Tag Archives: #fm246

ABLE to Learn. (Podcasting)

In the past few months, I started to get interested in mixing music and trying to mash different artists together into one track. In doing so, I started completely from scratch. I found myself being sucked in by the world of infinite options in what sounds are possible.

In not knowing anything about the technology behind all of this whole new world, I had to find a way to learn. I picked up a book about how to use a program that I’m now using called “Ableton Live”. I found though that when using the medium of a book there is a lacking aspect of being taught in the same medium that you are using. When reading a book, it feels more as though I have to “filter” the information through and then convert it in my mind onto the screen.

Of course reading works very well for learning new things but I thought about what other media would work better for fluid learning. The podcast Audio Tutorials popped up when I searched “Ableton” in the iTunes store. Here for free, I have been able to download as many of the 18 different episodes that they have uploaded. Some are videos combined with an audio track of step by step instructions in how to do different effects, construction of beats etc.

By using these, it was much more like I had someone who knew what they were doing teaching me step by step as opposed to reading something then trying to find on my screen what it meant. This is something that is impossible to attain through using paper as a transfer for information.

I think that the fact that anybody who knows something about anything is able to post a podcast as though they are an expert on the subject is also kind of scary. I mean I look at this podcast and immediately have a feeling that I am learning from a master of the program. For all I know its some college kid in Denver who has just fiddled around with the program more then me. Either way, free information that I am able to download onto my computer and take anywhere is quite handy. When I BUY a book, I have 1 book that I can put in my bag. I am able to share this podcast seamlessly through facebook or twitter by clicking a different part of the button in iTunes that says “Get Episode”. The virtual reality that we all live with and in everyday is something that has exponentially increased the speed at which we are all able to share information and learn from it as well.

Shirky I Suppose.

In reading Clay Shirky’s Here Comes Everybody, there were many things that he points out that should seem obvious but that I never really take the time to think about.

In reading Clay Shirky’s Here Comes Everybody, there were many things that he points out that should seem obvious but that I never really take the time to think about.

About a month ago, I sold a friends laptop on eBay. Since it is a “digital transaction” it requires communicating only through email and such, you actually aren’t able to obtain a phone number without filling out a form etc.

I sent the man the laptop after receiving the funds in my Paypal account. About 6 days later, he opened an “Item Not Recieved Claim” through eBay which notifies Paypal and puts my money on hold. I emailed him the tracking number and by that time he responded he told me that there was nothing to worry about since he had received the laptop later that afternoon and that it was “Better then expected!”.

Upon that I waited for him to close the claim (since my funds were now being held hostage by Paypal). This guy knew the system and didn’t close the claim because I hadn’t sent it with Signature Confirmation. In the small print that we all just click “I Agree” to when signing up for any website, it says that a signature confirmation is required for any item over the cost of $500. Basically I got scammed out of the $500 and he got the laptop and Paypal couldn’t do anything about it.

While reading the opening sequence in which Shirky talks about the girl who had her Sidekick taken from a cab, I felt as though I was the same type of victim to someone knowingly scamming me and being fine with it. When her friend started posting all of the information about her address, number, and everything that he could get his hands on it reminded me of my troubled transaction with “Quddos2009” on eBay.

I exhausted all of my options with trying to get him to be honest, having Paypal give me the money back, and it wasn’t worth hiring a lawyer to take the guy to court. I instead realized that I had enough information about him to do some serious revenge if I wanted (I didn’t but wanted to Spam his Inbox or something annoying). My friend joked that we should just go online and sign him up for every coupon website and click every “yes, please send me updates, newsletters, and promotional material” that we could.

The fact that people rely so heavily on e-mail inboxes and their online sources of communication opens them up for digital terror. There are websites in which you can put someone’s email address in and it will send them about 1,000 emails a day making it impossible to sort through and find the meaningful ones. Once again, I did not do it but would be lying if I said I didn’t check to see how easy it was.

The point that I am trying to make in this look at our digital lives is 1. What are we actually saying yes to when we click I agree without reading the terms (does that give away our ability to operate on morals as opposed to what is right and wrong?). 2. Use signature confirmation. 3. How much do we actually know about how much information about ourselves is accessible and how safe it is to throw ourselves into this virtual world that we call the internet?