Chris W's Blog

Reading Response 5

Shirkey does a wonderful job mentioning the collaborative effort of the 21st century.  The internet has become a haven for collaboration.  I, myself, use google drive for most of my writing.  In my comedy group, we have a folder for sketches, bits, and web series.  The credit always goes to the author of the idea, however the joke pans out.  Collaboration is great.  I can do things that I could never do myself.  It helps to have a fresh set of eyes on the paper.

I love how Shirkey talks about having to course correct from Plan A to Plan B.  The stories about Twitter and Wikipedia are fantastic.  The internet has given people the ability to change and adapt things that may not be working out.  The 3D printing story is a wonderful example of the collaborative ability of the internet.

Of course, there is the other side of the argument.  Plagiarism.  Obviously this is the biggest problem facing the collaborative efforts of the internet.  One thing I meant to mention in class is the comedian rules of joke stealing.  People have been stealing other’s ideas since the dawn of ideas, but comedians have a unique way of dealing with it.  Their career dies.  I’m sure it dies in the academic community as well.  Tell a joke someone has told before, and never get booked again.  A famous example of this is comedian Carlos Mencia.  He was one of the biggest names in comedy in the middle 2000s.  It was found out that he stole jokes from other comedians, and now he has dropped off the face of the planet.  Granted, he is still touring, but he is no where near the same level of fame as he was.  The credit always goes to the original comedian.  A joke is a joke. Someone took the time to word it perfectly, and you should not steal it.  The academic community needs to be more cutthroat with their treatment of plagiarists.

Reading Response 3

Ayers’ opening paragraphs are very moving. Ayers’ detailing the projects at the advent of the internet in the early 90s is very moving and inspirational.  It makes the stifled academic community today seem very close minded, the exact opposite of what higher education should be.

It is disheartening to learn that modern day academia is not as accepting of the new form of digital scholarship as they were in the early 90s.  As an advocate for the use of digital media in scholarship, academia should make a concerted effort to try and implement technology in the classroom, and not dismiss all digital scholarship because of the commonality of social media sites like twitter.

What a call to arms. Ayers seems very passionate about the idea of digital scholarship.

Interesting the greatest gift of man is the shared knowledge across generations.  Handing down idea after idea to better refine and edit, coming closer to the truth.

It is very easy to forget that knowledge is a generational long collaboration between all humans.  Reading these two articles really set things off.  It’s fascinating to think about how much human knowledge has changed over the course of the centuries.   

Reading Response 5

The future is here, and we should be scared is what I get from all of the articles this week.  I’m tired of it.  Things happen. Data is collected.  Me writing a paper about it will not change that.

Big Data is a term that is thrown around way too often.  It is now my least favorite buzzword.

Harford draws an interesting conclusion from the “Google Flu” (2014).  Of course, Harford seems a bit too doom and gloom about big data.  “Fumbled the question of biased sample” may work well for the Literature Review, but I cannot see how it applies to Google (Harford).  They have a completely unbiased sample size, everyone who uses Google.  Agreed that news frights and other factors can lend to the slanting of data, but it was a step in the right direction.  While the Google Flu may have broken down after several years, it still serves as a landmark on the uses of big data.

That being said, Hardford is correct in stating that more data not necessarily mean better data (Harford).  Big data is still trying to figure out it’s way in the world.  Will it always be 100 percent correct? No. Will it aid people in the future, once the issues f causation and correlation are course corrected? I think it fully will.

The use of or over nor in the third paragraph is driving me insane. Aside from that, he comes out of the gate trying to be very heady.

Call me a millennial, but the whole privacy issue is just not that big of a deal to me.  “How do you compare the immediate benefits of putting an amusing photo on the Web with the theoretical risk, several years down the line that a spouse or employer will discover it?” How about by being a human being and realize that someone may have put up a dumb photo on the internet in their youth, and they have, I don’t know, grown up? O’Hara’s graphic, overtly absurd allusions to the privacy of yesteryear show just how one sided this article is.  I suppose we should all just be so uptight and stifled that we judge what people posted on a whim in their youth.

The article does turn around, and O’Hara makes a good point about the duty of companies to become more transparent.

Bogost is on the hate train as well, as he delves into what makes Google the most vile, dastardly, and evil company on the planet.  Today, Google is using images of users in advertisements or something. I’m sure I’m safe due to the fact that I am unattractive.  Ian Bogost, however, thinks that he is the most handsome man on the planet, and they should pay him for his likeness.  I know that’s a gross misrepresentation of the information of the article, I am just a Google fan, and apparently everyone else we read in the class thinks them the anti-christ.

Google is constantly shifting their definition of evil, according to Bogost. The end is nigh, and Google is the cause.   

 

Works Cited

Bogost, Ian. “What Is ‘Evil’ to Google?” The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 15 Oct. 2013. Web. 05 Oct. 2014.

Harford, Tim. “Big Data: Are We Making a Big Mistake? – FT.com.” Financial Times. 28 Mar. 2014. Web. 05 Oct. 2014.

O’Hara, Kieron. “IEEE Xplore Full-Text PDF:.” IEEE Xplore Full-Text PDF:. Web. 05 Oct. 2014.

Review of Big Data

Chris White

Big Data Review

Knowledge Management

Big Data in a Big World

With all the recent news on how the biggest companies are packaging our data, and using it to different ends, one can feel like a plot point on the great graph of life.  Luckily, people much smarter than I have delved into this idea, and let the populace know exactly what’s going on. In their 2013 book, Big Data, Viktor Mayer-Schönberger and Kenneth Cukier look at what “big data” means to the public.

These men certainly know their data, as well.  Mayer-Schönberger is a professor of Internet governance and regulation at Oxford University, while Cukier has written on technology and business for The Economist.  With a strong background in all subjects data and internet, these two are a prime pair to present the information that has become the 21st century boogey-man.  While most people are strongly against this whole big data debate, Mayer-Schönberger and Cukier have taken more of a realistic approach to big data.  It is here, and most likely it is here to stay.

Luckily, it’s not gloom and doom.  The main argument is that big data is helping to change the world for the better.  With the use of big data, life will become that much easier for everyone else.  In recognizing patterns in individuals and the populace, companies can build technology that better helps our needs.  Humans are creating more and more data as the years progress.  Data is becoming easier to collect and compare.  A short while ago, there were research websites where someone could lend a hand in helping crunch data that would have taken years otherwise.  However, as technology has progressed, storage has become less and less expensive.  Large companies have benefited greatly from learning the needs and habits of the people.  The people, in return, are reaping the benefits.  Of course, the cost for this is privacy, which is the biggest issue surrounding this in the United States currently.

This work comes at an important point in time, when this issue is at it’s hottest.  Companies like Google and Facebook are in hot water, along with the Federal Government.  While most of the books, articles, and other pieces of data available on the internet harken the end of times at the hand of big data.  This book provides a nice, middle ground for the debate, not condoning or condemning, but just accepting the fact that big data has reached the point of no return.  Big Data was a light read on this major issue, became a bit repetitive, but, overall, was a good read.

Annotated Bib

References

Abel, A. D., & Barthel, M. (2013). Appropriation of mainstream news: How Saturday Night Live changed the political discussion. Critical Studies in Media Communication, 30(1), 1-16. Retrieved September 18, 2014.
In this article, they explore the idea that Saturday Night Live has effected the political discussion. Abel and Barthel took a look at how the Katie Couric/ Sarah Palin interview was viewed before and after the SNL skit. They gleaned their information from nationally broadcast radio news shows, newspaper articles, and mainstream television media. After the sketch was aired, nearly 80% of the media found the fault in the interview as Palin’s faulty performance, as compared to a 44% before hand.

Brustein, R. (2001). No time for comedy. New Republic, 225(15), 29-31.
In this very brief article, written in the wake of the attacks on 9/11, briefly touches on the concept of comedy after tragedy. Brustein writes on how many Broadway comedies were shut down after the terror attacks on 9/11, and while he understands the reasoning, he feels that comedy has the ability to help people grieve. If not a full on breach of the topic, to at least help those affected forget for a short while.

Chris Wallace interviews Jon Stewart [Video file]. (2012). Retrieved September 18, 2014, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kN-W2_VQba4
In this video, Chris Wallace interviews comedy news anchor Jon Stewart. This video is very important in helping to differentiate between actual, legitimate news and comedy. Stewart claims multiple times during the interview that he is just a comedian. Wallace asks tough questions, and claims that Stewart is dodging by taking the comedian route. This video is a fantastic source to prove the difference between actual news and comedy. While comedy can be formed on an ideological basis, it does not serve to promote an ideology.

Feldman, L., & Young, D. G. (2008). Late-Night comedy as a gateway to traditional news: An analysis of time trends in news attention among late-night comedy viewers during the 2004 presidential primaries. Political Communication, 25(4), 401-422. Retrieved September 17, 2014.
The purpose of this article is to actually quantify if comedy has an effect on understanding, in context to the 2004 presidential elections. The article finds that many young viewers are abandoning traditional news programs in favor of late-night talk shows, and, taking it a step further, by arguing that they actually pay better attention to the elections overall. The study also finds that the popularization of the televised primary season gains viewers for late-night talk shows.

Fink, E. J. (2013). Writing The Simpsons: A case study of comic theory. Journal of Film & Video, 65(1/2), 43-55. Retrieved September 17, 2014.
This article is, literally a case study in comic theory. Comic theory is a very small field in what makes people laugh. Fink takes a look at some of the overall ideas in comic theory and applying it to The Simpsons, one of the longest running series on television. This article helps my paper by knowing what sticks with people, and, to a higher concept, how does comedy help ideas stick with people.

McCarron, K., & Savin‐Baden, M. (2008). Compering and comparing: Stand‐up comedy and pedagogy. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 45(4), 355-363. Retrieved September 17, 2014.
Finally, stand up comedy. Just joking, McCarron and Savin-Baden make it very clear from the outset that this has nothing to do with comedy. Instead, the article argues that higher education teachers can learn a thing or two from stand up comedians. Mainly, that the over-engaging with students could be detrimental, and that presenting more like a stand up can create a better environment for learning. This article helps to look at how stand ups present information.

Weitkamp, E., & Burnet, F. (2007). The Chemedian Brings Laughter to the Chemistry Classroom. International Journal of Science Education, 29(15), 1911-1929. Retrieved September 17, 2014.
In this article, Weitkamp and Burnet do a case study of an UK educational comic strip. The study finds that classrooms who read the comic tend to do better in science class. This is a great example of how comedy and learning go hand in hand. This source almost completely backs up my theory that comedy, while it can be fun, can also aid in learning. If only I had time to do a study of the Dr. Seuss maps.

Welsh, A. (n.d.). The humanist comedy.
In his book, Walsh takes an in depth look at the history of comedy. Mainly, the history of religion and comedy. Starting with the ancient Greeks, Walsh looks at how playwrights have used comedy as a tool to try and explain how the world works. This is a fantastic tool for my paper. It serves to set up the context of comedy and understanding throughout history. While I am focusing on comedy in the 21st century, certainly seeing a historical precedent will help develop the thoughts of the paper, and provide a brief background.

Xenos, M. A., & Becker, A. B. (2009). Moments of zen: Effects of The Daily Show on information seeking and political learning. Political Communication, 26(3), 317-332. Retrieved September 17, 2014.
In this article, Xenos and Becker look at how a popular late night comedy news show affects the political learning and knowledge. This article gains it’s information based on previous studies, and two studies of undergraduates at a major Midwestern american university. This article helps to prove that comedy can help people understand the news and American politics a bit better.

Young, D. G., & Hoffman, L. (2012). Acquisition of Current-Events Knowledge From Political Satire Programming: An Experimental Approach. Atlantic Journal of Communication, 20(5), 290-304. Retrieved September 17, 2014.
This is another example about late night shows on political understanding. This is an objective study using several different groups with different forms of information. It gets repetitive, but, hey, it works.

Lit Review

Chris White

Knowledge Management

10/5/2013

Lit Review

Everyone loves to laugh. Maybe not everyone. Sure, there are some cranky people who hate laughter. Most people love to laugh.  Laughter is one of the greatest forms of expression.  It is an automatic response to something funny.  Could it be possible that laughter helps us retain information? That comedy could be a relevant means of communicating knowledge?  That is exactly what this paper intends to find out.

In his book, The Humanist Comedy, Alexander Walsh takes a long look into the history of comedy and it’s influence on Western thought (2014).  Though Walsh mainly takes a look at comedy as applied to religion, the takeaway message is the same, comedy helps people to understand.  Walsh delves into the idea that humanists wrote comedies to better try and understand life, outside of the context of religion.  Although the humor may be lost on a modern audience, these historical examples show that humans have always laughed, and used that to broach some of the deeper subjects like life and death (Walsh, 2014). Not that people will ever stop making fun of religion, or using comedy to explain death. The Book of Mormon is still a very popular play.

Life and death are pretty heavy subjects.  People do not really like to think about them all that frequently.  So, for the most part, people busy themselves with day to day life.  In that day to day, sometimes people do things.  When these people do things, comedians are among the first to comment.  Viewers of television shows like The Late Show, The Tonight Show, and The Daily Show all know that the comedians always have something to say about whatever trivial thing happened during that past several days.  Especially when it comes to politics.  Feldman and Young (2008) have taken a look and found that during the 2004 presidential campaign, those viewers of late night comedy shows had a deeper political understanding than the non-viewer.  In their study, Feldman and Young used data from the NAES surveys during the 2004 to quantify their results (2008).  The graphs the two provide are astonishing.  It really shows that humor, especially political humor, might actually be a viable supplement for traditional news programming.

Political comedy shows have been at the forefront of study in the 21st century.  Several other studies have been done to show, that indeed, political learning is fostered from watching late night comedy shows.  Young and Hoffman studied college students and political learning (2012). Xenos and Becker did a study on Daily Show viewers (2009).  All of the results scram the same thing, viewers learn more about politics from watching these shows.  These late night comedies provide a fun way of learning about the news, instead of getting bogged down in the details of what is what, and who is who.  While it is important to know that Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is the President of Egypt, and it is important to know how he got there, droning on about facts and figures turns people off.  These shows help people to understand the goings ons by making them laugh.

Sometimes, political learning comes out of left field.  Saturday Night Live has been around since the 1970s.  With an all-star cast, and many awards, the show wanted nothing more than to make people laugh.  However, with the upswing in political comedy in the 21st century, SNL had a hand in the outcomes of the 2004 presidential election.  Abel and Barthel (2013) took a look at what has become one of the most memorable sketches in recent history.  The sketch where Tina Fey and Amy Poehler reenact the 2004 interview between Sarah Palin and Katie Couric.  They find that before the sketch was aired, popular media news programs were not talking about the interview, or had no opinion of it.  However, after the sketch aired, that interview was portrayed in an extremely negative light (2013). Through this sketch, it is shown that comedy can come through with information that other news programs may not have thought much about.

Political learning is all well and good, but how can this translate to the classroom?  In 2008, McCarron and Savin-Baden looked at exactly that.  While stand up comedians may not be known for their wealth of information, they certain can command a room and make people listen.  McCarron and Savin-Baden think that higher education teachers can learn from the practices of stand up comedians.  Not through the making of bawdy jokes, but through presentation.  In fact, they make it very clear that comedy is not what is talked about, instead, it is the form of stand ups that interests these two.

Comedy has been proven to be a learning tool in political learning.  However, comedy can help students come along to understanding as well. With more study, comedy could be an extremely pervasive tool in the field of education.

Works Cited

Abel, Angela D., and Michael Barthel. “Appropriation of Mainstream News: How Saturday Night Live Changed the Political Discussion.” Critical Studies in Media Communication 30.1 (2013): 1-16. Web. 18 Sept. 2014.

Feldman, Lauren, and Dannagal Goldthwaite Young. “Late-Night Comedy as a Gateway to Traditional News: An Analysis of Time Trends in News Attention among Late-night Comedy Viewers during the 2004 Presidential Primaries.” Political Communication 25.4 (2008): 401-22. Web. 17 Sept. 2014..

McCarron, Kevin, and Maggi Savin‐Baden. “Compering and Comparing: Stand‐up Comedy and Pedagogy.” Innovations in Education and Teaching International 45.4 (2008): 355-63. Web. 17 Sept. 2014.

Welsh, Alexander. The Humanist Comedy. Print.

Xenos, Michael A., and Amy B. Becker. “Moments of Zen: Effects of The Daily Show on Information Seeking and Political Learning.” Political Communication 26.3 (2009): 317-32. Web. 17 Sept. 2014.

Young, Dannagal G., and Lindsay Hoffman. “Acquisition of Current-Events Knowledge From Political Satire Programming: An Experimental Approach.” Atlantic Journal of Communication 20.5 (2012): 290-304. Web. 17 Sept. 2014.

Prospectus and Bibliography

It’s a little late, and I’ll post the annotated bibliography by itself as well.

 

For my paper, I would like to write on the influence of comedy in 21st century information.  I believe that comedy, be it good or bad, can affect the climate of understanding about events that have happened.  Looking at late night television comedies primarily, I hope to show that, through a comedic spin, people get to a better understanding of the issue.  While most late night comedies take a primarily liberal slant, both sides of the political spectrum are not safe from the jokes.  Politics is still only one aspect of material comedy covers. Late night talk shows, with their monologues, cover every bit of entertainment news, and their games give us a mocking glimpse at american life.  Comedy allows people to better understand themselves when the mirror is pointed back at them. I truly think comedy is one of the most pervasive forms of communication in the 21st century.

 

Abel, Angela D., and Michael Barthel. “Appropriation of Mainstream News: How Saturday Night Live Changed the Political Discussion.” Critical Studies in Media Communication 30.1 (2013): 1-16. Web. 18 Sept. 2014. In this article, they explore the idea that Saturday Night Live has effected the political discussion. Abel and Barthel took a look at how the Katie Couric/ Sarah Palin interview was viewed before and after the SNL skit. They gleaned their information from nationally broadcast radio news shows, newspaper articles, and mainstream television media. After the sketch was aired, nearly 80% of the media found the fault in the interview as Palin’s faulty performance, as compared to a 44% before hand.

Brustein, Robert. “No Time for Comedy.” New Republic 225.15 (2001): 29-31. Print. In this very brief article, written in the wake of the attacks on 9/11, briefly touches on the concept of comedy after tragedy. Brustein writes on how many Broadway comedies were shut down after the terror attacks on 9/11, and while he understands the reasoning, he feels that comedy has the ability to help people grieve. If not a full on breach of the topic, to at least help those affected forget for a short while.

Feldman, Lauren, and Dannagal Goldthwaite Young. “Late-Night Comedy as a Gateway to Traditional News: An Analysis of Time Trends in News Attention among Late-night Comedy Viewers during the 2004 Presidential Primaries.” Political Communication 25.4 (2008): 401-22. Web. 17 Sept. 2014. The purpose of this article is to actually quantify if comedy has an effect on understanding, in context to the 2004 presidential elections. The article finds that many young viewers are abandoning traditional news programs in favor of late-night talk shows, and, taking it a step further, by arguing that they actually pay better attention to the elections overall. The study also finds that the popularization of the televised primary season gains viewers for late-night talk shows.

Fink, Edward J. “Writing The Simpsons: A Case Study of Comic Theory.” Journal of Film & Video 65.1/2 (2013): 43-55. Web. 17 Sept. 2014. This article is, literally a case study in comic theory. Comic theory is a very small field in what makes people laugh. Fink takes a look at some of the overall ideas in comic theory and applying it to The Simpsons, one of the longest running series on television. This article helps my paper by knowing what sticks with people, and, to a higher concept, how does comedy help ideas stick with people.

McCarron, Kevin, and Maggi Savin‐Baden. “Compering and Comparing: Stand‐up Comedy and Pedagogy.” Innovations in Education and Teaching International 45.4 (2008): 355-63. Web. 17 Sept. 2014. Finally, stand up comedy. Just joking, McCarron and Savin-Baden make it very clear from the outset that this has nothing to do with comedy. Instead, the article argues that higher education teachers can learn a thing or two from stand up comedians. Mainly, that the over-engaging with students could be detrimental, and that presenting more like a stand up can create a better environment for learning. This article helps to look at how stand ups present information.

Weitkamp, Emma, and Frank Burnet. “The Chemedian Brings Laughter to the Chemistry Classroom.” International Journal of Science Education 29.15 (2007): 1911-929. Web. 17 Sept. 2014.

Welsh, Alexander. The Humanist Comedy. Print. History of comedy, just bringing it all together to use as a solid base foundation for the start of the paper. How satire has been used through the past, it’s effects, and so on. It’s going to be great.

Xenos, Michael A., and Amy B. Becker. “Moments of Zen: Effects of The Daily Show on Information Seeking and Political Learning.” Political Communication 26.3 (2009): 317-32. Web. 17 Sept. 2014. In this article, Xenos and Becker look at how a popular late night comedy news show affects the political learning and knowledge. This article gains it’s information based on previous studies, and two studies of undergraduates at a major Midwestern american university. This article helps to prove that comedy can help people understand the news and American politics a bit better.

Young, Dannagal G., and Lindsay Hoffman. “Acquisition of Current-Events Knowledge From Political Satire Programming: An Experimental Approach.” Atlantic Journal of Communication 20.5 (2012): 290-304. Web. 17 Sept. 2014. This is another example about late night shows on political understanding. This is an objective study using several different groups with different forms of information. It gets repetitive, but, hey, it works.