Heh… British people…

What better way to sum up the subject!

So long ya’ll.

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nomnom Week 8 Question:

Alan Lui discusses the use of visual metaphors from older media in web design and argues that such metaphors “naturalize the limitations of the new medium by disguising them within those of older media” (Reader, page 228). Discuss:

When it comes to making money, it’s always easier to stick to what you know. Take John Howard for example, a perfectly established politician and Prime Minister in his own right…but get him on the cricket pitch(jagobbin 2008) and err… it kind of goes downhill from there.

In the same way, the internet and new media tend to function on the assumption that change is bad. Advertising, reporting, even video content are all established visual metaphors from old media sources. What’s more is that they are effective visual metaphors, so business boffins can take a low risk when transferring their associated strategies onto the internet because their success is already well established.

Now, it’s possible to argue that these are intuitive features of the media and so no matter the format it is likely that media will continue to function through the same features for years to come. Certainly if one takes into consideration the landscape of the internet before web2.0 and the prevalence of clunky, aesthetically-vomit-inducing site layouts (due to data limitations) this can be argued. However, it does not seem to be the imperative rule throughout the online realm.

When analyzing a website like tuckermax.com (tuckermax 2011), the prevalence of old media visual metaphors (which also manifest themselves in old media economic revenue methods) is obvious. Merchandise, advertising, pictures, video and text create an experience almost like that found in any magazine. While this is obviously a lucrative example, it pales in comparison to something like…oh I don’t know, say… google.com (Google 2011)?
When you access goggle, do old media visual metaphors establish themselves? The answer is no. Informative text, videos are traditional advertisements are not initially obvious… Google operates through a medium which is not prevalent in old media.

Obviously, through the setup of Google, an intuitive experience is created however without the assistance of established media designs. Through targeted advertising and mining of user data, Google is able to turn profit to the tune of approximately 6.67 billion(Alexei Oreskovic 2010) U.S dollars, albeit a lot of that coming from revenues other than its website. Regardless, this revolutionary new media shows how it is possible to bring new ideas and concepts to visual metaphors and ultimately become far more successful than your average webpage still relying on established principles.

Okay, perhaps it’s not fair to compare an entertainment site like tuckermax and a power-hungry company like Google. I mean, their audiences may intertwine but ultimately their purpose is much different, so one may expect visual metaphors to differ across the two sites. Furthermore, in reality Google still operates on principles of the old media (text based communications, limited advertising… a big flashy logo) but it more transcends the limitations that occurred in the past, servicing a vastly improved system to the consumer instead. I guess this does not mean that it has created a brand new set of visual metaphors, only that the metaphors it brings to the table are highly specialized to suit the online medium.

Either way, I think it is fair to say that moving into the future more web interactions will follow the example of Google and use the new medium to create more productive visual designs and hence maximize potential economic gain, rather than rely on the media metaphors of old.


Works Cited:

– Alexei Oreskovic 2010, Reuters, San Francisco viewed 2 June 2011, <http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/01/22/us-google-idUSTRE60K33U20100122&gt;

– Google Web 2011, Google, California viewed 2 June 2011, <http://www.google.com&gt;

– jagobbin 2008, Youtube, California viewed 2 June 2011, <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0o8by05rtMY&gt;

– tuckermax 2011, WordPress, Austin viewed 2 June 2011, <http://www.tuckermax.com&gt;

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Week 11: Question /b/.

Medosch argues that: “piracy, despite being an entirely commercially motivated activity carried out in black or grey markets, fulfills culturally important functions” (Reader, page 318). Discuss:


Something about our structured society has created a longing in most individuals to break free from the system by which we live, and instead create rebellious and anarchistic interactions. While most of us resist the urge to take arms against the ‘the man’ and overthrow our ruthless leaders in a bloody coup (screw you regional manager of KFC Victoria), the concept of ‘pirating’ none the less continues to influence our primal instincts on some level.

That should definatly be me chilling with Alice Cooper. At least I would have brought more beer. http://www.thisisnotporn.net/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Colonel-Sanders-and-Alice-Cooper.jpg

In modernity, pirating cannot only be seen as a defiant act for personal gain, but must also be considered in the contexts of prevailing social theories. A good example of this would be an organization such as Apple, who are renowned for their super-chic’ computer products…and extreme exploitation of capitalist market systems(Veronica Roberts 2010). I literally could sit here all day and pound out hundreds of reasons why Apple is a terrible (Jason O’Grady 2009), evil(Cameron Scott 2010), soulless(John Naughton 2011) company, however (much to my disappointment) I have a point to make, so basically the Apple argument goes like this…

As a company, Apple specialize in extremely popular and user friendly products (iPod, iPad, Mac Operating Systems, etc.) however in creating said products, interactivity between the user and the product must be limited.

In order to maintain a product that is both:

a)      Intuitive to use


b)      Extremely profitable…

…Apple creates stringent limitations regarding the amount of manipulation that is possible to occur within their technical systems.

So I ask you this; what happens when you change the background on your iPhone?
Answer: Nothing, because it’s not possible. Well it is…but more on that later. Basically, Apple is able to enforce a rigid technological system (which is difficult to manipulate) in order to regulate and maximize the profitability their products.

Here’s where social theories come in (aka, the fun part). Liberal minded individuals don’t sit too well with the thought of their technologic opportunities being limited… even if all they really want to do is apply a Dragonball Z theme to their iPhone. So to counter Apple’s controlling ways, various contributors make it possible to change the nature by which the technology operates, thereby ‘hacking’ it.
Actually ‘hacking’ occurs to a lot of established products… but for Apple, the community usually refers to as ‘Jail-Breaking’.  ‘Jail-Breaking’ an iPhone, for example, allows the individual to break free of the rigid structure imposed by the capitalist pigs over at Apple, and instead engage in more open source related activities with their product.

Predictably, Apple frowns on this practice, and the open source nature of interactions that occur (through the sharing of themes, backgrounds, 3rd party apps, etc.) are considered piracy by most definitions. However, through this semi-illegal hack, a greater freedom(Simon Ng 2008) is offered beyond that of the original product. In this way, piracy can be seen as fulfilling culturally important functions… although you would only see it that way from the consumer’s point of view.

I think that the internet in its earliest incarnations gave people a taste of freedom from social structures, so that piracy online has gradually become an excepted occurrence. Now that capitalist ventures have realized this, attempts to limit piracy will inevitably be attempted. What this example shows is that piracy not only serves a purpose, but is now virtually unstoppable thanks to open source and file sharing communities of contributors. Ultimately I believe this will bring positive results, however it is important to note that piracy in this manner will always occur in response to initial established products, rather than actually creating said products themselves.


*I think its valuable to note that some of the links here simply could not be referenced, either because they represent files available through file-sharing websites, or because they have multiple contributors (cough, wikipedia, cough). However they are still valuable to the purpose of this blog sooo…please take that into consideration?

Works Cited:

– Veronica Roberts 2010, AllVoices, China viewed 30 May 2011, <http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/5974288-10-workers-commit-suide-at-apple-s-foxconn-in-china&gt;

– Jason O’Grady 2009, Ricoh, viewed 30 May 2011, <http://www.zdnet.com/blog/apple/chinese-worker-commits-suicide-after-losing-prototype-iphone-4g-updated/4449&gt;

– Cameron Scott 2010, inhabitat, viewed 30 May 2011, <http://inhabitat.com/is-apple-involved-in-heavy-metal-pollution-in-china/&gt;

– John Naughton 2011, The Observer, London viewed 30 May 2011, <http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/mar/06/john-naughton-apple-dominates-market&gt;

– Simon Ng 2008, WordPress, viewed 30 May 2011, <http://www.simonblog.com/2008/10/05/why-jailbreak-top-5-reasons-to-jailbreak-iphone/&gt;

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Week 7 (question a.)

Lovink (Reader, page 219) argues that bloggers are creative nihilists “who celebrate the death of centralized meaning structures and ignore the accusation that they would only produce noise”. Discuss:

When a friend comes back from holiday, it is often the case that you will be faced with one of two scenarios. Sometimes they will give you a brief low-down on the events of their trip, possibly interjected with some amusing anecdotes. However if your hypothetical friend is anything like myself, they will prefer to inform you of every minute detail in painstaking specificity and with no concern for the value of your time.
To me, this is what blogging is like.

With bloggers, the concern for external amusement from their produced weblogs is usually minimal (albiet with a few notable exceptions). Therefore it is often the case where a blog will be more centralized around what entertains the producer, rather than the consumer. The flipside of this is that because a blog is relatively easy to create and maintain, it does not particularly need to appeal to a consumer base. So the accusation that bloggers ‘only produce noise’ is not overlly relevant provided the assumption that blog creations do not particuarly aim to create desernable products.

I think a perfect example of this can be found in satire (as is often the case in the media), and what better satirists are there than The Simpsons? …well maybe The Chaser…or South Park, whatever…this example will be from The Simpsons. In the episode ‘The Computer Wore Menace Shoes’ (2000) Homer Simpsons creates a website which is of poor quality in terms of design and content. While the average blogger is obviously going to be savvier than Homer Simpson, I think this exemplifies the mentality of bloggers quite accurately. It means something to create content on the internet, even if it is in no way useful.

In terms of nihilism, I think the average blogger can only be seen as being nihilist to the issues which do not show direct importance to them. For example, a video blogger who uploads to YouTube can receive numerous negative comments; yet continue to produce their blog, no matter how many people plead for them to stop. Though this act displays anarchism in itself, the blog being produced may actually be a highly emotional appeal towards some political issue…involving clowns (I assume). In doing this, the blogger displays that they actually have interest and attention in some issue… even if it is something completely irrelevant. Therefore, the blogger cannot be completely nihilist by definition.

Ultimately I see blogging as being like this: The word ‘log’ used to assume a recording of messages (GangwayCinema 2008), usually taken for reflective or personal use. Blogs more or less run on the same principle, and while that may mean that the content they create is mostly ‘noise’, they do serve a reflective purpose for the producer (who will inadvertently become the consumer). Though I see most blog as largely irrelevant for this reason, it is (interestingly) often the best blogs(tuckermax 2011) that use personal reflection to create entertaining content, and that is what will keep them alive in their current form.

Works Cited:

– GangwayCinema 2008, Youtube, California viewed 26 May 2011, <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfzuRMthMzk?&gt;

– tuckermax 2011, WordPress, Austin viewed 26 May 2011, <http://www.tuckermax.com&gt;


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Week 10 Question: Why I do the things I do.

Following week 10 tutorial’s exercise, explain why you chose the Creative Commons license that you added to your blog and discuss the relevance (or not) of adding the license.

Choosing a creative commons licence seemed like a fairly intuitive thing for me to do, being the young middle class white guy that I am. I think when it comes to intellectual property the decision to share and allow access to creative works is a personal decision based on values rather than a rule to be taken across all society. For example, a blogger like Daniel O’Brien(2011) probably has justification in the choice to copyright his online material, as he maintains some talent and consistency in his labour. Therefore I would say that he is worthy of ownership and the ability to profit from his material. This blog however is considerably crappier than any of Dan’s projects, so I feel it does not require copyright protection… and let’s be honest, nobody’s going want to use my literary garbage anyway.

Without becoming a stereotypical arts student by quoting the Communist Manifesto, a lot of my opinions on this matter also find their roots from a moderate Marxist ideology. On the one hand, property that can benefit others should be shared in the interests of fairness and equality. Given it is significantly easier to do this with intellectual property than say allotments of land in downtown Moscow, I’m all for the commons of my personal work. However, on the other hand I understand that property is probably going to be of better quality if someone gets payed in its maintenance. So, if I suspected my works were at a level where I was entitled to maintain absolute ownership over them, I would employ some copyright. As this is not the case though… let creative commons rule!

I guess my opinions on the issue are a little from either side of the ownership debate, that’s why I also chose my creative commons licence to not allow the manipulation or re-creation of my work. It’s one thing to be quoted or have ones opinions discussed openly, but I believe the manipulation of intellectual property without prior agreement is not optimal in maintaining credible property(TimeForDubSex 2010). People should be free to use or profit off material I create, but I think some recognition of its source would also be nice.

Hmm…so I guess a lot of my opinions kind of contradict themselves, because on the one hand…I don’t mind other people using my works, but on the other hand…I don’t want said works to be passed off as the achievements of someone else. Meh, I guess in the end as long as creative and useful products are created I’m not fussed…the challenge will be to actually come up with anything of value from this blog!

Works Cited:

– Dan O’Brien 2011, Tumblr, New York viewed 16 May 2011, <http://thisdanobrien.tumblr.com/&gt;

– TimeForDubSex 2010, Youtube, California viewed 16 May 2011, <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRCWFWxJY5o&feature=related&gt;

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Staring at things.

So i guess Weezer are one of those bands I like, but would never admit to liking in public. Obviously the internet becomes the best place to profess this forbidden love because…you know…no one on the internet means anything to anyone.

Anyway, here’s a good example of how professional and amateur creations can co-exist in harmony.

Thank you YouTube embed!

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Why I Already Hate You.


If you’re anything like me, you hate people. And not just in a ‘yeah, I guess people are kind of sucky’ way, but in a wrathful ‘death to humans jfewwfokillmaimdestroy’ way. Most of the time, it works out fine…modern society has created ways for people like me to avoid populous locations and gatherings, however occasionally incidents will occur when I have to leave the house and maintain some human interaction. This annoys me, and no matter how much our technology has improved over the last hundred years to improve personal interactions the fact remains that not enough progress has been made in limiting communications between lonely and soulless people such as myself, and the rest of civilisation. The following is a list of five ways I best try to limit my interactions with people, lest I should have to endure an actual conversation.

1)      Music.

Ahh music, sweet redeemer, thou minstrel choruses and harmonious melodies bequeath solest upon even thine harshest soul. Seriously, without music I would possibly be more of a careless, cynical and overall horrible person. Luckily, with it comes the opportunity to loose oneself in an art form that is portable. A painting encourages discussion. Sitting next to a guy blasting Every Time I Die from a pair of noise-cancelling Sennheiser headphones does not. It’s almost beautiful how music works to this avail.

2)      Reading.

Books are great, without words… I guess no technology at all would exist. To me, a story becomes a thing of great beauty when told through the written medium. Luckily, being engrossed in a book also gives the indication that you are both:
a) backward and un-engaged by technology that encourages personal interaction.
b) intelligent and sexy.
The result is that no one will talk to you while you’re reading a book…especially if the title is ‘Backdoor Sluts 9; A Novelisation’.

3)      Looking Like a Freak.

What does a freak look like? This is a question that has troubled me since I started seeking solitude. Luckily, television shows from the late 90’s have provided me ample information regarding how I should look in order to be considered ‘fucking weird’.

This is helpful.


As is this


4)      Never Shaving or Getting a Haircut.

Cavemen were the craftiest sort of men, for their efforts to get laid mainly revolved around how handy they were with a club. Unfortunately, the gene pool hasn’t quite caught up with the fact that having hair in every location on the body is no longer seen as socially desirable.
Being of Balkan decent, I feel blessed in my ability to grow a filthy, filthy beard and maintain a healthy head of hair…that I haven’t cut in over a year.
When people look at me, you can actually see the disgust in their eyes. It’s amazing.

5)      Video Games, like… all of them.

You know what’s amazing? Thanks to technology I no longer have to leave the house to entertain myself. Why would I go for a walk and potentially run into someone I went to high school with (followed by an awkward conversation) when I could drive around Liberty City in GTA for a few hours, stopping only to gun down the occasional innocent bystander? Its wondrous, glorious… majestic even. Hell, give me a +40 k/d ratio over sex any day, as long as I don’t have to see another human being. Cause I’m the kind of guy who gives up playing World of Warcraft because it involves too much social interaction. Yes, that actually did happen.

Just looking at this pictures gives me teh social anxiety.



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