more socially distant.

Not only is the communication lacking, however, but instead of listening to and interacting with others, social media inherently makes all of us operate as if we have Asperger’s, misinterpreting and misunderstanding each other’s messages, and insulting each other without realizing (Rushkoff 92). As a result, strain is often placed on relationships, and we become more distant with friends and loved ones that we communicate with digitally, as well as more prone to behave in ways we would not normally behave. We then show the same behavior, and worse, to people we likely do not know because of our presumed anonymity (Rushkoff 89).

 

This “digital culture” (DTC 1) that seems to have predominantly shaped society in the last two decades, actually began molding society long before, with programs such as AOL. With the anonymous nature of the AOL chat platform, “identity became not only fluid but masked. One could be whomever one wanted to be” in the new internet social world (DTC 5). This opened a new possibility that was not otherwise available. The invention of high-speed internet in the early 2000s, then expanded this “social” digital culture as the “Web 2.0” became popular and changed the general focus of the net to be focused on “social interaction and personal expression” (DTC 3).

Forward to today, we see the social impacts and the shallow nature of such a transition, where “Most social media platforms are geared toward engagement rather than truth” (DTC 5, video). What is most important to many people now are how many likes they get on a post where they largely talk about themselves, or in emotionally reacting to and sharing the content that big tech companies are constantly bombarding us with as they work to “shock and outrage us” at every turn (DTC 6 video on big data). To make matters worse, most of the nation is scared to be around others right now due to the possible danger of the pandemic—real or exaggerated. What will this look like in the future? I think it will be more of what we see today, with much more isolation, more mental health issues, and much more of a dependence on digital media, which will inevitably lead to more distant relationships and more opportunities for tech companies to make a profit at the expense of the rest of us. That is what I attempted to communicate with my story: control or be controlled.

Works Cited

 

“Are You Living an Insta Lie? Social Media Vs. Reality.” Youtube, uploaded by DitchtheLabel, 20 Feb 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=192&v=0EFHbruKEmw&feature=emb_title

“Clip Intro THX Ultimate Cinema.” Youtube, uploaded by L’Opérateur dans la cabine, 4 Oct 2019. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovqg2HWNsN8

“I, Robot (5/5) Movie CLIP – Spooner Destroys V.I.K.I. (2004) HD.” Youtube, uploaded by Movieclips, 10 July 2015.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJ5ywAAmiU4

Luers, Will. “3.2 A Network of Networks.” Digital Technology and Culture 101. Digital Publishing Initiative. 2019. https://dtc-wsuv.org/cmdc/nouspace-pub/dtc101/internet.html#toc-2

McLuhan, Marshall. “The Medium is the Massage.” Internet Archive. https://archive.org/details/pdfy-vNiFct6b-L5ucJEa/page/n75/mode/2up

Rushkoff, Douglas. Program or Be Programmed. Soft Skull Press, 2010.

 

Analyzing How Remediation can result in a less Realistic view of Events: Final Project

FOREWORD: To start this project off, I’m simply forewarning you (the reader) that this is a very long train of thought that is going to have to be very much suspending your disbelief. It’s a broad connection, but believe me, it’s there (and the images used in this project I do not own the property or rights to).

So this is a point to be made that sometimes when pieces are remediated, there comes a certain romanticism surrounding the original topic, and I believe that there’s a strong correlation between the distance away from the reality we place a topic and the level of exaggerated romanticism we accredit to it. What is a specific topic I am talking about? The Fifties.

An era generally associated with the society in America that began on January 1, 1950, and ended on December 31, 1959, and was also later deemed as the “Golden Age of Capitalism” due to its increase in wages, jobs, and technologies. The 1950s was also an era of sexism, extreme gender roles, cultural expectations turning into the norms, racism, and inequality. However, the actual image that we oftentimes associate with the 1950s is an idea of freedom, self-building, and the American dream. Now, why in this era of so much negativity do we remember most of the good and almost none of the bad? Part of this is due to the “winner takes all” methodology in which those who are in power get to pay the printing presses to print what they want, which leads to heavily biased and oftentimes misleading information. As Rushkoff mentions in his book, “access to the presses was reserved, by
force, for the use of those already in power. Broadcast radio
and television were really just extensions of the printing
press: expensive, one-to-many media that promote the mass
distribution of the stories and ideas of a small elite at the
center. We don’t make TV; we watch it” and wouldn’t you know it but the hot commodity of the decade was, you guessed it, television. Media misrepresentation at its finest allows us to “dream of a different time” or wish we could go back “to the good old days”. But why now? Why 70 years later do we romanticize this era, and not one of expression or of dramatic fashion trends? Well I forewarned you in the beginning that this was going to be a bumpy ride, so buckle up for the weirdest set of remixes you’ve ever laid eyes upon.
I present to you: Fallout Equestria, originally a fanfiction, (and then later an audio book, and then later a point and click experience game) but an artistic piece mashing up the fictional worlds of the video game series Fallout, with the childhood television series of My Little Pony.
At this point you may be wondering to yourself, how in the world do these concepts have any sort of connection to each other, let alone to the original point of this topic? Allow me to explain.
Starting with the first half of the title is the fictional videogame series Fallout. Developed and published by Bethesda (along with occasional secondary collaborators) this series is set in a post-apocalyptic world of epic proportions. Released in October 1997, the first installment of this game takes place in Southern California, the year is 2161, but with an important distinction as to why this fictitious story is different, it was based around the idea of nuclear warfare but starting in the 1950s. Of course, jumping back to real-world history, the Manhattan Project was a secret government project into the research and development of nuclear weapons, started in 1939, and finally completed in 1946. However, this scientific breakthrough changed the course of history as a display of mankind’s raw power and vulnerability to massive destruction. This was part of the inspiration for the games in the Fallout series turning America into a complete “Wasteland” (as dubbed in the games) and having to resort to extreme measures to attempt to protect its citizens. Overall, this game is based in fact, but really far from it in the final outcomes. The game’s general aesthetic though, does remind the audience (and/or “the players”) of generally positive things about the fifties, as the game contrasts things that were there before as usually being good and safe to the audience, and juxtaposing that most of the technologies beyond that are faulty if not dangerous to use in the game. How does this affect us, the people in this nonfictional 21st century? It turns our attention to things in museums, calming and familiar, “simpler” even, and allows our minds to easily glide over the negative aspects of reality and sink further into our rose-colored glasses regarding that long lost era. This combined with the relatively warm and fuzzy feelings we receive thinking about light-hearted things like My Little Pony (which true was introduced in the 1980s rather than the 1950s) lets your mind wander off, purposefully ignoring the negative aspects of a cold-hearted era. So not only have these things been remediated to create a weird hybrid, but they have also been reproduced into other formats as fans of these topics became fans of this entity, and then those fans learned how to code a computer game. There has also been an increase in trends that favor 50s style relationships, fashions, and traits as well during approximately the last five years. So, we’ve seen some facts about this topic, we’ve seen a personal connection about this topic, let’s look at some of the psyche behind this topic.

We know that Douglas Rushkoff once said: “Digital media is biased away from the local, and toward dislocation.” This still holds true not just geocentrically, but also in regards to our time period as well. An author of Business Insider describes this perception as “Psychological Distance” and proceeds to explain the effects of that specifically with our fondest childhood memories but how it can change our perception overall.

Applying this concept back to the original topic, things in our rearview mirror in life get foggier and less realistic the more we romanticize them, and in this digital era, remediating things and reproducing things makes that much easier to do. Rushkoff mentions in his book that “too many of us are finding our digital networks responding unpredictably or even opposed to our intentions” and I got to enjoy listening to one of his lectures at Google Talks on the subject of people being able to better use the tools we are given if we know what they are meant for. I think that this applies to some of the people who originated the romanticism around negative times because they knew exactly what they were doing. People are comparable to sheep in that they will go where they are led, as long as there is someone or something leading them. Rushkoff goes deep into analyzing how people market things to an online digital comunity and I think that those same tactics described there can be applied to how people would benefit from selling the idea that the fifties were just a grand old time had by everyone. This is the “Social Software” that Rushkoff mentions in his extended metaphor when speaking about societal awareness. Bolter and Grusin really did say it best when they said “Remediation always operates under the current cultural assumptions about immediacy and hypermediacy” so you know that there’s always a hidden agenda somewhere in every media message.

I know that this project focused on the very specific example of media reproduction resulting in exaggerated glamorization but the overarching message is that every time we change something and make it farther from the truth, we are also likely making it more appealing to the eye of the beholder.

Thank you for hearing me out and allowing me to convince you using the craziest widest stretched example possible.

Sources: Final Project Bibliography_

Digital Art & Expression/ Creative Activity #5

I enjoy artwork made with algorithmic designs. There are several reasons why it appeals to me the most. For one, it is randomized and unique for each input. Also, I find the geometric qualities of algorithmic designs to be quite appealing. The accessibility is another attractive component of algorithmic design because people can use free algorithmic design software such as the Google Deep Dream Generator. If you have any spare time, I highly encourage you to check out the Deep Dream Generator. You can input any image you would like and then apply several variables to influence what is outputted. The Google Deep Dream Generator takes a picture and then transforms the image into something similar to preexisting images from its database. The resulting images can be quite bizarre, beautiful, horrifying, intriguing, and psychedelic.

I think that the algorithmic designed art is going to expand even more as the computational power increased. Algorithms already play a significant role in video games, digital animation, and simulations. As time goes on, the power, scale, and complexity of an algorithmic design will only increase.

If I had access to algorithmic designs, I would make a lot of geometric based art. I think that algorithmic design excels at generating interesting geometric shapes. It would be fun to play around with algorithms and see what they output.

Creative Activity #5

Original Image:

Edited Version: Deep Dream Coral

I first used the Google Deep Dream Generator to manipulate the image, I then used photoshop to touch up and manipulate the image some more.

Digital Art & Expression

The digital and computational techniques that appeals to me is noise and glitch. Noise catches the attention of most due to the subtle volume change, while glitch allows for a simple yet subtle change in visual aspects. This can be done in several ways, but the text explained it as adjusting the photo into text, then altering a few letters in order to achieve the glitch in digital art. The technique may develop as singular abstract visual art rather than being incorporated into game play or other sort of reality type digital technologies. This method/technology can be made to adjust or obscure the original visual aid, such as photos, in order to make it more appealing to the eye.

 

Creativity Assignment

For this activity, I have chosen to use photoshop and adjust the focus to the horse and blur the background to add to the effects.

Data & Information

I don’t think that big data and data analytics introduce a real threat to the human culture, there may be some harm that it can propose, but nothing that endanger the human culture per say. I do believe that it promises changes that enhance and simplify (as time comes) human and non human lives. There are many pros and cons to advancing in our technical society, but that won’t stop the human race from the continuation, regardless if it hurts non humans and humans alike, as long as the majority or the upper level class are better off. We already use big data and data analytics within digital technology, so the thought of it aiding us more than ever is an attainable goal, the real question is, at what cost? This is unforeseeable besides the basic hacking and malicious use. On a less serious note, some may see it as annoying. The commercials and ads we see, as well as stores or products we see everywhere, are due to digital information that because of the statistics that were derived from people knowingly and unknowingly. We are always being watched in a sense of what we buy and how much we buy, in this case, it is about supply and demand.

Digital Games & Creativity

My favorite childhood video game was Clash of Clans. The challenge was to build your defense to protect against attacks and to build your army to win attacks against you opponent. The choices given were choosing your army, choosing your attack style, when and what to upgrade (both troops and buildings), what clan to join, whether to be in a clan war or not, and much more. The change in the game was the amount of loot and the ease of bases in each battle as well as the league you choose to battle in. The chance in Clash of Clans could be considered the bases you attacked, you never knew the what the bases looked like in war or who you were to attack. The occurrence was your clan mates in the chat, they were always there and chatted when online. The technology was similar to those already in the app store, but the ease of the game and graphics is what caused people to choose this game rather than others.

Creative assignment:
During the pandemic I found that I don’t really have a good organization style or set up. Now that I have more time on my hands as well as being home more often, I think it is best to work on it.
1. To increase productivity while maintaining organized and clean
2. Cleaning and reorganizing one room at a time, which depending on the room size and amount of rooms, I’d suggest one/two days per room.
3. Each level would be the certain room.
4. A reward would be a healthy snack or added time on electronics in real life, or better organizational tools in the game.
5. The theme could be photo uploads that track the progress or the types of tips used.
6. The idea is to motivate others and give them useful tips and hints to help the player. It would be related to the sims and possibly in VR.
7. The challenge is to organize the rooms before the “bad guys” get home or before your competitor finishes. The choice is the ability to choose your tools in order to organize. The change is the type of rooms you get to work on. The chance is the items you find in each room. The social feature would be a friend list that allows you to see the progress of each friend or competitor. The outcome can be both fun and solve the problem because people love to clean and see an organized house. This type of game would be like the sims, yet limited, it would motivate those while also giving helpful hints, then to get them to organize their own home.