‘Un-Lecture’ Reflections

Reflections on weekly symposiums.

Essay Structure

In todays symposium Adrian stressed the importance of editing and how this can distinguish a High Distinction essay from, for example, a Credit essay. He then went on to talk about the structure of a good essay:


A good essay is not an opinion, it is an informed, evidence based argument. It is not reflective so much as critical and analytical.

To truly write well and employ a high level of critical thinking is tricky, and requires engagement with ideas. True engagement means deep analysis and evidence or research. It also requires a specific focus or point that one can flesh out thoroughly rather than 1000 things briefly mentioned; that is as Betty mentioned “thinking deeply rather than broadly”. Furthermore, direction in any essay is crucial. Driving an argument towards a final conclusion or climax can be more difficult than it seems as it’s rather easy to get sidetracked. This is why knowing your point is so important.

Neutral Technologies

The concept of network media is arguably more recent and superior than the term digital. Adrian argues that the term digital is pretty much a given these days and yet, has not been ‘destructive’ as such in its effect on media. The internet on the other hand undoubtedly has this potential.  Not only has the internet changed the way we operate technology but has rendered many technologies and ideas redundant in its wake.

What is neutral technology? Does neutrality take into account the way people use and manipulate a particular medium? Furthermore, can the neutrality of a technological medium change over time? The example of the Text message (now an undoubtedly social medium) was given, as originally it was not intended for interpersonal communication. All this being said, does a neutral technology actually exist?

Specifically in regards to the internet, is neutrality even possible? I would argue no, as it will always be subject to the way we use and manipulate it in order to gratify or serve ourselves. Furthermore, certain mediums will lend themselves to particular things more than others simply by nature.



Symposium #6

‘ A word can only mean something by not what it is but by what it is not’.

This  interesting, thought provoking and slightly mind boggling concept that Adrain discussed in this weeks symposium really got me thinking, who determines what a particular word means? Why is that word associated with certain concepts or ideas? In relation to one of the major questions for this week, what is art? What defines culture? what defines progression or technology? Are these words describing a concept that is one and the same or are they in fact different?

I’m definitely going to have to take some time thinking about this one!

Second port of call for this week: Are we in fact narcissistic online? What is narcism? What defines it? Adrian argues perfection. If so is narcism necessarily a negative? I honestly think it depends.

Most of us use the internet as a means of conveying our personal thoughts and feelings to the world through statuses, selfies, tweets etc. But what effect does this have on both our privacy and the way in which we conduct ourselves, particularly regarding our awareness of others?


‘How do we use the interent?’

Adrian argues that most people who are network literate are self taught, and yet it seems this is a necessary skill in using the internet; ultimately one of the most powerful and massive communications mediums in the world. However, schools arguably limit our use and exposure to the internet and the way we use it, cutting us off from it’s many uses rather than teaching us how to use it. Is this why we aren’t very apt at judging the validity of internet content? Is this an issue for people of our generation? Are we living  within an industrial system that operates based on an outdated code of conduct intended to govern the masses that may be impacting our learning?

Definitely got me thinking! Especially in regards to the internet and the way we are using social media and the content we put online.



What really struck me about this week’s lecture was the concept of literacy.

WhatI found particularly  intriguing was how intricate, dominating and important literacy is in both society as a whole and online. I believe Adrian used the example of lemonade: when he was in America and asked for lemonade (actually referring to spite) the woman had no idea what he meant, as in that particular culture lemonade refers to the homemade brew. This small example really got me thinking, how far does the concept of literacy go? And how relevant are all these codes and conventions to day to day life?

Furthermore, it’s scary to think how many of us remain ignorant regarding network literacy ie. the rules and practices of using the internet as well as the etiquette concerning the sharing and receiving of information. We have a brilliant technological medium at our fingertips, and yet most of us only know how to use its most basic functions!



‘The Book’

Last week’s lecture was particularly interesting and really got me thinking.

Is it true that meaning should come second as opposed to defining the things we do? How limited are we by materialism and the mediums we work in?

Especially interesting in regards to not just networked and social media, but the industry as whole. What will technology look like it 10 years time? How will this impact the meaning of our work and the way we express ourselves?

Definitely food for thought!

‘The Un-Lecture’

This week’s lecture (or “un-lecture” as it has been named) was pretty interesting and thought provoking. Rather than presenting numerous amounts of information for us to attempt to process and take on board, we discussed how information is presented and transmitted in society today. This symposium closely followed the reading and really got me thinking about the industry I am aiming to break into, as well as how I learn, take in information and adapt to new technology.

Interesting stuff.

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