Wednesday, June 30, 2010

My Closing Post

I can't believe how fast this class went! It sure has been an intense learning experience for me, and I am sure my other classmates will agree. Reading four books in one month sure sounds Herculean but the important thing is that it is done. This course has taught me many topics that I was unaware of (remember that technology is not my area of expertise) and which made me think of the current operations of the world as we know it. Cyberspace and computer technology have come so far since I sat in a college classroom in the 90s. The idea of interacting with a computer as a medium was one that I am still losing sleep over :-) but I am gradually getting some rest! It is this interactive quality of computers that make it fascinating to users, young and old, the ability to reach out your ideas and even feelings across some "space" that seems endless.

Bolter's book fascinated me with the amounts of interactive technology that were displayed at the technology expo in 2000, exhibits that combined analog with digital, but it was the "experience" that each exhibit produced which was so appealing to the authors of the book. They conveyed their fascination so vividly with us, the readers. Manovich's book made the stunning correlation between film technology and computers, and his explanations made very good sense to me, showing me that film was taken up one step further with computers. It is amazing that we can, at an individual level, take these concepts of filmography and use them on our desktops. The third book co-authored by Professor Strate was probably the most complicated one to read, perhaps because of so many conflicting views by the contributors, but if there was one concept that summarized the compuer's function and purpose for existence, it was Professor Strate's analogy of the clock. This comparison made sense and literally resolved the conflict that existed among the authors. Finally, Professor Levinson's book turned a decentralized society into a centralized one on cyberspace. By explaining every entity on the Internet, such as Facebook, Twitter, Digg, and MySpace (to name a few), Levinson raised awareness of all the new new media that make that "social" component of cyberspace meaningful. To finalize the course, I took upon myself the task of writing my paper on copyright law and whether or not it can be used in cyberspace. This is a lot of work to do in one month, and I feel the satisfaction of achieving knowledge as a result!

Hopefully, this course will help me look at communications in a different light, although I may be tempted to give my own views, which may not be in total agreement with current vibe. Yet, the purpose for learning, I feel, is not necessarily to agree with everything you are taught and what others think but rather formulating your own insights and opinions and using whatever experience you may have to effect change. So, we can say we have two roads to take: either we learn and become part of the solution or we learn and continue to be part of the problem. I wish everyone a safe and happy remainder of the summer and, thanks Professor Strate for this learning opportunity. Peace out...

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