Please share your honest opinion!
I am writing a 10,000 word Dissertation about the cultural and psychological effects of technology [Embodiment, Prosthesis, Cyber Culture]. I’m adopting the attitude of an author, just acting like I’m releasing a book soon, and my publisher has tightened the deadline. And who knows, maybe if it’s good enough at the end I can make it an Internet PDF eBook that you’d like to download?
On my reading list, number 8), the author Joanna Zylinska, is the lady I met last week to discuss my writing. She will be personally supervising my Dissertation, so it’s nice to know I have the advice of a well published author. Her topics on our relation to technology, as well as the ethics and issues, are completely relevant to my interests. But I want to attempt a fresh angle, not mimic the authors below.
My reading list so far:
1) Materializing New Media: Embodiment in Information Aesthetics (Interfaces: Studies in Visual Culture) – Anna Munster
2) Facebook and Philosophy (Popular Culture and Philosophy) – Dylan E. Wittkower
3) How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature and Informatics – N. Katherine Hayles
4) TechGnosis: Myth, Magic & Mysticism in the Age of Information – Erik Davis
5) Internet Culture – David Porter
6) The Body (Key Concepts) – Lisa Blackman
7) The Prosthetic Impulse: From a Posthuman Present to a Biocultural Future – Marquard Smith and Joanne Morra
8) The Cyborg Experiments: The Extensions of the Body in the Media Age (Technologies: Studies in Culture & Theory) – Joanna Zylinska
9) Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man – Marshall McLuhan
Have you read any of these? What did you think of them?
Not sure if I mentioned, my lovely boyfriend bought me a 64GB iPad for my birthday. I was in shock, as I’m not really an expensive gift person, in buying or receiving. But I was delighted, once I got over my sense of disbelief. I had been wanting one for ages but just couldn’t justify blowing my whole month’s pay on one…Until I went back for my final year at Goldsmiths, and realised that actually it would benefit my study so much, not just leisure/play.
– It’s so fast to type on using the on-screen keyboard, the layout is simple, and in just seconds I can email my lecture notes to the main Mac in my room, so the people moaning about lack of USB or disk drive should just do that (or use the Pendrive free app, or Dropbox, etc)
– The book store is excellent, in terms of variety. And the reader functions perfectly, where you can actually turn the pages.
– I use the Sketchbook Pro app for my Motion Graphics module, which is great for drawing with regardless of what stylus you use.
– Granimator allows you to create your own wallpapers and backgrounds (as seen above)
– VNC Mocha – this remote desktop viewer is awesome, it costs on the iPad, but is free on the iPhone, and somehow I tricked my iPad into transferring it free as it confused the versions. Free iPad VNC viewer is never a bad thing. I can control my main Mac from anywhere in the house, essentially turning the iPad into a mini version of my main base.
There are so many benefits I could talk about, but for me the main functions are: writing, reading, drawing, playing, storing, organising (e.g sync calendars with iPhone and Mac), and experiencing the web, videos and books in a whole new way. The iPad is not for everybody, but for someone like me who really makes use of every function, it’s worth having.
Social networking devices, such as Twitter and Facebook, are a daily part of people’s routines, which makes me wonder: how does it affect your honesty? Integrating your Facebook, blog, Twitter account, with all of your other social networking profiles (which we are all encouraged to do), means that we are more easily traceable across the Internet.
So, if someone turns down an invite to that “really cool block party” tonight because they’re “poorly in bed”, then later tweets about what a good time they are having somewhere else, the person who invited them to that block party immediately knows it was a lie. If you tell your boss you’re sick, forget you have them on your friends list, then you update your Facebook status about what a great time you’re having at Thorpe Park, you are immediately busted. Because of this, the ease of obtaining information, anyone with common sense knows either to hide their lies, or elaborate on the truth.
Even I have been caught out before, and I like to think I’m a bit savvier than that. I was never stupid enough to bad-mouth my previous boss anywhere on the Internet, or anything on parr with that. Mine was simple, I wasn’t answering someone’s calls or texts, but was active online, this lead them to realise I wasn’t too busy, or asleep, it meant I just didn’t want to contact them. But technically I never lied to them, I just ignored. Is that really so bad? Just because I want to reply to a few things online, doesn’t mean I want to answer a phone call right now.
I think it’s perfectly acceptable to tell someone truthfully that I’ve been too busy to do a certain thing, but also don’t care if they Internet stalk me and find out I’m not too busy to send a quick tweet or reply to a comment on Facebook. I mean, who do people think they are, the cyber police? I try to always be honest, so if I belatedly reply to an email, I don’t excuse it with “I’ve been too busy” (unless that’s the truth), usually it’s just a case of wanting to be in the right mind-state or focus to reply adequately rather than rushing it before my daily film/TV fix. I could try hard to please everybody, reply with super-quick insincere paragraphs, but that would be false.
I realise this post makes me sound arrogant, in reality I don’t receive tonnes of phone calls, or have “fans” monitoring my online activity to see if I haven’t replied in 0.02 seconds, but I think we all know a couple of people who get touchy about your online whereabouts, and how it relates to their own ego. My point is that, despite the Internet creating the need to sometimes lie and say we’re just too busy, rather than “I don’t want to talk to you right now”, it also forces us to avoid blatant lies that would get us in trouble.
I just think we shouldn’t have to lie, it should be acceptable to be in the mood to tweet or update, but be too busy/not in the mood to reply to a certain email, answer a phone call, or update something else at that same time.
That leaves me with a couple of questions: 1) Has anyone ever queried you about your online activity versus the real world? 2) Have you ever been caught out in an online lie? 3) When you make excuses to people, are they genuine? 4) To what extent are you honest online?
China have been slated internationally for their harsh censorship of the Internet; blocking sites for hours at a time, and some completely, when it suits their political or “ethical” agendas. Google has been at the epicenter of these disputes, with the US company defending against China’s over zealous censorship. But this time the US are responsible. The Senate proposes a law which forces Internet service providers to block certain websites. “Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA)”
Due to the vague nature of the law, pertaining copyrighted material, and insinuating that the list can be added to at authorities’ discretion, even sites such as Youtube could be targeted. This stinks of bad karma, seeing as Youtube recently won a court case against Viacom. This means that Youtube can operate, under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), providing they remove any copyrighted material they are informed of, and regulate accordingly. Fair is fair.
Copyright isn’t the real issue here though, I am not arguing the ethics of crediting owners, or intellectual property theft. My point is that blocking whole sites, just because a few people misuse them, is complete censorship, Internet Tyranny, as oppose to appropriate regulation.
Are we all going to be subject to Green Dam censorship software? Is Big Brother watching our every move? Is censorship going too far, and will it spread like an epidemic?
All these questions are things we will eventually need to consider, literally or not. I remain cynical about the motives of complete censorship, and doubt that ethics are the main factor, rather political reasons. I agree more with justifiable regulation that does not breach our personal freedoms. Read more and help out using the link below.
Sign the online petition please, it only takes a few seconds: http://demandprogress.org/blacklist/coica
After watching The Tournament(2009) I am left mostly unaffected. But the film wasn’t trying to be emotionally powerful, so I suppose this near impartiality is acceptable.
It’s what you expect an average gun-slinging assassin movie to be; without any of the awesomeness the Kill Bill movies had, but with a prompt pacing, vendettas, and a slight twist. Despite being predictable, and not exceeding any expectations, it was nicely cast, acceptably made, and there were no drastic errors.
DON’T watch if you’re looking for something stylistically new, emotionally/intellectually engaging, or rivetting enough to hold you on the edge of your seat.
DO watch if you appreciate guns, lots of them, and explosions. Also if you’re familiar with The Vampire Diaries, you would be pleased to know that Ian Somerhalder plays an assassin called Miles Slade. I do genuinely think he’s a really good actor, and of course Kelly Hu and Robert Carlyle are great.
Cabin Fever 2 was just what I expected; boring, amateur, and dragged on too long. That having been said, the animation/cartoon snippets in the title sequence and at the end were very good. I also liked the gore, and enjoy seeing bratty High School teens die (who doesn’t?).
The best part by far was Mark Borchardt as Herman the cab driver. At first I thought I was going mad imagining that it was him, but no it’s definitely Borchardt from American Movie (you have to see it if you haven’t already, truly one of the most hilarious films).
In Cabin Fever 2 he just basically plays himself, he is such a character in reality. “Dude” being the most heavily used word in his vocabulary. He belongs in way more movies, don’t you think?
My old school friend Rebecca (more commonly referred to as Bexy) finally got herself a blog. I say this not just as her friend; her writing is really easy to absorb, uplifting, and above all genuine. She’s really one of the most decent people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. So it’s cool to know that even though we live far away, and hardly see each other anymore, I can stay connected to her on here. I’m really excited to see her next post, her first is so rich and full of free thought.
So, to my very few readers, and even fewer commenters, go and check her out! You won’t regret it.
Well, so are the rest of us. Everyone seems to be ill at the moment. My cure this weekend has been lots of alcohol, going to Camden with my boyfriend, and sleazy rock’n’roll. I’m exhausted, moderately down, and dreading my upcoming clinical aptitude exam. This week is going to be one tough week of study study study. But nothing I can do will take away the feeling of uselessness and nerves wracked up like badly mixed drugs in my veins. I’ll most likely delete this post before the day is done.
I deliberately resisted reading the whole book before watching; I read enough chapters to love the book, but avoid clouding my judgement of the film. I was hoping for another Swedish gem, something I could enjoy as much as I loved Let The Right One In (not the remake).
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (“Män som hatar kvinnor“), was directed by Niels Arden Oplev and based on Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy. I loved the story telling within the film, the tale itself is irresistible, as is the heroine Lisbeth Salander (played by Noomi Rapace). But again that is mainly credit to the book, not necessarily the filmmakers.
I admit the film was atmospheric, held my attention, and the story seduced me. But some chunks of the tale felt like they were included only to appease the book’s fans. For example, we probably didn’t need such routine intervals of Lisbeth’s past. Her past is vital of course, it grants context, but so much of it added nothing to the plot, and felt like it was there just to break the pacing between sub-plot and main-plot.
We could have instead been teased with briefer hints and flashes to her past. But I suppose they wanted to find a balance between her tortured past and tortured present. It felt too prescribed, too calculative, trying too hard to force us to see everything of what she is, rather than letting us interpret. I suppose I found it mildly patronising.
I was not offended by the more graphic scenes, which I won’t reveal as I don’t like spoilers. I actually liked the fact that she was portrayed as a strong, independent female. Her dynamic with the journalist Mikael Blomkvist (played by Michael Nyqvist) was effective, and there wasn’t anything startling wrong with the film. It just wasn’t everything I had hoped for.
I should refer back to the film I mentioned before. Hoyte Van Hoytema was responsible for the cinematography in Let the Right One In, his style is subtle but irresistible. Whereas The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, despite not being poorly filmed, certainly had no distinctive style or anything visually new to offer.
I think The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is living proof that the books are always better than the film. But I am glad they made it into a film, because it means more people are encouraged to read the books, which I have found to be excellent. I would recommend watching this film, but don’t do so if you’re expecting something groundbreaking or revolutionary.
The worst (best) part was Dr Heiter, played by Dieter Laser. He was truly creepy looking, and his acting made you feel like perhaps he was this scary in reality too. The film was about his being a surgeon; he used to separate conjoined twins, but then becomes fixated with joining living things.
Naturally, this leads to his ideal of a human centipede, connected by sewing their mouths to each others butts, so that they share one digestive track. Implausible in the long-term, and hilarious, so I was glad when one of the three victims died from infection. That was the most medically accurate part.
The film was not scary, but hilarious. I just couldn’t stop laughing at what idiots the characters are. One of the two female leads had the chance to escape, but hides instead of smashing the window to escape straight away. And the Japanese guy, played by Akihiro Kitamura, who is also a captive, actually stabs Dr Heiter with a scalpel, but only in the foot and leg. He goes crazy and bites him, but instead of using his chance to kill the crazy Doctor, or knock him unconscious at least, he chooses to just attempt to run away (difficult with two girls surgically attached).
I had no real sympathy for the characters because their survival instincts were poor, I like it when characters truly try their best and are beaten down, but these three were mainly moronic and therefore deserved it. The very few chances they had to escape they wasted completely.
As ridiculous as this film was, it’s worth watching because it’s one of the funniest films I’ve seen in a long time, and wasn’t too badly shot.
About to watch it, then will fill in a review here.
“I’d punch Paris Hilton in the face, she’s so far up her own arse, and her voice is the most annoying I’ve ever heard.” – Gill, at lunch today.
Many people share Gill’s view, because Hilton is famous for being famous, which equals infamous. This means we have to hear about her new love interests; her most recent being Cy Waits. And we have to see her smug smile all over the magazines as she laughs off the recent Las Vegas cocaine bust. And don’t even mention her attempts in the film industry.
Just by writing this blog I am hypocritically perpetuating her infamy. And these little facts I’ve included are things I know but simply never wanted to know. Because I absorb media, and she’s all over it, I am forced to hear about her.
I really don’t care about whether she’s a nice or deep person inwardly; her vapid media presence is what bugs me. I can’t hate someone whom I do not know, but I can see why Gill and many others can.
So, on this Terrible Thursday, my evil thought is about the funniest ways in which Paris Hilton could die. Note: I do not wish anyone’s death, I’m just thinking about the funniest titles that could crop up in the media announcements of her death.
Example: ‘Paris Hilton mauled to death by pet piglet’
So, if you dare, what do you think is the best way she could die, or funniest news headline?