Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Communication & Cyberspace (Chp 8-11)

It’s fascinating how the internet came to be. As mentioned in chapter 8, in the early 1990s, it connected thousands of smaller networks with a total of 21 million users worldwide. Of course those numbers have drastically changed over time. But before the time of the internet, the first wide network was under the direction of ARPA. There was a problem with maintaining the military communications system. But the nature of the issue didn’t guarantee the internet will be secured. The exponential growth made it difficult to model after.

In chapter 9, the internet isn’t about growth instead it’s about knowledge and information. Corporations have a vision of their own and that is to invest in building commercial or private booths. An example of corporations influence is when AOL-Time Warner merged which exemplifies ongoing strategy to integrate. This is an example of convergence between cable TV and a personal computer. Overall the information superhighway is cross-cultural and borderless. Worrying about building an off-ramp road in the home leaves an ongoing struggle between power and control.
Although the groups mentioned in chapter 10, I still agree that there is a divide- the digital divide and it has grown over time. There were ideas discussed that putting everyone on the internet, or giving them equal access to the internet will close the gap. Yes we live in an ever changing environment but there are times that people don’t move with the times. There are either slow adapters or non-adapters of new media. People are resistant to change.  There’s also your people who believe new technology did not improve their life instead it had a negative impact on family, cultural, and social values.
“The public image of cyberspace has often been one of a lawless and immoral environment…” (Hunter, 183). Chapter 11 covers the gray area of the risks of the internet. As large as cyberspace is, it’s really difficult to control the web traffic. Yes there are concerns in regards to the exposure of new media and control to objective material but there are always loop holes to everything. It’s natural to fear the many risks that the internet introduces. Despite all the censorship policies and regulations implemented by the government people still find ways to break through the protection codes. Previously, as my classmate mentioned a child can simply Google “woman” and explicit images will pop up in their search. There isn’t much of a filter online. It comes down to a moral danger that the internet proposes. It’s scary how easy it is to access pornography or violence. It’s quite uncertain what one may find when searching the web. Even advertisements or pop ups may be inappropriate to the demographic of the user. Each platform of media has its risks and effects which can ripple in a positive or negative way.

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