A lovely bit of cabin fever

HW 10 – Digital Matrix Challenge Part 2

I find school to be boring.  Not only is school boring but it also deprives me from my ability to think independently and creatively. School entombed my spirit to classrooms in which my interests are bashed down and dismissed. I will even venture out to say that school is the cause for why I spend my free time accomplishing nothing while aimlessly withering away on the digital matrix.  Schools train students to sit in one place in order to take in new information. Those students then go home to sit in their room to take in more information. However, the information those students absorb is much more simple and unnecessary than what is given to them in school. For instance students learn a lot about how their friends like a certain band via Facebook, or that if you shot at the floor four times you would unlock an Easter egg in a video game.  Based on this rant it is reasonable to assume that my plan of action would be to abolish all interactions with the digital matrix. However, after reading excerpts from Reality is Broken, by Jane McGonigal, I realized I like the digital matrix because it can make me happy if I use it in a way that’s relevant to me. McGonigal states in her book that hard work that people voluntarily chose to do is more rewarding than just relaxing. This is because “we are actively moving ourselves toward positive end of the emotional spectrum. We are intensely engaged, and this puts us in precisely the right frame of mind and physical condition to generate all kind of positive emotions and experiences” (McGonigal 28). I don’t like spending my time on the digital matrix unproductively instead of working on furthering my interests. My plan, simply put, is to better prioritize my time on the digital matrix so I would be more productive

I currently spent, on average, about 6.5 hours a day aimlessly browsing the web a day. This leaves me very tired in the mooring and I have yielded no fruits to show my labor. This is inconceivable considering I have better things that I like to do such as drawing, analyzing films for themes, and learning new and small skills.  In addition to those interests I also have my school work which the digital matrix has been distracting me from accomplishing. I intend to set up daily goals so I will be able to regain myself as the master of my own time and the digital matrix would be the one whimpering at my feet, not the other way around. My daylily goals would be divided into four categorizes art, films, miscellaneous skill, and school work. For each category I would need to yield fruits that would prove I have used my time on the digital matrix in the most sufficient way possible. For art I would have to create at list one drawing a day that I have spent more than fifteen minutes working on which I would post on my DeviantArt account. For film I would either watch a film (non-feature length films would also fall under this category) or a podcast of other people’s opinions on different films. I would than analyze the film for either themes, relation to the public, character development, cinematography or further devolve my own thought based on the podcast. In order to prove that I used my time as best as I can I would write a quick summery of my analysis and post it on my blog. For miscellaneous skill I would learn a simple skill that I would film myself explaining and demonstrating which I would also post on my blog. Lastly for school work I would spent as much time as I need to away from the digital matrix in order to finish my work. For school work I would ask my teachers after seven days how much the quality of my homework had changed.

this is my link to my DeviantArt for anyone who wants to keep track of my  progress


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The chart below is organized by going from most prioritized interaction with the digital matrix to the less important ones

activity Time spent on a daylily bases Reasons why I partake (or why it makes me “happy”) Alternative Concerns about alternation
Listing to music on iPod 11-14 hours (the time accounted is for only the hours in which I am consciously listening to music) Drown out the noise coming out of those fleshy things that hang on people’s faces that are constantly flapping around. –          I would have to lower my expectation of humanity and my way of thinking unbelievably low so I would be able to tolerate the blabbering people call talking. Music withdrawal is a horrible because unlike most withdrawal which are externally visible music withdrawal can only be done independently and no one sympathizes your pain
Internet distraction: 9gag,Tumblr, DeviantArt etc.  5-7 hours Distract my mind from contemplating my fate and punishment which was decreed upon me by society. –          Any other activity that distracts me from my current reality.(Sleeping, drawing, etc.)

–          Do things that would give me an accurate perspective of how dreary the life of a adolescents actually is (ex. Re reading Maus by Art Spiegelman

–          Pet my cats (they are entering enough)

–          Those detractions are one of the few things that are able to make my brain release the chemicals and neurotransmission that make me happy. Having to alter my interaction with my distraction could cause me to feel even more frustrated.
Televisions and Movies 3-5 hours Analyze how people are able to create a representation of people’s experiences and emotions through the usage of camera angle, music, lighting, character interaction, speed etc. Read a good book/graphic novelWatch only brilliant shows and movies My main concern is that I would no longer be able to appreciate each frame and further more I would not be able to share my fascination with the  cinematography community.
Phone- games and looking up things 2-3 hours Ease the taxation of having to bear the boredom and agitation of being surrounded people which I rather not be with, such as the crazy ones on the subway. Not to use it in class an instead I should focus on teachers’ feeble attempt at successfully trying to do their job I would actually have to observe how teachers are failing at teaching  which makes me feel pitiful for the students who are getting bad education, concerned about how the my future would  in comparison to the teachers, and frustration at the government which is imprisoning  me an hour a day with teachers who are unable to accomplish their job
­­­­­­­­Drawing on the computer via Photoshop 1-2 Being able to draw by using digital medias is a necessity  for me to be able to accomplish my optimistic yet on realistic “dreams” No alternatives.

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Richtel, Matt. “Growing Up DIgital, Wired for DIstraction.” New York Times. 21 11 2010: n. page. Print.

The students of Woodside High School grades are suffering as a result of being too distracted by the digital matrix. The majority of the students spend many hours updating their Facebook status instead of working on their school work. In order encourage student to focus more on school work Woodside High School combines the digital matrix in to classroom activities. While some students are passionate about outside of school projects that involve the digital matrix they still spend their time checking on their Facebook.

Carr, N. “Is Google making us stupid?.” August 2008: n. page. Print. While Google itself does not technically makes people stupid per say it does negatively effects people’s attention spans for reading long article. As a result to constantly reading short articles quickly online it is harder for people to concentrate on a txt than it had been for them ten years ago.

Section 11CD. Personal/Political Course Discussion. SOF. 10 November 2011 The class discussion explained that one of the reason people go on the digital matrix is because they are trying to feel a metaphorical “hole”. The two main feelings for the “hole” are Facebook, which boosts people’s ego, and video games, which temporarily entertains people. By the end of the discussion it was not only explained that the “hole” has many forms of feelings but the “hole” is and has always been there.

While I do not live in a t.v. drama in which I am constantly troubled by great waves of angst, I do have problems that I deal with. For instance I don’t like going to school, just hypothetically speaking, and so instead I draw whenever I can. I see no difference between drawing as a way to escape a dark and dreary reality than going on the digital matrix as a way to escape a dark and dreary reality. While articles such as “Growing Up DIgital, Wired for Distraction” and “Is Google making us stupid?” state that the digital matrix is hindering people’s performance in school or when reading I say “oh contraire”. I think that the digital matrix, or any other distraction, is able to give us enough temporary emotions to make people go through another day of their weary existence. My thoughts are more similar to the ideas from Personal/Political Course Discussion. I think that since I am constantly negatively indifferent to what’s happening around me it is good for me to indulge myself in activities that give a good kick of temporary content. Keeping in mind that I will soon embark on a “soul searching quest” to figure out how many douses of digital matrix I should take a day I came up with the fallowing conclusion. As long as I finish what is required of me, whatever it might be, it doesn’t matter how much of my time I the on the digital matrix or doing any other activity that makes me pleased enough to want to get out of bed the next day.

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The digital matrix is a fractured representation of human face to face interaction. The digital matrix is meant to be used as a tool to shift the weight of discomfort off society’s shoulders by creating simple representations of entertainment and communication of human interaction. Both entertainment and communication are a representation of life outside of the digital matrix. However, the representations are altered and mutated into a simplified version of what they signify. This is further emphasized when comparing the two previously mentioned aspects of the digital matrix to philosophical critiques of representations of reality and representations of representations of reality.

Reason I: Magritte’s paintings of representation of reality are an analogy to deformity of the digital matrix’s version of the human interaction. Magritte painting, Not to be Reproduce, is an illustration of the back of what appears to be a man standing in front of a mirror. However, the mirror does not reflect the front of the figure but the back of the figure. This painting is a representation of a man who is represented by a mirror. These embedded representations are not meant to be an accurate portrayal of a person and it’s reflection in a mirror. The painting is meant to be distorted in order to boldly highlight how the painting is not reality but in fact only a representation of reality. This is an analogy to the digital matrix, specifically concerning communication. The amount of ways to communicate throughout the digital matrix is so great that easily exceeds the hundreds digits value. A few famous examples that are used worldwide on an hourly base are Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. These websites embark on the impossible task of capturing the phenomenon of human interaction and experiences; Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr encourage people to post as many random updates they can so other people would get the impression that they are with the blogger. However, this is only a representation of human interaction, and a fractured one at that. The communication that is done online is being transmitted through abbreviated words that represent emotions. While it is true that people do use these abbreviated words (which are the highest form of torture and disgrace of the English langue), a whole conversation can be had between people through the use of body langue, tone of voice, eye contact, and or lack of eye contact. The form of a communication on the internet is made to be a distortedly obvious representation of human interaction in order to make definite distinguish for people that the digital matrix is not the same thing as face to face interaction.

In Magritte’s painting The Human Condition, Magritte illustrates a room with a window open showing a nature scenery outside. However, a part of the scenery is replaced by a painting of what seems to be a continuation of the scenery. This is another demonstration of how the representations are not the original concept they symbolize. The painting is a representation of a painting of scenery inside which appears to be a part of the actual scenery which is viewed from a window which is all painted between the borders of a canvas. This is another example of Magritte is giving the world the biggest facepalm* for even mistaking representations for reality. This is another analogy of the digital matrix that uses representations to show human interaction. In order to be able to express emotions in a way that everyone can understand the digital matrix uses simplified expressions of emotions to represents human feelings. This is not only a representation of emotions but it is also a simplified representation of a representation. The representation of representation of emotions is similar to The Human Condition because they both show how they are distorted representation of something else.

Reason II: Plato’s analogy of the cave.

Evidence 1: the people in the cave are seeing the shadows of objects that have multiple light sources, which create distorted shadows that represent the outline of objects. This works as an analogy to how entertainment on the digital matrix is a representation of what people’s life should be like which is filtered by more than one group of people, the same way the different light sources created distorted shadows.

Evidence 2: the people in the cave are looking at representations of objects that represent actual things. Different types of entertainment create a representation of how life should be like and not what life actually is like.

Counter argument: The digital matrix accurately portrays human interaction because the representation is funded from the most basic concept of human interactions which all people understand and relate to. While the digital matrix is capable of representing the simplest form of human interaction it overlooks the majority of the essence that make up human interaction. Hence making the representation of human interaction look like a hillbilly, mentally challenged, senile old man that is only able to communicate in baby talks and vowls.


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