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The Internet Promised Us an Ocean of Ideas and Then Put Us In a Fish Bowl

Google continues to espouse rhetoric about the internet going somewhere, but there are only ten choices on the first page of a search and they are defined by Google, so as the myopic becomes the norm the promise of a great democratic forum of wonderful ideas and learning, becomes a sales showroom of the reconstructed consumerist culture. We are told there is an ocean of ideas, but we get put into a fish bowl.Read more

Digtial Citizenship: More than Ethical Behavior

If Digital Citizenship is understood to be a moral education of how to behave on the Internet, - a manners guide to social media as it were, --then educators and government are doing a terrible disservice to the children.

The idea of Digital Citizenship as a route to better conduct on the web would seem to be reasonable enough. We all want to protect children from the abuses of this new technological environment. It is clear that children and adults do write and post hurtful things on the Web without understanding the repercussions of their actions. It is always reasonable to show an expectation of moral behavior and in that schools openly promote using technology, it would seem to make sense that schools teach digital citizenship. Yet as sensational as the reports of misuse and abuse by individuals to individuals are, -and they are often most repugnant - it is wrongful to suggest that the student will be safe guarded on the Internet, or even mildly prepared to...Read more

How Tracked is My Life?

How much do we really care about our privacy being invaded?
The following are two quotes from "A Field Study of Run-Time Location Access Disclosures on Android Smartphones." You can find many articles and research that lead to the same conclusions. The results would seem to suggest that our moral indignation does not spawn action. I would think the quotes would be similar for iPhone users.

Participant P2 in the Disclosure group shared,
“Yeah, because there are other features of the app I would want to
use, right, unless there is no use for the app I would like to
keep it even if it uses location sources.”
Participant P4 said
“So when people become so dependent on technology doing things
for them automatically they give up some of their freedom
because now you have companies who can do that and use
that technology. "

And so it seems we don't mind being tracked, at least not enough to find a different app. What...Read more

Dreambreaker: to be or not to be digital?

I loved writing this movie! It was a long time ago, but, it is alive in memory.
The ideas were rich, reasonable and very futuristic at the time.

Okay the production was really cheezy, but it was a first time director and a quick production. It was produced by PNA. And they are a great group of people to work with. By hook or by crook they make movies and television and they love doing it.

The screenplay is actually kind of like a Hamlet wherein the hero deals with digital-ghost who are in The Machine. Their future world is a world where everyone is always, ON, physically hooked up to their computers, addicted to gaming and acting out fantasy lives in the virtual world. (can you imagine?) A dangerous change in technology demands society to decide between living in a physically constructed reality and working to repair the world in...Read more

Boy Meets Girl: Sean Astin

When Doug Bagot and I wrote Boy Meets Girl we really didn't have anyone in mind for the part of Mike. The casting went a number of ways and then it turned out to be Sean Astin. Sean is a very professional Actor. We discussed his views about the script. His insights into the character were spot on. He is blood-Hollywood. His mother is Patty Duke and his father John Astin. John Astin is not only known as the patriarch of the Adams' Family, but he starred in one of my favorite movies, Evil Roy Slade. http://youtu.be/sM7GSi7ZuIc I mention Evil Roy because it pre-dated and is vastly superior to, Blazing Saddles, but it did absolutely terribly at the box office. Contrary to our culture's belief in rating systems it seems the quality of a work is neither...Read more

Is Music in the Math or the Hand that Presses the Button?

I suspect that music creation will go in the same direction that photography has gone. The struggle to learn the many skills which allow a musician to manifest nuanced notes and pitch changes, rhythms and tempo changes will go the way of the need for photographers to understand f-stops and ASA numbers and darkroom techniques. These elite skills that took years of discipline to attain will be remembered nostalgically by a few and remain unknown to the many. Another level of human capability will be diminished by The Machine to simply pointing and clicking. The cover of Life and Time will simply be a snapshot or a photograph so digitally altered that the skill of the photographer will seem near irrelevant, while the new overture will be a finger swipe in Osctouch or an algorithm in Midi.

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Creating music with digital technology has changed drastically in the years I've been working with...Read more

Pretending that I Can Get to the First Page of Google

93 percent of people will not search past the first page of a Google search and will either choose a link that is on that page, or re-word their search rather than looking at the second page. This is according to a SEO enhancing company who may have a vested interest in defining that number. Are you one of these single page clickers? I polled my students about this and they seemed to suggest that only 80 percent of them were a single-page-viewer-user. Then I watched them do a few searches and in that little interaction realized probably over 93 percent actually are single-page clickers, despite their protests to the contrary. But how self aware is anyone when taking note of their online activities? Actions are often just results of operand conditioning after all.
I find it kind of interesting that the SEO company tells me this information in an attempt to get me to hire them to up my page ranking. I mean

the question of...Read more

Why Not Cut and Paste the Whole Thing?

Googly-eyed and staring into the vast candy store of digitized imagery -all free for the taking- who will bother to venture into the complex, time-consuming and often messy realm of authentic creation?

Copyright law has changed in Canada to allow students and schools pretty much open use of all materials on the Internet. Previous to the change in the law many teachers allowed students to take the work of others and use it in (as) their own work regardless of copyright law, justifying their decisions in a number of ways. Does this new legality circumvent the ethical obligations related to such action? Is the student winning by this new privilege or does this action diminish their relationship with time, space and their own physicality? How does this change alter the classroom pedagogy?

Directing students to freely use the work of others as their own work is a...Read more

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