Category Archives: Blog Post 3

The Printing Press

What resonated with most with this class is the history of the printing press. I knew before hand that it was a very important for history. I knew that it changed the way people communicated. But I did not know the greater impact. It opened the eyes of the lower class and made reading much more accessible to everyone. This lead to the challenging of the status quo. I think the Gutenberg’s printing press is one of the most important inventions in history.

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Individualism and Technology- Rina Gorvokaj

What has so far resonated with me in Media 180 class and discussion is the idea of individualism. Professor Ewen discussed how in the past people used to work together communally. People saw themselves as a part of a larger group and did not refer to themselves as individuals. It is only in modern times that we use the word to describe people. It was actually first used to describe an atom. What this means for us is that society is becoming increasingly more and more divided. This relates to the rise of technology as well. We are individuals, but we are now individuals with cell phones. Social interaction has diminished as everything has become more digitized. Race, sexual orientation, religion and socio-economic status are all things that divide us. I think we need a unity movement. We need to see ourselves as one, not as divided.

The Power of Control – Pravita Ramratan

Out of all the topics we have discussed in this class, the theme of control has most resonated with me. As demonstrated in “Exercises in the Restoration of History” and “Learning to Read and Growing in Knowledge,” the dominant groups in society, which were white, land-holding men, kept their workers and slaves from becoming educated in an effort to keep them working. The lectoras in John Ross’s piece has kept the workers pacified, but the dominant group believed that having an education would encourage the workers to leave or run away. The theme of control also goes hand in hand with the theme of manipulation. Through advertisements, people are manipulated into buying certain products, which demonstrates control over consumption. In addition, those who control the coverage on news outlets also control the flow of information. Instead of reporting on important issues that need our attention, people are fed stories about celebrities. This controls the actions of the public by keeping them distracted from things they should care about, and this distraction arguably keeps some people pacified as well. Control over the flow of knowledge and over what people consume block their ability to think freely. We are swayed by biases and the one-sided stories we hear and it directly impacts how individuals function in society.

Pravita Ramratan 1D08

 

Crystal Huang – UNITY

My favorite readings so far are The Ends Justify the Jeans, Frankie Mae, and The Case for Reparations by Ta-Nehisi Coates. In The Ends Justify the Jeans, it demonstrated multiple definitions of what blue jeans meant throughout history. A pair of jeans is symbolic because it is something that is tangible, an article of clothing that captures history in style and fashion. They are the fabric and threads that bring societies together. I think it was interesting how a pair of jeans represented communication, therefore making it a form of social media. As for Frankie Mae, this was the most different story of all the readings, and it ties in well with Ta-Nehisi Coates’ The Case for Reparations. Unlike most success stories, Frankie Mae demonstrated a character who failed and gave up. Not only that, but this character was also a young girl. “Long as you live, bitch, I’m gonna be right and you gonna be wrong. Now get your black ass outta here.” It was impossible for Frankie Mae to carry the weight of her race on her shoulders. It showed the oppression, structural violence, and importance of unity. If it wasn’t for slavery, the upper class would not have the opportunity to be wealthy and enjoy a luxurious life. It is a tragic story, where there is pressure from all angles. As an individual, there was no way Frankie Mae could stand up to the landowner alone. On the other hand, Frankie Mae’s father didn’t exactly have an option either – it was either to succumb to oppression and slavery or lose his job, salary, and starve his entire family. It is a complex world and these issues still exist today, in one form or another. These are important issues to share and talk about.

Crystal Huang 1D08

Book Detachment- Marlee Jeudy

What really resonated with me during this semester so far was the story and the message behind Fahrenheit 451. This book was written in the 1950’s and pretty much predicted the future based on how people will act on an everyday basis because of technological change. Almost every professor I’ve had in college mention the amount of work they use to do when they were undergraduates because there weren’t any computers or smart phones to depend on. Their entire education was dedicated to books. I compare the past to life now and it seems amazing that people eliminated books from their agenda. We are replacing books with google and ebooks because we have a tablet to look on. The other day I walked into my neighborhood library and only the elderly were deciding on books to read from the shelves. During one of our lectures, Professor Ewens mentions Plato who was a Greek philosopher. He wrote a book called The Republic and it is based on shadow puppets that represented reality. As a metaphor, he is saying that humanity is being destroyed because the people are confused and they are taking pleasure in their own collective self destruction.

Catherine Walker – Plato’s Allegory of the Cave

One topic that has really resonated with me over the course of this semester was Professor Ewen’s lecture and interpretation of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. In the Allegory of the Cave, Plato describes prisoners chained in the dark recesses of a large cave. They are unable to turn their heads and they can only see the cave wall before them. Behind the prisoners is a fire. There is a roadway between the prisoners and the fire where puppeteers perform a show. The puppets cast shadows on the cave wall, and the prisoners see and hear the shadows and echoes cast by the puppets they can’t actually see. Plato sees this as an allegory of how we can mistake appearances for what is the truth. The shadows of the puppets aren’t the truth, they’re just an element or an interpretation of the truth. I found this whole concept to be extremely interesting especially regarding how it relates to the modern media. We see advertisements and movies and social media posts and think of them as the absolute truth of the world and the people around us, but really they are just shadows or reflections of reality. By thinking this, we become prisoners who can never be really enlightened and who can never see the full truth. If we see the “puppets” for what they really are, then we can be freed.

was ist Hipster – Hug0 Urqu/eta

Media – the literal plural of medium, embodies all the tools (mediums of communications) past, present, and future available, to convey a message through space-time.

As time moves forward, the methods available at our disposal are ever-growing, ever-changing, and more importantly, evermore accessible. As a result, shifting the all-mighty power of communicating an idea from the few to the many. Providing the everyday citizen, with total control on what they may convey, or how they choose to convey, whatever information, including, of course, themselves – ourselves.

Living in a present day, self-regulating, ever-judging, panoptic society, It is easy to understand why the way we choose to portray ourselves has continued to change, as various forms of media have become more readily accessible. These tools allow anyone to completely embody what they may see as an ideal form of themselves.

Why imagine it, only in your thoughts, when you can tell the world, that the fictitious version of who you desire to be is in fact the real you.

Enter – Ideal™ in a can, we now have the ability to purchase our ideal. Why work hard to improve yourself when its good enough that those around you think it so, it may even motivate them to work harder – at improving their portrayed image – maybe a can of Ideal XL™.

For the most part, we all desire to be individuals, to be unique, to be exemplary, but if we are all special – no one is.

Even if we create a: style, thought, form, only unique to ourselves – we cannot keep it to ourselves, it identifies us, as such, it forms the projection of ourselves to the world. Unfortunately, this also means that it is only a matter of time before it is added to the next batch of Ideal™ – commodified and ready for sale.

There will always be the actual few needles in the haystack – but for the rest of us:

Continually Learning – Jaime Rinaldi

When I think of the Media 180 class, knowledge, communication, and energy come to mind. Without the care for knowledge we would live in a completely different world. Without the use of communication via vernacular, the stories of the past would probably be lost in translation conveying different messages from each story teller to the next. This has been happening for centuries, only today messages change more rapidly via social media. Books and other concrete forms of retaining messages allow for us to hold on to these stories, whether fact or fiction, for longer periods of time. Without energy we would not receive and retain these messages with much appreciation. We are continually learning and a class like this provides a spark for change with every meeting.

I truly enjoyed the movie ‘Style Wars’ and book ‘Fahrenheit 451’ because it emphasized how important it is to question authority and challenge the known. In ‘Style Wars’, the group of artists both young and old worked together creating messages via graffiti. They proved to not only themselves, but to the public that they could make it “all city” no matter what forces were trying to stop them, even including Mom! The graffiti artists received hate from “bombing” the subway cars as some of the public thought it looked messy or ugly. It is more than ten years later and look who is being talked about, the artists not the ones resisting it! In my opinion, public space should be filled with art, meaningful messages, unfiltered pictures and words that could potentially spark a thought leading to positive change! Today, we see silly pictures in the “news” and headlines that rarely convey impactful messages. There is an emphasis on the blind obedience of the public. Nodding our heads with every opinion we hear, going along with it because we are too busy to care or look deeper into the stories we are told is a major problem. We are all guilty of it. This is conveyed through ‘Fahrenheit 451’ as Bradbury reminds us that the essence of being human is threatened when there is a failure of memory. Memory essential to survival and progression. You can help to change the system by not giving up on yourself and others. We all should continually expand our knowledge by reading more and learning from each other through communication. There is an opportunity to spark positive energy from one life to another at any moment, take the leap and try to make a change!

Sophia Woodruff: power of the word

I found many themes to be very interesting that we discussed in Media 180. The theme that has resonated with me the most, however, is how powerful words are. I have never given it much attention before this class; I thought words were just words. Some were nice words and some were bad words, but thanks to this class I can now see how language affects the people and how the manipulation of it can bring destruction and hatred to the individual and to the world. On the other side, words can also change the life course for an individual for the better and change an individual’s whole perspective on life. In “learning to read and growing in knowledge”, written by Frederick Douglass, we get to see that learning to read, and understanding the Bible, and the oppressive culture the way it was back then made the narrator more free, wise, and rebellious. Suddenly he understood that keeping African Americans from learning how to read and keeping them from getting an education was helping the society to continue to exploit them unfairly in order to gain profit out of their hard labor and keep discriminating and oppressing them based on their skin color. Before he was able to read he, like so many other African Americans, simply accepted that oppressive society and accepted getting treated badly. They thought it was supposed to be this way. They thought God wanted it to be this way. Words changed that for Douglas. Words and language are powerful and can change everything for an individual.

 

The Struggle To Move On -Nicholas Greco

Many of the things we’ve discussed in this class has resonated me on different levels, but none so much as a specific section in Ta-Nehisi Coates’ piece “The Case for Reparations”. In the piece Coates discusses many of the struggles black citizens went through in order to exercise their right to owning a home in the mid-20th century. However later in the piece one thing he says that really struck me was that as african american’s tried to get homes they were forced into smaller worse areas in Chicago. These areas have grown larger and worse with time and to this day they are some of the worst areas of Chicago to live in. This struck a chord with me because it is a clear representation of the wrong that was done by the people working in the industry that can not be undone. Of course I’m aware that the actions taken during this time period towards african american’s resonated through generations and leave scars to this day, but this is one of the first clear statistical examples I have seen of this cause and effect and it truly worries me that the wrong doing done that has snowballed in that area rather than gotten better.