Studies in Media

A commentary of sorts

thedailywhat:

Weekend Read of the Day: Esquire columnist Stephen Marche investigates how Facebook and social media have made us more densely networked — and more lonely — than ever.

Within this world of instant and absolute communication, unbounded by limits of time or space, we suffer from unprecedented alienation. We have never been more detached from one another, or lonelier. In a world consumed by ever more novel modes of socializing, we have less and less actual society. We live in an accelerating contradiction: the more connected we become, the lonelier we are. We were promised a global village; instead we inhabit the drab cul-de-sacs and endless freeways of a vast suburb of information.

[atlantic]

thedailywhat:

Weekend Read of the Day: Esquire columnist Stephen Marche investigates how Facebook and social media have made us more densely networked — and more lonely — than ever.

Within this world of instant and absolute communication, unbounded by limits of time or space, we suffer from unprecedented alienation. We have never been more detached from one another, or lonelier. In a world consumed by ever more novel modes of socializing, we have less and less actual society. We live in an accelerating contradiction: the more connected we become, the lonelier we are. We were promised a global village; instead we inhabit the drab cul-de-sacs and endless freeways of a vast suburb of information.

[atlantic]

(Source: thedailywhat)

thedailywhat:

Abortion Joke of the Day:Sarah Silverman has joined the fight against the GOP’s ongoing “War on Women,”posting (obviously fake) before-and-after abortion pics on Twitter. Inappropriate? Nah. Point made, and made well.
[crushable] 

I hugely admire Sarah Silverman’s use of satire. Especially here, she really drives her point home.

thedailywhat:

Abortion Joke of the Day:Sarah Silverman has joined the fight against the GOP’s ongoing “War on Women,”posting (obviously fake) before-and-after abortion pics on Twitter. Inappropriate? Nah. Point made, and made well.

[crushable]
 

I hugely admire Sarah Silverman’s use of satire. Especially here, she really drives her point home.

(Source: thedailywhat)

thinklikeharry:
thedailywhat:

Infographic of the Day: Of course the MPAA doesn’t want people to see Bully. If people stopped turning a blind eye to bullying the MPAA could no longer exist.
[thanks jill!]

thedailywhat:

Infographic of the Day: Of course the MPAA doesn’t want people to see Bully. If people stopped turning a blind eye to bullying the MPAA could no longer exist.

[thanks jill!]

(Source: thedailywhat)

thedailywhat:

The Office IRL of the Day: Three Japanese tourists taking in the sights near Brisbane decided to do a day trip down to North Stradbroke Island using their GPS as a navigational guide.
Unfortunately, their GPS “forgot” to tell them about the 15km of mud, water, and muddy water separate Straddie from the mainland. The three promptly got stuck near Oyster Point, and the rental car was soon surrounded on all sides by Moreton Bay.
“[I]t told us we could drive down there,” said 21-year-old Yuzu Noda. “It kept saying it would navigate us to a road. We got stuck … there’s lots of mud.”
And so it begins.
[gizmodo.]

The level of reliance our culture has on technology is frightening. This story showcases the terrors one can face in the pitfalls of mechanical malfunction.I’m not going to stop using my GPS, but I think I’ll take its instructions with a grain of salt.

thedailywhat:

The Office IRL of the Day: Three Japanese tourists taking in the sights near Brisbane decided to do a day trip down to North Stradbroke Island using their GPS as a navigational guide.

Unfortunately, their GPS “forgot” to tell them about the 15km of mud, water, and muddy water separate Straddie from the mainland. The three promptly got stuck near Oyster Point, and the rental car was soon surrounded on all sides by Moreton Bay.

“[I]t told us we could drive down there,” said 21-year-old Yuzu Noda. “It kept saying it would navigate us to a road. We got stuck … there’s lots of mud.”

And so it begins.

[gizmodo.]

The level of reliance our culture has on technology is frightening. This story showcases the terrors one can face in the pitfalls of mechanical malfunction.
I’m not going to stop using my GPS, but I think I’ll take its instructions with a grain of salt.

(Source: thedailywhat)

Previously, the statement “that would be a great band name” or something similar was a response to a catchy phrase or group of words. This humorous comic highlights the rise of creative internet urls and the shift of focus from music to web in our culture.

John Green's tumblr: Why Libraries Are Different From Piracy

fishingboatproceeds:

Why Libraries Are Different From Piracy

Yesterday on twitter, I expressed annoyance with the hundreds of people who send me emails or tumblr messages or whatever to let me know that they illegally downloaded one of my books, as if they expect me to reply with my hearty congratulations that they are technologically sophisticated enough to use google or whatever. (I dislike it when people pirate my books. I know that not all authors feel this way, but I do. As I’ve discussed before, I think copyright law is disastrously stupid in the US, but I don’t think piracy is an appropriate response to that stupidity.*)

I then pointed out that my books are already available for free at thousands of public libraries not just in the US, but also in Europe, South America, Australia, Canada, Mexico, South Africa, the UK, etc., to which many people replied, What’s the difference between pirating a book and checking it out from the library?

1. Libraries are broadly collecting institutions curated by experts. The curation facet of a library is hugely important: We train these librarians to organize information based not solely on what is popular (which is what piracy does), but also on what is good. The truth is you can’t get “anything” via piracy; there are hundreds of thousands of books you can’t get, because they aren’t yet popular. American public and school libraries play a huge role in preserving the breadth of American literature by collecting and sharing books that are excellent but may not be written by YouTubers with large bulit-in audiences.

Libraries improve the quality of discourse in their communities in ways that piracy simply does not. And if it weren’t for the broad but carefully curated collection practices of libraries, the world of American literature would look a lot like the world of American film: Instead of hundreds of books being published every week, there would be four or five.

2. Libraries buy books. Lots of them. And there are tens of thousands of libraries around the country. That is good for me and good for my book. (Like, the average library copy of The Fault in Our Stars might get checked out 100 times, or even a thousand, butsingle files of Looking for Alaska have been illegally downloaded more than 50,000 times.)

3. For the more than 100 million Americans without Internet access at home, libraries are the only free places to use the web to search for jobs or connect with family or buy t-shirts at dftba.com. I am very happy if my books can help add value to institutions that facilitate such important services. I do not feel the same way about BitTorrent.

4. And this is the most important: I believe that creators of books should have control over how their work is distributed. If, for instance, a musician doesn’t want her songs played during Rick Santorum rallies, then Rick Santorum should not be allowed to use them. I don’t want my books to be available for free download (unless you borrow an e-copy from a library, that is). I just don’t. It’s not because I’m a greedy bastard or want to keep my books from people who might otherwise read them. It’s because I believe books are valuable. Right now, on Amazon,my brand new hardcover bookcosts about $10, which represents 1.2 hours of work at the federal minimum wage. I believe books are worth 1.2 hours of work. 

One last thing: A lot of people compare the world of books with the world of music. I think this comparison is unfair. For one thing, CDs were overpriced before Napster. I really don’t believe that books—at least my books—are currently overpriced**. More importantly, most musicians have a secondary source of income: They can charge for live performances. Writers—or at least the vast majority of writers—can’t do this. The book is The Thing. The book is all we have to offer.

And in my opinion, libraries preserve the integrity and the value of the book in ways that piracy simply does not.

Based on how many of you have already seen Season 2 of Sherlock, I realize that most of you disagree with me. And I’m happy to acknowledge that I might be wrong. I welcome your thoughts and responses on these complicated questions.

* The whole argument that piracy is some kind of civil disobedience in response to unfair copyright laws is ridiculous and indicates to me that not enough people are readingCivil Disobedience, or even thewikipedia articleabout it.

** As pointed out by no less an authority than John Darnielle, CDs weren’t overpriced by many independent record labels. Also, I should add that many books—particularly literary fiction hardcovers published for adults—are overpriced, sometimes dramatically. I think this is a bad and discouraging trend, which is one of the (many) reasons why I like publishing my books the way I do: It’s still possible for a hardcover to cost less than $20, and if you adjust for inflation, it always should be. 

An excellent argument by John Green (mentioned in a previous post) for the advocacy of libraries in lieu of piracy.

The Twitter users who drove the furor over Komen and Planned Parenthood

By David Rothschild | The SignalSat, Feb 4, 2012


Last Tuesday, the Susan G. Komen Foundation announced it would no longer fund clinical breast exams and mammograms through Planned Parenthood. The $680,000 per year that was going to Planned Parenthood helped provide exams for 170,000 mainly low-income and minority women. The organization claimed that they were tightening their rules for grant recipients and denying grants to any organization under investigation. (A pro-life Congressman from Florida is leading a Congressional inquiry into whether Planned Parenthood uses public money to fund abortions—an initiative many see as politically motivated.)

On Friday, February 3 the organization abruptly reversed its decision amid a firestorm of criticism on Twitter, Facebook, and many blogs.There is little doubt that social and media pressure forced Komen to reverse its plan. The Figure shows the representative Twitter hashtags associated with Komen during the controversy, from January 31-February 3.

Representative Twitter Hashtags for Komen During Planned Parenthood Controversy

Sorting through over 100,000 tweets that were sent in regard to Komen during the controversy, we see that they are dominated by critics of the move. Just three of the top 28 hashtags support Komen’s move (1 is ambiguous).

In order to examine what drove this message, we took a look at a new tool called “influencers” created by the Yahoo! Labs Content Science team, which we are going to use extensively on The Signal. Influencers are the Twitter users who help spread a message. They tweet a lot on a particular topic, are retweeted, and have a big following.

The influencers in this controversy are a combination of official organization Twitter accounts, journalists, and some unaffiliated tweeters. There was both a top element to the distribution of this message, but also a broad-based push, especially in last two days. Pro-life groups never got much traction, with just one influencer on the list:

Influencers During ControversyFeb 01, 2012:Feb 02, 2012:PPactPlanned ParenthoodUS_JUSTActivist groupIPPF_WHRPlanned ParenthoodJessGroseSlate journalistrtraisterNew York Times journalistDcdebbieUnaffiliatedNPRHealthNPR HealthshannynmooreUnaffiliatedHuffingtonPostHuffington PostezrakleinWashington Post journalistDavid_Feldman_ComedianSlateSlatenancyfranklinNew Yorker journalistedstetzerPresident of LifewaymarikatogoMoveon.orgtaradublinrocksUnaffiliatedJessicaPhD08Washington Post journalistFeb 03, 2012:dailykosDaily KosHuffingtonPostHuffington PostPpactPlanned ParenthoodBreakingNewsBreakingNews.comProducerMatthewReuters journalistiowahawkblogUnaffiliatedsomeecardsSome E Card (had card mocking Komen)jayrosen_nyuUnaffiliatedjulieklausnerUnaffiliated

We can see that the pro-choice groups mobilized well, and we can see that their comments were clustered around pro-choice slogans. Here are representative retweeted tweets relating to the controversy by day:

January 31: RT @ppact: ALERT: Susan G. Komen caves under anti-choice pressure, ends funding for breast cancer screenings @ PP http://t.co/T17wWxHM

February 1: RT @MishaRN: Donate to Planned Parenthood & request a thank you card be sent to: Karen Handel  c/o Susan G. Komen Foundation

February 2: RT @AdamSerwer: Will Komen cancel its $7.5 million grant to Penn State, which like PP is under federal investigation? http://t.co/Y96Yw3RX

February 3: RT @WayneSlater: Stunning reversal. Nancy Brinker/Komen for Cure backs down. Will continue to fund Planned Parenthood. http://t.co/zji3TCuU

Like most online campaigns, this one was a combination of established, influential voices and a more genuinely viral group of commentators. Expect to see a lot more from our influencers tool in the future.

David Rothschild is an economist at Yahoo! Research. He has a Ph.D. in applied economics from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. His dissertation is in creating aggregated forecasts from individual-level information. Follow him on Twitter @DavMicRot and email him at thesignal@yahoo-inc.com. The content science team at Yahoo! Labs contributed the data for this analysis.

Correction, 6:02 p.m. ET: This article has been updated to reflect that the Yahoo content science team, and not any particular individuals, developed the tools used to collect the “influencers” data. The error was made during editing.


article on original site

To whom it may concern:

I have ten blog and reblog posts saved to my drafts folder at the moment. I suppose I am under the mindset that in order to post to this tumblog, the post has to be perfected.
This belief is severely hindering my progress thus far, so I should probably rethink the way I am going about posting. Over the next couple of weeks, I will strive to catch up by reblogging something everyday and writing an original post once a week.
Sorry I’ve been such an absent blogger,

Emily 

thedailywhat:

On Kony 2012: The Visible Victims Speak: Considering that Kony 2012 — the most viral video in Internet history — exploits the suffering of northern Ugandans to raise money, Victor Ochen, a victim of the Lord’s Resistance Army and a founder of the nonprofit African Youth Initiative Network (AYINET), thought it only right that they should get to see it too.

Ochen traveled to the city of Lira, where he and his NGO set up a makeshift outdoor theater so locals could watch Invisible Children’s much-discussed fundraising campaign, and decide for themselves if it helps or hurts.

According to a statement released by AYINET, over 35,000 people attended the screening, many of whom rode in on bikes from neighboring villages. Additionally, some two million northern Uganda residents tuned in to a live broadcast of the audio aired simultaneously on five FM radio stations.

Al Jazeera reporter Malcolm Webb, who was on hand to gauge people’s reactions, filed the following account:

People I spoke to anticipated seeing a video that showed the world the terrible atrocities that they had suffered during the conflict, and the ongoing struggles they still face trying to rebuild their lives after two lost decades.

The audience was at first puzzled to see the narrative lead by an American man – Jason Russell – and his young son.

Towards the end of the film, the mood turned more to anger at what many people saw as a foreign, inaccurate account that belittled and commercialised their suffering, as the film promotes Kony bracelets and other fundraising merchandise, with the aim of making Kony infamous.

A woman Webb spoke with afterwards compared IC’s approach of selling products with Kony’s image to “selling Osama Bin Laden paraphernalia post 9/11,” which she felt would be offensive to many Americans, irrespective of how “well-intentioned” the fundraising campaign was.

Last night’s screening was AYINET’s first and last. It announced this morning that it had suspended further screenings of Kony 2012 in light of the outrage it caused.   Wrote Ochen: “It was very hurtful for victims and their families to see posters, bracelets and t-shirts, all looking like a slick marketing campaign, promoting the person most responsible for their shattered lives.”

“Why give such criminals celebrity status?” asked people in attendance, according to AYINET. “Why not make the plight of the victims and the war-ravaged communities, people whose sufferings are real and visible, the focus of a campaign to help?”

[aljazeera / ayinet.]

(Source: thedailywhat)