Monday, May 24, 2010

Colonization of the Internet

Since my last post I’ve decided against promoting the idea that minorities lose their voice in new media. If anything, they’re able to get better organized and amplify their cause with new media. I would go that route, but I don’t see how that would relate to major groups in Grapes of Wrath – especially since the migrating farmers wouldn’t technically be considered a minority in the first place, seeing as they outnumbered the bosses. Might they be considered a minority in another sense? But even if that classification could be made, their unity in circumstance didn’t invoke any real change in their condition except perhaps for self-commiseration and empathy for their fellow man. So that makes me wonder what’s (online) networking good for except having that emotional/ideological support?

So, I’ve instead been researching more along the lines of how online communities/groups make an influence. Sometimes it seems they are ignored by the government in spite of efforts to rally and protest online (this going along well with the migrant workers' ineffective strike against their bosses in the Grapes of Wrath). I remember reading something along those lines involving George W. Bush in an eloquent rant published in January by political science professor Jodi Dean which I’m frankly a little apprehensive to cite.  But if I were to push against her argument, as my colleague Becca suggested in class, I’d be contradicting myself and really be putting myself in a pickle.

I was able to find a good paper called “The Second Self: Computers and the Human Spirit” which involves the psychology of society where the Internet resembles a conglomeration of the elemental human mind. The middle paragraph on page 7 reminds me of the clip Dr. Burton shared (Web 2.0 ... The Machine is Us/ing Us) and, getting back to the group mentality, how people can become their computer and feel naked and alone without it - just as the migrant workers would feel alone without each other when at first they were simply a bunch of individual families. Any thoughts? I really have been getting great input so far, but does anyone see any connections I'm missing?  Might the subject of Group Think be worth investigating?

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