Alana Ortiz Team 5

In the article, The End of Solitude, William Deresiewicz speaks about how technology is altering our lives our privacy, and our solitude. As a millennial, I find myself agreeing with this argument because growing up in an age of technology has giving me many opportunities but also taken some away. In a sense that we are now more connected than ever but also further apart. sentence fragment When Deresiewicz said “a teenager, I know had sent 3000 text messages one recent month that’s 100 and day or about one every 10 walking minutes, morning, noon and night, weekdays and weekends class time, lunch time, homework time, and tooth brushing time. So, on average, she’s never alone for more than 10 minutes at once. Which means she’s never alone.” It really surprised me and so I started looking through my phone records and counting the number of text messages and discovered that it is roughly the same amount as the person he spoke about. Then I checked the average amount of time I spent on social media in one week, which was roughly 21 hours per week, in total, that is more than 10% of the time I have in one week. This means that in the little time that I am not texting, I am using social media, which indicates that I’m never alone, not even for ten minutes. Seeing these results frightened me in a sense and so, I decided to start the 48-hour news blackout. At first, I found myself looking at my phone ever 2 minutes, picking it up and opening Instagram or Twitter before remembering I wasn’t supposed to. It was like this for a while, and then I picked up a book, something I hadn’t done in years. I found myself reading for most of the time during the blackout.  Now I promised myself I would read at least one book every month from here on out. I also went out with my friends and left my phone at home, which made me realize how superficial our friendships had been because we would all be on our phones every time we went out. Of course, the second the blackout was over I picked up my phone, and checked every social media and news outlet, because at the end of the day it is not realistic to our world to live without the news. The news is important in our society because they allow people to be informed of most things going on around them and judge the situations how they please, and living without that is a change that we are not ready to face. As Deresiewicz said, “I believe men are generally still scared of the dark.” 

You need to separate this information into paragraphs and be sure to check and double check your grammar and punctuation. Overall you did the reading and reflected on your experience, but you did not mention the news until the second to last sentence. 



IDS 3309 – How We Know What We Know

5 February 2019

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.

When dealing with the Puppet Master, Section 9 went too far in trying to capture the suspect. 

The puppet master has been “ghost hacking” innocent individuals by controlling their brain and memories. These innocent individuals who have no idea about the puppet master. On the pursuit to catching the Puppet Master, Section 9 crossed many boundaries, invading the citizens privacies and putting their lives in danger. They went about handling many situations quiet recklessly. In many ways they abused their power to have an advantage. A great example was how Section 9 agent Togusa was able to ask security to weigh the pressure sensors from two cars in the garage to help him figure out that more than one person has snuck into the building. Another example is how Kusanagi was able to take control of car through connecting her brain. With how connected our world is through technology, there is room for the government to take advantage and invading the citizens privacy. 


many grammatical errors and problems with sentence structure. This should have been proofread by author and the team editor.

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?

The government can be justified in violating its own laws to ensure the safety of others. The common example of course from the film is Section 9 crossing boundaries and invading citizens privacy so they would be able to capture the Puppet Master. Although Section 9 handled a lot of the situations quiet recklessly, putting the citizens lives in danger, they had to invade others privacy to solve the mystery and defeat the Puppet Master. A real-life example to justifying the government violating their own laws is the date 9/11. Almost 3,000 people died during 9/11 back in 2001. After that tragic terror attack, for the safety of our nation, its vital to protect the people and use extreme measures. 

Another example of government violating its own laws can be found here:


some of the ideas here seem to conflict with the answer to 1A. This could also use more information and analysis.

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

Personally, I think that government is automatically justified to keep violation of law a secret because it serves as a mere purpose to keep the public, and it’s people safe. However, shall a government have to bend its own laws in order to protect its citizens, citizens themselves should never have to speculate whether or not a government is actually imposing on its own

laws. This would create a sense of immediate danger. This is because the whole idea and point of a government violating its regulations are to get to whatever issue or threat there is present prior to it becoming eminent enough to leak to mass amounts of people. In “Ghost In The Shell”, Section 9 is on the hunt for Project 2501, or The Puppet Master. Towards the end of the film, they assign Kusanagi very clear directions to try and capture Puppet Master (in order to interrogate him and extract private/classified information). However, if the capture is unsuccessful, then she should kill Puppet Master in order to eliminate the thread and possibility of his escape and manipulation of more peoples memories. Thus, I believe it is indeed justifiable for government to keep its violation of laws classified so that the mass majority shall not have to worry and/or be concerned with national threat. 

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 defined as the use of systems, such as computers, to store, retrieve and send information. In the film ‘Ghost in the shell’ information technology is used in order to influence and control behavior in multiple ways. The film shows a version of the world in which reality and fantasy are intertwined which leads to confusion of real-life events with make-believe. It illustrates information technology as a valued commodity when in reality it has the ability to obstruct human interaction. An example of this would be how the use of social media in past years has changed the way we live completely, and in a way, the movie is a very close representation of how reality in our modern world is fused with elements of fantasy. -Alana Ortiz

Another example of how technology can be found here:

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? 

In the movie “Ghost in the Shell” when Major Kusanagi dives into the ocean, she is experiencing solitude. While in the ocean, she felt fear, anxiety, loneliness, darkness and even hope. Kusanagi even mentioned how she feels like she can almost “turn into someone else” as she approaches surface level. Being alone made her realize all those internal feelings that she had. Even though she is a cyborg, she feels hope that she can somehow feel something greater one day. Solitude made her explore herself, something she cannot do when she is surrounded with people and technology. After diving and going back to the surface, her thoughts change. Working with people, utilizing technology the companion of everybody else makes it almost impossible for her to explore herself. It can be understood that this is one of the main factors as to why she allowed Puppet Master to merge with her after all at the end of the film. 

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.

Deresiewicz is right when he said that technology makes solitude undesirable but not impossible, just harder. The time has occurred in the world of the film since information technology is all around it. It is undesirable because all the people are constantly communicating with each other through technology. In the film when the people were working, they were constantly talking to themselves through technology. The people are used to technology and use it to being close to each other. It is not impossible though. As seen in the movie, Major Kusanagi takes time to dive into the ocean to being alone. Even though when she finishes diving, Batou is waiting for her on the boat but Kusanagi had time for herself. It is harder since technology unites people and when someone is alone they are instantly trying to get the companion of someone else and technology makes it easier.

Another example of how technology has made solitude seemingly impossible can be found here:

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.

Over time, all forms of media have evolved and made an impact on the way mankind uses, creates, stores, accesses and communicates information with one another. Three defining examples of media that have made a significance throughout history are newspapers, radio and television. 

    The introduction of newspapers was created by Johann Carolus in the year 1605. The first newspaper was officially published in Germany, but, within a few decades, newspapers could be found in all major cities in Europe, eventually making its way to America in 1690 thanks to Benjamin Franklin. The newspaper is considered an important form of media since this allowed the information of news, events, stories, and perspectives to reach a broad spectrum at a fast pace. 

      The development of radio began in 1892 by Nikolai Tesla with his demonstration of wireless radio communication. Even though newspapers maintained a stronghold over delivering news, radio became an important source of media in order to broadcast news across the globe and eventually lead to an easier way to gather a wide source of information, news broadcasts and over time, different varieties of music. 

     Although the radio has changed the way media functions, television, on the other hand, has made one of the biggest historical impressions on mankind. The first electronic television set was invented by Philo Taylor Farnsworth in 1927. Televisions allowed people to receive information at an even faster rate than newspapers or the radio ever could. Not only can news be transmitted to people around the world, but, shows, movies, and commercials were also broadcasted with a live view, which was something that was never before seen, creating a quick fascination for one of the most used media still relevant in today’s society. 

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

            One medium that has appeared after 1989 that has made an impact on the information landscape is the World Wide Web, becoming available to the public in the year 1991. Without the World Wide Web, society, as we know today, would be almost non-existent since it has become a part of our daily lives, changing the way communication functions and exists. This medium is responsible for the way we connect with others across the world by using platforms such as e-mail and social media sparking influence, collaboration and creativity amongst mankind due to the free-flow environment that World Wide Web provides. It has revolutionized the way we share and impact our society since it provides hands-on experience with the way we engage with each other and new information.

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

The World Wide Web has provided an easy way to communicate and access information at our fingertips. In the movie, Ghost in a Shell, the World Wide Web

affected the storyline since the main plot deals with cyborgs and the hacking of other individuals in a world advanced in technology. The Puppet Master uses this technology to his advantage in order to access the minds of others and manipulate them. A clear example of this is when he implants and uploads false memories into the garbage man in order to make him believe that he actually had a family. If the cyborgs wouldn’t have had access to the World Wide Web, then the story and plot would have been derailed. 

Examples of how the medium of the World Wide Web impacts the information landscape are here:

Works Cited

Frenzel, Louis E. “Tesla Invented Radio, Not Marconi!” Tesla Universe,  Nuts and Volts, February 2007,

Hur, John. “History of Television.” Be Bussinessed, October 2016,  

Nelson, Heming. “A History of Newspaper: Gutenburg’s Press Started A Revolution.” Washington Post, 11 February 1998,

“September 11 Terror Attacks Fast Facts.” CNN, Cable News Network, 4 Sept. 2018,

Question 1

Part a: Nathaniel Cuevas 

Part b: Nathaniel Cuevas 

Part c: Pedro Almeyda

Question 2 

Part a: Alana Ortiz 

Question 3

Part a: Josue San Martin

Part b: Josue San Martin 

Question 4

Part a: Veronica Martinez

Part b: Veronica Martinez 

Part c: Veronica Martinez/Pedro Almeyda

overall, this is well done. the first two answers should have been edited, and its important to remember to focus on analysis using the readings and media. Be sure to check the rubrics for future team assignments which are accessible on the class site.

McLuhan and the critical perspective by: Josue San Martin

McLuhan talks about how the medium is the message. McLuhan uses critical perspective as he discusses how people see the medium. McLuhan questions a commonly held assumption and is that the message is what is important rather than the medium. On one side McLuhan says that for most people the medium is what transports the message and what is important is what the message says. On the other side McLuhan said that what matters is how the medium changes the human environment. For most people, they only care about what the message says but do not fully understand how the medium is slowly changing the lifestyle of society. McLuhan does not minimize the importance of the content but rather says the content plays a different role. McLuhan expands the bounds by giving an example for this debate. Hitler giving speeches and lectures, with the invention of radio the message was going across the nation. The message is important but if there were not medium the nation would probably would not hear what Hitler said but only a small portion of it. Showing the importance that the medium had and how was changing human environment.

McLuhan was definitely trying to tell society how the medium could help them in the future. By giving the examples of phonetic alphabet, movable type in the 16th century and the telegraph. How phonetic literary made humans go from a tribe to a civilized community. Modern industrialism would not be possible and how phonetic literacy and the printing press made it possible. McLuhan was telling them that these mediums changed the human environment and how human have the ability to keep changing it. McLuhan wanted the educational establishments to be aware that there is an electric culture so the “TV child” could be help to his educational environment.

As stated earlier, McLuhan uses critical perspective when talking about the medium. McLuhan said “All media are extensions of some human faculty- psychic, or physical”. For example, the invention of the wheel is an extension of the foot, the book is an extension of the eye, the electric media is an extension of the nervous system. By McLuhan thinking, the extension helps human’s society for the best. For McLuhan what you text is not important, what is important is that everyone that can see the text has a device that allows them to see it. What matters is not the message the world can see but that the world is able to see it regardless of where the individual lives. McLuhan thinks that the medium is the message and how the medium changes human environment, he utilizes the example of the radio and Hitler, he shows how the medium can change the impact of the message on a nation. With the existence of the internet the thinking of McLuhan is accurate. Society now is different as how it was before thanks to the internet. The internet changed human’s lifestyle. The medium changed human environment and keeps changing it.

You demonstrated your understanding of McLuhan with organized writing and good examples. Please be sure to use only formal, academic writing.

Individual Assignment 2 – Pedro Almeyda

McLuhan displayed his belief for the medium is the message in a variety of methods by predicting how society would consume media in the future. Though many were skeptical, in his 1969 interview with Playboy, he goes into detail explaining exactly what he means. By stating that the medium is the message, McLuhan has the opportunity to explain how past innovative technology, such as Typography, has changed how media is delivered: “The most important quality of print is its repeatability; it is a visual statement that can be reproduced indefinitely”. For McLuhan, this technology acted as a betterment for society due to the fact that audiences could now be up to date with current event news faster thanks to the mass production if print. 

McLuhan also challenges certain held assumptions, such as the idea that the content itself is the message, rather than the medium. He makes the case by detailing exactly how the medium has the power to influence the content that is being delivered. this is good  McLuhan doesn’t necessarily state that content plays no role, he just means that the source of the content itself has a higher level of influence. “Because unlike previous environmental changes, the electric media constitute a total and near-instantaneous trans- formation of culture, values and attitudes”. McLuhan uses critical perspective to analyze exactly how different cultures perceive the meaning of the individual message depending on their backgrounds, values and time. Specifically, he argues how messages were perceived and conveyed back in the day compared to today. Prior to the invention of the alphabet, man lived in a world where all the senses in which they conveyed content was neutral. “The primary medium of communication was speech, and thus no man knew appreciably more or less than any other”. Today we are able to analyze and make our own image of the message depending on how exactly it is delivered to us. McLuhan brings up television as an example of a new, modern world invention, that transforms how we perceive these messages. McLuhan opens up the bounds of debate by using ‘low’ and ‘high’ definition to measure precisely how the content behind each message speaks to us, and whether or not it plays a valid role in today’s’ society. High/hot definition referring to low audience participation, where the viewer does not actively shape the image that they are seeing and thus, not creating a full sense of understanding. This is because the information is being fed directly to the mind of the audience. Whereas low/cool definition requires more of an input from the user, allowing little influence from the source of the message.  “This is, of course, just one more reason why the medium is the message, rather than the content; it is the participatory nature of the TV experience itself that is important, rather than the content of the particular TV image that is being invisibly and indelibly inscribed on our skins.”

you need to break this up into paragraphs, but you did a goo job of analysis.

McLuhan and the Critical Perspective: Veronica Martinez, Team #5

Canadian professor, Marshall McLuhan, demonstrates his use of critical perspective and a series of detailed observations on how media has revolutionized society, leading to the creation of the notorious phrase, “the medium is the message.”  excellent thesis!

McLuhan sufficiently questions commonly held assumptions while applying critical perspective in his 1969 interview with Playboy Magazine and his published book from 1964, Understanding Media. For McLuhan, what’s most important is not the content of the message but more, how men communicate with one another over time. Societies change throughout the evolution of media, not by the subject that is being delivered directly from the media. All media, from the phonetic alphabet to television and computers, have caused deep and lasting changes that have transformed the environment we live in, not the subject that was perceived by individuals at the time throughout those mediums. With this observation, McLuhan questions the commonly held assumption that what is important is the content and not the media that it is being delivered from. 

Although McLuhan believed that medium is the message, society, on the other hand, did not necessarily agree with this concept. He expanded the bounds of debate by introducing his idea that the medium itself is more influential and significant than the content that it provides. McLuhan states that, “The content or message of any particular medium has about as much importance as the stenciling on the casing of an atomic bomb.” In his interview with Playboy Magazine, McLuhan suggests that all technology has the property of the Midas touch. When society develops a new sense of itself, all other functions throughout society adapt and begin to accommodate its new form. This example illustrates a vital point that new technology and media revolutionizes, the content or message does not. Only by standing aside from any phenomenon, or in this case, new technology, to re-evaluate how it has impacted the current environment, can one discover and make sense of its true purpose. 

Aside from questioning commonly held assumptions and expanding the bounds of debate, McLuhan also aims for the betterment of society. The Canadian professor was always stimulating society to become more aware of what is happening around them throughout the environment. “…man must, as a simple survival strategy, become aware of what is happening to him,” McLuhan said. If we can fully comprehend the transformations generated by media, we can easily control them, but, if society continues in a media-induced trance, we will be held captive to its power. By sharing his observations and ideas, McLuhan allows society to view how medium can function through a new perspective.

In summary, Marshall McLuhan demonstrates his use of critical perspective throughout his observations on how media shapes mankind and the role it plays in society. His idea of how medium is the message allowed him to question commonly held assumptions viewed by the public in his findings, expand the bounds of debate for media’s purpose and aim for the betterment of society to allow mankind to evolve gracefully. 

Dane Witter Assignment 2:Rhetorical Analysis (TEAM 05)

In his 1969 Playboy Interview, McLuhan emphasizes the concept of the medium is the message. In  using the critical perspective and emphasizing the medium is the message, McLuhan questions commonly held assumptions, expands the bounds of debate, and aims for the betterment of society. good thesis

McLuhan questions the commonly held assumption that when a message is transmitted that an understanding of its content is what is needed to be grasped. McLuhan opposes this by claiming the medium is the message. He expands on this by saying , “ our survival, and at the very least our comfort, and happiness is predicated on understanding the nature of our new environment, because unlike previous environmental changes, the electric media constitute a total and near-instantaneous transformation of culture, values and attitudes.” Thus, McLuhan warns his audience that the mediums of electronic media are rapidly changing our culture, unprecedentedly changing them so rapidly that humans cannot catch up with the newest forms of culture. In turn, in order to prevent stressing ourselves, we continue to use the media blindly understanding their messages, but maintaining ignorance of the ulterior motives of its mediums. great analysis

McLuhan expands on the bounds of debate by presenting that “all media are extensions of man that cause deep and lasting changes in him and transform his environment.”  For example, he explains “when human partake in the receival of media their central nervous system appears to institute a self-protective numbing of the affected area, insulating and anesthetizing it from conscious awareness of what’s happening to it.” Therefore, it is because of the makeup of our human psychology that humans become ignorant to the agendas being pushed by the sources of the media because of the hypnosis that it causes,even though they may understand the content of the media.In turn, we as mass consumers of media should take heed to McLuhan’s warning and be wary in consuming media because as we partake, pushed agendas will continue to affect us while many are  oblivious of the possible implications. well stated

McLuhan aims for the betterment of society when he addresses how the nature of the current educational system is not suited to educate the television generation. He asserts that, “the mosaic image of the TV screen generates a depth-involving nowness and simultaneity in the lives of children that makes them scorn the distant visualized goals of traditional education as unreal, irrelevant and puerile and too much to learn by the traditional analytic methods.” Thus, it is because television that students are shaped to require rapid and concurrent distribution of information which has made the current education system outdated as it cannot provide such . In turn, McLuhan calls for the betterment of society by means of changing the way we educate our youth because they need a system that  caters to their need of relevance of information and based on sound analysis rather than memorization and recall.

In summation, McLuhan successfully embodies the principles of critical perspective as he questions commonly held assumptions, expands the bounds of debate, and aims for the betterment of society while incorporating  that the medium is the message.

Excellent. You do not need to start your statements with “thus”.

Nathaniel Cuevas Team 5- Assignment 2

Thesis Statement: Marshall McLuhan uses his critical perspective and utilizes it to present that the medium is the message.

McLuhan shares his theories about how the media impacts a man and society. Shared by McLuhan himself, from his playboy interview, has expressed how the medium itself that is the message, but not the content. In other words, the medium has a big influence on man and society due to the way we receive and perceive information. They way man receives the information is more important than the actual message itself.

Due to the media, from phonetic alphabet to the computer, the extensions of man causes lasting changes in him and his environment, stated by McLuhan. McLuhan shares that the form of self-hypnosis called, Narcissus narcosis, is where a man remains unaware of the psychic and social effects of his new technology. Due to a new media being induced an environment then becomes persuasive and our sensory balance becomes invisible. This lets people tend to get stuck with the current stage of technology.

The comfort and happiness for people as stated from the interview is understanding the nature of a new environment. McLuhan expands on this by expressing unlike previous environmental changes, the electric media constitute to to a transformation towards culture, values, and attitudes.

In a way questioning the betterment to society, McLuhan mentions the struggle to keeping up with current stage technology within the education system. Education should be helping the youth adapt to the constant change and revolutionary new environments. The education system shares the past values and past technologies till the old generation give up the power. There could be a creative blend between the new era and old era to help the adjustment to the educational environment.

In conclusion Marshall McLuhan used his critical perspective to showcase how the medium is the message. He shares how the media has impacted our society and how a man can get trapped in their current stage of technology. This then affects the kids and the education system and technology continues to grow, change, and expand.

Concise, well-organized and informative. I was looking for information on expanding the bounds of debate, as well. Be sure to proofread and make sure the grammar and flow of your writing works.