This site is the cat’s pajamas

Leave a comment

Collective Effort

10570519_10202302293628026_1138734971408922838_n 58052-florence-university-arts

It seems like only yesterday that we began the journey into Communication Technologies, and now the class and course work has come to an end. I have gained so much knowledge and insight into the world of technology and digital communication that I will use to grow, expound, and implement. My one sided views of social media and digital technology are no longer firm but has evolved through this class and has broken through my hard shell.

I have viewed many collective efforts that fits the description of a meaningful cognitive surplus project cut the one I chose specifically to elaborate on is Pallazzi Florence Association for International Education also known as Florence University of the Arts. I chose this project because I had the opportunity to experience it first hand while still in the formative stage. Gabriella Ganugi is one of the most inspirational, humble, and intuitive person’s I know. She is president and founder of several art institutions in Florence, Italy. She had ideas and dreams of successfully building and operating study abroad programs in Italy.

Gabriella wrote out her business plan and begin to petition and market her self and ideas through human interaction and even more so through digital technology to bring her visions of FUA; Florence University of the Arts, DIVA: Design Institute of Various Arts, Apicius Culinary Institute; and her fine arts restaurant and art gallery, Ganzo to Life. She started websites, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc. and many more social media accounts to get her vision upon and running. She linked up with numerous universities and colleges all over the world through social media. 

Gabriella Ganuci teaching a culinary Art student how to serve!!!I Support Gabriella cause because I believe education is very important and not just education but the opportunity to leave one’s country to travel abroad and experience the cultures and learning styles of other countries. I go to her social sights and networks and like and share the information provided to promote her cause.

All the material we covered this summer from Shirky’s Cognitive Surplus to McLuhan’s Technological Determination, changed my views and willingness to be of more support to worthwhile causes. Shirky saying, no one really wants to be a couch potato but they aren’t given opportunities, really made an impact on me to want to be more involved in finding opportunities to be nice or fairly decent to others to contribute my time and talents. McLuhan also had such an strong impact on my outlook with his inspirational quotes and research, specifically, “The medium is “the Message“, “The medium is “the Massage“, and “the medium is “the Mass-age“. I really enjoyed this class and i’m going to truly miss it!





From Peer Pressure to Social Media Pressure

"Today the tyrant rules not by club or fist, but disguised as a market researcher, he shepherds his flocks in the ways of utility and comfort." - Marshall McLuhan

“Today the tyrant rules not by club or fist, but disguised as a market researcher, he shepherds his flocks in the ways of utility and comfort.”
– Marshall McLuhan

Growing up I was never really into pressure of peers although it was greatly suggested and even forced. As hard as it was and is, I liked myself well enough to know that I had a choice in making right decisions for myself whether others liked it or not. When I did make bad decisions they were based in foolishness on my own part. As I read and watched the material this week I was not surprised by the content there in. Each weeks material has intertwined very well with one another up until this point. 

Like is a very strong word now days concerning social media and has previously been a strong four letter word concerning one’s self. I was always taught that through spending time with myself I would learn to like who I am and learn what i didn’t like as I invested the quality time. Watching Generation Like, I realized as a society how we have let the future generation down. What the social media generation is doing to “brand” and market themselves is no surprise to the developments and predictions of Shirky nor McLuhan.

McLuhan already had the insight of what this generation would succumb to and the tyrants, if you will or I may say, behind the disguise of market research. “As technology advances, it reverses the characteristics of every situation again and again. The age of auto nation is going to be the age of “do it yourself” – McLuhan. In the Generation Like video, the kids are so attention deprived and self seeking that they turn to social media to get what they feel they need for the lack of attention and self worth, they don’t even really need sponsors for real because they are doing it themselves. Getting people to like them and getting likes is the most important and popular way of “branding” themselves even if it means humiliation of character, self disrespect, and out right rudeness. 


Shirky: “Assuming that a social network is held together by it’s average members leads us to underestimate seriously the likelihood of sharing a link with some one we meet.”  It is very important to meet new people but at what cost? Do you sacrifice your personal life and goals to make others happy or be in the in crowd? Noticing on Facebook how so many older generations are in the mix of attention seeking and meaningless rambling almost makes me sick to the point I don’t even get on there but just read and not like. What has happened to true leadership and where are we headed as a society that once valued self worth?

Many recluses

“Class in society is determined by voice” – McLuhan

 Some of the older generations have become so unhappy with themselves, marriages, family time, and life in general, that they have even turned to generational likes. The very institution that taught us humility, self preservation, and what it is to be true leaders have turned against a society and to the status quo for lack of attention. Will the real leaders stand up?


“If A Tool Is Useful, People Will Use It.”

"Many a good arguments is ruined by some fool who knows what he is talking about." -Marshall McLuhan

“Many a good arguments is ruined by some fool who knows what he is talking about.” -Marshall McLuhan

Reading and watching this week’s material, McLuhan’s Theory of Technological Determination, a Frontline Documentary:Digital Nation, Shirky’s Cognitive Surplus, and Here Comes Everybody, I had a better understanding of McLuhan’s quotes and theories and even more so, different individuals perspectives on the usage of personal and global technology.

McLuhan’s Theory challenged cultural beliefs and thought process, claiming that channels of communication are the primary cause of cultural change, family life, workplace, schools, healthcare, friendship, religious worship, and recreation. “The way we live is the way we process information.” McCluhan believed that; “the transitions between periods were neither gradual nor evolutionary, In each case the world was wrenched from one era into the next because of new developments in communication technology.” Feeling so strongly about technological changes of society over time, McCluhan separates the era’s into four epochs, Tribal Age, Literal Age, Print Age. and Electronic Age. 

McLuhan believed every new form of media to be an extension of a human faculty. The look; extends the eye. Clothing; extension of the skin. Computer; extension of the central nervous system. So on, so forth, and etc….these extensions create sense of function within the five senses to sum it all up. This brings me to Shirky’s Opportunitychapter four of Cognitive Surplus. Shirky makes a very good analogy by stating, “we simply ignored the basic truth of technology: if a tool is useful, people will use it. This statement really supports what McLuhan was trying to get across even then. Shirky acknowledges also how new technological tools will still be used although very different from previous versions or extensions. 

 "We shape our tools and in turn they shape us."



In A Digital Nation, Ruskoff and Dretzin explores the events and issues of McLuhan’s theory of how technology is the primary cause of culture change, family life, workplace, friendships, schools, religion and recreation. Everyone in Dretzin’s house have technical devices and are engaged with them more than family interaction. Friendships are no longer being strengthened by human contact but fading away due to social media. The school systems are incorporating more technology into lesson plans. Rushcoff focuses primarily on the disorganization and distraction of new technology. It has good purpose but often makes being alone more bearable, and in other cases, over multitasking less detailed oriented, for a lack of better words.

I would have to say that the internet and mobile devices are both hot and cool mediums of this rapidly advancing technical era. Until we obtain proper perspective and balance of usage of the new tools, versus human interaction, which will come in time, we will almost remain either on the fence or a stalemated culture. Most important to me, McLuhan’s quote: ” Nothing remains untouched by communication technology.”


Leave a comment

Net Neutrality, When will you unplug?

When will you unplug?

When will you unplug?

Considering the situation of two internet companies charging more for each other’s traffic would I be willing to pay more, significantly more,  for the internet activity you do now for free or low cost? I would have to say no. To pay more for services at a higher cost just doesn’t appeal that much to me. I use the internet every day for school purposes only. To incur outrages  rates because others are in competition with one another for a product that’s an everyday necessity to the entire world is ludicrous.

My breaking point came about years ago. I was paying high prices that were continually being increased for one reason or another for internet services I rarely used. Initially I was excited about the services but then I became discouraged because the cost of protecting my operating system was just as costly as the service. Viruses and continual crashes were starting to be very annoying because I had important information and memorable photos that my computer contained that were lost, how frustrating.

It took losing what was very valuable to me to scale back. I now for, the sake of school, have a pay as I go                                                      plan where i’m in control of  my usage without the huge expenses. Before buying my plan I would just go to                                                    the library or a coffee shop to use free or a low cost wifi. I have scaled back majorly and it’s probably one of                                                  the best decisions I have made concerning internet services.



Leave a comment

Domestic Spying Program or Individual Freedom and Privacy?

ImagePersonally, I am a true advocate of Individual freedom and privacy. I come from a very big family where privacy was just nonexistent. Everyone lives in close vicinity within one another and are always in each others business all the time. One family member carrying another one’s personal information and spreading it around fast, quick, and in a hurry, as if it were wildfires. Everyday someone would just show up on your doorstep as if they lived there or had a personal invitation. I really enjoyed the family get together’s, outings, and Sunday dinners but more than anything I enjoyed my personal freedom and privacy. As soon as I was old enough to travel I did and very frequently. I eventually I left my hometown to establish my identity and individuality outside of the family structure. For years now, I gave them no option but to respect and accept my boundaries of privacy. If only it were that simple with technological world.

After reading this weeks material and watching the videos, I ‘m not so sure of my stubborn stance. I was thrown for quite a loop. For the sake of national security and the nation’s protection I ‘m kind of swayed toward both sides. Especially about hearing of how 9/11 and the Boston bombing could have been prevented had information been shared. I am more accepting of the domestic spying program, for it is not I that has anything to hide. Short phone calls to friends and family,ink very limited texting, and hit and miss social media interaction, but I do understand that terrorist and those with hatred in their heart for America, could be isolated and planning mass destruction. My stance is that of long-term unintended consequences perspective. Why spare one individual’s privacy for the sake of lives of thousands and even millions?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             The U.S. and Israeli government coming together and creating “Stuxnet” and “Flame”  malware to destroy the Iranian research and prevent a military attack was a very strategic attempt but prematurely launched. I don’t think the NSA  really considered the consequences of one turning on the other and what would be the country’s reaction once exposure took place.                

ImageI think what General Hayden refers to as the ” Really Big Idea” was not a good idea to use cyber-weapons to do dirty work on “our” behalf. The question to me is on whose behalf? Does the “our” really mean protection of the U.S. citizens or “our” meaning the governments reputation? In either case what ever means used, people lives were still at stake, especially had the Iranians have orchestrated a full fledged attack on the U.S. I think this was a no win situation and not a valuable asset. I also believe the contents of Pandora’s Box  will definitely come back to haunt us. 

Again does the domestic spying program out weigh individual freedom and independence?


1 Comment

“User-Generated Content”

I found the reading material for this week very interesting, not to discredit any other week, I just didn’t know what “User-Generated” meant. Upon learning the definition (A group phenomenon, describing the ways that users create and share media with one another, with no professionals any where in sight). What stuck out most to me was; balancing the consumption with production and sharing, our ability to connect with others- means, motives, and opportunity. 

I would have to say my experience with “User-Generated” content is very much limited to my belief of an individual’s privacy. I have a Facebook page that I created back in 2008. I normally use it to read, share photo and video sessions I’ve done, with the permission of the individuals, download and share positive picture quotes, keep up with family, friends, and schoolmates and occasionally comment on statuses. rarely do I add people as friends that I don’t know. I would say what my mother drilled in my head still carries a very strong presence: “You didn’t have a choice in choosing your family, but you can choose your friends so choose wisely”.

Image I would have to say that I don’t have a heavy presence on Facebook, Instagram, nor Twitter. I really enjoy the face to face interaction of communication. I may chat in very small increments but I believe in waiting, no matter how far, how long, a distance for human interaction.Taking my courses online for the summer semester is even an challenge because I prefer to be in the actual classroom setting for a more interpersonal interaction. I tolerate social sites for the sake of Global Communication and World wide connections.

I prefer professionally-generated news and information over social media. For instance, all over Facebook were images of the Actor/Comedian:Tracey Morgan being in a horrific car accident and dying. Professional journalist reported that he was still alive and in critical condition. Social media can take an incident and spread gossip like its wildfire and not be truth, especially concerning those in the limelight. I do mind that information on the internet is vetted and verified after the fact because poor reporting and sketchy information is leaked in the form of information that create slander and a poor portrayal of and individuals true character and integrity.



ImageMany of my friends post endless streams of  what they deem to believe as facts from advertisers or pseudo-science entertainment sites in hopes of sharing knowledgable information only to find out that they have shared viruses from one technology to another. For instance one friend received from another friend an advertisement from Victoria Secrets, for a redemption of a coupon with a certain amount of monetary discount. She had to input personal information as well as a survey. Once hitting submit every technological device was hit with a virus.

My internet diet is quite bland and that’s the way I prefer it. I’m truly a student of life and as stated before I just tolerate social sites and media for global communication and distant learning. I don’t spend hours in front of the “Boob Tube”, or all of the technological devices that steal my time. I’m truly a person who loves books, and love the information within and intimate face to face time. Trying to post this weeks assignment also posed a challenge concerning technology and nature. There was a huge thunderstorm and light show last night which did not allow me to read the rest of this weeks reading or post because the chapters are online and I didn’t want to have an power outage do to over powering of electricity verses lightning.  Have a good week all!


Determination, Perseverance, Resilience, Tenacity


This week through my readings I leaned that each individual had powerful and strong characteristics within themselves, (determination, perseverance, resilience, and tenacity). What was on the inside of each of them manifested outwardly, in spite of numerous failed attempts, as mentalities of success and not of failure. Each individual took these qualities and persuaded individuals, communities, cities, states,countries, and nations to join forces with them for a winning outcome for all involved-collective collaboration. 

It took many individuals to work on creating the telegraph system since the mid 1700’s. From Europe to America, Ideas and concepts had been introduced, ignored, and rejected for non belief of wire communication. Individuals had gone to their graves working on a more effective way of communicating  from one distance to another. With a long history of electrical, artistic, and magnetic experimenting, the investigators of the past laid a stable foundation for today’s advancement and continual progression in the technological era, known today as “Cyber Space/ Cyber World” .

ImageOn the next level, “Sharing Anchors Community”, leads back to the historical foundations. I love how Flicker didn’t give any professional title to the 2005 parade and allowed amateurs and professional photographers upload and tag it’s site and each other. It allowed both sides to have an air of significance without allowing one to be esteemed more important over the other. In doing so, Flicker allowed a dimension of connectivity, unity, and collaboration with total strangers and at the same time developed a good reputation for itself thus enhancing cyber adaptability and social networking. Had Flicker not been open minded, this event could have turned into drawn out war between professional photographers, names, and judge and jury of works.

It takes A Village to find A Phone; one individual losing something that meant so much for her, knew that she would need help to regain possession of that which was lost but not to the extent that a determined friend and sheer tenacity would produce such a massive effect. Her friend pursued justice in a way that he challenged everything and everyone who stood in opposition against him. Using the people, the community, and technology to to bring justice and not accepting failure or no for an answer, even when the situation didn’t look promising, caused an cyber riot that he confidently embraced.

Where advancement of technology is concerned and progressing in an ever changing world, the characteristics that each fighting individual had to contribute to an never ending, progressive, advancing technological battle, are determination, persistence, resilience, and tenacity.  






nst him