Fans and Fandom

Star Trek Rerun, Reread, Rewritten: Fan Writing as Textual Poaching – Henry Jenkins III

  • (470) Newsweek really kind of tears into Star Trek fans. Describes them as child-like and overweight. Treats them as both a problem and a mystery to be solved.
  • (471) Many of the writers that the author quotes continue to treat and refer to fans as children.
  • (472) Author proposes not to look at “Trekkers” as backwards and child-like but as poachers who remake literature to suit their own cultural needs and wants.
  • (473) Author uses Lorrah’s words to illustrate the point that fandom is a culture that defies boundaries and spans the globe, uniting like-minded people.
  • (474) Fan writing and fandom have achieved almost institutional status.
  • (475) Differences between fanzines and letterzines, both of which are totally unauthorized by Paramount but nevertheless have achieved a near canon status among Trekkers.
  • (476) The vast majority of fan writers are female, as it is geared more towards feminine tendencies when it comes to reading fiction. Women tend to look more into the relationships between characters and the universe around them while men tend to look at a story as the product of someone’s time, not as a universe.
  • (477) Women have been forced to become more speculative of male narratives which has bred a distinct way of navigating a story or work.
  • (478) Women may be drawn to write about Star Trek on account of the fact that it leaves more room for women to become involved professionally than other science fiction universes.
  • (479) Discusses the displeasure that some fans of the series had with the way that female characters were portrayed.
  • (480) Talks about Uhura’s plight of being treated as too feminine, despite how capable and respected she was as a member of the crew.
  • (481) Discusses the nature of fan works. Usually series and not single works of fiction.
  • (482) Women tend to focus on character relationships rather than plot segments or episodes. Closure isn’t always satisfying to them.
  • (483) Discusses the use of romantic elements in many of fan writings.
  • (484) Writing romantic fan fiction is often used by feminist writers as a way to reflect and mirror many of their own personal struggles.
  • (485) These romantic fanzines cause a divide in the Trekker community among male and female fans.
  • (486) Discusses the nature of fan and creator interaction, as well as some of the issues that arise out of it.
  • (487) Further discusses the rift that has appeared among the fandom community when it comes to creating non canonical content.
  • (488) Discusses the possibility of a Kirk and Spock romance
  • (489) Author encourages fans to continue to create new things
  • The rest is simply a conclusion

Praxis: “The rabid fans that take Twilight much too seriously.” The Construction and Rejection of excess in Twilight Fandom – Jacqueline M. Pinkowitz

  • INTRODUCTION – Discusses the existence of and Anti-Twilight Movement, otherwise known as ATM. ATM centers around its dislike for the Twilight series, which they view as poorly written and not very good in a literal sense. They also see Twilight fans as being rabid and stereotypes them as being teenage girls.
  • THE ANTI-TWILIGHT MOVEMENT – The ATM describes itself as a critique site, not specifically geared towards the hatred of fans alone. This doesn’t change the fact that much of the site is filled with anti-fan material, particularly the fact that they are often seen calling fans of the series offensive names.
  • THE CULTURAL DISMISSAL OF FEMALE FANS AND TWILIGHT – Focuses on the fans themselves. Discusses in detail how many fans can become dragged into the series to a level that some ATM members would deem unhealthy. Also talks about how more often than not, it is female fans that become deemed “obsessed”.
  • THE ANTI FAN AND ATM’S ANTI FAN POSITIONS – Talks about how anti fans tend to dislike fans of the series more so than the actual series itself, especially because the fans are more tangible and harder to ignore.
  • THE CULTURAL HIERARCHY AND ATM’S INTERNAL ANTI FAN DEFINITIONS – Discusses the fact that the ATM claims to dislike rabid anti fans almost as much as they dislike rabid fans.
  • THE DANGER OF TWILIGHT’S POPULARITY AND EXCESSIVE FANS – ATM only further associate’s itself with something it dislikes through its actions.
  • THE FEAR AND CHARACTERIZATION OF EXCESS IN RABID FANS – ATM claims that Twilight fans are emotional and immature and prone to outbursts despite the fact that there never seems to be much proof to support those claims.
  • EXCESS CONTINUED – Talks about the nature of rabid anti fans and how they have become more rabid than those they hate.
  • GOOD ANTI FANS – Discusses the ways that the ATM attempts to be rational and distinguishes between the good and bad fans of Twilight.
  • ANOTHER CONSEQUENCE OF EXCESS – Discusses what can be deemed as excess in terms of fandom and what can be deemed as normal.
  • THE ACADEMIC, THE ELITE, AND ATM’S AFFECTED LITERARY CRITICISM – Discusses ATM’s imagined self superiority
  • THE REJECTION OF THE FEMININE AND FEMALE FANDOMS – Discusses how female fans are more prone to becoming rabid and how age can also be a factor.
  • FEMALE FANS AS DANGEROUSLY PASSIVE AND VULNERABLE – Pretty self descriptive.
  • ATM’S MORAL OBJECTION TO TWILIGHT – ATM claims that the content in Twilight is morally objectionable.

 

 

A Technological Dystopia

In the not-so-distant future, the giant mega-corporation known as Google has effectively infiltrated all aspects of our everyday lives and used its new found control to subject its will on everyone, sparing none. How exactly did Google manage to get control? To put it bluntly, people gave the corporation their greatest secrets without a second thought. Every search left behind data that painted an intricate picture of everyone who had ever used the popular search engine. Suddenly, a machine knew more about us than we knew about ourselves. It knew our likes and dislikes, our wants, our dreams. It used this information to predict how we would act; what we would buy. It began to notice trends.

But, like any good computer or artificial intelligence, it didn’t just settle for noticing and predicting trends. It began to set them. Soon enough, we were all doing as Google said. We didn’t think for ourselves anymore. We assumed it knew better. We followed every command it gave us. Its funny, who was the machine now?

Google’s Algorithmic Bias (Week 10 Final Post)

For my final post in week 10, I chose to look up images of cyber bullying victims using Google Images. The demographics are as follows:

-Of the top 30 search results, 23 were of a similar demographic. These 23 images all depicted girls, somewhere in their early to late teenage years, and usually Caucasian. The image below is a common result.

 

 

Upon further research, these demographics are at least partially accurate. Teens are, by far, the most likely demographic age group to experience cyber bullying. In addition to this, girls tend to be victims more often than boys. However, it should be noted in the results that cyber bullying affects all races, not just Caucasians.

The Business of Social Media

The first article I read discussed the differences between internal and external rewards, otherwise known as intrinsic or extrinsic rewards. Internal rewards are basically things like a feeling of satisfaction or accomplishment that can be achieved when someone works towards a goal. External rewards address things like money or other physical objects someone can attain for completing a task. Between the two, those who were surveyed seemed to respond more towards external rewards.

Honestly, I wasn’t really surprised by this. I think that people are more easily motivated by physical things because it can be seen by others as proof that you accomplished something worthwhile. While receiving payment in forms like money can be rewarding in of itself, the added benefit of possible envy from others is pretty enticing too.

The second article I read talked about the topic of privacy in an online space or domain. It went into detail about how popular sites such as Google and Facebook are making billions every year on consumer data and content. This cuts two ways essentially. First and foremost, people are often offended that these companies are selling their private information for money. But an often overlooked fact is that these sites are free to use in just about every way, and that selling information can be seen as a way for these companies to make a profit for their work.

Personally, I feel that what an individual searches and posts should be private. These companies are huge and have many other ways to make revenue at their disposal. I don’t think that its right that they make the majority of their profit off the selling of private information.

The third and final article that I read discussed the issue that is prevalent in Google’s search engine, in which it shows ads for high paying jobs more to men than to women. Google uses behavior tracking software to pick ads that might be more personalized to the consumer, which is usually a very helpful tool. But when presumes some men to be job seekers that are qualified for these positions and some women not to be, it becomes sexist.

I understand that its only the way that the software works, but instances like this are unacceptable. I think that the software or programming need to stop taking gender into account, so that all ads presented to a consumer may be unbiased.

Script Additions

In the time since I’ve turned in my first draft, I’ve made a couple changes to my project. First and foremost, I’ve decided to take a new stance on my project in general. While I had initially tried to look at the project from the stance and viewpoint of the victims of cyberbullying, I realized that the stance was risky and could possibly be mistaken for victim blaming. To avoid this, I decided to look at it purely from the standpoint of the bullies themselves, which is a much simpler way to view things.

I also added more detail to the content of the project and worked out more of my argument.

Online Afterlife

Personally, I believe that once a person has passed away, their online life should go with them as well. That doesn’t necessarily mean that any of their social media accounts have to be deleted. I just feel that the accounts should no longer be used to post things. If a person’s family or loved ones wish to keep their accounts active as a form of memorial or remembrance then I guess I can understand that. Mainly I feel like hackers taking over a deceased person’s account should be avoided at all costs simply because it is disrespectful to both the deceased and the deceased person’s family.

Personal and Professional Identities

Personally, I believe that the only social media account that I own that I would be comfortable sharing with a perspective employer would be my Facebook account. It seems weird to write but I believe that the way I present myself on Facebook is more professional than my Twitter account, for instance. I think it has to do with the fact that my family is much more active on Facebook, so it forces me to think twice about what I post compared to what I tweet.

The War Against Internet Ads

For many businesses both online and off, internet ads are a great way to get the word about your product out to consumers all across the world. However, the consumer itself doesn’t always enjoy ads the same way. People often find that pop-ups or sidebar videos are distracting or annoying. The question on a lot of people’s mind is, “Are ads ethically right or wrong?” Personally, I believe that while we may find them annoying as a consumer, ads are a necessary evil. As stated above, ads are oftentimes the only way in which owners of a business can get the word out about their product. By removing that ability through apps such as the “Ethical Ad Blocker”, you can damage or remove that person’s ability to make a living.

Internet Restriction

In China, the Chinese Communist Party severely restricts what can be said on the internet. Using word filters, Internet police, and scare tactics, the CCP actively seeks to keep a sort of stranglehold on talks of dissent and political strife within China. To combat this, users in China have developed a secret “lingo”, full of words with double meanings that allow them to communicate their message despite the efforts of the CCP.

Here in the United States, I feel like ours is an Internet much less restricted. Essentially, we’re free to say what we want without the immediate response of the government. I say immediate because, while we are free to say what we want, our government does have the ability to discover who it is that is saying certain things. Therefore, do we really have complete freedom?

Either way, I feel that we should be grateful for the freedom that we do have. Its far greater than other places in the world.