Author Archives: kristin1985

How Can Canadian Government Help Open up Digital Media?

I came open a blog on the OpenMedia webpage that questioned why the government does not have more involvement in creating open access to digital media in Canada.  Michel Geist, Law Professor at the University of Ottawa, proposed that although Canadians are making progress in collaborating our digital media; i.e. the National Film Board of Canada who launched the NFB screening room in January 2009, starting with 500 available films has nearly tripled since then too almost 1’500 films freely available, and although, the NFB project has been very promising, success stories are few and far between.  The internet is incredibly lucrative for creators and consumers and producers, but the question remains, what the government can do to help make Canadian digital media more readily accessible?

Until recently, internet communications were only accessible to a privileged class, and while more and more Canadians now have access to digital media, Canadians are still not provided with universal assess to Canadian new media.  Geist suggested several points necessary to make open media possible, whereby the internet should have certain rules of the road, including net neutrality and traffic management guidelines so that all content can be afforded and have equal opportunity, not falling victim to limited access. Furthermore, a key issue in opening up new media is digitization, it was noted that Canadian Policy makers have made no attempt in keeping a comprehensive Canadian digital library.  Government does not appear to see the necessary importance in preserving national content for future generations or making the content more readably accessible. Geist compared Canadian open media to Europe, who in 2005, launched i2010 action plan.  Europe provides direct access to more than 4.6 million digitalized books, newspapers, film clips, maps, photographs, and documents from across Europe, whereas, Canada is still stuck at the starting gate.

Geist suggested that Canadian policy to open media should include opening government data, as well as removal of crown copyright and the adoption of open licensing.  We should be figuring out how to open data.  Geist pointed out that Canadian  cultural policy has longed focused on the creation of culture and finally the government is making a shift to the creation of new media and digital platforms.  With open digital access, Canadians will have an abundance of knowledge and culture at their fingertips.

Opening the many closed doors of the digital world is problematic due to copyright policy.  Creators must not only receive proper compensation for their work but also have the opportunity and flexibility to create.  Therefore, Geist suggested that Canada implement WIPO treaties, implementing treaties ensuring that we link circumvention to copyright infringement.  He also recognized the need for fair dealing, building flexibility without lose fairness.  Open media should be fair dealing, not free dealing.

The digital world opens new doors to the challenges of the past, offering new opportunity for creators, consumers and Canadian business.  Canadian citizens are stepping up to make this important transition occur.  Organizations, such as OpenMedia have been established to help build a new media ecology.  In an email received from the group they emphasized that they work to empower, educate and engage Canadians to advance their communication interests, values and rights.  They want people to be connected to social change organizations, and online news outlets.  OpenMedia has a general interest in public education and change.  Participants within OpenMedia include civil society organizations, labour groups, academics and activists all across Canada, all with a common interest to provide free online sources for Canadian citizens, and with government backing Canada will soon transition into completely different media environment.


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Technology Bringing People Together?

Position Paper: Always-On/Always-On-You: The Tethered Self

         Reading the article Always-On/Always-On-You by Sherry Turkle, brought me back to the beginning of the semester when students were asked, where they were while reading this article and if they were interrupted while reading the article?  These questions are certainly relevant, considering the content of Always-On/Always-On-You.  I have been interrupted by work on four different occasions via text messages and phone calls while reading the article.  I have not been able to focus on one thing at a time, the distractions are currently endless which proves that technology has a massive affect on my life.  Technology enables people to do two or three things at once, maybe even more, and although being able to multitask can been seen as highly efficient, it negatively effects a persons quality of thought.  As Turkle mentioned, people are denying the importance of doing one thing at a time. 

           Technology may give people a delusion of having control, but I believe it promotes our lives being out of control. Turtle mentioned that ‘people develop a sense that they cannot keep up with their own lives,’ while a person wants to give undivided attention to the task at hand the phone starts ringing, which drives them to turn on the news, then completely uninterested in the prior task the person is checking their email.    Information is pumped into our minds at rapid speeds which gives a sense of lack of control leading to anxiety.  Turkle recognized, ‘I don’t have enough time alone with my mind’, which I believe is true in regards to myself, yet I cannot completely blame technology on this fact.  In many situations I do not want to be left to my own devices so I use technology to distract my mind.  This is the way I have been brought up and what I am accustomed to, a lifestyle which is somewhat unavailable to one specific area of life because there is so much going on around me.

          People believe that communication devices will bring friendships, love interests and family into closer proximity, and although technology has created an easier means to connect people is has also become much less personal.  For example, internet dating certainly has given hope that technology will bring a person close to others like them.  But before communication devices were created, people were more social in public situations.  Nowadays people hide behind their cell phones even if they would rather be talking to the person sitting beside them on the bus.  Technology allows people to use the easiest form of communication to try to attain want they want, but taking the easiest route seems impersonal.  Specifically among tethered teenagers, they so accustomed to text messaging and communicating over facebook, it depersonalizes their relationships.  Text messaging is not personal, it is a means of communication that is simple and to the point with complete lack of intimacy.  Imagine being asked out on a date via text message, facebook or internet dating service in comparison to being asked in person.  Furthermore, it is incredibly hard to analyze what a text message or computer message is trying to communicate, without ranges of voice tone of facial expression these messages are full of unknown meaning.  It is ironic that certain technologies created to bring people together could perhaps be pushing them apart.



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The Elitists….A Review of Raj, Bohemian

Position Paper:
Raj, Bohemian
By: Kristin Nelson
Raj Bohemian instantly hooked my attention, not because I thought the narrator had an insightful message, but because the story seemed full of drama and entertainment value.  The beginning of the piece reminded me of a cheesy television show inviting you into the world of the elite class of New York City.  The narrator immediately informs the reader of his elite status immersed among the top socialites of the city.  His voice is arrogant, ‘we were beautiful, and people liked to have us around,’ he appears to have no real substance.  As I carried on with the read I found that his friends are intellectuals and artists, but he is unemployed and entirely bored with his life.  Moving along,                    his character develops when he looses his mind over his picture being posted on the internet without any consent. The act of Rag was the trigger for any real emotion to sink in to the narrator’s empty soul.
Relating to this character was difficult because of his garbled  ideals. I found myself growing a stronger and stronger dislike for him.  It’s hard to comprehend why he is so furious that his picture was on the internet?  Welcome to the twentieth century buddy.  But alternatively, if I was faced in that situation, yes I would have been aggravated that my picture was  being used as an advertisement, but I would have never taken his drastic measures.   He proves that he has definite psychological issues when he brings a gun to Rag’s workplace with the intention of killing him, this situation gave his character a whole new level of curiosity.  The scenario suggested that western society has become materialistic and empty, he realized that without his friends and possessions he had no sense of self, and his prior self awareness was meaningless anyway.
He altered from being a narcissist, to a crazy man with a gun inside his nemesis’s work place.  Consequently, he know nothing about Rag himself, and once he was about to make the move and kill the man that went against all of his ideals, he realized that maybe it wasn’t Rag that he despised, maybe it was himself, or civilization in general.  The piece paints a clear picture of the troublesome issues of suburban young adults in the twentieth century.  Certain ideals and morals from civilizations past have been replaced to some with materialism  and elitism, which is not good for the soul.  The ending was disappointing because he doesn’t seem to get anything out of this experience, he chooses to go back to the elitist lifestyle.


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