DIGITAL AMERICA

Monthly Archives: April 2013

My Generation

// Posted by Patrick on 04/25/2013 (2:57 PM)

Being born in 1993 I am now 19 and have never known life without technology. As a student I use it daily in forms such as online textbooks, social media, music, group projects, a social tool, and even a… Read more

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Being born in 1993 I am now 19 and have never known life without technology. As a student I use it daily in forms such as online textbooks, social media, music, group projects, a social tool, and even a tutor, to name a few. This generation is one that will change the world. As technology advances it seems that I, along with my peers, advance alongside. My parents however are stuck in the past, asking me to do simple things such as record a video, download an app, or god forbid send a text. What does this widening gap mean for the future of my generation, for my future?

It is interesting to think of my parents as less capable than me in any instance of my life, seeing as they have had 40 more years than I have had to master life skills. However it is becoming more clear to me as new advances in technology occur that my generation, the digital generation, is willing and more than able to take charge of the world and push it in a direction that my parents generation couldn’t fathom at our age, one that they didn’t even know possible.

My generation, like every generation before is rebellious towards, and misunderstood by our elders. The fact that my parents used to scold me for having my phone out during dinner, or playing music to loud is now comical to the extent that everyone I know is face down in their respective Iphone, Ipad, or laptop. While my father had to go to his library and look for a book for information, advances in technology have made learning and obtaining information as simple as a Google search. While I go to school and take four classes a semester with my classmates, I am constantly learning about the world and various other subjects by myself, on my own schedule, and to my own fancy. This is the most exciting feature of my generation, the inability to feel accomplished. With unlimited resources at my fingertips, available to me in a fraction of a second, I never feel like I have truly learned all there is to learn, or uncovered all aspects of a topic. This longing I feel for more information at all times is felt by all in my generation.

Jerry Adler wrote an article for WIRED entitled 1993, Meet the First Digital Generation. Now Get Ready to Play by Their Rules.In it he addresses an interesting point about social networks and the risky business that my generation undertakes using social networking sites to make our social lives completely transparent over the Internet. In it he interviews a girl in her 20s about her Facebook life. “She is casual about what some might consider the risks of oversharing.” He writes, “In the future, she says, it won’t matter if you did post a picture of yourself covered in chocolate, because ‘the people who care will all retire and the world will be run by my generation, which doesn’t give a shit.’” This is a testament to the attitude of my generation. What my parents find totally unacceptable, I find normal.

What does all this talk of a digital generation really mean? To me it signifies a defining moment in time, a point of no return. Whether older generations agree with it or not, technology has taken over and is here to stay. My generation is the first to have advanced technology throughout our whole lives, leaving a bigger gap than ever before between us and our parents.

My generation will be the ones to take the world into the digital revolution and the next chapter of time. We are at the frontier of the exploration and expansion of the digital space, the fore fathers of a changing world.  Whatever happens next is up to us, we have the power. The only question left is what will we do with this power? To that question I have a simple answer, whatever we want.


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Bye, Bye Information Economy, Hello Attention Economy!

// Posted by Vicky on 04/25/2013 (11:39 AM)

Information has always been a valuable asset. With the introduction of the World Wide Web in 1991, the United States has been in a state of transition to an information economy. Today we are predominantly an economy of information workers;… Read more

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Information has always been a valuable asset. With the introduction of the World Wide Web in 1991, the United States has been in a state of transition to an information economy. Today we are predominantly an economy of information workers; they don’t spend their time producing physical goods rather they devote their time to creating, developing, and sharing information. Information professions have emerged left and right; everywhere from computer software production and designing interfaces to cyber-security and even hacking. An information economy is based upon the premise that information has economic value and requires an information marketplace in which such value can be exchanged. But it is changing our economy more than that…digitization and technology has birthed a new economy – an economy of attention.

“By definition, economics is the study of how a society uses its scarce resources. And information is not scarce – especially on the Net, where it is not only abundant, but overflowing. We are drowning in information, yet constantly increasing our generation of it. So a key question arises: Is there something else that flows through cyberspace, something that is scarce and desirable? There is. No one would put anything on the Internet without the hope of obtaining some. It’s called attention. And the economy of attention – not information – is the natural economy of cyberspace.”[1]

“‘Attention,’ write Thomas Mandel and Gerard Van der Leun in their 1996 book Rules of the Net, ’is the hard currency of cyberspace.’ They’re dead on.”[2] – think about this, there is a reason that the most successful people and businesses on twitter have thousands of followers and I only have 132. There is a reason that there are now programs to “buy” more followers – attention is what is driving our economy.

On one hand, the attention economy is aiding our economy by making businesses more efficient. “When information is abundant, the false positives are very costly – they are basically deal breakers. Consumers happily leave sites, knowing there are a ton of alternatives out there. Unfortunately, this becomes a lose-lose situation, because if consumers rarely find satisfying experiences then retailers won’t get consumer dollars. The idea behind the Attention Economy is to create a marketplace where consumers are happy, because if they are shown relevant information – then retailers are happy too, because happy consumers spend money!”[3] Think about Ads that are now personally tailored to fit your life, or Netflix knowing which movie titles to recommend. The attention economy is driving a competitive marketplace, and competition inevitably leads to innovation.

On the other hand, the Internet provides free content, and this free content that is competing with pay-for-service content for attention has the possibility to completely change our economic system. Instead of producing goods and services for ourselves or for profit, “we will be producing content and amusement for one another, without engaging in explicit (taxable) financial exchange”.[4] Michael Goldhaber goes even further, saying, “As the Net becomes an increasingly strong presence in the overall economy, the flow of attention will not only anticipate the flow of money, but eventually replace it altogether.”

So what does this mean for our generation and future generations? The article by Michael Goldhaber was written in 1997…is there still an attention economy today? Has it become more prevalent? I would argue yes. In my Lady Gaga course this semester we have studied Celebrities, and how in a postmodern world mediated and driven by screens, whether that be your iPhone, television, or computer, attention, not talent, is all one needs to become famous (take Kim Kardashian for example). I’m not sure what an economy driven only by attention would look like…but it seems to me, with the rapid growth of technology and digital culture meshing with physical culture, that we’re certainly moving in that direction.

 


[1] Goldhaber, Michael H. “Attention Shoppers.” Wired, December 1997. http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/5.12/es_attention.html?pg=1&topic=&topic_set=.

[2] Goldhaber, Michael H. “Attention Shoppers.”

[3] Iskold, Alex. “The Attention Economy: An Overview.” ReadWrite, March 2007. http://readwrite.com/2007/03/01/attention_economy_overview.

[4] Iskold, Alex. “The Attention Economy: An Overview.”

 


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Experience life

// Posted by Jorien on 04/24/2013 (10:41 PM)

“This is just a decaying lump of flesh that gets old, it’s leaking fluid all the time, it’s obscene to think this is me. I am my ideas and the sum of my experiences.” Tim Cannon Read more

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“This is just a decaying lump of flesh that gets old, it’s leaking fluid all the time, it’s obscene to think this is me. I am my ideas and the sum of my experiences.” Tim Cannon 

Who are you? Are you your body, or are you your ideas and experiences? 

Nowadays, people change how they look. 21% in the country has had plastic surgery in order to fix certain body parts or their overall body. It is common for women to have breast implants, which means that they open their body up to something unnatural and synthetic. Not only through plastic surgery we enhance the human, but also for example through medical additions such as the pacemaker in order to live longer. A wounded soldier who had no upper leg muscle anymore used pig material in order to gain tissue back and can walk again.    This method is also used with several athletes, who are at the point of retiring, but found a way to improve their muscles so that they can last a few years longer. 

With all these methods in enhancing the body, it seems so natural for people to think about changing a certain part in order to perform better. A striking article about biohackers which was posted by my professor, made me think more about this topic. How far do people go, now that there is an increasing amount of technology and knowledge available?  The article talks about grinders and biohackers: people that insert magnets or chips in parts of their body so that they have a ‘sixth sense’. Ben Popper writes about his surgery in his finger, which was done without anesthesia in a basement by a ‘grinder’: “a homebrew biohacker obsessed with the idea of human enhancement”. He got a magnet in the top of his finger that allowed him to feel different magnetic fields around him, such as a microwave, subways and power lines.   

Personally, I was a little freaked out by this article. How can people cut their skin open without anesthesia in order to put a little metal piece in it? First, it must hurt, but second, an unnatural piece within your body must have some effects, will the body not reject it and get infected?

Apparently, there is a community of grinders who share their experiences on the Internet, for example via YouTube. People who have ‘underground surgeries’ in order to experience something ‘more’ when interacting with the world around them. They become a cyborg. One of these cyborgs is Neil Harbisson, he did not enhance his senses because he wanted to experience more, but because he had to. Harbisson had been colorblind since he was born, he saw only colors within the greyscale. In this video he talks about his life as a cyborg.

‘Knowledge comes from our senses, so if extend our senses we would extend our knowledge.’ This was one of the sentences that struck me. Yes, humans can make themselves different, maybe even better, but why?  A majority will do it because it makes them feel better, ‘prettier’ some would say, however this is just people who use plastic surgery. The way of using technology to make it part of oneself is a whole other aspect. How Neil Harbisson described it made sense to me, we absorb different sensations that we transform into knowledge. Every touch, sniff and sight teaches us something new about the world around us. Thus, in order to get in touch with all this knowledge around us it would not be a bad idea to extend these senses. One has to start from the bottom up in order to know how the body responds on foreign materials. Therefore I think grinders and biohackers are, however crazy they might seem, on a road to explore the different ways in which we could sense everything around us.

Do you think we should all be cyborgs? Will it add to our experience of life or will it take away the ‘realness’?


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Interpersonal Communication

// Posted by Sam on 04/24/2013 (8:23 PM)

Can we even consider our interactions with others real human “relationships” anymore? MIT professor and scientist Sherry Turkle explains in her TEDtalk how the use of cell phones, texting, and other social media is devolving relationships into no more than… Read more

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Can we even consider our interactions with others real human “relationships” anymore? MIT professor and scientist Sherry Turkle explains in her TEDtalk how the use of cell phones, texting, and other social media is devolving relationships into no more than mediated connections between people.

Sherry Turkle, “Alone Together”

In his seminal work I and Thou, Martin Buber makes a fundamental distinction between the two modes of interacting with the world: the mode of “I-it” and the mode of “I-Thou.” The “I-it” mode of interaction, or engagement, with the world implies interaction as self-centered experience and is described in the first section of the book. That is, the “I” surveys his or her empirical surroundings (the “it”) and uses those observations to live life. The “it” is no more than the object of our experiences. There is necessarily a space between the “I” and the “it;” the “I” functions more as a subject while the “it” functions more as the object.  While the “I-it” mode of interacting may not imply a deep mutual understanding or relationship between the “I” and the “it,” the mode does have practical, applied value through its empirical nature. Texting someone implies an “I-it” relationship because the person with whom you are texting is treated as an object outside of the present.

Buber’s “I-thou” mode of interaction, on the other hand, is a much more intangible, intrinsically based mode of interacting with the world than the “I-it” subject-observing-object mode of interaction. Dubbed “encountering” or “turning towards,” the “I-Thou” mode of interaction is necessary for us to use in order to consider ourselves human. Buber explains the difference between “I-it” and “I-Thou” by examining a child’s instinct to “make everything into the “Thou.”[1] While a child is still young, he or she does not form preconceived notions or judgments about the objects with which he or is encounters. Therefore, children tend to encounter more than engage. In the “I-Thou” relationship, we form a mutual bond with the object, the “Thou,” and this bond has a determinable effect on both the “I” and the “Thou.” We treat the “Thou” as a child might treat his or her loved plaything; with minimal to no preconceived notions and no superficiality. Though we technically can encounter inanimate objects (e.g. Buber’s tree example), the “I-Thou” relationship is best evidenced when it occurs between humans in what Buber deems “love.”  That being said, Buber also tells us “we’re closer to connection when hating someone than when feeling nothing at all.”[1]

Sherry Turkle suggests that our new, mediated connections between each other (that is, relationships where we can choose to maintain a space between each other), are actually diminishing our ability to share an “I-Thou” relationship with each other; we can no longer engage in genuine dialogue and will eventually lose our ability to “live in the present.”

What do you think? Is texting going to catalyze the downfall of real human interaction? Will we all be lonelier in the future than we are now?

 


[1] Buber 30


[1] Buber 38


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Relax.

// Posted by Andrew on 04/24/2013 (4:47 PM)

In order to start thinking about what I wanted to write for my final blog, I began to flip through the notes from our class discussions. On the first page of my spiral notebook, I’d written in big, bold… Read more

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In order to start thinking about what I wanted to write for my final blog, I began to flip through the notes from our class discussions. On the first page of my spiral notebook, I’d written in big, bold letters: “THEORY OF THE END OF HISTORY: EVERYTHING IS RE-USED AND RE-HASHED DUE TO DIGITIZATION.”

I was struck by this. I’d written it in bold because I had initially agreed with that statement. I came into this class with the notion that we, as a culture, are currently going through a “lather, rinse, repeat” cycle regarding, well, everything that we consider to be important in our lives: fashion is being recycled, old films are being re-issued in Blu-Ray and 3-D releases of movies like “The Lion King” are breaking box office records, etc. In an age where everything seems to be new and state-of-the-art, the reality is that most of the things I’m encountering in life are very, very familiar.

After finishing the Digital America course, I must say that I disagree with the notion that the digital age is signaling the end of history. In my opinion, the sheer new-ness of everything that’s going on in the world regarding digital technology is occurring at such a rapid pace that most of us yearn to go back to the old days of pen and paper, radios, and Super Nintendo. Simply put, it’s hard to adjust to these changes. Who would have thought that stock market trading would run on micro-seconds? Who would have thought that a video game like Halo 2 could bring thousands upon thousands of fans together to uncover the mysteries of the game’s lore in real-time? Who would have thought that I’d be hearing about the “Boston Bombing” through a six-second Vine video on Twitter?

When cars were first being used in the United States, there wasn’t an immediate shift from horses to automobiles. According to MotorEra.com,

“The first practical, factory-produced automobiles were little more than motorized horse carriages. A tiny one-cylinder motor under the seat drove through a chain, and you steered with a “tiller,” like a coaster wagon. Nothing to it. It was enough to be getting around a little faster than a horse could take you. And the car didn’t get tired after a few hours.”

If you look at old photos from the early-20th century, you can see streets that are lined with both horse-and-buggies and primitive automobiles. The car was such a drastic shift in the way that humans approached traveling that it took several years to fully catch on. In the face of arguably one of the most important tools that would shape suburbs, employment opportunities, transit, highways, and NASCAR, early-20th century Americans held on to their inefficient, 1-horsepower, pooping animals for mobility. Sure, this can be seen as an issue where cars hadn’t been mass-produced and made widely available yet, and Ford’s production line wasn’t being used. However, I like to think that early Americans wanted to hold onto horses in a way that allowed them to stay connected with their past. Now THAT’s nostalgia.

The internet, and 21st-century technology as a whole, is my generation’s automobile. Even though we’ve been living in the digital age for a few decades, we’re still discovering uses for technology in ways that Americans literally never thought were possible a few years ago. High-tech prosthetics. Augmented reality. Self-driving cars. Google, for goodness sakes. It’s going to take us decades in order to figure out the implications of the things we’re just now discovering. To say that the end of history is near due to the impact of digitization is like a 1900′s newspaper writing that cars were death-machines on wheels bringing every American to his or her maker. It’s going to take time for us to become adjusted to the age we’re currently living in: the Digital Age.

So let people use Instagram to create photos that look like they’re from the 1890′s. Let people fill their closets with thrifted clothes from bygone eras. Let people “unplug” from their technological lives and take an occasional walk through the park. We’re living in a fast, ever-changing world, and it’s hard to keep up. Try to hold on to your pasts and embrace what you love, but don’t fear for the future. As I like to think, “Everything will always work out in the end…and if things aren’t working out yet, then it’s not quite the end.”


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Your Anon News

// Posted by Patrick on 04/22/2013 (2:08 PM)

The famous hacker/activist group Anonymous has just raised enough money to start their own news website, to be entitled Your Anon News (YAN) reports the website ARS Technica. The fundraiser was set up through the website Indiegogo, and raised close… Read more

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The famous hacker/activist group Anonymous has just raised enough money to start their own news website, to be entitled Your Anon News (YAN) reports the website ARS Technica. The fundraiser was set up through the website Indiegogo, and raised close to  55,000 dollars. The article states that Anonymous only set out to collect 2,00o dollars initially.

It is interesting that the group only set out to raise 2,000 dollars but in reality ended up raising a small fortune. To me this shows the support of the people for more influence by Anonymous in their lives. The group is criticized by many for their attacks on certain companies and websites. However for every person who views Anonymous as a terrorist group, there are two people who idolize the group. In recent years the group has made some waves with its hacks and ability to appeal to a good portion of the population.

By creating this news website I believe that Anonymous is looking to create a more dedicated group of followers and loyalists who look up to the group for inspiration. The article states that ”YAN’s mission is also to become more integrated with the news cycle: ‘to report, not just aggregate the news,’” and a video posted by Anonymous stated that “Our goal was to disseminate information we viewed as vital separating it from the political and celebrity gossip that inundates the mainstream.”

Although I do not necessarily agree with some of the groups actions, I am interested to see how they use this news website to convey information that they think is relevant and important. I actually have faith in this new website, I support their point that news nowadays is to mainstream and gossipy. I will be sure to check out the website when it is up and if nothing else at least it will provide me the opportunity to escape from mainstream culture and media for a few minutes.

Check out the video here.


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A Case for Millennials

// Posted by Vicky on 04/22/2013 (12:14 AM)

Am I the only one sick of us Millennials being called a failing, stupid, unmotivated, lazy, self-centered generation? It seems like everywhere I look some baby boomer or someone from Generation X is constantly putting down our generation.  Yes, we,… Read more

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Am I the only one sick of us Millennials being called a failing, stupid, unmotivated, lazy, self-centered generation? It seems like everywhere I look some baby boomer or someone from Generation X is constantly putting down our generation.  Yes, we, Generation Y or the Millennials, are more connected than any other generation, but why does this have to be a bad thing? First, let’s remember that we were born into the digital age, it was not something we chose and we cannot be held fully responsible for where it has landed us. But I will argue that our tech-savvy generation has made the best, well maybe not the best but good use, of what the Internet has to offer. Older generations need to stop criticizing us for adapting to the digital world that we were born into.

Accusations against us are coming from all over. OnlineSchools.com put together data from Pew and Kaiser and created the infographic below indicating that technology and media consumption are negatively affecting young people’s grades, behaviors and emotions. The graph shows that forty seven percent of the heavy media users reported typically earning grades of C or below in school, compared to just 23 percent of the light users. And twice as many heavy media users as compared to light users are reported getting in trouble frequently. So  according to the Pew and Kaiser study, technology and media use is negatively affecting our lives.

 

Some people are going even further…Mark Bauerlein, author The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future, argues that Millennials are under-using or misusing the Internet and technology available to them. Bauerlein argues that Millennials ignorantly use the Internet to extend and deepen social ties rather than using it to learn and enrich themselves in history and worldly affairs. The “dumbest” generation…well thanks Mark Bauerlein.

In response to the Pew and Kaiser study, I would argue that the impact of technology and media use on low grades reflects not on the students alone but on the education systems failure to keep up with the times. Keeping in mind that Millennials are trained to process information differently due to technology, the Internet and digital media, our educations need to adapt to support that and use it to their benefit. According to the National Lone Star Report on Aligning Technology with Student Success, “Of more than 6,000 students polled across 36 campuses, 77 percent said their grades improved through web-based course material and online classroom managing sites like Moodle”. Therefore, use of technology in the classroom is strongly tied to positive results including higher grades. So maybe we’re not the problem, you are…times have changed and its time our education system catches up.

In response to Mr. Bauerlein, who claims that “America’s youth know virtually nothing about history and politics” I would say he’s full of crap. Bauerlein writes, “You [the Millennials] are six times more likely to know who the latest American Idol is than you are to know who the speaker of the U.S. House is” but according to the National Conference on Citizenship, “Millennials vote at a rate higher than other generations at their age and are generally more committed to civic and political causes.” In fact, in the 2012 Presidential Election, our generation, ages 18-29, was a key factor in President Obama’s re-election. Robillard on Politico.com writes, “Obama easily won the youth vote nationally, 67 percent to 30 percent, with young voters proving the decisive difference in Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio, according to an analysis by the Center for Research and Information on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University”.

In contrast to all the negative press that Millennials are receiving, I wish shed some light, and save the name of our generation. I believe that the Millennial generation is by far one of the most politically and socially active generations that America has had in a while. Many older activists may dismiss us as slackavists as they believe that our digital activism has less affect that hitting the streets in the name of a cause. Our non-traditional activism, including Facebook posts, Tweets, YouTube videos, etc., cannot be dismissed! Taken alone, yes, much of our digital activism may not seem like much. But our online efforts merge with offline efforts and can be powerful as we have seen through OWS, Yo Soy 132 and the Arab spring uprisings. Gay marriage is now legalized nine states largely due to online efforts and digital activism. Millenials are changing activism, redefining it even…and whether or not older generations embrace or accept it doesn’t matter, the results speak for themselves.

So what that we like to connect with friends on Facebook, tweet about what we’re doing, or Instagram a photo of our dinner…our leisurely use of the Internet and technology should not overshadow our intellectual, humanitarian and practical uses of it too.


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The Modern Manhunt: Boston

// Posted by Celia on 04/21/2013 (11:44 PM)

One week ago, the United States was rocked by a tragedy that Obama stated was the worst act of terrorism since 9/11. The Boston Marathon Bombings occurred in the afternoon at an event with thousands of people congregated for celebrations… Read more

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One week ago, the United States was rocked by a tragedy that Obama stated was the worst act of terrorism since 9/11. The Boston Marathon Bombings occurred in the afternoon at an event with thousands of people congregated for celebrations and accomplishments. Nobody anticipated such a horrible act on such a cheerful occasion. Once the explosions occurred, the witnesses were instantly floored to find answers. Who did it? Why? How did they get away with it? Spencer Ackerman, of Wired, said in the aftermath of the bombings the law enforcement agents were left with “a huge problem and nearly no leads.”

The law enforcement agents used the only information available to them: The Crowd. The explosions took place near the finish line in Copley Square, one of the busiest and most congested areas of the day. Aside from the implications of the space for injuries, the space also provided an arena under  surveillance by bystanders’ smartphones and retailers’ camera. There was an abundance of photos and videos ready to be explored. Despite some reluctance in using these digital media tools, the police went ahead with pursuing leads provided by the public. Because the police and FBI allowed civilians to help formulate a case, within days they had their suspects. Thousands of videos and photos of the area were submitted and agents had to dig through for patterns of suspicious behavior.

What happened in Boston was truly horrible, but the events that followed were just as inspiring. The city of Boston unified as a collective unit to solve a time-sensitive and dangerous situation. Google launched Person Finder to assist in finding missing persons or submitting information about someone. The Boston Globe created a GoogleDoc to provide housing to those in need after the tragedy. In a city with millions of people, one tragedy instantly transformed strangers into coworkers as the hive mind worked to solve the crime and apprehend the suspect.

I think the events in Boston show the future of security in a positive light. At some points throughout the class I have felt like we are moving into an age of “organized anarchy,” where the Internet is so vast that security could not possibly cover all realms. The Boston Marathon Bombings were an encouraging symbol of the American spirit and the potential benefits of collective intelligence. The large-scale problem solving through such a large crowd was only made possible by the help of police, FBI, and the public. Looking forward, how can the public and collective problem-solving concepts help avoid these situations? Multiple cameras caught the bombers on camera, but it wasn’t until after the event that the activity was noticed as suspicious. We must work to develop a means of preventing these acts of terrorism through collective intelligence in order to prevent deaths and tragedies.


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Hijacking Airplanes, from the Ground.

// Posted by Patrick on 04/18/2013 (7:37 AM)

A recent article published by CNN talks of the possibility of an IPhone app that is capable of hijacking an airplane. “A German security consultant, who’s also a commercial pilot, has demonstrated tools he says could be used to hijack… Read more

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A recent article published by CNN talks of the possibility of an IPhone app that is capable of hijacking an airplane. “A German security consultant, who’s also a commercial pilot, has demonstrated tools he says could be used to hijack an airplane remotely, using just an Android phone.” A speaker at the Hack in the Box summit spent 3 years creating an app that he says has the ability to take over control of an airplanes controls. This is a very frightening idea if one looks at it from a security standpoint.

The hacker Hugo Teso actually demonstrated through a flight simulator the power that this app can have over an airplane. “Teso showed off the ability to change the speed, altitude and direction of a virtual airplane by sending radio signals to its flight-management system. Current security systems don’t have strong enough authentication methods to make sure the commands are coming from a legitimate source, he said.” Never before has an app had this type of power, the power to remotely control a plane from your android phone seems crazy, but it is possible.

Thankfully Teso does not plan on using this app for evil and has “said at the summit that he’s reached out to the companies that make the systems he exploited and that they were receptive to addressing his concerns. He also said he’s contacted aviation safety officials in the United States and Europe.” This is welcome news to just about everyone in the world. The power to hijack an airplane is a scary thought and brings to question is technology getting to powerful?

While reading this article I couldn’t help but think thank god that this man made the app, not some deranged person out for vengeance. However, who is to say that next time it wont be someone with cruel intentions who makes an app capable of the same or equal terrorism and chaos. In my head I asked questions that I couldnt contemplate answers for, such as, When is technology going to become to powerful? Will it ever? And lastly if it does what will need to be done to stop it? Will it even be possible to stop such advanced technologies?

 


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Internet to Take Over the World?

// Posted by Patrick on 04/18/2013 (4:50 AM)

Is it possible that the Internet could grow so large that every living human being, all 7 billion of us, would be online? In a recent article the possibility is introduced by  Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google.… Read more

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Is it possible that the Internet could grow so large that every living human being, all 7 billion of us, would be online? In a recent article the possibility is introduced by  Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google. Mr. Schmidt states that approximately 2 billion people in the world use the Internet today, he then goes on to hypotheses that all 7 billion people will be on the Internet as early as 2020.

This idea seems almost absurd to me. Is it really possible that the entire world, quite literally, will be able to connect to each other truly creating one globalized earth? Although there is no definite answer just yet I find it interesting to imagine what life would be like. The Internet is already a driving factor in the way I live my life, I am constantly using it to find information and communicate with others. The Internet is an amazing 3rd space that is already capable of producing amazing ideas and advances in the world today. I can only image what we will be capable of if the Internet reaches every person possible.

Of course with any radical idea there will be obstacles and set backs. The article seems to bring Schmidts dream to a screeching halt when it asks “With poor and developing nations around the world isolated by crumbling or nonexistent Web infrastructures, and others hindered by factors ranging from remote geography to government censorship, is Schmidt’s vision overly optimistic?”

At first I had no answer to this question but then I began to believe once again in the power of the Internet. As the Internet expands new capabilities arise that used to be non existent. I believe that the solution to this problem of limited Internet access will be answered by the Internet itself as it continues to grow and create new networks and advances in technology. And already we are starting to see possible solutions to this problem. Geeks Without Frontiers  is an organization that donates computers and “related technology” to 3rd world countries. In addition the article introduces another very interesting project backed by Samsung. This project is working to open solar powered schools in Africa.

I am very interested to see if Mr. Schmidts claim that 7 billion people will be connected to the internet by 2020 comes true. I am even more interested to see what happens after that, what great advances occur and how life will change when the whole world is available to you from your lap.


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// Posted by VCUQ Social Awareness on 04/16/2013 (8:49 AM)

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// Posted by VCUQ Social Awareness on 04/16/2013 (8:46 AM)

Let me know what you think…

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Let me know what you think…


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VCUQ Social Awareness Campaign Project – Sedentary Lifestyles

// Posted by VCUQ Social Awareness on 04/11/2013 (2:07 PM)

"Design for social change"

This is a sketch of a possible social campaign on sedentary lifestyle that my design students have created. The caption here is “Don’t blend in with the furniture, you’re not part of it”. I was wondering what you think… Read more

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"Design for social change"

This is a sketch of a possible social campaign on sedentary lifestyle that my design students have created. The caption here is “Don’t blend in with the furniture, you’re not part of it”. I was wondering what you think about how to improve the design in order to make it more effective and your comments on this type of social campaign, knowing that the target audience is students of 18-25 years of age.


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VCUQ Social Awareness Campaign Project – Dropouts

// Posted by Rosatelli on 04/11/2013 (7:46 AM)

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VCUQ Social Awareness Campaign Project – Elder Abuse

// Posted by Rosatelli on 04/10/2013 (8:45 AM)

 

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Thank you, Tec!

// Posted by Rosatelli on 04/09/2013 (11:08 PM)

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Thank you, Meghan and students from UR

// Posted by Tec de Monterrey on 04/09/2013 (10:50 PM)

First of all, thank you Dr. Rosatelli for agreeing in making us part of this no-State-or-physical-barriers experiment. My students cannot believe that there was a time where the State acted as an intermediate between two individuals in different countries, for… Read more

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First of all, thank you Dr. Rosatelli for agreeing in making us part of this no-State-or-physical-barriers experiment. My students cannot believe that there was a time where the State acted as an intermediate between two individuals in different countries, for instance, just to make an international phone call.

Now, thanks to new IT movements like Wall Street can give a message “urbi et orbi” (to the city and to the world) immediately. Also, we can communicate with people abroad with no one deciding if they allow us to continue with our message or not. To me, this is what I understand by empowering an individual -the chance of expressing yourself, of acting and reuniting with people like you… freely. Of course, you need more than cellphones to succeed. The #Yosoy132 movement didn’t succeed after the July elections as a national, unified movement, but their demands against telecommunications monopolies have been included in the reforms being discussed in our Congress.

As I said in class to my students, I was not surprised by the Arab Spring because in 2004 I witnessed how young people used their cellphones like any young person in the U.S. or Mexico. What surprised me was their demands for democracy, freedoms, and jobs. Maybe I was as ignorant as anybody else about what Egyptian people wanted there, because nobody said what their really wanted because State censorship. Technology helped Egyptian youth to create a political movement and overthrow Hosni Mubarak. That was an autocratic state that no longer exists because once you get freedom, no one can take it back from you.

Thanks again, Meghan, UR and Tec students.

Gaby De la Paz


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Deyanira

// Posted by Tec de Monterrey on 04/08/2013 (11:43 PM)

I will discuss the image of Vicky. I really liked the message it conveys the image because it shows our reality. And I agree with you that the media influence people’s opinion and in making public policy decisions.
However,… Read more

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I will discuss the image of Vicky. I really liked the message it conveys the image because it shows our reality. And I agree with you that the media influence people’s opinion and in making public policy decisions.
However, the media to not use them properly can cause serious problems for people as ignorance and social stagnation.
Social movements linked to the media and can attract people from all over the world. The media play an important role in the lives of people.
So we must spread the good use of the media where it shows the reality of the facts without hiding the truth, so that people can make good decisions in your life and can transform the world.
It’s amazing to be able to immediately learn of news and a say not only what is happening in our country, but around the world.
Now people can be grouped to a disagreement with his government and make demonstrations to other solutions.
People not longer keep quiet and help the media to get people interested in what happens around them and know their rights.
For example in Mexico social movements drive people to seek solutions to social problems.
Mexico has evolved in the manifestations of social groups in recent years. The social movement was the last I’m 132, by disagreement in the presidential elections of 2012. Here you can see how comicacion media and social movements are linked.
Indigenous movements have also gained power and autonomy. The NGO have supported and defended the rights of Indians.
Social movements are importantesy media are also important and are present in people’s daily life.


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Online or Offline, or Both?

// Posted by Patrick on 04/08/2013 (6:37 PM)

In the past, activist movements usually took place offline and had a lack of connection to the Internet. Nowadays these movements are taking place online more and more. An interesting article I found online speaks of the… Read more

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In the past, activist movements usually took place offline and had a lack of connection to the Internet. Nowadays these movements are taking place online more and more. An interesting article I found online speaks of the blurring of online and offline movements to create a more influential and far reaching movement. Mob Lab wrote an interesting article describing the move from offline movements to a more combined approach using both offline and online tactics to help expand their ideas.

One interesting example  in the article was that of the Belgium Food Bank. The organization used likes on Facebook to help donate money to the food banks. However in addition to that they put up a live feed that would show the picture of whoever liked the page being printed and then put on a massive wall. This technique worked well because the people who liked the page actually got to see their personal picture being put up on a live video that was accessible to the whole world. This helped to entice people to see that they had a bigger impact than simply clicking a like button on Facebook.

The opportunities that the Internet provide for connecting offline movements to online movements is a giant step towards online activism. I believe that incorporating both the offline and online aspects of any organization into activist movements will help to propel the influence of movements that would otherwise not make a big impact on the global community.

One thing that organizations must avoid however is the possibility of helping to expand slactivism. Slactivism could potentially become a major problem by delegitimizing movements that have a good idea at heart but lack the actual drive and motivation that is only possible by real people doing real things, not just clicking a button and thinking you are changing the world. As organizations start to blend the offline and online aspects of their respective movements I believe that it is important to remember that we live in a physical world and not in an abstract online based community.

While the Internet has undoubtedly helped to increase global participation and awareness I believe that it is important to stick to our roots offline and use the internet as tool to advance ideas instead of the only outlet for activist movements. It will be interesting to see in the coming years how organizations choose to go about raising awareness for causes and then actually taking action towards those goals in the real world, not just the Internet.

Check out this video for more info:


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new techonologies and their importance

// Posted by Tec de Monterrey on 04/05/2013 (3:24 AM)

Dimitri Acosta García

The arrival of new technologies like telecommunications and cyberspace, in which online communication takes place, has modified the way we interact with the world. Because of this, cultures all over the sphere can share information, news, concerns,… Read more

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Dimitri Acosta García

The arrival of new technologies like telecommunications and cyberspace, in which online communication takes place, has modified the way we interact with the world. Because of this, cultures all over the sphere can share information, news, concerns, etc.; in other words, telecommunications and cyberspace have permitted to see the world not only geographically, rather as a global community.

This kind of technologies have contributed to homogenize some cultural aspects and some interests all over the world, which can be seen as a triumph of globalization; but, besides that homogenization, telecommunication and cyberspace can be seen as a tool of social organization, a tool of Democracy.

Mexico and USA are not far away of the reality stated above: social network has been used as a tool of Democracy that, at the same time, has risen the participation of social groups interested in their countries and, particularly, in the decisions of the ones who have the power of decision.

Occupy Wall Street movement, a group of citizens who were dissatisfied with the decisions taken by their president and the financial industry for the crisis of 2008, using social media could mobilize thousands of people all over America, and suddenly spread to other countries, claiming for a “soft regime change”.

In Mexico the situation was not so different than the USA. In the last presidential elections (2012) we were witnesses of the appearance of a bunch of young people called by themselves “#YOSOY132”, who were acquiring importance thanks to the facilities of the internet and the social media.

Another use of the telecommunications and social media is that, besides to be seen as a tool of social organization, can work as an alternative way of communication. Occupy Wall Street and “#YOSOY132” demanded in several occasions that the regular media underestimate their demands and even their presence. That’s why they decided to create their own news and their own information that, later, was seen by thousands thanks to the internet and social media.

USA AND HIS INFLUENCE IN MEXICO

Despite that Mexico is known for its traditions and culture, there’s no doubt about the influence of USA in this country, most precisely, since my point of view, in the northern states, which is not surprising because of its closeness.

TV series, movies, music, food, sports, traditions- like Halloween – are so rooted in Mexican culture. We all listen your singers, eat your food, watch your Hollywood movies and, in particular, I play your national sport every day and I know almost every baseball player in the Majors.

We, as a nation, are one of the most fervent consumers of your products. We buy Iphones once arrived to the country, we eat you crispy cream donuts once put on sale in the market, etc. , nevertheless, we are still proud of our roots as you are of yours.

 

 


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ERN

// Posted by Tec de Monterrey on 04/05/2013 (2:08 AM)

Deyanira Garcia A00808135

 

The Occupy Wall Street was a great social movement. People have to change interest in political and economic aspects in their country.

The Occupy Wall Street was a demonstration that succeeded in uniting million Americans and… Read more

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Deyanira Garcia A00808135

 

The Occupy Wall Street was a great social movement. People have to change interest in political and economic aspects in their country.

The Occupy Wall Street was a demonstration that succeeded in uniting million Americans and other groups from different countries.

I think that social movements in recent years have gained power, because people have lost their fear to express what he really feels.

People have shown interest in political and economic issues of the country in order to help improve aspects that political leaders are driving the wrong way is often by corruption. The media and social networks are part of social movements.

Today social networks are the most used by people, providing people with information about what is happening in the world. It’s unfortunate that most of the occasions the media only show people little information.

Some political leaders and empersas people simply because important information is information that could cause problems.

I think USA does influence decisions to Mexico primarily by history between the two countries.

USA manages to influence political, economic security and migration.

United States of America has many people of Mexico, this country can promote the rights of these people.

Mexico U.S. influence in the economy by the dependence of the Mexican government to the United States.

And the issue of security is important, the serious crisis of violence that exists in Mexico.

The Obama administration has proposed, for example is the operation Fast and Furious.

I think it’s important for people to become involved in political and social issues in his country. It is important that people stay informed in order to obtain better results in their country.

 


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Social networks and Internet: Shaping new ways of cultural influence

// Posted by Tec de Monterrey on 04/05/2013 (2:06 AM)

 

It has been said that perspective has a direct influence in the interpretation of the social processes, but within globalization and the new ways to communicate between actors it has been possible to form a complete panorama before analyzing… Read more

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It has been said that perspective has a direct influence in the interpretation of the social processes, but within globalization and the new ways to communicate between actors it has been possible to form a complete panorama before analyzing a certain event, sharing information and contrasting viewpoints, the citizenship empowers in order to break any existing barrier and even creating new ways to keep the world moving. In this post, one of the most relevant topics will be discussed, the influence of the internet and non controlled communication media in the power relation between government and population and also the cultural diffusion between nations, where geopolitical divisions are no longer a limitation and oceans don’t seem to stop the flow of information between countries. After reading about the Occupy Wall street movement and the chain reaction it began by including every American suffering the substitution of democratic principles by corporatism I couldn’t avoid relating it with the “Arab spring” we lived back in the presidential campaign months, which has been discussed by other classmates and basically meant the awakening of social actors who never had the chance to express their opinions and that, motivated by the possibility of living in a country where the information could be accessed and criticized, took the streets changing the political game mainly dominated by only one party. I will not insist on explaining the “Yosoy132″ movement, but its effects, which include the new ways of organization and communication that represent a barrier against the power abuses and the change of governance relation, no longer on a vertical hierarchy but on an horizontal cooperation. The open spaces that have surged after everyone noticed there was a need of change, include political debates in social networks, groups of NGO’s analyzing every aspect of a certain public administrator (I participate in one of them), and also a more liberal education with the inclusion of left wing ideology courses and the acknowledgement of the civil rights we possess and the obligations we must accept. The challenge we have been experiencing lately in México is that, no matter how hard society tries to create communication channels with the government, if they don’t accept to share the information about their actions it will be almost impossible to have a prosper political culture. I approach the cultural exchange between México and US as a person who has lived more than 13 years in a border city, where an international bridge separates prosperity from danger, fancy malls and huge convenience stores from drug traffickers and low scholar levels. I have seen the two sides of a coin, where some Mexicans try to emulate the American practices and sincerely admire the social stability and respect for values, listen to your music, sometimes without even understanding their lyrics, and will also be proud to have something bought in the US; I have also heard the other version, the one that refuses to accept that within globalization there will be a tendency to follow the working economy models and by saying that, they accuse the American capitalism for generating an income gap which now exists in our country and will eventually blame the ones in the bottom for feeding the crime machinery and slowing down the progress of the country. It’s all about where we stand, from which perspective you analyze the friendly neighbor, what will make you form an opinion and shape your citizen behavior.

My name is Iván A. Torres (A00515895) and I am so glad of being involved in this activity. I am looking forward for reading your posts and also providing you feedback from my viewpoint. 

 

 


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Movimientos Sociales

// Posted by Tec de Monterrey on 04/05/2013 (2:05 AM)

Deyanira Garcia A00808135

 

The Occupy Wall Street was a great social movement. People have to change interest in political and economic aspects in their country.

The Occupy Wall Street was a demonstration that succeeded in uniting million Americans and… Read more

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Deyanira Garcia A00808135

 

The Occupy Wall Street was a great social movement. People have to change interest in political and economic aspects in their country.

The Occupy Wall Street was a demonstration that succeeded in uniting million Americans and other groups from different countries.

I think that social movements in recent years have gained power, because people have lost their fear to express what he really feels.

People have shown interest in political and economic issues of the country in order to help improve aspects that political leaders are driving the wrong way is often by corruption. The media and social networks are part of social movements.

Today social networks are the most used by people, providing people with information about what is happening in the world. It’s unfortunate that most of the occasions the media only show people little information.

Some political leaders and empersas people simply because important information is information that could cause problems.

I think USA does influence decisions to Mexico primarily by history between the two countries.

USA manages to influence political, economic security and migration.

United States of America has many people of Mexico, this country can promote the rights of these people.

Mexico U.S. influence in the economy by the dependence of the Mexican government to the United States.

And the issue of security is important, the serious crisis of violence that exists in Mexico.

The Obama administration has proposed, for example is the operation Fast and Furious.

I think it’s important for people to become involved in political and social issues in his country. It is important that people stay informed in order to obtain better results in their country.

 


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The real role of social networks in political activism

// Posted by Tec de Monterrey on 04/05/2013 (1:59 AM)

Tec de Monterrey

The real role of social networks in political activism

The Internet and social networks are great aids towards the mobilization of population but not to the extent they have been pictured. For example, in Egypt it is… Read more

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Tec de Monterrey

The real role of social networks in political activism

The Internet and social networks are great aids towards the mobilization of population but not to the extent they have been pictured. For example, in Egypt it is important to acknowledge how the information was spread viva voce, citizen to citizen and the possible use of social action networks from the Muslim Brotherhood which are greatly organized unlike other existing powers in these countries.

The situation of Egypt in 2010 had an enormous impact in American citizens, seen from a perspective that Egypt was under a military regime and still they were able to raise their voices and be heard. Meanwhile, in the other side of the world, the Occupy Wall Street movement in the United States, a country which has set itself as a democratic crusader. Due to their freedom of speech, it didn’t seem as something that would be challenging. They needed to get their message to the population, here is where the media plays an important role especially social networks because television and newspaper’s are controlled by power elites that would most likely not support the movement in order to maintain their self interests.

Furthermore, the US also has the Tea Party movement from 2009 that received great coverage and coverage from main television and radio networks from the radical and conservative spectrum. The movement became popular within middle age people, mainly white men located in the suburbs in districts historically associated with the Republican Party. The movement, which was initiated within the middle class, had an immediate support directly and indirectly by diverse economic groups and Political conservative elites. Elites that had long ties with different industries, deriving from health insurance industries to defence contractors. At the same time, it extended its consensus foundation towards the lower sector of society. This example shows a clear pattern of interests of the media elite in the United States.

Conversely, in Mexico a social movement lead by young students, called #YoSoy132 took great advantage of the use of media within social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. This was done to raise awareness regarding the Mexican vote in federal elections because big television networks and newspapers controlled by power spheres only move towards their own economic interests with specific Political parties.

As conclusion,  Mexico has been influenced by the United States in a great deal of aspects, mainly because of the geographic closeness and the good diplomatic and commercial relations within the two. These relations allow the great consumption of American products and the high number of American businesses in Mexico. Likewise we are also influenced by television series, newscasts and movies.

by Luis Alberto Gutierrez Murillo A01215632


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Mexico-US relationship through information technologies

// Posted by Tec de Monterrey on 04/05/2013 (1:53 AM)

Today is the growth of internet services within Mexico has led to a greater openness to various forms of acculturation, due to the ease with which information can be obtained as a result of the little control (if it exists)… Read more

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Today is the growth of internet services within Mexico has led to a greater openness to various forms of acculturation, due to the ease with which information can be obtained as a result of the little control (if it exists) in our country on internet access. This greater openness to this information network has allowed a greater connection various external cultures, the main United States, due to the significant amount of information from this country, effect that could be noted in different areas or sectors of the population, as you can find everything from academic information, such as the pages of universities to endless entertainment pages, such as music, TV shows, movies, or YouTube, among others.
Besides this include social networks, which have gained great importance in recent years. This are visited mainly by young people, and have increased their influence and power of mobilization and participation, such as movements for political purposes, such as “Yo soy 132”, at the local level, and the known influence they have had over the world, and its influence on the Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street, the movement of the unemployed in Spain, or the student movements on Chile.
However it is important to note that this process has brought culturally while the Mexican population with the United States, this does not happen the same way in all social strata, and that the higher the income, the greater is this acculturation because they have better access to and from an early age to various technologies, and also have access to private services, such as product purchases, and subscriptions to websites. This does not mean that this process had begun on recent years, since the sectors best positioned economically have always had a greater inclination towards Anglo-American culture, this can be seen from dress, music, products consumed, until life expectancy. This whole process is accelerated from Mexico’s entry into NAFTA in 1994, which opened the set for the entry of products and businesses from the United States, and then the boom of information technologies, including the Internet, as well as processes of globalization, which close our cultures in ways never seen before.

Rodolfo Sauceda Rivera 1089313


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COMMUNICATION THROUGH BORDERS

// Posted by Tec de Monterrey on 04/05/2013 (1:32 AM)

COMMUNICATION THROUGH BORDERS

Frida Villa S.

The scientific and technological methods are now much more effective and increase the chance of generating more knowledge and communication in a world that seems to go in front of us, forcing us… Read more

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COMMUNICATION THROUGH BORDERS

Frida Villa S.

The scientific and technological methods are now much more effective and increase the chance of generating more knowledge and communication in a world that seems to go in front of us, forcing us to chase, technological speed in which we are immersed not always give us time to reflect and meanwhile, telecommunications make it through all boundaries as with the movement “Ocupy Wall Street”.
As a result, this rate in Mexico that are impacting culture and other actions that are part of our private daily life, should be analyzed if we do not want to fail in the main objective of the communication and the skills and competencies that are generated and are necessary to function in a technological society.
The increasing diversification of the media industries, globalization of business activities and the development of new communication technologies, such as the Internet, have led to the formation of huge interest based on the dissemination of information that extend across Mexico and many parts of directing messages to countless homes irreversibly changing the ways in which they arise, transmit and receive events, news or information to our society.
It is also important not to forget the role that politics plays in this age of mass communication because it is inseparable from the art of managing the imformation that influences so crucial in ideologies in Mexico.
Ideology operates in a variety of contexts of everyday life, from common conversations between friends until cast in major speeches best television schedules.
Personally I think it is important to diversify and influence of the media in the ideologies and must be easily seen as beyond any physical and ideological borders and influence aspects of daily life that become normal for that degree that we do not even notice them, a clear and immediate example is the language, and that English can be somewhat normal at least in the vicinity of many students, another example of the scope of communication through borders is the how we are communicating at this time.


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The third space and US influence

// Posted by Tec de Monterrey on 04/05/2013 (1:29 AM)

Andrea Bermúdez

In many ways Mexican culture has evolved. Since our colonization by Spanish troops, we have become a mixture of different civilizations that go from Aztecs and Mayans, to even Europeans. During the last decade technological revolution has changed… Read more

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Andrea Bermúdez

In many ways Mexican culture has evolved. Since our colonization by Spanish troops, we have become a mixture of different civilizations that go from Aztecs and Mayans, to even Europeans. During the last decade technological revolution has changed every paradigm we had, and has turned our little local issues, into matters of global interest, and it shows.Certainly the process of globalization is speeded by the increasing use of internet, not only in fully developed countries but also in developing countries such as Mexico, Egypt, Libya, Syria, etc. Everybody is interconnected, and whatever happens in one corner of the world is almost immediately acknowledged in the rest of it.We have several examples such as Occupy Wall Street, The Arab Spring, and in the Mexican case YoSoy132. So after analyzing the effects of the internet, we can say that it didn’t create something new among society, it only empowered people to actually make some sort of pressure to economic and political powers.Unfortunately in countries like Mexico not everybody has got access to reliable information sources, and by this I don’t mean everything on the internet is true, but at least it gives people the chance to compare and decide what to believe.Talking a little bit more on the case of YoSoy132, we can say that this specific event changed completely the way the government looked at their people, cause they were so used to never been interrogated. Everybody knew that the next president was going to be chosen not by the civilians but by external forces. Then the presidential candidate went to a university and caused a fuss amongst students who knew the truth of his backgrounds. Despite the effort of certain people to inform others, this led to nothing. However it taught us something as a society; the government will not improve if people don’t participate in a more active way.This is a clear example of the influence of the internet and interaction between people from various places all over the world, since the main ideas that led the movement were taken from the Arab spring, and in the same way this was inspired by some other.And now talking about the influence of the US in Mexico, this couldn’t be clearer. The ideal of life that comes from the northern border of the country has become the goal of many people. In my very personal opinion this isn’t really positive since our conditions are quite different, and since people can’t always reach this ideal of life, they fail causing some sort of social discontent, which increases the social gap in the strata.But the influence in almost every aspect of our day by day living is undeniable; economical, and political decision are made according to the US policies, trying not to damage the relations between the two countries. Maybe that’s why we´re the so called US backyard.


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Influence of USA in México

// Posted by Tec de Monterrey on 04/05/2013 (12:42 AM)

Here’s the link to watch the video where we share our personal experience towards the influence that USA has in México.

Participants:
Daviana Torres Caballero
Stephani Rivera Santoscoy

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Here’s the link to watch the video where we share our personal experience towards the influence that USA has in México.

Participants:
Daviana Torres Caballero
Stephani Rivera Santoscoy


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Media and globalization: new ways of intercultural approach

// Posted by Tec de Monterrey on 04/05/2013 (12:16 AM)

Estefanía Priego Martínez  806273

TEC DE MONTERREY

 

Media and globalization: new ways of intercultural approach

 

In the last decade a series of unprecedented technological innovations within the field of communication have been taking place. Tools like twitter, facebookRead more

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Estefanía Priego Martínez  806273

TEC DE MONTERREY

 

Media and globalization: new ways of intercultural approach

 

In the last decade a series of unprecedented technological innovations within the field of communication have been taking place. Tools like twitter, facebook and YouTube allow us to know what is happening across the world in seconds. Thanks to the Internet and these platforms mass gatherings are possible. A clear example is Occupy Wall Street in New York and the Movement #yosoy132 worldwide. The media showed pictures and videos of Mexicans in France, Germany, Italy, and other European countries that supported this movement hard. Young South Americans joined the cause showing their support through social networks and the movement became a global phenomenon.

 

There are great advantages in using these new media breaking frontiers of language and nationality. However, it is important to discern what is a new and what an opinion is. I am a student of journalism and media and one of the main responsibilities is to maintain social ethics. Social networks are mostly full of comments, opinions, manipulated information that is not based on solid arguments that leads to create stereotyping, fear-mongering, among other confounding factors.

 

Influence of American culture on Mexican culture

 

Developing countries are strong influenced by first world countries, such as the U.S. with his neighbor Mexico.

This influence can be noticed in different areas, in entertainment activities as an example:

  • Sports: in Mexico NFL games are religiously followed, young men bear their Yankees cap at school, parties, and department stores. Athletes such as LeBron James or Tom Brady are the heroes of kids in many Mexican cities, from north to south.
  • Music: Musical phenomena as Lady Gaga sold out in a few days during their tours in Mexican cities. Rappers such as Lil Wayne, Eminem, Jay-Z, are heard in most of the northern regions of the country and even imitated by many young people in their dressing.
  • Cinema:  Movies streamed in Mexican cinemas are almost entirely from Hollywood. Everybody watches the Oscar’s awards and Mexican fashion magazines base their trends on northamerican famous stars.
  • Traveling: New York, Los Angeles or Miami are strongly desired destinations in the Mexican upper class. Monterrey citizens take advantage of the proximity with Texas in order to go shopping to San Antonio, McAllen or El Paso.
  • Reading: Mexican intellectuals read The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Economist, Foreign Affairs, The Huffington Post, among other prestigious worldwide media from the U.S.

 

 


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Americanization in Northern Mexico

// Posted by Tec de Monterrey on 04/05/2013 (12:12 AM)

Javier Carrera

A01136999

Americanization in  Northern Mexico

We eat, breath, speak, see, hear and live the American culture, in Mexican soil. Monterrey, just a couple of miles south of Texas, is the epicenter of Americanization in Mexico, we not only… Read more

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Javier Carrera

A01136999

Americanization in  Northern Mexico

We eat, breath, speak, see, hear and live the American culture, in Mexican soil. Monterrey, just a couple of miles south of Texas, is the epicenter of Americanization in Mexico, we not only believe we are more “civilized” and the rest of Mexico, we are educated to believe so.

When my Americans friends come to visit me from West Virginia, they couldn’t believe their eyes, how American the city was: skyscrapers, cars (of course) and we have fridge and electric power (I am not lying), and Starbucks and McDonald’s, in everyone corner, they were somewhat disappointed they weren’t living the true Mexico.

In the northern Mexican society, America is a place to look upon to, we are so influence to by whatever the US says or does, and their way of live. For example, take Monterrey Tech, founded by Eugenio Garza Sada, a prominent Mexican business entrepreneur, after the American college system, and the campus itself resembles so much the MIT, the Alma Matter of Garza Sada. We need to know English to get our degree, even if the language is of no use in the field, the school promotes far more the football team than the soccer team, we are encourage to go abroad, to embrace business, English propaganda from the school is everywhere and the image is too, and not to say they are shifting from Spanish courses, to an all-English major by 2015 or so. And this is only in the school, the leader of the college-system in Mexico, and whatever it does, is quickly follow by the other.

Back in my house, the American culture is everywhere to be seen, both my parents are US educated, and they educated my siblings and me with a curious mix of Americanism and Mexican values. My mom is what can we said is a “soccer mom”, an ultra-modern independent woman with not much time for anything, she watches American TV show hits like Drop Dead Diva, Sex and the City, Desperate Housewives and The Law and Order, and listens to American 70’s hits music. She runs her own business (a small child daycare), and spends her nights with her friends, and don’t get me started on Facebook. My dad is more “intellectual” but on the American scope also, he reads a lot of American authors, watches History Channel, Discovery and NatGeo, he throws some slangs from time to time, and uses American history, examples and American law, when he tries to teach us something, and always, always compares the Mexican political system with the American one, but being the grandson of a revolutionary hero, he also tends to be ultranationalist Mexican, he of course gets angry when the US denies their responsibility in the War Against Drugs, he doesn’t like that much the American unilaterism and also the monopolistic abusive practices from US corporations and the Us government subsidies to crops and agriculture (my dad is a cattle rancher).

And my friends, they are the living image of Cindy la Regia (a fictional character mocking the Monterrey way of life), they are of course American educated (they attended the American School Foundation Monterrey), they dressed like an American, the love gossip girl, ¾ of the words they speak is in English, they can easily be confused by an American girl when in the US, and my male friends they don’t lag behind, they (we) all speak English, and we watch American shows, the root for out favorite NFL teams, we paly beer pong, we listen to American Hits, and we can wait to vacation in the US.

The way the American culture has penetrated the Mexican and my life got a push from the internet, back in the day, I watched the American shows translated (poorly) by the local TV, the movies, we only watched the ones approved by the government, and I had little contact with people from foreign lands. Now that I own and iPhone and have all-time Internet anywhere, everything I want to know is just one click away. I don’t care if the government bans a movie for “attempting” to religion or anything, I just get online and there is. The news and situations that are happening, I just get on twitter and that’s it, all the info I need, when I needed it is right there, even when I studied abroad, I still felt a home, Skype call to my friends, read the local newspaper online, follow my friends lives by Facebook, is like I even was there! No more hard time as my parents use to write letter an took them months to get a response, I just get on Whatsapp and text my friends in the Netherlands, that easy. The government has so little tools to follow all the online users and track the things we are doing, and the way the jurisdictions of the law in the cyberspace are  much more easy to evade.

The traditional media and the old-ways for the government to control the people are gone, the internet is so intricate in our lives that we think we are entitled to it, and we are far more aware of our rights than the people of the South, you see, Mexico can be said is two countries in one, the industrialized north and the rural south, which one you think is more Americanized? You guessed right, the North, not only by our closeness to the US, but we have grown with some of the hardships the Americans have grown with, the North was populated by outcasts back in the colonial era, in early-Mexico, the north was ignored by the central government for our lack of resources and military place, so we have to stand by our own, the Southerner people are more used to have a paternalist government, as we can see the socialist-style governments that rule the south, than the north, which we are more “Americans” in the sense that we know everything we need to succeed is in us, and we don’t expect the government to be there for us all the time.  Even the Mexican constitution is a weird mix of socialist ideals (every Mexican is entitle to a house, healthcare, education and work, consecrated in 1917), and some really capitalist fundamentals (anti-trust laws, freedom of speech), they all get combined to create this complex scenario.

The American culture is present in every moment in my life, when I talk to my friends we throw American jokes and stuff like that, I even have an American boyfriend. Never before I realized how Americanized my life is, even the laptop I am writing is an Apple, but the fact that my parents and more my dad never forgets is culture, it makes me something sort of a Mexican with American Values, I cherish the values the Americans cherish, freedom of speech, free trade, but I try to put them in the Mexican context, I think we are in the political time the US was back in the late 1800’s, but the internet and our connections to America (like this) and to the worlds is making this change and Americanization for better of worse far more faster that we ever expected.


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The Internet in politics

// Posted by Tec de Monterrey on 04/04/2013 (8:14 PM)

Gabriela Lozano Garza

A01190230

The Internet in politics

The decentralized network of networks, commonly known as the Internet, has revolutionized the political arena in many states such as Mexico and the United States. It has enabled a new… Read more

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Gabriela Lozano Garza

A01190230

The Internet in politics

The decentralized network of networks, commonly known as the Internet, has revolutionized the political arena in many states such as Mexico and the United States. It has enabled a new type of political activism allowing citizens with access to participate through the sharing of information.  This type of activism has multiple localities that are digitally interconnected at a local, regional, national, or global scale. Even though political frontiers exist, the Internet allows a fast and direct interstate circulation of information, which facilitates a movement’s organization. It is important to consider that technology itself cannot produce outcomes. It takes great human effort to spread ideas and guide a movement towards the aspired course.

As stated above, the Internet has given means by which citizens can be aware and get involved in the politics of their country. People who weren’t politically aware due to a lack of information can now obtain information instantly, and share it as easily as they got it.  A clear example is the Occupy Wall Street movement in the U.S., and the Yo Soy 132 movement in Mexico. Both were initiated by a small group of people, and used the Internet to spread the word, inform, organize and strategize the movement. It is clear that the Yo Soy 132 was somewhat inspired in the U.S. Occupy Wall Street movement; nevertheless I believe that it wasn’t intentional because it was the logical thing to do. The organization and spreading of the movement through the Internet was the cheapest, fastest, and easiest way to strategize a reaction and disapproval against Mexico’s actual president Enrique Peña Nieto.

Occupy Wall Street movement is evidently an example of how online activism can turn, not only local issues into global issues, but global issues into local ones. The Internet substituted traditional media by which information circulated, creating a non-filtered information stream. In my opinion, the Yo Soy 132 movement in Mexico didn’t have much success as Occupy Wall Street because there’s a small percentage of the Mexican population that has Internet access; therefore, traditional media in Mexico today has a greater impact and extent than non-traditional media such as the Internet.

Both the Occupy Wall Street movement, as well as the Yo Soy 132 movement, are initial indicators that the Internet and other telecommunications have opened a new type of activism via media resources. What we must ask ourselves is how will global media change citizenship and its influence in politics in the short-term future.

 


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The Internet in politics

// Posted by Tec de Monterrey on 04/04/2013 (8:11 PM)

Gabriela Lozano Garza

A01190230

The Internet in politics

The decentralized network of networks, commonly known as the Internet, has revolutionized the political arena in many states such as Mexico and the United States. It has enabled a new… Read more

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Gabriela Lozano Garza

A01190230

The Internet in politics

The decentralized network of networks, commonly known as the Internet, has revolutionized the political arena in many states such as Mexico and the United States. It has enabled a new type of political activism allowing citizens with access to participate through the sharing of information.  This type of activism has multiple localities that are digitally interconnected at a local, regional, national, or global scale. Even though political frontiers exist, the Internet allows a fast and direct interstate circulation of information, which facilitates a movement’s organization. It is important to consider that technology itself cannot produce outcomes. It takes great human effort to spread ideas and guide a movement towards the aspired course.

As stated above, the Internet has given means by which citizens can be aware and get involved in the politics of their country. People who weren’t politically aware due to a lack of information can now obtain information instantly, and share it as easily as they got it.  A clear example is the Occupy Wall Street movement in the U.S., and the Yo Soy 132 movement in Mexico. Both were initiated by a small group of people, and used the Internet to spread the word, inform, organize and strategize the movement. It is clear that the Yo Soy 132 was somewhat inspired in the U.S. Occupy Wall Street movement; nevertheless I believe that it wasn’t intentional because it was the logical thing to do. The organization and spreading of the movement through the Internet was the cheapest, fastest, and easiest way to strategize a reaction and disapproval against Mexico’s actual president Enrique Peña Nieto.

Occupy Wall Street movement is evidently an example of how online activism can turn, not only local issues into global issues, but global issues into local ones. The Internet substituted traditional media by which information circulated, creating a non-filtered information stream. In my opinion, the Yo Soy 132 movement in Mexico didn’t have much success as Occupy Wall Street because there’s a small percentage of the Mexican population that has Internet access; therefore, traditional media in Mexico today has a greater impact and extent than non-traditional media such as the Internet.

Both the Occupy Wall Street movement, as well as the Yo Soy 132 movement, are initial indicators that the Internet and other telecommunications have opened a new type of activism via media resources. What we must ask ourselves is how will global media change citizenship and its influence in politics in the short-term future.

 


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American Influence on México has a lot of impact in northern cities

// Posted by Tec de Monterrey on 04/04/2013 (8:01 PM)

México is known for its rich culture, delicious food, and mariachi. Besides the strong roots that México has, the influence of other countries is always there, starting with the Spanish colonization that is notable in many ways, on the past… Read more

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México is known for its rich culture, delicious food, and mariachi. Besides the strong roots that México has, the influence of other countries is always there, starting with the Spanish colonization that is notable in many ways, on the past decades with the improvement of transportation and communication México and united States have become closer. Thousands of Mexicans from all over the country immigrate to the states every year to get a better job and a better life quality. The perfect example of the fusion of culture is California; the first thing you see as you cross the border is Mexican people working in different places. It is really interesting to see this because sometimes you speak to them in Spanish and they answer you in English; normally you think that if they are from México they should know Spanish but because they are born and raised in the US a lot of them only speak English, and understand basic Spanish. Also, cultural blend stands out amongst many other ethnic groups living in the USA. The United States is a country of many cultures, which through immigrants had an influence on the unique combination that America is today. And that unique culture flows into our country and affects the lifestyles, eating habits, clothing, politics, and music of México. It is very interesting that on México the location of the city it has a lot to do with the culture and the American influence. The cities that are closer to the border usually use English words on the Spanish language, or some of them speak “pocho” that is a way of speaking that combines almost equally both languages. It is impressive the impact that living near the frontier has on the Mexican society. As soon as fast food restaurants started growing in México they became very popular; in my opinion Mexican are fascinated with the American culture and sometimes we do stuff, or buy thing that has all the roots in American culture and we don’t even realize it.

Mónica Tarriba


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The Third Space

// Posted by Tec de Monterrey on 04/04/2013 (7:21 PM)

 

For our generation information about the happenings in the world , our country, city and neighborhood is available as easy as “googling” it. This has made it much easier to know what is going on politically, economically, socially and… Read more

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For our generation information about the happenings in the world , our country, city and neighborhood is available as easy as “googling” it. This has made it much easier to know what is going on politically, economically, socially and culturally around the globe, and of course influences our everyday life. When people organize in Egypt and protest against a cruel dictator we now have the options to read not only the official newspaper statements (and trust that that they are accurate in describing what is going on), but we have access to first-hand statements from activists and victims in the movements. This is thanks to the social networks, like Twitter and Facebook.

When SOPA and PIPA threatened the freedom of speech in Internet, our generation found about it in social network pages like 9Gag and Facebook in Mexico. We didn’t hear it from the news, but we saw what people from the US and Europe published and vehemently rejected it through the social network pages. Surely, this virality had an impact on Congress, because people became aware what these laws encompassed and there representatives listened. When in Mexico a similar bill was trying to introduced, and having learnt from the US example, we also protested on the Internet.

On the more cultural side, there is also a notable impact of the US cyber space in Mexico. Videos like the “Harlem Shake” become viral in our country after being a phenomenon in the US, as well as the use of the Guy Fawkes mask not only on Halloween, but in protests in Mexico.

Anonymous also influences Mexican life. The group has shut down several times official government pages, as well as defending reporters threatened by brutal drug dealers.

I can conclude with all certainty that people who access on a regulary basis social network sites are influenced by American culture. We frequent the American fast food places, listen to videos on youtube from US singers, drive cars we see from US commercials and on the brighter side, start organizing our social protests on Twitter and Facebook, just like Occupy Wall Street. In Mexico we had “#Yo soy 132”.


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The Influence of USA in Mexico

// Posted by Tec de Monterrey on 04/04/2013 (7:11 PM)

Amed Paura Guerra A01137876 ITESM

Internet, medias, communications, and many other ways to unify people, its a new and powerful weapon to the people. But this works in both ways since the power may also come to the govermente as… Read more

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Amed Paura Guerra A01137876 ITESM

Internet, medias, communications, and many other ways to unify people, its a new and powerful weapon to the people. But this works in both ways since the power may also come to the govermente as well. The Ocuupy Wall Street movemet its a perfect example of the power of the technologies and communications on this days, the way in which the  author of the Rolling Stone magazine, describes how the progression of the number of people goes up, its just a perfect description of the power of communications. It doest matter if the information its about culture, religion, politics or any other topic, the information can flow and take down any boarder. How I said, this its a powerful weapon for politics as well since they can spread their ideas in a most effective way, last years elections in Mexico are a perfect example on the way that politicas parties enjoy and also suffer because of communications. It was easier for the to spread their ideas and get into another type  of voting people like the youth in Mexico as a perfect example, the college students or any other degree with the age to vote, all of this young population was of great importance during the elections, more as in any other elections. One of the negative way in which political parties suffer in Mexico was because of the egative propaganda civilians made to each of the parties, expressing their own political ideas or their opinions of the candidates, the best example of this kind of negatives against the political parties was the movemente “Yo soy 132″ which gain a really great reputation all around the country and also in many others.

In the topic about the influence of USA over Mexico, well its really simple im looking at my television and all I can see its Movies, Series, Products, and many other things from the United States, and actually its great, we all love the United States merchandise , but theres the problem with our identity, our traditions and our culture its chaging with every generation, even the way in which we talk or the stores we buy in. Of course im talking from a city which its really near one of the boarders with USA but the influence its running all over the country. The USA influence in Mexico its good because is show us the gratnees of that nation and the culture on the neighboor country but its also really dangerous to our traditions and identity.


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Politics 2.0

// Posted by Tec de Monterrey on 04/04/2013 (12:47 PM)

Jeremi De La Cruz
From time to time the way we communicate has changed, it is now possible to communicate with someone who is across the world in seconds without having to wait until you get a letter, as… Read more

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Jeremi De La Cruz
From time to time the way we communicate has changed, it is now possible to communicate with someone who is across the world in seconds without having to wait until you get a letter, as well as the way we communicate has also changed the way we receive news, the way we connect and now everything is on the new website is called 2.0.
The interesting thing about Web 2.0 is that we ignore the need to inform us in media or newspapers, know the facts in the seconds pass and 2.0 is that the network is being fed by the same people, anyone can publish information without have to be supported by someone from the comfort of the facts you can tell the world what is happening.
In Mexico there is the case of the student movement # YoSoy132 that unknown people are mobilized via social networks in minutes ITAM students raised their voices of dissent in seconds and university students across the country rallied to his cause.
A clear example in our neighbor to the north is the Occupy Wall Street where for social networks also agreed to occupy Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan in New York City, here was a discontent over economic problems and equally in social networks agreed to come to this movement.
While this new way of doing things in the world where anyone can publish information and go around the world, that’s why the way we digest the content is changing and it took us days, hours or weeks to learn information.
Hopefully this type of disclosure is used to achieve major social and not alone to learn of the news faster, to get people to mobilize in favor of a move and not to make bad committed


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The influence of USA and internet in Mexican Culture

// Posted by Tec de Monterrey on 04/04/2013 (3:50 AM)

María Minero

1260637

 

The influence of a country and internet in Mexican Culture

The influence that internet has had in numerous movements such as Occupy Wall Street in U.S.A has changed the way people organize. Internet offers the opportunity… Read more

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María Minero

1260637

 

The influence of a country and internet in Mexican Culture

The influence that internet has had in numerous movements such as Occupy Wall Street in U.S.A has changed the way people organize. Internet offers the opportunity to interact with others, no matter the place they are. The new social networks that emerged from internet have become an important tool that helped the Occupy Wall Street movement to expand and invite others to join them, as an example is the hashtag in twitter #ocuppywallstreet, they could get noticed, then many people like students, intellectuals and workers went out to the principal avenue of New York, with the slogan that describes what the movement wanted: “Democracy not corporatrocacy”.

The movements of the Arab Spring are other examples of the influence that internet plays in organizing these people that want a change in their countries; the Arabian people did not want a totalitarian government anymore. In Mexico emerged the movement #YoSoy132 before the presidential elections of 2012, it started  at the Universidad Iberoamericana located in Mexico City, after the candidate Enrique Peña Nieto gave a speech there. The movement was organized by students; they did not want the return of the party that for around six decades ruled the country, also the candidate Peña Nieto had a questionable background. After all they did not achieve their objectives, Peña Nieto was elected president. But one thing that is important is that the movement changed the perspective of many people that use internet and pressured the actual president to do his job in a different way, the results would be shown during his period of governance. The movement was influenced by the others that took place in countries like USA or Spain.

Influence of USA in Mexican culture

USA is a neighbor country of Mexico also USA is one of the major world powers, that is why it has an influence in Mexico. As an examples:  here in Mexico we can find many stores from USA, moreover most of the people prefer to consume brands that are made in United States, before consuming products that are made in their own country. As the society is becoming more and more global each day because of new technologies of information, they also contributes to be influenced other cultures, and of course the more powerful a country is, the more influence it would play. Internet also influenced in the lifestyle of other countries, because it gives you the opportunity to interact with numerous cultures in a simply way.


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Internet and the influence of USA

// Posted by Tec de Monterrey on 04/02/2013 (9:00 PM)

Jessica A. Pool Márquez     A00806205

1. The third space

Internet has been classified as part of a third space. This concept is related to a community building. It refers to social surroundings separated from the two usual social… Read more

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Jessica A. Pool Márquez     A00806205

1. The third space

Internet has been classified as part of a third space. This concept is related to a community building. It refers to social surroundings separated from the two usual social environments: home and the workplace. In this way Internet has become in a new place to interact with other people, we have created a virtual world.

The possibility of having access to vast amounts of information and getting to know other people that share problems and objectives similar to ours has created a new concept of citizenship. Internet has enabled a new type of cross-border politics where blogs, Facebook and twitter are important places to discuss and change points of view. Throughout these last years, Internet has proven to have the capacity to enhance democracy. Individuals can easily become participants in electronic networks. This produces a specific kind of activism, one centered on multiple localities yet connected digitally at scales larger than local, often reaching a global scale.

We have as examples of this the Occupy Wall Street in USA or the YoSoy132 movement in Mexico, that where inspired by the Arab Spring movements. People could share ideas and see what was happening in other regions of the world and even share a sense of empowerment.

In this way, people could become activists and could develop networks for circulating information and inviting the engage to other people to this cause. This involved both virtually activism and activism in nondigital environments. That is the power of Internet: nonstate actors can gain visibility as individuals or as groups. So politics have more sense beyond the state.

2. Influence of USA

United States as our neighbor definitively has influence in our cultural, political and economic issues. Is in this way that we depend significantly on its policy decisions and economic status, a reflection of this is the immigrants and their remittances. So there exists a significant dependence into neighboring.

Regarding culture Mexico has been highly influenced by the United States. We have particular holidays such as Halloween that we bring and instill in our families. Mexico has adopted in some way the American way of life. This can be seen in many aspects of our lives. We enjoy listening to music from American singers; we watch their TV series and movies and we have even adopted the American fast food as hamburgers (we enjoy going to McDonald’s for example), pizzas, French fries and Coke. All these created for the mass communication and advertising. TV and Internet have helped to the American culture permeate our society.

These can also be applied to politics where we have our ideas of good government and we raise the flag of democracy.

These effects have both positive and negative impact in our societies. Between the positive, I think it has enrich our own culture and has broaden our level of understanding of other societies. Between the negative ones can be the fact that in order to achieve this American way of life we have put aside our own essence. For example, when we celebrate Halloween instead of the Day of Dead.

As a conclusion I would like to point out that the internet and virtual networks have become important for our daily life and even have broaden the meaning of citizenship. But it is important to realize that the real citizenship the one that really have impact in social decisions should be done on field. Internet should be only the mean. Regarding the relation Mexico-United States I think the similarities between the two countries will continue expanding and permeating more aspects of each other societies. Internet will increase its importance in making them even closer and able to find innovative solution to their common problems.


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Influence through Internet and Tradicional Media

// Posted by Tec de Monterrey on 04/02/2013 (6:56 PM)

Diego Borrego A00366049

It is undeniable to say that Internet has become an element of big importance in the dynamics of the everyday life. Resources such as Facebook and Twitter (being incorporated from the American culture) have taken a very… Read more

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Diego Borrego A00366049

It is undeniable to say that Internet has become an element of big importance in the dynamics of the everyday life. Resources such as Facebook and Twitter (being incorporated from the American culture) have taken a very important role in many aspects of my life. Social networks have done more than just facilitating the keeping in touch with friends from the past or from abroad. They now serve as a communication tool with classmates, friends and family. They help people find a job or find where to go on a Friday night. And especially in the violence situation that Mexico has been facing in the past few years, these tools have helped people to find out where the armed conflicts where taking place.

Different international movements such as the Occupy Wall Street or the Arab Spring, have shown how the physical frontiers can be ignored by using the Internet to spread ideas, gather people and make pressure to achieve a certain change of public policies or governmental regimes. In my opinion, the impact of the Internet in this type of events depends on many factors, being the number of people with Internet access a very important one. Reading the analysis of the case of the Occupy Wall Street movement it was evident that most of the participants had access to Internet in order for them to join the movement in New York City, with the only exception of the homeless men and the people with mental health problems that joined the movement for different reasons. The countries involved during the Arab Spring don’t have as much people with access to Internet as the United States, but their numbers were high enough to produce a widespread of the messages at least on the main cities.

I would like to illustrate the importance of the Internet coverage with what happened in Mexico during the 2012 presidential election campaign. Students from different universities around Mexico formed the #YoSoy132 movement opposing the candidate from the PRI, Enrique Peña Nieto, and his relation with the Mexican media in order to promote an authentic democracy. The movement grew in a fast pace throughout Mexico and gain support from people around the globe. However, the effort made by this movement was not strong enough to avoid the results of the elections that made Enrique Peña Nieto win. From my point of view, the main reason for this was that the #YoSoy132 campaign was done mostly through the Internet network, and in Mexico, only about 12% of the population has access to Internet. And since the #YoSoy132 was opposing the traditional media companies, which reach every part of Mexico, the traditional communication channels showed to be more influential on the elections than the Internet.

In my opinion, American culture has an influence on other cultures, but not only due to the presence of the Internet. I think the American way of life is still spread by more traditional channels such as Hollywood, television programs, and the presence of U.S. companies. In my case, as a music fan, Internet has helped me stay more in touch with American rock bands (or English singing bands) that through Facebook or Twitter post their information about tours, new releases or activities. Nevertheless, if I have a certain interest on this style of music it is rather because I first knew these artists on the radio or on the TV and in most cases, not on the Internet.


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A Brighter Future

// Posted by Patrick on 04/01/2013 (1:04 AM)

When the subject of US Mexican relations is brought up it is almost instantly turned to talk of intense violence, drug cartels, trafficking, and missing people. These problems are very real and in need of answers, however they are… Read more

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When the subject of US Mexican relations is brought up it is almost instantly turned to talk of intense violence, drug cartels, trafficking, and missing people. These problems are very real and in need of answers, however they are not easy problems with foolproof answers. A possible answer to these problems can be found in online activism.

Online activism is a new form of protest that takes place solely online in a 3rd space.  Social activism is being transformed by the web.  Some of the most creative forms of protest and philanthropy are taking place online. People who are powerless in the modern world now have a voice that can be heard and seen by millions online with the click of a button. Online activism has the power to change how the world runs, for better or worse. In the case of the border predicament I can see online activism doing amazing things for the growing problem.

Online activism has the potential to unite the common citizen against the violence that many border towns face everyday. A quote from an online article describes the power of online activism quite well, the quote goes “Once a citizen feels he is not powerless, he can aspire for more change. … First, the Web democratized commerce, and then it democratized media, and now it is democratizing democracy.” The web gives the average citizen power that he or she would normally be without. One such example of the possibilities that online activism can bring to the table is an organization called Center for Citizen Integration. This organization “aggregates Twitter messages from citizens about everything from broken streetlights to “situations of risk” and plots them in real-time on a phone app map of Monterrey that warns residents what streets to avoid, alerts the police to shootings and counts in days or hours how quickly public officials fix the problems.” It is a very interesting idea that has the potential to drastically increase the role of the citizen and hopefully decrease crime rates and drug related violence.

Online activism is a rapidly growing trend and now companies and organizations are popping up with the sole goal of aiding online activists. One such organization is Advancing Human Rights and is helping to reach out to citizens in countries that face injustices but do not have the power to resist them.

The two examples previously stated are a symbol of hope to the future of online activism, and a bright light that could potentially fight the war on drugs and the border relations of US and Mexico. When I read about the spread of the idea of online activism it gives me confidence that the web will grow as a force for good. It will be very interesting to see in the coming years how drastically online activist movements affect the violence and drug scene that has engulfed towns and cities on both sides of the border.


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