EMAC 6300 Final Paper: WattPad

Posted in Media by impressonion on May 7, 2014
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Because the topic of my paper changed slightly from my original intentions, my sources also ended up being different from those listed in my Annotated Bibliography. I believe, Dr. Knight, you said in class that this was acceptable. I just wanted to remind you, since this was the case with my paper.


I hope you enjoy!

Wattpad Challenging the Norms – SB Final Paper

Annotated Bibliography

Posted in Media by impressonion on April 22, 2014

Codecademy Javascript – My Undying Hatred

Posted in Media by impressonion on April 22, 2014
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Remember what I said about how great Codecademy was when I first tried it back in February?


Maybe it’s the website, or maybe it’s the coding language, or maybe it’s just me, but this was the worst, most unbelievably frustrating thing I have had to do for this class. And this class has not been a cake walk!

Some of the JavaScript lessons were fine. Some I figured out ok. But many others left me wanting to scream. Code was missing. Code wasn’t processing correctly. Code was being interfered with by my browser. Half the time, I had to find ways to cheat the code just to get through a lesson so I could finish the damn course! (And believe me, I did finish it. Even if somewhat incorrectly.)

All I know is, if I never have to touch JavaScript again it will be JUST FINE.

I’m sorry Codecademy, but I hate you. Take your stupid JavaScript lessons and jump off a cliff.

JavaScript Insanity Plea

JavaScript Insanity Plea

Google Glass – Case Study

Posted in Media by impressonion on April 15, 2014
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Fighting the Wildfire that is the War on Internet Freedoms

This week’s reading and video assignments—the book “Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle For Internet Freedom” by Rebecca MacKinnon, and the video “We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks” directed by Alex Gibney—raise a lot of troublesome topics that have the potential to affect every single person on the planet. Though the issues are centered on the internet and mostly online worlds, the effects of decisions made therein have the power to reverberate across any digital divide and disturb every individual in every country. That is because we are not just talking about online freedoms—they may start online, but they have real-world implications that affect the physical freedoms of even those who are unable to access the internet. For these reasons, the issues discussed in the book and video are greater in magnitude than may first seem.

Rebecca MacKinnon

Rebecca MacKinnon

MacKinnon highlights numerous examples of companies who deal in digital realms that control major portions of the internet and major websites used by massive user groups for all manner of reasons—Google, Facebook, Twitter—whose influence includes real-world consequences. She also discusses situations in which governments around the world make decisions to alter their citizens’ online access, resulting in changes in the physical world. Because these organizations have such an enormous level of impact on people’s daily lives, they must be held to a higher standard than is currently in place. “The reality is that the corporations and governments that build, operate, and govern cyberspace are not being held sufficiently accountable for their exercise of power over the lives and identities of people who use digital networks. They are sovereigns operating without the consent of the networked.”

Protestors demonstrate against the dictatorship of Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali, Tunis, January 14, 2011 (Photo: Reuters/Zohra Bensemra)

Protestors demonstrate against the dictatorship of Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali,
Tunis, January 14, 2011 (Photo: Reuters/Zohra Bensemra)

I would say that MacKinnon’s claim should go one step further. She references “the networked” but even those who are not a part of the digital network are affected. When protests, revolutions, and civil wars are fought both online and offline, those who are not networked are still a part of the fight. When information is restricted on the internet, those who get their information secondhand, by word-of-mouth, get even less than before. So the “sovereigns” who govern cyberspace should not only consider how their actions affect the networked, they should also consider the greater worldwide effects that may reach everyone on earth.

Even though there are still wide gulfs where the digital divide shows proof of stark inequalities between the connected and the disconnected, the need for global “netizen” rights that MacKinnon calls for could effectively help those on both sides. “It is now up to the world’s netizens to figure out how to build a sustainable civilization within the new digital rain forest—in which we find sustenance and shelter amid the poisonous plants and deadly predators.” If these goals are achieved, they can provide a framework to extend out into the far reaches of the un-networked as well.

Julian Assange

Julian Assange

I find myself sounding a little uncharacteristically optimistic. Let me be a little more real. MacKinnon’s goals are extremely lofty, just as were those of the fallen WikiLeaks god, Julian Assange. They will not come without the long and arduous toil of the “netizens,” an endless tug-of-war between concerned individuals and groups and the vested interests of the companies and governments who are far more interested in improving their bottom line. As MacKinnon says,

Solutions that adequately protect netizen rights will come about, however, only if netizens of the world participate actively in devising them. The more we actively use the Internet to exercise our rights as citizens and to improve our societies, the harder it will be for governments and corporations to chip away at our freedoms, arguing as they so often do that we do not deserve them, and treating us like reprobates.

I get a kind of Smokey the Bear vibe from MacKinnon’s call to action. I can imagine some authoritative bear figure standing in front of a forest fire that represents the chaos of the internet freedom war. He points an accusatory furry finger at the viewer and proclaims, “Only YOU can prevent the loss of your own internet freedoms!” And if you don’t listen to that bear, you have only yourself to blame.

Smokey the Bear

Why McLuhan Matters: Intent and Significance of “The Medium is the Message”

Posted in Media by impressonion on March 25, 2014
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As required for class, I have attached my take-home midterm exam to this blog post. Not that I expect anyone other than my professor to read it, but if you do, feel free to share your impressonions!

The essay is written on a topic that is essential to understanding the technological media of today. Earlier this semester, when I first started reading the sources cited within, I struggled to grasp the concepts. But once I understood them, I realized just how important they are to our technologically advanced world and the future.

Thanks for reading!

Brooks Take Home Midterm Exam – Why McLuhan Matters

Research Proposal: Evolution of Digital Books vs. Physical Books

Posted in Media by impressonion on March 18, 2014

Below is my research proposal for my EMAC 6300 class. It is not the same as my original ideas, which I found to be a bit difficult to research. I have also attached my proposal in a pdf file here:

Research Paper Proposal

Evolution of Digital Books vs. Physical Books

The history of the printed word—and thus physical book publishing—is rich with intrigue and vital cultural relevance. When Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press, society began to undergo a fundamental change in the way people communicated and even their very thought processes. According to McLuhan, we live under a “typographic spell,” instituted by the creation of the printing press and the subsequent inundation of modern society with physical books and the ability to read them. Today it would be hard to imagine a world without books and all the vast and entangled changes that they have brought to society—many of which we may not even recognize.

Now we face a new chapter in the history of books in which they are being transformed into various digital formats for consumption by both readers who are long familiar with physical books, and new generations who are much more comfortable with all things digital. The printed book industry is facing major upheavals as the media transitions to digital formats. These changes will likely affect society in a similar way to the original printed word.

I want to explore the new forms that books are taking, and discover how readers are reacting to these forms. I hope to find out which formats are being favored, or if readers still prefer physical books on the whole. To narrow the focus of this paper, I will research several websites and digital book subscription offerings to discover what options are available and how they compare to one another. I expect that my findings will help me select a single media object, or maybe two or three for comparison, on which I can focus more carefully. I will also briefly review the history of book publishing and the relevant effects it has caused, to emphasize the magnitude of these new changes and provide background for the current status of the industry.

 Potential questions:

  1. How do new digital formats for books compare to each other and to physical books?
  2. What trends are emerging for digital book use vs. physical book use?
  3. Do book readers want to engage with literature the way they engage with magazines?
  4. Can they afford to do so? Will people sign up for yet another monthly charge?
  5. Will digital book subscribers have the intellectual bandwidth to consume what they bought? Does that matter?
  6. Will they come to trust or despise the online studios pushing books onto their phones and iPads any more or less than current physical book publishers?

Potential sources from outside of class:

Tate, R. (2014). The Future of Books Looks a Lot Like Netflix. Retrieved from

Peterson, P. (2014) Love libraries? Then you’re probably ahead of the technological curve. The Washington Post. Retrieved from

Open Library. Retrieved from

Nawotka, E. Bexar County’s Library on a Cloud. Texas Monthly. Retrieved from

Allen, D. (2014). How Complexity Theory Affects Social Media, Streaming and Musicians. Retrieved from*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1&trk=nus-cha-roll-art-title

Potential sources from class readings:

Drahos and Braithwaite, Information Feudalism: Who Owns the Knowledge Economy?

McLuhan, “The Medium is the Message”

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