Dr. Wagstaff began with the announcement, as she also emailed, that if you have missed a class, you can make up your missed participation points by posting “a thoughtful, contentful comment that shows you’ve read/understood/digested the material we covered that day.”
She also reminded us that presentations are next week. And keep them to 4.5 minutes so we have time for questions and discussion. We will be cut off at 5 minutes, so practice it with a timer to get down to 4.5 minutes.
Identity and Privacy were the topics for today. We passed around slips of paper with quotes about identity and privacy from the reading. We read the quotes and discussed them. We talked about MUDs (Multi-User Dungeon), MUSHs (Multi-User Shared Hallucination), and MMORPGs. A MUD is a text-based virtual fantasy game. Similarly, a
MUSH is a text based virtual domain, but not necessarily a game. We talked about how these games allow people to change themselves and be whatever they want. One aspect of these cyber worlds that we discussed was gender changing. We discussed the motivations behind pretending to be the opposite gender: curiosity, experimentation, challenge, TinySex (cyber sex). In these online worlds, you can pretend to be anything and meet interesting people, overlooking the fact that they are probably lying right back to you. Dr. Wagstaff recommended The Guild, an online TV show written by Felicia Day, which satirizes these communities.
We next talked about privacy. There are some scary concerns when it comes to internet privacy. One example is that researchers could predict with 78% accuracy whether a male is gay by analyzing his Twitter. Even social security numbers can be found by mining social network profiles. Another concern was that iPhones log all of your locations on-device. There is a cool app called iPhone Tracker, which shows you where you’ve
been and where you spend a lot of time. But since all the data is stored on-board, rather than a secure server, it could be bad if your phone was stolen.
We had to cut the class early so we could fill out class evaluations.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!