She's So Unusual

"Your TRUE COLORS are beautiful like a Rainbow"



Private v. shhhh Public

I have recently began to notice that rather than become seemingly obsessed with exploitive popular culture reality shows on channels like Fox Reality and MTV, I can actually get the same EXACT stuff on the San Diego 7 News! Who woulda thought?

Case in point:

I recently overheard that UCSD's Greek Life recently showcased a themed party in honor of Black History Month--titled "Compton Cookout" Now, I understand that as an on-campus organization member, here at UCSD the first and foremost effective way to publicize events is on Facebook. The event on FB had quite a few racially stereotypical demands of its attendees. Guest were expected to play the part and dress up as the "ghetto-chick" and/or the "thug".

Perhaps this seems almost expected of college students, but what was completely unexpected was the fact that administrators AND the local SD news got involved. Who have recently deemed this event to be poposterious, crude and de-meaning. Who woulda thought wearing an afro and gold chain would REALLY offend people?

Another case in point:
So was it the descripition of the party on FB or was it the actually party itself that administrators were furious about?

Hmm, I am pretty sure it was the Facebook page, considering the events FB description was all over the internet. Now, I believe this to be a collision of what we know as the vitual and real worlds. Obviously FB is a place where vitual worlds collaborate, people log into the vitual world while creating events for the real world. Facebook represents a medium, a media that is not solely a vehicle for transmitting information (because CLEARLY this event would have NOT been described as rightfully/wrongfully so if it were done through an alternative medium--ie flyers or posters) The important element to notice here is that the MEDIUM (Facebook) IS part of the message itself.

Facebook: Privacy or Publicity?
Interestingly enough, Facebook has been able to create a medium that incorporates what members choose to keep private, as well as what members choose to publicize. Yet, this almost makes very little sense considering what UCSD students believed to be publicity for their 'event' turned into a controversial publicity battle. How could students be called out by administrators for what happens on FB? Is this an academic debate or an ethical one? Now that UCSD has opted for a more contemporary internet savvy university, does it allow for administrators to pursue events such as these when the medium is not academically affiliated with UC, San Diego?
to be continued...


Virtual Reality?

I've been thinking.

This happens every so often when I go to class :D This quarter, I am taking a Mobile Communication course--studying both the communication that is primarily 'moving' while also understanding the 'non-moving' (or permanent) infrastructures it creates.

Yesterday, we looked closely at flying. When many people think of flying the first few things that come to mind are: plane, airport, luggage, vacation, travel, etc...

What many people do not see is that this innovation of contemporary knowledge of flying (ie...modern airports and buying tickets online) has only begun in the past 30 years. In 1978 the US government opted to de-regulate the airline companies and allow for low-cost airline companies (like Southwest, Virgin, Easyjet) to completely dominate the airline business because of the free market competition.

BUT why is it so much cheaper? Low-cost Airlines have actually done a good job at making airline tickets nearly 50% cheaper than other airlines by:

-more seating, more people, less leg room
-faster turn around time--getting the planes up and in the air faster
-no airline food (this might be a really good thing)
-less airline staff
-using salvaged or leased planes
-tickets only available online

Buying tickets online has only made it more possible for these low-cost airlines to continue to thrive by making it that much easier to order/cancel/plan a flight. It almost begs the question, how the heck was reserving flights and seats done before? Telephone. The Airline companies would have hundreds of employees on telephones all hours of the day to book flights.

But what really got me thinking was the notion of the existence of a (or 'the') virtual world. The connection is this--virtual worlds--the one we engage in online, while on facebook, while blogging, while emailing, while ordering, while aiming, while tweeting, while watching porn, youtube, hulu--that is when our existence from the REAL world collides with that of the VIRTUAL world. But for many, there is more fluidity between the two, while for others--there is a distinction.

How can we each function in real world while the virtual world is often the only means in which we can even exist in the real world. ok--a lot to understand but case-in-point:

I am trying to add a class in the real world. (Yeah, I need to graduate) I walk into class in the real world, real time (constructed notion of time I should say) and there is a REAL seat in the class that I am sitting in. I can't add the class. I cannot add the class in the real world because the real world of classes and class scheduling is solely based in a virtual world. Although I sat in a real seat in real time--really! I cannot add the course because I have to wait for someone in my class to enter into the virtual world, drop the class--which might STILL not allow me to get into the class because there is also a virtual 'wait-list'. Is this automated system combining the best of both worlds, or only making the distinction between inclusion and exclusion in these worlds even more poignant?

This leads me to believe that the virtual world is only there for those who can function within it. Wasn't the virtual world created to help us in the real world?

g'day--its FRIDAY :D