John D Radcliff, Specializing in Interactive Technology & Education!

New Media Ecologies?

An example of a modern day controversial musician is a guy who goes by the name of “Girl Talk”.  Gregg Gillis, is an American musician specializing in Mashups and digital sampling. His form of music has come under a lot of scrutiny since he produces mashup style remixes by taking a dozen or more unauthorized music samples from different songs to create a new song. Since he is only sampling each song, he states that he is not violating any copyright laws. Even though the musician, Girl Talk, has been quoted by the New York Times Magazine as “a lawsuit waiting to happen” this artist does cover himself legally by giving credit to the artists he copies. Also, he distributes his music freely at under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license.

Pirate Radio is the transmission of illegal or unregulated radio transmissions. Pirate Radio has most notably been from the use of sea vessels or across borders of countries who do not regulate their radio transmissions. These form of broadcasts either do not transmit a station identification or transmit a power wattage which is not at a legal limit.

The artist, Girl Talk, has creatively come up with a new type of music in the form of a mashup and now has legally been able to get away with not being prosecuted due to the way he is distributing and composing his music. Pirate Radio on the other hand clearly violates radio transmission laws and tries to skirt around it by broadcasting in countries or in open waters were the law has no reach. The way “Girl Talk” has come up with a new way of making and distributing his music makes him a new kind of radio pirate by creating a controversy over the legal creation and usage of his music.

I like what Matthew Fuller states in his book Media Ecology on Page 41 which is, “Standard formation and nonstandard uses create a recursive cycle that is always ongoing but never entirely predictable.”
This quote from Fuller clearly shows how media can take different forms and be used in non standard ways like music mashups or illegal radio transmissions. Media is always changing and never predictable as in the case of Girl Talk. It is a unique transformation in media to see someone mashup music, create a controversy, and stay legal unlike radio pirates who clearly violate transmission laws.

Another example of this controversy is the ability to download free applications from the internet (e.g. Audio Hijack Pro and Sound Tap) and use these applications to record professional musicians music from YouTube. This is a fairly new technique that most people do not know about which means people can get there music for free from YouTube without having to pay for it. What about if more and more people new about this technique? Would this create a new controversy and would it be legal since people are just using this captured music for their own personal use?

Also, what other types of radio or music pirates will develop as technology in society continues to evolve? Will technology continue to push the legal boundaries of most countries to the point of making illegal transmissions legal?

Out of touch with elected officials

Some of these news people and politicians have had to work hard to make it to the top and some have not. JFK and George Bush Junior did not have to work hard to make it as president due to their families status. Theodore Rossevelt and Harry Truman had to work hard to make it to the top of the political ladder.

The problem is that people forget who they were and how they got into a certain position. Then when a person receives a political position such as senator or president, then the culture in these positions start to thwart their good intentions.

Now with web-based media, politicians have a greater chance of providing a canned or a staff member response to constitutes. This makes them harder to reach and give the people of a country the illusion of communicating with their elected public officials.

Facebook brings a more honest and transparent government?

Facebook has created new jobs here in the U.S. and abroad in many countries. Just take a look at their job board: When a company files for an IPO, they are seeking to raise more money from investors so that they can expand which will in the end create more jobs.

Zuckerberg is trying to gain investor's confidence so that he can over inflate the company's value between $70 to $100 billion dollars. This is why Zuckerberg said "bring a more honest and transparent dialogue around government that could lead to more direct empowerment of people". In the above statement, he is saying that Facebook helped to give the people of Egypt the ability to remove their president from power which he is using to gain the confidence of investors.

Yes Facebook can help in bringing more attention and dialogue to different situations but it is impossible to claim that any company can bring direct empowerment for people with their governments.

Facebook monitors what people are saying or doing on their platform. This means the government can come knocking on Facebook's door at anytime and subpoena anyone's information. Also, Facebook has and can shutdown people's pages due to content that they deem as not appropriate.

I think Zuckerberg needs to rethink his statement of "more honest and transparent dialogue".

Article on Zuckerberg and Facebook's IPO:

Ghost Map And Viral Media

Ghost Map discusses the outbreak of Collara during the 1850’s In England. In this discussion, the book dives into the way the disease was transmitted, the lives it affected, and the advances in medicine it helped to bring about. Dr. Snow, who was a practicing doctor during this time period, made great discoveries in anesthesia and came up with the theory of how Collara spread during 1851 in London, England. Cholera is caused by contaminated water or food.

People who were living in the Lambeth region of London, were living in very tight and unsanitary conditions. There were 40 people living in a one room apartment and when people had to throw out there trash or waste, it was thrown into the sewage systems of London which connected to the cities drinking water supply. After John Snow’s death, England’s parliament finally dealt with the issue by constructing a sewage system which was largely operational by 1865. Later on, in 1866 another out break of Cholera claimed which claimed 4,000 people’s lives. The cause of the disease was traced to the East London water company who contaminated a nearby groundwater supply due to negligent practices.

When something in the media goes viral, it can contain a lot of these similar traits as the spread of the disease Cholera did in London. When something goes viral, it has an incident that takes place, then a catalyst or carrier, then a result. Take for example the fire fighter first responder who recorded Dayna Kempson-Schacht’s death on his cell phone then passing this video onto another unknown firefighter who walks into a local bar and texted it to other patrons. After that, the video spread until her parents received a copy of the video. The accident of this young girl was the incident that took place, then a firefighter was the carrier, and the people in the bar were the drinking water supply that spread the video which lead to the original firefighter who shot the video to get suspended. The source and spread of this video is similar to how the disease Cholera spread in England during 1851.

The same issues of finding the cause of a viral media video like what happened with the girl in the auto accident are the same which happened with the outbreak of Cholera. The source of the disease and how it was spreading is what had the medical community of that day confused and guessing on why this outbreak was occurring. Then the social and political issues around the incident make things complicated in people wanting to prove that there theory or reasoning is right which can cost lives. With the incident of Cholera in England, finding the source of the disease was imperative in order to stop the spread of the disease and save lives. With the girl in the car crash, more then one person could be found as the cause for the spread of the video and the certain questions can arise from both of these incidents. What about the issue of finding other sources of transmission from the spread of a disease or video and holding everyone accountable who caused the spread?