This Post Goes Out to My FBI Agent (Thanks for Always Being There)~

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How my FBI agent probably looks most of the time~ I’ve missed you over the shutdown T_T

Anyway….

I’m back and better than ever.

Hope you haven’t missed me too much 😉 I’ll try to make up for lost time and get right into the snarky commentary~

Big Brother is Watching You

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“How do we know who, what to trust online anymore?…What keeps you up at night or worried about your own internet activity?”

I see we’re starting off light this semester.

Anyway, what doesn’t concern me about using the internet anymore??? It seems like every other day we learn about some new way the government has been tracking our internet activity or about some third-party company or multi-million dollar company (here’s looking at you Zuckerburg >.>) making stupid amounts money selling our data to the highest bidder. That was the story last year and it’s still the story this year. Third-party tracking, learning algorithms, privacy–the issues with all of those things are only getting worse as the internet becomes more ubiquitous and people become more inclined/manipulated to plug-in. The internet is becoming more convenient. It’s more convenient to go paperless with most information these days, to auto-save passwords, to venmo, to group chat, etc. The decision to forego privacy for convenience is becoming more and more voluntary, the methods driving this shift decidedly more and more nefarious.

Tbh, though, I don’t find myself as concerned with being tracked these days. It just seems like such a given, now. Of course, someone or some corporation is surveilling me and making money off of it. Of course some shady entity is using the internet to manipulate not only people but concepts like reality and truth. It’s so easy. Really, check out how stupid easy it is:

These are 2 of my fave videos of all time and I share them a lot~

Truth doesn’t matter anymore. Facts don’t matter. Unless they’re alternative facts…. While I’m a strong believer that the great thing about facts is that they don’t change whether you believe in them or not, an increasingly horrifying number of people seem to be of the mind that facts are things one can choose to arbitrarily believe in or deny, as if facts have somehow rumors or hearsay. It’s a troubling ideology that has only been galvanized and perpetuated and even weaponized (here’s looking at you Russia >.>) by internet intervention.

Rather than the internet being this place for creative enterprise and the free exchange of ideas, it has become this thriving cesspool of misinformation and bigotry that has gained a sphere of IRL influence that is expanding at an alarming rate.

And, it’s not very clear to me if more or less regulation will alleviate any of these issues. There’s never been a space like the internet before and it’s challenging to make decisions about the space. To make matters worse, many of the people in positions to make decisions about this space are older persons who, quite frankly, don’t even have a basic knowledge of how to convert a Word doc to a PDF or an idea of the different between Facebook and the internet let alone the knowledge necessary to pose meaningful sanctions on what information third-party servers can make a market of.

This is only a small curation of the many issues with the internet I have that keep me and many other people up at night. While I really want to be hopeful and believe that the internet can be this place for the democratization of information and this place for creative and free exchange, the current reality complicates this idealistic vision and the current sociocultural and political environment does not seem supportive of it. There are these little pocket realms where these ideals seem embraced–AO3, closed-species communities, select Reddit and Twitter threads, etc.–but for the most part, there is a lot to be desired.

All this said, I think it is more important than ever that media literacy and digital literacies be an integral part of education. Despite everything, I am a firm believer that education and knowledge bring the understanding and empathy necessary to overcome any kind of ignorance or intolerance and really instigate change. Facts and truth will never matter again unless we are actively teaching people that they do. We don’t have to be the loudest voice–just the most consistent. Hope may be the spark but education is what keeps that light at the end of the tunnel bright and burning.

To me, alchemy is nothing more than the pursuit of knowledge, digital alchemy the pursuit of digital knowledge. It is also the pursuit for best practice, making it an ever-changing kind of “magic”. But, above all else, it is meant to be illuminating. This semester, I hope we are able to cast a little light of our own~

I’ve been feeling rather “dim” lately and I could really use a little light.

****

I’m the Map, I’m the Map, I’m the…

If you need a little pick-me-up after such a bleak post, I highly suggest you check out my own personal map of the internet and my interactions with it. While I’ve still got my reservations, I think I express my hopes for the internet in an articulate, albeit embellished and a little bit pretentious I quoted Van Gogh like an assh*ole???, way.I’m not a total killjoy make some noise just mostly one–it’s kind of my #brand~ ^.^

Sweet Screams

Zero stars????? What’s a girl gotta do to get some stars??? Go give me some love~

Daily Digital Alchemies

I made a gif in Giphy for #dda238 and for #dda240, I took a swing at NJ Transit ^.^ one of my fave #pastimes~

~Till next time~

The Perfect Mistake

 

 

 

 

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Lexia to Perplexia by Talan Memmott

 

How ironic is that I took a class that I wanted to take but didn’t know I was taking it until I came to class?! (Pretty ironic and awesome is what it is.) There are deep end waters in front of me when it comes to this course that I am not prepared for. However, I somehow managed to hold my nose, close my eyes, and explore what’s under the water. Day one of NetNarr was intimidating and somewhat frightening. I had the same thoughts and feelings that I had when I took ELit last semester. Discussing Post-Truth Politics and Digitial Alchemy on the first day…yikes. I will give myself credit when it comes to me approaching unknown territory. I may be hesitant at first, but I am excited about it.

Going back to talking about Post-Truth Politics, the question was asked, “How do you get a sense of what you can believe, trust in from the information you see online?”. My honest answer is I don’t believe I’ve grabbed a full sense yet. Especially after watching the video clip of Stephen Colbert talking about Post-Truth from the 2016 year of a nightmare in politics. Stephen Colbert on Post-Truth

I’m always second guessing what I see on the internet. Today, between Facebook and Twitter alone, something may look real and truthful but how could we ever know that it is? Reposting is done by everyone who is active on the internet. What makes me, I would say nervous, is me not knowing where that original post came from. Who is the person behind the words? What was the purpose of them creating that post in the first place? Will they gain something for themselves from posting something that is not true? These are only some of the questions I think about.

However, if these questions arrive in my brain, why is it more difficult to stay away? If anything I am drawn more and more to the spiraling ways of the unknown internet and sometimes, if not most of the time, neglecting the beautiful parts of it. The image below explains just that. My eyes are glued to the spirals when the flowers are just as pretty.

I’m interested in learning about another community in the online world. Just like ELit I have high expectations of something that I know absolutely nothing about. I want to have a collection of multimodal projects and reflections by the of this course that will hopefully continue even after the semester is done! 

Stay tuned for next week for a more fleshed out blog about NetNarr and the jewels that come with it! In the meantime, check out my first completed DDA through my Twitter handle. #dda241

Au revoir!