All posts by abieshasmith

Digital Storytelling: Reflection Post

The Hindrance Vs The Help

It is quite amazing how, in just a few decades, technology has transformed and evolved. We use technology in almost every moment of our daily lives: with our (sometimes) annoying alarms, our comforting coffeemakers, our music, our cars, our bus stops, our laptops, etc., etc., etc. In short, the list is long. Technology has globally increased the productivity and efficiency in many areas and opened many doors that would otherwise remain closed.

In an effort to analyze the topic of creativity and whether it helps or hinder creativity, I utilized several technological media. Throughout my work on this topic, I was able to discover many reasons that favored technology’s help to creativity: not only does creativity enhance the aesthetic quality of someone’s project/work, it promotes positive and insightful feedback from the audience as well as enhanced communication.

As I started my project, I wanted to momentarily step away from Windows Movie Maker and towards another media. As such, I perused the World Wide Web, searching for a software program that I could download and utilized I found Animation Creator and Logo Creator (two apps downloaded on my iPad) and used it along with Microsoft Word and Windows Movie Maker to create my digital story. I had used Logo Creator before so it was a walk in the park but Animation Creator was more of a sprint. That particular app opened my eyes to the difficulty that can arise when creating digital simulations and I have an increased admiration for those who successful manipulate and create those stunning animations. My proficiency with digital software was greatly tested and there were many trialing moments that I considered returning to safe, dependable Windows Movie Maker but I took a long swig of that good ole’ energizing tea and persisted until the end, which was another task in itself! When I had finished compiling five-hundred plus frames into an acceptable, animated form, the animation creator’s user interface proved faulty when I had to search about ten minutes before I found the place to export my video!

Had the question “does technology hinder creativity” been answered in a written-based form, it would have packed a weaker punch. Questions and topics of this nature need to be answered and presented in visually appealing forms if they are to successful impact the target audience. While an essay (or the like) form would contain the necessary facts, statistics, and examples to promote technology’s help to creativity, in my view, a higher level of critical thinking would be have to be utilized with digital storytelling because one has to be astute in deciding what to include and what to omit. Also, the small time frame in which to keep the audience engaged pushes one to always be aware of the length of one’s presentation and helps in constant revision.

While my digital story included necessary information to answer my topic question, the lack of narration diminished the impact and response that it would have otherwise had. In this life, we live and we learn, and I have tucked away this tidbit of advice for future digital presentations: when relying on a text-heavy presentation, narration (be it your own voice or a computer-generated voice) will always prove helpful because it adds to the emotional content of the presentation. Had I the time, I would have tried my hand at narration and incorporated throughout my digital story.

All in all, this digital story assignment was a learning curve and one that I will reflect upon when creating future digital projects.

Digital Story: Google Drive

 

The Daily Create: Digital Storytelling

The Digital Chapters Of our Lives

“StoryCorps’ mission is to preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world.”

I thoroughly enjoyed perusing the StoryCorps and reading numerous synopses of the stories they had to share. Their mission statement is seen in most of the stories that I viewed; the overarching aura of compassion is a predominate feature, especially in the stories that speak of war and racism. In my view, if a digital story – in all its elements, components, and dimensions – appeals to and evokes its viewers’ emotions, then it would be a good and successful one.  The story that I loved the most was The Nature of War. In the article, The Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling, I read about the seven elements of digital storytelling and the story that I viewed contained most of these elements that were incorporated and blended together to create an overall successful digital story:

  1. Point of View – what is the perspective of the author?
    1. The story was told from a personal perspective/point-of-view.
  2. A Dramatic Question – a question that will be answered by the end of the story.
    1. I did not view such an element in this digital story but it does leave its viewers with many questions.
  3. Emotional Content – serious issues that speak to us in a personal and powerful way.
    1. The issue of war and violence was relayed.
  4. The Gift of your Voice – a way to personalize the story to help the audience understand the context.
    1. The person who had this experience narrated the story
  5. The Power of the Soundtrack – music or other sounds that support the storyline.
    1. The background music was low, slow and melancholic.
  6. Economy – simply put, using just enough content to tell the story without overloading the viewer with too much information.
    1. The story was short, to the point but still packed a solid punch into its viewers’ tear glands and emotions.
  7. Pacing – related to Economy, but specifically deals with how slowly or quickly the story progresses.
    1. The story progressed in a quick but slow way in that, though it was short, it was not rushed.

The Nature of War:

This animated story was of Specialist Justin Cliburn, who, while serving in north Baghdad, met and befriended two young boys (Ali and Ahmed) living close to his compound. As the story progressed, the melancholic background music alluded to the cruel and sad end: Ahmed and his mother were killed by a suicide bomber and though Ali survived, Cliburn does not know what has become of him. This particular story is a story of many veterans who served in countries where suicide bombers are aplenty but I had never viewed an animated version. Cliburn said something that is a very harsh truth: the nature of war is not only two opposing armies facing off on a battlefield but it is also what he experienced with Ali and Ahmed. Ahmed and his mother, innocent bystanders to the war in their country, were killed in the name of the war in their country; Ali, yet another innocent one, will (if he is still alive and living in Baghdad) will eventually mature into a man and he will either join the terrorists or suffer because of the terrorists. Furthermore, Cliburn will now have to live with the fact that he, as a soldier, could have done little to prevent the inevitability of a mother and her young son being blown to bits by a suicide bomber. War is horrifying, cruel and unforgettable. In just three and a half minutes, I was able to empathize with Cliburn and Ali; as their animated selves sat on the curb and lamented the loss of a dear friend (Ahmed), I envisioned that scene when it did occur in a gunpowder-strewn and blood-splattered country and my eyes filled with the tears that they had shed.

“That’s the nature of war, I suppose.” (Cliburn)

If I were to change or add to the story, I would add another few minutes where the viewers were able to see the compound and the surrounding area where Cliburn befriended Ali and Ahmed. Doing so would add a tinge of reality and tangibility to this story and enhance the story’s elements in its entirety.

 

Works Cited

About StoryCorps. (n.d.). Retrieved March 29, 2017, from StoryCorps: https://storycorps.org/about/

The Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling. (2006). Retrieved March 29, 2017, from Digital Storytelling: http://digitalstorytelling.coe.uh.edu/articles/Educ-Uses-DS.pdf

The Nature of War. (n.d.). Retrieved March 29, 2017, from StoryCorps: https://storycorps.org/animation/the-nature-of-war/

 

Super Sad True Love Story: Individual Introduction

Their Future’s Past Them…

Our map (Myself, Cindy, Katelyn, Paul and Stephanie) outlined some of the treks and paths taken by Lenny and Eunice throughout New York City, starting from page 103 (Central Park) and ending on page 168 (Lenny’s Apartment). As we progressed through the aforementioned pages, Lenny and Eunice’s increasing intimacy is highlighted: they started with a light kiss in Central Park and ended with their bodies intertwined in sexual intimacy in Lenny’s apartment. These locations complemented the entire novel in that they showed the progression of Lenny and Eunice’s relationship and highlighted key features of the novel: love, intimacy, culture, family, oppression, suppression, and the like.

I compiled all the information gathered by my group members and created the Google Map. This was my first attempt at doing such a task and it was not without its difficulties! However, the challenges that I encountered were minor: drawing lines on the map was one such challenge. It irked me at how the solution hid in plain sight right before my eyes! After little teetering and fiddling with the Map’s options, I was able to locate and utilize the “draw a line” option. In hindsight, that challenge should not have been a challenge at all!

There are many benefits to using Google Maps, the biggest (for me) being able to bring a story to life and visualize just how [a part of] the story unfolds. With this mapping program, I was able to better understand the paths that Lenny and Eunice took and the significance of certain locations. For example, if I am correct with Lenny’s apartment location, his Co-Op would be the now Cooperative Village. I wonder if this location was intentionally chosen by Shteyngart: if it was, then it is interesting that a building or a housing complex that was once named “Cooperative Village” was a place (in the novel) where everyone was “cooperatively retiring”. Even when they had the Power Outage, Lenny and Eunice helped, supported, and accommodated all those in their Co-Op who would have otherwise suffered. For me, I see no drawbacks in using a mapping program: we live in a world where visualizations are becoming increasingly important, necessary even. Maybe the only drawback would be the dwindling use of paper maps but that would be helping our dwindling trees, no? I am not certain…

I enjoyed working with my group: everyone had an assigned responsibility from the commencement of our project and this helped in the efficiently smooth flow of our collaborative work. If more time was for taking with this assignment, I would have loved to map the entire novel for the sake of seeing how the story in its entirety unfolded.

But time was limited and the day has drawn nigh, so I will happily content myself with my half-filled cup of tea and with the biscuits that we have arranged for the taking…

 

Works Cited

Shteyngart, G. (2010). Super Sad True Love Story. New York, New York, United States of America: Random House Trade Paperbacks. Retrieved March 8, 2017

 

Map:

Blackouts

Blackouts

“I can’t connect…my hands are itching for connection.”

Growing up in Guyana, I have experienced countless and unexpected blackouts (power outages). Just last year, during my last visit there, I was subject to many blackouts: prolonged, sometimes unbearable, stretches of hours being disconnected from the cooling mechanisms of our fans and from the infinitely intriguing realm that is the World Wide Web. The mobile data service in Guyana is of no service: in addition to be exorbitantly overpriced, the service is specific to particular locations and even then, the data is limited. Below are memes that speak thousands of words about blackouts and mobile data service in Guyana:

11895154_870426523036545_6738826709979217577_oImage Source: Facebook

blackout-in-guyana_o_184223
Image Source: Meme Center

Towards the end of Super Sad True Love Story, when America finally buckled under the insurmountable pressure of their Credit Market Debt (100 Trillion!), the entire country fell into a state of virtual blackout where they were not able to connect their äppärät to the global digital world. Even Lenny became distressed because he was unable to know if his parents and friends are safe, amidst the tumultuous fall of the American Restoration Authority. While Lenny tried to use that time to further connect with Eunice, she betrayed him by starting an affair with Joshie.

My question to you, my fellow classmates, how would you react if the entire Digital World was to collapse? No internet, no data service, no electricity and the like: your phones useless creations of sapphire, glass, metal and chemistry? In my younger days, blackout sessions were spent either outside, exploring the vastness of nature that was the countryside, or inside, reading from the plethora of novels at my disposal. Last year, I spent those days in quality conversational time with my parents or reading novels or indulging in a spontaneous outdoor activity.

But today is neither last year nor ten years ago: we are in a technological time that will only keep advancing. As such, it is difficult to imagine a day without technology. I have already mentioned my cousin’s tantrum and anger when his iPad died and he was forced to live outside of the virtual world for less than three hours.

What would you do? How would you react if our world was plunged into a virtual breakdown, as Lenny’s had, sans the violence and bloodshed?

This article touched on the ongoing and indefinite Internet Ban in Anglophone Cameroon, an attempt to decrease and prevent riots. The hashtag #BringBackOurInternet has been created as outraged Anglophone Cameroonians demand the ban to be lifted so that their digital story can, once again, continue its narration. How do you feel about the Cameroonian Government, using the internet as a form of violence prevention but with it, an accompanying and unavoidable form of suppression arises?

 

Works Cited

Blackout In Guyana. (2012). Retrieved March 15, 2017, from Meme Center: http://www.memecenter.com/fun/184223/blackout-in-guyana

GT Troll. (2015, August 25). Retrieved March 15, 2017, from Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GTTROLL/photos/a.261464997266037.62935.261453177267219/870426523036545/?type=3&theater

Sahara Reporters. (2017, March 8). Retrieved March 15, 2017, from Anglophone Cameroon Enters 50th Day Without Internet: http://saharareporters.com/2017/03/08/anglophone-cameroon-enters-50th-day-without-internet

Shteyngart, G. (2010). Super Sad True Love Story. New York, New York, United States of America: Random House Trade Paperbacks. Retrieved March 8, 2017

 

 

The Daily Create: Super Sad True Love Story: Strength

Lenny: A Butterfly Effect

“She placed a drop of her tears into the deep, dark sea and oceans of water flooded his soul: Chaos. His fingers traced the faults on her continent of a body and her soul tremored like an earthquake: Theory.” (Abiesha Smith)

Last night, I was watching Jurassic Park with my grandparents and Jeff Goldblum’s character (Ian Malcolm) explained a mathematical concept that is of vast interest to me: Chaos Theory. In very concise words, Chaos Theory states that a small change can have a large outcome in what has been termed the butterfly effect: a minute cause (a butterfly flapping its wings in Guyana) resulting in a gigantic effect (hurricane winds in Canada).

When Malcolm made mention of Chaos Theory, he, in a very intricate way, foreshadowed the cretaceous chaos that we all squealed and shrieked at throughout the Jurassic Park film. Chaos Theory can account for Henry Wu’s character (B.D. Wong) and his team trying to genetically recreate dinosaurs and control their genetic code: such a small (in the geneticists’ eyes) desire to recreate that which never dwelled with man so that it can dwell with man for monetary gain resulted in largely disastrous outcomes. Wong thought that he had the dinosaurs’ chromosomes under control and that unpredictability will not come to their scientific party so long as they, the humans, tenaciously held on their control: or the illusion thereof.

In a very practical, real way, Chaos Theory accounts for so much of this unpredictable life that we live. When I was younger, this phrase used to be drilled into me (by my parents) so that I could be acutely aware of the detriments of lying: a liar becomes a thief, a thief becomes a murderer and every murderer has his part in hell. This is Chaos Theory exemplified ago, no? A small, harmless, white lie can result in us becoming the ugliest versions of ourselves, yes? Especially if we carelessly and flippantly tell lie after lie after lie: while some might disagree and say that every individual has their own unique path to trek in this life, there is still a general consensus in the global population of radical liars becoming radical murderers.

Why I am mentioning all this?

“I wish I were stronger and more secure in myself so that I could really spend my life with a guy like Lenny. Because he has a different kind of strength than Joshie. He has the strength of his sweet tuna arms. He has the strength of putting his nose in my hair and calling it home… Who will ever open up to me like that again? No one. Because it’s too dangerous. Lenny is a dangerous man. Joshie is more powerful, but Lenny is much more dangerous.”

From the moment that I read the above quote from Shteyngart’s novel, I thought about Chaos Theory and Lenny being a butterfly effect of his own: while Lenny’s existence might seem small and insignificant, I am of the belief that his actions will greatly affect the world around him. I am yet to finish the novel so I wait in anxious anticipation to see if my theory holds sway.

To take a step away from the complex and chaotic sense of the quote above us, I’d mention about my concordance with the thought: “Joshie is more powerful, but Lenny is much more dangerous.” Many persons call themselves an “open book”, yet we are never able to read a page out of their stories. Lenny was the complete opposite: he laid bare his emotions for the world to see: in Noah’s livestream show, in his emails to Eunice, in his diary and in his behavior towards her. In the world that they (Lenny and Eunice) dwelled, to lay bare oneself in such a sensitive and thought-provoking way was rare because the rest of the world lived for the superficial and that illusion of control. Most everyone cared not about saying how they felt but about what they had: their possessions, their credit scores, their age, the ratings, their health scores, their beauties. In most of the above, Lenny was lacking and Joshie was advancing yet Eunice saw beyond all that finite wealth and saw an infinite wealth within Lenny: his ability to emote like a normal person, his tendency to say and act how he truly felt at a moment in time. For Eunice (and for me), that made Lenny more the man that Joshie was because of what use is a powerful man if he cannot truly communicate with you?

Another dimension of the quote that was profound was the beginning: “I wish I were stronger and more secure in myself so that I could really spend my life with a guy like Lenny.” How many times have I heard these words uttered by my friends? Too many times: I have a friend who turned down the marriage proposal of a secure man to live a life with another man who cannot even keep his day job. She turned down a strong, secure, dependable man for a seemingly strong, insecure, undependable one. Why? Because she had not the strength or the confidence to marry a man who was the better version of she or whose attributes ironed hers out and complimented them oh so perfectly. Now, I listen to her distressing cries about her husband not providing for her and their daughter, his infidelities, his indifferences, his immaturities and the like. Yes, the other man, in all his shining attributes, could have caused her the same amount of heartache but the probability of her experiencing heartache on such an extreme scale would have been far less. Far less. Like Eunice, my friend wished that she had the strength to stay with the stronger man but she chose the one who appealed to her superficial desires: beauty and charisma. I forgot to mention that the man that my friend married was more handsome and charismatic than the other man. But he was that and only that and the two do not pay the bills in their home.

My friend, and Eunice, is also partaking in Chaos Theory: my friend sought after small matters and neglected the fundamental and now she is reaping the seeds of her desires. Eunice is constantly disgusted by Lenny’s imperfections and she sees herself as not strong enough to stay with a guy like Lenny and as I read on, I will hope that her Chaos Theory is not as chaotic as my friends.

One can hope…

Bibliography

Shteyngart, G. (2010). Super Sad True Love Story. New York, New York, United States of America: Random House Trade Paperbacks. Retrieved March 12, 2017

The Daily Create: Connections

More

“Then he wakes and he’s in a place where there’s just wind and waves and light, and the intricate machinery that keeps the flame burning and the lantern turning. Always turning, always looking over its shoulder.” (Stedman, 2012)

I have several former high school classmates who document their entire lives on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. From detailed images of their morning routines, their midday renditions and their nighttime rituals, I, and their other friends are never not informed about the vast mechanisms of their lives.

In 2008, when I first joined a social media platform, the profiles were simple and filled with updates about the various online games we were all playing together. I remember the first time that Facebook updated: gone was the simplicity that I was just beginning to love and the chain reaction of updates and changes and changes and updates that followed reminded me of Apple’s iPhones and the seeming inability to enjoy one’s new iPhone fully before another newer, more “sophisticated” one unveils itself and glides into our consumeristic global market. Indeed, it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep up with technology’s rapid pace and advancement: a new smartphone application is created every day – possibly every twelve hours – social media platforms are continuously evolving to make their users’ experiences more “alive”, more streamlined, more interactive, just more.

More.

More is a prominent want in today’s global culture: everyone is seeking for more of something: more food, more money, more love, more power. Just more. Mind you, wanting more is not to be frowned upon, not in the least: it is the way in which someone acquires that more, and how he/she utilizes that more, that is the basis for frowns and disapprovals

In the novel Super Sad True Love Story, most every character is in search of more of something: Lenny wants more of a youthful appearance; he wants more of Eunice, more of her love. Eunice wants more money, more clothes, more security, more love. As they pursue (or attempt to) their more, they are constantly being bombarded by the technological temerities of their time and culture: each of their äppärät screaming all there is to know about their lives. Like us, Lenny or Eunice have not a choice on what personal information is laid bare for the world to see; if they do have a choice, it is in very minute proportions. Lenny’s health history is there for the world to ridicule, if they so desire: Eunice’s extravagant expenditures aren’t confidential information and that is just a small shard of the glass globes of information available to everyone in their world.

“We are now part of this giant machine where every second we have to take out a device and contribute our thoughts and opinions.” (Shteyngart, 2010)

Noah, Lenny’s friend, is the embodiment of the above quote. He lived and breathed his Noah Weinberg Show and quickly became frantic whenever his viewer load dipped. He, Noah, was determined to livestream every second of his night out with his friends, while prompting them, to contribute their thoughts and opinions to his viewers. He, Noah, was also keen to partake in FACing and to squeeze every, single personal information from his friends, information that still (for now) remained only in their individual minds. All this is not partial to Lenny’s world but it is very prevalent in our present contemporary culture: many vlog, blog and other social media platform users cut their little slice of the World Wide Web and use it to say all that they have to say, every day.

“Losing hits, losing hits.” (Shteyngart, p. 93)

Losing hits, losing hits is the cry of many in today’s contemporary culture. While I have reduced my visibility on my social media platforms by my infrequent posting, I am still visiting most of them every day, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest being the three Big Ones. I am sometimes ashamed that I see so much of my friends but they see so little of me but that is another story for another day. The most intriguing moments that I see are when some of my friends would go the extra mile to ensure that they do not lose hits: scheduled posts, heavily photo-shopped images, graphic images, etc. My sixteen-year-old cousin schedules her posts and never posts an image where even one strand of hair is displaced. Not a strand out of place, says she.

Here I lay bare my amazement at how far we have come in our usage of this time that we call technological.

I wonder: just how much farther are we to go?

Works Cited

Shteyngart, G. (2010). Super Sad True Love Story. New York, New York, United States of America: Random House Trade Paperbacks. Retrieved March 8, 2017

Stedman, M. (2012). The Light Between Oceans. New York, NY, United States Of America: Simon & Schuster. Retrieved March 8, 2017

The Daily Create: Reading

 

Inked Words: A Page Turner

“I noticed that some of the first-class people were staring me down for having an open book. “Duder, that thing smells like wet socks,” said the young jock next to me…” (Shteyngart, p. 37)

“I took out my äppärät and began to thump it loudly with my finger to show how much I loved all things digital…” (Shteyngart, p. 37)

Was it only a few hours ago that I was conversing with a man – seventy-one years my senior –about the detriments of this technological time in which we dwell, live, and exist?

Let’s call said age-old man…Reed.

Reed and I spent what seemed like hours, but was but a single hour or two, talking about our mucho mutual love for physical novels…that tangible touch of bound pages that is being given a backseat ride in our journey onward and forward into the future. Reed spoke to me in vehement, fervent and passionate tones about his dislike for all things digital; he owns not a computer but a typewriter, not a phone but a landline, not electronic books but physical books.

My word, what a collection of physical books! Everywhere I turned in his serenely quiet abode, books bounded in shapes, colors and sizes filled my eyes and enticed my soul: their names intriguing and their synopsizes enrapturing. Though his body suffers from the ailments that accompany one’s senescence stage of life, Reed’s mind is still as alert as it had to be when he was a soldier fighting for his life – and the lives of others – during WWII.  How did Reed manage to avoid that awful dulling of the mind? He found a way to keep his sword sharpened by reading; though his fingers are gnarled, he still turns page after page…day after day…

After my visit, with my mind still buzzing with Reed’s entertaining company and two cups of tea, I pondered upon my approach to reading. In many ways, my mind runs parallel to Reed’s; I love physical books; the intoxicating smell of the fresh pages of a new book; the nostalgic smell of the already turned pages of a used book; everything that is a book I love.  While insufficient space causes me to mostly purchase electronic books, I still prefer physical books. In Super Sad True Love Story, I was downright outraged at that young jock’s comment about Lenny’s novel! How dare he equate the smell of a book to wet socks?? It saddened me that Lenny had to tuck who he was ­­– a book reader/lover – into an unseen place and pretend to be who he wasn’t – an all-consumed digital lover. In many of today’s societies and peer circles, this is not unheard of. I have many friends who cannot fathom my love for reading and preference for physical books. Nevertheless, I am happy that the scale of my friends’ preferences tips over to the side of those who still love physical books and reading.

But reading is becoming increasingly difficult in our contemporary and digital culture:

“Reading is difficult. People just aren’t meant to read anymore. We’re in a post-literate age. You know, a visual age.” (Shteyngart, 2010)

I have many younger cousins who would agree with the above quote…that is if they took the time to actually read it! My cousins, young, vibrant digital natives are operating iPads, iPhones, Macs, Laptops, tablets years before they can read written words: my two-year-old cousin fully operates her iPad; my ten-year-old brother creams me in video games; my one-year-old cousin said Xbox before book. Their minds are overflowing with all-things-visual and barely-anything-literate; yes, they are also academically learning and excelling but the love of reading is lacking in a fundamentally substantive presence. My brother knows not those age-old tales that I grew up reading: The Three Musketeers, Heidi, Wuthering Heights, all the fairy tales, all the Enid Blyton novels, all the Nancy Drew’s, all the Hardy Boys, all the Great Illustrated Classics but he knows Legos and YouTube. Yes, he is still an excellent student in school but I fear for him when he reaches high school and faces those reading-on-the-heavy-side classes, his indifference towards reading can turn into hatred. I will hope that at least a sliver of my love for reading was genetically passed on to brother dearest…

My brother and my cousins are just three examples amongst the multitude of young children who are growing up with the absence of reading: their birthday lists would be too stuffed with tablets, cellphones, video games and video consoles to find room for a book or two. Though we live in this rapidly advancing technological time, we must not forget to remember the parts of our past that helped to bring us to this present: the art of reading, of reasoning, of realizing all help us to continuously carve a better tomorrow.

What more, reading enables us to travel all around Earth, all the Universe, and even all around the metaphysical right from that warm, snug place where we read; for those of us who cannot yet afford the luxuries of Travelling The World, a good read or two can show us the world in its diverse splendor with just ink and inspiration.

Jojen, in George Martin’s A Dance With Dragons said that “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies.”

How about infinite lives?

“…and a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone if it is to keep its edge. That’s why I read so much…”

Very astutely said, George Martin…

 

Works Cited

George Martin Quotes. (n.d.). Retrieved March 6, 2017, from Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/405787-my-brother-has-his-sword-king-robert-has-his-warhammerhttps://www.goodreads.com/quotes/405787-my-brother-has-his-sword-king-robert-has-his-warhammer

George Martin Quotes. (n.d.). Retrieved March 6, 2017, from Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/408441-a-reader-lives-a-thousand-lives-before-he-dies-said

Shteyngart, G. (2010). Super Sad True Love Story. New York, New York, United States of America: Random House Trade Paperbacks. Retrieved March 2017

 

 

The Daily Create: Social Media Personalities

Quite Quintessential

Though an avid user of the World Wide Web, I am not a strict follower of a specific media personality. When on the internet, I view a multitude of media personalities, their works, etc. As a devout fan of cricket, I find myself frequently perusing the Instagram accounts of my favorite cricketers to keep myself in the know of their lives inside of and aside from cricket. But their accounts would not be useful examples for media personalities because though they are regular media outlet users, for me, they are not media personalities. A media personality, for me, is one that uses the internet primarily as an outlet for their work and letting others view their work. And one such media outlet that I do follow and check quite regularly is Quite Perry.

Quite Perry is the social media outlet of Rohan Perry, a Jamaican comedian who creates comical videos usually starring himself in multiple roles: he stars himself, and his alter-ego: Patricia Brown. His works interest me because, despite him being Jamaican, he reenacts life situations that are common to every West Indian country: Jamaica, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, etc. I can be having a bad day and any one of his videos would have me in fits of laughter.

One particular video that I can look at over and over again is one where Patricia Brown reenacts the behavior of Jamaica drivers in the video entitled “Fast-food restaurants be like..”. This video is so very quintessentially true for fast-food restaurants worldwide but only would someone as brazen and shameless as Patricia Brown would attack the restaurant employee in such a manner!

zss

Another video that would have me cracking up is the “That one friend who has everything in her purse..” where Patricia and Rohan are at a restaurant and when Patricia tastes the food, she declares that the food has not enough flavor and proceeds to rummage around in her purse for the necessary items to make the meal more appetizing. This video is a worldwide relatable one because we can all attest to having that one friend who can have just about everything in his/her bag, right? I am guilty of having such a bag; while I don’t have hot sauce, mustard, tomatoes and ketchup in my bag, I have just about everything else!

dd.jpg

All in all, I like to, most times, view media works that are funny, uplifting and relatable. Life is challenging enough in real life and I use the internet as one way of alleviating and making light those challenges, trials and tribulations that I can face when not facing a technological screen…

The Daily Create: Doxxing

Malicious Minds

“The term Dox or Doxxing is derived from the word “Document.” It originates from the practice of researching information about an individual. Doxxing is often defined as an Internet-based practice of researching and broadcasting personally identifiable information (such as names, addresses, phone numbers, spouse, children, relatives, financial history and much more) about an individual.” (Doxxing: The New Threat To Your Online Safety, 2016)

Before reading the three articles, I hadn’t knowledge on the heightened transformation of online harassment: it has, over the years, become a study of its own with continuous statistical analysis. Being a seasoned user of the digital world that we call the World Wide Web/Internet/virtual reality/and all the other names, I have seen online harassment in multitudinous forms; while I have never been victim to doxxing or online harassment, I have had friends who were and they were, most times, innocent victims of malicious minds.

For The New Yorker article, I was a tad bit sad for it to have ended: I had wanted to read more about the story: no doubt, if Teacher Fei and the girl continued with their malevolent mentalities, the story would have escalated further on the negative/violent spectrum. It was very interesting, the dynamic between Teacher Fei and the girl: she was doxxing her father and he, Fei, began doxxing her. Below are excerpts from the article that resonated within me and are at the core of doxxing:

“It’s the innocent ones who are often preyed upon by life’s cruelty, Teacher Fei replied, and when his mother did not speak he recounted the girl’s story from the magazine.”

“He did not know if she had heard him, but when he tucked her in she looked up from the pillow. “You should not feel upset by the girl,” she said.”

““The weak-minded choose to hate,” she said. “It’s the least painful thing to do, isn’t it?””

“He hastily composed another post, and then spent twenty minutes rephrasing it in a calmer tone, but a day later, when that message had also been deleted, his rage erupted. He called her a “scorpion girl” in a new message, saying that he hoped no man would make the mistake of his life by marrying her and succumbing to her poison; he took great pity on her father, since an evil daughter like her would make any father live in a hell.”

I was happy that despite Teacher Fei’s attempts to rile the girl up on her blog, she did not react to him. Rather, she calmly flung his comments into cyberspace’s trashcan and did not respond. She, Miss Doxxer-of-her-father, embodied the words of Darius M. Fisher in Sally Kohn’s article: “But if you are hacked or doxxed or such, rule No. 1 is stay calm. “They want you to panic and overreact,” says Fisher. “That’s their goal.” So don’t let them win by freaking out and potentially drawing even more attention to their bad acts.” (I Got Doxxed So You Don’t Have To, 2015).

 

Doxxing Example:

Doxxing Example Link

This above article highlights just how serious and dangerous doxxing is becoming. Alan-Michael Weatherford, a graduate student at the University Of Washington, was doxxed to the point of having to change his social media names and having to have his student profile removed from his University’s website. Weatherford’s life has been eternally altered: not only is his personal information now permanently circulating through the virtual atmosphere, he is at risk of someone finding his information, tracking him down, finding him and carrying out radical acts of violence towards him and others. Weatherford, in his effort to prevent the faces of others being splashed onto the internet, has had his face splattered there and it is still uncertain whether his life will ever be the same again.

Progression…Regression…

Works Cited

A Man Like Him. (2008, May 12). Retrieved February 15, 2017, from The New Yorker: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2008/05/12/a-man-like-him

Doxxing: The New Threat To Your Online Safety. (2016, December 7). Retrieved February 15, 2017, from Daily Caller: http://dailycaller.com/2016/12/07/doxxing-manageurid-advertorial/

I Got Doxxed So You Don’t Have To. (2015, June 29). Retrieved February 15, 2017, from The Daily Beast: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/06/29/i-got-doxxed-so-you-don-t-have-to.html

UW Grad Student Faces Torrent of Vile Harassment After Sticking Up for Immigrants. (2017, January 26). Retrieved February 15, 2017, from Seattle Weekly: http://www.seattleweekly.com/news/uw-grad-student-faces-torrent-of-vile-harassment-after-sticking-up-for-immigrants/