Tag Archives: netnarr

Reflection II: «Permission»

Sunday again, and time for another reflection over the past week. People say that everyone can write, but can anyone become a writer? I’ve struggled with writing most of my life. I can speak with passion about any subject that I fancy, but I often find a mental barrier, or filter, that somehow causes thoughts to scramble, which leads to incoherent text at times. I’m also in a constant rush to catch the monkey in my mind, running around with the dictionary.

I recently heard the idea of thinking in images and thinking in words, Dr. Jordan Petersen talked about his fascination for the well-known Carl Jung. People leaning towards either side, and some people having the ability to do both. With regards to creativity, I believe that highly creative people within visual arts do think in the realms of images, academics in words, and some of the best writers can probably do both – as in describing their imaginary fantasy with perfect sentences.

I believe that I’m of the image-type. I often struggle to convey thoughts that I have, often during photoshoots. Being able to draw can often ease that tension. So where am I going with this introduction. I was sitting here wondering about what I was going to write about this week, we’ve been through some basic meme creations and talked about eras within digital arts. About people breaking free from the traditional art found in museums. People striving for a new way to be creative. So, I thought about this for some time, and then I remembered someone I truly appreciate, John Paul Caponigro, fine art visual artist and photographer. He’s spoken about the creative process at a number of occasions (links below) and believes that everyone is creative, and that permission, passion and persistence are key points.

Gail Sher laid out some simple thoughts in the book “One Continuous Mistake: Four Noble Truths for Writers”; Writers write, writing is a process, you don’t know what your process is until the end, and if writing is your process, the only way to fail is not to write. This thought is applicable to most creative fields if you just replace the word ‘write’ with anything else.

Caponigro speaks about the power in using words to form association with creative ideas. They can help us spark the fire to light up the subject at the right time. This made me think about Google Cloud Vision API, a system for image analysis. Anyone can use it to detect a large number of details in an image, like if there’s people in them, text, relevant keywords, colors, and other properties. Fun way of ‘seeing’ deeper into an image and extracting useful information.

I’d like to say in summary that we need to be open to artistic expression. We may not enjoy the aesthetics of every piece or specific genre, but there is always someone that does. The debate around subjectivity and objectivity in aesthetics is not an easy nut to crack, but I do enjoy this quote from David Hume:

“Not to mention, that there is a species of beauty, which, as it is florid and superficial, pleases at first; but being found incompatible with a just expression either of reason or passion, soon palls upon the taste, and is then rejected with disdain, at least rated at a much lower value.” (Of the Standard of Taste).

Google Cloud Vision API: https://cloud.google.com/vision/ 

102 Educated Memes

So now the third week is coming to an end, and I’m struggling to find out what I’m going to write about. This week has been quite eventful, lot’s of different events popping up. We’ve had lab and lectures, learning new things. Monday, in the lab, we made memes. When it was announced I was again sceptic about the whole thing. I thought “Memes? They aren’t made, they just happen.” However, I’d forgot the ole caption memes that are pron to circulate on 9gag and other meme pages. This is probably one of the most classic ways of conveying memes, and I’d completely forgot! Nowadays I consume most of my memes through, pardon my french, “shitposts” and YTP (YouTubePoop).

Making memes were actually pretty fun and even before our professor was done giving her instructions I was at it with meme-creations. I made four in total (originally posted @espen4lyfe on twitter):

 

 

And I guess this counts as my weekly contribution for the class? I hope so because I’ve been slacking on the DDAs this week, being somewhat sick. As I’m writing this; the memes I made Monday even foreshadowed it!

We also had a pretty interesting lecture with a friend of Mia (The Professor), Dr. Leonardo Flores. Usually I take loads of notes from every class I attend, but this time I chose to do switch it up and pay more attention. How smart this was, I have no idea. However it was a change of pace and the topics he covered had interesting angles to them. Flores showcased some video-game history as well as different types of digital art. He focused on how digital art and electronic literature had evolved and adapted with the times. You could say that with new tools comes new creativity. It kind of put it in perspective for me how different traditional art and digital art is. Digital art has a main theme often when it comes to communicating with the receiver mainly: being interactive. Like with memes. Memes are the easiest way to communicate and convey a message. That is probably one of the main reasons of it’s rapid growth over the last 20 years. One more thing that I want to mention is the twitter bots. I’ve always known about them (mainly through annoying spam-bots with lewd pictures), but now I followed a couple of different funnier ones like for example @regrettoegret ‏and @pentametron

I don’t have all that much more to say today. As I said, I’ve been sick. I’m never sick so when it hits me I feel like I’m dying. Maybe I’ll make a strong comeback next week with stronger reflections and thought about our course. I hope so. Anyway, check out the Scandinavia and the World comic, and bye.

– Espen

Defining art

As a collective, we humans really like to categorize things. Ourselves, our political leanings, other cultures, types of media and sub categories of the media. Not only are categories and excellent way to sort through tons of stuff, but also in removing a lot of preamble in day to day conversations. While labels like feminist or liberal brings a ton of baggage it gives an indication of what kind of person you are talking too. Sporting pins or other icons representing your chosen category acts like a filter. I would naturally steer away from people sporting a MAGA hat or a Pepe/FBI t-shirt. This saves both me and the other person a lot of grief. Categories and labels has always been an important part of representing yourself. The whole “are games art?” debate and social justice stance that labels regarding self-identity and how its best left up to the person being labelled, show’s us the influence of categories.

Which is why I’ve had so much fun in reading my fellow student’s blogs. In their words you can see a certain uncertainty in what extent this and that falls under the umbrella of digital culture and digital art. You can see this too in the structure of the course. It’s split in three parts, digital art, games and electronic literature. Does that mean that games and e-lit is not digital art? I can see breaking digital art into different facets, but when it’s split into its own category what does that mean.

When it comes to defining digital art in the first place I naturally went to Wikipedia. Siting Wikipedia is as always seen as a great sin, but since anyone can be an editor it also works as a good way to find the median understanding of more ethereal concepts. This hivemind of the masses produced the following definition:

“Digital art is an artistic work or practice that uses digital technology as an essential part of the creative or presentation process. Since the 1970s, various names have been used to describe the process, including computer art and multimedia art. Digital art is itself placed under the larger umbrella term new media art.”

While this is a serviceable start point it’s important to try to flesh it out. This is where the course curriculum comes in handy. Incidentally we have the book Digital art by Christiane Paul. Firstly, she brings a really good point around definition and why defining digital art is a pain:

“Definitions and categories can be dangerous in setting up predefined limits for approaching and understanding an art form, particularly when it’s constantly evolving, as is the case of digital art.”

I don’t envy anyone forced into a position where you must define art. By setting a limit you will always end up excluding innovative pieces that push the boundaries.  Digital art is a relatively new notion, born out of the desire to categorise the outlier to pre-computer art which makes defining it even harder as it’s constantly growing. But despite all this, Paul comes with a serviceable definition of digital art:

“…art that uses digital technologies as a tool for the creation of more traditional art objects – such as a photograph, print, or sculpture…”

And for new media:

“…digital-born, computable art that is created, stored, and distributed via digital technologies and employs their features as its very own medium.”

We can see that the definition offered by Wikipedia clashes with Paul’s. Paul defines new media and digital art as two separate entities while the wiki sees digital art as a sub category to new media. This poses a problem. Which classification should we follow? Categories and classifications are subjective in their nature and their truth is based not in some Boolean fact, but in usage. Even the most common definition of life could also apply to fire which requires oxygen, eats and procreates, but most people would not count fire when deciding what basic right a living thing is given.

My knee jerk reaction is to follow the academic definition presented by my curriculum and I’ll surely use is as my basis in any academic text written for the university. However, there is merit in the tiered setup presented by the masses of Wikipedia. Sub categories allows us to peek between our fingers and jumble ideas while still allowing us to well-fitting categories. Anyone who listens to metal music will be familiar with this approach (please don’t burn me at the stake if you disagree with the classification presented in the graph. I’m but a simple jazz enthusiast which know next to nothing about metal and only needed an example)

 

metalmusic

 

So why should we care about categories at all? If it excludes, muddles and is inherently subjective, what is the point? Well… outside of my earlier points about filtering etc, it helps in creation. Sitting in a blank room trying to dream up a new idea is damned difficult. Most, if not all, has run into option paralyzes during our life. The human mind is great at modifying existing thing or dreaming up solutions to problems, but that’s because of limitations. Given unlimited funds and time we tend to over analyse and design everything. This is where categories shine. Want to make music? What category? Immediately you have a framework. You can subvert expectations, but you’re building of off an existing framework. So, by having a category of art which is defined not only by the digital framework of it’s creation but also by it’s link to traditional art you give yourself plenty of room for innovation while also having a framework.

Finally, I want to shout out a few blogs from other students.

First of its Ane’s blog where she in a stroke of genius recreates the feeling of exiting digital art in Spore. She also links a new song to each blogpost (without auto playing them) which I heartily approve of. https://anelundo.wordpress.com/2018/02/03/art-of-the-week/

Next up is Roj with an insight into evolution of photography. He also sites a very interesting idea proposed by Flores which came up during our lecture. The idea that e-lit and literature will die out in the next half century. While I disagree with the notion I still find it an interesting topic to think about. https://thelifeofroj.wordpress.com/2018/02/02/one-step-closer-to-the-matrix/

 

Lastly from my study buddy John with his really good “Tweet or die” post. The outlining of the discomfort which comes from blending personas, here IRL and online persona, is something I’ve had on my mind ever since my short stint in sociology and first reading Goffman. https://tronkel.wordpress.com/

UP FOR MEME´s AND GIFs?

/ Last week it was time for studying digital art and the movements of art that occurred during the 1900´s, and in the lab group last Monday we made memes! During the winter season, on a grey Monday (At least in Bergen..) it was fun to do something different in class. I´ve learned how to make a meme (It´s my first time making one), a tiny bit about the computer history etc. So… I tried to come up with something funny, but this is what I came up with! (#dda= Daily Digital Alchemy)

meme blogg.jpg
This we´re going to make a GIF about #netnarr (as I explained in the previous post), this have become a kind of calling card of Internet culture. We´ve all seen them. They populate the Internet on blogs and social media and are part of what makes news and entertainment sites popular. GIFs are often used for an entertainment and as statements, maybe also replies in online conversations. I feel that they are often used to illustrate concepts in a funny way. You can also look at it as art in some way. A GIF is basically an image file format that is animated by combining several other images or frames into a single file. This is displayed in succession to create an animated clip or short movie. But enough about explaining what a GIF is, because I think you all know what it is. 😂 I will make a GIF this week, and it will be up on the blog by Sunday! ✏

 

Hello World!

To many the idea of coding, using math, logic and nerd power to create something sounds like magic. Looking at sites like Facebook or games like Skyrim you’ll feel overwhelmed by the mere prospect of trying to replicate it. I as a programmer do to. The reason I most often hear things like “this is why I don’t do code” is because people see some code which a person has worked on for hours/weeks/years. Even simple code can be made to look intimidating. Refusing to stick to naming conventions or using fussy logic will immediately make whatever your making look like something out of 2001 a space Odyssey.

Today I want to touch on this and give a few tips on how to start getting into coding, specifically basic HTML code. Most of my methods are however not rooted in code, but rather project management and pedagogy. So, if you’re just here to see how I teach myself stuff skip any code heavy parts and focus on why I’m choosing different methods and sites. As with everything else, I’m not an expert. These are observations ant tricks which I’ve picked up during my three years as a programming intern, lead programmer and project manager. My tenure as project lead led to the closure of the studio and to the extension of my three-year bachelor to a four year one, so these lessons came at a price.

First of a few links:

Why advice is dangerous, and you should take any with a grain of salt:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=miwrDpbb25Q

Why only looking at the successful people is a bad idea:

https://youarenotsosmart.com/2013/05/23/survivorship-bias/

Why you’ll probably never feel comfortable with your current skill:

https://www.themuse.com/advice/how-to-banish-imposter-syndrome-and-embrace-everything-you-deserve

Okay so you want to learn something, this time it’s basic coding. This might just be for the joy of learning in and of itself, it might be because you want to try your hand at making coding art. Well I got new for you, this might take some time. It depends on how complex and out there you want to be. If you want to make a bad first-person shooter in Unity it will maybe take you a day in unity using their premade assets. You’ll have a project which runs, but you’ll be at their mercy. So instead we’ll start with something small. By starting small you’ll get a better grasp on how the basics work.

So lets head over to my favourite website currently present on the world wide web http://sau.no/. Sau.no is a small site which tells you everything a metropolitan need to know about sheep.

The text says:

Sheep are stupid animals.

Sheep are food for among others, wolves.

Simple and clean. All text is cantered, there is a picture and a link to another html site, wolf.no. At your current level, can you replicate this site without looking at it source code? If yes, then this tutorial is probably not for you. Scroll down for the epic conclusion or follow along and wince as I misrepresent coding and learning methods. If no, then please stay a while and listen play.

First off, this site is old and breaks a few conventions in web development, but trust me, caring about conventions and correct code to early will only stop you from having fun. And having fun while learning is paramount. First of you’ll need something to write your code in. I can recommend notepad++ as a good starting tool (I still use it for quick development and people who say that it’s trash are only thinking of large scope projects). If you don’t want to download anything you can just use any old text editor like notepad to follow along. Once you have notepad++ up and running you will see something like this:

notepad++

This will be where the magic happens and as we know, all magicians cheat. So, lets cheat, go back to sau.no, right click an empty part of the screen and choose “View Page Source”, this will open a new window showing you all the code needed to create this marvel of a website. First of we have what are called tags.

Tags helps our computer run things in the right order while also classifying what we are doing in a computer readable way. The first tag we encounter is the <html> tag. This bad boy tells the computer that the following code is supposed to be html. This first tag is linked to the very last tag of the document, the </html> tag. The / symbolizes that we are no longer playing with html. If you’ve coded a bit before you might be rocking a bit back and forth right now. Where is the !DOCTYPE? Well in never time we add a declaration at the start of any html document to signify what version of html we are using. Never versions have many fancy smancy things it can do, but sau.no is so pure (and old… and mouldy) that it does not need to declare anything. If you really want to be proper, then look at this site to see how and why DOCTYPE is a good thing:

https://www.w3schools.com/tags/tag_doctype.asp

In the link you’ll also encounter the other basic tags which comprise a basic html page. The head, title and body tag. The head tag is where all your meta and dark magic usually goes, for now just thing of it as a place to add the title tag

The title tag is always placed in the head tag and for good reason, nothing you write in the head tag should show on your site. The title tag rather, changes the text in your tab/window so that anyone visiting your soon to be brilliant site knows what’s up.

The body tag is where all your content goes, all text, images etc goes here.

So, let’s set up the essentials. Write or copy paste the code from the sau.no source code into your editor (notepad++ and the like). Remove everything which is not one of our four known tags. Now your code should look something like this:

sau1

The body tag has some weird colour code, but lets ignore that for now because it’s time to take a look at our creation! Save your html code wherever you want, I recommend making a specific folder for the project. Remember to save your file with the .html ending! If you save it as sheep.txt for example it will not be recognized as html code. Once saved, open it up in your favourite browser and behold what you’ve created!

….

Not much to look at for the moment, but your tab should now read ww.sau.no. Let’s change this by adding some stuff inside the body tag. We’ll do this in the quickest manner, so just go ahead and copy paste everything from the source code into your document. Now you got a center tag, some br tags, fonts! An img tag and a sprinkle of a’s and b’s.

Every last one of these tags are here for a reason and this is where we’ll get into why this is a good way to learn coding. Every coding language has what’s called documentation. Documentation is the rules and functions of your chosen language and the best way I’ve found to grasp the basics is by finding simple projects and slowly read up on every piece one by one. You might have guessed what the center tag does from it’s name, but google html center tag. This will most likely bring you to wc3schools page on the topic. You’ll find that it’s not supported by newer versions of html and that you should use css. This is what I’ve dubbed a breadcrumb. These breadcrumbs are future reading topics to explore after you’ve understood your current project. I’ll probably make a short tutorial on how to use css to style your page later, but for now just remember that the center tag changes the layout of your html page and should therefore probably be done with css.

The same goes for the font tag where we find our second breadcrumb of interest. Under compatibility notes we see a snippet of css code where they use something called a p tag. Whenever I stumble upon an unknow tag which I’m not using I note it down somewhere and check it out later.

So, after reading up one the different tags used in the source you should know that most of the clutter is styling code. Centring code, adding fonts, resizing and adding space. The only two tags that seems to really belong here is the a and img tag. The img tag tells your computer that you want to grab a picture with a specific name and size. Lets go ahead and download the picture of the sheep from the site and place it in the same folder as sheep.html file. If you place it somewhere else, it will not be found. This is due to file hierarchy playing a role in how we fetch images. The src=”sau.jpg” text indicates that you file is named exactly that. If you renamed the file you will have to use the exact name that you chose. If you wanted to have a folder of images instead of having them in the same space as the sheep.html file you would have to do something like scr=”folder/sau.jpg” or if you wanted to have your .hmtl file in a folder it would be scr”//sau.jpg”. the double slashes pushes you one folder up, again google is your friend.

Lastly, we have the a tag, which is a simple link. Inside the href you’ll find url to whatever site you want to point at. Let’s change this to the url of this blog so that I get more clicks. Now it really makes no sense to have the word ulv (wolf) pointing at my site so let’s change the word to “narrer” (jesters). And with that you have a complete site! A near perfect rip-off.

narr

Sligthly varied results are expected

On the way you learned the very basics of html. You have also picked up quite a few bad habits. Styling in the html code instead of in css and omitting the !DOCTYPE, but you have made something. And by making this ripoff you now have a few breadcrumbs to follow. What is css and how do it use it to style my html? Can I use something else than text as a link? How do I remove the stupid blue colour from links? Can I use other images with different sizes? Is there a better way to make headlines than size? Can I imbed auto playing music or YouTube videos?

By starting small you will build up a vocabulary and knowledge of how things work. Don’t make something perfect from the start. Use old faulty methods if they work and change it out once you’ve learned why the new method is better.  Make a note of what sites suggests you should do instead, but wait with the upgrading for later. The goal is learning and having fun, not making something a seasoned coder can look at and musingly say “hmm yes this is clean code”. By experience coders never really do this even if the code is sound.

That is the end of my needlessly long tutorial to replicate an old website from the late 90s. While it might be much MUCH faster to just copy paste the code and add more stuff on top I hope that you’ve gleaned an insight into how you can learn from the process and why it’s helpful to take your time in creating basic stuff. Do you have any good tricks for making learning fun? Maybe you already have a tutorial for making twitter bots or gifs? Feel free to post them in the comment section or @ me on twitter and maybe I’ll make a post about trying them out.

I participated in Global Game Jam 2018. A post about memes and bit sized ideas.

This weekend I spent three days completing a game with five other people, but another person from my class did the same thing and also blogged about it so I’ll let the post about my experience simmer a bit longer before I post about it here. You can check out Elias’s blog about his experience here: https://eliasblogorg.wordpress.com/.

What I want to a talk about this time is something I eluded to in an earlier post, memes.

doing it right

The Wikipedia page on memes has very eloquent and well formulated definition.

“A meme is an idea, behaviour, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture … A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols, or practices, that can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena with a mimicked theme.”

While the idea of memes is far from new, the popularity of the world wide web has made the term highly relevant in our everyday lives. Codes of conduct manifests in the forms of memes, filter bubbles expect certain reactions which to a wider audience would seem random or carry little to no information. For anyone new to the twitch chat, Kappa might just be one of a thousand silly faces, but in the community, it’s prescribed meaning. Any statement containing the Kappa emoji is sarcastic or in some way over the top. Complex issues can be treated in a light-hearted manner by captioning your thoughts over a picture of a penguin.

awkpenguin

In older times memes were harder to transmit. One of my favourites is the story of Martin Luther and the anabaptists. Luther as you might know proclaimed his dissatisfaction in the way the Catholic church handled its affairs. He also proposed the radical idea that the bible should be translated from Latin to German so that everyone, not just the priests, could read the holy word of God. While this was not a new idea, plenty of people argued against the church before Luther (and were killed off), but Luther had one tool available to him that the ones who came before had not. The printing press. He could share and spread his ideas to more than the people living in the same town. Sermons and arguments where printed and distributed among the populous and even if the church had gotten to him, they were powerless to stop the printing of his heretic ideals. One of the results of this spread where the creation of a radical version of Protestantism/Lutherism, the anabaptists.

Martin Luther

This religious group was built around another idea Luther had thrown about, that the everyday man could not only read, but understand the bible in their own way. Through debates and a pinch of the expected religious spirit this was interpreted that anyone could be a prophet which in turn ended up with one of my favourite moments in history where about ten thousand poor people took over a city, made it a pseudo communistic city state which promptly descended into a burning mess. For anyone interested in reading more about the topic I urge you to listen to Hardcore History’s “prophets of doom” episode or just reading the Wikipedia article.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%BCnster_rebellion

https://www.dancarlin.com/product/hardcore-history-48-prophets-of-doom/

In both the instance of the awkward penguin meme and the teachings of Martin Luther we find complex ideas and thoughts represented in a much simple from. By boiling down ideas to the core they have gained the ability of being shared much faster than the whole truth. Nearly every instance of education does this and for good reason. Trying to explain calculus all at once would be an impossible task, but by cutting it down into manageable bits we can over time paint a picture of the whole. The problem is in the “over time” part. If you where do drop out in the fourth grade, your view of what calculus is will be extremely incomplete and in many ways wrong. If you’ve only had depression and social angst explained to you in two sentences a pop, you’ll have a very naïve view indeed.

antifeminism

So, what happens when our form of communication more and more resembles memes? When most of our impressions and understandings of a subject comes from Twitter, Reddit, YouTube, blogs and 4chan? Where most debates happen in a filter bubble or in anonymous discussions where the participants are ever changing and there is no possibility of creating a lasting vocabulary understood and agreed upon by both sides. I’m far from having any academic understanding of these implications, but instead I have subjective observations which I can build a case on. Not a strong case, but maybe something to build upon later.

antimenist

This quick pace and aimless discussion style invites the use of the “us or they” mentality. Either you’re a feminist or your one of “them”. Wither you’ve swallowed the red pill or you are part of “them”. You agree, or you are one of “them”. By splitting any debate into us or them you paint a black and white world view. Any question becomes a Boolean result of true or false. Fact or fake news. By having this mentality, groups are invited to prove the other side wrong instead of proving yourself right.

I have myself done this plenty of times and I still do. Certain ideas or ideals are cemented in my mind as undisputed truths which I’ll never let go. I have however, tried to be more critical of my “simple fact”, but as neuroscience has shown us, evaluating the brain using the brain is damned difficult. Compound on top of this the social pressure of not going against your “gang” and introspection ends up being a lofty goal. You can see this social pressure to conform to an idea everywhere. Feminist disagreeing and falling out over the topic of “are we using #metoo to much?” or the alt rights “is it okay to be gay if you don’t show it?”. One missed step or poorly phrased thought can leave you shunned from your community.

truefalse

#HasJustineLandedYet is a digital artefact which haunts me every time I act in public. Jon Ronson has an excellent ted talk about the vindictive and pleasurable experience it is to tear someone down. How one person can become a meme in themselves. The talk capsulate how Justine Sacco went from a nobody to the embodiment of white privilege and how Twitter went about solving the issue. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAIP6fI0NAI&t

There are many conclusions that can be drawn from my musings. The easiest might be that social media makes us dumber and we should all go back to our Nokia 3310, but might that not be to simple a solution to a complex problem? Maybe if the problem was as simple as our bit sized understanding of it, but sadly I don’t think it is. Maybe we just have to do the same as we do with so many other complex problems. Try to educate one another and ourselves. By keeping in mind who we can hurt and how we blind ourselves. If we consider that the scumbag Steve meme is a picture of an actual person before we share it, maybe we’ll find ourselves in situation a tiny bit better than we find today.

wholesome meme

 

 

 

Reflection: «Bread Crumbs»

To whom it may concern;

I will post a text every week, and most likely late Sunday, with some reflection on the previous days. This is where I can reflect and contemplate on the various topics I’ve been through at the university. I may not include a thought on everything, but I hope that I can engage in something that sparks my creative light. Creative people know well that the spark is not always easily found, but exposure to content can often ease the process.

Tracking. We leave our tiny digital prints where ever we go in our modern society. Most of us has heard of cookies; Small capsules of information, soaking up our habits on the Web. These are used to store information about us on our computers. They make our lives easier in many ways. Remember when you’d have to punch in your login information every time you visit a site? Cookies got your back. They help the site remember who you are and can store your credentials – and a lot of other frequently used information. So why is this a bad thing? I’s sounding pretty useful. Well, like a lot of other conveniences, it can be exploited; Your information is tracked. Third parties can use information about your habits make money – and this is big business. You may wonder how the ads you see on a site know exactly what you’re interested in.

We’ve been so used to having access to loads of free content and sites, but nothing is truly free, and we should be aware of how we’re paying for that access. Regardless of the platform we use.

Richard Stallman is one of those brave souls standing up against this new world of collection information. He’s a well-known activist for free software (free as in freedom, not as in beer) and programmer. Most famous for the development of the GNU software and the Free Software Foundation, and of course the GNU General Public License (GPL). Many view Stallman as a fundamentalist, and this can be valid claim, but he’s a beacon and his views are becoming more relevant than ever before. You don’t need to follow his pathway through the digital era, but people should be aware and then choose for themselves. I’ll include some links at the bottom of this post.

What else is going on besides cookies and tracking? Like most businesses, they want you around. Returning customers are often a source for recurring revenue. How can a site like Facebook keep you around for extended sessions of browsing? This is where we bring in choice architecture. Large teams of engineers use technology and psychology in ways to keep you around, making sure that you see content that may intrigue you to continue surfing. Like, one more cat video, right? I’ll link to a podcast from Sam Harris where he’s speaking with Cass Sunstein about choice architecture, and other interesting topics.

They can for example use JavaScript to track your curser movement through the site. Figuring out that kind of content that will make you stop, read, or move on. Every feed is becoming more and more dynamic based on analysis of our habits.

So, what’s the big deal? Does it hurt me? How does it affect society?

I’ll not attempt to answer them here and now, but I may revisit the issues in future posts, but the short answer is yes, it’s kind of a big deal.
Richard Stallman: https://stallman.org/

Richard Stallman, Explaines Everything: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUibaPTXSHk 

Waking Up with Sam Harris – #101 – Defending the Republic: https://samharris.org/podcasts/defending-the-republic/

Just a little hello

Hello blog, hello fellow students, hello world.

Let me introduce myself. My name is Kamilla Sara Isabella, soon turning 26 and currently living in Bergen whilst studying at University of Bergen.

I will be posting weekly to update you on my digital progress.

I created the blog in 2014 because of a digital marketing course I had in Oslo. Every now and then I think about the blog, I think about posting – sometimes I ended up doing so and some of those posts has been deleted and left are a few pictures.

I imagine that this blog will be my silent sparring partner during the course Network Narratives (comments and inputs along the way are appreciated), and hopefully through the rest of my journey within Digital Culture.

After these two first weeks I feel that I have gotten a taste of what this spring will bring. Along with this blog I have created a twitter account. I am not especially active yet. I hope to find the tweeter(?) in me, because up until now it has not really been my kind of platform.

As well as having a feel of the course it is already having me think about my direction in the digital field. We had a studio visit with Brett Gaylor. Gaylor is the filmmaker of the documentary series “Do not track”. The series as art was cool and and the subject of tracking is both exciting and scary. It lead me to think about what this can mean to me in terms of my own privacy but also workwise.

Time to show you my “accomplishment” this week. After been given 30 minutes to create a meme, which is something I never have done before this is what I ended up with.

meme

 

Here I am. I will see YOU next week.

God søndag!

– Isabella

101 My Digital Life

My first blogpost.

This is my first blog, started as part of the subject I’m attending this semester; 103 Net Narratives. I also started a twitter account so that I could interact under the subject’s hashtag; #netnarr. Initially I was very sceptic about but as I’ve been a part of this course for a few weeks I realize that it was way more interesting, but the interactive part of the course is pretty interesting. We’ve also covered pretty interesting topics showing how the tools the digital media comes with can be used in many different manners. One can bring new creative angles on how to use “old” mediums and/or make new one angles of your own. My first impressions of #NetNarr was somewhat sceptic and critical of the style of the course, but have since adapted and come to enjoy it. Exploring different styles of digital art and watching the engagement from the professor has helped a bunch.

 

I can’t quite remember when, but as far as I can remember I’ve been entertained from the internet, games, forums etc. At an early age I discovered YouTube and later blip.tv(now part of Maker Studios), online forums and other communities on the internet that was interactive. This has pretty much shaped how I interact on the internet and my digital life; an open mind with a dose of scepticism. The internet culture can be so many things. I also learned editing at an early age and love it. I’ve always used the Adobe programs. I am for the most part self-taught so there is a lot more to learn. In later years I’ve tried to learn more about special effects, more advanced editing and such. Many of my own age consider themselves gamers and while I really don’t I still enjoy games. Especially RPGs or story-driven games such as the once made by Telltale, the Dragon Age franchise, KOTOR and so on.

 

To get started with the course I started up the mandatory Twitter account @Espen4lyfe and read through some of the hashtag, checking around and stuff. I also got some of the books necessary, although I still miss a lot of the essential ones that our professor wants us to read, but hopefully everything will turn out fine and the book store get stocked up. I also made a meme, of sorts, for the #netnarr. The meme is further down the page. This might have started a future competition, which I’m glad for. Next week we’re going to have labtime; we’re going to make memes. I’ve always considered memes to be something that just happens and not something you necessarily make voluntarily, but I’m up to see what this consists of. Maybe it’s a more analytical way of looking at it like answering questions like “why did this go viral” or “why is this forced meme not funny at all” or “when and why is a meme dead?”. Although, I don’t think memes will be the main course of this course. I hate puns. Anyway, among many of the topics covered in the classes the last two weeks I’ve found many of them interesting. The evolution of computing, A.I. and other topics have been very compelling and it has me intrigued about “what’s next”. Wether that’s what’s next for me, the course, or the future in general, I don’t know. It’s not like that is mutually exclusive, anyway.

 

To end this blog post I want to set some goals over the next 3-4 months. These goals are: learn the very basics of JavaScript. The 101. I also want to learn more editing, of course, and the basics about 3D modelling. Preferably in the software called Blender, because it’s free. I also want to learn to understand more about digital art, discover more digital art and sides of it that I might’ve disregarded or never thought of. Learn new angles of understanding. And maybe learn to differentiate digital art from traditional art in a more obvious way, or more in a more clear way. The first part of these goals are not covered by the course, I think, but I think both 3D modeling and coding are important if you want to have anything to do in the digital art spectrum. And out of my own curiosity, of course. The second part of my goals are what I hope to learn from the 103 Net Narrative. Continue reading 101 My Digital Life