A Ripple Effect

imgresThe readings this week struck me differently than readings from previous weeks. I tend to look at things very optimistically, and when blatant inequality strikes it is hard to process exactly how to feel and or react in a positive way. I kept processing the idea of net neutrality, what exactly could that mean, and how would that change the everyday Internet experience? Should all Internet traffic be treated equally, and why would this be an issue categorized under basic human rights? I understand that this idea would mean that all information would be treated in a free and open manner, but how would categorize what is most important and more fact based; I feel like this would cause cyberspace to become much more complicated. People hope that the internet would be a place of innovation and not business, however as easy as this is to understand and agree, I still don’t know if I would want my information to not be filtered, instead of geared towards my interest, my internet culture. I do not have a solution to this very complicated issue, but I am very interested to see others opinions, and thoughts revolving around this idea of visibility, and how flexibility can be added to this fixed algorithm.


“It’s rare that we get attention of the mainstream media unless there’s blood or something”(29). Attention typically links to action, everyone deserves an opportunity to be visible, and given a space that every persons story or narrative can be shared equally, but that is something I find so beautiful about the Internet, everyone has that opportunity especially because the media is evolving. These media opportunities give every scenario more leverage, which as the author states a chance to humanize. I feel like most movements and situations come from personal narratives, the story of one is shared, and spread in a ripple affect. In the case of Ferguson, I understand how people become upset, however I still cannot believe how quickly this spread. It was expressed in real time, I took the internet by storm. I mean if we did not have the Internet, it would have to be experienced through a different medium, which would have taken so much more time to spread, but because we do have this real time expression these circumstance become much more complicated. In order to reach the mass, the masses have to gain insight, which in this case I can understand would take a couple hours because of the time it takes to share, even still I see as incredible. Again this topic is hard for me to discuss, I do not really face this type of marginalization, however I empathize with the experience of every human, no one should feel lower, or feel like their life experience means less because every person is significant and special. My hopes that soon the world can discover a better way to divide the power of the Internet.



  1. The issue of net neutrality is not one of filtering information. Without net neutrality, sites would have to pay for bandwith to get hits. Start ups and the like, with little or no funding, would have no chance of getting off the ground because they wouldn’t be able to compete with the companies that are paying for prime bandwith. As it is, you can happen across basically everything onlie, without net neutrality, stumbling across hidden gems would be a thing of the past. Cable companies could pick and choose which websites you use, and how quickly. For example, Netflix could pay a buttload and completely put Hulu out of business. We already see big companies getting too much of a say in what we see/ experience and what we do not. This would just be another chance for the 1% of companies to rule our worldview.

  2. This week’s reading also struck me differently. When I read the news online or pay attention to the top news on Facebook I never really take into account the use of algorithms and strategies that the tech company uses to intrigue the user. I think it definitely revolves around a personal narrative and the perception we use is what focuses the hashtag and the next discourse of the story.

  3. The idea of how one cultural object becomes rapidly transmitted is studied in the field of memetics: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memetics. Why do some videos of dogs sneezing or toddlers falling down go viral and others don’t? Why are some image macros created on websites like Tumblr, Reddit, and 4Chan able to shift to mainstream media outlets? There are a lot of complex rules and behaviors guiding cultural transmission, rules that are difficult or maybe even impossible to wholly identify.

    Two features of cultural transmission that are think are relevant in the Ferguson case are discussed in Malcolm Gladwell’s book The Tipping Point: stickiness (the idea that the content of the message is simple and memorable) and the power of context (the idea that “epidemics are sensitive to the conditions and circumstances in which they occur”). It’s possible that these factors helped to contribute to the Ferguson case becoming part of a large cultural narrative.

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