Week 4;

Project: I wanted to understand the fundamental groundworks of how the Google search engine works so I attempted with creating my own! I have an “Evil” themed Twitter search page where you can search any query you like and it will access the Twitter API to deliver images containing your selected query.

Github Code, View Website Here

The Medium is the Metaphor:

Postman opens up this chapter with a somewhat pessimistic point of view. He recounts various anecdotes of how the American thinking has become trivial due to media. Politicians are praised for their looks or physique. Advertising has led us to decrease our attention span instead of gathering substantive information and knowledge.

Postman then continues to challenge our way of thinking and why we came to think this way. The medium is the metaphor which means that media communicates in ways that are indirect to how our culture is shaped: “Our languages are our media. Our media are our metaphors. Our metaphors create the content of our culture”.

What I liked about Postman’s reading is that it questions the fundamental questions we take for granted and it asks us to reevaluate mundane things we take for granted every day such as speech, and the written word.

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace:

Similarly, I also loved how this article questions the walls, and governments we build around us. It points out that everything is man made and constructed and that the Internet has the ability to construct a new and free world where we can be ourselves. Looking at when this article was written (1996), I see why his viewpoint was idealistic. At the time, the World Wide Web presented all these new possibilities to our culture. However, after 14 years I have a more negative view of the Internet. The web has turned into large corporations collecting people’s data and feeding them back into the capitalistic society we have created. It has also created biased point of views by feeding people with content and information that their personalities would agree with. I believe that some structure or governing command is necessary to keep the Internet neutral. It is a powerful and dangerous vehicle that could alienate people from each other and contribute to the spread fake news and sources of information.

In honour of Masaya Nakumara…

  1. Hosting my Pac-man art on Digital Ocean VPS! Success! View here

2. In his 1945 essay, As We May Think, Vannevar Bush narrates the future as seen 50 years ago. He calls on scientists around the world to collaborate on initiatives that help society rather than initiatives that destroy man and lead to warfare.

In terms of increasing the accessibility of knowledge, I agree with Bush. I believe that now in the 21st century, we are starting to do this. Examples such as open source BCI, open source BTS are applications of the collaboration people are looking for. With the growth of cross-disciplinary education in certain institutions, people are changing their view of what have traditionally been separate schools of thought.

Even though this paper was interesting to read, I found its conclusions to be outdated and not necessarily applicable to the vastly different technological world we live in today.