Blog Analysis of Apophenia


Danah Boyd’s blog Apophenia has dozens of articles that in some way of another relate to how the public wrongly perceives media. Whether it is information published on news stations, social media, or released b y the government Boyd discusses her views and the reasoning behind them.

Boyd has many articles on how the media relays government information. For example these two articles, “Put an End to Reporting on Election Polls”; and “I blame the media. Reality check time.” Both have two very similar topics that have to do with how the media uses represents statistics as if the were concrete facts.  “They were willing to reveal their thoughts, beliefs, and ideas because they saw doing so as productive for them individually and collectively.” The first and most recent article is more about the affects of skewed statistics in elections.” When the numbers look like your team is winning, you relax and stop fretting, often into complacence, When the numbers look like your team is losing, you feel more motivated to take steps and do something. “ Whereas the second article is Boyd releasing her frustration about the way media tries to influence their viewers by publishing eye-catching statistics. “The media industry needs to take responsibility for its role in producing spectacle for selfish purposes. There is a reason that the public doesn’t trust institutions in this country.”

Boyd doesn’t just bash the pollsters; she also disagrees with nation holidays! In her article “Columbus Day!?!? What the f* are we celebrating?” Boyd explains how Columbus Day celebrates years of genocide and how it should not be holiday. “Injustice is at the core of our country’s creation, whether we’re talking about the original sin of slavery or the genocide of Native peoples.” She strongly believes it is demoralizing to the native American society for our culture propagates this as a time to remember Columbus as a honorable man.

Boyd also is disappointed with the news media when it posts propaganda that infuses fear into its viewers in her article “There was a bomb on my block.” and she says “We all know that the whole concept of terrorism is to provoke fear in the public.” Overall when a terrorist attack happens they do it put fear in the public’s eye. So when the media fabricates their stories they are distributing the fears implanted by the terrorist. “Traditional news media has a lot of say in what it publishes. This is one of the major things that distinguishes it from social media, which propagates the fears and anxieties of the public.”






Blogger Ping

I tried to leave a a comment on Sterling Whitakar’s article “Is Traditional Country Music Dead?” I am having technical difficulties and I am unable to leave my comment. Therefore, I wrote my response to the article here.

Contemporary country music has shifted so far away from true country classics that it belongs in a different genre. “Stadium” country artist’s like Florida Georgia Line, Sam Hunt, and Keith Urban do not deserve to be in the same genre as Merle Haggard, Hank Williams Jr., and Waylon Jennings. True country music tells stories about difficult times and heart ache; not living it easy and partying. Every time I turn on the radio I hear the same indistinguishable songs with catchy beats and shallow lyrics. Aaron Lewis wrote a song called “That Ain’t Country” here are some of the lyrics:

‘Cause that ain’t country
That’s a natural fact
It’s full of tails of good times and happy endings
My life ain’t like that
So I’ll keep listening to the old songs that my Grandad used to play
Full of pain and heartache and desperation and the ones that got away

I totally agree with Lewis, because that aint country! I’m not trying to bash contemporary country. I just think it is taking away from what true country music is. You can feel the emotion in quality country classics. It makes you feel like the artist is writing the music directly too you. When I hear pop country music it sounds like they are just trying to make the next new party anthem.

Student Ping #4

In response to Zachary’s article

Week 5: Relying on Algorithms?

The algorithms you describe in this article are great depictions of the algorithms that we use almost every single day. One other example is a cryptography algorithm developed by the RSA. Cryptography is a coded message, and the RSA algorithm has provided a secure way to transfer our private information from user to an independent platform. We would not feel safe to upload our credit card information to a web service if it wasn’t for this algorithm. Even though there are hackers that are able to break this code; it has provided a tremendous amount of cyber security. In Marcos Otero’s blog “The real 10 algorithms that dominate our world” he states, “this algorithm made cryptography available to everybody in the world and helped to shape how cryptography works today.” This algorithm has made the action of sending your private data secure in a widely unsecured network such as the internet

Media Analysis: Spotify

The ability to stream music has changed the music industry tremendously. There are dozens of different music streaming apps one can choose from; I am going to focus on Spotify. This company has gained 40 million paid subscribers and 55 million non-paying subscribers (digitaltrends)  in their online community since the company was launch in 2008.One does not need to pay to use the app if they do not mind limited music access. If you choose to subscribe you must pay a monthly fee to be a premium member. This allows you to pick songs whenever you are online. Premium members also have the ability to download to listen for offline use. You do not need to be a premium member to be apart of the Spotify online community.

Spotify has turned the ability to stream music into a massive online community. This online community brings fans together with the same concepts that Nancy Baym discusses in her article, The new shape of online community: The example Swedish indepent music fandom. She states, “Individuals create self–concepts and self–presentations within fan groups. Some become well known to other fans through fandom. These groups also develop a sense of shared identity.” These fan groups are developed on Spotify when a user customizes and than shares a playlist fpr others to listen too. When you subscribe to Spotify you automatically get put into their public online database, which is filled with other users. The user then, has a choice whether you want to stay public or go private. If you keep your playlists private you can still follow other users playlists, therefore you are not left out of the community. Private users do not offer their playlists to others. Public or Private you also have the ability to follow other users. When you follow another user you can send them songs with messages. Baym says “Personal relationships are formed amongst some members of fan groups.” You can share songs with your friends or just see what they are listening to! Notice on the right hand side where it is labeled “Friendly Activity” that displays the users I am following and what they are listening too.


Screen Shot 2016-12-06 at 7.24.54 PM.png               “In the 2000s, music fandom has played a central role in social networking sites. Not all have been fueled by the band–fan relationship like MySpace, but most interfaces encourage people to list or friend the bands they like in constructing their on–site identity.”(Baym) Spotify encourages people to support their favorite artists. If you search your favorite band you can follow them to be notified whenever they post new music.


Student Ping #3

In Response to Phoebe,

Week 4: Netflix, the new Cinema?

I totally agree with all of the points you make in this argument towards Walter Murch. In addition to your argument I feel it is important to add that Netflix has the ability to recommend movies to its viewers by its recently viewed movies/shows. In Lara O’Riely discusses the algorithm that Netflix uses in this web article. “The company [Netflix] has around 1,000 people based in Silicon Valley who are charged with architecting the product and the personalization algorithm that resets every 24 hours to ensure users discover the exact content they want to watch out of an estimated 13,000 titles at any given time.” This gives everyones Netflix account a sense of individuality that could never be found in a movie theater. Personally, when I do not know what to watch I just scroll through the catalog of cinema that I have available to me. If I don’t enjoy it i have the ability to turn it off and watch something else, free of charge! If I don’t like what I am watching a movie theater I just wasted about fifteen dollars. Netflix is certainly overtaking cinema.

Student Ping#2


In response to Graces

Text Response {week 9}

You did a great job explaining the difference in emergence and progression, but often enough these two gameplay structures cross paths. Even though, Juul states that emergence games are “more fun”, a game that is structured to have its pre-set outcome does not take away the freedom the emergence gives the player. “Even in open system with strong emergent properties, the actual game sessions may still follow fairly regular patterns.”(Juul) The product of this makes a game like Grand Theft Auto 5, where the player has the ability to “to roam within the game the designer made; however, the player can create his or her own tactics or strategies to play the game.”(Grace) This game also offers a progressive story line where the players “have a list of ‘rules’ where the player completes them to progress and proceed to complete the game.”(Grace) This game is structured to have both elements of variance and pattern to ensure the games excitement does not fade.

Text Right: Internet Access Is Not a Human Right

There is no doubt that Internet use has become a huge part of our culture and society in the United States in the past few decades. Just because we use it every single day does not mean it should become a civil right or a human right. Using the Internet is a privilege, you do not need it to survive and its access does not need to be assured by the government. It is the engineer’s job to make sure to that the Internet is accessible.

Human rights are “the things we as humans need in order to lead healthy, meaningful lives, like freedom from torture or freedom of conscience.” It would be degrading to those who fought and are still fighting for women’s human rights passed if we make the Internet a Human right. The Internet has many benefits to our lifestyle but it is not a factor of ones freedom. You do not have to pay for your freedom but you have to pay for your Internet. Making the Internet a human right would be a waste of time an effort that people could be towards trying to make pass other human rights.

In addition to the Internet not being a human right, it is also not a civil right. A civil right is a right guaranteed by the United States Constitution for the enjoyment of the American people. The right to Internet access is neither protected by the Constitution nor should it be. As human rights should be considered the things that are necessary for human rights, civil rights are the things necessary for the enjoyment of liberty and freedom.

The idea that the Internet should be a human or civil right is not only absurd; it is a dangerous precedent to set for other luxuries. If every luxury that one enjoys is declared a right, then the it would be impossible to secure the rights that are actually necessary for life and liberty since the overbearing work load of the government would not be able to meat that standards. Making sure that people are able to use the Internet is not the Governments responsibility. The engineers that are paid to work on the Internet are responsible for the improvement and maintenance of the Internet.  “As we seek to advance the state of the art in technology and its use in society, we must be conscious of our civil responsibilities in addition to our engineering expertise.” The upkeep of the Internet should not be a national policy that is an issue for private companies.

Text Response: I blame the media. Reality check time.

Danah Boyd expresses her frustration about the news medium’s misuse of its power in the 2016 presidential election in her article “I blame the media. Reality check time.”  Throughout this election news stations and journalists have been by releasing flashy eye catching polls for the public to consume. It seems that media has lost its motivation to be truthful to its spectators. Instead they spend their time trying to get their viewers hooked on attractive charts and incorrect statistics to profit off their “clicks.” The media became entertainment during this election and Boyd wants to let the people know.

The media manipulates the publics desire to learn about the election. The citizens of our nation care about how the news depicts our presidential candidate because there used to be a source of truth to it. “Most people are not apathetic, but they are disgusted and exhausted.”(Boyd) Using the eager people in our nations population as a cash cow should be unacceptable. Limitations should be enforced on news stations polling strategies because the statistics they provide the people is misrepresented information. “I cannot believe that it has become acceptable for media entities to throw around polling data without any critique of the limits of that data, to produce fancy visualizations which suggest that numbers are magical information.” (Boyd) Unfortunately it is not just the main news stations such as Fox, CNN, NBC, etc.  “I refer to the sector as a whole because individual journalists and editors are operating within a structural frame, unmotivated to change the status quo even as they see similar structural problems to the ones I do.”(Boyd) The media used this political race as a race to see who can capture more readers. Rather focusing on political policies that actually will make a difference to our country they focused on petty information that viewers watch as if it was a reality television show.

What ever happened to the era when the media depicted the nations leaders as strong and proud individuals? For example the Franklin D. Roosevelt era of media and how they would try not to show that he was physically handicap. In Eric R. Walps article he describes how FDR hide his disability from the media because he wanted to be portrayed as a fully capable leader. “Roosevelt’s handicap played little direct role in his candidacy or the campaign he waged. As the primary season drew near, the whispering campaign again kicked into high gear. The whispering, of course, was tied directly to Roosevelt’s presidential aspirations.”(Walps, 57) Boyd would agree with me when I make the assumption that if FDR were running for office with the media that we have today, they would demoralize his ability to be president. They would not concentrate on his policy views or other issues but they would try to depict him as weak to make a juicy story that could sway voter’s opinions. This is simply just an observation “The media industry needs to take responsibility for its role in producing spectacle for selfish purposes… And what the media has chosen to do is far from producing information. It has chosen to produce anxiety in the hopes that we will obsessively come back for more. “(Boyd) Now we live with the media always assuming that there is a scandal and trying to inform the people about it even if their proof is invalid just so they can make a profit. “We live in a world shaped by fear and hype, not because it has to be that way, but because this is the obvious paradigm that can fuel the capitalist information architectures we have produced… There is a reason that the public doesn’t trust institutions in this country.”(Boyd)

The media has sickened the public by producing information that gives the people anxiety of the well-being of our country. The Federal Communications Commission makes sure that there is no cursing or nudity on network television, but it is acceptable to let the media unnecessarily scare the public into believing the country is going into shambles. Someone needs to stop this from happening.



Text Response: The progression of the public

The identity of the public has grown tremendously since the ancient times. Jess Jarvis discusses the change in the view of the public by breaking it up into four stages. These time period’s start in ancient times when the people had no public opinions and ends in the present day where everyone has the ability to express themselves.

In the ancient times the public did not include the people of its society. The public contained of state and its rulers. The people of their societies views did not matter because of the lack of ability to express their views and the lack of rulers listening to the people’s views. It was not until the renaissance when the people were able to voluntarily join a public. They did so by gathering for events they were surrounded by such “as the theater, music, art, maps, and markets enabled some people to create their own publics” Gutenberg’s printing press also indirectly created publics by the mass production of books. Even though the public was brought together to share the same interests they still had no control over what the book said or how the play ended. This is similar to how in the ancient times the public had no control over the actions of their ruler.

The growth of publics has not stopped growing and neither has the way they are viewed. Jarvis argues that there is not one single public sphere. There are thousands of different interest group’s that is nearly impossible to pin point the view of the public as a whole. Due to todays technologies the amount of publics are endless. The Internet has blossomed into a device that can bring people together to join publics from all across the world.

This has brought a change that the rulers in ancient times would not be able to comprehend. The publics formed have given the people a voice to express their views. Our society today is filled with a variety of individuals that are not held to the restraints of mass production to smother the characteristics that make everyone different. We the people joined together by our ideas and interests have the ability to form a public to fit your specific view. The public sphere cannot conform us into following the path they think we want to take. The progression of the public has not and will not stop for any borders.

Applied Media Analysis: 7 deadly sins

The website, “7 deadly digital sins” discusses the social problems that the Internet has created. The creators of this website do a fantastic job at explaining each sin and how it correlates to digital use. This blog will analyze and discuss the sins that I see in my everyday life.

The sin of sloth on social media is when someone posts their support for a specific interest group but actually do not help the cause. It is like wearing a badge for everyone to see just to show they care. “We have no interest in the world around us. We are constantly just clicking, swiping, and flicking all the time. We do not get deeply enough engaged in the campaigns that we click on.” It has become so easy to retweet or share a post about animal abuse, but how does that help? For example if I scroll down my instagram feed this week people are posting pictures of cartoon characters for child cancer awareness week. I would like to make it very clear that I am not bashing people for spreading awareness just questioning the actual support they are providing be doing so.

Lust is involved in the digital world because it is the desire to use digital devices rather than spending time with others. Making everyone connected through the Internet distances us from face to face interaction. For example when a group of people are out to dinner and every single person is consumed by what is on their phone screen, what is that telling you? It makes me think that whatever is on your cell phone is more important than the people you are face to face with. Next time you are walking from class to class just take a look and see how many people are on their phones not paying attention to the person next to them. Everything in this day in age seems to be documented onto some form of media. The websites and apps that majority of people use make it accessible to inform your friends of what activities you have been involved in. It makes me wonder are people motivated to go to events such as parties or games just to post pictures of it?

We, as a society, should rethink the value of the social media and cell phones. Yes they both have many benefits but they can take away from disconnect us from other experiences. Think about the time you waste using the Internet on websites or apps such as Facebook, twitter, Instagram, etc. Now, do you regret the excessive time you wasted scrolling on these pages? I surely know I do.