“Color Walking” by Phia Bennim and Brendam McMullan (6)

The purpose of the article “Color Walking” by Phia Bennim and Brendan McMullan is to introduce the idea of “color walking”, inform the readers on what it is, and encourage the readers to do it themselves. The authors begin with their explanation of how they got the idea of color walking from William Burroughs and how the creation of this idea was meant to inspire. This is especially important as just as Burroughs sought to inspire his students, the authors are seeking to inspire their readers.   Additionally, the authors give an account of their own experience doing a color walk. Phia Bennim and Brendan McMullan tell of how they were led by colors from WNYC in Manhattan that they followed through the city, going after whatever caught their eyes. The experience of the color walk gave both the authors a different perspective as they saw the world in a way they usually hadn’t. They expressed, “We walked away seeing a world brimming over with colors…” (Bennim; McMullan)   People see color everywhere, all the time. However, it is not often one lets their eyes guide them by way of spotting colors. People often set forth with a plan and think the whole way through. Bennim and McMullan are essentially encouraging people to take a step back from this rigid way of moving about in the world, and to embrace all that can be...

“Better Online Living…” by Melissa King (5)

In “Better Online Living through Content Moderation”, Melissa King discusses the issue people face when using “content control features” and how these people are viewed by others. Many websites offer features for blocking and censoring, however these features sometimes go unused in situations where they are needed. The idea that people who use blocking or censoring features are weak and sensitive is what keeps some from pushing that button. King believes, “While using content control features is not guaranteed to stop the effects of abuse, they do help and their use should not be disparaged or discouraged.” (King) The problem is not that some are “too sensitive”; the problem is that others are not sensitive enough to the thoughts and feelings of people around them.   King informs readers of the danger of online harassment and bullying, most noticeable when people feel they cannot or should not use their content control features. Words found online are thought to be just words and thus unable to do harm. Common misconceptions such as this, and other misconceptions about stress and the “cure” are why many are unaware of the consequences their actions hold. King reveals that the belief (carried by many) that only veterans of war suffer from PTSD is false, and any person under stress and experiencing extreme anxiety can suffer from the disorder. Another misconception is of the use of “Exposure Therapy”. Victims of online bullying and harassment cannot be cured by being exposed to more bullying and harassment. This continued exposure, however, can worsen the stress the victim may feel. This “pseudo” practice of Exposure Therapy lacks the control and...

Reading Summary 2 – Unit 3

  The article ‘Better Online Living Through Content Moderation’ by Melissa King focuses on the darker side of the internet, cyber bullying. She focusses on how often cyber bullying isn’t seen as legitimate and that many people say that victims of it should grow a thicker skin or be less sensitive. King delves into all the reasons this logic is completely wrong and why these victims can be just as traumatized as victims of physical, mental, or emotional bullying that happens IRL. She begins by discussing how, despite block and ignore features on almost every social media site, its nearly impossible to completely escape someone you don’t want on your profiles. It is also nearly impossible to escape content that can be triggering for some users of the web. No matter how hard they may try to avoid photos or videos that can cause them to have anxiety attacks, blocking and content control features can only do so much. Repeated occurrences of people coming into contact with things that cause them problems can actually lead to PTSD, but these victims are told that they’re too sensitive and that it’s their fault entirely. She goes on to quote a scientist that says, yes, you can actually get PTSD from twitter. This information is very new. When the internet was developed no one would have guessed it could cause PTSD for those who are harassed when using it. But the fact is the online world is at times an incredibly dangerous place. People are often braver online than they are in real life, meaning more people feel confident attacking others across...

“Color Walking” Reading Summary 5

In this article “Color Walking” by Phia Bennin and Brendan McMullan. The starting point of the subject begins by explaining the actual experiment of color walking its self. The introduction provides you with the insight that the color walking experiment expertly developed. Continuously, the authors begins unfold the experiment by drawing the reader to visualize a color of their choice. Once the reader has taken the moment to visual their color, the virtual experiment begins. Now, the authors round out the opening concept of color walking by utilizing real world examples such as “the red of a bicyclist’s shorts” and ” the sunburn on a woman’s shoulders”. Once the concept of color walking was established in the initial paragraph. Readers were now able to expand their understanding of color walking by being able to establish a flexibility within the experiment to transition from color to color. The new established flexibility to switch colors produces a virtual linear patterns between the various colors. The Preliminary visual pattern was horizontal. This lead the spectators eyes to move from left to the right lavender bag. A secondary visual pattern that developed was the yellow cab which guided the spectators vision downward from a “yellow cab” to a “side street”. The final visual example drifted from the linear pattern explained in the previous visual demonstration and introduced greater variation spotting with “a green pistachio ice cream cone” to landing in a literally green space: a park. After the article has finished explaining the all variations of the experiment, a web-based tour was embedded into the article. The embedded activity simulated a sunny day in...

Intimidate, Frustrate, and Accommodate: The Fight for Equal Rights to Public Restrooms

Under a New York Times Magazine collection of essays titled “First Words”, Emily Bazelon explores something most people in the United States would consider a simple right: the act of using a public restroom. In contrast to the aforementioned statement, reality reveals access to public restrooms is not as welcoming to a progressive population of individuals who identify as transgender. This struggle has since driven a call of action for “accommodations” to be made in favor of the implementation of gender neutral restrooms. Bazelon opens the article with a general description of most public restroom entrances; a door (or the adjacent wall) adorned with an acrylic sign, labeled either for men or women. She addresses the reader in second person: “They’re fundamentally fraught spaces, where we undress and obey the dictates of our bodies and therefore feel vulnerable. If people think you’ve confused male and female and walked through the wrong door, you risk discomfort, or even real trouble.” Man campaigning against Houston’s equal rights ordinance The first instance of legislation discussed in the article was a proposed ordinance for the city of Houston, Texas. It would have defended individuals against discrimination in public spaces, which included restrooms. Groups in opposition of the ordinance created a grim campaign video (also inserted below) that focused on violence in bathrooms to sway voters not to pass the law. School districts are also handling transgender rights, on a case by case basis. After defining the origin of “accommodate”, Bazelon provided examples of historical accommodations in the United States. Citizens have been granted permission to observe religious practices in the workplace, and more recently,...

“Better Online Living through Content Moderation”: Reading Summary

Melissa King’s “Better Online Living through Content Moderation” is an article that discusses the use of online censorship features and how they are viewed in our society.  She includes online usage of blocks, mutes, and red flags that protect users against undesirable content as censorship.  She explains that these measures are necessary for people who suffer from ailments like PTSD and have to tailor their online experience to prevent anxiety.  Her main argument and her reason for writing, is the condescending behavior displayed by other members of the community that may not feel as vulnerable to online content or attacks. Blocking someone is usually frowned upon although it is a reasonable way to handle an online issue with another person.  King fears that the way cyber bullying victims are treated is careless and inconsiderate.  She claims that online discomfort is a real problem and should not be shrugged off the way it has been.  For instance, the commonly heard suggestion to people who suffer from online problems is to “get over it” or to be less sensitive, however, that way of thinking is ignorant according to King.  The assumptions that a person can simply prepare themselves to deal with such trauma better is an incorrect allusion to Exposure therapy. Exposure therapy is basically when someone is exposed to more of the things associated with the things that is causing him/her discomfort in an effort to desensitize themselves.  The reason this is comparison is neglectful is that internet bullying can actually cause PTSD itself, not the things associated with online attacks. She also points out that the younger generation of...
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