DIGITAL AMERICA

Author Archives: Kevin

The Politics of Social Media

// Posted by Kevin on 04/29/2014 (2:17 AM)

Attached is the link to my final project blog:

http://kcdigitalamerica.wordpress.com/

I will be using this blog to share updates and progress to my final project for “Digital America.”  Basically, what I hope to achieve in my project is a… Read more

Attached is the link to my final project blog:

http://kcdigitalamerica.wordpress.com/

I will be using this blog to share updates and progress to my final project for “Digital America.”  Basically, what I hope to achieve in my project is a better understanding of how social media has affected American politics.  With the creation of social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, any individual can broadcast their political opinions to a large audience (whether fact-based or not), and credible news sources often post their political reports in the form of enticing headlines so people will actually pay attention on their personal news feed.  Despite making users generally more connected to political issues, some scholars question whether the influence of social media is beneficial to our individual and collective understanding of American politics.  It can be argued that diminishing our description of a political issue to 140 characters, a single photo caption, or a quickly interpreted post may counter-productively simplify our approach to political decision-making.  I hope to interrogate this issue by analyzing both the plausible benefits and drawbacks of social media’s influence on politics.  Ultimately, my study brings awareness to the changes social media has brought to American politics and promotes caution regarding social media’s increasing effects on our perception of political issues.


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The Politics of Social Media

// Posted by Kevin on 04/21/2014 (6:27 PM)

My project focuses on how social media has affected the ways we think about and engage with politics in the United States of America.  Essentially up until the most recent presidential election, the majority of political material was conveyed… Read more

My project focuses on how social media has affected the ways we think about and engage with politics in the United States of America.  Essentially up until the most recent presidential election, the majority of political material was conveyed to the general public through news and print media sources (both online and directly).  However, as we become increasingly entrenched in the digital age, the best practices for campaigning have shifted to accommodate a greater concentration on social media advertisement.  In my initial research, I found that 76% of the sitting members of congress have some sort of social media account that they use to relay information to voters.  In many ways, this can be considered a positive development because it allows both current politicians and prospective politicians to deliver a message directly to the voting population, as opposed to relying on the media to properly portray their political stances.  But nonetheless, there is evidence that the integration of social media has done much more than simply expose the general public to a new source for political news.  By increasing the emphasis placed on social media campaigning, the criteria for a successful campaign and the ways in which political standpoints are communicated to a voter base have also been altered.  For example, a recent study released in the journal Social Abstracts states, “Social media like Facebook and Twitter place the focus on the individual politician rather than the political party, thereby expanding the political arena for increased personalized campaigning” (Enli and Skogerbo Social Abstracts, 1).  This is mainly due to the fact that individuals have different expectations regarding the type of information they will pay attention to on their social media pages.  Generally, social media posts are intended to be immediately enticing, and if a given post does not meet this criterion, then it is often quickly passed over without being absorbed by the users.  Thus, in order to be effective politicians must not be long winded and dry.  Rather, they are expected to post material that will instantly grab the attention of the social media user, which in many cases pertains closer to their personal lives than their actual legislative goals.  As a result, best practices for a successful campaign aimed at the average voter has drifted away from the nuts and bolts of a political standpoint and shifted towards the characteristics of the individual politician.

My investigation has shown that this shift is especially critical when campaigning to younger individuals.  PR week stated in regards to the most recent presidential election that “Republicans, with 31%, are also more likely to get their election news on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter than Democrats, 19%, and independents with 25%.”  This information shows that every political group in the United States has a key demographic that relies heavily on social media sites to receive election news.  As a result, posting material that will stand out to these individuals amongst the thousands of other tweets and posts each day is critical in attaining their votes.  And this change in direction also extends to news journalism companies which are also trying to adjust to the needs of this growing social media population.  Especially given the increasing drop in the actual purchase of newspapers and magazines, media outlets are beginning to rely heavily on social media posts to draw a customer base.  They engage in this practice of developing catchy posts that will grab social media users’ attention because otherwise they continue to scroll through a seemingly endless newsfeed without choosing to click on the displayed news link.  However, I interrogate whether this is a beneficial practice, in regards to both politicians and news sources.  It seems that it may be detrimental to our understanding of politics to diminish our political investigation to 160 characters of a catchy Facebook posts.  In many ways, it seems that our political decision making could be better facilitated through sources that fully explicate a candidate’s political plan, as opposed to focusing on details of a politician’s personal life or enticing political anecdotes through social media services.  Thus, in my project I am pinpointing the exact changes that this growing concentration on social media has brought to American politics, while critically analyzing these changes and determining how exactly we should choose to engage with social media when attempting to be well informed voters.

My research problem is primarily in regards to determining how we should view the effects of social media on our political culture.  Initial questions I’ve had in regards to this process starts with wondering how influential social media really is on our understanding of American politics.  The changes that social media have brought to politics are clearly documented, but I still wonder to what degree this shift is actually influencing our political decision making.  Furthermore, I wonder how much more likely Millennials are to use social media as their primary source for political news in comparison to older adults (roughly ages 35-50).  I believe that these social media services can be a valuable supplement to our political understanding, but perhaps the real danger is allowing these services to be one’s primary source for political news.  And finally, I have consistently found myself questioning how whether social media is chiefly responsible for this fascination with the individual politician.  Although some of my sources have argued that is the case, it seems that Americans have concentrated on the individual politician long before the rise of social media (such as one of my sources discussing Bill Clinton’s 1996 presidential campaign).  As far as road blocks to answering these questions go, it seems that I have struggled to provide solid statistics regarding the effects of social media on political culture.  I need to find polling more specific to a certain presidential election in order to strengthen my final claim.  Also, I have struggled with acquiring tweets from differing news sources to compare head-to-head in order to display how catchy titles developed by news outlets can be misleading.  This is mainly because these news sources all tweet and post so frequently that I have run into a bit of information overload and found it difficult to pinpoint particular stories.  However, these twitter and Facebook accounts still provide extremely beneficial supporting media, and now it is more so a matter of narrowing this media down to a couple particular stories.  It has also been useful to look at politicians social media accounts for additional supporting media.  For example, Joe Biden has just recently opened an Instagram account and Barack Obama posted a selfie with the Vice-President to his personal Instagram account in order to help Joe generate followers.  These social media sources, in addition with television news reports on the growing phenomenon should provide ample evidence to support my claim.

What would be most beneficial to receive from my classmates is the following:

  • Please answer the following poll questions:

Question 1: Is social media your primary source for acquiring political news?  If not, please state what you would list as your primary source.

Question 2: Do you believe that social media can adequately serve as a sole source for political news?

Question 3: Do you believe that social media can serve as a valued supplement for political news?

Question 4: When selecting a political candidate to vote for, are you interested in knowing the personal life of the candidate (i.e. their past, family, interests, hobbies)?

Question 5: Specifically in regards to social media, do you think you’d be more prone to pay attention to a post that addressed a politician’s personal life as opposed to their political standpoints?  Be honest, and elaborate if possible.

Question 6: When reading political news reports on social media sites, do you generally click on the link to the full story, or just read the headline displayed in the post?  Possible answers: a. Always b. Frequently c. Rarely d. Never

Question 7: Do you follow any political news outlets or politicians on any of your social media accounts?  If so, please list which ones.

Open ended question: If you voted in the most recent presidential election, what is it that led you to go to the polls?  Any feedback you can provide would be greatly beneficial.

  • Barack Obama recently went on “Between Two Ferns” with Zach Galifianakis in order to prompt more younger individuals to sign up for ObamaCare.  His efforts were actually pretty successful, but this approach to political progress was somewhat unorthodox.  The success of this appearance was largely correlated with the idea of “going viral,” meaning Barack Obama’s interview spread rapidly over the web and through social media sites.  Do you agree with using this sort of political tactic?  Also, what do you think it says about our culture today that it takes “going viral” to generate a spike in younger individuals participation in a political initiative.
  • The Barack Obama administration has been accused of being very closed off in regards to White House photography.  This angers various news sources because they only have the opportunity to use photographs provided by White House officials.  In many circumstances, these images provided by White House officials are taken very strategically to convey a certain line of thinking regarding the President.  Especially in the age of social media, how do you feel about the White House using such a closed off approach to presidential photography?
  • Can you think of any stories you saw on social media sites that we portrayed differently in the specific post than they were in the full story?  Any stories of this type you can lead me to would be great.
  • Can you think of any stories that were portrayed very in different lights by two different media sources?  I’m struggling somewhat with pinpointing specific examples, so once again, any stories that come to mind would be greatly appreciated.
  • And finally, how do you feel about social media’s relation to politics?  I know this question is extremely open ended, but I’d love to just get some ideas about how other Millenials view social media’s growing role in political campaigning.

Moving forward in this project, I really just need to turn my focus to more specific examples of social media and its effects.  I feel like I have done a pretty good job outlining the theoretical/big picture issues of my subject, but now I need to start analyzing specific pieces of social media.  Furthermore, I really think that I need to get some statistics to post to my blog page.  Hopefully classmates responding to the poll I posted will make that possible.  Once I select a few specific instances of social media to focus on that relate to my more general evidence, then I believe my project will come together nicely and paint a solid picture of social media’s role in our political culture.  I still have yet to answer how exactly Millenials feel about social media becoming a crucial campaign tool.  Furthermore, I still have yet to pinpoint the likelihood of individuals using social media as their sole source for political news.  In many ways, this project has morphed from simply observing social media in the political realm to critically analyzing their influence on our overall political culture.  Instead of just identifying these changes, I have begun to interrogate the effects social media has had on political campaigning and news consumption. Due to these advancements in my project aims, I believe that I will be able to develop a definitive standpoint on how exactly I believe social media should be utilized as a political tool by the close of my study.  Please refer to my blog to take a look at what I have been working on so far.  Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

http://kcdigitalamerica.wordpress.com/


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Copyrights… Where Do We Draw The Line?

// Posted by Kevin on 03/05/2014 (5:05 PM)

We’ve been discussing the concept of copyrights and how they function in regards to music and film.  In many respects, I believe that copyrights are necessary because they protect the rights of the artist.  However, many people believe that… Read more

We’ve been discussing the concept of copyrights and how they function in regards to music and film.  In many respects, I believe that copyrights are necessary because they protect the rights of the artist.  However, many people believe that changes need to be made to how they exist and function in modern society.  In most cases, it does not appear that people believe that we should truly eliminate copyright services.  Obviously most individuals still acknowledge that artists deserve some protection over their material, but I think for most it is a matter of changing policies to fit better with our modern, tech-based society.  For example, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act was placed into action in 1996.  I think we all can agree that the term “digital” has changed greatly since that period of time.  Thus, does it not seem that we should make some efforts to better equate ourselves with the tech-culture of 2014?  There is certainly evidence that certain actions need to take place, given that lines for copyright policies are very vague, and the way that we draw these lines seems to depend entirely on the individuals involved in the dispute.

Consider, for example, the situation with Goldieblox versus the Beastie Boys (http://www.wired.com/underwire/2013/11/goldieblox-beastie-boys-girls-removed/), where initially the Beastie Boys insisted a Goldieblox commercial be removed because it too closely resembled their song “Girls.”  The lyrics had been altered, yet the beat was the same and anyone who was familiar with the original Beastie Boys song could recognize its origin.  However, Goldieblox fought back by presenting the Beastie Boys with a lawsuit for insisting the commercial be taken down.  At first glance, it seemed absurd to place the Beastie Boys with a lawsuit, yet in the end, Goldieblox won because their song was different enough that it did not violate the Beastie Boys’ rights as artists.

If you happened to watch the video, I was suppose it is different enough from the regular song that maybe it seems passable that the commercial remain on air.  However, the video, and situation as a whole, raises a lot of questions regarding where we should draw the line on what is “different” enough that it does not violate a copyright policy.  Could you possibly just change a couple words in the refrain and consider it a completely different piece of intellectual property? Could someone rip the beat from a song, create their own lyrics, and then sell the similarly produced song for a profit?  Our current copyright policies make these questions very difficult to answer.  In fact, in the film, Rip: A Remix Manifesto, mash-up artist, Girl Talk, showed the U.S. Register of Copyrights, Marybeth Peters, how exactly he mixes a song to create one of his mash-ups.  Throughout the process, Marybeth looked very intrigued and impressed by Girl Talk’s work.  However, when they finally asked if his work would be violating any copyrights regulations, she responded that it “depends.”  Essentially, it depended on who exactly using the song would offend and to what level they would be offended.  I find it very troubling that even someone in a position like Marybeth cannot make a determination regarding the law until someone brings it to her attention.  In the cases of most other laws, there is a clear right and wrong, which does not need to be interpreted so closely.  For example, if someone steals a car from another individual, that is against the law, and it does not take the explicit consent from the person who was stolen from in order to deem it a crime.  Thus, why is it so different with copyright laws?  Especially as we get deeper into the digital age, it seems necessary that we develop more clear depictions of copyright policy, so people can know what they can and cannot do with other individuals artistic creations.

A copyright law from 1996 just is not going to cut it in this day and age.  I believe that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act should be replaced by a completely new act that governs over the realm of copyrights.  The definition of digital has changed to such a large degree that it is unreasonable to assume we should still be held to the same standards.  Especially considering that artists get to maintain copyrights of their songs for up to 75 years, it seems that only the rights of the artists are being protected.  In this day and age, it seems about time that we take some steps to protect the consumer, or at least make the consumer fully aware of what they are legally able to do with other artists’ works.  In fact, we even discussed in class how covering an artist’s song on YouTube can even be considered a copyright crime, yet we were all stunned because there are so many placed online.  It really does seem to come down to exactly who gets upset, and to what degree, that determines whether someone is actually in violation of copyright law.  Moving forward, as music and video becomes increasingly web-based, some degree of copyright reform appears necessary.  It’s 2014, and we should develop some clear standards on where to draw the line with copyrights.


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Response to “The Regulation of the Internet” Post by Tec

// Posted by Kevin on 02/20/2014 (2:32 PM)


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Should The Internet Really Be Anonymous?

// Posted by Kevin on 02/16/2014 (7:36 PM)

In the film, “We Are Legion,” the members of the group Anonymous talk about how information should be free.  In fact, the rationale for most of their internet attacks have something to do with a group or individual limiting the… Read more

In the film, “We Are Legion,” the members of the group Anonymous talk about how information should be free.  In fact, the rationale for most of their internet attacks have something to do with a group or individual limiting the free spread of information on the internet.  However, during the film I could not help but wonder whether Anonymous is hypocritical in their actions?  They want information to be “free,” but they still keep their identities hidden while on the internet.  It seems to me that the notion of freedom comes along with a certain ownership of oneself.  In the most typical use of the term freedom, one thinks of individuals that want to gain the liberty to be who they are.  Consider, for example, Jews that were oppressed during the reign of Hitler.  Once Hitler’s reign came to an end, they achieved the freedom to be who they wanted to be.  They could practice their Jewish faith and possess the freedom to not hide who they are.  So going off this more typical depiction of the meaning of freedom, aren’t these individuals remaining “anonymous” going against the movement they claim to support?

I believe that alternative views of what the internet should be are much more useful to supporting the concept of freedom.  Consider Mark Zuckerberg, who we discussed in class thinks that the internet should make people feel free to be themselves.  We post information to sites such as Facebook, and as a result the world has a better idea of who we really are.  In a sense, one may consider it very freeing to share information about yourself over the internet.  It represents us owning up to aspects of our personalities, and being will to share these more intimate details with those who know us.  In my opinion, it is visionaries like Mark Zuckerberg who are truly supporting free information.  Mark Zuckerberg is saying, let’s not hide who we are.  Join this forum and have the freedom to be exactly who you are and share with those around you.  In contrast, Anonymous seeks to hide who they really are.  They have no interest in the liberation of expressing your true nature over the internet, and rather they choose to hide their identities from the world.  Is this really what it means for information to be free?

To give my personal opinion, I think that members of Anonymous may raise some reasonable questions about what information the government allows to be shared publicly, but raising these questions anonymously really does no one any good.  It seems that all they really want to do is make a scene and watch the world burn.  There is absolutely no reason that they cannot take a more productive approach to the things that they do.  Work with the government to find a more reasonable balance of free versus hidden information, as opposed to working against them.  They will never accomplish what they claim to desire unless they are willing to step into the public eye and create change through legitimate politics.  I do not necessarily agree with what it is that they want, but lets try to be a little less childish about this whole operation.


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Parents of the World Just Don’t Understand, And Neither Will We In 2020

// Posted by Kevin on 02/10/2014 (4:46 PM)

For my post, I would like to discuss Clive Thompson’s article in Wired Magazine, “Congrats, Millennials.  Now It’s Your Turn to Be Vilified.”  I really liked this article because I think it goes along well with everything that we… Read more

For my post, I would like to discuss Clive Thompson’s article in Wired Magazine, “Congrats, Millennials.  Now It’s Your Turn to Be Vilified.”  I really liked this article because I think it goes along well with everything that we have been discussing in class.  We discussed, for example, Sherry Turkle’s New York Times Article, “The Flight From Conversation,” where she discusses how constant use of technology and social media devices has led our generation to lack the ability to communicate.  However, the fact of the matter is that Sherry Turkle is 65 years old and Clive Thompson’s article leads us to believe that her comments towards the younger generation are to be expected.  Thompson discusses how it is pretty common practice for older generations to be critical of those who are younger.   For example, he discusses how members of Generation X were frequently blasted in articles during the 90′s stating that they were slackers, narcissists, and “their intimacy and communication skills remain at a 12 year old level.”  However, now all those born within the realm of Generation X (roughly the early 60′s to the early 80′s) are all well established adults and the world has not collapsed.  Notice, that in today’s media you never hear word of how the members of Generation X are ruining everything.  It’s not as if those scathing articles written in the 90′s continue to ring true today.  We do not study the many shortcomings of Generation X and continually note how their “narcissistic” and “slacker” mentality is continually making the world a worse place.

HOWEVER, what we do hear in the media constantly nowadays, such as in Turkle’s article, is how the Millennials are increasingly detached and lack the ability to communicate.  Essentially, Clive Thompson makes the claim that accusations of this nature are completely normal, and every generation has to go through it at some point or another.  In the 50′s, senators attested that comic books were causing mayhem for the youth.  In the 80′s, parents worried that dungeons and dragons was polluting the minds of the youth and the walkman would turn all children into anti-social drones.  Nonetheless, every generation grows up and our world continues to be okay.  Basically, it is just a standard reaction to fear what you do not understand.  The world is always evolving and changing, with new ways of doing things each and every day.  What it seems to me is that the younger generation just always finds a slightly different way of doing things, and that tends to scare those who are used to a particular way of life.  Thus, its a natural reaction to point out what is “wrong” with the younger generation.  However, in all reality, they are not really pointing out what is “wrong,” but rather, what is “different” about the new generation.  So congratulations Millennials, its our turn to bare the judgmental eye of the older generations.  Everybody goes through it, but I’m pretty confident that we’re going to keep the world in pretty good shape.  And 20 years from now, I bet we’ll have some pretty interesting critiques of the next generation.  Parents just don’t understand, but then again, neither will we someday.

http://www.wired.com/opinion/2014/01/thompson_generation/

 


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I Have Nothing To Hide… But I Guess Nobody Likes To Be Spied On: A Response to Steven Levy’s Feature Article in Wired Magazine February 2014 Issue

// Posted by Kevin on 01/29/2014 (5:49 PM)

In the most recent installment of Wired Magazine, Steven Levy writes a feature article outlining the NSA spying issue, which highlights the effects the recent Edward Snowden debacle has had (and still continues to increase) on the way individuals… Read more

In the most recent installment of Wired Magazine, Steven Levy writes a feature article outlining the NSA spying issue, which highlights the effects the recent Edward Snowden debacle has had (and still continues to increase) on the way individuals throughout the globe view the internet.  Essentially, Levy makes the case that the future of the internet is put at risk if individuals lack trust in their online security.  Given the NSA’s newly revealed ability to  access online records, many individuals are losing faith in their privacy when storing information on internet mega-giants such as Google, Yahoo!, etcetera.  Without this line of trust between internet service providers and consumers, the thriving success of the internet is at risk of being stalled, or worse case scenario, destroyed.

Levy does  a pretty good job of staying relatively detached during the piece.  He does not outright attack the NSA for their selected security measures, and he does not attest that internet giants should be doing much more to fight the government and keep all information private.  However, what he does do is bring to light an interesting issue in American society today in regards to the importance we place on the safety of our nation as opposed to our individual security.  If the answer to this question was purely that we want our individual information secure over anything else, then the internet would undoubtedly collapse.  No one would trust these gigantic company’s servers with their information because then their information would be at risk of being sent to the government.  However, that has not happened yet, and Levy in no way suggests that this will happen any time soon.  Losing faith in the internet is something that could happen after a long period of time, as individuals slowly decide that they cannot trust personal information over these servers that may be forced to release information to the American government.  This is especially a concern from civilians living outside of the United States, seeing as using services like Gmail and Yahoo! mail may result in a foreign government receiving their information, which appears as a large violation of their privacy.

In my opinion, I do not believe that there is any reason for anybody to get worked up about this issue and lose any faith in large companies such as Google and Yahoo!.  These companies have been at the forefront of American innovation for years, and have done nothing but provide the world with consistently better services.  ”But I don’t want to use a service that may leak my information to the government!  That is a violation to my privacy!” someone might say.  Well, yes, I suppose it is a violation to your privacy.  However, I don’t think that the United States Government has any interests in the selfies you took with your dog, nor the relationship troubles you’ve been emailing your friends about.  Whether its these subjects that you are using internet services to discuss is irrelevant.  Basically what I am trying to say is: If you have nothing to hide, then the government is not reading through your information.  And by “nothing to hide,” I don’t mean a small skeleton in the closet.  Of course everyone uses internet services to discuss somewhat sensitive, personal information; but the only sort of skeleton that the United States government is interested in is something of the atomic bomb, terrorist attack nature.  These NSA is not even tracking in-country criminal activity of any sort.  And even if they were, they could never convict anyone in court of any non-terrorist oriented crime because that would denote improperly obtaining evidence.

I do understand, however, that no one wants to be spied on.  I feel the same way, and of course the idea of the government having access to a large amount of information makes me nervous.  However, the question I couldn’t help but ask myself while reading this article is: If the government having access to my information could stop a terrorist attack, would I give it to them?  And the answer is always yes.  I know they have no actual interest in looking at my information, but simply receive a bulk of information in order to narrow it down to possible threats within the country.  As stated by US Army General, Keith Alexander, director of the NSA, “We recognize that if we do [give away our power to monitor information], our nation now is at greater risk for a terrorist attack.  So we’re going to do the right thing; we’re going to hold on to it, let people look at the options.  If there is a better option, put it on the table.”

Frankly, I would have to agree that there is no better option.  Unfortunately, America is a country susceptible to threats, and I for one would like to take all measures necessary to make sure that innocent Americans do not die from a terrorist attack.  If that means the NSA receiving my personal Gmail information in a gigantic lump with thousands of other individuals (including individuals from other countries), then so be it.  I have nothing to hide, and I know they won’t be interested in anything available on my account.  As long as you have nothing to hide (Note: Again, by nothing to hide, I mean no terrorist plots to threaten national safety), then the American government will have no interest in looking at your personal information, whether they have it on file or not.


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Changing Perceptions In Regards To Computers and Technology

// Posted by Kevin on 01/20/2014 (11:33 AM)

Stewart Brand

Chapters 1 and 2 of From Counterculture to Cyberculture discusses the early movements towards accepting technology and seeing the vast potential of computers.  As discussed in Chapter 1, a protest was held at the University of California… Read more

Stewart Brand

Chapters 1 and 2 of From Counterculture to Cyberculture discusses the early movements towards accepting technology and seeing the vast potential of computers.  As discussed in Chapter 1, a protest was held at the University of California on December 2nd, 1964 where student leader, Mario Savio, gave a poetic speech protesting the notion of students being regarded as machines.  His words expressed the fear students held regarding becoming merely a part of the machine, and expressed how they wanted to be treated as individuals with the freedoms to choose their own path.  In many ways, this student fear of being utilized similar to computational devices was largely due to the military being the most common use for computers at the time.  As a result, there was this concern rising from the younger generation that they themselves would become governmental tools.

However, a large force working to change this perception of computers and technology was the counterculture movement developing throughout the younger generation.  This movement was characterized by drug use and a sense of community.  Communes started to spread across the country, yet were most centralized in San Francisco, CA.  These communes provides locations for individuals to live in harmony, while experimenting with psychedelic drugs such as LSD.  LSD was a drug that many attest made them feel as if they were part of something larger, which made individuals feel more comfortable with the idea of being part of a global community.  Obviously this is much farther down the line, but I want to stress the idea that this acceptance of a global community was a very crucial step in seeing the value of computers and technology.  This level of acceptance marked a change from the periods of protest, such as those at the University of California in 1964, which created a pathway for individuals such as Stewart Brand (pictured above) to push the envelope for this larger, tech-based community.

Stewart Brand played a huge part in this movement primarily by making connections with various individuals on the front-end of the counterculture movement.  He travelled frequently between San Francisco and New York City, making friends everywhere he went in order to extend his network of contacts leading up to the cyberculture movement.  As his network extended, he prepared for the release of the Whole Earth Catalog, which was a magazine pertaining largely to the counterculture and cyberculture movement developing in the United States.  Moving forward, this magazine would serve as a base to grow and develop these movements, as Stewart Brand was able to connect visionaries across the country and allow for collaboration amongst these individuals.  In essence, the counterculture movement and Stewart Brands efforts to expose developing ideas marked the period of changing perceptions in regards to computers and technology.


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