The Great Debate

Our mobiles are becoming a bigger part of our lives everyday, there always with us, we panic if we can’t find them and having personally experienced this like everyone else, its not the best feeling in the world. It’s almost embarrassing for me to admit just how important my phone is to me. Put it this way if I was running for my life from a burning building, there’s a chance I might just stop and grab my phone beforehand… So when it comes to the great Apple or Android debate which is really better?

Some put forward the argument that Android is better than Apple because of the open and free platform it has. The user has full control of the content on their phone, you can modify your phone and Android offers an open garden of apps. Whereas Apple has a walled garden of apps that are reviewed and tested before they are released, the way you buy the phone it the way it stays, you have access to apps on the App Store but ultimately Apple has compete control over platform, content and user.

I may be biased because all my devices are products of Apple but I much prefer Apple’s iPhones over an android phone. I’ve experienced both and I prefer Apple mostly because of its simplicity, their just so easy to use and that’s what I like. Everyone is going to have a different opinion depending on the things they plan on doing with their phone, so it looks like this debate will never be settled.

I’m a Criminal…

Photo made by me on Imgur

Did you know that in Australia it is technically illegal to create and share memes?

In the latest information I could find from 2014, under Australia’s Copyright Act specifically section 132A part 2, it states “distributing an infringing article that prejudicially affects the copyright owner” is against the law and could land you in jail for up to 5 years or with a fine of $93,500 although both of these things are extremely unlikely (unless you are bad luck Brian)

Images posted on Reddit, sharing any videos on YouTube, pictures on Facebook and unfortunately memes are all subject to this law even though they don’t make any money or otherwise take profits away from the owner.

Although this law is rarely enforced, this means that I am a criminal and odds are you are too! The Australian Digital Alliance is fighting to get these outdated laws but so far they’ve had no luck.
This is my imgur meme post. 

Semiotics

Semiotics is the study of signs and symbols that originates in linguistics. Signs can be read in many different ways and everyone interprets these signs differently based on their ideological positions. So to put it simply:

  • The sign conveys meaning
  • The signifier is the thing that gives meaning and is also known as denotation
  • The signified is what you make of it in your mind and is also known as connotation

This video taken from ‘The Big Bang Theory is being used a lot for this weeks topic but it is an excellent example of what semiotics is and also helps to explain it a bit more:

This picture taken by Tom Hussey is just one picture from his collection titled ‘Mirrors’.

How we were: An elderly woman clutches a comb for her white hair while the dark-haired reflection of a young school teacher, a notebook and red apple in her arms, reflects back in her mirror

Photo Credit to Tom Hussey

During my first glance at this picture without knowing any background information, I saw what I thought was simply just an elderly woman looking into a mirror and seeing her past life, a younger self, remembering what used to be, therefore the signifier would be the elderly woman’s reflection and the signified would be the conclusion I made from simply looking at the picture.

The truth of this photo is, that it is one of many in Tom Hussey’s collection of photographs with the underlying message of the effects on individuals whom suffer from the debilitating disease, Alzheimer’s which gradually takes a victims newer memories only leaving them with the ones from their youth. In this particular photo the woman still believes she is a young teacher therefore when she looks into her mirror that is what she sees, not the elderly woman she has become. Hussey got the idea for these photographs from a war veteran whom expressed his disbelief in his actual age “he didn’t understand how he could be 80 years old as he felt he was still a young man”.This picture is an example of how signs and symbols are used in photographs to help read the picture in more ways than one.

Yesterday I Watched A Violent Movie & Now I Want To Punch People.

Please note my extreme sarcasm in my title, I assure you I do not want to punch anyone, but it is an increasing anxiety for society that with exposure to violent video games, movies and television people are becoming more and more violent and aggressive.

This anxiety is particularly pressing with children, society is afraid that too much violent media can lead to the learning of aggression. Alfred Bandura conducted a “bobo doll” experiment to show that children could in fact learn aggression. Children participating in the experiment were told to watch a short video documenting a woman hitting a bobo doll, they were then placed in a room with a doll and left and of course they also began to hit the bobo doll because that is what the dolls are designed for.

In 2014 a teenager said to be ‘obsessed’ with the show ‘Dexter’ was jailed for killing his girlfriend. During this case the court was told that the teen, Steven Miles, had a fascination with horror films. He was also diagnosed with Autism and had told his family he had an alter ego called ‘Ed’ whom told him to kill someone. Psychiatrists agreed he was not psychotic but the reason behind ‘Ed’ was never discovered.

It has been shown that children to not become violent because of the things they watch or the games they play but usually because of family dysfunction, a parents marital breakdown, neglect or bullying from their family.

Society is also worried violent media will affect the entire population, In 2013 actor Jim Carrey distanced himself from film ‘Kick-Ass 2’ because in the wake of the ‘Sandy Hook Shootings‘, he could not support the large number of graphically violent scenes. Mark Millar, creator of ‘Kick Ass’ comic books responded saying “I’ve never quite brought the notion that violence in fiction leads to violence in real-life any more than Harry Potter casting a spell creates more Boy Wizards in real-life” he insists the movie focuses on the consequence of violence rather than the violence itself. Actress Chloe Moretz also commented “It’s a movie. If you are going to believe and be affected by an action film, you shouldn’t go to see Pocahontas because you are going to think you are a Disney princess. If you are that easily swayed, you might see The Silence of the Lambs and think you are a serial killer. It’s a movie and it’s fake, and I’ve known that since I was a kid … I don’t want to run around trying to kill people and cuss (in real life). If anything, these movies teach you what not to do.” 

Obviously the media has an affect on us but it is up to us to decide how we handle it in our lives. Millions of people view violence in the media, it is entertainment or it is news, viewers do not consider to re-enact what they see. These violent tendencies reside within the personality of an individual, weather they watch violent media or not.

 The Medium is The Message 

Marshall McLuhan defines ‘the medium is the message’ as a ‘message’ being a change of scale, pace or pattern that a new invention, innovation or idea introduces into human affairs and a ‘medium’ being any extension of ourselves, such as a wheel is an extension of our feet. 

This concept of ‘the medium is the message took me a  few days to fully understand and because of this it took me almost an entire week to write this blog post. After doing some research and stressing that I would never understand, I came up with what I think ‘the medium is the message’ means: it isn’t the medium but the way we perceive the medium that provides us with the message.

According to my two younger brothers whom are part of the new generation of iPad playing, Blu-Ray watching children, who know nothing of what was before all these crazy new technologies, back in ‘the olden days’ (the 90’s) watching things on videos instead of DVDs or having to visit a video store instead of watching a movie online is an absurd thought. 

An example of this ‘the medium is the message’ concept would be the change in society moving from watching television/movies solely on their TV’s to their computers and other various devices. The medium of this would be the technology advances and then the message would become the effect the change of medium has on the society whom uses it. Personally I am a part of this change, all the television I watch is on my computer, I rarely use the television at all. Nowadays you can jump onto iTunes download a movie and be watching it in 10 minutes or I can watch tv on a long train ride on my iPad, there’s no waiting around.  

Although I do not fully understand this concept to an extent where I could write a book, I do think that these advances in ‘messages’ because of a changing ‘medium’ will continue to have a ripple effect and who knows where technology will be in 10 years!

 

Hello! 

Just a little introductory post to tell everyone a little bit about myself! My name is Kaysha Larkin, I’m 18 years old, fresh out of high school and just starting my first year of university studying a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Communication and Media Studies.

After a four month break consisting of nothing but sleeping into 12pm, binge watching what I realise now was way to many television shows and spending all most of my savings you can imagine that getting back into the habit of early wake ups and study was not something I was appreciating at 7am on Monday morning. 

Although I was stressing for two days beforehand about being a proper out in the world adult, compared to a number of my friends being told about 2000 word essays and telling me on the first day they were already behind on homework(I’m thinking that was an exaggeration), my first week was like a walk in the park I found a carpark first go on Monday morning, I was told to start blogging and tweeting as part of my BCM course (cause somehow this counts as homework), surprisingly I managed to only get lost once and of course as promised by the LHA staff the week before it was in building 19 and I managed to get a three day week meaning I get a four day weekend to top it all off!