Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Communication and Cyberspace Chapters 1, 4, 10, 11, 18

Chapter 1 of Communication and Cyberspace is titled "From Locomotion to Telecommunication." It also details how many people find a life inside cyberspace in addition to their lives with their families and communities. I found it interesting that a NY Times obituary described a deceased computer programmer as being a part of two communities: the physical one that included his family and neighbors and friends in Astoria, and his cyberspace community in which he had friends that came together for an online wake. This chapter also talks about the effect of cyberspace on physical space, referencing a portion of Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre Dame and the idea that "the book will kill the church." This meant that people feared that books would free people from dependence on church. The modern-day parallel is that cyberspace will draw people away from physical environments.

Chapter 4 is titled "Striking a Balance: Access and Control Copyright, Property, and Technology." There is an issue that states that electronic media have changed the way we think about publishing. On one hand, authors have control of their intellectual property, but the point of the Internet is that information is to be freely available and sharable. It is incredibly difficult to police cyberspace.

Chapter 10 is titled "The Digital Divide," which states that there is a massive gap between who has access to new technologies and who doesn't have access. Rural areas are much less likely to have access to the Internet than suburban and urban areas. White people are more likely than Black or Hispanic people to have access to new technologies. Elderly people are less likely than young people to have Internet access. Additionally, education level and email use are positively correlated. I found this chapter interesting and eye-opening, as most of the world does not have access to the internet; I think this is something most Americans take for granted.

Chapter 11 is titled "Risk and the Internet: Perception and Reality." The author discusses risks in cyberspace, such as fears of censorship, pornography, and risks involving children and the Internet. Parents often believe that their children should have internet access, but at the same time worry about what their children are viewing online. Censorship has come about due to pornography, which is what drives technology. The US government has passed several laws pertaining to required Internet filtering software in schools.

Chapter 18 is titled "Cinematic Representations of Cyberspace." In this chapter, the author discuesses how cyberspace has been represented in cinema. Symbolic form in cinema has lead to a class divide: more educated people prefer literacy, whereas the less-educated people prefer speech and imagery.

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