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Writing and Technology

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(no subject) [Dec. 1st, 2006|05:11 pm]
Writing and Technology
kennychuu
I've been doing some research for my film history class and have recently been looking into the issue of censorship. It began with the Hay's Office in the early decades of the 1900s but when it first started, it was only made to appease the public. They didn't really do a whole lot until the arrival of gangster films. Warner bros made three very well known movies: Little Caesar, The Public Enemy, and Scarface: The Shame of a Nation. These films brought a lot of controversy because of their vulgar nature the fact that they 'glamourized' gangster life, and their overall dark nature. This was the early 1930s, so it was the backend of the prohibition, the Great Depression, and the nation also saw the rise of organized crime (Al Capone) and the underground life (speakeasies, bootlegging, etc).

So this relates to this class because it was the advent of sound that brought the gangster movie to life. The popularity was due partly to the sounds of tommy guns, screaming victims, screeching tires, etc. So, in a way, technology played a part in causing this controversy. Another point involves the events after the strong opposition of censors. The films were initially criticized for being a negative influence (i.e. the gangster couldn't be the 'hero') so film companies made movies, which were still fairly violent, where the 'hero' was an authority figure - like an FBI agent. Eventually, those were banned as well. It seemed like film companies kept trying to get around censors and only made films to do so, instead of making films that had some kind of purpose. It reminded me of 'controlling technology'. The advent of sound brought popular gangster movies, which cause censorships to tighten (it was actually a Catholic organization that was the main advocate for censoring gangster movies), which controlled how films were made. Previously, there was more freedom for film makers to create whatever they wanted, but after gangster film ordeal, they had to either find ways around it or go bankrupt.
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Electronic Search Engines [Nov. 30th, 2006|02:36 pm]
Writing and Technology
kebd49
While I was attempting to do research for my research paper, I realized the importance of search engines. Search engines are great tools to utilize when someone is trying to search for a topic. Sure, it would be possible for someone to go to the library and search for journals and articles manually. You would just have to use the library catalog system they taught us in grade school. One has to question, how practical is using that system for a busy full-time college student with other time constraints?
Thus far, I have utilized the library, but electronically only. Even the reference librarian guided me using electronic databases. Electronic databases can guide you to specific information that you are trying to research in seconds versus trying to find a book in the library through the catalog system which could take hours. Not only can you search for a specific topic, the search engine database has several tools availible to utilize that can help better your search with just a click of the mouse. I don't know about you, but that's amazing to me! I guess my overall point is, in several ways technology has made life easier for us. We've had a lot of discussion in class about technology and its negative effects, but we must not forget that there are several positive effects as well. Keep that in mind when you are completing your research.
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Small Town Oregon [Nov. 29th, 2006|04:22 pm]
Writing and Technology
toni_rose
So while on my vacation in small town oregon I relized something, how sheletered these people really are. You see recectly the one place to shop, Wal-Mart has been converted into a Super Wal-Mart. As you can probably imagin this has caused quite and stir in this little town. The pharmacy at the new Wal-Mart has a drive threw and everyone is talking about it. Aparently this is new to them because we here have them all over. It is really kinda funny if you think about the fact that right here in America people are just now getting the convience of a drive threw pharmacy! It really blows my mind. I was actually driving though the town at about 9 pm and it was all completly shut down. At 9pm!!!! It was so nice in a way becuase no one there really cares about staying open late to make more profit! My grandmother and some of her bridge friends are actually protesting the Starbucks that recently moved into town because they want to support the local coffee shops, thats great just like South Park! Life there moves at such a slower pace and it is so nice I love the fact that I can always go home to relax! Maybe we shouldn't be so up on technology and the fast pace of life!
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The Electric Password [Nov. 28th, 2006|10:41 pm]
Writing and Technology
funart01
The Electronic Password
Today my topic is the electronic password. Every time I start up a new web site I decide that I should use something that I can remember but after I am done I forget what I used. This happened through out this week I kept trying to think of what I used and tried to get in. Today I finally got an email that gave me a new password. I can’t believe how many letters and numbers it takes to go through. I have been trying everything I could think of to get this blog done. Every time I set up one I think ok, I will write this one down and I will be able to find it real easy. It didn’t work I still lost the password. I also had to open a website for my teaching classes that I lost the password for also. Had to have them send me a email also in order to complete assignments. I know that they need these passwords in order to keep the security for these web sites but I can’t understand why I keep losing them. Security has become an issue for everything anymore. Is this what this world is coming to? I remember many years ago when here in Kansas City we were able to leave our doors unlocked and not worry about some one coming in and robbing us. Now days you have to make sure that the door is locked and the security system is on. Security is a big issue even in the Government offices it has gotten worse and even tighter. Everyone locks their doors when people get close to their cars and the women grasp their purses real tight to make sure no one takes it. Society is so messed up that it has actually come to this.
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(no subject) [Nov. 20th, 2006|07:07 pm]
Writing and Technology
kennychuu
I read an article recently involving John Keynes and the Great Depression. He was an economist that developed a new theory on how the economy worked. Previous to him, the prevailing theory was that markets have a built-in mechanism to bring the economy to equilibrium - which, very crudely, means that there is no unemployment and consumption equals output. Basically he developed a theory where equilibrium could exist even during unemployment. This was evident in the Depression, because ideally, the lack of employment should have driven interest rates very low, and sparked investment. But it wasn't so because there were still many homeless on the streets. So the government developed The New Deal, which basically increased government spending to try to bring the economy out of the depression. It actually would have worked well, if people trusted the government. The reason it met limited success was because the government didn't have the resources to spend enough and more importantly, the people didn't accept government involvement in the 'free market' - it was seen as Socialistic. When I read this, it made me think about how much changes in culture and how much the accumulation of knowledge and culture can effect society. There's a lot of literature that got lost in the past, whether it's because there wasn't the technology at the time to preserve it or because it got destroyed/burned, or decayed. So indirectly, technology does contribute a lot of influence, or maybe it even controlled what type of literature or 'culture' or knowledge was preserved throughout history so that it could influence us today.
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(no subject) [Nov. 18th, 2006|11:14 pm]
Writing and Technology
mobrien4411
I'm pretty much just going to ramble today, because I don't really feel like posting anything intelligent. It's Thanksgiving break, what do you expect?

I want an iPod.

I started a new job a few weeks ago, and I have my own cubicle, and I don't really interact with other people in the job so it's a little boring to just type all day long. To make matters worse, the lady in the cube next to me listens to talk radio ALL day.

The first MP3 player I bought was 256 MB a few years ago. Then I started working off-hours at my job as a stocker, so I realized I need a 512, which carries around 120 songs or so. But now, by the third day at work, I have to load on an entirely new playlist. Problem?

Not really, but technology spoils us with things like this. Why do I feel the need to now buy a 60 GB iPod, which is eleven times more than what I have right now. And what I have right now is relatively fine... but because we feel like we have to have these things, they become necessity (in our minds, at least...obviously they aren't). So this is an example of technology controlling us, I would say. But definitely an example of us being spoiled by the advances technology has to offer us.
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Travel during the holidays [Nov. 16th, 2006|03:48 pm]
Writing and Technology
kebd49
Yes Toni, I stole your topic. It just made me realize how much society actually depends on cars, airplanes, trains, busses, and other sources of technology to get them where they want to go. Not only do we depend upon these vehicles of transportation, we use computers and other forms of technology to organize this maddness! A common example which I'm sure almost everyone has utilized buying airline tickets online. How many people actually stop to think about how horrible it would be if there was a computer glitch and the airport could not find your confirmation number or any type of proof that you actually purchased it? Are you just out of luck? Maybe someone can reply to me about this. I don't know how it works because I am not a flyer. Flying is too much of a process for me. First you must purchase your tickets, then you have to get to the airport several hours early to check in your baggage. After all of this, there is a good possibility your flight could be delayed because of bad weather. I would much rather just jump in the car and drive where I have to go rather than to deal with all that processing.
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air travel [Nov. 13th, 2006|04:19 pm]
Writing and Technology
toni_rose
Like alot of people I know this time of year I will be taking a trip this weekend, for Thanksgiving. Unfourtunayly the only way to get me there in a quick time is to fly. I am flying to oregon which is a flight I have made too many times to count, although I still get nervous. Being in this class made me think about how much air travel could use to be improved. Lets start with the security. We all know it is tight now after 9/11 but the list of things you cannot carry on to the plane is just rediculious! There should be some sort of scanner at the airports that actually scans people to see if they are intending on doing harm, you know then the people who really just want to file there nails with their nail file can take them on board. One of the main reasons I am nervous about the flight is that last time i flew during thanksgiving I got stuck in Chicago. Not fun! If airports would actually have rooms in them you could rent out to sleep and take a shower it would making being stuck some where alot more tolerable. I know that my ideas for improving air travel seem a little crazy and far fetched but think of how much easier it would make things.
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(no subject) [Nov. 12th, 2006|07:55 pm]
Writing and Technology
kennychuu
On last article we're supposed to read in CT. It made me think about how much we rely on our computers today. Personally, I use it mostly for school and internet. When I'm really busy with school, I use it all the time because a lot of professors use email and blackboard for communication and to give us handouts. It's true that I would probably be ok without my computer, my life would just be a little less convenient because I'd have to plan trips to the computer lab. I remember what it was like in the 90s when companies came out with new lines of faster computers like every 6 months so that you would have to buy a new one in 2-3 years. I don't really feel like that's happening as much anymore but I understand the point, which is that everything is becoming digitalized today, making us dependent on tech. Most people will still make hardcopies or back-up important documents, but you can pretty much download anything today. (legally and illegally). I think that having everything available download makes things a little less meaningful. Music is the first example that comes to mind for me. Tony Brummel, the founder of Victory Records, said that Apple's itunes "makes music disposable. It makes it a faceless impulse item. It steals its soul." I don't know many people that still go out and buy/trade for new albums. I realize that it can get expensive (a used album is around $6-$7 and new ones can be from $10-$15. while online albums are $3-5 depending on what bit-rate/sound quality you buy them at) but it's nice to see what the artists put in them. Being able to read lyrics out of a specially designed booklet instead of the same boring font on cheaply designed webpage is completely different. I know because there was a time where I didn't buy any hard copies of any albums. So to relate this to a some of the readings we've had, it reminded me of the social rifts that are created by symbols that Zerzan talked about (music being translated into a small amount of data on the internet and represented by a small icon or a few lines of text). It also reminded me of the article on social engineering and how tech may bring solutions but it is accompanied by problems of its own. The internet brings music to more people (increases exposure) and mp3s make it easy to share music so more people can enjoy it, but that raised the question of piracy and hence Apple itunes was created. $.99 per song but it comes with a huge amount of security that makes it a little less convenient to use.
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Me as the human bio computer [Nov. 11th, 2006|09:20 pm]
Writing and Technology
funart01
[mood |artistic]

The Human Bio Computer

Yes, today my topic is the human bio computer. I think that even us as humans sometimes feel like computers or robots. I wake up every morning at three or four a.m. go to the kitchen and start the coffee and then I go out and smoke a cigarette. Then I come in and fix a cup of coffee. I wait until after I get a couple of drinks/slurps of coffee then I take out the dog. Then after he has done his business I fix him his food and give him water. I sit and do homework, drink my coffee and watch the programs that I taped on the Digital Video Recorder. I brush my teeth, take a shower and go to school. At school the professors stuff my brain with Education that sometimes feels like it is going to overload. I feel that everyday that I am at school I am trying to find space in my old brain to put all of this new information. During the time that I am at school there is two days a week that I am sitting in my car reading or studying for tests or the next day. When school is over I come home fix supper and go to sleep. It seems like I have been programmed to do these things. Sometimes I try to change the order of these things but it seems that after trying to change the order I go right back to the same old schedule. I wonder sometimes if anyone else goes through the same thing everyday that I do or something similar to an everyday schedule.

When we tell our children that they should go to school and get a good education so they can be what they want to be. Shouldn’t we tell them to go to a good college so they can program them to be what they want to be?
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