Category Archives: Reading Response

Who are you to tell me what I can do? : Regulation on the Internet

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If I asked you who is in “charge” of the internet and its rules, would you be able to tell me?  In fact, is anyone in charge?

There are a plethora of accepted rules and standards acknowledged and accepted  for internet usage among children, teens, and adults alike, but who is that gets to decide these? And when did our freedom of speech become limited  because of a computer?

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Internet regulation is a growing concern among users and government alike. Yes, as American’s we are protected under freedom of speech, but how much can you say before it is too far and offensive or even putting others in danger? Should anyone be able to tell us it is too far, or too much? Sociable Blog lists ten reasons the government should not have the right to regulate the internet, and after reading them, I really got to thinking, maybe they are right…

Here’s just a few..

1. To protect the first amendment

2. Encouraging entrepreneurial activity

3. Facilitating Innovation

4. Complications of Regulating Legitimate Sites Under Sweeping Legislation

5. “Offensive” is arbitrary

The internet is used for more things then just communication. It is a livelihood for some, a means of researching for others. Why should someone have the right to censor or take away information just because they think it is wrong? What if what you were taught is wrong is different from the next person, and the next. Based on different beliefs, the internet could be shut down completely if we were going off of what ” offends people”. Freedom is freedom. No one should be able to take that from us.

My name is Jack. But only on Facebook : Identity on the Internet

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If I told you today, my name is Jack and I am a 35 year old man from Jacksonville, North Carolina, would you believe me?  stranger

Well , in fact, my name is not Jack, I am not  a man, I am not from North Carolina, and I am a college junior. Scary isn’t it? That I can tell you I am anyone I want, from anywhere in the world I want, and you just have to take my word for it. The internet is free and so is this country. Who has the right to tell me I can’t lie?

Sherry Turkle explores this phenomenon in her article, ” Who Am We” (http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/4.01/turkle.html) . As she describes it, “life on the screen permits us to “project ourselves into our own dramas, dramas in which we are producer, director, and star…. Computer screens are the new location for our fantasies, both erotic and intellectual. We are using life on computer screens to become comfortable with new ways of thinking about evolution, relationships, sexuality, politics, and identity.”

In other words, the internet is not real life . Maybe for some of us it is. Maybe you go on Facebook and Twitter simply to share thoughts about your  daily life, thoughts and ideas. But what if your life is too boring? What if you have tons of ideas bottled in your head that are far too inappropriate for your grandmother to see on your profile? The internet, and freedom, tells us it is OK to make something, or someone else up instead. If you don’t feel like being you today, and your boss made you really mad, you can sign up on twitter and make an anonymous account bashing your job.  No one is going to do an identity check when you sign up on social networking sites, so why not?

 Turkle adds, “That the Internet links millions of people in new spaces that are changing the way we think and the way we form our communities. That we are moving from “a modernist culture of calculation ” . We used to form our communities based on people around us, that had similar interests and desires. Doing that on the internet, could lead you to an entirely different community, with people lying about what they do, and who they are.

People lying about their identity has become an overwhelmingly popular thing to do. It used to be believed that predators would be the only ones doing it, because it was wrong. Now teenagers do it to get dates.

Freedom allows us to be whoever we want to be. Home, in school, or online. But is it OK to be three different people? In case you still don’t believe this happens, check out that trailer for  MTV’s reality show Catfish.

This is real life.

 

Digital Text Vs. Printed Text: Will Print Become Extinct?

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      In his first reading “Introduction: Writing in the late age of print“, Bolter mentions that texts and books were being published via the printing press as lasting texts, but today that is changing. Now publishing companies are digitally releasing their books electronically and soon books may be available only in that form. A couple of weeks ago we actually discussed this very topic in my teaching literature course. My professor informed us that one particular publishing company, and a big one at that, is actually going to produce only digital copies within the next few years. Every text published by them will be available on the computer but will no longer be produced as a lasting text. It is crazy to think that soon enough words will not exist on paper anymore but merely just on a digitally composed screen. As Bolter reminds us, there are so many different forms and types of writing available for us to read at a moment’s notice on a computer screen. Things such as journals, news paper articles, magazine articles, and even business information, along with text written in different languages can be accessed by the click of a button. That’s it, accessing digital text is just that easy, as opposed to print. Going to the library, looking up numbers and genre sections just to find one book is something that no one with the simplicity of typing a few buttons on the computer would want to go back to. It is true that “electronic technology provides a range of new possibilities, where as the possibilities of print seem to have been played out” (Bolter).

      However, I also agree with Bolter when he says that we as authors and or readers still look to printed text, in a way favoring it. In my case, this is true. Yes, being able to access articles and text on the computer is a great thing, don’t get me wrong. The accessibility is great and you can get a hold of many more materials than if you were to search for the print copies, but there is just something about reading a text in book form or magazine form that just doesn’t compare to reading digital text. I feel as though both digital text and printed text both serve different purpose and do so very well. For example, if I am researching information for a project in school I would probably rely on digital text and the scholarly articles that programs like JSTOR pull from printed journals. I would choose digital text because it is easily more accessible and would allow me more time to work on my project rather than spend most of my time just trying to find a printed version of the text. However, if I was reading a story or a novel, I would need printed text. There is just something about holding a book in your hand and flipping through the pages when reading a story that really helps you get a feel for the writing and lets the author immerse you, digital text just does not have that same affect on its reader.

All in all, both types of text have their own advantages and disadvantages. They each serve a different purpose and do such very well. Although it may seems as though digital text with its new efficiency is going to be fully taking over text producing soon, I don’t think print text will ever become irrelevant.

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How is Writing Technology Affecting Us?

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After reading both of the articles by Bolton, “Introduction: Writing in the late age of print” and “Writing as Technology” I found myself finding many comparisons between these articles and other articles that relate to this topic. I believe that writing in itself is a technology and just as every form of technology does, it evolves over the years.  I see this affecting my own writing strategies and my future career.

Unknown-1When I was going through grade school there were limited amounts of computers and just as Bolton discusses in the second article, “it was not apparent to most readers and writers that the computer was a writing technology at all” (pg 24). The computers in my elementary school were strictly used for practicing math and learning how to type. As a future teacher I am now noticing that elementary aged kids are relying on technology for more than just practicing math skills, as a matter of fact they are probably able to type better than me before they even begin first grade. Using the computer for them is just as assessable and easy as using a pencil and paper was for my generation.

Regardless of how the evolution of writing technologies will affect my future career I also have my own personal opinions on the matter.  Before investigating this topic further I thought my beliefs were concrete. I felt that computers, nooks, ipads, and kindles, were taking away from the magic of writing and reading. It wasn’t until recently that I began to feel different. I realized this when I was assigned a paper in class when the professor made us hand write an assignment. My thoughts weren’t coming out as clear and my hand writing was getting progressively worse as the paper went on.  I feel that tools such as laptops, desktop computers, and even the internet are some of the most helpful tools for a writer. It makes outside information more easy to obtain and our own thoughts more clear and easy to understand for others and for ourselves.

nook-ebooks-ereader-imageHowever; I still feel uneasy about the slow demise of handheld paper books. Bolton discusses this in his first article. “Because of the tension between print and digital forms, the idea of the book is changing. For most of us today, the printed book remains the embodiment of text” (pg 3). Call me old fashioned but I would way rather pick up a book at a bookstore or a library then download it onto a digital device. Bolton goes on to discuss that many future writers feel this way because it is easy to have things published online but to have a hard copy of your text published in a book form is completely different (pg 3-4). As an aspiring writer I couldn’t agree with this more. I live for the day I will hold a copy of my own book, published and finished, in my hands.

When Writing Won’t Mean Using Pencils : The Dispense of Printed Words

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Bolter’s ideas of writing are clearly modern and moving towards the future in Introduction: Writing in the late age of printWriting space: Computers, hypertext, and the remediation of print. I must say, for myself as a writer, I had a hard time connecting with him and the thoughts, as well as facts he was presenting.  Perhaps it is that I am just being too stubborn, but I think it might be a little too far fetched for me.

Bolter says. “although print remains indispensable, it no longer seems indispensable.” (page 2) He is making the point that with all of the technology we have at our fingertips, and things such as the world wide web and graphic technology, we will someday be able to stop printing all together.  The point is we will be able to, but will we?

As a writer, I believe it is my job to do just that, write. He makes a good point by adding, “ Electronic technology provides a range of new possibilities, whereas the possibilities of print seemed to have been played out.” (page 2) Yes, I do agree that we have hit the brick wall with print. There is nothing more we can do. We have explored all options, including using scribes, writing on different types of material , and teaching cursive. We have matured completely in print, but I do not think that is any reason to abandon it. Rather, digital print and technology should just be helful additions to what we have already learned to do with our own two hands.  Technology should not make us forget our past.

By far the most frightening idea to me, that Bolter shares, is that people will no longer want, or need books.  As of now, he says, “ few authors today aspire to publish a first novel on the internet ( it is too easy) .” ( page 3). It gives me hope, but then I remember those authors are of an older generation that grew up on print, not technology like the next few generations.   The future seems to be shifting in another direction. Using authors  again, as an example,  he also says, that “they think of the computer as  their primary medium,  print as a secondary, or specialized one .” ( page 3)

The problem is, just as he says, it is too easy. I learned to write in stages, using different thought processes, and taking my time to create a finished product. Print meant using books for research, writing down and rewriting , taking your time.  The internet and typing on Word cuts all of that time, and  also decreases the amount of thinking by at least half.  Bolter praises writing using technology by pointing out its advances and discrediting the common claims that using a computer is not comfortable for a writer, it is expensive and it is not portable enough .  It may be evolving, and it may even be a growing part of our culture, but I still, as a writer do not feel comfortable abandoning my book, pen and paper for a keyboard and Google.