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Author Archives: Kelsey

Phase Two

// Posted by Kelsey on 04/24/2012 (9:39 AM)

My personal blog: http://amstproject.wordpress.com/

The theoretical foundation to my project was JCR Licklider’s Man-Computer Symbiosis Theory. The focus lay in the technologies that seemed to embody Licklider’s theory and to assess how close American society is to achieving Symbiosis as Licklider… Read more

My personal blog: http://amstproject.wordpress.com/

The theoretical foundation to my project was JCR Licklider’s Man-Computer Symbiosis Theory. The focus lay in the technologies that seemed to embody Licklider’s theory and to assess how close American society is to achieving Symbiosis as Licklider imagined it and whether or not this would be a good think for American society.  Based on the analysis of the technology I chose: Sixth Sense, Project Glass, iLimb, and Proto 2, and their individual capabilities I concluded that we are close to achieving Symbiosis but that it would not be beneficial to society.  That conclusion was based on my reading of Nicholas Carr’s The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains, as he enumerates the effect the internet has already has on the brains of internet users. Internet is as ingrained in American culture as baseball and apple pie. And Symbiosis with computers at this stage would not doubt include a symbiosis with the internet. The hours America spends on the net now is doing damage to our capability to think deeply and focus for extended periods of time. If America were to be constantly connected to the internet deep thought, focus, and creativity would no doubt become archaic things of the past.

Anyway, enjoy the blog and start with the posts at the bottom or go by the list at the side. The order in which they should be read are as follows:

The Project

The Research

Feed by M.T. Turner

Narrowing the Project

Discoveries Thus Far

A Switch from Shirky to Carr

Analysis: How close are we?

Ultimately

CITATIONS:

Anderson, M.T. Feed. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Candlewick Press, 2004.

Carr, Nicholas. The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains. New York and London: W.W. Norton & Company, 2010.

Licklider, JCR. “Man-Computer Symbiosis.” IRE Transactions on Human Factors in Electronics, Volume HFE-1. March (1960): pages 4-11. Found online at <http://groups.csail.mit.edu/medg/people/psz/Licklider.html>

Mistry, Pranav. “About.” Sixth Sense: Integrating information with the real world. Accessed April 23, 2012. <http://www.pranavmistry.com/projects/sixthsense/>

“NPR Books” NPR. April 23, 2012. <http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=11280318>

The feedback from my classmates lacked citation but did provide some links as follows:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGwGTh3grco

http://www.touchbionics.com/products/active-prostheses/i-limb-ultra/

http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/health/breakthroughs/4224764

http://www.oandp.com/articles/2007-11_02.asp

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proto_2#cite_note-0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SdwVCUJ0QE

http://www.seoboy.com/product-review-google-goggles/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=9c6W4CCU9M4#!

http://nvonews.com/2012/04/05/google-project-glass-or-google-goggles-expected-features/


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Phase One: Man-Computer Symbiosis

// Posted by Kelsey on 04/14/2012 (11:23 PM)

I am exploring  J.C.R. Licklider’s Man-Computer Symbiosis theory, the implications it had when Licklider published his 1960 article, where we stand now in our relation to technology, and based on research whether or not society seems to be fulfilling this… Read more

I am exploring  J.C.R. Licklider’s Man-Computer Symbiosis theory, the implications it had when Licklider published his 1960 article, where we stand now in our relation to technology, and based on research whether or not society seems to be fulfilling this theory.  Licklider’s theory states that “man-computer symbiosis is a development in cooperative interaction between men and electronic computers. It will involve very close coupling between the human and the electronic members of the partnership.”

The research questions I started with were; what is the historical significance of Licklider’s theory?  What technological advances are fulfilling this theory? How close is this to happening as Licklider imagined it? Is Man-Computer symbiosis a good thing for humans?

The natural roadblock to this is the fact that my project is capable of going in a lot of different directions.  So it was a little difficult to narrow down what I wanted to focus on.  When I was exploring another theory over the course of the semester, whose name escapes me, I was looking around on youtube for applicable videos. I found what I need but as I read through the comments I came across a recommendation for the book Feed.  It was described as an example of where our digital age is taking us. Because I had an oceans worth of information I could explore I started with Feed, I knew it would apply in some way and might help me to narrow down my topic.(The following video discusses Feed briefly but portrays the essence of the book nicely.)

I was also told of a TED talk by my suite mates that described a new way of using computers.  Seeing potential for this to apply to my project I investigated.

With Mistry’s Sixth Sense Technology, Feed, and Licklider’s theory I figured out how to narrow my project. I initially planned on researching Sixth Sense Technology but decided I wanted to expand that and explore prosthetics as well.  This is where my classmates come in.  I picked four pieces of technology; the google goggles, sixth sense technology, i-Limb, and Proto 2 by DARPA. I asked them for an explanation of what the technology is and does? How does it embody Licklider’s theory? What kind of innovation can you see happening that would  further exemplify Man-Computer Symbiosis? I also found a senior thesis from MIT titled Pilot: A Step Towards Man-Computer Symbiosis that I asked for feedback on as well.

For the second half of the project I intend to learn more about the technology I have chosen and to finish Here Comes Everybody by Clay Shirky so that I can hypothesize the effects of Man-Computer Symbiosis on our society. Having read Feed it will be hard to keep that from giving me a bias however, Shirky should help counter that.  In general, the project hasn’t changed much in theory, it was just difficult to put into reality.

 


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4Chan’s got nothing on this…

// Posted by Kelsey on 04/08/2012 (1:56 PM)

Throughout the past couple weeks of class we’ve been discussing the fact that most of us feel we have nothing to hide from trollers but that we’re also apprehensive to risk pissing anyone off and getting our site hacked.  The

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Throughout the past couple weeks of class we’ve been discussing the fact that most of us feel we have nothing to hide from trollers but that we’re also apprehensive to risk pissing anyone off and getting our site hacked.  The article we read in Wired called Inside the Matrix makes the threat of anonymous 4chan trollers look like nothing.  Sure you could be subjected to viruses and hate mail or something for years but now the government is building a facility that is capable of spying on basically anyone and can store yottabytes worth of data(10^24 bytes).  This could mean encrypted codes from China and Iran to the emails we sent this evening about the paper due tomorrow morning at 9:00.
It was again mentioned that the average citizen’s email is not something the new $2 billion NSA base will really be after but the fact is they are capable and they have enough memory to store years of emails, text messages and phone calls, just in case.  Can anyone else imagine Ben Franklin turning over in his grave? It’s almost cliche to bring up his quote anymore but the man had a point; “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” It is true that as long as you’re not a terrorist, planning to be one, or phrasing things in such a way to make the government think you’re a terrorist there really isn’t anything to worry about but, there is the argument about the principle of the matter.  Our country won a war for independence sparked by a matter of principle.  Our newly imposed taxes were nothing compared to England’s and it’s only fair to pay for a war that was waged to protect us from the French and Indians. But, by principle we disagreed.  Since 9/11 and the fear that ensued from that terrible day we have lost that sense of principle and allowed our government to spy on us illegally and to eventually pass laws that make it legal.  This fact led William Binney, a former senior NSA crypto-mathematician to leave the NSA when the agency started “violating the Constitution.”
It is highly unlikely that any opposition to this data center will arise and even if it did the government is not going to shut it down, especially after dropping $2 billion dollars to make it.  Ans until it is operational the repurcussions of its existence remain open to speculation.  Perhaps it will focus on what it is advertised to do, break encrypted codes, or to spy on American citizens or something in between. Maybe this will be the institution that can enforce the new law Arizona is likely to pass that will punish internet harrasment.  They are certainly capable of it.  I wonder if the music industry has suggested an area devoted to those who chose to illegally download music?
In case it wasn’t clear, I oppose this data center because it gives too much power to the NSA with no real check and I find that it violates the founding principles of our country.  What are your reactions as a citizen? Reactions as a netizen? How will this change the dynamic of the internet and how we communicate with each other? Will we see a resurrgence of snail mail? Do you think Anonymous will try to do something about this?

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Speaking of security…

// Posted by Kelsey on 03/24/2012 (9:37 PM)

Renee’s post on dishwasher spying got me thinking about how secure we are versus how secure we think we are. It seems to be that we always think we are more secure than reality. The ability of… Read more

Renee’s post on dishwasher spying got me thinking about how secure we are versus how secure we think we are. It seems to be that we always think we are more secure than reality. The ability of the CIA to spy on us through our dishwasher, the Patriot Act, Stuxnet, webcam hacks, right on down to our bank accounts and even the information we provide to download apps on our iphones.

 

These examples only scratch the surface of all the ways that people can be spied on or have their information stolen and yet, it never seems to cross our mind. It feels like we are in a culture that is based on mistrust of people and of government but we trust our online banking and we trust our iphones. As can be seen in the comments on Renee’s post, among others,we are not deeply concerned with being hacked or stolen from. How is it that we can’t trust people but we can trust the machines and programs built by them to keep us safe?


Especially when it is so easy to hack into things. The kinect hack videos we see on youtube are harmless but if it’s that easy then what are people with malicious intent getting into?

There are companies out there that are working to make security better so that our confidence in wireless protection is well placed. And based on the cracking of the Stuxnet virus, large corporations are making good progress but it will be truly effective when average folk like us with nothing to hide can still have access to good security. In the mean time changing your passwords might be a good idea.


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What’s next for innovation?

// Posted by Kelsey on 03/03/2012 (11:25 PM)

This Wednesday, March 7th Apple will announce its’ new Ipad 3 and people are already guessing what the new features will include. As with any Apple upgrade a longer battery life, larger memory capacity, faster loading and better resolution are… Read more

This Wednesday, March 7th Apple will announce its’ new Ipad 3 and people are already guessing what the new features will include. As with any Apple upgrade a longer battery life, larger memory capacity, faster loading and better resolution are among the expected. But, since when has Apple been a company that does what people expect and leave it at that? While it may be considered more of a phone app there is talk that SIRI will be included in the Ipad 3. Which automatically brings up all the awesome albeit strange things SIRI is capable of take this for example.

Or if one asks SIRI where to hide a dead body it comes back with the locations of the nearest reservoirs, dumps, mines, and the like. How much fun was that to program?

Once more JCR Licklider is brought up in my mind as humans continue to innovate technology to better serve our needs, no matter how large or small the adjustments may be. It is no secret that with each new cool piece of technology humans attach themselves to it and become almost oblivious to the world around them but what does that mean for the future? This excerpt from Popular Mechanics Magazine’s article on 12 Ways the World Could Really End in 2012 has an interesting theory that evokes images of iRobot and the Terminator.

But one would certainly think that with sci-fi movies like that so apart of our culture that the creators of this technology would be doing everything they could to prevent “Judgement Day” as it were. It seems to be that a trend in my posts is developing where I have the urge to type something along the lines of we’ll just have to wait and see, meanwhile keeping a wary eye for that line Renee mentioned in one of her posts where it is simply too much.


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What do you know?

// Posted by Kelsey on 02/28/2012 (4:53 PM)

Dr. Saskia Sassen spoke at the Theorizing the Web Conference in 2011 about how the internet shapes knowledge practices. Her lecture is extremely interesting and packed with information but one of the things I have retained from… Read more

Dr. Saskia Sassen spoke at the Theorizing the Web Conference in 2011 about how the internet shapes knowledge practices. Her lecture is extremely interesting and packed with information but one of the things I have retained from her lecture is the difference between formal and informal knowledge. Formal knowledge is hegemonic knowledge, or that which the people in power say is important to know. Informal knowledge is basically anything we learn outside of that realm. Sassen described knowledge as a possibility for action. As in, what will you do with your knowledge? Most of us restrict this to hegemonic knowledge and will apply that to a career of some sort. But what about informal knowledge? How can we use information we just kind of pick up on for action? In a previous post I brought up Britta Riley’s window garden, this is a fair example because window gardens are not exactly a huge part of school curriculum. Riley’s window garden is an especially good example in this context because the web was crucial to the development of her window garden, without all of that corroboration she may still have a noisy somewhat leaky window garden in her apartment. And this use of the internet brings up something else Sassen focused on in her lecture, that technology is the key to merging hegemonic and informal knowledge. As a sociologist focusing on globalization and economic restructuring Sassen of course related this to finances.

She described this pool of technology that is shared and results in greater knowledge. In the financial world this stays within one bureaucratic network of people that never circles back to technology. Whereas in the community, the cycle of technology, sharing, and knowledge is continuous and influential of itself. Sassen suggests that the merging of these two cycles would have a powerful result.

So what do you know? How can your knowledge result in action? And what will that action be?

 


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The Power of The Cell Phone

// Posted by Kelsey on 02/20/2012 (8:11 PM)

Amazing Ted talk! I had know idea that cell phones were being used this way. Innovation strikes again and it’s wonderful to see the good that it is doing and the potential good that it can do!

Amazing Ted talk! I had know idea that cell phones were being used this way. Innovation strikes again and it’s wonderful to see the good that it is doing and the potential good that it can do!


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The Evolution of the Public Sphere

// Posted by Kelsey on 02/17/2012 (2:49 AM)

The public sphere is the community in a society where individuals can come together to freely discuss and identify societal problems, and through that discussion influence political action.(Compliments of Wikipedia) This sphere extends back to the beginnings of ancient Greece… Read more

The public sphere is the community in a society where individuals can come together to freely discuss and identify societal problems, and through that discussion influence political action.(Compliments of Wikipedia) This sphere extends back to the beginnings of ancient Greece in 8th century BC, it was called the agora, Greek for ‘gathering place’. The agora was the center of town and is where the culture of the city existed. Displays of arts, athleticism, spiritual activities and politics were all taking place here. However, in the political realm only free-born male land-owners were allowed to participate. As the agora formed into a marketplace rather than a place solely for free men, others were certainly apt to hear the discussions and rulings of the king or council but they could do nothing about it.

The town hall is the place in which the governing of a city takes place. These buildings often house a more formal sphere of elected officials but it is still a gathering place for the community equipped with libraries and space for entertainment. In colonial America this was the center of democracy. Once more, land-owning, white men came together to discuss and ideally solve the political problems of their community.

-Coffee shops and taverns in cities and towns of all time periods have been a place to gather and discuss politics and town issues. Before technology was around this was the only way to gather information outside of one’s personal bubble, if you will. Travelers could be key parts of this by bringing in news from other places.

 

Even something as cliche as a barbershop has been a source of political information and influence. And for most of history it was the free, rich, white men with the ability to inform himself and others as well as the ability to take action if they saw fit. However, we have seen throughout the 20th century the expansion of the political sphere to include the apparent spheres of all races, religions, and genders. And here we are, with a growing sphere of voices and with it, a new and constantly adapting medium with which to influence politics, the internet.

The internet is the agora of today’s political influences, or influencers I should say. It started with the counterculture movement, we saw the first blog space in the Well, throw in a decade of hacker innovation, and some dorm room ideas that spawn into things like facebook and you get the feedback systems of today that can organize things like the Arab spring, some truly volatile riots, or an occupy wall street movement. It can completely revamp the way political polls are taken, instead of cold calling and letters through good ole’ snail mail, we have access to numerous surveys online that take in the same information in virtually no time at all!

 

 

In his book Information Please author Mark Poster argues that this age’s public sphere really isn’t like the public sphere’s of old because of the personalities one creates online in what Poster calls the digital public sphere. “My argument is not that the digital public sphere destabilizes the full presence of face-to-face meetings but that it constructs the subject though the specificity of its medium in a way different from oral or written or broadcast models of self constitution…The digital self that participates in the Internet public spheres is different from the individual speaking in the agora or the coffee shop, as well as from the representative of individuals speaking in democratic institutions like parliaments.”(41)

In essence, Poster is saying that the person we create on the net is different from who we are in reality but, the digital public sphere still has the capability to influence political actions on the part of our representatives. Case and point being the outcry against PIPA and SOPA only weeks ago. Ultimately, the public sphere has been a highly influential space for those who were allowed to participate and eventually for those who chose to participate in it. The digital public sphere allows this generation to take that influence to an entirely new level that I don’t think we fully understand. It is very easy to express our opinions and to share them on a large scale with our friends and with our representatives. How far we take that ability I think will be revealed in the coming presidential election as we weed out the Republican candidates and take stock of how influential the internet is at publicizing where our candidates stand and why we should vote for them.


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And you thought stress balls were good…

// Posted by Kelsey on 02/15/2012 (1:10 AM)

 

Just finished an interesting New York Times article explaining a developing therapy app on your iphone. You read correctly, an app on your smart phone that acts as a pseudo-therapist. If stress balls, bubble wrap,… Read more

 

Just finished an interesting New York Times article explaining a developing therapy app on your iphone. You read correctly, an app on your smart phone that acts as a pseudo-therapist. If stress balls, bubble wrap, screaming into a pillow, or a quick run around the block were effective, just imagine how much good a 24 hour therapist could do! The app is still in development and the studies are mostly inconclusive at this point but there is potential for an iphone app that could help people with things ranging from anxiety disorders to alcoholism. It would seem that the blending of people and technology knows no bounds and I almost fear which profession will lose a part of itself to a smartphone app next.


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Must Love The Internet

// Posted by Kelsey on 02/04/2012 (7:35 PM)

When I decided to write a blog about this I asked my friends why they loved the internet? Being a bunch of college kids the most frequent response had something to do with how easy it was to look something… Read more

When I decided to write a blog about this I asked my friends why they loved the internet? Being a bunch of college kids the most frequent response had something to do with how easy it was to look something up be it the definition of caprice, a plot summary, or a long forgotten formula from our days of geometry. People love the internet for many many reasons but most of them boil down into 2 categories; a quick source of information and as a means for communication. Honestly, how can one not love the internet? It has brought us countless innovations in technology simply by allowing people to tinker with it (Spacewar and Kinect hacks). And who can say no to things like facebook and icanhascheezburger?

This generation has grown up with an increasingly easy ability to log onto the internet and do things that range from simply checking an email account to being inspired and creating a website or company of one’s own. Take Jonathan Harris for example, after noticing how people leave their mark on the internet through sites like twitter and facebook he decided to create a program that would save the feelings of people as they post it on the internet from all over the world asking himself what stories they would tell?
Kind of remarkable how we can all be connected within one program, I wonder if people like Stewart Brand, who saw and was instrumental to the idea behind all of our technology being developed out of the Counterculture movement, smile, and think ‘well done.’ The world is more connected than it has ever been all because of this nifty thing called the world wide web and the easy access most of us have to it. I just finished the book From Counterculture to Cyberculture by Fred Turner, it describes how the philosophies and motives that led to the Counterculture movement influenced the development of the internet. It is a fascinating story and I certainly never connected the internet to the Countercultural movement prior to my reading but he ended with the argument that we aren’t quite living out that idea yet. A key idea from counterculturalists and the makers of the internet was that by being connected to each other there would be no need for the government, that we would bring about a totally egalitarian society. Obviously this has not occurred, and with things like SOPA and PIPA hanging in the air one wonders if this idea would ever come to fruition, or if it is a good idea in the first place? But as Harris’ work suggests we are all more alike and connected on more levels than we even realize, so maybe there is a chance that something like the internet could bring the peoples of the world together. But, in true cliche form, only time will tell. Meanwhile we use what we have and send our emails, write our papers, and post our statuses to facebook and twitter.

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Man-Computer Symbiosis

// Posted by Kelsey on 01/25/2012 (11:31 PM)

In my reading of Fred Turner’s From Counterculture to Cyberculture I came across this statement, “In a highly influential 1960 paper entitled “Man-Computer Symbiosis,” [Joseph C.R.] Licklider imagined a form of human-machine that surpassed even Vannevar Bush’s vision for the… Read more

In my reading of Fred Turner’s From Counterculture to Cyberculture I came across this statement, “In a highly influential 1960 paper entitled “Man-Computer Symbiosis,” [Joseph C.R.] Licklider imagined a form of human-machine that surpassed even Vannevar Bush’s vision for the Memex: “The hope is that, in not too many years, human brains and computing machines will be coupled together very tightly, and that the resulting partnership will think as no human brain has ever thought and process data in a way not approached by the information-handling machines we know today.”"

How could one not read this and consider what that would be like, our brains constantly connected to the internet, able to upload and download information instantly.

Ok, so maybe The Matrix is an extreme example but, I think every kid out there has wished that everything we learn in school could be downloaded into our brains in a matter of minutes. This likely occurred one of those dreary days where you really just want to stay in bed. Anyway, while perusing youtube I found another video from the Vlogbrothers. Two brothers, Hank and John Green, spent a year communicating with each other via blog videos and this idea was brought up.

All of the sudden internet security became infinitely more important. Like any major change in society there are pro’s and con’s having access at all times to all the information in the world would put everyone on an even playing field and certainly result in an interestingly new societal structure. On the other hand would we become as John Green said, “mindlessly consumeristic” in a sense entirely different from the mindless consumerism we suffer from today?

I leave you with an excerpt from the book mentioned in the video Feed by M.T. Turner(please excuse the swearing) and the question of what you would expect from a world in which everyone has the internet in their minds at all times?

Your face is not an organ
We went to the moon to have fun, but the moon turned out to completely suck.

We went on a Friday, because there was shit-all to do at home. It was the beginning of spring break. Everything at home was boring. Link Arwaker was like, “I’m so null,” and Marty was all, “I’m null too, unit,” but I mean we were all pretty null, because for the last like hour we’d been playing with three uninsulated wires that were coming out of the wall. We were trying to ride shocks off them. So Marty told us that there was this fun place for lo-grav on the moon. Lo-grav can be kind of stupid, but this was supposed to be good. It was called the Ricochet Lounge. We thought we’d go for a few days with some of the girls and stay at a hotel there and go dancing.

We flew up and our feeds were burbling all sorts of things about where to stay and what to eat. It sounded pretty fun, and at first there were lots of pictures of dancing and people with romper-gills and metal wings, and I was like, This will be big, really big, but then I guess I wasn’t so skip when we were flying over the surface of the moon itself, because the moon was just like it always is, after your first few times there, when you get over being like, Whoa, unit! The moon! The goddamn moon! and instead there’s just the rockiness, and the suckiness, and the craters all being full of old broken shit, like domesnobody’s using anymore and wrappers and claws.

The thing I hate about space is that you can feel how old and empty it is. I don’t know if the

others felt like I felt, about space? But I think they did, because they all got louder. They all

pointed more, and squeezed close to Link’s window.

You need the noise of your friends, in space. I feel real sorry for people who have to travel by themselves. In space, that must suck. When you’re going places with other people, with this big group, everyone is leaning toward each other, and people are laughing and they’re chatting, and things are great, and it’s just like in a commercial for jeans, or something with nougat.

To make some noise, Link started to move his seat up and back to whack Marty’s knees. I was like trying to sleep for the last few minutes of the flight because there was nothing to see except broken things in space, and when we’re going hard I get real sleepy real easy, and I didn’t want to be null for the unettes on the moon, at the hotel, if any of them were youch.

I guess if I’m honest? Then I was hoping to meet someone on the moon. Maybe part of it was the loneliness of the craters, but I was feeling like it was maybe time to hook up with someone again, because it had been a couple months. At parties, I was starting to get real lonely, even when there were other people around me, and it’s worse when you leave. Then there’s that silence when you’re driving home alone in the upcar and there’s nothing but the feed telling you, This is the music you heard. This is the music you missed. This is what is new. Listen. And it would be good to have someone to download with. It would be good to have someone in the upcar with you, flying home with the lights underneath you, and the green faces of mothers that you can see halfway through the windows of dropping vans.

As we flew across the surface of the moon, I couldn’t sleep. Link was playing with the seat like an asshole. He was moving it forward and backward. Marty had dropped his bird, these fake birds that were the big spit and lots of people had them, and Marty’s bird was floating off, because there was hardly any gravity, and whenever he leaned out to get his bird, Link would slam his seat back like meg hard and it would go bam on Marty’s face, and they would start laughing. Marty would be all, “Unit! Just wait one—” and Link would be, “Go for it. Try! Try it!” and Marty would be like, “Unit! You are so—!” And then they would be all big laughing and I felt like a complete bonesprocket for trying to sleep when there was fun. I kept hoping the waitress lady would say something and make them shut up for a minute, but as soon as we got out of Earth’s gravitational zone she had gone all gaga over the duty-free.

I didn’t want to be sleepy and like all stupid, but I had been drinking pretty hard the night before and had been in mal and I was feeling kind of like shit. So it was not a good way to start this whole trip to the moon, with the seat thumping on Marty’s face, and him going, “Unit! I’m trying to get my bird!”

Link was saying, “Go for it.”

Marty went, “Linkwhacker! Shit! You’re like doing all this meg damage to my knees and my face!”

“Kiss the chair. Pucker up.”

They both started laughing again. “Okay,” said Marty. “Okay, just tell me which of my frickin’ organs you’re going to smash this time.”

“Keep your tray in the upright position.”

“Like what organ? Just tell me.”

“Those aren’t organs.”

“What do you mean?”

“Your face is not an organ.”

“My face is too an organ. It’s alive.”

“Omigod, is there enough oxygen?” said our friend Calista. “Because are you having some kind of neuron death?”

“I’m trying to sleep,” Loga complained. She yawned. “I’m flat-lining. Meg.”

Then there was this wham and Marty was all, “Oh, shit,” holding on to his face, and I sat up and was like completely there was no hope of sleeping with these morons doing rumpus on my armrest.

The waitress came by and Link stopped and smiled at her and she was like, What a nice young man. That was because he purchased like a slopbucket of cologne from the duty-free.

Excerpted from Feed. Copyright © 2002 M.T. Anderson. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Inc., Cambridge, MA.


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The New Whole Earth Catalog

// Posted by Kelsey on 01/24/2012 (2:13 PM)

Just an interesting video I found that reminded me of Stewart Brand’s Whole Earth Catalog, the first blog, so to speak. It turns out that collaboration for the greater good as opposed to getting a profit does still exist. Here’s… Read more

Just an interesting video I found that reminded me of Stewart Brand’s Whole Earth Catalog, the first blog, so to speak. It turns out that collaboration for the greater good as opposed to getting a profit does still exist. Here’s to doing-it-yourself!

Also here is the link to R&D-I-Y

 


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Does the entertainment industry have reason to complain?

// Posted by Kelsey on 01/20/2012 (11:58 PM)

The backlash over SOPA/PIPA is nothing new, however it seems to be the most potent protest that internet copyright laws have seen. To fully understand what the entertainment industry is asking it would seem logical to mention and explain the… Read more

The backlash over SOPA/PIPA is nothing new, however it seems to be the most potent protest that internet copyright laws have seen. To fully understand what the entertainment industry is asking it would seem logical to mention and explain the current copyright laws. Laws include the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, and the No Electronic Theft Act

The DMCA says

  • It is a civil offense if you even try to bypass copyright devices
  • Harsher penalties for copyright infractions
  • Illegal to make technologies capable of pirating videos (even if that is not the intention of the device)
  • Holds users responsible, not Internet Service Providers(ISP)
    • However, the ISP must immediately block access to the content in question. Otherwise they can be held responsible

ACTA

  • ISPs will also be held accountable for what their users post
  • If copyrighted information is sent your access to the internet could be cancelled
  • To prevent the above monitoring of those who purchase copyrighted material will be increased
  • Purchased content under copyright cannot be shared with anyone since you are the only one who paid for it.
  • Applies in the US, Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, and South Korea.

NET Act

  • Allows for criminal prosecution of individuals who have infringed on a copyright regardless of whether or not it has been used for financial gain. (5 years in prison/$250,000 in fees)

Stop Online Piracy Act/Protect IP Act

  • Anyone found streaming copyrighted content without permission 10 or more times within six months should face up to five years in prison.
  • Websites could be sued for “enabling or facilitating” piracy. Which is where the risk of an entire website being shut down is found because it contains a link to a suspected site.
  • Advertisers could be outlawed from doing business with alleged copyright infringers. SOPA also calls for search engines to remove infringing sites from their results, PIPA does not include this
  • Outlaw sites from containing information about how to access blocked sites.

So, the internet changing as we know it may not be such an outlandish claim. The interesting thing is that most of the entertainment company’s copyright issues are with websites run in foreign countries. Call me crazy but I don’t think our laws apply in foreign countries making all of this a moot point in the first place. Granted, theft in any case needs to be dealt with but these laws are the wrong way to go about it as puts our freedom of speech at too great a risk. Plus, the legal actions to be taken when copyright is infringed upon, are already quite effective at both removing content and punishing those who broke the law they just need to be enforced, megaupload being a prime example. It may be frank to say but, it seems that the entertainment industry needs to suck it up and stick with the protective laws they already have and leave the freedom of the internet alone.


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