Chapter 18 Reflection

Originally, I was going to write about the Hollywood global domination of the film production and distribution market (did you read how much money The Avengers: Infinity War made over the weekend? $640 million!)However, after our conversation last week, I really want to talk about having a global voice when you’re located at the top of the country.

Many times, I have referred to Bottineau, North Dakota, as being as the end of the world. After all, you only have to go north about 20 minutes to be in Canada. However, I believe we have something to say from our corner of the world, and we should be given the space and means to say it.

That is why I believe every college in the NITC Consortium should come together and start a YouTube channel.

We all have something to say, whether it be to our prospective students, returners, parents, or even the community. We cannot count on mainstream media to help us get our message out. They will only broadcast that which they determine to be news-worthy.

They are the gatekeepers.

We need to crash the gates.

We need to control the message. Media puts their own spin on the stories they broadcast that feature our schools.

If we produce our own programs, we get to control the voice. We get to highlight all the good our individual campuses are doing. We get to draw attention to programs that are succeeding or that need an influx of new students. We get to shine the light on the people that make our campuses the great places they are: students, faculty, and staff.

We can’t sit in our offices, apartments, homes, or residence hall rooms any longer.

We need to take a stand.

We need to make a statement.

We need to be heard.

Chapter 17 Reflection

Cryptomnesia occurs when a forgotten memory returns without it being recognized as such by the subject, who believes it is something new and original. It is a memory bias whereby a person may falsely recall generating a thought, an idea, a tune, or a joke, not deliberately engaging in plagiarism but rather experiencing a memory as if it were a new inspiration.

Source: Wikipedia

I saw this topic the other day in one of my news feeds, and I thought it would be interesting to think about during a chapter on media ethics.

Cryptomnesia is thought to be caused by the inability to properly monitor sources. A reporter may be concentrating so much on a particular article, s/he fails to notice another reporter has published their own article on the same subject. The first reporter may begin to believe the published article is their own work, because the timing is so close to their work.

Helen Keller was guilty of cryptomnesia. She wrote a piece of fiction called The Frost King, a piece she thought she had fully imagined our of her own mind. Unfortunately, she forgot she had been read a similar story many years previously. Many people thought she intentionally plagiarized, even though she denied it. Her memory clouded the source of The Frost King, thus allowing her to unknowingly rewrite a fairy tale.

Even the late George Harrison was susceptible to cryptomnesia. Two courts found him guilty of borrowing large portions of “He’s So Fine” when he wrote “My Sweet Lord.” Although he did so subconsciously, he still had to pay the copyright plagiarism fine.

What does all of this mean?

Don’t live in a bubble. The world is turning all around you. Nothing is original any more. All you can do is twist it until it no longer sounds like it belonged to someone else.

Chapter 16 Reflection

The following question was posed for this chapter’s blog post: Which is the greater threat to privacy? Government or private industry?

I thought about this for awhile, and it comes down to a question of two evils and deciding which is the worse.

Our government currently uses warrant-less means to spy on its citizens (thank you, Patriot Act!). This can be by intercepting phone calls and emails. Recently my sister and I were talking on the phone about something I didn’t like that was happening with the government. I commented “put that in my file, NSA.” A moment or two later, my sister made the same comment. We don’t know when or what Big Brother is listening or watching. I have read articles and blog posts about writers whom had visits from Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Agency, FBI, and Homeland Security because of Internet search topics they were researching for a novel. FYI – none of those agencies has a funny bone.

Private industry tracks me like the government. Instead of listening to my phone conversations, it attempts to read my mind, suggest items I might like, that I should purchase. My cell phone has applications that track me more than a convicted criminal with an ankle monitoring device. I might get a text message like this:

“Noticed you’re driving by Target. Toilet paper is on sale. You need some. The toilet just told me so.”

Because now our appliances can communicate with our phones as well. Instead of making an actual grocery list, I can have my refrigerator tell my phone what my family is low on. Or, I can see the inside of my refrigerator on my phone. Yeah, the milk is spoiled. Must buy another!

If I wear a aluminum foil hat, will Amazon stop making suggestions for me and let me just window shop?

Chapter 15 Reflection

Why does media only hold football accountable for violence that is broadcast on television? Is it because it has usurped baseball as “America’s game”? Could it be because more people watch televised football than any other sport?

The focus on football alone is unjust. There are many other sports that contain violence that are broadcast. Hockey fans cheer their favorite players and teams to body check the opposing team or get into gloves-off fist fights. The programming that World Wrestling Entertainment produces several times a week includes the use of props, such as chairs and ladders, as well as personal items, like 2×4 pieces of lumber. The world of mixed martial arts/Ultimate Fighting Champion has opponents kick and hit each other – and no one is wearing a helmet or any protective equipment but on their hands.

And don’t even get me started about boxing.

The other sports with huge broadcast packages – basketball and baseball – also have violence associated with their contests. All the sport shows like to show highlights of the baseball bench-cleaning brawl the previous night, often multiple times in the same program with different opinions about the event. And basketball has broadcast a large number of cheap hits that end up in the replay loop.

Yes, violence is prevalent on American televisions. However, I don’t believe it can all be blamed on football. There are many sports that need to turn the scrutiny onto themselves.

Chapter 14 Reflection

The University of Oregon is located in the shadow of one of the largest athletic apparel and equipment brands in the world – Nike. And because Nike is such a good neighbor, Oregon receives new uniforms every year for most of the athletic teams. Some of the teams, like football, get a new uniform for every game.

Nike is proud of the swoosh that is displayed prominently on the upper left of every uniform piece and outside of every shoe. They should be; it has earned them billions of dollars. The company gives most of the Division 1 universities the uniforms they wear, provided the uniform has the swoosh. That cost is passed down to the collegiate and professional sport fans who purchase the “officially licensed” merchandise. Who isn’t getting any help from Nike? Those colleges which need it the most – the small schools.

My husband has coached at a number of small colleges through his adult life, and every year, almost like clockwork, the topic of new uniforms comes up. He works every deal he can find, watches for sales and overstocks. Sometimes he has to forgo new uniforms because there isn’t enough money in the budget or in the fundraising coffers to purchase the new uniforms. Then it’s up to me to send about a week sewing all the tears from the previous year.

Why can’t Nike have a special fund available to struggling athletic programs? If they would offer reduced prices or special pricing to the smaller schools, it would help with brand loyalty.

Why should Nike care about brand loyalty when it has accrued so much over the years?

Because there is a new sheriff in town, and he goes by the name Under Armour.

Chapter 13 Reflection

Who is the world wants to go into public relations?

Sure, there are some perks, if you decide to work for a corporation. Only 1 client. Lots of events to attend. And then there’s the dark side.

“Sorry, all you people living in middle America. Remember that pipeline we told you about? You know, the one that was indestructible? Well, turns out, it was actually reclassified as nearly indestructible. That’s right, we had a small problem with the pipeline over night. A large tractor trailer hauling livestock to the local auction skidded off the road and hit the pipeline.

“I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear your question in the back.

“The condition of the pipeline? Well, when the truck hit the pipe, it was at such an angle that the pipe actually split, dumping 10,000 gallons per hour of unrefined oil.

“Where’s the split? Um, if you look at this map over my shoulder, yes, this one, George. Yes, I know it’s of Iowa. Let me finish, okay. So, the split, it is actually over central Iowa. Don’t worry, though, because clean up crews are going to be out there as soon as we assemble them.

“They haven’t notified the crews yet. We didn’t want to wake them in the middle of the night without a plan. How are we going to get them there? Charter a bus? A plane? Drive separately? Maybe a few should car pool? Lots of details we have to get worked out yet.

“No, we don’t know if the oil has contaminated the water there yet. We did shut down that section of the pipeline, though, so we are quite confident that only about a million gallons of the crude leaked out.

“The soil? Again, we are talking about central Iowa, America’s heartland. At this time, we don’t know how crops are affected.

“No, George, I don’t know if the crops were corn or soybeans. You’ll have to wait for that information.

“The livestock? Personally, I heard it was pigs but someone else said chickens and then all of a sudden there’s a cow stuck in some crude-rich dirt up to her udder.

“That’s right, George, I said udder. It’s spelled U-D-D-E-R, udder.

“That’s all the information we have on this small incident at this time. The clean up crew will be getting their call in a few hours, so we won’t have another update for about another 24 hours. See you then.”

And that’s how I imagine a bad day at the office while working public relations looks like.

Chapter 12 Reflection

I’m not really a gamer. Yes, I play “casual” games on Facebook. Yes, I’ve owned several PC games over the years, including 2 RPG games (which don’t work on current laptop, thank you, Microsoft!). But I’ve never owned a gaming console.

When I lived in Oklahoma, one of my RAs owned a PS3 – just released, the ink was still drying on the controller. He wanted some help playing one of his multi-player games and asked if I would help for an hour. I was more of a hindrance.

I couldn’t work the controller to save any of my lives. And fighting with the enemies was an exercise in surrender.

And every day he asked me to play an hour with him.

I got a little better but not enough to commit $300 to a system and another $50 for games.

When I played my PC games, it was easy to find my way around the game because I could my mouse. And, yes, I enjoyed playing those RPG games.

Now, though, I am content to send several hours playing the Match 3 and Puzzle games on Facebook.

Maybe that’s a true sign that I’m getting old.

Chapter 11 Reflection

My sister recently purchased the new Google Pixel 2 phone, and she’s as happy as she can be. Why? Because it’s new? No, because her old phone had a beta version of Facebook that used a considerable amount of memory, so much so that she could only have three personal apps on her phone. And even those would occasionally be removed by her phone if too much memory was being used.

My husband and I are very different from her and each other. He has a pay-as-you-go dumb phone. It’s probably 1.5″ wide and 3″ long and has a 10 digit keypad that is more suited to calling than texting. And he doesn’t like to use it. He generally doesn’t take it on vacations and curses when someone should bother him at night or on the weekends.

I have a small pay-as-you-go smartphone. I use it primarily for calls and texts, although I have used the Internet portion probably half a dozen times. Because I have a laptop and a tablet with removable keyboard, I don’t feel the need to use my phone as a third screen.

That could be because I’ve seen some many students be on their phones, texting the person right next to them instead of talking to them. Maybe it’s because I had brunch with someone earlier this month, and instead of talking to me, she spent most of the time on her phone, viewing Facebook and seeing what all her friends posted.

Maybe it’s a generational thing, and I’m just too old to understand. Maybe I was raised differently. Maybe I care more about the relationships in my immediate area. Maybe I just don’t need to know what all the people online are doing every minute of every day.

Chapter 10 Reflection

In my own personal experience, the Internet has changed so much since its infancy. When I wanted to search for a particular item back in the late 1990s, I had to use Boolean operators and quotation marks, hoping the right information could be found. My favorite search engine was Ask. And it worked for doing research.

Then I started a small business and needed to find suppliers. We were a live-in couple at a community college so we were able to have the Internet in our apartment. This was 1998, and many businesses had poorly designed websites that made it difficult to get around. It was also very expensive for small businesses without much computer knowledge to get noticed online.

Jump ahead to today, and I can say that I spend a large amount of time online daily. I write and submit my classwork online – even take my tests online. I go to Yahoo! every morning to check the latest news on the national, political, and crime front, and then I look at my email (which is currently out of control; I need to spend some serious time weeding it).

I go to the Dakota College at Bottineau website daily. Since I live on campus, I can check the cafeteria menu every day, often times more than once. I check on our athletic teams – want to know how those Jacks are doing.

Once I go home, I look at my few social media accounts. And if I’m on RA duty that night, I grab my laptop and play some games to waste the hours. Or maybe I’ll look at some pins on Pinterest and lose fours there.

Yes, I will admit to being an Internet junkie. At least I don’t use it on my phone.

Chapter Reflection 9

I had actually been looking forward to reading this chapter. There has been so much change in television since its inception, the book would surely highlight much of that change.

It didn’t, unless it involved the actual device used for viewing programming.

I read so much about the difference between the tube television set and the digital television. I know what makes the new curved televisions something many people feel they must have.

What didn’t I read about?

  • Maude and the episode where she decides to have an abortion
  • Mary Tyler Moore and how she went from being Laura Petrie, all-American mom and wife, to the star of her own show – with her name as the title – as a single working woman trying to find her way in the world

I wanted to read about the men and women who changed television programming, not how the device changed.