The Inconclusive Answer of a Supernatural Being

It is the question that scientists, sociologists, theorists and various others have dedicated extensive research towards, never finding the answer. It is the question that we will never get the answer too. At least not in our lifetime.

From our global understanding, the Big Bang Theory is the current cosmological model for the early development of the universe. It aims to tell us what happened from the very beginning, and physics and astronomy studies have shown beyond reasonable doubt that our universe had a beginning. 

But with the discussion of The Big Bang Theory, comes the question of God. Cosmogony is an area where science and theology come together. The beginning of creation was a supernatural event. So does that mean is there a supernatural being behind this all?

Coming from an Agnostic perspective, Sam Boardman believes that:

“God is just a placeholder. It gives people hope and purpose for their lives.”

Doing extensive research into science, he understands that energy cannot be made nor destroyed. Energy for Sam is where it originates, but does not know what created that energy. However, it is important to him to make the most of his time on earth doing what he loves, what he’s passionate about, and spending time with people he loves.

Growing up with Andrew, his faith has always been strong for God. With the bible being absolute truth for many Christians, it was interesting to see that Catholics do not believe Creationism to be absolute truth. Andrew states that:

“The Big Bang was first theorised by a Catholic priest in 1927. His name was Monseigneur Georges Lemaître. I know a lot of Christians such as Protestants and anglicans believe in bible literalism, but that is not Catholic doctrine.”

The meaning of life for Andrew is:

“Loving yourself and loving the one who created you. He is the Messiah and we must do our best not to sin while we are alive and on earth.”

Does God exist? Philosophers are in agreement that a transcendent Law Giver is the only credible explanation for an objective moral standard. Who gave us this conscience? Molecular biology have revealed various amounts of information within each and every living cell, discovering upon thousands of exquisitely deigned machines at the molecular level. This requires intelligence and design. It is evident that the existence of these questions is fundamental. The answer is hidden, but it is our choice to be in control of our lives and provide our own answer and conclusions.

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Samuel Boardman

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Andrew Cremen

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References:

Song in video: The Journey – Tom Misch

Used for educational purposes only.

Websites:

http://www.big-bang-theory.com/

http://www.allaboutphilosophy.org/does-god-exist-c.htm

My Twitter:

http://www.twitter.com/veronicacrem

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Stumbling upon Hidden Beauty…

Whether it is hiking, kayaking, surfing or snowboarding, at the tender age of 19, Samuel Boardman has high jubilance for adventure. The memories of this trip bring a spark to his eyes, as he reveals the serene, calm and peaceful nature of his favourite Canadian Lake. Encapsulated by the beauty of the landscape to this day, he often daydreams of when he can return.

“It was so peaceful and quiet.. Everyone had their jaws wide open.”

His adventurous spirit and positive attitude allows him to appreciate the beautiful landscapes of the world when travelling, no matter the destination.

 

All external sounds were iMovie copyright free sounds. 

Fight For Your Right Women!

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Close The Gap Between Men and Women

Going back in time, equal standing for men and women have always been something of debate. Men are seemingly the ‘winning’ gender as they appear to be more masculine than females, and therefore have higher authoritative power. When we look at the popular website ‘Wikipedia’, it is noted in a 2010 study by the Wikimedia foundation, that 15% of contributors to the site were women, and the majority of producers were men in their mid-20’s. This is a concerning factor as it shows the ‘macho culture’ in which we live and of the gender gap that is evident today.

Furthermore, in PC world’s data of ‘The 50 Most Important People On The Web’, only 1 in 10 are women. The first woman listed is Marissa Mayer, at #9. If this wasn’t enough, in Wikipedia’s list of novelists, there appears to be a separate list for women. One is named ‘American Novelists’ and the other ‘American Women Novelists’.

It is this mistreatment and misogynist views towards women that’s driving this debate to stay alive, despite the gender of most researchers of this topic being female. People believe the reactions to women’s work are emotional, oversensitive and frantic. It is this mindset that is restricting and limiting the work of women and their status online.

Why is there so much misogyny online? Since the convergence of the internet and the world wide web, it is much easier for misogynists to harm women online. The mindset originates far back in history, and women are expected to be silent and subservient. In the real world, a man who is abusive is limited by physical proximity, time restraints and legal considerations, thus making it easier to attack online. The long-term solution to the gender gap is to continue to contend for women’s equality. It is also important to make people aware that the mindset of a man having authorative power over a woman, or a misogynist view, is an ancient sentiment, and needs to be eradicated all around the world.

Veronica.

References:

Zaretsky, S. (2012). Quote of the Day: Who run the world? Girls! (Well… Kind of), image, Above The Law, viewed 16th May 2014  <http://abovethelaw.com/tag/fran-faircloth/&gt;

Everything was from the lecture notes and from my own knowledge.

Is #BringBackOurGirls bringing back nothing?

Activism can be defined as the policy or action of utilising strenuous campaigning to bring about political or social change. With the emerging use of internet in society, activism is beginning to become more prominent online. This has led companies and organisations utilising advertising and slogans to bring about social or political change, yet fall into the tap of becoming slacktivists. Henry Jenkins (Options Politiques, 2012), states that critics who fight activism online offers only superficial engagement. People miss the fact that a multitude of these groups are building ground-level organizations from their digital platforms.

Nigeria Kidnapped Girls

An example which has been dominant in online media recently, has been the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls. Using a catchy slogan with a hashtag, brings attention to the situation that would of in other respects, been overlooked. However, it brings upon the issue of slactivism; a term that refers to simple measures to support an issue or social cause, with minimal effort on the participants (Jansen, 2014). It is linked with actions such as signing online partitions, copying and pasting social network statuses or joining cause-related social networking groups. Lacking engagement and commitment, it fails to produce any visible effect in fixing a cause or social issue.

Having this campaign of #BringBackOurGirls was a risk, as hashtags #JustDoSomething were used, but didn’t allow the problem to be solved, potentially making the problem worse. Yes it has slactivism has it’s strengths, bringing awareness to the issue, but in reality, when it comes to physically contributing to the cause, society seems to zone out. Henry Jenkins (Options Politiques, 2012) warns that the community online needs to be educated further in the critical thinking and media skills required to defend their causes.

In order for slactivism to become effective, leaving links or encouraging people to donate to the cause or social issue, will have a lasting impact, and enhance activism.

To support and donate to Nigerian organisations in educating and standing up for girls, I will leave some links down below.

The Malala Fund
Nigerian Red Cross Society
UNICEF
Save The Children
Amnesty International
Chime For Change

Veronica.

 

References:

Jenkins, Henry. (2012). ‘The New Political Commons’. Options Politiques.

Janssen, C. (2014). Slacktivism, Technopedia, viewed May 6 2014, <http://www.techopedia.com/definition/28252/slacktivism&gt;

Quinn, M. (2014). Quinn: #BringBackOurGirls is hashtag activism in action, image, San Jose Mercury News, viewed May 6th 2014, <http://www.mercurynews.com/michelle-quinn/ci_25761849/quinn-bringbackourgirls-is-hashtag-activism-action-human-cry&gt;

Is anything new anymore?

In order to understand the concept of remix culture, it’s integral to know what remix and remix culture is. According to Fagerford, remix is to develop and create a new version of a recording by modifying the mix of the different musical elements, or also to introduce new elements. Remix culture, however, is taking various samples from pre-existing works and combine them into new forms, in compliance to an individual’s personal vision. A remix can involve a multitude of things such as music, art, to videos.

The process of remix culture can raise the issue of copyright infringement, as the user is manipulating original content by another creator. However, users can use a variety of sites that come under a Creative Commons License (CC). Some of the sites include Flickr and DeviantART. Using open source software and websites under the CC license enables users to share their work with others, and change and redistribute someone’s work (This is dependent on the type of CC license of the author).

A prominent example of remix culture are mashups on YouTube. A mashup blends two or more pre-recorded tracks, layering the vocal track of one song over the instrumental track of another. For example, ‘Girl Talk’ by Gregg Michael Gillis creates a mashup utilising 10 or more songs, putting particular sections together to create a new and innovative mix.

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An iconic image of ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ was a poster produced in 1939, with the intention to raise the morale of the British public at the beginning of World War II. This poster is now utilised as a decorative theme for many private sector companies and is constantly remixed by the general public. It is continually being remixed, for example, Kick Ass, as a promotion of their new movie.

Remix Culture is growing at a rapid rate as society’s relationship with technology grows, making it harder to find new and innovative ideas.

Veronica.

References:

Bruns, Axel (2010) Distributed Creativity: Filesharing and Produsage

Gillis, (2008) Girl Talk – Play Your Part (Pt2), online video, June 20th, YouTube, viewed 4th May 2014, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ek9CchVpWE&gt;

Fagerford A. (2014). After Convergence: YouTube and Remix Culture, George Town, viewed 30 April 2014, <http://www9.georgetown.edu/faculty/irvinem/theory/Fagerjord-after-convergence-remix.pdf>

n.a. n.a. Remix Culture, Ana Solokolovic, Blog post, n.a. viewed 4th May 2014, <http://anasokolovic.hotglue.me/remix&gt;

Story time with Transmedia

Transmedia storytelling epitomises an action where important elements of a fiction become broadcasted across a multitude of delivery channels, in order to create a unified and harmonised entertainment experience. (Jenkins, 2007) It is scattered amongst multiple media platforms which are available at our fingertips. It goes beyond storytelling, as it allows users to participate and produce the storyline, from the progression to reader to co-creator.

Source: StandingDog

Source: StandingDog

“Transmedia storytelling practices may expand the potential market for a property by creating different points of entry for different audience segments.” (Jenkins 2007)

 Transmedia is evident in the Twilight Saga’s ‘Twilight Time Capsule’, where fans can upload photographs and share experiences with other fans. They incorporate dolls and colouring-in books, to relate to a younger audience. Additionally, “Readers, thus, have a strong incentive to continue to elaborate on these story elements, working them over through their speculations, until they take on a life of their own.” (Jenkins 2007) Twilight is a prime example of Jenkins ideology, with fans producing copious amounts of Twilight themed fan fiction which has been written and published online.

Transmediality is effectively produced in YouTube, with viral videos such as ‘Potter Puppet Pals: The Mysterious Ticking Noise’, where the theme of Harry Potter is produced on a multitude of of delivery channels. YouTube enables videos, including transmedia narratives, to be shared via any almost any website on the web. YouTube cleverly utilises viral advertisements such as ‘The Old Spice Man’, using a public face communicate with the audience, responding to user’s comments on previous clips. This made the audience a part of the online marvel. This enables YouTube to be extremely competent in producing Transmedia Storytelling, with a plethora of opinions left in the comment sections, allowing YouTube to be one of the most affluential platforms.

Veronica.

Referencing:

Jenkins, H 2007, Transmedia Storytelling 101, Confessions of an ACA-Fan, webblog post, 22nd March, 20th April 2014, <http://henryjenkins.org/2007/03/transmedia_storytelling_101.html&gt;.

Desoto, F. 2011, Transmedia Turns Your Audience Into Co-Creators, image, Standing Dog, viewed 22nd April 2014, <http://www.standingdog.com/blog/transmedia-turns-your-audience-into-co-creators/&gt;

n.a, 2010, Old Spice | The Man Your Man Could Smell Like, YouTube video, 4th February, (Old Spice) YouTube, viewed 22nd April 2o14, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owGykVbfgUE&gt;

Cicierega, N. 2007, Potter Puppet Pals: The Mysterious Ticking Noise, YouTube video, 23 March, YouTube, viewed 22nd April 2014, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tx1XIm6q4r4&gt;.

Pro-YouTube-Sage

‘A shift from dedicated individuals and teams as producers to a broader-based, distributed generation of content by a wide community of participants;’ – Axel Bruns (2007)

Source: Produsage.org

Source: Produsage.org

In relation to the above quote by Bruns (2007), users contribute, share and connect with the work of those who connect with your own. This means you are engaging in produsage, and becoming a part of the network. Anyone can broadcast new media and media messaging. Bruns (2007) alludes to four main characteristics:

  • Organisational shift – a shift to a wide-ranging community
  • Fluid movement – quick development of producers to affluential roles
  • Unfinished – the content is ‘unfinished’, with the ability to improve
  • Permissive – employed in the notion of engagement.  Copyright is put in motion for authorisation and ownership of content, but still enables continuing collaboration

YouTube represents a shift in television content to user-based content, making all these characteristics applicable. When a Youtube video is created, users can click on the link via the YouTube homepage, Twitter, Tumblr, and can leave a comment, share and promote the videos to gain more popularity. As long as we are networked by some platform, opportunities for an organisational shift and exchange and still exist. Unboxing is a prime example of utlising prosumption. Prosumption are cases where people are actively involved in the things we are consuming.  Can you imagine Channel 10 unboxing with Carrie Bickmore on The Project? It wouldn’t get made, because it is an entirely user produced media aesthetic.

Furthermore, in relation to Brun’s ideology of ‘permissive’ legal frameworks such as CC (Creative Commons), users are enabled to re-use and remix existing content into new content. This enables collaboration to continue and additional creative outlets and publication beyond the customary industries. But, if YouTube was a flawless platform, their would be no need for additional content to be produced. Thus, leaving the application unfinished, with the ability to improve.

The YouTube platform is a pivotal example of a platform in modern society that deliver the four main characteristics in Bruns (2007) paper effectively.

Veronica.

References:

Bruns, Axel (2007) Produsage: Towards a Broader Framework for User-Led Content Creation. In Proceedings Creativity & Cognition 6, Washington D.C.

N.a, 2012, Produsage: A Working Definition 31st of December. Accessed: 7th of April 2014. <http://produsage.org/files/produsage/produser.png&gt;

Girls: Too sexy too soon?

Image(2011)

It’s evident that the way we all read and connote an image can vary greatly; semiotics, representation and connotations all affecting the literal meaning of the image. It’s scary to think that Supre’s target market is 9-16 years of age while looking at the advertisement above. The cultural messages and connotations of barely legal girls in this image above are sexualised, and the media’s semiotics are feeding the normalisation of those desires. I cannot even fathom the impact it must have on girls half my age, with this the “sex selling” dominated industry.

Here is a link to the banned Supre’ jeggings ad:

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(Armstrong, 2013)

Take Miley Cyrus as a prime example. At just twenty years of age, her current image is completely different from her early teenage identity. In my opinion, this is strongly dominated by the media, who bombarded her with bad influences as she transitioned from teenager to adult. Yes, the argument of ‘everyone changes’ is relevant, and I’m not denying that statement, but to watch this girl grow from a tween star, to now a cheap, (yet very very rich) sex-selling wench, (a little far.. but I went there) further exposes the current rising issue of sexualisation of children within the media.

Over the past six weeks, it’s been quite the journey in exploring the role of the media. With the media being blamed for eating disorders, it gave me a through depth of knowledge of how prominent various body-image issues are encouraged by the media. In the third week, analysing a controversial text enabled me to explore the semiotics in reading images. It confirmed my thoughts on how individuals perceive controversial texts, and how they connote the semiotics of them in different ways.

The most challenging topic for me was about ownership, regulation and control. It enabled me to realise how high-authority figures such as Rupert Murdoch, have ‘control’ over the media. To promote continued thinking I plan to not be swayed by his newspapers, and to make researched and justified personal decisions. The public sphere was a interesting topic to examine, as I had never pondered how the media related to a mediated public sphere. This topic enabled me to critically think about how individuals gather to exchange information, ideas, opinions and beliefs in a liberal society.

Last of all, the topic of ‘children in the media’ was confronting and challenging to come to terms with. I realised that the media has such a prominent role in how children are being influenced into sexualisation, and how the normalisation of sexualised images is rapidly growing.

Throughout my blogging journey, reading other people’s blogs has been without a doubt, my favourite part. Stephanie Bentley (2014) uploaded a controversial text where a group of twelve women are sitting around a table. In reality, these women are iconic lesbian women. This image connotes positive connotations of femininity, sexual identity and how the freedom of sexual identity has been accepted, and has directly linked their common goals together, like disciples and friends. I’ve realised that my BCM110 peers have such diverse, intelligent and strong opinions and perspectives; which has assisted in developing my knowledge further about various topics. In the future I plan to keep up the regularity of my posts and have good time management. I also really want to win a Bloggie award.. I mean, I’m not suggesting anything here.

Or am I?

(This is a little controversial..)

Veronica Cremen

 

References:

Armstrong, Lisa, 2013, Parents have to deal with sexualised young women like Miley Cyrus, Image, IndependentWoman.ie, viewed 13th of April 2014, <http://www.independent.ie/woman/is-fashion-really-a-feminism-issue-29718105.html&gt;.

2011, A topless girl advertising jeggings, image, Collective Shout, viewed 13th of April 2014, <http://collectiveshout.org/2011/05/supres-super-sexualising-campaigns/&gt;

Bentley Stephanie, 2014, ‘Thank God for Ellen!’ Stephanie Bentley, web blog post, 25th March 2014, viewed 13th of April 2014, <https://veronicacrem.wordpress.com/2014/03/24/coca-cola-on-drugs/comment-page-1/#comment-26>.

 

 

YOU ARE THE FATHER!

 

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The public sphere is a profound concept which has been majorly speculated in reference to the media. Habermans (1997) defined the public sphere as:

“A domain of our social life where such a thing as public opinion can be formed [where] citizens…deal with matters of general interest without being subject to coercion… [to] express and publicise their views.”

Pondering on a ‘popular’ media text, I remembered when I used to get home from school, I would run inside and turn on the conflict talk show ‘Maury’. I loved the audiences reactions to the individuals walking on the stage. Wasn’t I such a strange child? What twelve year old girl would run home from school to watch that? Apparently that strange little girl was me.

It provides elements of emotional engagement, excitability (even to my twelve year old self) and a global intrigue that are the origin of the cultural public sphere. Gamson, (1999, p. 195) reveals that “talk shows have been a crucial site of entry into public view and, at least to some degree, public conversation.” Being the crucial site of entry to the pubic, it reinforces the fact that media attention of public interests have become the configurative forces in mass communication and a mediated public sphere. ‘Maury’ manages and reflects upon broken families and their emotional conflict in a public contest. Here is an example of a fifteen year old lady who is eager to have a baby. Four years later she comes back on the show for a DNA test.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovX7NFZum4w

Instead of claiming ‘Maury’ is constituting a public sphere, we see it as the ideology of rationalising discussions and deliberations in public, which was articulated by Habermas above.

‘Maury’ does strike an issue of being immoral, revealing sinful actions made by individuals who choose to come on the show. Individuals admit to cheating on their partners, sleeping around and are more prone be aggressive and foul-mouthed on and off camera. Furthermore, I believe that Habermas and ‘Maury’ are reacting to very similiar consequences of individualism. Habermas was primarily worried that particular voices by individuals are being polluted by the eroding influence of personal interest.  (Peter Lunt and Paul Stenner, n.d. p. 20)

Maury reveals the way individuals react when designated the opportunity to express and reveal what has been too difficult to express in their everyday life. This is conglomerated with immediate reactions of the public in the crowd, as well as the host Maury Povich, who reveals the ‘truth’ about the situation using a DNA or lie detector test. It’s relatable to audiences as relationships are a commonality in society.

Whilst researching this topic, I came across an episode with Adrienne Bailon on the show. She came on and gave an empowering talk to young promiscuous girls that they can change their life around and become better. It was really moving to watch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ck7-9vuHoCc

 

Veronica Cremen

 

References:

McKee, A 2005, ‘Introduction: The public sphere: an introduction’ in Public Sphere: An Introduction, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp.1-7

Lunt, Stenner, P, P, n.d., ‘The Jerry Springer Show as an Emotional Public Sphere,’ Bura Bunel, 4th of April 2014, <http://bura.brunel.ac.uk/bitstream/2438/1406/4/Springer%2BMCS%2Bversion.pdf>

Rothman J, 2013, Maury Povich Crowd, animated gif, J. Rothman Designs, April 4th 2013, <http://design-newyork.com/blog/page/12/&gt;.