Archive for March, 2012

Week 5: What is Real? That’s For You To Decide

“how do we know what is real?”

It’s a question I can’t answer, you most probably can’t answer, which most academics can’t even answer, so why ask it?

Isn’t it absolutely vital for us to determine what we believe is real? I mean surely we can’t live our lives without considering the very questions that daily living, in all its various forms and outcomes, proposes? Okay! I’m done with posing the questions. However, while I’m not able to explain what is definitely real, I can tell you why it is important we have a go at answering the unanswerable question.

Real is what you perceive to be important to both YOU and OTHERS around you, it may be based on events that intertwine your/their lives or it may be events that have some impact on you both; whether it be hearing you aunty died in a car accident on the news or that your insurance company has gone bankrupt and you are no longer insured.

To some real or reality consists of the future possibilities and potential of the human race regarding our own human ability or technological advances like those that are alluded to in the videos made by about drones and Quadcopters(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvRTALJp8DM&feature=player_embedded).

Yet something is amiss. Is it necessary to define and determine what is real? What is the point? Let us take the example of the brain-game[1] where the more relaxed the participant is the further the ball travels down the field toward the other person’s “endzone”; whereby the less stressed wins. How REAListic is that? When I’m playing in SuperBowl LIII online against some dweeb in north Carolina, who is level 20 and me at just 7, an its 4th quarter with 1:17 on the clock, I’m down by 4 points and need a touchdown. I’m going to be stressed to the point of swearing and I still may win. Further, when I’m sniping out Al-Bashir’s private guard, in Battlefield 3, while being shot at by counter-snipers and I’m playing on Legendary mode with auto-aim off; I’m going to be stressed because that is a real reaction, based on the reality of the situation I’m in and the outcome I wish to occur.

Therefore, this leads me to the conclusion that maybe its great to not know the real in our lives, have a little faith in our own beliefs of what is real which might be religion or that aliens live among us, whatever it may be just as long as we are conscious of what is important to us as individuals. Having out lives mapped out around us, like what is shown in the Augmented City 3D video, is certainly something I don’t want because forgetting things and engaging with media or technology when I choose to is real. As then I become responsible or conscious for the decisions I make, sure you can contest this view, but at the end of the day you can’t control what I believe; is real because real is what we all individually believe to be true.


[1] Hansson, A & Gimpel L. Brainball, Brainball: Winning by Relaxing, Smart Studio (Interactive Institute), Last Updated: 2003, Last Visited: 25/03/2012, URL: < http://smart.tii.se/smart/projects/brainball/index_en.html >

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Week 4 – Our Media Addiction Is Embodied: Worse Still It’s Cognitively!

As a twenty-year-old student, even more so a media student, in the year 2012 media and society’s increasing dependence on the various mediums certainly leads to one conclusion. Our demand or craving like need for media has lead to our addiction to media being embodied within us.

 

In the video above, we see ESPN’s coverage of the NFL’s 2009 ban on the access of twitter during team meetings, practice days/sessions and within the 90 minutes preceding a game and 60 minutes following a game. Which in context with our word of the week embodied demonstrates a negative impact of the embodying of our media addiction that stems from our feelings/perceptions and wanting to know as much about every detail as possible, however, the video also infers the negative impact on athletes where they have  become dependent on tweeting to maintain their celebrity status amongst NFL and sports fans. Although even this negative view on our embodied demand for media is contextualized by Murphie’s statement that “…cognitivism’s increasing ability to micro-manage cultural activities (education is one major example) creates a self-fulfilling prophecy in which “cognition” as a concept is almost indispensable.” [1] Begging the question: do our cognitive processes, conscious or subconscious, effect our embodied demand for media consumption or are we merely readily accepting the almost required adoption of media and technology that characterises this 21st Century we live in?

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[1] Murphie A. The Mutation of “Cognition” and the Fracturing of Modernity: cognitive technics, extended mind and cultural crisis,  Date of Production: Not Specified, Macquarie University Online, Date Accessed: 18th March, <http://scan.net.au/scan/journal/display.php?journal_id=58&gt;

Week 3: Ecology & Your ‘News’

The ‘news’ is a slang or colloquial terminology that has gripped society since time-began, it is what we as humans crave: the finding out of information you were not aware of previously, that no one else knows or is of significant relevance to your life; for whatever reason. Whilst you would be already aware of this concept, it is important to acknowledge the role ecology plays in how we as consumers receive, filter, interpret and form opinions on the ‘news’ we obtain.

The role of ecology, as a representative of the relationship that exists between individuals, cultures/theories and actual media events plays a significant part in how we hear/read/receive the ‘news’ in the 21st Century. Or alternatively as Strate observes:

“It is the study of media environments, the idea that technology and techniques, modes of information and codes of communication play a leading role in human affairs.” [1]

[Lance Strate, “Understanding MEA,” In Medias Res 1 (1), Fall 1999.]

Therefore, the following examples of FoxsportsNews Channel Online and social media (such as Facebook and Twitter), are prime examples of where  ecological processes has impacted on the ‘news’ we receive, as a result of the technological advances that now afford consumers/viewers to decide what they do and do not hear, read or watch.

Visiting extra context/watching recorded bulletins – Foxsports news:

When Israel Folau swapped codes from the National Rugby League (NRL) to the Australian Football League (AFL) the FoxsportsNews Channel chose to broadcast the live press conference on their website and on their TV Channel; as it was a method of communicating a  massive piece of sporting ‘news’ to those for whom this was of major relevance. This example is evidence of ecological processes in action because viewers of this press conference have likely chosen this medium based on a filtering decision stemming from their feelings, perceived benefits or beliefs that this event is significant; which is facilitated by the technological modes of communication that are now available.

Foxsports live press conference (Israel Folou): http://www.foxsports.com.au/afl/israel-folau-walks-away-from-rugby-league-to-join-gws-and-afl/story-e6frf33l-1225920757979

Social Media: Twitter

Shaquille O’Neal’s Retirement Announcement:

Shaquille O’Neal’s public announcement of his retirement is highly pertinent in demonstrating how Twitter can be utilised as a ‘news’ platform because in this instance: the player has been able to break the story of his own retirement. Further, in this case also the receivers of this ‘news’ have been affect by ecological processes because they have chosen to be ‘followers’ of this public figure. (Shaquille O’Neal has some 4.035million Twitter followers).

Therefore, the examples of mediums provided above illustrate the effect of ecology on our media consumption because we now can choose the genre of ‘news’ we receive, in these examples Sports ‘news’, and what content or topics we wish to access. Based on this presence of choice or filtering that now exists it is clear that key influences on ecological process like behaviour and cognitive reasoning are having an increasing affect on how consumers get their ‘news’; whether it be a traditional form like a paper, a social media update or the accessing of online content. Thus, the following excerpt by Milissa Deitz is highly relevant in our understanding of how ecology impacts on the ‘news’ which is ultimately affected by our own conscious behaviour, habits and interests:

“…what distinguishes media ecologies from naturally occurring ones is the way we can consciously intervene in them.” [2]


[1] What is Media Ecology? –  Author Not Stated, <http://www.media-ecology.org/media_ecology/>, Last Updated: 2009, Last Visited: 11/03/12

[2] The New Media Ecology. Milissa Deitz, Last Updated: 23/12/10, Last Visited: 11/03/12. <http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=11410&page=2>