John Reagle Journal 4/21

In class this week, I thought it was interesting when we went over what makes an elevator pitch successful. In your analysis of my groups presentation, I found it very interesting that the quality of the pitch is less dependent on the content and more so on how it grabs the attention of the listener. As we were working to make the changes, it forced us to discover what was important in our actual poster. We deleted information that we thought wasn’t relevant to the audience and added, in its place, photos that serve as a visual representation.

In our new pitch, we intend to push the audiences attention towards the more prevalent photos in our poster. Instead of explaining boring factual information, we want to put the audience in real life situations so they can see the ethical consequences themselves. In this we hope, that although short, our pitch can better translate the meaning behind our research and the topics of this class.

Journal for 4/14 Reagl

This week in class I thought it was very interesting learning about the different presentations and the implications for which they discussed. One of the most interesting ones, personally, was the possibility of creating a habitable human existence on Mars. The colonization of mars would be one of necessity. The group talked about how the treatment and over capacity that earth is reaching-8 billion people by 2050- will create a precarious situation. As a result, an alternative they suggested is mars. Although exotic, they presented quality arguments that showed the ability for such an endeavor to happen. These include already existant life necessities such as water, an atmosphere, and mild temperatures.

There are already private corporations that are exploring the ability for space travel to become more common. Both Space X and Virgin Mobile are helping to enable the public to experience Space. These types of innovations serve as a catalyst for furthered space exploration and travel. In the future, it may be necessary for these corporation to aid in both their technical ability and influence to relieve some of earth’s  planetary strains and allow for an increased capacity of human kind.

While their proposal isn’t one hundred percent practical, they presented a logical argument. In their proposal they supposed that the use of a secondary planet is not necessarily in immediate relocation, but in long term growth. The initial people that inhabit Mars would then go on to reproduce and ease the future burden of those citizens on earth.

John Reagle 4/7

The movie, Memento, shows how with the absence of the human short term ability to make memories, a human is left to operate in a way similar to that of  computer. This outlines both the complexity of a well-operated computer, but also the vastly different system in which humans operate under.

Leonard, in Memento, lost his memory in the aftermath of an accident that he suffered in an attack on his wife. As a result, he experienced, unequivocal trauma that left him without the ability to form new memories. With a general sense of awareness, he was left with the emotion and want for retribution on the attacker of his wife. To achieve this with his newfound condition, he used a system of photos and notes to log memories, very similar to how a computer creates memories. He can only act and rely on the memories that have been logged for his future actions. The story of the movie is structured in a similar abstract way where the only recognition of plot is by physical distinctions that have been realized.

The stark contrast between how humans normally operate and the computer like operation of Lenny shows how developed the human mind really is. At the beginning of this course, we discussed the question of if the human mind is a computer. With this movie in mind, I think the similarities are between the normal capacity of the human mind and a computer are vastly different. The movie emphasized the mundane nature of computer operations and how our perspectives and abilities would be barred with them. Perhaps the future of computing will allow for more similarities, but regardless, the human possesses unique capabilities that classify our abilities.






John Reagle Journal

While finishing Stars in My Pocket, I was initially quite confused about the overall meaning of the novel, as it is very ambiguous and fails in delivering any concrete conclusions. Even though it is understood that a sequel was meant to follow, I think that there is strong meaning in the lack of a finite conclusion.  The opaque nature in this novel presents the social progressivism that he is trying to convey.

The way that Delaney only uses the “she” pronouns evokes an uncomfortable nature in the text and switches the societal gendered stigma where males have an unequally powerful role. By making all characters, even those with male personas, Delaney braces the reader to transform their perspective of how a society is structured. Similarly the cultural fugue furthers the perception of ambiguityo n what is acceptable. In doing so the reader is pushed to accept progressive cultural notions and make sense of what was once obscure.

Just as the reader is forced into an uncomfortable situations by the content, the way the novel ends puts the reader in one as well. The reader must formulate a conclusion upon themselves. Without the novel telling explicitly what to understand you must accept the content for what was conveyed in order to form a conclusion yourself. Through this acceptance of the novel, the reader becomes inherently accepting to the social progressivism that Delaney proposes.

John Reagle Journal

In class we discussed the topics of General information and privacy and how the two realms are interconnected in the Stars in my Pocket. However, I was intrigued by the notions of general knowledge and how our current society’s ability is limited based on the constraints of privacy that we are entitled to.  Privacy to whatever extent allows us to be uninhibited in our actions and make progress without the perceptions of others.

The ability to act without the consciousness of others views or opinions allows oneself the ability to explore investigate and learn about what may not be socially accepted or allowed. In doing so, people are able to generate more knowledge and understanding. With the imposition of being monitored, one forfeits the ability to act whimsically on ones personal desires because of the possibility of going against social norms. When a society is collectibly able to explore and learn freely, that society will in turn develop into a more knowledgable and accepting space as a result of the general information and knowledge that it had developed.

For example, countries that experience large amounts of government control fall being on progressive fronts that enable greater acception and personal understanding. China, because of the governments censorship, is drastically behind in social and general rational because of the lack of freedom given to its citizens. In comparison to the United States, where privacy and freedom is much more abundant, our society as whole is leagues ahead of China’s. As a result, the idea of developing general information is born from the privacy that a society has.