Thursday, February 6, 2014

From Mike Lohre: Retrain the Brain links to read and then write comments

RETRAIN THE BRAIN: Technology links to read and contemplate.

Dear English 1110.03 students:
Here's a link to the EFF, as mentioned in the James Fallows essay, "Tinfoil Underwear".  They are an advocacy group for privacy and technology rights.

The Assignment for our lab today

Please read or view/read at least three of these links, and write a comment on this post where you respond to one of the links.  Use a quote from the material in the link somewhere in your response, but give me your ideas and interpretations on this subject, please.  Make it your own.

Reading and surfing is not just about finding and regurgitating information.  It's about interpreting it and giving it meaning and application in our own existence and in our own communities.  Yes, information is everywhere and knowledge is at our fingertips.  Yet there are no shortcuts to wisdom.  You have to put in the work, the time, and the thought.  I truly hope you understand this notion deeply, and strive to take your work and yourself seriously.

Your thoughts and ideas matter.  Your creative actions matter, and every chance to write is a chance to write well.

I look forward to your responses.  Remember, just respond in the Comments section of this post so all our responses are in one place and we can see what everyone is thinking.


Mike Lohre

8 Links to follow, and food for thought (yes, food for thought is an idiom!):

Lavabits is an e-mail service that offered privacy, but is now in a fight with our government.

This is a classic irony.  In this clip, James Clapper, the Director of National Intellegence at the NSA, will lead the inquiry into his own agency's abuses and lies.

And here's an editorial calling for Clapper to be fired.

Comedian Louis C.K. on cell phones.  Warning: there is some crass language in this.

This one got over 25 million hits on You Tube and was made by a young woman just trying to illustrate the distractions in tech life.  It's called "I Forget My Phone"

This video is from Rap News, out of Australia.  The same guy plays all the characters and two guys compose the lyrics, which take on a lot of alternative ideas on the internet and politics.  Some of the language and gestures are crass, so be warned.

Finally, from OSU's student newspaper The Lantern.

One of the above links is from a source (Rap News with Robert Foster) that tries to use You Tube, music, and clever, pop-culture-based writing to promote both critical thinking and their point of view, of course.

P.S.  Here's the link for the graphic essay on the NY Times.

Notice the style of this content and look at the possibilities for online composition.  This the New York Times, and is a pretty remarkable example of the way composition is being changed by the internet.


  1. The one article that stood out to me was the one written by an OSU student in the lantern. She is completely right and its a scary truth. We relay on the easiness of technology to communicate with people and we slowly begin to lose our ability to have a good conversation with someone without checking our phones or even showing them something off our phones. I start to think that my phone owns me and not that I own the phone. Its crazy.

  2. The link that I watched was the YouTube one, called "I forgot my phone." It shows a sad reality, that nearly everybody in social situations is on their phone texting or taking photos, instead of living in the moment. People would rather take a photo or video, instead of enjoying the event or moment at hand. The way I see it: photos are for people who can't remember. People today, especially my generation, need to learn to live without technology, but the sad truth is, is that most people cannot.

  3. im wrting response to the one that is called i forget my phone. i like that one becosue it shows us how everyone has using their phone in every were, and everything that they do. people those days cannot life without their even. my most interting part that i like was the lady turn off the lights to go to sleep,and her partner turn on his phone ahahh i like that part.

  4. The article I found most interesting was "Commentary: Kindness, human interaction lost with technology" by Caitlin Essig. In this article she explains how face to face interaction with someone is slowly diminishing. We do not realize these things because our society is changing so rapidly. I agree with the fact that we all will if we are not yet use to talking over some type of technology. This can affect us so much how on social skills with people. I have never really ever considered this to be a bad thing but now I am thinking this will affect us in a negative way even if we do not realize it yet.

  5. The article I read was about James Clapper, the Director of National Evidence. He was asked the question,“Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?” Which was immediately and known for certain down the road that he was blatantly lying. My question here is, is how are we suppose to trust someone like clapper with secretive information when he is going to lie about questions like this. When asked about why he lied, he tried to avoid the question by saying “I thought, though in retrospect, I was asked [a] ‘when are you going to … stop beating your wife’ kind of question, which is … not answerable necessarily by a simple yes or no. So I responded in what I thought was the most truthful, or least untruthful, manner by saying, ‘No.’ ” Clapper is still in consideration to be on the debate team discussing the NSA restrictions.

  6. The Link that i watched was "i forgot my phone" this was really intreating because we don't notice how much people are on there phone until forget out own. People are always doing something with there phone can there is no peace. It also shows how young kids are getting involved with social media and phones with a really young age. People are living the moment but they are recoding to save it for later that can be good or bad because you want to see people actual reaction on how they feel and not avoid the feelings. The video really oped my eyes thinking how technology has taken over our life. We check out phone from the moment we wake up from the moment we fall asleep. The other thing was the moment we feel lonely we tent to get on our phone, and we get on the phone to make people think we are actually doing something.

  7. I read the article "Commentary: Kindness, human interaction lost with technology" by Caitlin Essig in the Lantern. This article is about how are society are losing the capability of having conversations face to face. What was interesting here is the author states that one day when she went to her bank she found out the tellers had been replaced by machines. This really scares me. I love going to my local bank and having conversations with the tellers. I don't want the tellers at my bank to be replaced with machines. If I wanted to withdraw money, I would go to a ATM machine but I don't, I go inside mainly to have a conversation with one of the tellers. I learn that people in our society depend on their phones and electronics to get in touch with their friends. I learn that people in our society have a hard time with eye contact and communicating.

  8. The link that i chose to watch was the one on YouTube called "I Forgot My Phone". The video showed how technology is a distraction in today's life. Even during important events you see how phones are a distraction. What was really interesting to me about this video was no matter how hard you try to warn and tell people of the consequences of using technology no one really listens. In this video you can see how human interaction isn't taken seriously. What i learned is that, there will be one day that human interaction would disappear. People depend on technology more that they do with other humans.

  9. The link that I most interesting from the you tube is called " I Forgot My Phone." The reason why I interesting because it's shown us how we busy for the technology. We forgot our life. technology distort everything. this video is wake up time for us. the most interesting I found this video is their were birthday part and everyone were use their phone when they sing birthday song, no one look the girl they were busy taking picture them self. we don't how to communicate others or social we busy for our phone day and night.

  10. The video I watch is the "I Forgot my Phone". I feel most people love using the cellphone no matter they go. They use to take pictures of life. They talk with other by using the phones. The one thing really caught me eye is when a guy texting in the theater. I know the technology is very useful in today's society but we should learn to respect others. Using the phone when other people were performing is rude. The other thing is when people bowling, most people were rather playing the phone. I think we should enjoy the life someday without the phones. It will be interesting and it will be our new life experience.

  11. The link that I found most interesting and relatable to everyday life was the video of comedian Louis C.K. When he starts off the interview talking about how it is basically toxic for parents to give their young kids cell phones, I easily was able to apply it to my life. Growing up a lot of kids my age did not get a cell phone until around when we were in middle school. My little sister is six years younger than me and when she was in fourth grade, she received her first cell phone. To me this was crazy because it showed how fast cell phones become a part of society and so many peoples lives. Although my parents said it was because she had sports practices and as the eldest of four kids, my parents have had their share of forgetting me at practice, I still think it is crazy how many kids so young get cell phones. It shows that technology is taking over society. When Louis C.K. says "But when they write you're fat, then they just go mmm that was fun I like that" I think he is 100% right. Bullying is obviously a problem in many places and situations but a lot of bullying happens over cell phones. I admit that I can write something a lot easier than saying it to someones face sometimes. I think cell phones have many positives but I do believe that they are starting to take over the lives of people at too early of an age. With social media especially, so many participate. It is really nice to put down your phone every once in awhile and just take in everything around you and relax.

  12. I watched the YouTube video, "I Forgot my Phone." I thought that the message of this video was shown in a very interesting, and unique way. I liked the way that they addressed the fact that everyone is always on their phones by simply showing everyone always being on their phones. The video made me feel like the girl that had "forgotten" her phone was almost out of place in the scenes that the it showed, and I do think that this video depicts the ways that we use our cell phones well today, in the sense that we cannot put them down for anything. We rely on our cell phones and other technology for just about everything.

  13. The YouTube video "I Forgot my Phone" really opened my eyes to the sad truth about technology. Louis C.K. talked about how modern day society can't seemed to get off their phones, and that it has become second nature to pull out the phone and fill in the "empty void." I found this video to be very entertaining, and funny. Louis C.K. is one of my favorite comedians, I completely agree with him about his thought on technology. I learned that sometimes, one need to just resist the urge to use the phone and enjoy the moment.

  14. I watched the video called “Louis C.K. hates cell phones”. One interesting fact in this video was audiences were laughing in between the conversation of comedian Louis and Conan O'Brien which was so fun. In this video I learn that people are willing to risk taking a life and ruining their own because they don’t want to be alone for a second because it’s so hard. Every time just touched with cell phones. You are in your car and you start going “oh, no here comes that I’m alone like it starts to visit on you”. You know, just the sadness. Complete Full Transcript, Dialogue, Remarks, Saying, Quotes, Words And Text.

  15. The link that was most interesting to me and a big topic in america now is the link that talked about Clapper and the NSA. I did think it was shady that he lied to congress when asked “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?” and Clapper replied "No Sir, not wittingly." This made me uneasy when I first heard it, thinking to myself if he lied about that then what are other politicians and government officials lying about? This didnt concern me too much because in the end they are doing it to protect american citizens from potential terrorist attacks on US soil. I think by any means necessary the government should be allowed to spy on it people because if you have nothing to hide then it shouldnt be a problem for them to make sure we are as safe as possible.

  16. I like this article Commentary: Kindness, human interaction lost with technology, she explain how we are losing in touch with our self and the people around us. How machine are taking over our life's.H ow our society is becoming more interconnected and i believe like teenagers we cant even put their phone down for a sec we are always using technology everyday to communicate with our friends.


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