Week 8

            During our very last week we were asked to watch Clay Shirky’s TED talk about cognitive surplus. In his talk he discussed how we have now moved to more creativity on the Internet and how we can use our Internet resources to connect in new ways. In the beginning of this class we discussed the Internet and the development of the World Wide Web. These tools were first developed for easier communication. As we have progressed, we are now able to communicate and use the web to educate, collaborate and use our creativity.

            One of the most popular sources that I would find to be a good example of meaningful cognitive surplus is Wikipedia. This website is run by a body of people but the information given is by the people. Individuals from all around can put forth information about a wide variety of topics and that information can be seen by anyone on the Internet. The information is a collaborative effort by many and utilized by all. Though this source I feel is a good example of cognitive surplus I feel that the source he exampled, Ushahidi, is a far greater use of the Internet and a better example of cognitive surplus. The Internet has given us a great source to make the world a better place. Where else would people be able to gather in order to help a country or communicate to better policies? In the case of Ushahidi, people gathered together in order to distribute important information that otherwise would not be able to been utilized as well as it did.

            As far as the question of if I would benefit Wikipedia, I think that I do. Obviously with all Internet sources I am suspicious of the information I am getting but for quick learning or questions that I have, I often find that Wikipedia is a useful source and one that, for basic information, I can trust is accurate. I am not one who puts forth information onto Wikipedia but it is a site that I would be able to contribute to.

            I think that in the long run I would be able to contribute my information or a project to this website. I think that the more information I learn about specific topics I would be able to contribute that information. I do not feel that any information I have currently would be a positive input on Wikipedia because that information is already on there. However as I grow to learn more information I hope to expand that knowledge and hopefully will be able to contribute my own findings and research sometime in the future.


week 7


In this week’s reading and video we see many different types of networking from the chapters from Shirky we see how small world networks develop as well friend of a friend networks and others. When we compare this to the video that we watched on generation “Like” we can see how they play into each other. These connections between each other can also be fit into Marshall Macluhan’s theory of Technological Determinism that we learned about last week.     

I found this week’s material very interesting to say the least. I always knew that the majority of people used sites such as Facebook and Twitter but I truly did not know of the magnitude of how much those sites and the like button had on peoples epically teen’s lives.  Reading the chapters by Shirky I could see how the small world network played into my own life. Where I work everyone know seems to know at least one mutual person that connects us all together. I never gave much thought to this before but it does make sense that where we grow up and where we live there are ways to connect us all. The video showed how companies where willing to sponsor people how have a large amount of connections on the interest. When I say this I could see how Shirkys friend of a friend networking is played out on a large scale. Shirky stated in social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace a lot of connections come from a mutual friend. This means that a person becomes connected with someone who they do not know personally but they are aware of who that person is to someone else.  In the grand scale that the movie provided showed how a person with a large number of followers on You Tube team up with other people with a large number of followers of You Tube. This team up will result in the merging of followers so that person can double if not triple the amount of followers that they had before the team up.  These connections are shaping our culture as well. Shirky writes about the change between social intersection changes our culture. She gives the example of the study done with children at daycare. When there was no penalty for being late for picking up your child there were fewer instances of people picking up children late. When there was a fee placed there was an increase on the amount of times people where late. She states that this is from the change in social interaction. When there was no fee people did not want to be late because there was a social a contract between the workers and the parents that the workers had to take time out of there day for them. When the fee was in place people say the daycare as just a means to an end and no longer thought of them as people the result of this was an increase in people being late. As this change changed the way people thought of each other in the culture of the business world the need for “likes” on Facebook and other social media is changing our culture as well. The video brought us the term “sell out” the teens did not have the same concept of this term that other older generations do. The change in culture comes from teens waiting to be noticed on social media.           

Technological determinism also plays a role in these theories. It’s clear to see how the new culture that is developing on the internet’s social network is changing the way we think. Networks have connected us together and now we see things in terms of networks and we have all become a part of the friend of a friend network. I do not believe that Marshall Macluhan would not be surprised at the current situation that we find ourselves in. in his theory he states that there is change over time that we must a just to and I believe that the technologies are not going anywhere they can only become more complex from this point so we must be able to change with it.

By the friend of a friend frame work I think that the older generation is effected by the stated of marketing. I think that they can see though it a little easier because I think that they for the most part are not looking to be recognized by a sponsor. Most people over the age of 24 do have facebook and smart phones so they are connected the same amount teens but I think for the most part they use it as a tool and not a way to find a sponsor like the teens and tweens  did in generation like.      

week 6 Technological Determinism

technological-determinismIn this week’s reading and videos there was a lot of very interesting information that I was not aware of before the issue of Technological Determinism a theory brought forth by Marshall McLuhan  is something that I have never thought of before and I believe that this theory is extremely true and we can see it thought history. The PBS video in comparison to Technological Determinism brings up many interesting facts that give more evidence to the different aspects of Technological Determinism as well as the chapters that we read that showed different events in history that give more proof to this theory. Technological Determinism is still ever evolving as technologies changes over time and the mobile device is no exception. This device extends the internet, Television and telephone into every aspect of our lives, in turn this has became our newest medium.

Marshall McLuhan theory showed how technology has moved in four epics. The fists epic was tribal. In this epic people mainly used word of mouth to recorded their history as well as information that they would need in the future. A good example of this is Homers Iliad and Odisy many people could remember the poem in its entirety that in modern printed word is quite large. The second is the literate epic. This epics starts with the invention of the printing press, this epic made up the written word. The variety of books meant that people could record history and no longer needed the word of mouth for information. People could be self taught in aspects of their life that they were most interested in. this brought advances like the enlightenment in Europe. The third epic is print that came from the industrial revolution. This meant that there was a lot more information that people could receive at a much quicker rate than one printing press alone. One aspect of this epic that I found most interesting was how the print leads to nationalism. This epic created people coming together who spoke a similar language who can share a similar experience that a book and other printable things offer. The forth is electronic epic than many people say we are still in and others say we are moving out of. This epics starts with the invention of the electronic telegraph, we have already seen how this advancement in technology changed the way the world looked by connection people separated by great distances. All of these epics change the way we think about technologies

The PBS video as well as the reading address these epics in different ways. One way is that it showed what people gained and lost by changing epics. Another thing it showed it how we create the technologies to change epics but the technologies in turn change who we are. The last it talked about is if we are ready for these changes that are accruing now and how to deal with the changes. The change from the tribal to the literate epic we gained the ability to read and gain information that others around us did not know but we lost the ability to remember. The change allowed us to write things down so that we would not have to remember them just read them. Another example of this comes from the PBS video, in the switch from the print to electronic epic. When the video stated that when we switched from books to the computer for information we could gain knowledge very quickly and do multiple takes at once but we lost the ability to think deeply about the information that we are resaving. The video stated that people look up the information but they truly do not understand what it means. The result of this is something that truly opened my eyes. People no longer think of things as whole ides but rather paragraphs. When I saw this part of the video I could only think is that this change has happened and I only knew of a time where I thought it terms of paragraphs. That is the only way I write papers, I only think what each paragraphs will say and not much about the hole message. This I think is an example of how the technology changes us. Then someone gathers information they look online and find the shortest and fastest way of doing so. We really read a book for information that would take us twice is not 100times as long. We know all the information we will even need is as a key stroke so why do we need to remember anything. The book and the video seem to show ways the technology needs to be embraced if we want to progress as a people. The video showed how in some schools the technology is used to improve test grades as well as attendance to class and from the book it showed how the radio in tanks changed the way nations fought in world war two. Germany was able to crush the French because they had not fully embraced the technology in their tanks. The last thing I found interesting about this week’s material is that the print epic was building nationalism by bringing people together who speech the same language, the  electronic epic is tearing it down. People can now communicate will others on a global scale and now people can connect to others who think similarly but no longer need to be near to each other.

I believe that the mobile device is the next epic in technological development because it has both mediums hot and cool. The mobile device can do it all in sense. The device can be a television as well as a radio making it both hot and cool. I believe it will be the next epic because in the not too distant future we will have internet connectivity everywhere and with the voice controls we won’t even need to type to find what we are looking for. The questions arise on what will we give up and what we will gain from this change in epics as well as the question are we ready. I believe that this new epic will allow us to connect to people all the time but it will also be the end of privacy as well. I also believe that we need to embrace the technologies because it is here and we cannot undo what has been created.

week 5


The reading and videos of this week was interesting to me as well as informative. Watching the videos I was truly unaware what network neutrality was. Unlike lasts week topic watch this topic is right in our face. The issue of network neutrality is something that consumer like I would want but the other issue is at what cost would I be will to pay of it.

The question for this week asks how much we would be willing to pay for internet to keep the current access that we have. We are all students taking in online class so this issue is seems to be important to us all in some way. In my current situation I live 100 miles away from the University of Illinois Springfield so it makes it difficult to reach the campus to take classes over summer. The result of this is this online class that we are all in together. I would think that the relatively low cost of interest aids in the price of school as well as gives us a vast range of information that we need to fully understand the materials being taught in both online and on campus classes. The access of these materials is also important beyond the academic world as well, for example with Facebook and Netflix taking up most people’s down time on the internet. The videos talked about how company like Google and Version are pushing a set of regulations for the government to enforce to keep network neutrality the standard to keep the user of their serves happy. This seems to be one of the big drivers behind what keeps network neutrality the baseline in our current condition.

So the question is how much would I pay for the current freedom of the internet that I enjoy. As a student I think that I am forced to pay of this access because of how important it is. I need access to email as well at a variety of different sites that I can find information on. I know that there are other ways to have access to the internet like the library or in my case Saint Louis bread company (Panera) where the internet costs me the price of a bagel. This access only works for temporary use and for a student that never seems like enough and you are still limited there for what you can have access to. Once I am done with school I believe that I could live without the internet all together. For me I really use the internet for non school reasons so not having it or have to pay for it would seem fine. I do not believe that I need the internet but I do know that is important to have the access to the internet at all time for work related issues as well as personal use. The answer to this question that has been placed in front of me is that I would pay for the cheapest fastest which was an issue brought up in this week’s videos access that would most likely limit me to just basic internet sites. I do not want to pay heavy for something that I do not use.

I believe that the majority of Americans would pay for internet even if the price increases dramatically. There is just too much that is done though the internet that we all use on a daily basis. The neutrality of the internet is what keeps users happy and for this reason I believe most people would pay more to continue it if they had the income to do so.            

week 4


The week four reading I found scary, exciting and unnerving. Many of the facts that were brought up in this weeks documentaries and reading were new to me. Once I had watched these documentaries I began to doubt that the “Program” was the right action to take to prevent future terrorist attacks on the United States. The documentary on Stuxnet on the other hand can prove to be a very effective measure to slow nuclear armament but at the same time it may lead to a situation that it becomes a Pandora’s Box against us all.

The information that was brought up in both the Program and Privacy lost documentary brought me to a split decision on what is best. A quote that I remembered from history class was what the deciding factor in my decision. The quote came from Benjamin Franklin that stated “Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one”. It is easy to apply the lesions from this quote to the current surveillance situations that we find ourselves in today. I believe that the “Program” clearly violates our rights and that in the short term it may prove to keep the United States more secure from teerist threats the long term effects will prove costly. These documentaries showed me many surprising facts that I was not aware of before. The first fact that I found alarming was how Vice President Dick Chaney laid the ground work for the program as well as approved the details without President Bush’s full knowledge of what the Program truly did. There seems that the executive branch was able to put a program in place that by past the systems checks and balances. Another aspect that I found to be alarming was the continuing of the “Program” Under President Obama after his promise to remove these systems. A long term problem that was brought up was the government’s involvement with companies inside the privet sector like Google and AT and T. Their involvement with these companies may damage their reputation as well as give them information that is sensitive to that company.  I believe that biggest consequence if this program continues is what the quote says that will lose both our liberty as well as our security to the government. If we break down the quote it seems to say that if we give up our freedom of speech and the security of our speech for safety we may as well not have any rights because we don’t deserve them.

The invention of cyber weapons has the ability to become the next generation of warfare. This makes the invention of Stuxnet so important. The 60 minutes video stated that the next Pearl Harbor or 9/11 could very well be by cyber attacks against the United States. General Hayden referred to the Stuxnet attack against Iran as a big idea because it was the first of its kind. This means that the door to cyber weapons has been open and from now it can’t be closed. Cyber weapons are here and I believe that it is a bad idea that we must live with. The 60 minutes program stated that unlike traditional weapons that can only be used once a cyber weapon can be used over and over again. The Stuxnet program is available for download currently on the internet and is available to all. This means that all nations have the ability to copy and create their own cyber weapons and use them against others. Now that the cyber weapons are out there I believe that is best to be prepared for the inevitability that there will be an attempt to attack us in some way.

This week’s readings opened my eyes to the current security issues that we all face today. It has also shown me how the “Program” worked as well as who it is looking at. The Stuxnet cyber weapon has opened that door for a new type of warfare that is not fought on a battle field but behind a computer. I believe that this is a turning point in our history for good and for bad that time will tell if the decisions we are making now are the correct ones.

Week 3 post

User generated content seems to be all we see on the internet as well as our phones. From the reading this week I have learned that all I see now on the internet is user generated content even though I do not use Facebook that often. User generated content I believe has become the backbone of social internet based communication.


Reading the publishing then filtering chapter opened my eyes to why people say what they say in Facebook posts. The reading suggests that the message that people are posts is not for me but for a small group of people that are interested. The chapter goes on to explain that the social media sites like MySpace and Facebook are like a food court in mall and that small groups are sitting talking and you can sit anywhere and listen in on their conversations but people don’t do this the chapter says because it would be considered rude but on a social media sites where people read and there is no face to face interaction a person does read in on other peoples conversations. This way of thinking explains why user generated content is so popular on the internet. This is because most things are to a small target group that is out for the public to see. A great example of this is the use of twitter and sports. Watching sports I have noticed that the host of the sporting event asks the views to send in tweets about the game and on how the team is doing. The host reads though the messages until they find a good one to but on television. This proves that the one tweet that is sent to one person is then broadcasted for all to see this message.


In my experience I do not believe I have created a great deal of user generated content. I do have a Facebook as well as Twiter but unlike most people of my generation I do not use them. I did not have a Facebook account until I came to UIS in December of 2013 and I believe I went on the site less than 50 times sense then. In the sort time that I used it I did notice the user generated content that these reading talked about. I have also noticed that there is a great deal of information that others post mainly political articles and information to prove to others that there political view is correct and that others should think the same but most of these it seems are not based in facts but opinions. Outside of Facebook a have noticed that a large amount of people use Instagram and Pinterest for both information as well as fun these in combination with Facebook almost creates a situation that someone’s social life can be lived entirely though the internet. The last question that is asked is what is my media diet and in response to this question I would say that it is mainly MSN, weather and general information for class as well as in my privet life. I do not enjoy being in front of computers for long periods of time and so the main result of this is little internet media use.

There are many different types of user generated content on the internet that cross over many types of medias. This week’s reading opened my eyes on why people post what they post as well as understanding how people create user generated content. Reading it one question came to my mind. Does Linus Torvalds creation of Linux and the contributors considered user generated content?

week 2 Discussion

In this week’s lectures there were many similarities linking the inventor of the electronic telegraph Samuel Morse and the man behind the many different aspects of the internet and operation systems. Though the technologies are very different and the times that theses technologies were used are different as well, there are many similarities. These inventions and their use are embraced among many people and changed the world.

201104011339_Samuel%20FWhen Samuel Morse invented the electric telegraph, he encountered many problems the first problem was the code in which to use. This code had to be easy to read as well as to send so that many operators can communicate. Another problem was the development of technologies that could better send the message across vast distances without the signal fading or the need for wires to be repaired due to exposure to the elements. Once these problems were addressed, messages could be sent across the United States in seconds in instead of days. The internet faced similar changes in the case of security the Electronic telegraph messages were as secure as the message sender and the receiver could be with many in-between people would be aware of the message that was traveling from one place to another, but with the early internet all messages could be read by the network provider making it very unsecure. This issue was resolved by Whitfield Diffie who created a system that send public and private keys between users that made it unable for networks provides to read the message. This allowed private messages to be sent between users. Tim Burners-lee invention of the World Wide Web also has similarities to what happened when the electronic telegraph was adopted across the United States. With Burners-lee’s World Wide Web allowed many different types of computers to share information that could not be shared before. With the electronic telegraph it connected people that could not have communicated before. This played a huge role in business across the United States that only magnified once the World Wide Web was in place. The last major similarity that these two technologies have in common is their interface where the electronic telegraph had its hardware and its code for the operator to use the Internet provided interface like Linux with help of from Linux Torvalds. These interfaces are required for people to be able to communicate together easily.

The internet has become a corner stone in our lives in ways that the electric telegraph could not in its time. If we look at the users of these two inventions, it’s clear to see why the Internet is and as it was first developed so clearly embraced among everyone. The main users of the electronic telegraph were business, government and news and in comparison to the internet the electric telegraph was not used able to be used in the privet sector of people’s lives. The internet on the other hand was able to reach every demographic as well as act as a medium mass communication. A good example of this is the last reading about the lost cell phone. The mass communication that accrued allowed the phone to be found easily. With the help of the masses pressuring police for something to be done about the stolen phone was returned to the original owner. The same can be said about sharing photos in the reading sharing anchoring community that shows how the community is together and apart in many ways with the use of Flicka. With these ideas mind the internet has done more to change the normal day to day lives of people that the electronic telegraph could not do.

Introduction and Technology Discussion

Hello Everyone!

My name is Sam Volner I am 22 years old and I am from the small town of Alton, Illinois down near St. Louis.  I am an environmental studies major and I am interested in this class because i do not use technology and social media very often and as our society is becoming more dependent on these resources, it is essential that I learn to use them correctly.  I have many hobbies which include photography, running and enjoying the great outdoors.  Some random facts about me could be that my favorite color is red, I enjoy running with my Australian Shepherd and I hope to move away after graduation to gain new and exciting experiences.

During my educational experience I feel that I was raised in the educational system during the transition from books to electronics. I remember in grade school having to do papers and needing to use an encyclopedia or a textbook to receive the information necessary to further my education.  We were taught typing classes beginning in the 5th grade as opposed to continuing cursive writing and it became important that we learn to type efficient instead of writing neatly. I did not think that it was strange but that it was understandable, because at home we used the computer frequently and to me it was normal. Beginning in high school we still used text books for much of our information, as our teachers did not always encourage the use of the internet.  They wanted us to use various texts, books and journal articles.  However, as I progressed through high school, I stopped using printed word and instead relied heavily on the internet for all my information.  I realized during my senior year that there was knowledge that I did not have because I looked up the answer on Google as opposed to trying to understand it through the textbook. Overall I felt that I feel that I am able to step back and really see the progression of internet usage in everyday life as a student and as a general user.

As a student, the internet and the increasing usage of technology has both great benefits and unfortunate negatives on our education. The positives to me are obvious.  We are able to find information quickly by using common sites such as Google and Yahoo.  We are able to learn more quickly about news that pertains to us and we can find accurate and detailed education studies to further our knowledge.  Negatives to the usage of the internet as a student include the reliability of sites that we use for education such as Wikipedia. Anyone can put anything on the internet with having no validity of the reliability of that information. Who is to say that what we learn is even correct, especially if we do not take the time to ensure the the information is accurate or doing more research to understand the information given to us. Overall the internet has made our life easier but could be a significant impact on the decline of our overall in-depth knowledge.

As a general user of the internet I found that I can easily lose interaction with other people and can waste a significant amount of time on information that does not matter. Facebook is a wonderful tool to stay up-to-date with people and family that I do not often get to see. However it also allows me to read about what they are doing instead of calling them and maintaining relationships. I can see photographs of friends moving to a place instead of calling them and talking to them about their move.  Facebook is a great way to see what people are doing but can make people become hermits without them ever knowing.  If people think they are always connected to what everyone is doing but they don’t talk to anyone anymore, then they lose touch with reality and they do not even realize it. It also creates a distraction in everyday life. I have observed many people out in the public with other people and they do not take their eyes off their phones. Whether they are texting someone else, scrolling through Facebook or playing a game, they are losing relationships that are there in the flesh.


The internet is great for information, news stories and everything in between. It also has the potential to pull us out of reality and put us in this state of virtual reality without us ever noticing or acknowledging. What do you think about how technology effects our real lives?