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Comments Posted By agmichaels

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Smile (or Not)- You Are Being Watched!

Amazing reporting, Nadine! I live on 14th, so I walk a similar path to campus every day, and not once have I looked up to see who was watching. It’s startling, the number of cameras you were able to pick up with the naked eye; how many more do you think are hidden?

As creepy as it is to know my entire day is being filmed, I don’t think I’m as upset about it as I should be–or as my inner-Orwell is telling me I should be. Nothing I’m doing on the street constitutes what I consider “private time,” especially since there are already innumerable sets of human eyes watching me; what’s the harm in a few more mechanical ones? I also feel a little safer at ATMs knowing that possible muggers *know* I’m being watched.

As a side note, how many of those cameras do you think were hooked up to recording devices? I know that smaller delis or markets will sometimes have a dummy camera up as a visual deterrent, with nothing actually connected to it.

» Posted By agmichaels On January 25, 2010 @ 6:22 am

Freedom Isn’t Free


Freedom costs $1.05?

Sorry, Jeremy, couldn’t help myself. In the phrase “freedom isn’t free,” I can’t help but hear the way it’s been deployed since 9/11 as justification for all sorts of misdeeds, as both you and The Trap have mentioned. If we break down the phrase, is it just effective rhetoric, or is there some truth to it? Do you think there is–or does The Trap suggest–a way to achieve and sustain freedom without cost? Or is ‘freedom’ impossible if you want to live in society, since there has to be some sort of check on humanity’s cruel side?

» Posted By agmichaels On January 25, 2010 @ 1:30 am

TV, the Tyrant – Travelogue-1

Like Ryan pointed out, can’t your critique of television be leveled at all forms of media? And, in fact, most forms of human interaction? I know I spent my high school years trying to polish myself into the model of what all the other students would accept as ‘normal’ ;)

The question becomes, can we escape these influences, or is it just a matter of making sure to put them in perspective?

» Posted By agmichaels On January 26, 2010 @ 2:16 am

Week 1 Travelogue

I agree with you completely–after watching 3 hours of The Trap, I was about ready to give up and move into the backwoods of Canada, because man, the world is TERRIBLE, and Curtis couldn’t seem to come up with anything resembling hope for the future.

The one thing that surprised me though was how lightly Curtis touched on 9/11. I kept waiting for the montage of destruction-clips set to eerie music, but we only got one quick shot. That may have been a consequence of copyright clearance, of course, but it was nevertheless a surprising approach what I thought for sure would be one of his sterling contemporary examples.

» Posted By agmichaels On January 26, 2010 @ 2:35 am

Week 1 Summary

Great summary, Alexandra–the cartoon was a nice touch :)

I’ve heard both sides of the blogger v. journalist debate, but the one aspect I never considered was the threat to actual sources of news that Kamiya points out. I worked as a local news journalist for a few years before going the grad school route, but I never actually considered until now where all my tips came from. The Internet was clutch for background info and phone numbers and the like, but most of my stories came in the form of, “Hey, So-and-so mentioned this event, why don’t you see if there’s anything to it?” Now, because blogging is so reliant on links to other sources for valid information, you have to wonder where the ‘Origin Source’ is going to be. Are we going to hit a point where TMZ is our most trusted news source? Of course, they *did* know about Michael Jackson before anyone else . . .

» Posted By agmichaels On January 26, 2010 @ 7:33 pm

The Trap / Adam Curtis

Was there ever really a news reporter on whom “society could rely on for accurate, unbiased information,” Leslie? ‘The Trap’ showed us just two instances (of the many) in America’s political history–the Iran-Contra and the Iraq War–when the public, via the news media, via the Big Men In Charge, was duped into supporting efforts for ‘freedom’ that were really about anything but. In two very different technological eras, politicians managed to manipulate the media to their own benefit; therefore, can our new digital media really be blamed for the dissolution of reliable, ‘hard facts’ reporting, or conversely heralded as a means of attaining some measure of political transparency?

I found ‘The Trap’ as a whole disconcertingly negative; it was very good at showing me the bars to my cage, but was unable to supply me an escape route. More on that in my travelogue.

» Posted By agmichaels On January 24, 2010 @ 4:04 am

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