Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Warmup: Seymour Papert is considered to be the father of of Artificial Intelligence and one of the great minds of the 20th century… watch to this brief comment: http://edfoc.us/?page_id=5

Here’s another indication of the growing importance of social media:

Google Wave Launches Today, Redefining a Company, as well  as  On-line Communication

What is Google Wave?

Watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Itc4253kjhw

Read: http://mashable.com/2009/05/31/google-wave-features/

Read this, too: http://mashable.com/2009/05/28/google-wave-guide/

Yesterday we discussed ownership, copyright. Larry Lessig gave us a dull and hard to understand explanation of how the ownership game is being changed by technology. This presentation is a little more clear, with the help of Stephen Colbert:

http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/215454/january-08-2009/lawrence-lessig

And of course, this happened (surely at Colbert intended):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFAW8mKy3dI&feature=PlayList&p=F3A169D6032D4858&playnext=1&playnext_from=

Of course, Lessig used YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBM-UIxanvs&feature=player_embedded

Let’s consider copyright as a practical matter. Let’s go back into ancient history, 1984, and dredge up 2 Live Crew and the Song, “Pretty Woman.” Turn to page 550 of your tet and let’s read.

Three, two, one…

  • Three things that you’ve learned today
  • Two questions you still have about the subject
  • One statement about something you already know that connects or matches to something you learned today
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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlyn, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That is the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting.” From T.H. White, The Once and Future King…

More on teens and social mediahttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gYOkHq-27o&feature=player_embedded

Read this article I’ve handed out, or read it here — http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/27/weekinreview/27kelly.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=slut&st=cseLet’s discuss…

(To learn more about how “social media” and teen behavior is being viewed by (interesting) social scientists, check out more on Dana Boyd http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rmoc9F6fceQ&NR=1)

Some of you are now blogging, some of you are copying blogs from other people and passing it off as your own, which brings us to copyright, the creative commons, and who owns what you produce….

Here’s is one of the more interesting and trans-formative characters in the argument/debate over copyright: Larry Lessig:

Of course, the WWW always seems to get the final say, as when Lessig appeared on the Colbert Report —

http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/215454/january-08-2009/lawrence-lessig

And of course, this happened (surely at Colbert intended):

But Lessig tries to get the last word!

Monday, 28 September 2009

WARM UP: 5-8 minutes —

  • Have this quote written on the white-board and ask the student to discuss:
    • Once local culture was created by social rituals; today culture is created by media.”
      • Is that a change for the better or for the worse? Why and why not?
      • What does that say about the power of media and its affect on community, the people you live and work with?
        • Are we still unique or are we all the same?
        • Does media threaten our individuality?
        • Do we still have real communities; can we still have real communities — where we have unique breads, cheeses, music — or has everything become the same?
        • If we all share the same media and the same culture can we still maintain our freedoms or have we become easier to control and manipulate?


  • Please collect film review from the movie “The Pianist.” If they give you an excuse for not handing it in, ask them to write me a brief note in place of the review and I will consider their comments when I return.


  • Section One — 15 minutes — as long as it goes if the discussion is good… (Note: the Fourth period class completed the film, whereas the second period class did not.)

    • Please collect from students their reviews of the film “The Pianist.”
    • Have the students open their textbooks, Media and Culture, to page 19. Remind them of the tower of culture and that it represents culture change from “high culture” to “low culture.”
      • Ask them to take 30 to 60 seconds to consider each of the following questions:
        • Where does the film “The Pianist” reside in the hierarchy of culture — high or low”
        • The piano player — played by Academy Award Winner Adrien Brody suffers through Nazi rule. Where would you say his music reside in the hierarchy of culture?
          • Ask them to defend and explain their point of view
          • Call on students randomly from around the room. Everyone will have a thought.
        • I know that the students have not seen the end of the film, but here’s what happens — At the end of the film, a Nazi officer hears Adrien Brody play music and spares his life. Why would he do that?
        • It is said that great art and culture humanizes us and reveals that we each have our rightful place in the world.

          • Is that true? Why or why not? Please call on students to get their responses. Try to promote a discussion.
          • How is it that well educated Nazi officers who had an appreciation for high CULTURE and probably were imbued with high culture could reduce themselves to ignorance and murder?
      • What other film that we have seen in class has a similar theme of man’s inhumanity to man?
        • Can you compare the film “Mississippi Burning” to “The Pianist”?
        • How was the predicament of black people in Mississippi in the 1960s similar to the Jews in Poland in 1939-1945?
        • How is/was the predicament of these two minorities different?
        • Neither the Jews (but for a few, in the brief, bloody Warsaw uprising) nor the blacks — who outnumbered their oppressors — did much to protect themselves? Discuss.

          • Why didn’t they take arms against their enemies?
          • Why didn’t they fight back?
      • This film did not have any cuss/curse words. It had no nudity. Yet it received an “R” rating. Why do you think that is?
        • “Dark Knight” which many of you have seen was more violent and certainly ugly, yet it received a GP rating. Why do you think that is?
        • Comparing the two movies take a moment to consider whether you think the movie rating system is

          • a) useful
          • b) fair or accurate
          • c) how might you change the rating system –or would you just throw it out?


  • Section Two — Article from Wired magazine “Live in the Moment.” 15 minutes or more

    • Take five minutes and read the article that has been passed out to you.
      • Are Google and Bing the search engines you want to turn to when news is breaking, say, for example, when Michael Jackson died?
        • What about Google News and Bing News — Do you think they would have given you the latest news? Why? Why not
        • Has the author treated those sites fairly or has he overlooked them?
        • What does the article tell us about Google or Bing that keeps them from being up-to-the-minute search engines? [TEACHER: BECAUSE THEY JUDGE THE IMPORTANCE OF A SITE BY HOW MANY SITES LINK TO THEM. WHEN NEWS BREAKS, THOSE LINKS HAVE NOT BEEN ESTABLISHED. ALSO, MAJOR SEARCH SITES USE LOGIC THAT TENDS TO OPPOSE A FLOOD OF NEWS AND PREFERS TO JUDGE SITES ON TRENDS, THE RATE AT WHICH POPULARITY BUILDS. SUDDEN POPULARITY IS SUSPICIOUS TO A MAJOR SITE.
        • Has anyone tried out any of these new search sites discussed in this article? Tweetmeme, OneRiot, Topsy, Scoopler, Collecta?
            • Collecta says, “The web is alive with real-time information. So why search a stale archive? Collecta monitors the update streams of news sites, popular blogs and social media, so we can show you results as they happen.”
            • Have you ever thought the results you got from Google were “stale”? What does that mean?
            • OneRiot offers a lot of celebrity and style information. Is that really news? What makes some event newsworthy?
            • Scoopler’s page offers a list of topics — “Follow Sexy Megan,” “Iran,” “Paranormal Activity,” “wii,” and “Windows 7” in that order. What does that order tell you about “Scoopler’s” search engine?
              • How does it rank news?
              • In your view — and no joking around; be serious — is a nuclear Iran as important as or more important than “Sexy Megan”?
            • Tweetmeme ranks breaking news according to the number of tweets flowing through the servers at Twitter.
              • Is that information newsworthy?
              • Can that information be newsworthy — think of the election riots in Iran?
            • Is news becoming more personal and less professional?

              • News you want as opposed to news you need?
              • What does that say about the power of media over culture?


  • Section Three — I have left a documentary for the class to watch entitled, “Guns, Germs and Steel,” by National Geographic Films. The second-period class has not seen this film and they should watch it from the beginning.Use the TV set top show the film. The fourth-period class has watched much of this film. It is divided into chapters, and you should begin the film on chapter nine, which is where they left off, more or less. Remind them that they should be thinking about this film and comparing it to the documentary “Sicko.” How are these films similar (both are arguing a point), and how are they different (“Sicko” only presented one side of the argument).

    • This should take you to the end of the period.


THE THIRD PERIOD CLASS IS WORKING ON THEIR FILM PROJECTS. THEY ARE SENIORS AND WILL TRY TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOU. THOSE WHO ARE PREPARED TO FILM MAY BE EXCUSED. THE OTHERS SHOULD BE WRITING FILM TREATMENTS. TELL THEM THAT I WILL COLLECT AND GRADE ALL OF THEIR TREATMENTS ON TUESDAY WHEN I RETURN. HALL PASSES ARE IN YOUR FOLDER. FOR THE REST, SHOW THEM “GUNS, GERMS AND STEEL.”

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

What better way to start a Wednesday mass comm class than a sweet little rant about the future of dating!

http://www.google.com/reader/view/?hl=en&tab=wy#stream/feed%2Fhttp%3A%2F%2Ffeeds2.feedburner.com%2FMashable

Just to keep coming back to the same point… What is all this talk about social media? More gas? More glory? A better way to say, I love you?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIFYPQjYhv8&feature=player_embedded

We got it right when we said that there would be a battle over search engines when “bing” showed up with Google’s prom date; but here’s yet another bigger and more important brain-sucker that is heading downhill fast, about to boogie and splooge all over the World Wide Web. And this one could change the way you’ve become accustomed to nesting at your favorite net site. Let’s read and discuss. (You can’t keep the papers I’ve handed out, but you can have the URL for your studies) —

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/art-brodsky/its-day-one-for-the-open_b_294095.html

Turn to page 18 and read through to page 19. Let’s look at the cultural skyscraper and see if we can fill in our own version of high and low culture. We’ll try to figure out what it all means and where our favorites films, books, TV shows pop out and pop in … And maybe even where we fit in! Hey, what’s all this got to do with Mass Comm and Media Studies?

Let’s try to get a little further into the documentary “Guns, Germs and Steel,” compare it to “Sicko” and try to understand what the bearded wonder, Jared Diamond, is trying to lay on us.



Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Here’s a thousand dollars to anyone in Mass Comm who’s been paying attention:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rimxXt1MX5c&feature=player_embedded#t=75

Since we all use iTunes — something you might want to know:

http://ptech.allthingsd.com/20090916/apples-itunes-9-makes-it-easier-to-share-organize/?mod=ATD_rss

This class, if you haven’t already noticed, is heavily aimed at technology —

Here are two blogs your should be following –

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/technology/

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/?scp=1-spot&sq=bits&st=cse

How long have I been blabbing about blogs? I stumbled on this yesterday, and I thought to share it. And when you’re done watching this, we’re going to create a blog community.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NN2I1pWXjXI

You hear me talking about social media all the time, but I’ve never given you a simple definition. Well, here you go. This is why facebook works:

http://mail.google.com/mail/?hl=en&tab=wm#inbox/123ccbf078568f4d

Continuing on with our discussion about “Full-Metal Jacket,” let’s read from our text and discuss pages 28-29.

Now, to get past the issue before revisiting it later, let’s think about media and culture and see if we can explore the idea of good taste and bad taste… This reflects the work you did last week and you will do in the future as you work on film as literature and movie reviews. Turn to page 18 and read through to page 19. Let’s look at the cultural skyscraper and see if we can fill in our own version of high and low culture.

Level III —

Two blogs per week starting now… I would suggest that you blog about your Mass Comm experience, your film experience, the films you’ve seen, reviews of films, the technology of video, the dynamics of production.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NN2I1pWXjXI — blogs in plain English

Go to the site wordpress.com to create blog… Follow the signs on the right to sign up now…

The blog situation... You are required to blog a minimum of twice each week. The official blog counting period began on September 7, which means that you must have completed and posted four blogs by the end of this week, September 14. Each week’s blog grade is based on a 10-point all-or-nothing scale: no blogs = zero; 1 blog = 50, etc. Your blogs will also be graded regularly on quality. I have yet to establish the interval, but I’m leaning toward a monthly measure, or sooner if progress reports dictate. Does that mean you can write one single blog — however brilliant — out of a monthly eight-pack and expect to get a 100 for quality? No. Without consistency, there is no such thing as quality. Luck, perhaps, but not quality. So by not blogging, you’re taking down two grades and digging yourself a hole.

I will list each blog that I’ve placed in my reader. To do that YOU MUST SEND YOUR BLOG’S URL TO SMALLFILMS@GMAIL.COM.

http://www.videomaker.com/video/ — video lighting for interviews


Monday, 21 September 2009

The next step for computers…

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/pattie_maes_demos_the_sixth_sense.html

Let’s talk a bit about “Full Metal Jacket.” It was a my mistake to show it to you. I apologize. When I chose it, I was only thinking about  its brilliance from an adult media-specialist’s point of view.

Let’s have a look at your reviews and discuss the approach. Are there changes we want to make, improvements?

Discuss the word “convergence,” a word this will have to understand

You watched this program before, now we’re going to dissect it, learn about it, discuss it, and try to understand where we fit in, and how this experience may change out world…

First, here are some interesting comments — http://www.macfound.org/site/c.lkLXJ8MQKrH/b.4773383/k.8CB5/Mizuko_Ito_on_Why_Time_Spent_Online_Is_Important_for_Teen_Development.htm

and this,

http://www.macfound.org/site/c.lkLXJ8MQKrH/b.4284677/apps/s/content.asp?ct=5751157

and now this…

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/kidsonline/view/

Homwework —

Watch this video:

http://www.ted.com/talks/david_merrill_demos_siftables_the_smart_blocks.html

Come up with and hand in to me three to five uses, neatly typed, for siftable technology. Try to think of practical uses for siftables, products you might be able to sell.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Mass Comm l, ll –

From Wikipedia — Stanley Kubrick’s “Full Metal Jacket”:

Full Metal Jacket is a 1987 war film by Stanley Kubrick, based on the novel The Short-Timers by Gustav Hasford. The title refers to the full metal jacket bullet type of ammunition used by infantry riflemen. The film follows a squad of U.S. Marines through their United States Marine Corps Recruit Training and the experiences of two of them in the Tet Offensive (1968) during the Vietnam War.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Full_metal_jacket

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093058/

A review by Vincent Canby in the  NY Times when the film came out:

http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9B0DE6DB133BF935A15755C0A961948260