Lego Mind Storm is an open source product which enables users to build and customize their own robotic creations and program them to do basically anything they want. My brother bought himself a Lego Mind Storm kit and he has created some amazing pieces, one in particular being a printer which he designed himself from scratch!
I have embedded a video that we filmed of his printer below if you want to check it out and see the possibilities of these programmable robots.
When devices such as Lego Mind Storm products are established as open systems, it empowers users to explore the affordances and possibilities of the medium, maximising the generative value.
A Coledale resident and her canine companions were terrorised by an uncontrolled dog near Sharkies beach last week. The rattled dog-walker is concerned for owner responsibility on off-leash dog beaches.
Carmel McDonald was walking along the seaside footpath, when a dog darted from Sharkies beach and bolted towards her. The dog proceeded to run circles around her, barking and snapping at her two dogs.
“There wasn’t any way that I could protect myself, or [my two dogs] Pippa and Charlie,” she said.
“I felt powerless and vulnerable, so I just stood still hoping that it wouldn’t bite me or latch onto my dogs.”
The harassment continued until the negligent owner walked up from the beach to retrieve her dog.
“The owner grabbed it by the collar and walked back to the beach, letting it run off again.”
“She didn’t even apologise to me,” Ms McDonald reflected.
Fortunately, Ms McDonald and her dogs walked away physically unscathed. However, the frightful experience has left a lasting impression on the Coledale resident.
“You should know your own dog, and if you can’t control it then you need to keep it on the lead,” she said.
“People need to take more responsibility for their dogs’ actions.”
Despite the trauma she has experienced, Ms McDonald is in favour of Sharkies beach remaining an off-leash dog beach.
“There is a small amount of people who don’t take consideration of other people with their dogs at the beach, but most people are responsible,” she said.
Once you upload content to Facebook, the platform legally has access to it and are entitled to use this content for their own purposes. This means that your content can be stored, replicated, modified, and shared. Facebook can share your information and content to businesses. This has obvious implications of breaching an individual’s privacy and raises conflict regarding the ownership of intellectual property.
I see the dynamics of this file sharing similar to that of pirating a movie and sharing copies of it – an infringement practice which copyright laws forbid. However, the interesting thing is that this relationship with Facebook and user content exists on terms of legality. When you create an account on the platform, you are required to agree to terms and conditions. It is the policies within this agreement that legally entitle Facebook to source our content and use it for their own purposes.
At the end of the day, Facebook has various utilities, but it is up to you to weigh up the costs and benefits of using this platform.
To be a musician or music artist we are no longer restricted to recording studios in order to record and publish music. With the shift from legacy media to digital media, there are new modes of being a music maker. People can use apps and programs to remix and create their own tunes, people can manipulate sound and change the initial meaning of songs, appropriating them. These new modes of production communicate a monolithic message which reflects the paradigm shift of digital media and the affordances that the medium offers.
To demonstrate that anyone can be empowered to become music artists with the availability of production forms, here is a piece that I uploaded to SoundCloud which I created using the Music Maker Jam app.
“No one knows everything, everyone knows something” Levy Pierre
Our knowledge comes from experiences and as we have all had different experiences to those around us, we all have knowledge that is of variation to each other. So a person could have expertise in a certain area yet have limited knowledge in another. So if we group a bunch of individuals together, overall the group would have a wider pool of knowledge that can contribute towards a common goal. This is what we call collective intelligence.
With the nature of decentralised networks, people are empowered to share their individual knowledge and experiences which contribute to the curation, aggregation and dissemination of content across media platforms. This mode of collaboration and audience participation is a powerful tool which is being applied to journalism, revolutionising the practice. The organisation Storyful filters through content shared on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Youtube to source stories and verify the accuracy of them.
In itself, I believe that this is a form of collective intelligence as people are sharing content on social media platforms with the general goal of wanting to publicize their experiences and share their stories with the public, whether that may be where someone went out for lunch or possibly even ‘defining moments around the world’ like a freak weather storm. Storyful then utilises this social form of collective intelligence to identify valuable content and provide news stories that can be disseminated to audiences.
We as the audience have the power to broadcast any message we want publicly through digital media. We can seek out like-minded people who have similar values or experiences to each other and unite in mutual beliefs to broadcast a message globally
For instance, the hashtag #TheWorldNeedsMore was introduced in 2013 for the United States World Humanitarian Day. People were invited to share a one worded response on twitter of what they believed that the world needed more of. For every contribution that the audience tweeted to #TheWorldNeedsMore, money was donated by sponsoring brands to aid the UN in providing humanitarian aid. ‘In the first three months, $700,000 was raised through the hashtag’.
This is just one example of the power of participatory culture.
Other examples such as #BlackLivesMatter, #MarriageEquality, #HeForShe, #BringBackOurGirls, #AmINext? also demonstrates the significance of audience participation.
This ability to share diverse content to a wide audiences and connect with people throughout the world demonstrates the ‘shift in power that goes with the platform shift’ as media critic Jay Rosen puts it.
The phrase ‘shift in power’ refers to the shifting role of the audience which creates a
new paradigm as we are no longer restricted to the affordances of legacy media, and we have the capability to broadcast our own dialogic message to the world which is then disseminated as a conversation across media platforms.
This ability to connect with people globally and provoke remedial action from audiences unlocks the power of participatory culture which is being utilised to address issues around the world.
The emergence of new media has enabled new public spheres to form in our society which has allowed issues to be widely presented to the public, provoking discussion and debate amongst different groups. This has revolutionized our use of the media and how society operates in relation to people engaging with and responding to current issues. Media such as music, movies, music videos are all forms of entertainment, but they have also been utilized to present issues to audiences and provoke debate in the public sphere.
In its entirety, this series is a public sphere as it is a space where societal issues regarding Indigenous people can be represented and provoke discussion and debate amongst the public.
This form of interaction between the media and the public is also existent on platforms such as Facebook. Not only can the media provoke debate about issues, as the series ‘Black Comedy’ has done, but people can also use the media to debate and discuss current issues. For instance, people can post what they think of something on Facebook. This could be a racist rant or it could be counteracting others point of view on such topics, people can inform others of terrible customer service they experienced, people can involve in comment wars and debate about controversial issues etc.
Basically, what I am trying to say is that the media can be utilized to create a space for engaging the public with issues through mediums such as TV series, and that everyday people can also inform others of issues through platforms, that there are different forms of public spheres which can trigger debate and deliberation within society that may then influence social, political and remedial action.