This is it: http://mrl.li/18BApoR
I know I did not use any video edition or did not create a complex digital artefact but I thought that everyone would do such a thing so I decided to use another device: a digital wallpaper. In this kind of device, people can add comments and create a common poster sharing ideas and knowledge. The aim of the project was to create a link with my peers so, I also added the link of my blog and an invitation to join me in mural.ly. I have to admit that it has been the first time I have used this kind of medium and I am delighted. It is very easy to use and I think it also offers another possibility for the teachers to use it with their students in the classroom.
I also have to admit that in my project I have also been a bit more possitive about what technology involves but I really needed to leave an open question at the end as we cannot predict the future, we cannot state anything yet about how this new technological era will be.
These are my reasons and please, take into account that I had no idea about technology before starting this course so be lenient!
Thanks for participating in this course and I hope to fing you around in a future!
lunes, 25 de noviembre de 2013
It is amazing when I watch a new video, the way I feel: I have nothing to say about it... It takes time, a while, and then I start writing and lots of ideas come to my mind. Maybe it is not the way it should be, who knows, maybe I do not have an important background to give my opinon about a specific topic, but I finally do. And I feel great as I can do it and because I have things to say.
In my opinion, this advertisement shows the desire of men to escape from a world dominated by technology, where we, sometimes, see ourselves without our own identity, but being part of a technological world, depicted in the video when the man is living in a virtual world. In this sense, we feel the necessity to find our place in this kind of world. I don´t think this videos depicts a desire to escape from that society surrounded by technology and a break out to nature, but a break out to human nature, feeling real emotions and being humans. What we see at the end of the video is a real field but there is still a road which divides it into two, and the man is still driving a brand new car, so, what I think this video shows is that we can still use technology to live and still feel humans.
On the other hand, and as I see it, technology is made by humans, designed by humans and it is supposed to serve humans, as a tool to live more comfortably but nowadays, technology seems to have a great importance and our world is completely immerse in technology.
Regarding to technology-mediated education, I think that the controversial point rises from the discussion of those who think that we would lose our human essence if we even have to learn with the help of technological advances, as opposed to the traditional ways of teaching. What we used to teach in the past years were pens, books, notebooks, etc. and we still do it that way but we are involved in a world in which if you are not part of a technological world you are left behind, as you are not being modern enough and soon your resources will be obsolete. I think there are advantages and disadvantages when using technology for teaching but the core of the problem is that even books, notebooks, pens and pencils were human´s inventions and we have used them since they were invented. Now, there is a cultural shock in which most people are not ready to understand that things are changing and that we should adapt to that new situation. It happens in every period of modernization and I think it is completely comprehensible that people need time for that transition.
To finish, I would like to highlight that technology in any sense in our society is not something else but consumption. So, we are told to use it, to buy it and have a real need because is what we are expected to do to keep on buying and consuming in this capitalistic system. And I think that the video shows how the publicists want people to think that even if having a brand new car, we are still living in a world of nature and human environment but also make us think that we need high-tech products to be involved in the present society.
BT: HEART TO HEART ADVERT
In this advert, all the conversations maintained are through technologies: whatsapp, facebook and mobile phones. It sounds real for us, as if they were talking face to face and taking place in the same room. I think we got used to it and it is mainly the way we communicate.
The message is: talk on the phone as if you were talking to that person yourself, face-to- face. But they are not. Obviously the conversations are real but as most of us know, there are lots of aspects involved in communication that are lost when using a mobile phone or when we use social networks, for example the intention of our words, intonation and the sound of our voices, which can be really meaningful in some situations as they show the emotional state of a person at some points. That is why emoticons are used as part of the texts we send.
I think that we accepted using those means to communicate as part of our daily life, we changed our views on communications, but we still have face-to-face conversations so we still do it the way we have always done it.
I think that sometimes, we do not have the opportunity to talk to the person we want face to face and then we use the tools we have at the reach of our hands to make it possible. In the recent years, communication has been one of the most important features depicted in technology advertisements: mobile phones, web pages to find partners, computers, applications, pc programs such as skype, messenger… and then, we still have a way to communicate without using all these means but we have been sold the idea that the more you communicate, the more you are loved, cared and important for others. That makes us feel better and needed. So I think that lots of important values of humans are involved in this issue.
On the one hand, I think the message of the film is that if you can feel emotions, then they are true, even if the input or what it makes you feel does not exist, in this case it is a virtual input.
And on the other hand, this video wants to transmit how powerful we can become when using technology. We can even create a new world, we become creators and inventors, real builders of virtual realities, as the one in the film.
How is human depicted in this video? In my opinion, the human is depicted as an almighty being capable of creating and building life, in this case a tree and a flower, and he can do it with only a touch of his hand and using technology. He can select, change, build as a real creator. I think there is a comparison to what a god can do: he can create a world the way he wants out of nowhere.
But humans are also depicted as weak, our nature makes us weak as we pass away, become ill and can be quite vulnerable, portrayed by the woman who is in hospital. And technology cannot help with that, and the almighty human can barely do anything about it, just simulate that he can do it. Then, there is a dualism in what a human is in this video: everything and nothing at the same time. The means a person can have to play god is technology and science. In my view I think it has been one of the most desirable goals for a human being.
THEY`RE MADE OUT OF MEAT
"Omigod"!!! I really enjoyed this one! This is just fantastic!
I think it is the first time I see how a non human being (even if it is fictional) talk about humans the same way we talk about animals.
What make us humans? We are just flesh... are we? Well, I think we are in a sense, of course. There are so many discussions about what will happen when we die, for example, and I say: we just die, our flesh will disappear and that is all. But we have got a brain, a brain which is so powerful that we can create defense mechanisms and say that we will go to a heaven where everything is just perfect and we will live in an immaterial way forever. We have a got a brain and we can think, invent, create, talk, communicate... But yes, it is also flesh, we are "thinking meat".
I think this story wants to highlight how basic we are. In the same line as the previous video, humans are depicted as weak and inferior compared to technology itself, even if technology is an invention by human brains.
And again, what makes us humans are emotions: "Yes, thinking meat! Conscious meat! Loving meat. Dreaming meat (...)". We are just meat but we can think, we are concious and we can feel love, hate, passion, sadness... Our brain works as the technological device used in the "world builder" video, creating a common reality throught thoughts and feelings.
I think that as humans cannot explain what we are, why we are the way we are, how things started and why, we just have to state something, a beginning, an idea which makes us feel humans, not just flesh, but something else, something which makes sense in our reality and identity. We think: there must be something else, we are not just meat... And then, the search for identity starts. There are religions giving acceptable explanations for those who cannot accept we are just meat. Some thinkers said that is art what made humans being humans, others say that nothing but us can think. In the video, technology is portrayed as the "one" which thinks, as the aliens wonder: how can meat think? Well, we do. Science explains the way a human brain works, and we were able to know that thanks to the improvements in science. The same way we can also know more about ourselves, our nature and our world thanks to technology.
Let me say something else. I have read one of my partner´s opinion of this video I would like to share: http://pursuingmoocs.wordpress.com/2013/11/26/hey-lets-meat-up-edcmooc/ . Rajiv Bajaj is surprised by the way the extraterrestrial sees humanity because the alien chooses a ridiculous outfit to be unnoticed by humans. And I have just remembered one of my favourite speeches ever in a film. I shared the link where you can read the speech. The film is "Kill Bill Vol. 2" by Tarantino and it has the same core idea as Rajiv´s note.
I am sorry, people, but I had to do some research and share the original story. I think the writer deserves some recognition: http://www.terrybisson.com/page6/page6.html
lunes, 18 de noviembre de 2013
I cannot avoid it... I love music and I specially like Pearl Jam. This video is a dystopian view of what technological improvements mean and what we call evolution is depicted in the next video as destruction.
When speaking about "Do the Evolution", Vedder stated, "That song is all about someone who's drunk with technology, who thinks they're the controlling living being on this planet. It's another one I'm not singing as myself." Pearl Jam has stated that the novel Ishmael influenced the writing of Yield, and according to the novel's writer, Daniel Quinn, this song comes the closest to expressing the ideas of the book. Vedder stated:
This Daniel Quinn book, Ishmael...I've never recommended a book before, but I would actually, in an interview, recommend it to everyone....But this book, it's kind of the book of my ... My whole year has been kind of with these thoughts in mind. And on an evolutionary level, that man has been on this planet for 3 million years, so that you have this number line that goes like this [hands wide apart]. And that we're about to celebrate the year 2000, which is this [holds hands less than one inch apart]. So here's this number line; here's what we know and celebrate. This book is a conversation with a man and an ape. And the ape really has it all together. He kinda knows the differences between him and the man, and points out how slight they are, and it creates an easy analogy for what man has done, thinking that they were the end-all. That man is the end-all thing on this earth. That the earth was around even so much longer before the 3 million years. Fifty million years of sharks and all these living things. Then man comes out of the muck, and 3 million years later he's standing, and now he's controlling everything and killing it. Just in the last hundred! Which is just a speck on this line. So what are we doin' here? This is just a good reminder...And I'm anxious to see what happens. You know, I've got a good seat for whatever happens next. It'll be interesting. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Do_the_Evolution]
Click to listen to the song and watch the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDaOgu2CQtI
Throughout the video, a black haired woman (similar in appearance to the character Death from the DC comic book series, The Sandman) dances and laughs, representing "Death" as it follows mankind through all of its history. The video begins with the evolution of life, from the smallest cell to the extinction of dinosaurs and reign of homo sapiens. The video then cuts back and forth throughout human history, depicting man's primitive, violent nature as essentially unchanged over the centuries. Such depictions include a knight preparing for the coming slaughter during the Crusades, a ritual dance by America's KKK (the dance is repeated with other groups throughout the video), a rally by Nazi-esque troops (with a symbol reminiscent of the Sig Runeinstead of a swastika), concentration camp prisoners, a book burning, carnage upon a World War I-era battlefield (apparently a tribute to Peace on Earth, a 1930s MGM anti-war cartoon directed by Hugh Harman), the apparent virtual-reality rape of a woman, and the bombing of a Vietnamese village by an American jet, the pilot of which removes his mask to reveal a skull laughing wildly. Every scene portrayed complements the song's meaning and tightly follows the lyrics. When Vedder sings "Buying stocks on the day of the crash," a scene is shown where businessmen are committing suicide by jumping from buildings, a reference to the apocryphal suicides of Black Thursday during the Wall Street Crash of 1929.
Other social and environmental issues such as slavery, whaling, Manifest Destiny, uncontrolled urbanization, vivisection, pollution, genetic modificationand techno-progressivism are included. The music video blames humankind's brutality on leadership; with various scenes depicting a judge, a bishop or pope, an Asian political leader and an American president candidate, who is being portraited as a puppet, controlled by someone unseen, from behind the scene. The video concludes in what seems to be future scenarios of the self-destruction of the human race, including the carpet bombing of a city of clones by futuristic aircraft, computers hijacking the human mind, and finally a nuclear explosion which leaves not only a city in ruins, but the planet damaged beyond recognition. However, near the end of the animation, the earth is briefly seen as an ovum, suggesting a rebirth and the perpetuation of the human condition. During the sequence of flashing images near the end of the video an image of a yield sign being smashed at the corner can be seen, which references the album title and cover art. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Do_the_Evolution]
Note: I just copied from wikipedia the video summary and Eddie Vedder´s words and I wanted to leave these two hyperlinks to have the possibility to go further.
domingo, 17 de noviembre de 2013
I have just read Jonston´s work on metaphors of the internet. I studied some of the authors mentioned in the text, specially Lakoff and Johnson, as I studied linguistics at university, but it was focused on language and not on technology.
I think people use metaphors to understand the internet the same way we use metaphors to understand reality. As Johnston says, we created a great range of metaphors to refer to the internet as it is part or our lives and as a result, part of our reality.
So it is logical to ascribe time and space features to our concept of the internet as it is the way we conceive reality. And I also think we personalize the internet because, even if it is a tool we use everyday for different purposes, it seems that it is an independent being.
Depending on our view of the internet, we will use possitive or negative purposes, what it takes us again to the dichotomy discussed in the first week: we will consider the internet possitive or negative depending on our view if we see it as a utopian or dystopian element. Furthermore, we can also see the internet for different purposes within the utopian or dystopian point of view so we can subdivide these metaphors in many others such as demading, revolutionary, oppressing...
All these metaphors,as I pointed out above, respond to the main considerations expressed in the text: we can see the internet as salvation, which is the possitive and utopian point of view, or as destruction, which is the negative and dystopian point of view.
We express our thoughts and ideas on the internet the same way we express ourselves in any other area of our lives or reality and to understand such abstract idea of the internet, we use metaphors, but we will use ones or others depending on how we conceive it.
I missed some practical examples in the article by Rebecca Johnston so I tried to find examples conceptual metaphors. I found this text by Zach Tomaszewski. I think it is quite interesting and I hope you find it useful too.
This video is about a man who perceives the world in a very different way. He does not see reality as it is but he has got a digital data base so he can get extra objective information besides the information one can get when we receive sensorial input, objective or subjective (input through senses and the possible interpretations one can make depending on his or her own experience).
He sees the world as a game and he lives his life as if he was part of one. He can interact and modify reality, changing what he does not like (the topic when he is talking to the girl), choosing features if he requires so (wine at the restaurant) and he has got the control at all times. And everything he knows is what he can get from his database. He even got kind of annoyed when she told him something about herself (she was a vegetarian) and he did not know that in advance and he could not find that information in his virtual files. He has to have the control over everything as that is the way he can play a proper game.
This video shows how an addicted mind to virtual games works. Everything he performs or does has an aim: to win the game. It is funny how he scores points when he is cutting cucumbers in the kitchen, but I think this vision is even scary when the video goes on as he does not only want to win in superfluous things like these but he only wants to control people.
I guess most of you will recognize yourselves in the following thoughts. When you spend a lot of time playing a game and you are not playing at a certain moment of the day, you can even see the screen and the moves you would do, or you can even imagine that real objects could be part of the game. There are so many addictive games nowadays and most of us know people who spend most of their time doing so. Therefore, this video is not that futuristic as I think that if we had the opportunity to make our lives a game, loads of people would accept.
There is another point in this video. It is related to virtual reality or games but the main actor also has a plain life and he does not need material things as we can see his house and it is almost empty. He supplies what he does not have with virtual objects, information and input. His life is merely passive as he cooks what “he is being told the way he is being told” or he talks about what the “game” tells him to talk for the conversation to be successful and he uses applications to make the date perfect.
To win a game means that you do it perfect or you lose, so he must not commit any errors, as it happens when he cuts the cucumber and it not perfect so he has to do it again). What he seeks in life is perfection and technology can help his life being as perfect as it can be, but that is not natural. Humans commit mistakes and must fail to learn, that is one of the basis for education, in my view. So, another question here would be: can technology make our lives perfect? Can technology provide everything we need? Can technology make us happy?
This is also a reflection of what virtual relationships work nowadays. Most people meet new people using technology: internet applications or pages which connect people. Most mobile phones campaigns talk about communication: without communicating at all times, wherever you are or whatever you are doing you do not exist, or you will not have a successful social life. This video pushes this idea to an extreme but it is a metaphor of personal relationships.
Now the question is: how do you live your experiences?
miércoles, 13 de noviembre de 2013
VIDEO: GOOGLE I/O 2011
I really loved this video and I want to thank the opportunity to learn from ideas like the ones expressed in the speech by Annalee Newitz.
Technology is portrayed as an independent individual with will. Society is controlled by machines or technological devices and people are conducted to behave in a certain way. And what´s more, technology dictates how people must think creating a global thought, a common mind and a unique way of thinking. Technology in these works is not depicted as a tool for the use of people but as an engine which thinks for you and set the rules of our way of life. And moreover, people is not aware of this fact, so society is depicted as a global being, completely alienated and without control of their own lives.
In Matrix, some characters are aware of this situation but they have to fight “the machine” and they live unhappily as they know the truth, they know that people is being used and controlled, that technology is not a tool anymore and that people are the sustenance of technology instead, they have seen the “backstage” of the virtual world presented to be believed as the real one. The others, on the contrary, live alienated and unconscious, they “sleep” and let technology rule their lives as you can live happily and without preoccupations. This is the way I see society, there are a lot of people who are ignorant, but not in a disrespectful way, but in the sense some do not know, they ignore how the system works and what we mean for the system. I think The Matrix portrays the System, a global machine which controls society as a whole, not as a individuals with needs, a massive economic system, a fixed world political system and how humans are seen by it.
Whenever I use facebook, I realize how quick a piece of information is spread. People do not want to be left behind and most of them share and share the same picture, piece of information or video to feel they form part of a whole. The hive mind is on its way, and even if we are aware of that, we keep on doing it, and we decide that that is the way we live our virtual life, the way we communicate, we learn and we know about reality which, in my opinion, is not responsible. Actions like these foment the collective thought .I think we are part of a massive global mind so these fictional discourses, in their basis, should not be considered fictional but a portray of society nowadays too.
She also talks about privacy on the internet and she states that we do not have any privacy but we can hide the information about ourselves expressed on the internet to those ones we choose. But the core idea is that we do not own any privacy at all. And I think this is quite accurate. We publish details of our lives on the internet every day. Anyone has access to that information, even if we do not know them at all. We are completely exposed to the mercy of control and surveillance.
I would consider these words as dystopian in the sense that what technology offers in these situations is not positive but negative for society and for individuality. I have always thought too that we consider as a real portrayal of the future what some fictional discourses describe. I mean, when we think about the future, as we cannot have an accurate vision of it (it is impossible as it has not happened yet) we take fictional discourses as a reference. So, in a way, we think that is the way our future will be. Let´s take 1984 as a reference. We do have surveillance, control over society is so established that we do not even wonder why, we can see our rulers on the screens and we listen to their speeches on television or pc screens, and many governments are nowadays as totalitarian and repressive as in the novel. So, is it a coincidence? Were these authors such visionaries? I do not think so. Therefore, it is logical to think that we accept technological progress as “natural” and a part of our destiny.