Blog Post #3 – The Myth of Digital Universalism

The readings for this week talked about metaphors. According to George Lakoff and Mark Johnsons Metaphors We Live By, a metaphors is “typically viewed as a characteristic of language alone, a matter of words rather than thought or action.” But also, on the other hand, metaphors are used pretty frequently as being persuasive. Humans tend to think metaphorically meaning the human thought process is metaphorical.

I really enjoyed the two videos we had to watch. Binta and the Great Idea really humbled me and made me appreciate the fact that its normal for me, a woman, to get an education. Binta is also a little girl who attends school, but her cousin Soda does not. All Soda wants to do is go to school “like all the other girls”, but her father refuses because in Africa, the women stay home. All through out the short film she begs her father and begs him, but he continues to say no. Finally, at the end of the short film, a play is put on by the kids in the community displaying how important education is, and what they can make of themselves if they are allowed to study. Soda then finds the courage to TELL her father she will study in school and the community backed her up.

The TED talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie made me realize that I too have a “single story ” mind set when I look at some countries, or just anything in general really. We tend to have one main way of looking at things, and don’t stop to consider other possibilities, especially when it comes to stereotypes. For example, how she “bought into the single story” because when she went into her Mexico trip with one mindset, and when she got there, she was proven wrong and saw that theres so much more to Mexico and Mexicans, than being “immigrants”. This really made me open my eyes and made me want to have an open mind when thinking about a lot of things in life.

One assumption I felt Chimamanda had was everyone else was like her and had that same “single story” way of thinking as well. She said that before coming to the United States, she didn’t used to identify as African, but in the US whenever Africa or Africans came up, people often automatically looked at her. She even talks about her roommate and how her roommate thinks that no African in her mind, will ever be equal to her. How does she know that?


Information structures blog post 3

For my project I will be doing Joan Clarke, from the Women in Computing, list. I noticed on Wikipedia she didn’t have a lot of information on her early or personal life, so I was thinking I would add to those categories. In order to do those kinds of edits, I am pretty positive you need to have an account set up with Wikipedia.

One source that I found with a good amount of information was

Digital Divide

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the term Digital Divide was first used in the early 1900’s and is defined as “the economic, educational, and social inequalities between those who have computers and online access and those who do not”.

In simplest terms, digital divide refers to the gap between people who are privileged enough to have access to up-to-date technology, and the others who are not so privileged. This could be problematic for one very big reason that I see: technology will never stop increasing. Look how far we have come from the ancient Egyptian drawings on stone walls, to today. Most of America are dependent on at least one mobile device. We use them constantly throughout the day without even noticing it: To check the news, using the GPS on your iPhone to get to a destination, watching tv, to do your homework, self-checkout at the grocery store, etc. So many things we need to get done daily includes a digital devices, the people who don’t have any knowledge on digital devices will suffer, and the gap will continue to increase.

In 5-10 years I predict that technology will be even more relevant in our everyday lives, to the point where some people will no longer have jobs because a machine has been created that can get the job done in twice the time and doest require a paycheck. I say this because i believe the invention of iPhones started it all. With an iPhone you can do everything: talk, text, check the news, weather, watch a movie, play an exciting game, etc. There is an “app” for everything, which began getting people to think “what else can i digitize” so they can create the next app. All these intriguing apps have made us scary depended on our phones for everything. The people who lack digital literacy will have a hard time adapting to new technology.

Blog Post 1

Camila Domonoske’s article talks about how “ill-informed” children, from middle school to college,  are today. “Many assume that because young people are fluent in social media they are equally savvy about what they find there,” the researchers wrote. “Our work shows the opposite.” Domonoske provided a study that was broken down into 15 different tests, which were handed to children of all ages. Most of the kids who participated in the study did not do so well. The students in middle school who participated in the study were basically too young to even know what some of the words meant in the title of the fake news article, such as the title, therefore making it hard for them to determine whether or not a site was fake or not. The high school students had a hard time determining real or fake news being posted on Facebook, and couldn’t recognize a bias tweet. And the Stanford college students who participated couldn’t tell  a mainstream website that most people use, or get their information from, from a fake site.

A major assumption Domonoske has in this article is that even though children today are very tech savvy and seem to know everything about the internet and social media, they really don’t know much at all. Some of it has to do with age, but a lot of it has to do with people not knowing what to look for when determining a real news site from a fake one.

Wynne Davis’s article Fake News or Real? How to Self-Check the News and Get the Facts goes hand and hand with Domonoskes article. Davis says that while it is our responsibility to try and shut down fake news sites, its also our responsibility to be able to weed out those sites so we don’t spread them. Davis lists a bunch of tips and what to look for in order to determine a fake site from a real one.