The Minds Behind the Data

Revised Edition:

“Google took the 50 million most common search terms that Americans type and compared it the list with the CDC data on the spread of seasonal flu between 2003 and 2008. The idea was to identify areas infected by the flu virus by what people searched for on the internet. Others had tried to do this with internet search terms, but no one else had as much data, processing power, and statistical know-how as Google….Thus when the H1Nl crisis struck in 2009, Google’s system proved to be a more useful and timely indicator than government statistics with ‘their natural reporting lags. Public health ·officials were armed with valuable information.” – Viktor Mayer-Schönberger and Kenneth Cukier’s Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think

The amount of information that Google contains on every person is an enormous compilation of information. The data can be dangerous if it is being used against us however, it is only as dangerous as the people behind the screens. Using the data for a greater purpose; to benefit humans is all up to us. If we put data into the right hands then the positive outcomes will outweigh the negative side effects. In the passage, Google demonstrated that by use of its information, we were able to design a formula for detecting the H1N1 virus, eventually helping to control and calm the pandemic. We have so much technology and information that could be potentially harmful, however, we have to realize the information itself is not the  problem. We, the people who make conscious decisions are the ones who make the choice. In Google’s case they helped save what would have been thousands of cases of H1N1.

Many of us are engineers here at Tech. We are the minds behind the technology and we can control the use of it. We are the ones who will use technology to benefit the human race. There are many people who fear that the change in technology has been for the worse. Even though many fear change, overall I believe it has had a positive effect. Data is a tool that is no different than a swiss army knife; we could use it to harm others or to help others, but the decision is up to us. We are now able to live longer, travel faster and communicate further with technological advances. Technology can be dangerous but with the right minds controlling it can lead to a better society ahead.

Original Edition:

“Google took the 50 million most common search terms that Americans type and compared it the list with the CDC data on the spread of seasonal flu between 2003 and 2008. The idea was to identify areas infected by the flu virus by what people searched for on the internet. Others had tried to do this with internet search terms, but no one else had as much data, processing power, and statistical know-how as Google….Thus when the H1Nl crisis struck in 2009, Google’s system proved to be a more useful and timely indicator than government statistics with ‘their natural reporting lags. Public health ·officials were armed with valuable information.” – Viktor Mayer-Schönberger and Kenneth Cukier’s Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think

The amount of information Google contains on every human being is a dangerous thing to have. However, it is only as dangerous as the people behind the screens. In actuality, the information is arguably the most useful resource to mankind. In the passage, Google demonstrated that by use of its information, we were able to design a formula for detecting the H1N1 virus, eventually helping to control and calm the pandemic. We have so much technology and information that could be potentially harmful, however, we have to realize the information itself is not the problem. We, the people who make conscious decisions are the ones who make the choice. In Google’s case they helped save what would have been thousands of cases of H1N1.

Many of us are engineers here at Tech. We are the minds behind the technology and we can control the use of it. We are the ones who will use technology to benefit the human race. There are many people who fear that the change in technology has been for the worse. Even though many fear change, overall I believe it has had a positive effect. We are now able to live longer, travel faster and communicate farther with technological advances. Technology is a tool that can be dangerous but with the right minds controlling it can lead to a better society ahead.

The Advantages of Big Data

“So in 2013 the amount of stored information in the world is estimated to be around 1,200 exabytes, of which less than two percent is non-digital.”
Mayer-Schönberger, Viktor, and Kenneth Cukier. Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013. 9. Print.

Some people believe that the world gets too involved in our private lives by gathering our personal information, but where would we be without these types of services? It frightens some to know that they are being tracked on the internet, and they don’t like the feeling of knowing that “Big Brother” is always watching. These people are worried by the fact that their information is at there for most anyone to see. However, this collection of data is vital since it helps our society as a whole by helping people get the best experience out of their lives.

Big Data gives an example from just a few years ago of how the collection of information enhanced our well-being. The H1N1 virus was a global epidemic, and the CDC was doing a pretty good job, at that time, on tracking the virus’s location. The CDC’s process was tedious and lengthy, though, and Google saw a way that they could enhance the process. When Google unveiled their formula to track where H1N1 was located, it worked just as well, if not better, and allowed the data to be analyzed in real time rather than after 10 days or so.  That wouldn’t be possible if Google wasn’t able to track searches.

We can find almost anything we need on the internet in today’s society. There are few things, compared to the amount of information out there, that you’ll be able to find in a book that you can’t find on the web. The internet’s interface becoming easier over the years has led to increase in its use. Thanks to innovators like Etzioni, the creator of Bing, the internet can help us with all sorts of decisions. It can give us options of fast food based on past searches, or it can give us stats on our favorite player’s previous game just from searching that player. One day, we might even be able receive a weekly weather report every Monday because your device recognizing a pattern of you looking at the weather for a week every sing Monday morning

The ability to have these services is a huge asset for our lives. It has already greatly improved them whether you want to recognize that or not. The world as we know it wouldn’t be the same without big data undergoing the change that it has over the past quarter of a century, and there are still greater changes to come. With nearly all of the data in the world being digital, it’s important that we accept the enhancements from big data taking place around us because they’re just making life easier for humanity. Cukier and Mayer-Schönberger understand this; they give us the example that “in the future- and sooner than we might think- many aspects of our world will be augmented or replaced by computer systems that today are the sole purview of human judgment” (12), which is a fascinating thought that has to constantly be tugging at the back of many of our minds.


Balance in Our Life



Because of the rapid development of technology, humans have experienced a big bang of information. Although admittedly it brings a lot of data we can accumulate, analyze and then utilize, we need to keep a balance between its downsides and benefits. From printing press to computer and some other medias that consistently blow an significant amount of information to us, the development of information technology has gone a long way that our daily life is inevitably intertwined with social networking and medias. Even though technology has caused our concerns in many different ways, we should not ignore the benefits and privilege it gives us.



Cameras and camcorders grant us the privilege to look back into our childhood, recall those important moments in our life and imagine what we would do if we could take the time machine and go through those moments with a much more mature and experienced mind. I love watching the videos taken in the past, because they show what happened with sound, motion and people’s expression. Watching the video of my grandfather and I collecting shells and catching crabs on the beach in my hometown, I always longed for the curiosity I had towards the endless possibilities of nature. I had lost the pure appreciation of life as I grew up and found out the brutal sides of the reality. The video was like an intangible string which linked me back to the past and reminded me to remain thankful for the good things we have. When my grandfather passed away, I was confused and angry about his leaving. He went to a place where I had no clue and nobody would ever share the pure happiness with me of simply finding a shell that has never been seen before again. Life is all about balance. The more time we spend on and love we attach to someone, the more painful it would be to lose him or her. However, as a kid who had no idea about what life is, I had more confusion than sorrow. Without the video, I wouldn’t have been able to revisit my childhood and see my growth throughout these years.


Technology gives me the opportunity to keep my childhood memories and those precious moments. Yes, we cannot ignore the downsides and technology, but as long as we are not abusing the power of technology and become more aware of the things happening around us, we can still keep a balance between technology and our life.


Strangely Connected

Until now, I’ve never really thought about all the information about myself that I have put on the internet: where I am, what I’m doing, who I’m with, and even what my goals in life are. If a random person were to dedicatedly follow all three of my Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook accounts, they’d have quite a detailed lifelog of the past few years of my life. Yet these social networks aren’t the only services that have kept track of my life. Google has all my history, my favorite places to visit, and where I’ve been and what I’ve searched while I’m at those places. My favorite exercise application Strava tracks where, when, and how fast I walk and run throughout my day. Through all these services I’ve inadvertently created a lifelog of my own, which, at the moment, doesn’t seem too interesting or helpful. But I feel like if I were to sign back in on my accounts in twenty or thirty years, these services would actually be of use to me. I’d have pictures and statuses from this period of my life that I most likely would have forgotten about without these programs. They’ll allow me to more easily reminisce on these years of my life without the struggle of solely using my memory.

In my opinion, I think these technologies help our lives. Yes, in the moment they may be distracting us from homework and also as a kind of popularity contest, but posting these pictures and statuses over time begins a lifelog that can be useful to us in the future where we can learn from our well-documented pasts. Not only will it help us remember the good times in our life, but also learn from the mistakes that we made in order to not recreate them as an adult. And who doesn’t want a picture with hundreds of likes!?

Experiential Response

The idea of a lifelog intrigues me. By preserving a digital record of my life it opens the possibility of revisiting it later or even “traveling back in time.” Although the lifelog takes place in the ambiguously distant future (at least one generation), our current reality already has a similar albeit fragmented version. Facebook has pictures from day to day life. Google has all my emails and calendar events and Dropbox has all my documents.

Recently I got a smartphone and I was rudely awakened to the fact that Google recorded all of my location history for the past couple months. Google Location History had all of my movements whenever my GPS unit was on for Google Maps. It was both really creepy and really cool. Seeing my movements step by step throughout town and flying across the country (coming to Georgia Tech!) both fascinated and disturbed me. Just like how the lifelog records the character’s everyday life moments, Google Location History has recorded all of my physical locations. Seeing road trips unfurl step by step brings back good memories and gives me a sense of accomplishment. Rather than having to keep a diary with all my own notes and records, technology (with or without my knowledge) has done it for me.

Even without the all encompassing nature of the lifelog, today’s life log equivalents already have a ton of really interesting uses. Computers and programs can trawl through and present us insights that other wise would be hidden in the monotony and function of daily life by looking at trends or connections that span multiple people/groups.

Big data and data mining have recently become a huge trend in computer science and is being applied in all different fields. By tracking our daily lives with something like a lifelog, those methods could be applied to our behaviors and even help us diagnose social issues.

Hopping from service to service I can recreate any major events in my life in pictures, words and other data. Technology keeps a record of my life so I don’t have to. It allows me to enjoy the memories and share them with others. An argument can be made for the loss of “real life” and “in the moment” experiences with the advent of technology and everyone taking pictures of life around them. But I think that as long as a conscious balance between technology and life can be made, the two complement each other and enhance our understanding of underlying causes.

Social Media is a Flash Drive

When social media was created,  the objective was lucid, but the mechanism by which it would be utilized was unclear. Most people would say it came into existence to facilitate social interaction and networking in its quickness and brevity, but after reading “The Truth of Fact, The Truth of Feeling,” I have come to recognize its capacity to serve as an external hard drive for memories. I tend to only post occasionally or on special occasions, and I try to keep my digital footprint very positive, boosting my reputation for any opportunities in the future. Looking back on my accomplishments will bring back pleasant feelings of nostalgia when I have a job and a family. However, this filtration of posts could cause a shift in my overall view of life. The positive posts remain, possibly leaving a falsely optimistic impression of the past and, by comparison, more negative connotation of the remaining memories not published to social media. The only way to combat this phenomenon is to internalize my memories accurately internally and externally, providing two ways to appreciate the past.

The population should be aware that social media is addictive and can dilute the feelings associated with memories. While the Internet is a great place to store information, this can lead to a decrease in the sentimentality of the information. When thoughts or events are digitized, the humanity of the moment has the possibility of disappearing from the person himself or herself. Some memories are made to be cherished internally, and if they are released to the world, memories can be tainted and lose their value.

“THE INFORMATION” Reading Response

“And a year after that—still a full decade before most people heard the word—a Swedish computer scientist named Jacob Palme at the QZ Computer Center in Stockholm issued a prescient warning—as simple, accurate, and thorough as any that followed in the next decades. Palme began: ‘Electronic mail system can, if used by many people, cause severe information overload problems. The cause of this problem is that it is so easy to send a message to a large number of people, and that systems are often designed to give the sender too much control of the communication process and the receiver too little control…. People get too many messages, which they do not have time to read. This also means that the really important messages are difficult to find in a large flow of less important messages. In the future, when we get larger and larger message systems, and these systems get more and more interconnected, this will be a problem for almost all users of these systems.’ He had statistics from his local network: the average message took 2 minutes, 36 seconds to write and just 28 seconds to read. Which would have been fine, except that people could so easily send many copies of the same message” (Gleick 404)

Gleick describes email as one of the electronic tools in which we use to learn information but at the same time email provides us with almost too much information. As Palme said, email can cause severe information overload problems. In an age where information is so easily obtained, email is just one of the many things that can distract us from our daily lives. Other than that, email is just one of those things that can be taken for granted nowadays. We get so many emails that we mark most of them as spam to disregard all types of information, either for better or for worse. Just as how Gleick compared a piece of filed information to a shelved book, an email is just a personal electronic memo that we choose to file, store, and possibly delete without any second thought.

What was especially interesting to me was that this was all predicted by Palme in the 80’s when most of the general public had not even heard of the word “email” or “electronic mail” and had absolutely no sense of what the implications of having such a system may be. Nevertheless, Palme’s predictions still hold true today as we receive useless “spam” mail from countless sites by the hour, all filtered in some fashion by various digital algorithms. Filtering information out until the perfect balance is achieved is an ongoing challenge and remains crucial to proper information delivery. Without filtering, we may either miss out on key memos or experience “information overload” which has been proven to be ultimately inefficient to the end user. In our modern daily lives, information is so easily accessible that it all must be properly filtered to optimize our productivity and our livelihood.

The Information and Data Overload

“’You hunch like a pianist over the keys,’ he wrote, ‘knowing what awaits you, thinking, Ah, the untold wealth of English literature!  What hidden jewels I shall excavate from the deepest mines of human fancy!’  Then come the macaronics, the clunkers, the flood of bombast and mediocrity.  The sheer unordered mass begins to wear you down” (The Information by James Gleick, 408).

This passage, in laymen’s terms, advocates that the large quantity of information that is currently available to the average Joe is a bad thing.  That centuries, or even decades, ago, information was made and written about because it was important – as opposed to today, where information is written about simply due to its existence.  I do not share this passage’s opinion.  Throughout the selection of The Information, Gleick seems to have a negative stance towards the wealth of information that is rapidly becoming available to us.  He comments on how people are “harassed” and must “cope” with this abundance of data.  Point being, I think the quote above is a fair summary of his view.

I, however, believe that there is no such thing as too much information, as the ability to quickly access and store info on a massive scale can only benefit humanity.  While Gleick’s holdbacks are understandable, they are unreasonable in my opinion.  For instance, while it is necessary to use blogs, search engines, or aggregators to filter all of this data, the user receives the most targeted information possible.  It is tough to not find what you are looking for if you use a search engine.  This kind of customizablity can only be seen as a benefit, but Gleick nonetheless counterpoints that “The need for filters intrudes on any thought experiment about the wonders of abundant information”(Gleick, 410).  While this is true, if someone is looking for information just to find new and interesting data, then it would not be tough for her to find it, as other sites – specifically designed to bring people to thought provoking information – such as will inevitably come to existence to provide that exact kind of exploration of knowledge.

I do not think that information fatigue will happen in this new “Information Age,” as critics said the same thing about the printing press and even the inception of written history before it.  As the prologue mentions, “Information gives rise to ‘every it – every particle, every field of force, even the spacetime continuum itself’” (Gleick, 10)  Information is a fundamental part of our lives, and I think it is wrong to attempt to slap a limit on the amount of it we, as a people, should have access to.

Is memory-conserving technology only a good thing? – Andy Kim

Sometimes, I just want to go back to my past. Although I realize that all the sweet memory of the past is inflated, I cannot help it. But you cannot really live in your past again, and perhaps that is the key of its sweetness. Today, however, technology made it different. Taking out the memory of the past has become partially possible, thanks to the development of technology. Simplest way of doing so is just visiting your photo album. I frequently visit websites such as Facebook to recall the memory I had with my friends, loved ones, and family. I sometimes look at posts I uploaded years ago and remember how I was when I was young. Many times I feel that such methods are much better than merely recalling the past in my head. Technology has somewhat made possible of the idea of time-traveling by producing a way to visit the past in more lively and vivid ways. Yet, just like dynamites of Novel, the use of technology of taking out your past, unfortunately, have its side effects. In my home South Korea, there are tons of celebrities who were criticized harshly by the posts or videos they had uploaded before their debut. Everybody say or do something crazy when they are young. I also have memory that I want nobody to see. But since photo album or posts on the internet are semi-permanent, there are potential risks that others can find out your mistakes or action of the past. Posts and pictures that you upload right now can backfire you and be used in ways that you do not want it to be. Use of technology can be dangerous as it is sweet.

The Path From the Printing Press


“As a duplicating machine, the printing press not only made texts cheaper and more accessible; its real power was to make them stable. ‘Scribal culture,’ Eisenstein wrote, was ‘constantly enfeebled by erosion, corruption, and loss.’ Print was trustworthy, reliable, and permanent.” (The Information, James Gleick page 400)


The printing press was one of the most influential and important innovations of all of human history. Though, there are arguments to where and when it first arrived, the impact it had on human advancement was incredible. Because of its efficiency it allowed many people, poor and rich, to learn, stay up to date, and access information. The fact that it allowed people to access information is the most important breakthrough that this invention caused. It caused our memories and history to rapidly move towards a future based on the truth of fact. In my opinion, this invention sparked the beginning of the information era.

Though, the printing press’ mass production of information lead to scientific and cultural enlightenments, there are some downsides to the fact that so much is open for the world to see. Years down the road from the printing press, people seem to run into too much information. At every turn, there is another spam email or another link to a bizarre activist site. People are constantly under fire from messages all around them and can barely process the most important ones. It is even hard to determine which messages are lies and which are trustworthy.

Due to the increase in available information in the years since the invention of the printing press, people can spend lifetimes only accumulating it. Some people think that the key to knowledge is only by gaining more information, but in actuality, knowledge is gained through practice, experimentation, and experience. Knowledge is the ability take information, understand it, and create something with it. The printing press started us on this road with available information, but it is our job to use it as knowledge and with enough experience, wisdom.




Facebook and Me

I don’t use Facebook or social networking in general much anymore, but I figured for the sake of this assignment I thought it would be a wonderfully fun idea to go through and see everything that I have posted since I made my first social networking account. Let’s get down to business.

For starters, it looks like I was pretty immature as a freshman in high school. To be totally honest, some stuff on my profile from back then I wish I could just go back and delete. For example, many pictures I uploaded about 4 years ago and man posts that I wrote then are either very immature or even just plain don’t make sense. Feel free to have a look for yourself, there’s nothing I can do about but be completely embarrassed down the road right? In addition, I don’t even have to knowingly post something myself in order for it to show up on the internet. All that I have to do is be “tagged” in it and then there it is for all to see! Everyone in the world would most likely see me as a very silly and immature high school student who is now a very silly and immature college student. Not too good of an impression I want to make on a potential employer. If I was an employer and saw a internet profile that looked like mine, I would most certainly be hesitant to hire the person in question.

In addition, I do agree with Ted Chiang’s claim that some memories are best left unremembered. Social networking sites really are becoming to look a lot like the “Remem” he dreamt up in Truth of Fact, Truth of Feeling. Whether we want to remember something the way it is or not, it’s all over the internet to haunt us forever, just as Remem records each and every one of our memories and saves them for all of eternity. Sometimes it can be a blessing, but often times it is a lifelong curse to carry around those unwanted memories.

Experiential Option: “The Truth of Fact, The Truth of Feeling”

I started using Facebook when I was in 6th grade. It was mainly due to peer pressure. A lot of my friends where getting profiles and it seemed like the social thing to do was to make one and chat with people online after school. I was careful to make sure that I never accepted a friend request from someone I didn’t know and never posted any information such as my cell phone number or address.  However, there may be some posts or comments that I made when I was young and immature that were regrettable. Any information shared online is in most ways permanent. Even if it is removed the information from the site, it could still be in the servers or someone could have copied it.

The permanence of the internet and digital data means we rely less on our memory now more than ever. While Ted Chiang’s story goes to extremes with the concept of life logs and Remem, his ideas aren’t entirely off base. Storing contacts on social media accounts means people don’t have to spend precious brain power remembering them, but it also means that everyone else has access to them to, as there is nothing online that is completely secure. It could also mean that our memory function are diminished since we no longer have to strain them to remember so much information. I don’ remember the names of all my friends I had ten years ago or some of the things I did, but Facebook let’s me see what I did 8 years ago when I started using it. What needs to be understood as these can never replace  memory because they don’t come from personal perspective.


Too Much Information?

“Before Eisenstein’s work appeared in 1979, no one had attempted a comprehensive study of printing as the communications revolution essential to the transition from medieval times to modernity. Textbooks, as she noted, tended to slot the printing press somewhere between the Black Death and the discovery of America,” (The Information by James Gleick, 399)


While I was reading through James Gleick’s The Information this passage jumped out at me. After reading through the excerpt which kept talking about how saturated our culture has become with information over the past five hundred years, I came back  to this passage. It’s hard to believe that after five hundred years of information overload no one had really wrote about how the printing press and communication gave rise to modern times. This seems to contradict what Gleick is saying, because if we were really over saturated with information would not all views on history, including  Eisenstein’s, be available to everyone who is willing to search for it.  In order to reach an over saturation of information we would need to assemble every scrap of knowledge, and every single original idea. Although we have reached an age where it is much easier to find and access information about nearly everything, we have not reached this level of information. There are still a great many subjects on which we do not have any information at all. We are still searching for this information, and therefore have room for more. Only after we discover and create all of this information would our lives be truly over saturated. Until then our abundance of information can always be used to learn and create more.

Just as we are no longer astounded by the amount of information kept in books, a time will come when people will not be impressed with the amount of information the internet has to offer. Even now a generation is growing up to whom the internet is quite ordinary and who know how to navigate its vast collection of information. To this population information overload does not exist, they will be able to access information on the internet with ease. At the same time people who did not grow up with the internet are experiencing a very real information overload. There is more information than they are used to at their fingertips and until they will continue to experience information overload until they are able to navigate the immense quantities of information effectively and efficiently. Once this happens this information overload will pass until the next big information technology brings a new overload upon us.



Filtering the Tower of Babel?

Too much information, and so much of it lost. An unindexed Internet site is in the same limbo as a misshelved library book. This is why the successful and powerful business enterprises of the information economy are built on filtering and searching. Even Wikipedia is a combination of the two: powerful search, mainly driven by Google, and a vast, collaborative filter, striving to gather the true facts and screen out the false ones. Searching and filtering are all that stand between this world and the Library of Babel. (p. 410, Chapter 15: New News Every Day)

This passage seemed to be the most thought provoking because it makes me delve into the unknown world called the Internet and its filtering abilities. Cat videos and civil war facts have nothing really in common but they can all be found in one place, the Internet. This is where the idea of filtering pops in. Past purchases can stick with your computer’s history and keep bringing up ads related to your purchase. This is filtering to one’s own taste.

Through James Gleick’s The Information, I can get a gist of what he is trying to say about information. It all started with the upgraded creation of the transistor and the bit. This led to way too much information at once, or information overload. Too much information of one idea isn’t bad, but too much information of more than one idea is, though. I go on the Internet to look up math help but then get sidetracked to youtube. This is very dangerous for students like us, because too much information can be distractive and disruptive like the “Leave Britney Alone” video. Filtering is a good option for information especially if they do not want to go through all the billions of search pages that Google offers. All the information that is available is great and all but there is a time and place for funny youtube videos and math help. With this filtering process, time is saved and used for other purposes.

Businesses today use filtering to get the information more efficiently. Like the passage states, Wikipedia is a good example. They categorize their information and their information is usually correct. They have editors to fix wrong information but not all of them can be fixed because there is so much information out there and information can change daily. The last sentence of the passage really struck a cord with me. It is, in a way, very true. The world’s information contains the Library of Babel. All someone needs to do is filter the information they want into creating their Library of Babel.

Experiential: Lifelogs

Somewhere out there, floating around in the infinite pool that is the internet, is a documentation of my life beginning from the moment I discovered the existence of social media. I wish I could say I knew what I was getting myself into from the moment I submitted my first post, but that’s not true, and I don’t think it ever will be. When I look back at old posts that I wrote when I was twelve or thirteen, I smile at the thought of how young, naïve, and immature I was, but the thing is, it doesn’t stop there. Yes, thirteen seems young to me now, but eighteen will seem young to me when I’m thirty, which will seem young to me when I’m fifty. It never stops. The idea of my life documented in a series of permanent posts can be terrifying if looked at from a certain perspective. Knowing that other people may be able to follow my day to day adventures by looking through pictures or statuses I’ve posted is a little worrisome. Not only that though, but everything I post evokes a specific memory or emotion associated with a significant event, and it can be overwhelming to scroll though the history of my Facebook, only to remember everything I’d forgotten about my past. Revisiting this information in the next 10 years would definitely be a strange experience. I think that I would feel a bit nostalgic to be honest, for in 10 years, I hope that I will be settling down and creating a family of my own, and being reminded of my teenage and college years would probably seem like a throwback to the time I was first gaining my own independence and trying to figure out the true concept of responsibility while still having room for mistakes. Looking back at these posts in thirty years will be a positive experience I think, because by that point, I will hopefully have a better understanding of myself and will be able to reminisce on the experiences that made me who I will be. Having these documentations to look back on will definitely help me to remember my past, present, and future more effectively, for they’ll offer more details to events I may have forgotten. For example, I can look at a picture and remember what I wore on my graduation day. I can recall how I felt when receiving my diploma simply by seeing the look on my own face in a picture. However, while having some sort of documentation of one’s important life events is beneficial for many reasons, there is a healthy balance that must be obtained as well. Keeping a photo album or journal of sorts is good in that it offers opportunities for reflection later on, and it can also help a person to remember events that they found to be special. Documentation can also help to bring back emotions associated with an event that may enhance your memory of it. On the other hand though, I think that people need to be careful not to invest in technology so much that their lives become consumed by it. If you’re too busy posting statuses all the time, you may miss an opportunity that would be worth remembering. Also, I would advise that you document these moments for yourself, and not for others. Upload a picture for the sake of you being able to go back and look at it, not so that other people can see it and be jealous of your experience, or to see how many people approve of your post. Keep it personal, but always remember that other people can see it too. I offer this perspective because I think that, while other people can use social media to keep up with your life, I’ve learned that the person who will look back at your own posts the most will be you.

-Chelsea Calhoun

Response to Ted Chiang’s “The Truth of fact, the Truth of feeling”

My name is Matthew Sharpe and my video is a response to the prompt: How does the story influence your reflections about ways technology mediates relationships



I chose the prompt for my video based on what most strongly affected me from the list of prompts provided.  I attempted to include references to the story and personal reasoning to support my argument. This included subjects that I found most important to note and are not necessarily all of the points I could have made in my defense of my position. I am happy with the quality of the video, even though more time would have definitely aided me in making this video the best it possibly could be. However, I understand that this is most always the case so I cannot complain.

Posting a video is more difficult (in my opinion) than posting an essay. In a video if you mess up, stutter, ramble, or even curse the video  is for the large part ruined and one must redo the entire video from the video. In an essa

The most challenging thing about this assignment was figuring out what to say and how to say it. Finding my position was easy; defending my position eloquently was difficult and I do not believe I achieved the best that I could have. Regardless, I am satisfied with the result of my work.

Rebecca’s reflection on TTOFTTOF

What does the story tell you about your own relationship with technology?

My video focuses on my relationship with technology and how I believe that Remem could pose problems in the future. I dislike how society today is so focused on being online which causes everyone’s life stories to be public.  I wanted to emphasize in my video my fears for the future if technology continues advancing and how society could be too caught up in the past instead of investing in their future. An important thing to me while making my video was that I did not want to read off of a piece of paper or a computer screen. Since this is a reflection video, I felt that it was important for the video to seem organic. If I read my thoughts off a piece of paper, I felt it would lose a sense of openly sharing my viewpoint and instead be more authoritative than I had wanted. The difficulty with this method though, is that you need to have a strong idea and timeline for the video before you begin recording.

TFTF Video response: Devan Sconzo

What does the story tell you about your own relationship with technology?

Post Video Reflection

It was not difficult to think about a topic to base my video on. The issue was choosing one topic to focus on because I felt like there were so many related reading topics I could have discussed. I considered using an anecdote of how I lost a camera I had when I was ten, then I found it again about 6 years later. I watched all of the videos with my family and it made all of us happy and it brought back so many memories we had naturally forgotten. I was going to use this example as to why Remem might be a good thing but ultimately decided against it.

There were many challenges in producing the video, even simple things such as camera placement. I was worried that it would look to much like I was reading off a script and tried to look into the camera as much as possible. I also wanted to keep a casual attitude so that viewers would feel comfortable when watching my video.