An Elegant Response To Last Weeks Presentation

Last week we were graced with an extraordinary presentation on the book, Program, Or Be Programmed. An introspective book that tackles issues involving our individual understanding and activity within the realm of programming. How we must take initiative to better ourselves, by acquiring more knowledge on the composition of the internet. Which will in turn allow us to contribute and not consent to the “improvements” in technologies that we are so often sold.

The presentation on the book began with a video which seemed to embody the ramblings of a very frightened Jewish man. He was antagonized by the lack of public interest in programming. However his frantic performance helped to exaggerate how companies can manipulate and limit our online access-abilities. If we are not careful, and authorize companies (Apple, Microsoft, etc.), then our digital playground will soon become exceedingly limited. These corporate programmers use updates and invent new platforms to enable us to administer our consent.  We are ignorant to what is being done, but this deceit results in increased profits for the companies that participate.

Unrelated directly to concepts expressed in, Program, Or Be Programmed, the idea that companies are capitalizing off of my lack of knowledge frustrated me. As the book and the video demonstrate, we are being duped in how we access information on our new technologies. There is little common knowledge on the constriction of this vast digital playground. Or t least little common knowledge that we are encouraged to discover and have access to. For which these corporations take advantage and are slowly but surely manufacturing barriers of access to certain domains. This is both unfortunate, and in our American society, seemingly inevitable.

Back to the presentation, each of the presenters took a moment to engage the class with various nuggets of information from the book. Their distinct apprehension of the topics at hand allowed for us to obtain a more holistic grasp of what was being conveyed within the book.

Specifically I received a much more solid appreciation as a result of the presentation. An appreciation on how we as active users must educate ourselves on what we are not seeing on our screen. The concept that there are depths beyond what is so neatly presented to us. This sort of realization should provoke desire to know more about this technology that we so often use. Personally I have been granted this desire through the reading and presentation.

Jeff Penman – Media Studies 255 – Mondays 6:30-9:20

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