Tag Archives: Fieldguide

Wherever the Wind Takes Us

Unfortunately, this is only going to be a tiny sneak peek for the final project. The current plan is exploring the distinction between digital-dualism and augmented reality. As I’ve most likely mentioned before, the concept of augmented reality is introduced as “just a legend” in this is ongoing story that I’m working on for the project. Below is the conversation in which this “legend” is brought up (you can simply follow the replies).

That curiosity ignites an interest for this character and he begins to do research on it. Obviously, that would be the annotation aspect (via http://hypothes.is). Simply put, he would be “reading and annotating” certain information from the articles and then send these findings by “letter-in-a-bottle” method to me. They will be presented in “captain’s journal” format (ex. Captain’s Journal, Day 2). I’ll be writing a response to each of these “letters” as a way to show his  mentorship. The following conversation showcases that aspect of the story.

As indicated, this character will also travel to certain locations where he will encounter other marine creatures. These are the metaphorical representations of social media users that I had mentioned in a previous post. He’ll be observing and analyzing their behavior through the lens of digital-dualism. Due the time constraints, I might not be able to use all the creatures/representations that I had listed. I hope to use at least three. So, after exploring three specific locations (islands?) and conducting segmented research (two article at a time), he will have sent me a total of 6 bottles, which I assume would be sufficient to explore the topic at hand within the boundaries of the project (and the time constraint). The ending will reveal whether “the legend” of augmented reality is real or not. Honestly, for the time being, I do not possess an answer. I do, however, believe that as I continue on this project, I’ll discover it  for myself.

So… Is this the final Field Guide post? I’m not quite sure, really. In case that it is, this has been a true journey to the heart, and thank you all. If not, perhaps we will meet again by one of the whirlpools of “the digital sea”. Till then…

‘Blackfishing’: To the AUC Students

For my final project, I will be discussing and “investigating” the new phenomenon of ‘Blackfishing’. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, ‘Blackfishing’ is when a person on Instagram or Twitter (specifically a woman) who is not of color, changes her physical appearance (e.g. hair, skin color, etc.), in order to be perceived as a specific person of color (e.g. African-American, Mixed, Afro-Latina, etc.) Example images:

Screen Shot 2019-04-03 at 8.24.15 AMScreen Shot 2019-04-03 at 8.24.06 AMScreen Shot 2019-04-03 at 8.23.18 AM

This seems to be a branch of the ‘Catfishing’ tree. (Catfishing is when someone poses as someone else online by faking their name, appearance, online identity, and so on).

Speaking about the importance of identity and self on the Internet of 2019, I have a couple of questions for you when it comes to this topic.

  1. There are two sides to ‘Blackfishing’. One is that some people don’t see the big deal. It is merely just someone appreciating the culture. On the other end spectrum, people are uncomfortable with this because of its almost identical connection to the history of ‘Blackface”, which is when someone who is not African-American, applies very dark/brown makeup and performs racial stereotypes of slaves. This would happen in the 1900s. My question is, Is there a difference between appreciation and appropriation when it comes to another person’s culture? 
  2. My second question is, online identity has become almost, if not for sure, as important to us as our real identity. When someone fakes who they are and deceives other people, how does that affect online identity?
  3. Does online identity affect how people see those online personas in real life?
  4. Who is harmed during this? (And by “this” I mean ‘Blackfishing’) or is this just makeup and fun, just like people believed ‘Blackface’ performances and caricatures were?

I can’t wait to hear your responses! Any other questions or ideas that come to mind to help me dive deeper into my project, please let me know! Here is my Twitter: @ColorfulWriter02

Thank you!

Socrates’ YouTube Channel Has Hit 1000 Subscribers!

I think the title of the post revealed which article that I’ve chosen to examine. I mean, come on… the title of Sacasas’ article is simply amazing and really hard to ignore. I hope that I managed to do some service with mine.

Although I had opened up an account for my Alchemist character on Hypothesis.is, I was reluctant to annotate anything because there were no other annotations available. I’m thinking that maybe we should start a private group for these intended annotations. I’m not so sure if public option is the best one. Anyways, onto the article itself.

Sacasas mainly focuses on the discourse online. It starts with a great analogy: “‘Don’t read the comments’ is about as routine a piece of advice as ‘look both ways before crossing the street’”, which perfectly captures the ignorance of people in general. Most people tend to prefer dismissing an issue rather than actually dealing with it. What else is new, right? The problem is that the online discourse is not something that could correct itself on its own, naturally. People, especially social media users, need to be conscious of what direction that “unlawful” discourse is heading. So, they can at least contribute to its expected course-correction instead of allowing the platform runners to enforce rules or conditions to automatically fulfill that role, and potentially cause a damage to its free nature. Then again, isn’t the free nature of the internet that allows it “to encourage rancor, incivility, misunderstanding, and worse” as Sacases puts it? He inserts that “anonymity has something to do with [it], and so does the abstraction of the body from the context of communication”, which I agree.

Sacases also claims that both the traditional discourse and the literacy aspect of writing on digital medium get unintentionally lost. The reasoning behind that claim is the public interaction among people that occur online by writing instead of speaking. Moreover, “expectations of immediacy in digital contexts collapse” the space in which the writing skill can flourish. Thus, “we lose the strengths of each medium: we get none of the meaning-making cues of face-to-face communication nor any of the time for reflection that written communication ordinarily grants”. Not to mention the “time limitations” set by the users themselves within that environment. The end product, therefore, is a communicative space “being rife with misunderstanding and agonistic” and “it encourages performative pugilism”. Fun times, indeed.

One last thing that I’ll mention about the article before wrapping up —I prefer the Field Guide posts to be short— that needs to be highlighted is the notion of identity clash. What I mean by that is social media users are unable to draw a line between a subjective opinion and “an attack on their views and ideals”, which forms their “internet identity”. So, basically, there is not room for a civil discussions but rather “my way or the highway” in a nutshell; unwillingness to be open to other perspectives, or at least find a common ground. Sacases notes that “we’ve conflated truth and identity in such a way that we cannot conceive of a challenge to our views as anything other than a challenge to our humanity”, which is pretty powerful.

As you can see, there are a lot of great stuff in the article that needs extracting and examining for the final project. I’m glad to have found it… at random, on Google search. Go figure. I’ll be adding the annotations as soon as I figure out the options.

Reference (I actually quoted stuff this time around):

Sacasas, L. M. (2014). Waiting for Socrates… So We Can Kill Him Again and Post the Video on Youtube. Technology, Culture, and Ethics. Retrieved from https://thefrailestthing.com/tag/digital-dualism/

The Burning Question? {Fieldguide}

Image result for hello gif

Hey everyone! So, last week I had the idea of Catfishing, which is using photographs to form a fake identity (persona) for their personal gain, fame, money, identity theft, etc. I wanted to be more specific on a type of Catfishing, which is Blackfishing. Recently, women on who are not of color are posing as women of color on Instagram. Example: Screen Shot 2019-04-03 at 8.23.18 AM

In my last post, I called it “Catfishin with race.” There are a few concerns that come to mind such as the general cultural appropriation, inappropriate, and extremely offensive. After having my one on one meeting about how to be more specific about this topic, I have to get past the shock factor when looking at these images and getting down to the “why” and “purpose” behind Blackfishing. The thoughts I have about identity online in 2019 comes down to how looking at images can cause various forms of identity concerns, misconceptions, and misguidedness. In my last post, I also talked about how you can’t switch off and on your skin color or facial features. Being born black is something deeper than skin color and big hips. Another concern I had about Blackfishing is when a young girl of color scrolls through their Instagram feed, what would they think or how would they feel when they discover that who they saw on Instagram is fake.

There is still a lot I have to think about for next week and to narrow down exactly what I want to say. (The internet in 2019, truth versus fake, identity and online, specific argumentation, problem and solution, the modern “Blackface” and how does that play a part, consequences of Blackfishing, racist myths, technology, come up with a specific question and concern, risks, what’s the endgame?, mainstreaming racist culture, etc.) So as you can see, I dipped into a deep pool with this topic, and I am hoping I did not get too ahead of myself.

I think what I need to do to find what my question, concern, and solution will be; I have to do my homework. By researching this topic and finding out more about what others have to say about it, then I’ll be able to focus on a more specific concern. I have a lot of articles to grab research from, and I’m hoping to find more on this topic. That is where I am going to start my research. As far as how I’m going to represent it as a conversation between my alchemist mentor and me but I will figure out that part too!

Previous Blog:

It’s Crunch Time! {Fieldguide}


Getting Closer to the Finale

Right off the bat, let me start by offering the link to the article because I’m sure that I’ll forget to do so before I publish this post (I often do). Here it is: http://www.cambridgeblog.org/2016/01/the-straw-man-of-digital-dualism/

It’s the link to the article that I mentioned in my previous blog post, which is titled The Straw Man of Digital Dualism and written by John Suler. I’m personally bringing it up because digital dualism is my chosen theme for our final project but I’d strongly suggest everyone to give it a read. It’s quite interesting.

The article starts by defining digital dualism as “the belief that online and offline are separate and distinct realms” and that people tend to have dual personalities as a result. In other words, the online personalities of people are considered quite different from the real ones. There is certainly some truth to it. The author mentions some other researchers who oppose that notion (apparently called anti-digital-dualists) and attempts to refute their position by asserting their ignorance of how virtual reality differs from our own reality. The analogy that follows, which is “difference between our minds when awake and when immersed in fantasy or dreams”, captures the viewpoint of the claim that people consciously (or unconsciously) create alternative personalities of themselves online; an idolized reflection that lives in ether. It could be either for escape or mere curiosity of the possibility. As the author suggests that the online world “allows people to express hidden and often unconscious aspects of identity in ways not easily afforded in the face-to-face world”.

There are so many questions that relates to this particular topic, such as “Who dictates the idolized form of a person?” or “Does the mob mentality play any role in shaping someone’s online personality?”, that I find intriguing. There is so much stuff to examine, but that’s my short analysis for the time being; it’s just a first step after all. I had not selected my particular theme before creating the fictional character or coming up with a story for the Field Guide project. However, when this concept of digital dualism was introduced during our last class, I knew that I had found the perfect theme for the project. I’ll definitely need to find a few more resources in upcoming weeks, but this given article was a great start to delve into it. I’d definitely give it a 9.5/10 usefulness score (if we’re still doing that).

It’s Crunch Time! {Fieldguide}

Warning: You will see nothing but 80s and 90s Sitcom GIFS on my blogs for the rest of the semester, and I am not sorry.😊  Let’s get started!

I officially have a topic!

Image result for living single gif

During our last week’s brainstorming class, I was trying to figure out something that I wanted to look more into that applies to the Field Guide parameters, educational, and something that genuinely concerns me. At first, I started thinking about GIFS. The way GIFS are embedded in our culture and taking the internet by storm I think is innovative and creative. The main question I had was:

  1. Eventually, are GIFS going to dehumanize our senses and emotional reactions in the real world? (Laughing, crying, being happy or sad, etc.) or is it simple fun across the internet and among friends and people will know what fake and real reactions are?

Then I started to think about Catfishing, which is using photographs to form a fake identity (persona) for their own gain, fame, money, identity theft, etc. We had a Studio Visit with Alec Couros about the dangers of Catfishing in today’s society. Anyone can take a photo of you from Facebook and can create a fake identity. It’s the new wave of stealing credit cards. (Which still happens). But for the new generations and the current generation of using social media, they would rather steal identity for more followers on Instagram. So then I thought of this question:

2. I wonder how many people know about what’s happening on Instagram where women who are not of color are posing as women of color? For those who may not have heard because it’s been swept under the rug or you’re not familiar with Instagram, this is actually happening. If you’re not sure what I mean, here are a few examples:

Screen Shot 2019-04-03 at 8.23.18 AMScreen Shot 2019-04-03 at 8.24.06 AMScreen Shot 2019-04-03 at 8.24.15 AM

This is Catfishing with race, and it needs to be discussed. This cultural appropriation and extremely offensive. As a woman of color when I see these images, I am disturbed, but I also feel bad (a little) for them because these girls don’t understand that being a person of color goes beyond changing your looks. It’s something deeper and something you are born with that you can’t switch off and on whenever you want. Furthermore, when a young girl of color who scrolls through their Instagram feed, what would they think or how would they feel when they discover that who they saw on Instagram is fake. As far as my Digital Alchemist goes, she feels the same way. That’s why she decided to create a Twitter account to discuss important issues such as these.

I could go in-depth more on this blog post about this topic, but I will save it for next week!

See ya later!

Check out my previous post!

Going In Full Speed (GIFS) {Fieldguide}



Making that “Paper” by GIF Commercials

Since I had a long Field Guide post last week, I’d expect this one to be a lot shorter… for a good balance. In fact, why don’t I just wrap it up right here? Thank you everybody for reading, and have a good one!

Just kidding.

Our main topic of the week was GIFs. I was actually looking through Reddit (of all places on the internet) to find something related, and long behold… I managed to find a linked article titled “TV Is Finally Starting to Understand the Power of GIFs—For Better and Worse”.

Simply put, the VanityFair article, written by Whitney Friedlander, delves into the commercial potential of GIFs on social media. If something is popular on the internet, you can bet your… Eeyore plush… that somebody is going to turn it into profit. Why not? Who doesn’t like (more) money? So, the idea is that making GIFs out of the best moments in a TV show or any other commercial programming and sending them out to journalists, analyzers, or just the fans on social media is not only efficient but also cost-friendly —as in, it costs nothing; free commercial that takes a few minutes (at best) to put together. Can you hear that “cha ching” sound? I’m sure somebody does… Good for them! I must admit that it’s actually a genius move to spread “info” about your product and get attention. I wonder, though, can this approach be applicable to other products beside TV stuff? Say… a GIF of the General that attempts to sell insurance —is this already a thing that I don’t know about? I don’t tend to spend time on social media, so I wouldn’t really know. Even if it isn’t a thing just yet, you can expect the social media platforms to be filled with these GIF commercials pretty soon. Then again, EU just approved that Article 13 thing which is expected to go into implementation in 2021. How long before it spreads around the world and prevents this problem? Fighting evil with another evil… Yea, take that!

Anyways, I promised (myself) that I’d keep this post short, so… Good night, everybody! Don’t let any GIF to bite your plush. Oh, before I forget… The usefulness score for that article above would be 8/10, imho. I’m actually looking forward to that Field Guide project. Until next time!

Going In Full Speed (GIFS) {Fieldguide}


A Brief History of the GIF, From Early Internet Innovation to Ubiquitous Relic: How an image format changed the way we communicate by Lorraine Boissoneault (2017)

Article Link

From the article by Lorraine Boissonneault

I think this article would be a great addition to the fieldguide because it shines a light on the more positive parts to the internet and GIFS. Not everyone knows what a GIF is. They may have seen them, but they don’t know the name of it. This article starts off with the history of how the GIF came to be. Learning new knowledge about something you are not familiar with can give you a different perspective of something. In this case, some people may think Memes and GIFS are “pointless” and they just “don’t get them.” However, the history that is broken down by Boissoneault gives great insight for others who are not used to this new form of digital art.

Not only does this article break down the history of the GIF, it evens tells us the correct pronunciation, which we even discussed in class. “For the record, Wilhite pronounces his creation with a soft G, using a play on the peanut butter ad as a demonstration: “Choosy developers choose GIF.” He reiterated the point when he was given a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2013 Webby Awards. But that has hardly settled the debate, as many others insist on the hard “g” as in the word “gift” but without the “t.” Even dictionaries like Oxford English have unhelpfully declared both pronunciations valid.” (Boissoneault)

I would rate this a ten on the light to darkness scale. I think it’s important for people to understand the GIF before forming their own opinions on it. It was a fascinating read!