Future Gazing: “I Want Changes, But Not Big Changes”

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Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to you… I mean, I am not the most optimistic person in the world, and having to sit through eight of my posts must be excruciating, and I would like to congratulate you for the achievement.

So, since this will the last entry I will be writing for this blog, let’s tap into something juicy this time.

Consider this as my thanks for your patience =D

Chow Chow 😀

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Throughout the past eight weeks, we have explored the many theories and phenomenon that are incubated as a result of the birth of social media; Twitter, eExtremist, Wiki-Leak, Produage, Social Politic, Smart Technology and Avatar, and in details we have studied their impacts and significance to our current real world.

However, as a Social Scientist, although the current world is important, we are no anthropologists, and our focus lies into the future and not in the past.

So for us, the big question is: What happen next?

I mean;

– Would we all become cyborgs as smart technologies continue to evolve?

– Would the virtual community makes us all better-equipped people?

– Would collective intelligence  replace education institutes or even academic research?

– Would fifth estate leads us into great political transparency?

– Would produsage enslaves us into becoming the minions of infotainment?

– Would social platforms leads to the decay of the English Language?

– Would the merge of internet lead terrorism into the cyber sphere?

Many academics struggled to answer those sort of questions, and that is because for each answer they have proposed, more questions arise. For example, the manifesto of cyborg, surely it explained the phenomenon of  why people are so addicted to the technology, but yet it still failed to explain what will happen to those people who defy the use of technology to the extreme. Another example, collective intelligence might lead us into a bigger and better pool of knowledge, but it still failed to estimate a time within the foreseeable future that when will information become purely accurate.

Each theories failed in their own way to explain the future.

Because they all had it wrong.

Surely, internet itself is a technology we never had before its invention, but the function of it is no new idea.

Internet in a social platform, is a community.

Internet is a new world, and just like the world we are living in right now, a world occupied by humans.

And why, why would anyone expect us behaving radically differently when the people are the same, only in a different place?

Therefore, when it comes to future gazing, I favour particularly the theory of normalisation by David Resnick from the University of Cincinnati. His theory was that;

“Cyberspace has been transformed from a virtual state of nature into a virtual pluralistic civil society with commercial activity, organised interest groups and parties, and an emerging legal regulatory structure”. 

(Politics on the internet: the normalisation of cyberspace, 1998)

Throughout time, we are exposed to numerous chances to a different world, a fantasy world, such as the world of story telling, than the world of theology, then the world of written language. Initially, the world is often affiliated with magic, or lore, or innovative stuffs, but as time goes by, the world becomes progressively more structured, and assimilated into ways similar to our real world. Look at the Greek mythology as an example:

They started off with multiple Gods with amazing powers and abilities, living above us and all mighty… however, as times goes on, the concept of marriage, birth, war, death, emotions started to surface in the history of the mythology (not to mention the close affiliation the god world has to the human world such as Cupid as the God of human romance, further indicating how human needs to base the fictional world in the real world for the sake of some familiarity),  the world of Greek mythology has transformed from a pure world of powerful figures into a world parallel to the real ancient world of Greece.

As much as we want to go wild and be awesome and cool and imaginative, it is in our human nature to search for the sense of familiarity. We can only comprehend progressive and “familiar” changes, and we are utterly un-perpared to make any radical changes.

There is an old saying for this: “I want changes, but I don’t want big changes”.

Therefore, I remain doubtful when academics goes on and on, and skip right into the debate of utopian and dystopian. To me, the very existence of utopianistic and dystopianistic  argument is in question.

Sure, if you see it in the eyes of collective intelligence or virtual community, utopianistic idea is sound; with all the freedom of information and markets of ideas and contribution of knowledge, seems like the cyberspace is a breeding ground for prosperity and  freedom.

However, aren’t we forgetting the cyber law, and the many other public, social and private regulation that comes with it?

Of cause, if you see it in the eyes of cyborg manifesto and produage, dystopianistic idea is valid; with all the media monopolization and  the governmental restriction of  information, seems like the cyberspace is nothing more than a black hole for amnesty and citizen rights.

However, aren’t we forgetting the people’s power, and the fact that institution such as Wiki-Leak is at work?

How can be pick either side of the argument when both sides have major fallacies that yet to be solved? I mean, are will going to determine the quality of a car when you know it works well in summer time but not in winter time?

Though, one thing is certain though, and it is that the online world is progressively becoming more similar to the  world we are living in. For instance, marriages, relationships, discussion, exchange of goods, work, education and so go on… they are things starting to emerge within the cyberspace.

And you know what? they are things already existing in our real world! Therefore, rather than saying the online world is going to turn into something so new and so unpredictable that we cannot even begin to imagine, we should examine our current social conducts more closely, as the fact remains that we are simply transgressing the already existing social conducts into the online world with a little bit of a twist rather than creating a new set of social morale all together.

Surely, there will be changes to our traditional social custom. Just like in the olden day Religion is the one true fact and now most of us rely on hard science. However, the fact remains that we need a source of information about the world, and although the method of investigation has turned from superstitious to empiricism, the urge of information seeking remains the same, and never will be a day when we can live without knowing. It is in our nature and it is something socially unchangeable.

Same to the virtual world. Although there is now another world for human to play with and be innovative and creative, progressively, human nature will take place, and we will go back into the search of familiarity. We cannot cope with radical changes, we simply cannot.

Remember,

“I want changes, but not big changes”.

Social Media: The Fifth Estate of the Realm?

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Those whom studied the history of French Revolution would know the three estates of the Realm.They consist of clergy (the class of priesthoods), nobility (the class of nobles and the honoured) and commoners (the class of the regular and the ordinary), and it had stayed that way until the merge of the fourth estate in the twenty-first century (Bainbridge, Goc & Tynan, 2011).

Throughout this entry, we will take a slightly more academic approach in examining the position of social media in the political-sphere by exploring the concept of the “fifth Estate” using the concept fourth estate as our foundation theory.

Fourth Estate is a phrase that refers to the profession of Journalism, specifically the press (Reference)And fourth estate played a crucial role in our history in the development of our democratic society we have today. Newspapers were, in the 19th century, merely tools used by politicians and governments for the purpose of Public Relations and little independence were given to the press. The information disturbed were rigorously controlled. (Reference) 

However, since the late twentieth and the entire twenty-first century, the fourth estate, especially the press, started to gain independence and information freedom, and by the end of the twenty-first century arguable, the freedom of the press is almost unlimited.

However, when too much power and freedom is being given to the fourth estate, that is also when it starts to fall down hill… just like the three previous estates…

the press stated to select information that are beneficial to their institution over actual facts. The criteria they use to measure news-worthiness consists of entertain-ability, public exposure and “trendiness” rather than public interest, magnitude of the situation and the potential effect to the people.

No longer do they report news about things that really matters to us, rather, entertainment and amusement became a massive part of the fourth estate.

And it is for the precise reason of rating.

Most media institutions are privately owned, and in a capitalistic society, the primary goal for those institutions is profit. Rating means profit, and hence, it drives them to ignore the fundamental of the fourth estate: to maintain balance of the rest of the three estates.

Surely, since the downfall of the fourth estate, some traditional media had made the effort of skewing the negative image back to its original neutral position, such as Foxtel and its 24 hours Political and News Channel.

And yet, increasingly, we are seeing many negatives reports surfacing into our attention about the use of schedules, propaganda or even invasion of privacy, demonstrated by the Rupert Murdoch Media Scandal, a recent example of how a media entrepreneur can control the media unethically due to the intoxication of power.

For that, we cannot help but to question the concept of fourth estate the following questions;

– Are we witnessing the demise of the Fourth Estate?

– Has infotainment taken over the role of the Fourth Estate? (Banbridge, Goc & Tynan, 2011)

Also,

– Has the media no longer possess the power to control their power?

– What is the position of Social Media in this realm we are living in?

And this, lead into the Concept of Fifth Estate.

“Fifth state is the new media technologies, such as the internet, as modes of news delivery; originally applied to radio and television”. (Banbridge, Goc & Tynan, 2011), but its connotation also extend to anyone else that does not falls into the traditional four estates, such as twitter, youtube or blogs (Reference). 

Although until now, the fourth estate is still remained as the most influential and the most powerful information medium, we are stating to see the demise of its power, and it is progressively taken by the fifth estate because more and more people starting to acknowledge the corporate nature of the traditional media institutions and starting to lose faith in its independence and neutrality.

Therefore, we started to look for new sources of information we need for different aspects of our life, including our political life.

And social media was just what we need.

See the image below;

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In two years, 14% – 25% of the people using traditional means of gathering political information have switched to the internet-sphere, and the trend is that the amount of people switching on-line is only going to increase.

To us, the general people, there is an un-removable layer of latent distrust that causes us to have doubts to the corporate media, and hence we are seeking information online for the opinions of others, hoping to find some sense of neutrality and independence in the political information we seek.

And therefore, predictably, the fifth estate is going to be increasingly more powerful, especially when people are trying to find information they deemed independent, such as political information. Although the fourth estate will still remains its power in the world of entertainment, it is arguable that its power in the newsphere will soon be lost, and will be replaced by social media.

The fifth estate of the Realm is here, and it is real. It will replace the fourth estate in the world of political information distribution, leaving the traditional media nothing more than another centre of entertainment.

Second Life: An Ethnographic Study of its Interference to Our “First” Life

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Second life is, well, a quite unique phenomenon, and we can spend hours and hours talking about the theories in which the phenomenon encompasses. However, most relevant theories are often post-modern, meaning the concept of those ideas can be abstract and even figurative and hence, today I intend to start off with a story first.

All characters are protected by nom de plume.

2002, a couple named Peter and Sarah was married, and 5 years later the couple has produced 2 children, one boy and one girl. Although the family was not particularly rich, the family was deemed to be normal and average.

3 years ago, Sarah started playing an online game called “perfect world”, an online domain allowing players not only allowing players to fight monsters and level up, but also interfacing with other players in manners of social and business set out.

There are shops, trades, dating even marriage in the game.

The perfect world itself almost parallels the real world.

3 months later since Sarah started playing the game, she met a guy called john, and soon she was married to him for the purpose of completing a quest allowing only online coupled characters.

John told her over and again before the marriage that he has a girlfriend in real life that he loves.

Since the marriage, they communicated constantly and continuously, from online messages to offline messages to text messages to phone call, and even up to a stage whereas they exchange gifts to each other, despite the fact that they lived in different state.

Sarah progressively got sunk into the game, and 8 months later, she divorced her husband and left her 2 children, and started pursuing John.

John was than harassed by Sarah days and nights, and eventually, the harassment was so unbearable that John not only deleted his character in perfect world but also her number, also blocked her from any means of telecommunication.

Failed to communicate with John, Sarah travelled interstate to look for him. John was scared, and reported to the police.

Sarah was arrested and was sent to rehabilitation.

Interesting story? Perhaps entertaining? Can you even imagine someone you know doing it?

However, the sad truth is, it is an ACTUAL case study happened in Hong Kong (of cause, the official record was written more properly :P).

And this, is an example of how second life not only entertain our “first life”, but also interferes it.

The function of second life (or any online avatar gaming platform) is no longer seen as a source of entertainment or a simple pass time, but rather, the seriousness people often take in perfect world (or any avator-themed games) destroy the traditional and the fundamentals of our social perception in reality.

Surely, in such virtual world, Jenkins’ idea of collective intelligence definitely took place in the realm of perfect world, however, the positivity of it is hardly there for the general citizens, and only the entrepreneurs profit from every minutes of the their gaming addition.

For instance, Chinese online gaming market alone, in 2005 reached $580 millions, and the revenue it has  today can only left to the imagination.

Here’s a research done on the average hours of second life players spend on second life.

So, people often question my disgust of world of online gaming, and this is the exact reason why.

Look,

$580 million can provide food, shelter and education for 138,952 needed children in Africa for a year.

or provide aids treatment in Africa for more than 1,657,142 carriers annually.

or build 19 hopsitals in Africa 

or build 29,000 school in Africa.

And yet, annually we spend our money recklessly due to our addiction to a virtual reality, indulging ourselves in the imitation of something we can never be, wasting our time, money and potentially our real life relationship for such pointless simulation and stupidity when we can use both the time and the money for much better causes.

The case study we visited earlier perhaps had already outlined the destructiveness of such gaming, however, I will restate it right here right now;

“Second life is killing off our “first” life.”

And I am not making groundless claim,

as I will now ask you to recall a time when your relationship with someone involves not the mediation of a virtual mean,

and then, you’ll know my proposition is true,

as you will fail to recall one unless you search your memory at least 10 years ago.

Culture of Technopoly: A Culture Born to Kill Other Cultures

Smart Technology: Technology Epistemology or Culture of Technopoly

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Remember when we use the phone purely for calling people? Remember logging into the internet only for research? Remember texting people only as a reminder of something important?

And now?

Look, Technology no longer serves the function it served back in the 1990s. Since then, technology has evolved, and so its function has also evolved. Technology no longer serves only as a tool like it once was… technology today, arguably serves as a way of life, or perhaps a trendy custom…

However, almost definitely, it has become something far more significant. It has become a modern culture… also known as the culture of Technopoly.

Neil Postman, an American Media theorist explained the concept of “Technopoly”  in his book Technopoly: the surrender of Culture to Technology as:

“The primary, if not the only, goal of human labor and thought is efficiency, that technical calculation is in all respects superior to human judgement… and that the affairs of citizens are best guided and conducted by experts”. 

and nine years later, the statement was redefined by Qin as:

“culture life bended to the throne of technology, and human have to search for the meaning of life in machines and technologies”. 

Does it sounds somewhat familiar?

Indeed, it sounds exactly like us.

Back in the days when I was still a child (and remember, I am only twenty now and I was only seven,eight then, so I am not talking dinosaur time), I would get up at 7:00 in the morning, go yum cha with my grannies for breakfast, then take the bus to school, play bean bags and tic tac toe during recess, storm the handmade sandwich mum made me for lunch and moan about the loan of work by the end of the day. I would then get picked up, have a small treat like a Chinese cupcake or something, play around (and tripped for like a million times… I was a clumsy kid :D) in the playground until sunset, have a shower, dinner, homework and off to bed.

It was the culture of the people my age, and a day like that,if it went smoothly, I would have counted it as a decent day.

But that was before the merges of smart phone, tablet and laptop. It was before the merges of technopoly.

A few years back, I went back to Hong Kong and visited my family, some of which reached 7,8 then, and one day, I was asked to baby sit a handful of them. Logically, since I loved my childhood, I was trying to treat them the way I was being treated when I was at their age; and all hell break lose.

They did not get up 7 but 8 30, and their school start at 9. They did not want yum cha, and instead they want food they have “newly discovered” in the internet that I have never even heard of. They did not bring bean bags or cards to school, they have their phones and Ipads. They want not my home make lunch, they want to “eat out” in places recommended by celebrities they saw on twitter. They did not moan for homework because they were to busying complaining it to their friends and writing angry statuses about it. They did not want playing in the playground because google map didn’t show where it was.

I was petrified.

Surely, society changes constantly and inevitably, and as a young adult I have no problem adapting to reasonable changes. However, I can’t help but wonder, are those societal changes really reasonable?

To them, culture is no longer long standings of traditions like Morning yum cha, or even, a variation of some form of old custom like getting up early for school. The culture that surrounds them is a culture created by technology, spread by technology and enforced by technology.

Typically in Hong Kong, children as young as four, five years old would already own a smart phone, and as little as one or two they would have already possess the ability to operate one of them.

Surely, some might say technology assist development, and I am not arguing that it is not, however, the merges of technopoly is causing the degeneration of our dear traditions.

Mobile phone, Ipads, tablets… they now allow the user to access such an enormous amount of information, the overflowing of information constantly steal their focus away with interesting things, allowing them almost no time to comprehend the tradition of their own origin.

This is, suggested by Neil Postman, “Informing Ourselves  to Death“.

We rely so heavily on digital information as our source of information that, we utterly unaware that there are other information around us, and sadly, those information are hence lost. Although those information might not be as entertaining as your friend’s status, or the newest celebrity’s twit, or the tastiest food recommended by one thousand commenter, these information have their own vale. However, we are allowing ourselves in the over-indulging of sort of information brought to us by the culture of technopoly, we are obtaining it at the expenses of our own culture.

And all thanks to the portability of information brought to us my phones, tablet and laptops.

Of cause, they brought us more proficiency in the accessibility of information, perhaps even a new era of civilisation, however, for sure, they brought us a culture of techopoly.

Although some might argue differently, perhaps even a technological Epistemological approach such as Paul Levinson, suggesting that we in fact can control media, including its impact to the existing culture; I continue to hold my pessimism.

Technopolic culture is born to kill; although not to human kind, or to our anthropological or future development, its murderous nature pointed right at our existing culture; The culture of technopoly is a dangerous culture.

Because,

It is a culture born to kill other cultures.

Produsage: Making Us Dumber by Making Us Do More?

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– How often do we see a bad performance on Youtube  and comment on it?

– How often do we repost a status for a good cause like the breast cancer foundation?

– How often do we click a like button on facebook just to get their discount offer?

And why do we do that? Well, it’s simple; because we exercised our critical thinking and have decided that it is the best thing for us to do.

– We Comment on a bad performance  to spare the performer from further humiliation of themselves in the public.

– We Repost a status for a good cause to demonstrate support  by raising awareness.

– We Click the  like buttons to get awesome discount to save more money.

And it is all logically sounding…However, are we really exercising critical thinking? Or are we merely controlled by the hidden agenda that we no longer able to see through due to our busily scheduled life with the overflowing of information?

I mean, think critically, truly critical and not only the surface;

Every comment and view on Youtube makes money for the producer.

Every repost on Facebook constitute a better figure for organisation to bargain with investors.

Every like buttons create an extra avenue for companies to advertise to us cost-free.

And although us as the producer of the content produced those information, what did we get? Perhaps a more expensive bills for the faster internet and NOTHING.. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! Meanwhile, social media super stars such as Ray William Johnson and Smosh are making thousands and thousands by exploiting us the produser.

Never will I deny that produage is an interesting phenomenon. It, arguably, since the break of don, allowed those whom use the information, not only participate in the distribution of the information, but also in the recreation of the information. A piece of information can be absorbed, reproduced, reabsorbed, recreated and reproduced and so go on.  Theoretically, the forever continually recycling of the information allowed us the perfect chance to think things through critically.

However, it has a flaw… and just like communism, this flaw made it work only on paper… and not in reality.

When information flows so freely, and every minutes it has the opportunity to be reproduced and recreated, the amount of information available out in the publicsphere increase rapidly. Although our ability to process information has improved since than, the speed of our evolution can never catch up with the speed of the recreation of information.

And as a result, we became cognitive misers.

We no long has the time, nor the ability, to critically think through the intention of the original producer of the information.

We are doing more surely.

But we are also becoming more dumber.

Here’s an Example:

Rebecca Black is perhaps the most hated singers since Chris Brown since the whole Rihanna fiasco, and her song Friday was so negatively viral that it had more than 30,000,000 views since 2011, having more than 623,779 youtube users expressed their displease with the song expressively (via the dislike function on youtube).  Furthermore, even until today, most of the reviews are still negative on the Rebecca Black Channel, and the content are still… “unintellectual” and “soft”.

And yet, we still watch it and bitch about her, showing it to our friends and bitch about her together, showing it to co-workers at work to butch MORE about her… and the cycle of “bitching” is never-ending… and we all thought that it is logically sounding: a person wished to be humiliated shall be and will be humiliated by the public.

However, think critically, WHY would she post clips after clips KNOWING that she is not well-received?

Because she makes a tone of cash out of it.

Not to mention that for every thousand viewers she gets a certain amount of money (her total viewed to date is 86,236,712… just imagine if she get a dollar for every thousands view! That’s $86,236… the annual salary of a university professor!), she utilises her negative image to advertise her albums.

Sure, people are not buying her albums because she is a good signer; they are buying it just to tease her… but the unchanging fact is that she is probably earning more than both me and you… times ten.

Though, can we really see through the surface and understand her underlying intention? No, because most of the time we focus on discussion about how horrible she is as a singer and that we need to mock her every chance that we can, utterly unknown that she uses it as a marketing technique to further her income.

And remember; she did not reproduce or recreate any information.

We did.

And what do we get? Nothing but a sense of self-sanctification (perhaps self-gratification) of teasing her.

But what did she get?

Millions and millions of dollars… from us.

So still think produsage is helping us to improve?

I doubt it.

Surely, we are doing more.

However, we are also becoming dumber.

Produsage is, undoubtedly, making us dumber by making us do more.

Wiki-leak: When Brute Force Meet Brute Force

Wiki-leak: When Brute Force Meet Brute Force

It is always ideal that a world be harmonic and peaceful, without pain and suffering, where everyone respects and look out for another, and people can be ambassadorial and diplomatic.

But let face it.

The world, even until today, is still secretive.

Some countries might seem more civilise, more transparent,

But underneath,

There is still always a cloud of unknown,

A cloud of obscurity,

A cloud of uncertainty,

A cloud of shadow,

Made by the brute force of the government.

I use to think the US military as war heroes; the protector of the innocents, the restorers of justice, the aider of the defenceless, the scale of righteousness…

So when I saw the helicopter and its blood-lusting murdering of civilians, my heart was shattered; and felt especially ashamed of myself having lived in New York for half of my early childhood.

What I saw…

There was no laudable heroism; but there was cold-blooded killing.

This was no innocent protecting; but there was merciless butchery.

This was no justice restoration; but there was toying with human lives.

This was no defenceless aiding; but there was abusing of the helplessness.

This was no righteous scaling; but there was political warfare.

And yet, Wikileak is being attacked and accused of harming the harmony of the world.

Look, Wiki leak of cause can be categorised into the family of eExtremist… in fact, it is undeniable that it is doing massive damages to, not only US alone, but globally.

However, once you peel the onion and see the intention behind those damages Wikileak is doing, you will see that it is doing nothing more, but nothing less than attempting to ensure that the government is doing things ethnically.

In a way, it is no different to the “government approved NFO” such as Amnesty International, or Red Cross. Only it being more drastic, and arguably, more effective.

The US government has argued once and again that Wiki leak is penetrating the national security of the nation, and although many of its accusations seem sound, most of them are groundless if examined more critically.

For instance, how can showing video of a helicopter shooting wrongfully more hurtful to a family than actually shooting its family members?

Or how can an article about bombing a build with a disregard of bypasses’ life more cruel than bombing the building when there was a by-passer?

Being a reasonable, critical person, the logic of the government intelligence is beyond me, especially the way they try to “sweep things under the carpet” after wrongdoings.

So, although I disagree with some of the methods in which they obtain their information, I am at no intention to contradict to Wiki leak; both its principle and its operation.

I believe that the government have had power for too long, and are drunken by it, and had turned themselves into instruments of brute force.

Obviously civil methods are unless to them, otherwise Amnesty or Red Cross would have successfully dealt with such pandemic.

Therefore I believe that Wiki leak will create a whole new avenue of justice because it is not afraid to battle against brute force.

Although the battle will be horrifying, and perhaps chaotic.

However, it will succeed.

Because it is brute force against brute force; brute force from the government alone, up against brute force from the angry public.

And any wise government would know, the people will always win.

Skinhead Movement: When the Baby Potato Grows Poisonous

Skinhead Movement: When the Baby Potato Grows Poisonous

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Rage, anger, hate and despair. These are words often associated with skinhead movement supporters; often being condemned of being violent, cruel, close minded and racist.

But you know what is sad though?

Skinhead movement was never originally fuel racially.

They started off as some regular British high school dudes, wearing Hardcore Clothes and Dr. Marten Boots, pretending Emo before it became popular, screaming random skinhead quotes like “the only way to forget about a love is to find a new one”, talking about God here and there trying to be spiritual with their occasional crave for fish and chips.

Sure, not the coolest kids, probably responsible for half of the geek population (again, before it became cool) out there in the 60’s, but nevertheless, no way they were an army of pure evils.

Then, the harmless potato grew, and it became poisonous…

…When Skinhead movement became political.

They started to form a close affiliation with extremist party such as the Neo-Nazi and became so politically right winged that little people remained today still remember the original form of the skinhead. When spoken of skinhead, association drawn inside our minds are blood, conservativeness, discrimination, racism… and not independence, non-conformist ideology and liberty which were what Skinhead originally was.

Their affiliation is so close that, when I search up “Neo Nazi”, “The Skinhead International Australia” popped up as the third result in Google. This I must admit scares me a little.

Look, I am all for the internet being uncensored and I believe that the exchange of digital information should be not restricted groundless, however, it does not mean that I am prepared to hold up to people who abuse the internet as a forum to encourage racial discrimination. Although there is a very fine line between opinion and hate spreading, and sometime the line can be blurry and hard to define, it will always become obvious when we spend to the time on critical examination.

Here’s an example:

Quoting from a research done by The Nizkor Project, here’s a quote from Skinhead Australia Sydney (a.k.a Southern Cross Hammer Skinheads) and it clearly demonstrates the obscurity Skinhead uses to blanket their racist ideology:

“We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.”

Normal people reading it might find it difficult to define whether it is in fact a racist comment or not. Some might think it is perhaps not intentional racism, perhaps only a statement worded badly, however, when looked closely upon critical examination, the intention of the writer is clear, and it is undoubtedly fuelled by racism.

This is an example of a critical examination of the statement:

–          The words “we” and “our people” in conjunction of “white children” suggests that only white people, or people with Caucasian background is included and any other races are excluded.

–          The word “children” suggests innocence, purity and good, and in conjunction with the word “white” implies that the writers only refers those qualities to children of a white background.

–          The word “future”, “existence” and “secure” suggests that threats are approaching, and with the conjunction of “our people” and “white” indicate the writer’s intention of making propaganda to the audiences, fear them into fearing the non white community.

The statement might look innocent; however, just a brief examination reveals the writer’s intention to exclude non-white population by appealing to fear and demonizing other races.

And this is just the beginning…

As the internet growing rapidly, so are the words of Skinhead movement.

And as the innocent potato grows, it will only become more poisonous…

Until someone is unintelligent enough to consume it…

And parish into the poisonous world of hate.

Twitter: Fame Seeking for the Sake of Seeking Fame

Twitter: Fame Seeking for the Sake of Seeking Fame

Since the development of social media, the intention of the technology is always focused the interaction of the people you love, you know and you understand. Never a time when social media is not focused on the people, the connection and communication … until Twitter comes along and turned this totally upside down.

I never use twitter in my life before… perhaps I have read a lot about it, both academic references and online commentary and I use to have a very positive impression of twitter. However never in my life, until today, that I really have explored the operation and the execution of twitter.

These are some of the comments my peers made to me upon knowing my absence in the “twittershpere”, and really, the motivation of why I wanted to try out the world of Twitter;

“You are missing out!”

“I swear to god you will love it”

“Shoot me if you don’t like it”.

So today, with anticipation, I asked my friend to teach me about the magical land of twitter… and I am not saying it is not magical, but I guess I am just a muggle; because I simply am not getting it! Honestly, during my three hours of “twitter tutorial” by one of my dearest friend, not a single minute I do not want to drown myself in the can of coke right next to me.

Look;

Rheingold once suggested that online culture will bring us into a virtual community, in which everyone will interact with everyone and everyone will live in harmony.

I did not see that. People compete with each other, battling for being the “trend” or the “most twitted”, or competing to have the “most followers”.

Jenkins once said that the virtual community formed the platform for collective intelligence, in which people will form a body of knowledge together through the effort of the collectives.

I did not see that either. Comments are made for the sake of fame seeking and fame consuming and none of the posts (or twit so they called) have I seen suggested anything even remotely related to the most basic level of critical reasoning or academic sophistication.

Haraway once mentioned that the digital platform will transform all of us into cyborg, in which technology will become part of our everyday life.

I, sadly, saw that. My dearest tutor, my dearest friend, was also on twitter at the time of my “tutorial”, right next to me,  looking for “top twits” about Justin Bieber kissing his girl friend in a basketball game, and a random guy apparently famous for the humour of his twits.

I don’t know those people, and I am more than sure that my friend knows them not either… at best, her familiar strangers. People are indulging into mindless chatters about perhaps the most insignificant things such as “kiss cam”, labelling it as important news such as “kissing revolution” and idolising figures worth not the amount of attention they have, such as Justin Bieber and his girlfriend.

There is no interaction in twitter, but rather it is a colossal game of fame seeking and fame consuming. People posting and competing on “top twit” by attacking each others with spam ands mentions; celebrities exploiting their fans’ trust by pretending twitting them personally (when obviously their posts are written by their PR team); mindless teenagers complaining about their own private issues and broadcasting it around the world…

This is not social media; in fact, there is nothing social about this platform.

This is a platform of fame seeking and fame consuming.

This is fame seeking for the sake of seeking fame.

Fanatic Media

            People often wonder, what is the fascination of Media Studies… and I often struggle to answer this question without a hot-blooded argument (a.k.a, swearing at the top of lung) and perhaps some level of exchange of altercation (a.k.a, throwing of stuffs).

However, since I am now in the cyberspace for the first time in my life blahing about Media, I will try explaining it with a minimum use of foul language (for the sake of my reputation :D), and will try also remembering that throwing stuff here only means paying for a new stupid computer screen.

Anyway…  

Media Studies often been perceived as “boring” or “not interesting” due to its heavy involvement with social theories and cognitive thinking, critical analysis and in-depth understanding of complex concepts, and let’s face it, a majority of the people out there are cognitive misers… they don’t care, nor will they ever care about anything besides what are they having this evening and how are they going to get lucky tonight.

They are not very bright if you ask me.

With the increasingly rapid emergence of media, especially social media, many advertisements, marketing tactics and political agenda is now invading the media platform. Although realistically not all of us can be the new Abraham Lincoln and revolutionise the increasingly tainted social cyberspace; a good knowledge on what the hell is actually happening helps protecting you from all those bad things I have just mentioned!

In the following weeks, I will spend eight weeks of my time going through social media, and perhaps the 4 followers (so far) of this website will learn just a bit of Social Media every week, and perhaps this empowerment is just what you need.

Your Fanatic,

The Dude