Assignment #3 48 hrs News Blackout – Daniella Alfonso Team 4

I decided to disconnect myself from the world, especially the news for 48 hours. At first I thought that this would be very easy. However, it was much harder than I had thought it would be. At first I was fine. I thought that I would be able to read a book, or to watch some of the movies that I had been thinking of watching, or I would play some video games. Yet, I found myself reaching for my phone. Soon, it became quite annoying to the point of being unbearable. Several times I thought that I should just forget about the assignment and use my phone. I wanted to check my messages. I wanted to see if anyone had liked my last Facebook status. I wanted to see if my friends had posted anything new on Instagram. I wanted to know what was going on in the world, what the President had said in FIU, what the various late night talk show hosts were saying about that.

            As noted in Deresiewics’ article, “The End of Solitude,” all of us want to be recognized. This is something that I realized to be so true after I decided to remove myself from the news cycle. As noted earlier, I found myself reaching for my phone all the time. This was because of my need for recognition and validation that I wanted from all my social media accounts. This is something that can be seen to be true for so many people. We tend to believe that our worth comes from our visibility and popularity. We also all do not want to have anonymity, which is why we are always in communication with each other (Jackson 112). this is good application of the reading connected to your experience, as well as personal insight.

            After having experienced this self-inflicted solitude and confinement from the news, I was quite surprised to find that I was also very much like the girl that he describes in his article, the one who sent 3,000 texts in a month. Even though I do not text that much, it was clear to me that I had also never experienced solitude in my life. This is something that has become a cultural norm. We are constantly being bombarded by information from so many different sources that it is almost difficult or impossible to stay away. reflection on reading

            For example, even though I had removed myself completed from the news cycle and I was not actively seeking out the news, I still got to hear about it in a passive sense. Even though I had told my friends and family members to not talk to me about the news for the next two days, I overheard various casual conversations about the news while walking to my classes or when sitting in the cafeteria. Other than that, there are television screens everywhere; in the grocery stores, in cafes, in restaurants, etc. It has become almost impossible to stay away from the news, unless one locks him or herself in a room and does not leave it at all.

            Thus, in conclusion, it can be said that it is next to impossible to be alone and have solitude these days. This is because of the way that we consume information from so many different sources, such as our phones, laptops, television sets, and friends. For a person to be truly alone, he or she must get rid of all the devices that he or she has, such as smartphones, smartwatches, laptops, computers, etc. as well as to either go alone in the wilderness or to lock oneself up in a room.

good analysis of reading and personal experiences and full completion of the assignment. good organization of writing/information. the analysis could have been more in-depth but overall a decent effort.


Deresiewicz, William. “The end of solitude.” the chronicle of Higher education 55.21

(2009): 6.

Jackson, Emma. “Alone and together with myself: how do we experience

solitude?.” Existential Analysis: Journal of the Society for Existential Analysis 27.2 (2016).


Team 4 Assignment “Ghost in the Shell”

I. Public Security Section 9 is an anti-terrorism arm of the government, operating on the edge, or sometimes beyond, the boundaries of the law. Citizens are kept in the dark of the activities, and even the existence, of section 9.

a. In its covert activities dealing with the Puppet Master, does section 9 go too far? Explain.

Section 9 does not go too far regarding the protection of the lives of their citizens.  The Puppet Master’s goal was to manipulate and mind control the citizens of their country. Section 9 was providing protection at any means necessary. One can compare section 9 to the United States. Counterterrorism team.  The United States government protects its citizens by using resources against the threat of terrorism. An example of this is when the Patriot Act was passed. The Patriot Act preserves life and liberty for United States citizens. This act allows government agencies to increase surveillance through methods of communication used by all. The purpose of this act was to deter and punish terrorist acts in the United States. Although, some people may view this as an invasion of privacy from the government that goes too far, it has prevented future terrorist attacks and continues to protect the citizens of the United States. 

this is well done, although it could have used further analysis using concepts from class readings.

b. Is a government ever justified in violating its own laws to ensure the safety of its citizens? If not, why not? If so, what examples can you provide, either from the film or real life?

Yes, a government is justified in violating its own laws as long as it is to ensure the safety of citizens. An example from the movie “Ghost in the Shell,” shows how Section 9 steps in to help one of its citizens by intercepting and surveying the lines of communication to track where the Puppet Master’s location is.  Section 9 realizes the Puppet Master is on the same route as the sanitary workers. One of the sanitary workers on that route becomes increasingly obsessed with not losing his family and instead of focusing on his job tasks, he starts committing illegal actions by hacking telephone poles to try to manipulate his wife’s mind to not leave him. In reality, he was being manipulated by the Puppet Master and assisting the entity in its terrorism-like acts. Section 9 stepped in by apprehending the sanitary worker and making him realize that he never had a family but was instead being mind-controlled by the Puppet Master. Once the sanitary worker realized the situation, he became psychologically very affected by this illusion of having a family. A real-life example of a government violating its own laws to protect citizens would be here in the United States with the surveillance of their citizens by tracking them at any time with no disclosure and violating privacy laws for the safety of its citizens. For instance, the government has a system that recognizes suspicious threats such as: researching how to create a bomb, any ISIS related activities or anything can potentially endanger our citizens.
I’m not sure that everything here is the case re: US surveillance. We are not China. The full answer referencing specifics from the film is good.

c. Is a government ever justified in keeping secret its violations of the law? Explain and give an example.

Yes, there are times a government is justified in keeping secret its violations of the law depending on the severity of the situation and as long as it keeps its citizens free from clear and imminent danger.  A real-life example of this is how our government tortures terrorists or people with information that may lead to any terrorists in order to prevent future attacks to our country. Our society does not hear about these types of confidential events that may be occurring currently in our nation or worldwide within our counterterrorism team in order not to incite mass hysteria amongst the nation. 

This could have used a bit more elaboration.

II. The sophistication of many technologies in the film is futuristic; their existence is not. Bionics, the Internet, and artificial intelligence are today relatively commonplace. One of the most disturbing scenes in the film is the garbage man with false, implanted memories. This is not all that far-fetched. Studies show that even so simple a technological artifact as a photograph can be used to create false memories that people are certain are real. 

a. How is information technology used in the world of Ghost in the Shell to influence and control behavior and perception?   

Information technology is used in the world of Ghost in the Shell to influence and control behavior in a variety of ways. The movie shows how human consciousness has migrated into machines. The movie depicts a computerized society in which most people’s brains have been altered to have the capability of cyber functions that will allow them to connect directly into vast networks of data. Information Technology is heavily emphasized in the movie through several scenes. Some of the examples of how this technology is used in the movie is by the cords that are plugged in the back of their society’s necks, how cyborgs can transfer from shell to shell, how the puppet master mind controls the sanitary worker as his own puppet by altering his memories and Major Kusanagi taking over the driving of the car from the policeman without physically moving similar to the autopilot feature on many modern cars today.

very well written and coherent answer

3. In his essay, Deresiewicz argues “…that solitude enables us to secure the integrity of the self as well as to explore it.” 

a. How does Major Kusanagi utilize solitude? What insight does it give her? 

Major Kusanagi utilizes solitude when she starts questioning herself on who she is and where she came from. She contemplates on the existence of her individualism and how her ghost may be an equivalent to the human soul. It seems as if she uses the time of solitude to reflect her own consciousness and feelings. The insight she gains is her own individualism and carrying a sense of her own destiny. It gives her a rise to her own consciousness. When she is in the world she feels confined but when she’s in solitude she feels free. An example of this is shown in the movie when the Major takes a dive into the ocean as a means to escape the world of technology and as she rises to the surface of the ocean she sees a reflection of herself.*04h6Zug7sREajYb02IylZA.png

b. Is Deresiewicz right when he says we are approaching a time when information technology makes solitude socially undesirable, or even impossible? Has that time already occurred in the world of the film? Explain your answer.

Yes, Deresiewicz is right when he says we are approaching a time when information technology makes solitude undesirable or even impossible. Social media today makes us dependent on receiving acceptance from our peers. Most people are in constant communication via text messaging, emails, FaceTime, Whatsapp messenger, Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter. Because of this dependence to constantly be connected it is socially undesirable to most to be alone and at most times impossible. Being alone may force someone to tap into their consciousness of their own lives or destiny. Many people are uncomfortable with having to face that reality which is what makes solitude socially undesirable. Yes, this time has occurred in the world of the film. The film shows how one is never really disconnected from technology because most of the people in the film are heavily dependent on being connected or exists within technology. One example from the movie is when Major Kusanagi is in the truck and she leans back towards her seat to plug herself in to recharge.  great.

4.The movie was based on a manga originally published in 1989.

a. Various forms of media (using McLuhan’s definition of a medium as “an extension of ourselves”) have had an impact on the way people use, create, store, access, and communicate information. Give 3 historical examples of such media and describe their impact.

Various forms of media that are examples of being an extension of ourselves are: television, cellular phones and the internet. The television changed the way information was given out to the public such as making it more accessible, giving us awareness to the events occurring not only in our country but globally and allowing for people at home to feel like participants of media.  An example of how the television has impacted our society and communicated a particular historical event such as the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001. In which our country witnessed the second plane hitting the World Trade Center and a war was started. The cellular phone impacted the way people use communication. Cellular phones made it easier for everyone to communicate around the world and at any time without having to meet physically. The Internet has also impacted our society by allowing immediate access to information at the present moment that is unfiltered and unbiased. By using the internet we can immediately share this news with each other. The internet has revolutionized how our society shares and connects opinions that may give awareness to injustices or events worldwide. An example of this would be the use of hashtags on twitter such as the #MeToo that brought awareness worldwide about sexual harassment and sexual assault especially in the workplace. This created a movement against these types of injustices.

b. Select the one medium that has appeared after 1989 which has had the greatest impact on the information landscape. Explain.

Smartphones had the greatest impact on the information landscape after 1989, because it was a handheld device which provided access to information in various forms such as videos, reading online articles, and communicating with people from other countries. The evolution of smartphones has made it possible to have everything on one device such as: reading the newspaper online through an app or by watching ten-minute videos on YouTube rather than thirty minutes of news television.

c. How might the technology in answer 4b, above, have affected the story?

Smartphone technology wouldn’t affect the story in this movie because the advancement of technology in the movie is beyond the capacity of a smartphone. The movie shows how the people are constantly connected to technology by the plugs on the back of their neck and their society’s brains’ already has technology embedded within themselves.  ? looking for more here*HY8omF5aXsZvLrvzHgCUPA.png


Nicole Crousillat –Editor, contributed to all questions, provided images and videos.

Quincy Hicks-Researched, provided videos and contributed to all questions.

Vanessa Maldonado- Co-Editor,researched, provided images and contributed to all questions.

Emily Ortega- Researched, provided images and contributed to all questions.

Victor Sam-Contributed to I a and c. 

Daniella Alfonso- Contributed to I a and provided images. 


Marshall McLuhan is best known for saying that the medium is the message. When he says this, he means that all media are extensions of some human faculty- psychic, or physical. For instance, the wheel is an extension of the foot. The book is an extension of the eye, and clothing is an extension of the skin. Electric media is an extension of the nervous system. McLuhan uses the critical perspective in his thinking by answering thoroughly, the commonly held assumptions rather than questioning them. I  understand the point you’re making but he does question commonly held assumptions. He does so, to help us better understand his radically different perspective. He also expands the bound of debate and aims for the betterment of society.

In McLuhan’s interview from Playboy (1969), the interviewer asked questions regarding McLuhan’s view and the questions and answers flowed back and forth. The interviewer, in some of his questions was the one to assume. But McLuhan stayed true on his perspective. McLuhan believes that all media, in and of themselves and regardless of the messages they communicate, exert a compelling influence on man and society. And as we learned repeatedly in class, the medium is the message. good. I hope I didn’t repeat myself too much…

 McLuhan expands this debate by evoking (? this word doesn’t work here) us to think critically when he compares us and media, with fish in water. The water is best described as the media, which is all around us. We’re so used to it, we don’t even notice it. To go more in depth about this, McLuhan also mentions in his interview that Narcissus narcosis, a syndrome, is when man remains as unaware of the psychic and social effects of his new technology, as a fish in the water it swims in. As a result, precisely at the point where a new media-induced environment becomes all pervasive and transmogrifies our sensory balance, it also becomes invisible. Man must become more aware of what’s happening to him and the fact that he not doesn’t is why McLuhan describes this age of electronics as the “age of anxiety.” great analysis

But most people are still oblivious of what the media does to them; unaware that because of their pervasive effects on man, it is the medium itself that is the message, not the content. The medium is the message, and as McLuhan says, it saturates, molds and transforms every sense.  Societies have always been shaped more by the nature of the media with which men communicate than by the content of the communication.

In the past, the effects of media were experienced more gradually, allowing the individual and society to absorb and cushion their impact to some degree. Today, McLuhan believes that our survival, comfort and happiness, is predicated on understanding the nature of our new environment. The electric media constitutes a total and instantaneous transformation of culture, values and attitudes. If we understand the revolutionary transformations caused by new media, we can anticipate and control them; but if we continue in this trace, we will be their slaves. With this, McLuhan makes his stance on aiming towards the betterment of society.

Quincy Hicks: Assignment 2 McLuhan Team 4

Marshall McLuhan uses critical perspective to present that medium is the message. Medium is the message is a quote that McLuhan is known for and it means that the content of the media does not matter but the way that it is delivered (ie. media, post office, etc) is more important to the environment. To confirm that he did you (three questions need to be answered rather than using “you have to”) have to answer 3 critical questions: Does McLuhan question commonly held assumptions, did he expand the bounds of debate and did he aim for the betterment of society? you are restating the assignment guidelines in your thesis statement, which is unnecessary.

In the playboy interview, McLuhan states, “As an investigator, I have no fixed point of view, no commitment to any theory-my own or anyone else’s.” From the statement you can get the sense the he question commonly held assumptions even assumptions he has come to himself. McLuhan questions commonly held in the playboy interview, he questioned the idea of caring more about the message than the medium or how the message is delivered. McLuhan feels that “content plays a subordinate role to the message” which is opposite of the assumption especially in this day in age with a lot of social media where in which content gets the headlines. this is very well stated.

He expands bounds of debates. An example is when he says, “An environment becomes fully visible only when it has superseded by a new environment. We are always one step behind. We tend to make the old environment more visible.” Most don’t think like this because they feel like we as the United States are ahead in some ways when it comes to technology which would expand bounds of debate. Also, his beliefs in firearms that were highlighted in the lectures shows that the way they are used questions commonly held assumptions and expands areas of debate. In the interview from Playboy, he expands the bounds of debate by analyzing and comparing the phonetic alphabet of thousands of years ago to Africa in recent years; he explains that artists are better at understanding changes than scientists because they are more open to it.

Lastly, McLuhan somewhat aimed for the betterment of society. McLuhan’s didn’t simply want  to aim for a betterment for society but more at what he describes as needling the somnambulists making people aware of what is going on around them especially when it comes to the media. As he says the old education system is not good for the first TV generation which means that their needs to be a better educational system for the future generations changing from a broken system. Thats why he points out that we first have to recognize “we are doing the wrong way before we do the right way”. Also going back to the firearm debate, McLuhan doesn’t judge if the firearms are good or bad but the way in which it used determine its value.

great grasp of the material!

Daniella Alfonso Team 4- Assignment #2

Marshall McLuhan’s ideas can be quite difficult to understand and they have also been hailed at being quite revolutionary. Many people have also highly debated his ideas and have been extremely critical of them. In this regard, we find that one of the ideas that McLuhan presented was that “the message is the medium.” This goes against the conventions because of how it was otherwise widely believed and depicted that the medium was the message. The main idea behind this statement was that McLuhan said that it was not the content of the message that was the most important part of communication but rather the medium that was being used for it that was the most important part.

            It has to be noted that McLuhan held a very critical view of the various different aspects of the media. For instance, he said that it was only after the printing press was invented that the world was able to change dramatically and that there were many different shifts in people’s behaviors and actions. He also talked about how phonetic literacy came to the masses through the use of the printing press and this was something that resulted in the world shifting quite drastically as well. According to McLuhan, the media can be said to be an extension of human beings and it is impossible to separate the media from the person. McLuhan also talked about how it was important for all of us to look at how we are all consuming our media. He compared human beings and media with an analogy of fish in the water. People tend to be surrounded by technology and media and we do not question much of it. We all tend to get completely consumed by the newest technology and we do not seem to think much of it, getting engrossed in it. However, McLuhan talks about how it is important that people stop and think about such aspects of their usage and to question why they are doing what they are doing.

            In his arguments, McLuhan uses the critical perspective as well to promote his idea about the medium being the message. McLuhan talks about how the medium is something that has a lot of impact and influence on the society with regards to how human beings tend to look at information. The way that we receive such information is much more important than the information that we receive. One prime example these days can be said to be the “fake news” that we tend to hear about so often. Many people have been duped into believing that a piece of news is true simply because they have seen it appear on such platforms as Facebook and Twitter in written form and it appears to be legitimate to the readers. The main reason for that is that people are used to believing in information that they see written in a formal manner. This is why many people get conned into thinking that a news item is right simply because it has been presented as such. This is something that lends credence to McLuhan’s claim that the medium is the message.

            In conclusion, it can be said that McLuhan presents some very interesting ideas about the medium being the message. He wants to aim for the betterment of the society by encouraging people to be much more mindful of the information that they consume and to question whatever it is that they read. This is something that is important for the people because otherwise they would get trapped into thinking that a piece of information is correct when it might not be.

You covered the concepts from McLuhan very well with detail. You could work on your writing structurally, although some of it is quite good. I didn’t see a thesis statement here.


Assignment #2 McLuhan and the Critical Perspective By:Nicole Crousillat

Thesis: McLuhan uses critical perspective by pointing out that we are moving away from the “Renaissance age” into this new “electronic age”. (We actually moved away from that hundreds of years years ago btw) By immersing ourselves with the rapid movement of information that we receive thru THROUGH technology we enable ourselves to connect with all of mankind as a whole, this concept ties into what he called a global village. good

McLuhan in “Understanding Media” Chapter 18, describes how society is changing from a “Renaissance” man to an “Electronic” man.  He mentions how society would receive their information from books before to now before to now is not correct relying on appliances to receive this information instantaneously. The roles of books are now changing, everything is happening now at once. By talking about these concepts, McLuhan emphasizes how electricity now challenges our fragmented individualism. The reason this challenge was thought of is because electronic media points to the tribal man and away from the individual man.  

McLuhan questions held assumptions such as readers who question the development of printing as a factor responsible for nationalism and industrialism.  In McLuhan’s interview with Playboy he mentions how “print demanded both personal fragmentation and social uniformity”. Print opened the door to mass production of literature and the actual mechanical component of this machine influenced industrialism like the assembly line. In a way this introduced the beginning of print technology. As technology advances and the modern era is introduced electronic media such as the television emerges. good

McLuhan expands the bounds of debate when he speaks about the importance of understanding the new society that is developing due to the new instant electronic communications movement. He claims through this movement there won’t be absolute freedom but that this global village will be less restrictive and there would be more room for creative diversity. The electronic media creates a space where individuals can say their popular opinions on things such as elections. The emergence of this era destroys and replaces old traditional values, attitudes and institutions. great analysis and writing here

McLuhan described how electric technology has contracted the globe into a village because of the instantaneous movement of information connecting everyone. He reiterates that we must become “masters” and not “servants” of these changes. Learning and mastering the use of these technologies we are in control of these evolutionary changes. The electronic media such as the computer, can be used to optimize human awareness by programing societies in a beneficial way. By using all senses, we can program societies through these electronic methods because the people using these methods would absorb an extension of themselves upon using the electronic media.

The global village aims for the betterment of society because it helps in bringing a collective effort from everyone to make environmental changes which has more of an impact than attempting a change on an individual basis. McLuhan’s concept of a “global village” has especially come into effect after his death with the internet being discovered in 1989. By having the internet, websites such as Twitter have been created and this has collectively united the globe as one to bring awareness to important issues which involve politics, abuse and major social justice movements from around the world instantaneously.


You went into great detail about the concepts covered in the McLuhan readings and it shows.

Ortega Emily Team #4 Assignment 2

Marshall McLuhan uses all aspects of critical perspective to explain his theory that the medium is the message.

According to McLuhan, the way we receive information is more important than the information itself. It is not that the content is not relevant at all, but it is definitely the only aspect that matters. The medium can alter how we perceive information, making it the most important factor.

He questions commonly held assumptions by suggesting that because we choose to focus only on the content of the message instead of the medium, it makes it hard for us to realize the real impact that technology is having on man. He also states that if we continue down this path, it will become increasingly hard for man to create revolutionary technology and reinvent himself. He’ll be stuck.

He expands the bounds of debate by discussing the impact that media and technology have on the man, and he even states that technology is an extension of our bodies. This idea was not previously studied by scholars. He says that “For the past 3500 years of the Western World, the effects on media have been systematically overlooked by social observers” making it clear that it has been a phenomenon that has been happening for years, but it has not been properly discussed. He also stresses that we need to understand this for our own survival. By introducing these new ideas, he is presenting a brand-new perspective.

He aims for the betterment of society by explaining that the modern education system is not being helpful to the youth. Instead of preparing them to face all these new challenges and environments, according to him “it is been used merely as an instrument of cultural aggression, imposing upon retribalized youth the obsolescent visual values of the dying literate age”. He implies that in order to see real changes in our society, the education system needs to be reformed. Before these changes can be made, there must be an understanding of what is wrong so we don’t make the same mistakes again.


Good job. You fully answered the assignment questions. It is perhaps a bit too straightforward and could use a bit more analysis. However, you’ve done a great job of demonstrating your grasp of the material.