Grey Ecology

In the past, people had to travel the globe, and go to unfamiliar places if they wanted to see things and tour things and learn more about things. As our technology has increased people have been closer to the places they would’ve had to travel to, but not in any physical sense. Virilio discusses this in his 5th chapter of Open Sky, he is concerned with the lack of distance and the narrowness that we now can experience.

“Once, each generation of human beings had to try and find out how deep the wide world was for themselves, to free themselves from their familiar neighbourhood and discover distant horizons. Travel is the best education, they used to say. In the near future, each generation will inherit an optical layer of reality thinned out by the effect of a perspective both fundamentally ‘temporal’ and ‘atemporal’ at the same time.”

No longer must people travel to learn. For example, a few years ago, my younger brother had to do a project on the White House, the history of it, the set up of it, and its importance. Confused on how he was supposed to accomplish this project, my mom decided that over spring break we would take a family trip to DC and be tourists for the week so that he could see and learn with his presence. The teacher, thinking she was being helpful moved their project up to before spring break so they wouldn’t have to deal with it over the break, my mom was concerned and explained our plans and asked for an extension. In response the teacher sent a link very similar to this  and explained that everything could be seen and done online and therefore there was no need to travel. This was the first time that I had realized we were closer to more things than we ever had been, but at the same time so far away.

The Obvious Meaning in Composition

Kress and Van Leeuwen, in their article “Reading Images: The Meaning of Composition”, focus on the importance on placement and style of a composition. Their main focus has to do with informative value. First they discuss informative value as left compared to right: the left side needs to be the “given” information, the known information or object which is already familiar, it is the key information, what the reader assumed to know because of the culture they are viewing it in, and it needs to be common sensical and self-evident; the right side is the new idea that is being presented, “the pitch”, the message or issue, and it must be a departure from the traditional ideological stance.Image

 

Next they discuss informative value from top to bottom: top must be the ideal, the promise of the product, immediate emotions (pathos), the empirical world as we see it (unrealistic), and pure observation; which means that the bottom must be facts, the product itself, communication, culture and language (logos), and more specific into details and practical information. 

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The Third Interval

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In Virilio’s 1st chapter in Open Sky he discusses the change of space and time  and the abrupt transfer of technology. Something that stood out to me from this chapter was the quote from Paul Klee that Virilio uses

“To define the present in isolation is to kill it”

This quote really helps explain Virilio’s idea that we no longer live in the concrete present world. We are killing present time by isolating it from its here and now, we are rather in a “discrete telepresence”. I do agree with Virilio on this point that we are not always in the here and now, but I do not think it is fully a bad thing. Rather than being in the here and now of our concrete person, we can be in the here and now of many different places and things all at once. And this opportunity of knowing more than our individual presence opens up opportunities in different way than the world is used to. More opinions, more options, and more ideas can be involved in situations which can ultimately be beneficial to the situation.

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Where Is Our Privacy?

Chapter 11 from Carroll discusses the privacy issues with the internet. I found this very interesting and did some research on it and found that many more legal cases have come from internet security and privacy than I would have expected. When doing some research I came upon a legal website that explains in depth about the laws and the problems of slander, defamation, and libel and I realized this issue is very big with mainly public figures and the public figure usually wins. For example, I found a case where the Ecuador president opposed a newspaper and the judge ruled “A judge has ordered three newspaper directors and a columnist to jail and to pay fines totalling $40m for libeling President Rafael Correa.”

Setting Up A Website

My website will be used to do multiple different things. It will be for law school applications, and potential internships in PR firms or at law firms. With all of these different aspects, there are different audiences that I must please and different elements I will need to include. For example, my personal statement will be an important aspect that law schools will want to see, my attachments such as a newsletter may be important for a PR firm, and my experience and previous internships may be important for the law firms internships. As for visual design, it needs to be very simple and professional because the viewers do not have a lot of time to go through everything and the simplicity will help them see what they need and move along.

Letting Go of Words

In creating a website that reflects oneself well, you must know what you want to display and to whom. It is more than just the words you write on your website that will make an impact on the viewer. Something that I found interesting is the emphasis that Reddish puts on the importance of the audience viewing your site. Reddish makes it very clear that in creating your audience you need to know who they are, and you must understand them. Reddish gives seven steps that I found very helpful in understanding your audience. They include, first that you must list your major audiences. Next you must gather information about your audiences. Then list the major characteristics for each audience. Also use the information to create personas. Then include the personas goals and tasks. Finally use this information to write scenarios for your site. Before reading Reddish I did not understand the importance of catering to your audience, but now I realize it does make a big different what layout and the words you use will affect your audiences in a different way and if you do poorly with this then you will not succeed in the purpose of having your website.