Hear Ye! Hear Ye! … I should be posting this online.

The first time I saw Kony2012 I thought it was a virus. How and why is that so? Because it was all over Facebook and I’d never seen just one topic completely fill my newsfeed. For a couple of days I ignorantly ignored the videos and statii people were dedicating to this one man and hoped that my computer didn’t get hacked. It wasn’t until a few days later that I heard him mentioned on the news that I then understood there wasn’t a virus that had hacked into countless amounts of “friends”, but a real media issue. This particular story is a good example of  how we (being the people of the world) have progessed from a monologic media society to one of a dialogic.Previously, going as far back as the medievil times, news was passed on through towns via a script-reader, now all that’s needed to get a message accross the globe is a single facebook/twitter/youtube etc posting. Kony2012 really makes clear the difference in the people power of communicating one to many as opposed to the power of many to many.

In recent years, social media has become alot more than a place for people to create a false identity. Social media is our 21st century script-reader. This is again made obvious by several newspaper apps that are available on Facebook, hashtags on Twitter and video channels on Youtube (and not to mention the serious drop in print sales since the rise of the internet).  So why is it people are choosing to voice their opinions/share their works/spread news accross social media websites? The answer is simple. There are 845million Facebook users worldwide, which makes getting a message accross very easy. Although this is a lazy approach to getting something out there, it does work. The only problem being, it dies just as quickly as it grew. When was the last time you heard something new about Kony?

While this new way of spreading media has had its fair share of advantages, there is an equal of disadvantages. Rumors are just as easy to spread. This has caused problems, especially with the rise of employers seeking out information on possible future employee’s. This raises the question of whether or not the internet, in particular social media websites should use gatekeepers. I think the use of gatekeepers on social media as a whole isn’t necessary. But I do think quality control should be there for the news groups and corporations that spread the news over the social media sites. What do you think?

हिव/एड्स इन नेपाल

Last September I went to Nepal to do volunteer work. About a week before departing I thought I was working in an orphanage. Seven days before my flight I was contacted by the volunteer company and told my placement had changed and I was now working at a rehab centre for children with HIV/AIDS. I panicked. All of a sudden I no longer wanted to go to Nepal. Why? Because all I knew about AIDS was that it was super contagious and it killed you. That was all school sex-ed taught me.

The same reaction was then repeated when I told each of my friends. We were all certain that I was going to come home infected with what I thought was a highly contagious disease.

My anxieties weren’t settled until I was sat down by my father (who has worked in hospitals for over forty years). He explained HIV/AIDS to me in great detail. But to cut it short, the infection can only be transferred through unprotected sex with an infected person, blood transfusion and swallowing a litre of an infected persons saliva. Unless I was going to be reckless there was a pretty well close to zero chance I’d come home infected.

Upon arriving in Nepal, I learnt that the HIV/AIDS stigma was very ill. The children at MSPN (the rehab centre) had to travel an hour to get to a hospital that accepted HIVpositive patients. The rehab centre itself was pretty shabby with the only nice rooms having been done up by former volunteers. Most appallingly though was a newspaper article that showed three children that had been expelled from school when it was found that they were HIVpositive. I learnt later on in my trip that the stigma was so ill as the Nepalese government has a very anti-HIV attitude, which also gives the country a bad image. The government does not fund HIV/AIDS rehab centres, nor awareness. In fact the government is so anti that lubricant is not sold and condoms are only of cheap quality, which doesn’t help prevent the spread of the disease. The problem is so severe over there that The Nepalese government were confronted by the UN who stated that awareness needs to be set about and that the government needs to rid this ill image that’s being cast accross the country.

Five months later, I can still say without hesitation that working with those kids was the best thing I’ve done with my life. It really opened my eyes up to the much needed awareness of not just HIV/AIDS but all STI’s in general. While over there I was so happy and nothing made me more brighter than by being greeted every morning by “namaste didi” and hugs and kisses from the children. And just incase you were wondering, I DIDN’T come home infected.

Below is a picture of afew of the children I cared for. I dare you to tell me don’t look normal.

Portable Phone Apocolypse

Last week I became part of the crowd. A typical consumer. I bought an iPhone. And not gonna lie, I love it already. Why did I choose the iPhone you ask? Or better yet, why is it I am starting this blog off with a recount of what I did last week?

Well, as coincidental as it seems convenient, this week’s Convergent Media Practices Lecture was about the evolution of the portable phone and the infamous war between Apple and Google Android. A big discussion that took place in the corresponding tutorial was who has which phone and why. The reason I chose the iPhone over the Android was simple. I am technologically inept and the iPhone is much easier to use. Only a million times have I been caught in a situation where my Android owning friends have asked me to send a text to someone off their phone. It takes me a minimum of ten minutes every time to figure out how to get the the text menu.

An argument that was bought up a lot by the Android supporters was the fact that Apple is a locked company, whereas Android isn’t. To that my response is simple. I do not plan on getting to the “codes” of my phone, and the locked application system is in no way putting me at a disadvantage. I plan on using my phone for its sole purpose and only using facebook in times of great boredom.

So how is it we went from this:                              

To This?                                             

Just on vision alone the transformation is amazing. Out of curiousity, I asked my father (who is old) what his opinion was of mobile phones having seen it evolve from the beggining. I did regret asking, about five minutes later when he was still ranting on, but nonetheless this is what he said: “Mobile phones are good for the use of urgent contact and contact with work. The use of them for texting and continuously speaking is surely a sign of inadequacy and uncertaintenty; the desire to feel wanted between two or more people. They also interfere with normal verbal intercourse between people. Pre-mobile days, it was considered ill-mannered around meal times to answer a ringing phone. Now it seems at meal times the mobile phone has become part of the eatting ettiquette.”

He then continued on to tell me that if he was at lunch with someone and their phone rang, if it weren’t work related or an obvious emergency he’d just walk out. He’s so old school… but I can see where he is coming from. The statistics shown in the lecture were alot larger than I thought! While I do agree with my Dad that being around someone who is on their phone the whole time is incredibly annoying, not to mention rude! I do disagree in that I think text messaging is handy and an easy way to get in touch with someone. I don’t particularly like phone calls. I never have. When organizing to do things with friends, I would much rather just send a text then make a phone call.

While the evergrowing tree of technology may be eye-opening for those of the older generations, it is very convenient, and the continuous convergence of technologies only makes these objects more and more popular as well as convenient and this trend is only going to grow.

HIV/AIDS Passed onto humans via Chimpanzee’s

https://apps.facebook.com/wpsocialreader/me/channels/read/content/VIZak?utm_source=editorial&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=srfanou

 

Attatched is a link to the Washington Social Facebook Application. Finally social media is being used to share news that people neglect on tv. This link that I have attatched (and recommend reading) is about HIV/AIDS and how the epidemic grew in Africa several years ago.

Apparently the story is old and scientists and the public have known for years, but I didn’t and found it rather interesting. Maybe you will share the same thought.

Did you know that the HIV virus was passed onto humans by Chimps?

Neither did I.

Around 1900 a hunter in southeastern Cameroon, Africa caught an infected chimp for food. The blood from the chimpanzee passd through to the human probably through a cut whilst butchering. And so started the AIDS epidemic.

The article then contiues to tell of how the disease spread from Africa to Europe to North America and recent scientific finds.

So for those of you that may have been wondering what started the horrible disease that has killedd many over its time, this article is a good start to getting those questions answered.

Happy Birthd…What?

Before attending the BCM112 lecture the other day, I thought copyright only applied to selling pirate copies of cd’s, dvd’s and book’s. And as far as word to word things went, I thought it was ok to use someone else’s work (ie wikipedia), just as long as I changed afew words with the help of thesaurus.com. Boy was I wrong!

Again, I’ve left the lecture with a million thoughts racing through my head and a small part of my innocence again taken away.

Turns out Copyright is VERY serious! The thing that got me though was ‘Happy Birthday’. What could’ve happened if i was in a restaurant one night, celebrating someone’s birthday and sang the internationally renowned birthday tune “Happy Birthday” and a Time-Warner Corporation Executive was there dining as well? Would I be taken to court over violation of the copyright law?

The more I thought about this, the more thoughts that popped into my head. If Charlie Chaplin was still around would he have sued the Penrith Panthers on the weekend for wearing pink shirts (ie the Pink Panthers)? And music, how do we know that all music pre-1710 was legitamate? Did Mozart really create Twinkle Star? Or was he a fraud and claimed his way to fame?

They’re all rather silly questions, but if I were to leave each lecture with serious questions running through my mind, I’m sure my brain would  be in a different place right now.

It was nice after such seriousness to learn about Creative Commons….turns out there is justice in the world!

HIV/AIDS Awareness, or Lack Thereof.

Confronting isn’t it?

This tv commercial, which was aired in 1987  is probably the most memorable ad for those that were alive at the time to remember it. Today was the first time I saw it and I know I won’t be forgetting it anytime soon. Although this ad was the cause of much commotion at the time, it definately did it’s job in rasing an awareness and encouraging the use of condoms. This commercial was played at peak-view times and attempted to cull the beliefs of it only being a man to man sexually transmitted disease and IV needle users disease by showing innocent people, such as women and children dying due to AIDS.

A Brief History (1)

  • The first case of HIV/AIDS in Australia was at St. Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney in 1982. The first Australian death due to AIDS was in Melbourne in 1983.
  • HIV stands for Human Immunodefiency Virus
  • AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Defiency Syndrome.
  • HIV and AIDS ARE NOT the same!!
  • A person can be HIV positive for several years before it develops into AIDS
  • In Australia we are lucky enough to have medication for HIV, making the development of HIV into AIDS preventable usually by 10-20 years, sometimes even more.
  • AIDS will eventually develop because the immune system becomes weaker due to the virus over time. Once it is weakened, it struggles to protect itself from certain infections and cancers.
  • There is no cure for HIV/AIDS

In 2010 it is estimated that there were 34million people worldwide infected by HIV/AIDS. In 1990 there were only 8million people infected. (2)

This compares to just under 40, 000 cases of HIV/AIDS in Australia from the beginning of the epidemic to 2009.  In Australia there have been 6776 AIDS related deaths, worldwide the estimated number of deaths is 30million.

If there have been so many deaths due to HIV/AIDS, why is it we have heard close to nothing about it on tv/newspapers/social media? What we need is awareness. Maybe not as severe as the Grim Reaper, but something just as memorable.

References Used

Website, “Tune In Not Out”

http://www.tuneinnotout.com/topics/sex/sti/hiv?gclid=CK_7qrjx6q4CFWFNpgodWFmBIg

Website, “Worldwide HIV & AIDS Statistics”

http://www.avert.org/worldstats.htm

 

 

Horse Drawn Carriages and Media Evolution.

I’ve always said I was born into the wrong era. I should’ve been around in the mid 1800’s, or at least the 1960’s. After reading Henry Jenkins. (2006). “Worship at the Alter of Convergence”: A New Paradigm for Understanding Media Change. In H. Jenkins, Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide (pp 1-24). New York: New York University Press. http:www.nyupress.org/webchapters/0814742815intro.pdf, it  only seemed to affirm my heartfelt beliefs.

Of the entire chapter, there was one sentence that continually played on my mind for the rest of the time I was reading the article, and even afterwards. Jenkins had been retelling the story of the experience he had at The New Orleans Media Experience in 2003; come to page ten he tells us of the three messages he left the conference with. What struck me was point one, and I quote: “Convergence is coming and you had better be ready”.

It’s so upfront. And if your not ready there really isn’t anything that can be done about it.

I’m probably not the first to admit, but until reading this chapter I had been blissed by ignorance from technology and the continuous convergence. I mean, I own an Ipod, a laptop and a mobile phone. But my phone isn’t what Jenkins muses as “an electronic equivalent of a Swiss army knife”1, It’s a cheap chinese brand called Huawei. My laptop is simply of convenience and of the Toshiba range. And my iPod is a classic. One look at my lounge room and you would see very few “Trojan Horses”1. I’ve got a VCR, DVD Player, Set Top Box and a Wii cons0le (which I only use to play Dance games after I’ve had afew).

Throughout the reading I was in a state of pure shock. My technologic ignorance’s window had been smashed, and with each word I was further reading, the more my eyes were being opened to what was really going on. I remained in this same state until I reached the subheading “The Black Box Fallacy”1. Until then I was imagining the worlds I’ve only seen on TV (Futurama, Back to the Future) becoming a reality in the near future. This mini chapter put to ease the growing anxieties I had by explaining how all these new forms of media were not killing and forgetting the old, but simply shifting their functions to keep up with the new. The old objects are not long gone, they’ve just been made to be better.

It’s funny reading through this article and seeing, quote: “The old idea of convergence was that all devices would converge into one central device that did everything for you”1. Henry jenkins wrote his book only six years ago, and already that qoute has been somewhat fulfilled by noneother than the iPad. Although the iPad still might not be what is ideally written about in the article, it’s so close it’s scary. Is the iPad the piece of technology that has converged several technoligies into one that everyone has been waiting for all these years? Is the iPad the Universal Remote for today?

And funnily enough, the Subheading “The Cultural Logic of Media Convergence”1, was the section I could relate most to.

Social Media was already  growing when this Introduction was written, now, it’s taken the world by storm. It’s through networks such as Skype and Facebook that we can say ‘Goodnight’ to our loved ones when travelling. It’s through sites like Twitter and Facebook again that companies can advertise their product to the now huge consumer base of these sites. Social media has become a mean in which it keeps people in touch and on a polar opposite scale, helps people put their name/product out there.

Really, what has been gathered and processed through this weeks reading is that we are living and soforth evolving in a technologic world, where convergence is neverending. What we have to do as participants that weren’t really given a choice about where we have been put is do what we can to keep up with it; grow with the technology that is shaping our future. In the mean time though, I will continue to enjoy the language of the mid 19th century and the REAL music of the 60’s.

1. Henry Jenkins. (2006). “Worship at the Alter of Convergence”: A New Paradigm for Understanding Media Change. In H. Jenkins, Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide (pp 1-24). New York: New York University Press.  http:www.nyupress.org/webchapters/0814742815intro.pdf