Category Archives: student blogs

In the Algorithm We Trust (But Should We????)

Welcome back to hell~

This week, we dove deeper into the darkness of the web and the practices of those who use the web as a tool for mass surveillance. Topics in this week’s discussion include 1) data tracking, 2) digital redlining, and 3) surveillance capitalism. Light stuff, I know.

Anyway, I suggest you grab a drink of your choice and strap in for my *hot take* on some of these issues~

Data Tracking, Digital Redlining, & Surveillance Capitalism Oh My!

So, this week, we got the ball rolling with a video on how advertising practices in online spaces are quickly turning the Internet into a dystopian nightmare that puts Orwell to shame. This video, “We’re building a dystopia just to make people click on ads”, by rockstar goddess Zeynep Tufekci (@zeynep) is one I shared in a prior blog post and is one I think explains the ramifications of current online data tracking practices in a very accessible way for most people. More importantly, I believe this video really emphasizes just how little regulation there is in place to stop Big Business from buying and selling our attention as if it were any other product and not something integral to life as we know it.

I think it’s important to understand that our “robot overloads” are not some far off possibility but a real-time inevitability. The world will end “not with a bang but a whimper” and all that. The Panopticon very clearly does not need to be a physical place in order to operate. It’s a state of mind and a state of being. In her talk, Tufekci mentions the idea of “surveillance capitalism”, which is the monetization of our online movements for marketing purposes, and the of “persuasive architecture” which is a structuring of a space like the Internet to best capture attention and so maximize profits. These concepts are important when discussing exactly why the current design of the Internet is not optimal for users. When private interests become more important that user benefits, I think there is a fundamental problem with that system, especially if the system is meant to be of public use. Essentially, we’re all experiencing a different Internet which can cause large rifts in information and knowledge between users which easily spills out into the real world.

For me, it is these implications that most concern me. Like, I don’t necessarily care about seeing ads for a pair of shoes I want all over the place but I care immensely more about the divide in knowledge this personalization of space for optimal monetization is causing. Especially when we’re talking about the Internet in a country whose citizens often define themselves along partisan lines like the U.S, these divisions become very concerning very fast. At least, for me. I think a lot of my classmates and most people are quite apathetic towards this issue. This, though, may be due in large part to a lack of informed consent and digital literacy.

The idea that digital literacy is essential to activating the public in order to enact meaningful change in regards to this issue is one that was discussed in our Twitter chat on Tuesday night. Which was uplifting to see. Though, even as a huge proponent of such measures, I remain skeptical of the effectiveness of them. It’s just, in this current sociopolitical climate, I don’t see how meaningful change has even a tiny chance. We’re more divided now than ever, it seems. Still, I want to be hopeful and I believe we can be a part of the movement towards meaningful change in this arena–it’s just going to require a lot of consistency in the face of overwhelming and, in many cases, willful ignorance.

There are many people out there, like Tufekci, who are trying to enact meaningful change in their own ways. In addition to watching Tufekci’s video, we also had the opportunity to have a studio visit with Chris Gilliard (@hypervisible) who is an outspoken voice on the subject of digital redlining as well as on the many other absurd ways in which we are being surveilled online. Digital redlining is basically the old redlining just repackaged in digital form and perhaps several times worse. (You can check out my older post on the subject.)

What I found most interesting from our talk with Gilliard is how truly privileged the notion of “I don’t have anything to hide” is as well as how utterly absurd. Even if that were true, so what??? That doesn’t give any entity the right to invade your privacy at a whim. More, it doesn’t give anyone the right to surveil someone who is not a criminal nor suspected of any criminal activity. It blew my mind when Gilliard talked about how our license plates are constantly being collected and cataloged and so that our regular movements can be tracked and compiled into a record.


Again, this is happening to all of us–not just being suspected of wrongdoing. It’s crazy to me and, like Gilliard said, the burden to prove I don’t need to be under surveillance should not be mine. It’s antithetical to everything this country was founded upon. And, it cannot be stressed enough, this kind of surveillance is not innocuous. It can very real world impact that affects agency, access, and opportunities in life. That’s far too much power to go unregulated and yet it does.

I found the idea of “permission-less innovation” to be another eye-opening concept. Essentially, the idea here is that questionable/concerning entities like Uber or whatnot are allowed to exist simply because they were developed and created before regulations existed to stop their existence. It’s this kind of weird chicken/egg problem. The word innovation somehow becomes a magic word that lets companies be dicks because nobody knew such a dick could exist until they popped up.

It’s honestly less discerning than I thought it would be to be living in a Black Mirror episode but it’s still really horrifying the more I let myself think about it. Which is probably why I don’t.


Like, Brett Gaylor (@remixmanifesto) is another researcher looking into the ethical and overarching issues with online data tracking. He’s one of the main contributors and creators of the Do Not Track series which explores how data tracking invades our daily lives in a very personalized way. Though I knew it was coming, when the first episode showed the town I lived in and the current temperature, I was highly perturbed. Hella freaked out, tbh. It’s one thing to read and hear about how easily it is to track you online but a whole other thing to see it so clearly demonstrated. That little detail is honestly hat freaked me out the most, more than the information on the web of connections between the different sites I visit, because it’s really not a small detail. It makes me feel unsafe.

Again, it’s one thing to subconsciously understand you live in a surveillance state and a whole other thing to be shown evidence that you are being surveilled.

Overall, I found this week to be a very disconcerting week. For the most part, I believe I am fairly resigned to being surveilled. But, this week, I found out that there are many things about living in a surveillance state/economy that I am actually very not okay with. Before this week, I wanted to believe that education could help alleviate this issue. I really did. But, now, I’m not so sure that is enough. We really need to mobilize and activate ourselves in order to get people into positions of power who can facilitate meaningful change–whatever that may be. I’m still not sure on what should be done.

I do know what you call Chicken Little when the sky is falling though:

Right. Awfully right.


Out of My Depth

In addition to this overview, I also wrote a post about a site called “Am I Unique?” which allows users to see how their browser fingerprints compare to others. To be honest, I feel like looking into this issue only created more questions for me. If anything, sites like this make it abundantly clear why digital literacy is very necessary. A basic knowledge of some coding practices would also be very nice. If anyone has anything else to add about browser fingerprints, please feel free to provide that info in a comment on the post! It’s be greatly appreciated.

Regarding these additional posts, I would like to express some concerns I have. Mainly, I feel that we were not properly informed about these additional posts. I understand that class went late last week but I do not think a brief paragraph at the bottom of the weekly class post was enough to fully explain what is expected. Also, I wish there was more of a discussion in general about adding them at all. I understand they are going to serve a larger purpose but two additional posts on the topics asked for is a lot of work because these topics are not easy or familiar to many of us and require a time commitment to adequately analyze. I don’t know about anyone else, but I feel a little out of my depth here and could use a lot more guidance on the subject matter. I don’t mean for this to be a criticism but I did want to make my concerns known.

Daily Digital Alchemies

This week, I shared how art inspires me to create and think critically from different perspectives. I find myself heavily inspired by the messages encoded in art.

Also, I shared style icon Wednesday Addams and some words to live by. Honestly, I dare a man to try and control me in any way. I’m not trapped in a man’s world. Men are trapped in my world.

Back At It With Twitter

So, here we are again at the top of the semester, looking at my lacking Twitter activity:

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Don’t worry. I’ll find my groove as the semester picks up. Look forward to more 3 AM tweets as I continue working late into the night on my thesis :))))))))

~Till next time~

@myFBIagent Till always~


Comment on I’m Unique…Like Everyone Else by Cog.Dog

Hah! This is thorough enough to negate our request about reviewing things mentioned in class. But we do hope in future ones you cast the net wide.

I’ve not seen to many results for this test that are less unique. And true, this is really much that cannot be blocked, some of the data is what is built into internet protocol. For example, everytime you visit the netnarr web site, the apache web server registers a log identifying a time, page viewed, and the IP address of most likely your wireless router (which in itself gives some geographic sense of where you are, but not a physical location, but like the town level). it’s not quite something to know about you per se. And the are positives to be said for knowing info about your audience. What is spying and surveillance vs metrics of usage?

The harder question is, in theory this might be used for foul purposes. but is it?

And how would one ever know? What does it take to be able to use this info?

Liked by 1 person

Comment on I’m Unique…Like Everyone Else by karelnavyblue

Wow Kelli,
This is a quite impressive here! Nice thoroughly detailed and engaging post. Your sample visuals (screenshots) and hyperlinks really made this possible. It is what makes your posts so enjoyable to read.I like how you dove into, party, into this other side of darkness of the internet. It is scary to even think that almost every website of online software we use it is in some way tracking our every action online. And perhaps what is scarier is the fact that our collected data could be possibly used in ways that violate our overall privacy. You post here is a great reminder, and eye opener, of what is happening online these days.

Thank for sharing!
Karel (or NavyBluGuy)

Liked by 1 person

I’m Unique…Like Everyone Else

If anything, delving into online data tracking has made it readily apparent just how much of our information is, well, readily apparent. Just about every application you could conceive of using is tracking you to some extent. Don’t believe me? Sounds far-fetched? Well, there are plenty of sites you can explore that will break down for you how different forms of online data tracking work.

This week, were provided a list of different sites in the class blog post that let you view how your own online activity is being tracked. Now, I know this post also said not to use sources shared in the class post for any additional blog posts. But, in this case, only brief summary of these sites were provided. Also, most people will not have the opportunity to explore every site more thoroughly. So, given those circumstances, it seems it would be helpful to have posts exploring the sites in more detail.

Anyway, justification for this post provided, let me get into what “Am I Unique?” does!

The site “Am I Unique?” allows users to discover how identifiable their own “device/browser fingerprint” is online as well as explore how comparable their fingerprint is to other users around the globe. Device/browser fingerprinting is “the systematic collection of information about a remote device, for identification purposes.” This kind of tracking seems like an inherent capability on most devices/browsers. The goal of this project seems to be to make people more aware of “cookieless monsters”. See, device/browser fingerprints are not a kind of tracking cookie or composed of many tracking cookies. Instead, it seems like a device/browser fingerprint is generated by you just connecting to a server. According to “Browser Fingerprinting: What Is It and What Should You Do About It?” by PixelPrivacy, “when you connect to the internet on your laptop or smartphone, your device will hand over a bunch of specific data to the receiving server about the websites you visit.” From your fingerprint, any interested party can find out all about your browser usage, operating systems, plugins, timezone, languages, screen resolution, as well as any other of your active settings. Essentially, your fingerprint will reveal what your computer looks like to someone else.

While this seems highly concerning to me, “Am I Unique?” points out that this fingerprint is a “double-edge sword”. Fingerprints can be used to fight fraud and hijacking and confirm that a user is a legitimate one. But, they can also be used to create a profile of you for advertisers as well as exploit you in other ways through targeted attacks. PixelPrivacy states, “Websites bulk-collect a large set of data of visitors in order to later use it to match against browser fingerprints of known users.” Even if your fingerprint isn’t used right away, it can be stored in a system for future targeting by a given entity.

And, this is all legal practice in the US right now.

More, this is not even the worst of it. There’s canvas fingerprinting as well (which deals with HTML5 coding–so I didn’t get too into it because I’m not familiar enough with the terminology). Essentially, your fingerprint is written into this code and freely accessible if you know where to look. The thing you want to look for is called the “canvas element”. I recommend checking out the wiki article if you want to know more about the mechanics of how this system works.

Anyway, “Am I Unique?” allows users to see for themselves how easy it is for their fingerprint to be accessed. Mainly, the site shows user what kind of data points are generated by their fingerprints.

For example, this is the overview of my fingerprint:

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The site breaks down how much of the sites you use are “unique” and kind of shows you how a site would collect this kind of info so they can target specific groups of people (like Windows 10 users). The site also provides some charts so you can see how specific parts of your user profile further break down.

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In this chart, you can see the browser break down of all the people who have used “Am I Unique?” around the world. It’s a little disconcerting and by a little, I mean a lot. You can also see the languages people search in:

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I like this one because it looks like a spider

It’s honestly wild just how much information about you can be extrapolated in like 30 seconds if that. I mean, this is just a broad overview of all the information that could so easily be accessed for any reason by anyone interested.

What’s very concerning about this kind of fingerprinting is that there is really nothing that can be done to totally eliminate it. If you want to use the Internet, you’re going to have to accept some minimum invasion of privacy. For most of us, it’s a massive invasion though. We don’t know to manage the online tracking of our data. More, we don’t even know what and how much is being tracked. For those concerned about their device/browser fingerprint, PixelPrivacy recommends: 1) Using private browsing methods (like going incognito) 2) Using plugins that block ads like AdBlock Plus, Disconnect, etc. 3) Disabling JavaScript & Flash 4) Installing Anti-Malwate Software 5) Using the TOR browser (if you’re serious) and 6) Using a VPN (Virtual Private Network), of course. Now, all of these things have their downsides and can severely impact your Internet browsing experience (i.e cause slower loading times, interrupt the functioning of sites, etc.). It is important to weigh one’s concerns against the risks before making any decisions in this area.

Of course, what is most important is that we continue to try and educate ourselves on important online issues like data tracking and online privacy as well as continue to develop our digital literacy practices. Sites like “Am I Unique?” provide a lens through which we can better understand and conceptualize important issues like this that are, unfortunately and nefariously, often hidden from view. I highly recommend checking out this site in order to learn more about the importance of one’s browser fingerprint and about what this fingerprint can be used for.

~Till next time~

What Color Duct Tape Should Go On My Webcam? 🤔

photo of turned on laptop computer
Photo by Danny Meneses on

The last adventure that we had to do was search for two articles that we have not discussed in class, and the results I found were amazing! At first, I wasn’t sure what to research since I am still very new to Alchemy and this digital world; but then I started to think about the short discussion we had at the end of class last week about some of my classmates and their concerns about their children on the internet. Jean, the mother of a young daughter, posted a blog about five tips on YouTube safety. (Click Here for Link) She even taught me a few things about YouTube safety that I was not aware of before. Here were her tips:

  1. Enable YouTube safety mode on computers: it will prevent some unsavory content from younger eyes. Comments are not immediately visible.
  2. Disable YouTube app on mobile: simply not have the app on your phone since there’s no safety mode available on mobile devices.
  3. Use a kid-safe browser on mobile devices and tablets; Since you can still view YouTube on devices through browsers, install a kid-safe browser.
  4. Kids don’t need a YouTube account to view videos: A YouTube account is required to upload a video or comment on a video. However, anyone can view a YouTube video, you don’t need a YouTube account.
  5. As always, talk to your kids!

Hopefully, my fellow classmates could use these tips! The theme of this week seemed to be about safety on the internet. I thought this article was a great read to add to the discussion. On my dark to light scale, I found this article to be a nine out of ten. YouTube can’t magically make all of the privacy scares and kinks in the settings vanish, however, I do believe this was a light in the darkness when it comes to controlling how we handle our internet safety.

The second article I found was about laptop webcams and the dangers that go with it. I believe by now, anyone who is at least 40 years old and younger may know that putting tape or a cover over your webcam on your laptop or your computer is safer than leaving it out in the open. The reason is that hackers can still access your webcam even though it’s “off.” I saw on the news that a woman had Facetimed her boyfriend and after she hung up, a hacker was still able to see her after ending the call. What she thought was private was being seen through the camera. Danny Yadron writes about the cameras and surveillance safety. (Click Here for Article) What I liked about this reading is that there was an opposing argument stating that people were overreacting when it came to covering their webcams. Here are the main points of the article and also some points I found interesting for others to know:

  • For years security researchers have shown that hackers can hijack cameras to spy on whoever is on the other end.
  • The fear over web cameras has penetrated deep into popular culture.
  • In a hearing on Capitol Hill in February 2016, the US director of national intelligence, James Clapper, acknowledged how the so-called “internet of things” could be used for identification, surveillance, monitoring, location tracking, and targeting for recruitment or gain access to networks or user credentials.
  • The opposing side: Brain Pascal, a privacy expert says a cost-benefit analysis let him conclude he’d rather have a useable camera, which he can use to record his son. But he acknowledged such stickers are a way for people to signal that they worry too much about Big Brother.

The second article seemed to be more on the lines of what was discussed last week in class. The topic of surveillance and what comes with it. Also, talking about identity and what can be out there on the internet for others to see. I would rate this article a zero, which means I found this article in the dark. The reason why I gave it such a “low” rating is because it did point out many issues involving the webcam on an everyday used item. However, to leave this post on a positive night, this article does give a lot of insight on a topic that is still unknown to a lot of people. What I’m hoping is that people will be able to decide on their own whether or not Big Brother isn’t that scary and they have nothing to worry about or making take precautions in this surveillance era is necessary to stay as safe as possible. For me, this article (the first one as well), made me want to protect myself more as much as possible. Even if someone might think I am overthinking all of this surveillance talk and the “internet of things”; I believe this is important and honestly, an overlooked topic.

So what do you think; Gold Duct Tape or Superman Patterned? My webcam will be covered TOMORROW!

I Actually Really Do Feel like Someone is Always Watching Me…👀

The ‘K’ in Keurig Stands for Kreepy

I Actually Really Do Feel like Someone is Always Watching Me…👀



I’m not sure how many people remember this Geico commercial where the stack of money was always looking at someone, and then the music would start to play. “I always feel like somebody’s watching meeeeeeee and I have no privacy. Woah Oh Oh.” I would use to laugh every time I saw this commercial because I thought the idea was funny and the stack of money was cute. However, after digging more into this Network Narrative and surveillance topics, I’m not sure how cute the money is anymore.

I never considered myself addicted to social media or the internet itself. However, after doing two days of the Data Detox that we were asked to do, it turns out I’m glued to the internet more than I thought. “Addicted” is such a strong word to use but maybe it fits the picture. Working backward here, Day 2 talked about the use of Google and the many products that come with it. I was happy to discover that Google was actually not the BFF I didn’t know I had. What I found interesting was how I could delete activity on Google, which I didn’t think was possible. What I learned from Day 2 was that I could use a different search engine and install a more private-friendly browser. That’s something we’re not told to do nor have I ever thought about it. Now for Day 1, I was surprised. We were asked to clear our history browser and search ourselves. When I did so, I was expecting more information to come up. Why? Because I do have social media accounts. When I did my research on myself and my image, I noticed that only my Youtube page came up. I have a Youtube page with over 5,000 subscribers and over three million views; so the only images associated with my name were the images from those videos. (Which are only lyric videos.) There was nothing “alarming” that came up. I didn’t see my picture of myself that came up.

The last thing I did was search for myself from the internet of the past. (Nothing…no results found.) During the first few minutes of the Data Detox, I was uncomfortable, which I found ironic. I should want to have a cleaner and healthier web life, but I was skeptical. After a while, it felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. Believe it or not, my brain didn’t feel as “cloudy” anymore either. These exercises pushed me to realize that maybe my digital self or my online social life was slipping out of control. I can’t wait to do more of the detox activities.

Moving on to the Do Not Track Documentary, I will be honest, that just scare the…out of me. My exact notes during this video were, “Oh Nah…in the beginning, knowing where I am and what kind of laptop I’m using.” I almost stopped watching the video and saving it for another day because that really creeped me out. However, I wanted to hear what the rest of the video had to say. Watching episode one spoke about the surveillance economy. The question was asked, “What do we know about them?”, Since they know everything about us. Looking at that from a wider lens, it’s something I had not thought about before. I don’t know anything about Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, or Google. Oddly enough, they know everything about me. They know my interests, dislikes, favorite type of dogs, and more. I agree with the mission of this documentary, which is to track the tracker. It seems scary and unorthodox at first, but this is something that could benefit not only myself but others about our digital selves.

Analyzing my Twitter self was probably my favorite activity I did this week. Below are the screenshots from my Twitter activity:

Screen Shot 2019-02-08 at 5.19.13 PMScreen Shot 2019-02-08 at 5.19.28 PM

It’s interesting to see your activity for anything because of how unaware you are of what you do daily. From my chart, it shows that I am most active on Tuesday evenings between 5-6 pm and Mondays around 5 pm. I didn’t know that there was a particular language that’s used on Twitter and I’m still trying to figure out what the language part means. Twitter activity is something that I would like to keep using after this class to see if my activity continues or decrease over the next few months after the semester is over. This ties into exploring the tracking of myself online activity that we had to do.

I chose Am I Unique?. Honestly, I only wanted that because I thought the title was intriguing. On the side, there was an option to look at my fingerprint. Once I clicked on it, the site told me that I was traceable, which made me extremely uncomfortable. This made me second guess how I live online and how I can be safer on the internet. The Data Detox is definitely an excellent start to that.

Screen Shot 2019-02-08 at 5.21.36 PM

Besides the fingerprint, viewing the other analysis that the site gave me I thought was fascinating, which are the screenshots shown below.


I don’t want to jump too far ahead of myself, but I am started to get a better understanding of how Network Narrative works. This week was a push outside of my comfort zone and a great learning opportunity as well. I can’t wait to discuss this in class, and I look forward to next week’s activities!


The DDAs that I did this week was fun but also very reflective. Check them out!



The ‘K’ in Keurig Stands for Kreepy

Comment on Descending into Darkness… by helterskelliter

Hello Fellow Alchemist,

Thank you for traversing the Internet realm to my humble abode. I appreciate your comments and find myself challenged by the nuance they provide some of my initial arguments. The topic of “surveillance capitalism” is both fascinating and frightening. More, I think it is difficult to ascertain in some ways. The ramifications of it seem yet to be fully seen. I hope as we continue traversing this Internet realm of wonders and horror, we find some answers and broaden our own understanding of such deeply impactful issues ^.^


Comment on Descending into Darkness… by karelnavyblue

Greetings Writer (Or rather ‘Alchemist’),

I find your response to the week’s activities very interesting to say the least. More surprising than all, you hit the nail in head with every single topic that was covered, and provided a nice reflection to each. This shows how affixed you were with the activities overall. I have to say, from reading your response, I found your opinion to ‘Surveillance Capitalism’ the most interesting. This is mainly because in this part of your response, you noticed one realistic thought: we are not completely sure of what is exactly being surveillanced from us, or even how it is taking place from day to night. Because of this, many of us feel the need to take precaution, while others feel hopeless. Still, one thing is not to be forgotten or ignored in all this: we should not just ignore this issues which affect us all.

Liked by 1 person

People Living in Glass Houses

This is going to be my first blog for our Networked Narratives class; a somewhat of a follow-up to Electronic Literature from last semester. Being described as an experiential type of class, I was definitely interested in signing up for it. I am still unsure as to what the main focus of the class is going to be about. I do have some guesses about the topics based on the final project indicated on the syllabus but… we shall see. It is nice to be surprised sometimes; experiencing the unexpected can be thrilling.

I do find the usage of terms such as Alchemy or Alchemist in the class intriguing… and tad bit puzzling at the same time. It is hard to find the parallels between an Alchemist and a social media user at this early stage but perhaps, as the time goes on, it will become much clearer to see. In our last class, we were shown a video about what alchemists do. One particular thing that I was concerned about was the load of work that they must sort through in order to discover old knowledge. I can’t help but think that modern-day alchemists appear to be spending too much time decoding these metaphorical directions mentioned in the video rather than utilizing them to further build upon that existing knowledge. I really hope that is not the metaphor in use for our own class titles.

At the moment, the biggest discussion that is going on in our class seems to be social media and the concept of privacy online. I must admit, these are fascinating topics. My choice of topic for the final project in Writing Theory and Practice class involved social media. I remember making the analogy of driving in it; it’s convenient and functional but also extremely dangerous if you are careless. Thinking more and more about it, I truly believe that social media has a much greater negative impact on people as a whole than its potential positive impact. Even, Equity Unbound (a collaborative online learning environment) from that Writing Theory class that promoted positive experience on social media seemed like a very small portion in comparison to the things that actually draw people in and create toxicity. People seem to be too concerned about their “opinions” being treated as “facts” rather than having an honest discussion where one could fine a middle ground. Instead, it often tends to be “my way or the high way”, and people simply attack each other for no other reason than to do so. Perhaps, they simply find being negative online cathartic; some sort of anger management technique, maybe? As I unintentionally develop this anti-social media attitude though, being an active user on twitter as expected for this particular class is going to be quite difficult for me. I do hope that I will be proven wrong eventually and that attitude will dramatically shift.

The ongoing “living in the darkness” concept is not something I necessarily relate to. A lot of people seem to be overly-concerned about “being watched by the government or private organizations”. At times, it comes across as paranoia. However, it is a topic that could not be easily dismissed. News about online hacking and identity theft tend to put people on edge. I remember reading an article about people living in boxes; homes, workplaces, malls, stores, and even vehicles are designed in cubical configuration. I believe, it just makes us feel secure. The idea that the box we live in is actually made out of something transparent, such as glass, would indeed make someone feel uncomfortable. That was something I thought of during our last class (and used it as the title for this blog) that people living in glass houses were actual conducted experiments. I wonder what those people felt like throughout the experiment. Although I take certain precautions to avoid an identity theft, I do not find myself too concerned with “being watched” concept as I’ve mentioned. It was funny to see others in the class express their apathy as well. Then again, certain details that I’m unaware of could surface and easily change my mind.

Lastly, I’d like to mention tool briefly. I tend to find most of the articles published online to be very one-sided. The author basically writes down his or her beliefs or personal perspective on certain topics/issues (including their bias), and the reader is expected to just “take it or leave it”. Commenting at the bottom page does not do much as a response. The article writers, or even other readers, can simply ignore them. Certain websites do not even have a commenting section for their published articles. seem to be a better method of responding. Highlighting a particular sentence, paragraph, or even a mere word (phrase) and writing a marginal response is great. I do not know if this tool is applicable for every article online but I’d like to think that as time goes on, and more and more users become aware of its existence, it becomes a common tool for every article publishing website for two-sided discussions instead.