Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Article Review "Social Structure"- Van Dijk

Social Structure by Jan van Dijk, is an article written about how communication networks and information technology affect the social society today. Van Dijk is a professor of sociology and communication science at the University of Twente in the Netherlands. He has written three books( The Network Society, The Deepining Divide, and Digital Democracy) that are all related to the Network Society and the affects it has on social structures. This article is a chapter from Van Dijks book “The Network Society.” This book receives solid reviews online (about 3.5/5 stars), most reviewers claim it is a very educational reading that offers the reader an understanding of one of the most significant communication transformations in history. However, the negative reviewers generally think Jan Van Dijk is verysharp and narrow-minded at times The article discusses many depths, divides and access restraints to technology that affect our social standing. I believe his thesis for this chapter is that not only does infrastructure change because of network societies, but network societies are also changing based on social structures Van Dijk made many comments on how “space and time” are becoming more important in the network society. For a portion of the article, Van Dijk makes a claim that time and space barriers have been broken as a result of communication technologies. Based on prior knowledge and some statements later in this piece, I am not fully convinced on this point. Moreover, the stress on speed and time in regards to new communication technologies also rejects this claim by Van Dijk. Consumers want their information as fast as possible so the aspect of time is still one of the most important in communication networks. For space, I don’t believe space barriers have been broken because people want to have information from all over the world, and with the newest improvements in communication technologies this has been made possible. Later in the chapter, Van Dijk discusses the expansions in telecommunications and how it has affected our social society. He claimed that the expansions have caused for a lack of individuality. I don’t believe this is entirely true for a couple reasons. Although recent advancements in communication technologies make our society more intertwined in one big space, there is still capacity to allow users to do what they want in their own space. As telecommunications are growing on a daily basis, this opens up many doors for personalization of ones network experience. Van Dijk said that trying to do all information communication in one space creates a single set of wants and desires for users. However, I disagree because people all have much different desires and uses for the space. Although we are all using the same space, the different ways we use the space to complete our tasks makes it an individual experience.

Over the Weekend- Julia Zureikat


     The video that I chose to watch from the Prelinger Archives was entitled  “#Bfl O {ggGX = STwWcfl x 2s4 (Calvin Workshop).” This title made absolutely no sense to me and was the exact reason I chose to watch it. I was curious as to what this video could possible be about because it was listed under the “Communication: typewriters” category.
     The film is broken up into a series of short clips that reveal the steps in the filmmaking process. The video opens up with monkeys on typewriters. The narrator uses monkeys instead of people to emphasize that we are animals, and therefore susceptible to human error. This is also the reason that the title is gibberish; it was typed by a monkey.
     The animals are making a movie and are shown typing scripts, filming scenes, printing film, and finally, editing their color motion picture. Watching this showed me how difficult making a movie used to be because the old fashion filmmaking equipment contained no technological crutches. For example, the monkeys had to be very careful in typing the scripts because they were using a typewriter and could not simply "backspace" if a typo occurred. The clip is intended to be comical, as the actors are monkeys and the narrator uses a very sarcastic tone.
     This film is useful to students of our modern information infrastructure because it shows how tedious making a color motion picture used to be. Before highly developed cameras and editing tools, everything was manual and time-consuming. For example, the film equipment is very old fashion in the movie. When filming a scene, the monkeys had to swing along a string line attached to a reel to get the camera rolling. In addition, the film was literally printed into a mess of transparent strands, which made editing quite exhausting. This was portrayed by a monkey tangled up in film, trying to find the right clip.
     In our world today, we do not realize how advanced our movie equipment is. Cutting and editing scenes can all be done on a computer instead of having to print and choose clips by hand. What I find interesting is that this film was created in 1963, which is not that long ago at all. However, the leaps in technology are drastic and have improved significantly. It is important to realize how print culture, the control revolution and other monumental eras created significant improvements and aids for activities such as motion picture making.

Julia Zureikat

Monday, September 29, 2014

Blog Assignment 3

I watched “17 Days: The Story of Newspaper History in the Making (1945)” produced by unknown person for this weekend’s online assignment, because I am curious about how people in old times handle newspapers. Now in twenty first century, people, especially young adults do not arduously look for newspaper to be informed what is happening in society because they are very familiar with online clips conveying news to them in real time. This video is very repetitive, making it a bit boring, but it clearly shows how newspapers were important for people in 1940s in New York City. I was impressed by a capture of the video showing that numerous people make a huge line on the street in order to purchase updated newspapers because the newspaper delivery’s strike for seventeen days. In 1940s, newspaper was the one of only a few media that common people can get, so the strike of the delivery service could helplessly have brought a chaos with crowd on the street. The video makes me learn how greatly the media have developed so that much more people can easily access to the news these days.


Over the weekend-Nicki Hulick

The video I watched for this week’s over the weekend assignment was called “Are you popular” (1947); It comes from a collection of videos called Coronet Instructional Films that were shown to high school students in the 1940’s and 1950’s. It was at the beginning of teaching through entertainment, which connects to the idea of a control society. The video analyzes post-world war II conformation in order to belong to the society of popular teenagers, teaching the mass of students’ correct behavior through video. It describes the proper etiquette used to ask girls out and behave when talking to their parents. It gives examples of what you should say to parents, being responsible on where to go and when to come home, saving them from an argument with their parents.  Its closes with “home, parents and personality all help boys and girls to be popular”; correlating good behavior with popularity.

            I thought the exemplifies the control society in way that it was trying to get all students to act the same and behave the way adults would like them to, the reward being popularity. I thought this video was interesting because I could see the relevance of trying to exemplify the respectful teenagers character as popular and successful, in order to teach children correct behavior. I thought this video correlated well with the information society in a way that they used videos in classrooms as a way of social guidance through entertainment. It was the beginning of teaching high schools behavior through entertainment, teaching good behavior to correlate with reward-getting the girl. 

Over the Weekend - In the Suburbs


I watched "In the Suburbs" a 1957 sales promotion video recognizing the young adults living in the suburbs as special consumers. The magazine Redbook, displayed this sales commercial in hopes of reaching their targeted audience of the young adults who were titled, suburbanites. This 20 minute film was especially interesting because it described a new generation. These husbands and wives moving away from the cities to start their own families in the suburbs introduced a whole new idea. Their generation befuddled advertisers because of this new experience and forced marketing campaigns and advertising messages to shift according to their life adjustments. This video greatly emphasized that it was a community of young adults who all share the same life decisions and issues. The commercial displayed how the magazine itself focuses on these life situations that the suburbanites go through. For example, doing daily chores, doing laundry, cooking meals, raising your first child, buying a new home, taking out loans, and everything else introduced when starting your own family was emphasized by Redbook. They studied these young adults to build a strong and personal relationship so that they could directly target their needs and life changes.

This video is very prevalent today because like these young adults, a new generation of starting their own life in the suburbs, they changed marketing forever. I think this generation of suburbanites is directly relatable to our generation. This generation was the first to have social media at our expense, live out lives with accessible technology and have also changed the advertisers strategies. Our generation, like that of the 1950s and 1960s young adults, started a new trend that was at first seen as different but then became the norm. They changed the roles of starting a new family and moving to a community, as our generation has taken on social media and changed the role of communication between people.  This film reminds us that there will always be generations that change the world. There will always be a groundbreaking new technology or fad or introduction of a new invention that will alter our lives, society and especially how advertisers and marketers can reach this new generation.

Prelinger Archive: The Girl on the Magazine Cover

The short film that I chose to watch over the weekend is titled The Girl on the Magazine Cover by Jam Handy. The film is a near nine minutes long and portrays how professional models are used in making up magazine covers in the 1940's. The film is narrated and uses much visual gimmickry to try and use the beauty of women to capture the audience's attention into what it really is trying to sell: Chevrolet cars. The film acts as an advertisement for Chevrolet as the cars are placed within all of the frameworks in which the women are being photographed.  It’s so interesting to see such rampant sexism in a film like this because surely an advertisement like this would never make it on to TV today because of the way that it objectifies women. In the film, women are provocatively equated to cars, even down to the explanation of their features. Auto design is often presented in feminized terms, and the relationship between male drivers and their vehicles has been eroticized. Therefore, the purpose of the advertisement is certainly not to sell cars to women, but to lure in the men in society into seeing their cars as beautiful women and to care for them as they would their women. I find the film to be completely sexist and highly offensive; yet, it is very interesting to see how history has transformed since this time of advertisement and to see how far banter and objectification were accepted at this time. From watching it, we can learn how far the industry has come into equalizing men and women in advertising—yet, it also proves to be an eye-opener to how much farther the industry must go to fully and completely equalize men and women when you would compare this advertisement to advertisements that are seen on TV today (which still don’t always equate men to women). The growth in advertising that presents equality has been profound, but it still has lots of room to mature further.


Over the Weekend Assignment- Matthew Reich


Ever since I've gotten my first laptop computer I've been addicted to it.  I was always so interested in how it worked and how it transmitted information so successfully. I used my laptop for every single aspect of my life. This video explains how useful laptops are and how they have truly changed our everyday life. This video that was made in 1989 states how laptops can be used for multiple purposes; whether its reading the daily news, connecting with friends or family, or for educational purposes. I completely agree with everything said in the video about laptops. Laptop computers have truly changed society with unlimited benefits. However, I personally wish i was less addicted to my laptop computer. I use it every second of every day as my main outlet as an information technology. One would ask whats the issue with that? The problem is, I  never read anymore. Since I've gotten a laptop I rarely ever read the newspaper, magazines, or a new book. I am educated by my computer everyday, but I miss my reliance on print culture. Every friday night growing up I would read a new book. Now, its more like two hours on Facebook and a cool yahoo article here and there. The laptop has a long list of benefits for society and it has changed the way we communicate and receive information, but I personally wish I was less obsessed with my computer. If i returned to only reading books and magazines I would be way less distracted and I would definitely be a little more literate. Although I have my own issues with the laptop computer, it is still one of the most effective information technologies we have today.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Over the Weekend: What Makes Us Tick

The film I watched this week was call “What Makes Us Tick” and was made in 1952. The video discussed how and why common stock is issued and how trading of common stock is carried out on the New York Stock Exchange. Although this video is so old, the information is still very relevant and can be used to teach young investors why they should invest and what happens behind the scenes.  The one element that this video cannot explain is the increased automation of the stock market. Ticker prices are now updated almost instantly as transactions occur so there is not the kind of lag explained in the video. Also, a broker isn’t even really needed nowadays to place a trade because it can be placed online. However, even without these elements this video still presents vital information about the elements of the stock market such as the SEC, dividends, the NYSE, and common stock.  In issuing common stock there is still investment bankers involved and the SEC is still the regulating body for the stock market. The most important item that can be learned from this video is that common stock is issued when a company would like to raise capital in order to expand or update equipment.

Over the Weekend: Miracle on the Delaware


          I chose to watch a video within the commercial section because I thought it would be interesting to compare old techniques of advertising to modern day techniques.  I watched the video "Miracle on the Delaware" which is a ten minute long video providing a glimpse of Philadelphia and its neighboring towns in the 1950s.  At this time, Philadelphia and neighboring towns that also border the Delaware River are growing rapidly and having a lot of success.  The video features panoramic views and clips of people living in the city with a voiceover explaining the city's benefits.  The first part of the video focuses on the job opportunities that the booming steel industry and the large ports provide for the people living there.  The narrator emphasizes how it ensures steady employment for the more skilled workers.  Then, the video shifts to talking about the benefits the area has for the people's lifestyles.  Besides having great luxuries, the video paints a picture of how Sundays in Philadelphia would feel by showing common people laughing, relaxing, and walking out of church.  After finishing the film, I concluded that Philadelphia was considered a very ideal place to live with plenty of opportunities and activities.  Then I read the comments on the film and most reviewers believed it was the most prosperous time period especially for that city and since then, the city has somewhat deteriorated.
          The video utilized some very good advertising tactics like maintaining a very positive, glowing attitude about the city at all times.  I think it was very effective that the video focused on what sort of lifestyle someone living there could have because consumers are generally looking for a certain type of lifestyle.  The video had a lot of elements that are still used in modern day advertising like cheerful music, dramatic shots, and candid clips.  However, a lot of characteristics of the commercial would no longer be effective.  First, a commercial lasting ten minutes is quite long and would not be able to hold the audience's attention for long.  Also, the narration was pretty dry and could possibly put someone to sleep.  I recognized many ways in which this video related to the modern information society.  This video was released in 1955 in the midst of the post industrial time period.  Just as the post-industrial service economy was typically characterized by huge industrial growth and the use of more high skilled workers, the video highlights how there is steady employment and also mentions "only for the racketeers is there very little work".  It was really cool to witness how society has changed and how advertising techniques have as well.

Prelinger Archive: Harvest of the Years

We have discussed the societal impacts of the industrial revolution and the assembly line is a popular topic of conversation in our course. I searched the word "assembly" in the Prelinger Archive to find a video that could provide insights as to what an assembly line actually looked like. The video Harvest of the Years brings viewers inside the a Ford plant. The narrator explains the innovations of the production process, but the visual allows us to see things such as worker conditions. I think this is useful for students in our class, and can relate well to our last discussion. One of the few positive effects of companies deindustrializing their production process was that workers could have a safer atmosphere in which to work. I think this video is a good way to see such an atmosphere, rather than just read about it.


Over the weekend assignment: Prelinger Archives


The video I chose to see is called "Greater Goal: The Human Dividends from American History." This video promotes the southern industrial industry as a hotbed of enlightened industrial progress in the 1950's. In the video, textile mills are shown in small towns as the center of the community. In these towns, the mills produce goods that are distributed across the whole nation. The video sells the industries to be a great thing to the workers, often referring to the "good life" as a fruit of mans labor in the mills. The video goes inside a mill and explains how goods are made through what looks to be an assembly line. The video then jumps into talking in great detail about the benefits the textile mills bring to the towns.

As I was watching this film, I was able to link it to what a current student would learn about. In relations to the information society, the video portrays the shift of industries to smaller rural towns, it promotes the idea of a better life to the worker, and it also promotes the idea of having more leisure. This film is useful to students because it serves as an example of what postindustrialism entailed.

1960s Counter Culture in the Prelinger Archives

While looking through the Prelinger Archives, I stumbled upon an eye-catching title that quickly caught my attention, “Seduction of the Innocent.” I wasn’t really sure what this film would entail, but the date next to the title hinted at counter-culture and the need to “fit in” with its glaring 1960s stamp. The film was exactly that. A bunch of images of teenagers doing drugs and drinking alcohol to “fit in” and “feel better.” The 1950s were all about conservatism and listening to your parents, while the 1960s counteracted that. The 1960s liberated teenagers and made them have a voice. This film was able to show that to future generations, almost in an attempt to say, “don’t go too far free or this will happen to society.” And the 1960s was not a bad society, just more untamable and loose.

What I found particularly interesting with this film was the importance of “happiness” and “good feelings.” The film shows a car full of four teenagers, driving down the highway and popping pills. Pills in this era were very popular as they were thought to solve every problem presented. There was a sleeping pill, a vitamin pill and even a happy pill. The teenagers appear to be taking the “happy” pill and the narrator exclaims, “After the drug wears off, and the “coming down feeling” as they say is set in, you feel put down and sad. But the temptation steps in and it isn’t long for you to try again and again and again.” That quote is very indicative of the era; temptation played a tremendous role on the culture. This temptation led to trying new things, like drugs, alcohol, and sex to override old traditions and ways, and often people became addicted and it became a habit that was difficult to kick. As a society today, we too have to be wary of temptation. Lust and desire like that only lead to habits that become very difficult to break and behavior that is difficult to manage.


Friday, September 26, 2014

Over the Weekend Assignment - Simplicity

In the modern era we live in, information is shot around in every direction all the time.  Everyone is in a constant rush to know everything with very little down time to relax in.  Nothing is simple anymore; everything has to bigger, better, more complex and do more things.  The video I watched, called Once Upon a Honeymoon from 1956, made me rethink the hustle and bustle of our current society.  In the story, one of the characters had to write a song on a piano before he could go on his honeymoon and unfortunately he hit a writer’s block.  The character struggles all day to come up with a creative piece until his wife starts to dial a phone number.  The random clicking of the numbers she was selecting were enough to inspire the man to write a great piece.  His inspiration came from such a simple concept, something I feel most people today would not appreciate.  The average person today does not appreciate the simple little things in life anymore.  They are too preoccupied with the bigger and better things technology has to offer that they forget to calm down and just relax with the modest idea of simplicity.  I believe society would be a less agitated place if we, even for a moment, forgot the hustle and bustle around us and just focused on the little things in life.  This video shows how something extremely simple in our lives can have an extremely positive effect.  The modern day person, especially the younger generation, needs to take a step back and enjoy the small things in life to be able to relax.  The video does a great job at demonstrating how people need to sometimes forget the big things in their life and instead let the little things show them everything is going to be alright.   


Over the Weekend - Tina Ignasiak

While trying to find a video that interested me for this assignment, I had a bit of a hard time.  However, I have always loved travel, and Christmas is my favorite holiday, so I chose to watch the video: Pathe News Christmas 'Round the World (1950), from the Warner Pathe News Corporation.  In the video new correspondents (and their cameramen) from around the world wish the American citizens a Merry Christmas.  This video is very interesting for our information infrastructure because it visually and audibly shows how our advancement in technology and communication can bridge the gaps of countries around the world.  In this video, many of the correspondents speak in the language of the country they are reporting from first, and then translate the sentence, which always means. "Have a Merry Christmas".  This broadcast in different languages from different places around the world would have been unprecedented a decade or so before.  Nowadays, however, this ongoing communication with the world through our television and computer screens in a common and everyday occurrence.  It is great to see the benefits that the increase in information technology has had for the world (rather than the connotation of it taking away jobs), by seeing and hearing many different things, all under the same message of Merry Christmas.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Article Report- Lazonick

Sofia Corelli

“Globalization of the ICT Labour Force” -William Lazonick 

This weeks article, titled “Globalization of the ICT Labour Force” is written by William Lazonick. Lazonick got a Ph.D in Economics at Harvard University, where he taught Economics after as well. He currently directs the Center for Industrial Competitiveness at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell. He founded, and is President of, The Academic-Industry Research Network. Lazonick’s research and books are based on social conditions and economic development in emerging economies. He has been awarded many high achievements for his work, including the the 2010 Schumpeter Prize and the Henrietta Larson Award from Harvard Business School for best article in Business History Review in 2010. So, Lazonick clearly has high levels of expertise on the topic.

This article, “Globalization of the ICT Labour Force”, was published in the Oxford Handbook for ICT (2009), a handbook explaining challenges of emerging information and communication technologies. The indented audience was people working in the social science, physical science, and engineering fields, in order to provide them with a immense amount of information and research on ICT implications globally. 

In this chapter, Lazonick begins by explaining how off-shore jobs used to be ones of low-wages and low-skill levels. However, now he explains them as, “low-wage labour to perform relatively high-skill work.” Because of the increase of information and communication technologies, off-shore labor is in need of higher skilled workers because of the need for knowledge and high levels of interaction with the technologies that they are working with. Many people thought that this type of high-tech work couldn’t be done abroad, but it indeed can. The chapter goes further to explain how East Asia is developing in a way that they acquire US ICT knowledge by coming here for higher education, and then bring it back to their countries in order to expand the global supply of ICT jobs and opportunities. Lazonick talks of a “brain-drain” where all of the East Asians seeking a higher education in ICT are going to America, which is leaving their homelands with minimal opportunities to provide this education. However, nations like Korea are working to reverse the “brain-drain” by creating job opportunities for these highly educated people once they come back home. Lazonick’s big claim is that all of this movement of people from East Asia to America, and then of ICT information back to East Asia, has big implications for the US. In order for the US to remain the leader in ICT, Lazonick believes that it will take academia, industry, and the government all working in collaboration. If not, the US will continue to lose high-wage ICT jobs to off-shore sites. 

This Handbook of ICT was received well by the audience. Since it contains the work of 39 authors, all who have made huge and important contributions in the research of ICT, it has great legitimacy and is well respected. For example, Jean-Claude Burgelman, head of Communications and Strategies at IPTS, reviewed the book as “a most impressive OUP Handbook that contains the work of 39 authors, including many who have made substantial and lasting contributions to our understanding of the social science of information and communications technologies.” Each of the 39 authors have written articles in the Handbook of ICT, so the book as a whole gives a full array of opinions and ideas about the topic, Lazonick’s just being one of them. 


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Over the Weekend- Shayna Iorio

The archive I chose to watch was “Shopping Can Be Fun: A New Concept in Merchandising”. Considering the assignment asked to find the video that we personally are most interested in, I immediately clicked on the shopping archive videos. When I saw that the title was attempting to convince people that shopping was fun, I was automatically intrigued. The video is promoting the Hillsdale Shopping Center in California. It is an advertisement that is trying to draw customers into the center for its features that are different from any other, such as the farmer’s market, an Auto show, a fashion show, a famous sculpture, and more. I found it interesting that this was necessary in order to get people to come to the shopping center, because currently due to advancements in advertisements and marketing, people are always going shopping and spending time at shopping centers similar to this one. However, at the time, this type of publicity was a new concept, as were the newspaper ads, billboards, promotions, and special events, that are now major aspects in the Information Society. 

Over the Weekend- Sofia Corelli


I chose to watch a commercial video for this assignment because I am really interested in marketing and advertising. I thought that seeing a commercial from the 1960s would show the major changes in advertising back then and advertising today. First off, the commercial was 3 minutes long, which these days is pretty much unheard of. Car commercials these days are 30 seconds long, maybe 1 minute tops. The commercial focused on futurology, which is what we also read about in this week’s articles. People of the time were obsessing over the future and the awesome technology that was expected to come. Ford played off of this by setting their new car commercial in a scene with space technology, shooting stars, and fancy gowns. Because they associated their cars with things as futuristic as these, it sent out the picture that their cars were, too, very futuristic. In an Age of Affluence, when people were focused on leisure and luxury, this was very appealing to them. Then, at the end of the commercial, it said “Get a new 1960 Ford at your dealership today.” This reflects the Information Society of the time because decentralization and transportation were taking over, and more efficient means of getting products were coming about. Cars could be bought anywhere, could get you anywhere, and could carry goods/services/information anywhere. What we can learn from this film about the information society is that corporate promotional films back then were very different, but still sent out the message of glamour and futurology that even people today still look for in their vehicles. Also, what we can learn, is that companies such as Ford are only products of consumer demands. The demand for speed of transportation and information needed a technology to make it happen, and cars were one of these technologies that came about as a result. 

Over the Weekend Assignment - Milwaukee Transit

Entering this assignment, I wanted to spend my time watching something interesting.  In the end, I picked the least interesting video of all time.  The video is called Milwaukee Transit and I picked this film because I’m from the Milwaukee area and thought it would be fascinating to look at a historical video of Milwaukee.  The entire eleven minutes was spent filming electrically wired trolleys, picking up and dropping people off at their stops.  Although the video was nowhere near appealing, it did give useful about past public transportation.  It showed that many people used the public transportation because of the availability in the city and to save money.  People that may not have known how Milwaukee citizens get from point A to point B without a car in 1957 can know understand how people went about that.  Public transportation is a result of information technology as mass transportation of goods became available at a more reasonable price for local government.  These goods being moved are people in this case, helps move production (labor) and consumption (consumer) to the places they needed to be.


Over the Weekend- Prelinger Archives

The Archived film I watched was “Using the Bank.” This movie is about how a typical bank would work before computers. The movie starts with Mr. Adams depositing money into his savings account. It was a very long process that started with him writing a deposit slip, and then he gave the money the teller who had many other processes to complete. It then shows the vault, and then Mr. Adams tries to get a loan from the bank. He had a meeting with the president and it was almost an interview. I think this film connects to the Information Society because after the information society all of these processes would happen instantaneously. First, when we go to the bank we just put our check/cash in the ATM and leave. Moreover, the interview that Mr. Adams had with the president regarding his loan would have been unnecessary if the president had a way to check his credit score online. We all use a bank someway or another every day. Whether its using an ATM, transferring money from our phones, or even using a debit card. These are all examples of processes that are now so easy as a result of the Information Society. https://archive.org/details/Usingthe1947

Article Report- A Postmortem on Daniel Bell's Postindustrialism

This week’s readings were about the postindustrial service economy, the article “A Postmortem on Daniel Bell’s Post Industrialism” written by Laurence Veysey, critically analyses the writings of Daniel Bell over the subject of the Post Industrialism Age. Laurence Veysey’s article was published in the spring of 1982 by The Johns Hopkins University Press. The article can be found in the American Quarterly, Vol. 34 No. 1, in pages 49-69. The intended audience for this article is scholars and researchers of the topic on the industrial era and how it transcended in American culture. In the scholarly article, Veysey critiques Daniel Bell’s major books The Coming of Post-Industrial Society which talks about the Postindustrial society as an era in which knowledge is central to the functioning of the entire society. Bell’s second major book, The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism discusses the idea that romanticism has taken over American culture.
According to Bell’s books which were written in the 1970’s, postindustrialism was just on the rise in our society, however, Veysey notes that authors such as David Riesman described an era of postindustrialism in the 1950’s; well before Bell himself. Veysey argues that the conflicts that Bell dwells on do not connect with the larger American social structure; instead these conflicts are fought out solely within the elites that Bell directs his attention to. Thus, Veysey argues that Bell is not a dependable guide and his notion of postindustrialism is unserviceable for social historians.
Contrary to Bell, Veysey argues that an “age of affluence” enables us to better grasp the meaning of American social history more easily than postindustrialism during the years of 1920-1970. However, Veysey noted that it is difficult to pinpoint when exactly this era of affluence began. Veysey suggests the 1920’s could have been the beginning of the age of affluence but the Great Depression of the 1930’s prevented this from happening. During this notion of an “age of affluence” the majority of the population seemed to enter a more comfortable lifestyle. The 1920’s greatly influenced and changed the way labor hours were distributed, the focus of life changed from a work-oriented lifestyle to a leisure-oriented direction.

Laurence Veysey received his undergraduate education from Yale. At Yale he won the 1953 Adrian Van Sedarin Book Collecting Award for his assembled documents dealing with American railroads. He also attended the prestigious University of California, Berkeley. He was a history professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Veysey is mainly known for his major works like The Emergence of the American University and The Communal Experience. Veysey has also received accolades from other scholars, John R. Thelin in an article in the History of Education Quarterly exclaimed, “The Emergence of the American University, published in 1965, is a monumental work which endures in its influence and as a model of historical interpretation (Thelin, 1987).” Veysey also received the award Guggenheim Fellowship for Humanities, US & Canada along with a nomination for the National Book Award for Philosophy and Religion.

Work Cited:
 Thelin, J. R. (1987). Laurence Veysey's The Emergence of the American University. History of Education Quarterly , 517-523.
              Veysey, L. (1982). A Postmortem on Daniel Bell's Postindustrialism. American Quarterly 34:1 .

Week 2 Assignment: Bitcoin

Bitcoin is a digital currency that can currently be purchased online for $434.11. This certainly seems expensive for a piece of computer coding, right? Actually, the U.S. dollar per Bitcoin exchange rate is significantly cheaper than just a few months ago. Many people are unfamiliar with Bitcoin and how it relates to the current Information Society. To me, it resembles massification in the sense that currencies have been removed from the gold standard and put into printed paper for sometime, yet someone had the idea that paper is outdated and digital currency is the newest innovation. Essentially, Bitcoin was introduced and made relatively popular in 2009 as an open source software. Under this current system, people can "mine", or earn, Bitcoins by simply being literate in computer programming and auditing past Bitcoin transactions. The more time spent confirming a Bitcoin's legitimacy, the more Bitcoin's you can earn.

The idea of "Bitcoin" as it is known today can only date back to its invention, but tracking databases of newspapers provides a solid ground for reflection on the evolution of the phrase. The first use of the term in the New York Times, for example, can be traced to an article written in 1898 expressing the exchange rates between colonial bits, schillings, American dimes, and "half-dimes." This exemplifies the shift from antique metal money to paper money (made popular by the culture of print), and the following shift of paper money to digital money that we see in today's Information Society. It seems as if the power of information backing a currency now exceeds the power of metal: especially since the United States untied the dollar to gold in the 1970's.

I think the etymology of today's Bitcoin is highly relatable to our discussions in LIS 201. An interesting topic to consider is the disappearance of $480 million worth of Bitcoin's from Mt. Gox, the world's largest Bitcoin exchange which subsequently filed for bankruptcy. Is our Information Society mature enough to securely handle such a digital currency? I am skeptical.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Seowoo Park- Blog Assignment 2

It has been more than four years that logging in a Facebook, whenever I have the intermission, became one of my habits. For me, the Facebook is a very sensitive medium communicating with my friends and a society, because I mostly learn my friends’ lives and the news of the world such as popular TV shows, trendy clothes, and serious issues via the Facebook. I called it a ‘very sensitive medium’ because an aftereffect of posting words on the wall is immense; a video of a pretty girl singing and dancing made her an online star whom a hundred thousand of people loved, and a guy who posted a piece of writing about how uncivil bereaved families of Sewol sunken vessel’s victims was heavily criticized by thousands of people. Initially, however, the medium was not necessarily for every person in the world according to a piece of article I found in the New York Times in 2005, named “Facebook.com Goes to High School.” The Facebook, of which now everyone is user, was at very first a “fancy electronic version of the whiteboard that students often mount on their doors to leave and receive messages.” Mark Zuckerberg, who was the founder of the Facebook, got an idea to transform ubiquitous college directories of incoming freshmen into interactive sites. His site allowed any student with a university e-mail address to register, create an online profile and invite friends to communicate through the profile. It was an interesting piece of information because it showed a choppy origin of the Facebook.

Although users of the Facebook temporarily were only limited to college students, now it is very spread-out communication in the world. I even found an article from Project Muse, called “Facebook of the Dead,” described as “Facebook now exists as the capital city of the Internet Age.” The Facebook’s effect was more enormous than I used to think because it was “significantly more than the time given to Google sites, which include YouTube, and more than double all the hours spent on Amazon, eBay, Tumblr, ESPN, Wikipedia and Twitter combined.” Another article from ProQuest called “Facebook Flagged on Privacy Issue” issued in 2010 dealt with with troubles due to various and numerous users of the Facebook, saying that, “Facebook had neglected to include several crucial privacy features.” As the Facebook nowadays has risen up as a main communicating source in the world, it also has to face the most common online issue.

Modern Information Society: "Google"

             In today’s modern information society, the term “Google” is most known for the extremely large company that began as a popular search engine.  Knowing the Internet is a somewhat recent development, I was interested to see if and how the word Google had been used before the launch of the leading search engine.  The earliest results I could find containing the word google were written in 1854, 1859, and 1870 in each of the three Proquest newspaper databases.  The first articles I could find in The New York Times and The Chicago Tribune were both written around 1860s and used the word in a slang-like, babbling fashion (i.e. “google-te-goo”).  I also found two articles written in the very early 1900s that both used the word as a descriptor for eyes: “google-eyed goldfish” and “had the Giants google-eyed”.   Scrolling down, I found slightly more recent articles featuring a popular comic strip character of the age named Barney Google.  I then decided to try searching the word “googol” because it is the mathematical term for which the company Google was named after.  The first article I found this particular spelling of the word was in the mid-1960s probably because the mathematical term was not introduced until the 1950s.  When spelled like googol, the word was usually referred to as a term to mean an extremely large or limitless amount.  I also found an article about the man who first defined googol as the number 1 followed by 100 zeros.  Some believe it was the famous character Barney Google that inspired the mathematician to choose the expression “googol” for that enormous number.

            When I look up “google” now, the dictionary defines it as the brand name of a leading Internet search engine, founded in 1998.  It also provides its alternative definition which is the action of searching the Internet for information about a certain topic, event, or person.  Although the company is relatively new, its immense popularity has expanded the term’s uses and people’s knowledge of it everywhere.  The company is one of the leading corporations in the world and creates new technologies and ideas every day.  Since 1998, people everywhere have utilized the website as their go-to place to start researching topics, asking questions, or making connections.   The company has branched into specializing in all different types of web-based fields like online shopping, maps, eBooks, and more.  The general public tends to perceive Google as a good, innovative company that tries to create a relaxed, creativity-inducing environment for their employees.  There are also many people who dislike the company due to their reputation of invading individuals’ privacy, over-advertising, or killing smaller companies.  Whether you have positive or negative feelings toward Google or you simply don’t care, you probably have a Gmail account or have used Google maps or have watched videos on YouTube, which is now owned by Google.  It is fascinating to recognize how the word Google has taken on so many different meanings before it became the multinational company that we know so well today.  Comparing articles from different time periods shows the immense lifestyle changes that have occurred between the early 1900s and 2000s and how rapidly the modern technological society has developed in just the past twenty years.