Boorstin reading was all about plants and animals - how they were understood
during previous times of the world, and eventually were grouped, identified by
species, and connected to all other plants and animals.
particularly interesting to me, this reading was one that opened the door to
discovering how it was that people became so passionate about a certain
subject, and the benefits that the world began to experience once information
was freely shared and collaboration rose. The Boorstin reading led me to delve
deeper into the lives of those it referenced. I mainly used Wikipedia to hop
down different rabbit holes while researching things such as Latin words,
communication methods between scholars of the day, and survival rates on
discovery voyages, to name some I specifically remember. A couple of my digital
dialogue posts and learning log entries are purely based on information from a
Wikipedia internet hole I fell down.
Information Systems, so I began to explore more deeply communication and
privacy as it relates to technology. I watched historically accurate films
pertaining to information security ("The Imitation Game") and
reading articles about data leaks ("The Panama Papers"). These
historical accounts were so interesting to me, not only because of their
subject matter, but because they represented people who were collaborating with
other smart people to improve the world in their area of expertise.
My evolving project
began with information security and encryption methods. I was very interested
in the outcome of the Apple vs. FBI social issue that many people were talking
about. That was the inspiration for my first post, "What's so Great About
Privacy?", where I explored the trade offs between privacy and
security. The next post was a video (Privacy is a Basic
Human Right: Video Claim) with the same basic argument - that privacy is a basic human
right, despite the dangers that can come with it.
This sparked an interesting conversation with
classmate Carli Stone where she wondered why I thought privacy was necessary
for human development. I decided to keep my original argument, but look more at
the intrinsic and developmental benefits of privacy.
The group that I was assigned to had some
varying subjects - Rachelle talked about biased information hurting our psyche,
and Jared talked about achieving utopia. While those subjects didn't seem to go
together seamlessly (and Jared dropped out), Rachelle and I were able to find
common ground when talking about open versus controlled resources.
For the group project, instead of explicitly
introducing all of our topics, we wanted to present a scenario and have us
relate the scenario back to our personal subjects. It also helps that both
Rachelle and I perform! We filmed two versions of a scenario involving the
control of a resource (music practice rooms). Here's version one (Information
Manipulation: Open or Controlled?) and then version two, based off
of feedback from the class (Open vs
Controlled: When Resources are Restricted). These videos also include
follow up videos of personal commentary that discuss the happenings of the
scenario within the frameworks of our personal projects.
Communication and History
Communication is crucial in all aspects of life. From the first
organisms using chemical signals to the most sophisticated and complicated
governments, communication is the only thing that can unite and help us
understand each other. The times in history where we see communication make a
leap - written language in Mesopotamia, Gutenberg's printing press, the
collaboration of ideas in the Enlightenment, the internet and today's age of
information - we also see huge advances in understanding, intellectual progress, and essentially every aspect of life.
It has been amazing to see how communication has evolved. We see how desperate
the world was for more information and greater collaboration. Now we're seeing
people trying to cut back on how much is communicated and shared, in favor of
heavier control and privacy. In each case, it always strikes me how much
communication translates into power. This power comes from knowing others, from
understanding cultures, from having valuable information, from being able to
influence. Whoever is the most effective at communication
seems to consistently have the most power in their circle.
Just like Rachelle and I discuss in our group project, we are on the verge of a
huge transformation in how we share and what we share. It seems that we are now
inundated with biased stories that are meant to instill fear or obsession or
manipulation. Many people see the issue with this, but too many don't. While I'm
sure apathy will be the biggest response as we move into the future, I have
hope that we will be able to look beyond personal economic gain, and our
generation's main movers and shakers will be focused on creating a better world
through collaboration and sharing. The heart of that is communication.