An Interviewer in Cyberspace

To open up this post, there’s a video I want to share that while it does not directly tie with this week’s readings, it does show what technology can do to us if we let it.

So, this week: when I first read the excerpts from You are not a Gadget by Jaron Lanier, I didn’t really get it. I just thought Lanier was a melodramatic guy who had very few good points. In his introduction, Lanier seems to me to describe a stereotypical futuristic world in which machines rule. Then I realized there was an element of truth to what he is saying. Text in general is starting to be increasingly read by machines and less by humans (at least to some degree).

I was thrilled then to read the review which helped me to understand more what was being said. I realized that Lanier is basically just saying that the web is destroying individuality. I don’t think this is a new idea. People have long been studying how being in a mob destroys individual opinions. Maybe what Lanier is saying is that the web takes this one step further with anonymity.

From reading the review, I learned that Lanier thinks ‘anonymity has helped enable the dark side of human nature’. While that might be true, I want to point out something we talked about in class. The PostSecret website helps people heal by letting them post secrets anonymously. In general though, anyone can find good or bad things about anonymity online. Only time will tell how this ‘being anonymous’ will shape our future.

On a different note, listening to the interviews helps me to realize that an interview is really just a special type of one sided conversation. The goal of basically every interview is to find out as much about the person as possible which is what people do when they want to get to know someone anyway. The only thing with doing an interview is to stay ‘on topic’.

Aside from the content of the piece titled Pray, it demonstrates a good balance between the interviewer speaking and the interviewees using their own words. I like how music is used to transition. I want to strive for this balance in my own interview.

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2 responses to “An Interviewer in Cyberspace

  1. Great video Kevin! I too didn’t quite ‘get’ Lanier’s piece initially. I agree with you on the whole web idea, it really isn’t a new thing. I too believe that anonymity can also be helpful as it can ease people into discussions, where they actively participate because they have no established identity and no fear of people judging what they have to say.

  2. Good post, Kevin. I really just did not agree with Lanier at all. With pretty much everything we talked about in class and the articles we read, it just annoyed me. The web can make you, but it can also make you change yourself. The web gives you opportunities to be an individual and be original, but it can also make you lose your individuality. If that makes sense? Good post, look forward to reading more from your blog.

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