The Machine is Us/ing Us – We are the Web

This is the video of the week! Everyone is talking about this video, which was created by Professor Michael Wesch and his class of Digital Ethnography students at Kansas State University.

Some of the important statements he makes in this video are:

  • XML allows us to separate content from form. This is important because content can then be moved around, reformatted, repackaged, reused. How does that impact our understanding of authorship, copyright, etc? How much does context effect meaning?
  • We are the Web. The social nature of Web 2.0 technologies means that information we view is not static. It can constantly be rewritten. How does that impact our understanding of authorship, copyright, and truth?
  • Text is no longer the medium of choice. Video and audio are now prevalent means of communication. How does this change our experience and understanding of information? Of ourselves?
  • He says, “We are teaching the machine. Each time we forge a link between words, we teach it an idea.” When read in the context of the last video I posted on regarding Google’s use of personal information, what does this mean for us in terms of privacy and identity? Who is writing the code that allows the “machine” to learn?
  • “The Web is no longer linking information, it is linking people.” In the end, will we no longer recognize any authority? How will we identify authority?

6 Responses

  1. 1. just changing a few words change the meaning of the idea.
    2. the web is always changeing. when need to be telling the truth when we say we have seen anyone idea.
    3. we now take the person word more often then doing research.
    4.a person is writing the code to show their identity.
    5. we would have to just write our name as a identity authority.

  2. 1. I would totally have to agree with what the last part of the video was talking about how we have to rethink everything that we have all been taught. How to think, act, love, ect. It all changes now, we have to relearn everything.

    2. With everything going on in today’s society how do we really know what is true anymore? How do we know we as the people are getting something that is a true fact or not? Today we have to be careful in dealing with the people and the things that we trust.

  3. I’m going to have to agree with Brittany. I agree with the part where she says that we have to rethink everything that we have been taught. These days we don’t know who to trust.

  4. Brittany and Kim,

    I’m glad you found the video interesting. We tend to take communication technologies such as the Web, email, cell phones, etc. These definitely bring us into contact with many more people, opinions, points of view, etc. then ever. So that can cause us to rethink our own viewpoints.

    Thanks for commenting.


  5. Society is all about advancements. Continuously there are new things coming about that are intended to make life easier and more convenient. The comment up top where it states that text is no longer the medium of communication is very true. Even though text has been around for hundreds and hundreds of years it seems as if we have finally come to the point that technology is slowly taking over.

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