Monday, August 31, 2009

Response to "Rise of the Plagiosphere" and "The Ecstasy of Influence"

I found both articles rather interesting. I enjoyed the knowledge that I am not the only one who thinks that the lengths at which people go to to prove their rights over and idea are a bit extreme. In "Rise of the Plagiosphere," there was an interesting point: "The problem here is that while such rigorous and robust policing will no doubt reduce cheating, it may also give the writers a sense of futility." This made me smile because there have been countless times where I have been given an assignment where I felt I had no originality and that every sentence I wrote needed to be cited with a different source. I feared turning in assignments to college professor's wondering if they would find something in my writing that I had thought was a idea all to myself, but in reality was something written years before and wasn't profound at all. With giant search engines, like Google, it's become easier for people to access ideas in a sort of common domain, but at the same time this domain is not "The Common's" like it is defined in "The Ecstasy of Influence," but rather a "Common's" for cited information. But, we new aged surfers of the web come across this information all the time, and commit it to the vastness that exists in our minds without citation or credit to the originator, only to reproduce it as common knowledge, later, to our friends. This point is brought up in both articles. People borrow and are influenced by the things they see, read, hear, or observe; but it never is the case where these things are their ideas first and then when these borrowed things are reproduced in a new way, is it really plagerism or is it as Thomas Edison theorized (which I read in "The Ecstasy of Influence" and am placing here...).

I feel that Ideas being copyrighted and kept for ones own gain is very curious.

1) Everything influences everything.
2) No one idea can be fully completed at one time. There are new technologies and information that is discovered day by day that changes and manipulates a single idea into something far deeper then it originally was. How can someone own and idea that needs to be expanded by other developments they have nothing to do with. It limits what the idea can turn into and delays the development of the human conscience.
3) It is ridiculous that someone can own something so non-tangible. Can you touch and idea? Can you store it away on a shelf? Can you file it away? Ideas float in space. They exist as electrical pulses in your brain that slowly leak out as energy that is expelled as you speak of it/act on it. How can you own energy? Energy is truly dynamic as it changes places and can you copyright something that is always changing and developing into something new?

Multimedia, I think, creates a public common of information. Multimedia is everywhere and incorporated in everything. How can things so public be owned when, because of the public nature, it become "common knowledge". How can things so ingrained in society, as a part of a whole, be separated out to be owned when as soon as it is thought, it is there for the taking by anyone? Think of Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter..each have status updates where people put what they are thinking at that moment up online for everyone to see in the domain. Are their thoughts owned by the individual...can I not think the same thing without mentally citing a Twitter update and turning myself in for plagiarism?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Web Autobiography

I guess I would have to consider myself a digital native. When I was little we had the "black and green" computer that didn't really do anything unless you had the giant floppy disks that went with it. I think that was the first Oregon Trail game I had. There was also a Sesame Street Themed word processor my mom used to let me use. When AOL (America Online) first came about, my parents were all over it. I think we probably had one of the first versions installed on our home Dell computer. I didn't really discover web browsing until middle school, though. I never knew what to look for, so my ability to find new things was skewed until people started giving me ideas. Mostly, the internet was used for e-mail through AOL at my house until my parents felt "us kids" were grown up enough to use NetScape or Internet Explorer. I remember when my sister got one of the first MP3 players. It could only hold about 10 songs unless you bought a bigger memory card, then it could hold up to 50 or so. We just thought it was cool because we could put interesting music mixes on it without burning new CD's.

My earliest memories of web surfing are when I was visiting a friend who introduced me to things like,,, and other such sites. I remember being amazed and confused by it. I couldn't quite grasp where all this information was coming from or where it was stored. I was fascinated by how much was already in existence on the web without my knowledge of it, and all I wanted to know was where it was coming from and who had the time to put it there. Before I was web surfing, though, I had a "kid's" AOL account that allowed me to get e-mail and instant message my friends from school who also had AOL. I guess that was before MSN Messenger was popular or Pidgon cam out.

I wouldn't say I hate the web, but I have to say there are parts of me that fear it and love it. I love it because of all the information I can find without having to leave my seat or trying very hard. I fear it because so much of my life has now been integrated into websites all over the world. My life is not my own and it is not private as long as I allow it to exist online.

My favorite site to visit is: