The Best of Me

This quarter has been a unique experience for me.  It was my first time writing a blog.  There were many things I loved about it.  These include sharing my thoughts about certain topics.  Also, I got to just be myself.  I didn’t have to fake anything or be super formal.  I could just be me.

Now, in terms of my ‘best blogs’ from this quarter, I think mine would have to be Is Fake News turning Humanity into Canis lupus familiaris? and Fifth Grade: Not Just Sweat and Puberty.  I chose these two because they represent something larger than just the text that is used in them.  They both have deeper meanings that can often be over-looked when reading them.

Is Fake News turning Humanity into Canis lupus familiaris? is one of my favorites overall simply because of how strange it is.  No one ever thinks that they are being turned into a dog… until now.  This post meets the criteria illustrated on “About Blogging”  by including an outside reference to a direct quote from Matthew Gentzkow about his definition of fake news.  I also reference a study done about how dogs get tricked into fake news (just like humans). Towards the end of the blog post, I reference one of our readings from class about the rise of fake news from The Telegraph. Therefore, I include one link to a reading from class and two from outside sources which add meaning and clarity to the argument at hand.

This blog fulfills the qualities of a successful blog entry simply by bringing up conversation.  A blog post is supposed to stimulate conversation/discussion.  By making the argument that humanity is turning into dogs by fake news (which is a controversial topic as it is) society couldn’t help by respond to the blog post with their input.

This blog is representative of the strongest features of my blog this quarter because it has the most comments on it out of all my blog posts.  This further shows how ‘successful’ this blog post ended up being.

Now, Fifth Grade: Not Just Sweat and Puberty was one of my more satirical blog posts.  This post had a lot of deeper meaning because of all the links to Wikipedia. So the words that I used might have argued one way, but the linking of words argued a different point of view.

It met the requirements by linking/using the Reliability of Wikipedia page that was used in class to further the argument.  Then it easily met the ‘at least two outside sources’ because of the fact that almost every other word was linked to its desired Wikipedia page.  But other than the requirements, this blog post showed many of the characteristics that we found in readings throughout the class.  This blog post really showed the attention span that we have because of the fact that you are continuously clicking on links that drive you further away from the primary source.  Also, although the wording made the article seem funny and kind of satirical, the links really drove home the reality of the world we live in today.  You can find anything you want on Wikipedia.  Some true.  Some untrue.  But it is still there.

This post is representative of the strongest features of my blog this quarter because it got Post of the Week because of the hidden meanings and deeper understanding than just what the blog read.

Writing in a Digital Age has been an eye-opening class to what is happening to our generation specifically.  I am hesitant for what the future holds…

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A Job is Only ONE CLICK AWAY!!

As I sit here religiously applying for internships, I realize how different applying for jobs must have been before technology was around.  Nowadays, EVERYTHING related to applying for jobs is digital and online.  It is very hard to believe how such a task could even be done without technology.

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A timeline of this process is mapped out very nicely in…wait for it… an infographic! How ironic, right?

Until the first post office was created in 1632, people were stuck with face-to-face contact in order to get a job…oh what a shame that must have been.  Then, in 1830, the first railroad was complete allowing people to apply for jobs away from their hometown with ease.  The first real break-through came in 1876 when Alexander Bell created the telephone.  It is quite amazing that something that was invented more than 140 years ago is still used today for seeking a job.  But of course its not like the telephone has changed over those 141 years…

Here is where the job application market really started to boom: the invention of internet in 1969.  The internet has become the single-most popular/resourceful tool for seeking and applying to jobs.  In 1999, the first job board was created which allows for companies to upload jobs and for society to apply to those jobs all on a single platform.

Nowadays, jobs boards like Indeed, Monster, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, CareerBuilder, SimplyHired, and many more dominate the industry and give millions of people access to available jobs wherever and whenever they need it.  This has truly changed the job market by making it a lot more competitive.  With these sites available all around the world, you are competing with the whole world for that position.  No matter where the job is, or what company it is for, everyone has the opportunity to apply when the job is posted online.  This is the beauty and curse of the job market today.  The beauty of it comes from the company’s point of view.  The company knows that they are reaching everyone by posting it online.

This is where the money starts to come into play.  Since almost every company puts their job openings online, a human does not have the time to see every single company’s openings.  So how can a company make sure that people see their openings first or right away?  That question is the exact market strategy of these job boards and companies using them.  Job boards make sure to market themselves accordingly.  Whether it is a SuperBowl commercial or simply an add on Facebook or another social media site, job boards need clicks and views in order to gain interest from companies.  They want their content to be shared, but more-so they desire stickiness.  They want people going to their site and staying there. Obviously, once you are there, they will throw job openings from the company that paid them the most at you.  It all comes full circle.  Companies pay job boards money to sponsor and advertise their job openings ahead of every other business’.  Job boards pay other advertisement tools and agencies to get their site in the eyes of as many viewers as possible to generate clicks and stickiness.  Then users go to the site and apply to one of the companies that were shown to them (usually).  Is it complicated… yes.  Is it all worth it… probably not.  But unemployment has decreased overall with this new technology, so it is hard to argue against it.

For us Digital Natives, this process is right up our alley.  We want everything to be digital, online, and requiring the least amount of work possible.  However, for Digital Immigrants that haven’t looked for a job since the 1980s… this process can be eye-opening and stressful.  Most job boards realize this and make their site as simple and general as possible.

How do you feel about today’s job-seeking process?

I Will Always Back Jack

Jack Bartosz was just a normal 4 year-old boy.  Living life the way he knew how: playing games and smiling 24/7.  Nothing will ever compare to the contagious smile that was always on Jack’s face.  Especially when he lost his two front teeth.  Even if you were having the worst day ever, you couldn’t help but feel happy inside when Jack is running around outside with his twin sister Annie.

However, that same 4-year-old boy seen playing with his twin sister had no idea that his biggest battle was soon awaiting him.  In September of 2005, Jack got diagnosed with Stage IV, high-risk neuroblastoma.  Doctors discovered a tumor on his adrenal gland which had already spread to his bones and bone marrow.

Jack battled harder than I have seen anyone battle a disease.  Through chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, and immunotherapy, Jack was successful in defeating the deadly disease…so we thought.  In May of 2007, however, the disease relapsed.  Jack continued to battle.  Another relapse occurred in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011.  But this warrior kept fighting.

Obviously, with almost 6 straight years of medical treatment, bills got to be extremely high for the family.  That is when I Back Jack was created.  I Back Jack started as a fundraiser for the family to help with medical bills, but soon turned into so much more…

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I Back Jack is now a foundation for pediatric oncology research.  I Back Jack has raised over 1.25 million dollars so far in support of Neurobalstoma research and treatments.   It was this relationship with Aaron Rodgers that really sent I Back Jack to success.  Aaron Rodgers has always been a huge donor and speaker of the MACC Fund which is how he found out about Jack.  Ever since then, Aaron has been around for the family, for their bond has grown even closer.

But Aaron wasn’t the only celebrity showing support for Jack.  It is amazing how something can spread so much when you have a whole community on your side.

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Lance Armstrong was always eager to be involved in anyway possible.

The Black Eyed Peas also made a personal shoutout for Jack and the family.

What helped this cause go viral was a large amount of emotion and passion for the family.  Once word got around inside our community, the foundation spread like wildfire. Also, nationwide, Aaron Rodgers is the one of the most-known celebrities there is.  With Aaron fully involved, there was no limit how much this foundation could spread.  Social media was heavily involved in the production of I Back Jack’s popularity with #IBackJack trending during the peak of Jack’s fight against cancer.

Sadly, Jack passed away on August 27, 2012 after 6 years and 11 months of battling cancer.

I Back Jack is making final closing remarks before completley  being transferred to the G9 foundation (Gold in Septmeber) with the help of Green Bay Packer wide reciever, Randall Cobb and his wife.

Jack’s twin sister Annie continues (with the help of Aaron Rodgers) to spread awareness of G9 and the fight that continues for childhood cancer.

Jack will always be in my thoughts.  He was not only a warrior, but he gave hope to millions of people around the country.

He may be gone, but I will always back Jack.

Forever in Our Hearts

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The Facebook profile of Steven “Petey” Peterson died peacefully in his computer on October 15, 2017 in Pewaukee, Wisconsin at the age of 7 years old.

Steven’s profile is survived by his parent, Steven Peterson; siblings, Kyle and Matt.  He is preceded in death by all 810 of his friends.

Steven’s profile was born on January 16, 2010 in Pewaukee, Wisconsin to Steven Peterson.  He graduated from Facebook Profile Tutorial in 2011 with a degree in Completeness.  He happily married Free Time, his longtime admirer in 2010.  After moving to his iPhone, Steven’s profile began working for Procrastination as CEO.  Over 7 years, the couple welcomed countless hours of wasted time into their home and Steven’s profile set about teaching them the family business, Wasting Time.  His children remember him as a sometime pointless, sometimes useful account who encouraged them to watch pointless videos.

Steven’s profile was accomplished at ‘trying to act cool’ and often portrayed only the best things in Steven’s life.  He was a fake representation of someone who loved distracting Steven from important things and who was passionate about showing the world only the quality aspects of Steven’s life. Steven’s profile was an active and dedicated member of the Facebook world and often volunteered at Family Photo Albums.

A funeral is scheduled for October 19, 2017 at M107, with a reception to follow online.  The World Wide Web will officiate the ceremony.  All are welcome to attend and celebrate Steven’s profile’s life.  In lieu of flowers, please keep them digital and on the memorialized account of Steven’s profile.  Condolences can be sent to Facebook Messenger.  The family would like to thank Mark Zuckerberg for his efforts in making Steven’s profile live on through the years.


 

“I was terribly sad to hear about Steven’s profile.  I remember the days of spending hours with Steven’s profile.  We used to hang out every single day starting in 2010.  It feels like just yesterday that Steven’s profile was born.  He opened up so many new experiences for me: messaging, current events, and videos to name a few.  Steven’s profile will be greatly missed, but the memorialized account will live forever.  RIP Steven’s profile.  You may be gone, but your binary code and encrypted information will live on. ”

– Steven Peterson, Creator

Feel free to share your favorite memories with Steven’s profile.

Building Creativity: One Gift Card at a Time

Distractions happen every single day.  Many times a day actually and I would guess that about 90% of those distractions come from my phone or some type of technology (TV, XBox, computer,etc.).  So if all this technology is distracting us, why not just put it all down?  …Easier said than done.

On Tuesday, we had two guests come in and teach us about mindfulness. They shared that whenever anxiety/stress levels start to rise, acknowledge it and focus on your breathing and what is happening around you.  We tried a few tactics in class, and they actually seemed to work.  I was fighting to not fall asleep, but I could visualize them working in a real setting when my stress/anxiety levels start to rise (which is most weeks at Rose).

This week, we were tasked with completing one of the Bored and Brilliant challenges.  When looking through them, there were ones that obviously seemed more difficult then others.  For example, I did not want to commit to ‘not taking a picture’ for a whole day.  You never know when you might encounter a time that you may never experience again.  But that is the whole argument against it.  If it is an experience you may never encounter again, you should see it in real vision and not through a camera lens.  However, I used these arguments against most of the challenges which made choosing one slightly challenging.   I ended up choosing challenge #6: Dream House. The challenge was this: start by filling a large pan of water, putting it on the stove, and watching it until it starts to boil.  This was to make you super bored….which it did.

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Next, after you dreadfully watched the water reach its boiling point, you were to create your dream house.  But you can only use the current contents of what is in your wallet at the time.  So naturally I thought, “I am an engineer, how hard can this be?” It was actually quite challenging.  I had a clear picture in my mind of the dream house that I wanted to create.  On the mountains.  Great view.  A large yard.  But all these details are very challenging when you only have dollar bills and gift cards to use.  Here is my final masterpiece:

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As you can see (maybe…), my house consists of a great view of the mountains in the back (more like rolling hills).  The front door is the one-dollar bill on the front right of the house.  The garage and driveway is on the far right.  The 20-dollar bills create the fence-like structure which signifies the yard around the house.  The structure was created with business cards and gift cards.  The cross from my Grandpa’s funeral acts as decoration on the exterior of the estate.

This challenge was actually very exciting and fun.  It was a little frustrating during the construction of the house because I would get so far and the whole thing would fall down with one single move.  But after a couple tries, I got it to where I felt comfortable.  As frustrating as it was, it was actually pretty relaxing at the same time. I think the drive that I had to make a great house came from that same anxiety that we feel on Twitter.  The anxiety that comes from comparison.  I wanted my house to be seen as good when compared to others.  This is ironic, since these challenges were meant to decrease anxiety.  It was fun and exciting, but the act of sharing it on this blog brought the anxiety back.

Occupation: Tweeting SPAM

You know our society has transitioned to a life of technological imprisonment when people earn a reasonable wage by just tweeting on the social media platform, Twitter (hence the verb: tweet).  Think about this.  You pull out your phone or laptop.  Open the Twitter app.  Copy a paste a sentence that is already written for you.  Hit ‘Tweet’.  Boom.  You just made $50.  What has our world come to.  That takes not only zero skill.  But that takes zero effort at all.

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The thought behind this comes from companies that would advertise on social media platforms.  Many companies will ‘hire’ social media users that already have a decent following to share content with their brand in the content.  Then the company will ‘Pay-per-Click’.  This basically means that however many times that that content gets viewed or clicked on (interaction), the creator gets paid.  A majority of this business happens with celebrities that have millions of followers on social media.  But there are also cases when the company just pays you per click on the content (low clicks – low pay).  It is as simple as that.  And lets be real, this business is very VERY simple.  Too simple.

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There are little that could go wrong with this scheme…right? Well not quite.  With this whole, ‘pay-per-click’, people think of some crazy things to get money.  Which is why Twitter has to be on their game in filtering through these tweets. The strategy used by some is what most of us know has spam.  Now this article is not specifically about spam raised for clicks on twitter.  It is wanting clicks to the site that it is advertising.  Part of the article talks about a spam account that sent out posts promising viewers to give out celebrities’ phone numbers if the user clicks on the link.  The person running the account would then receive money when people visit the link since there were advertisements on that website. Is this wrong: yes.  Does it still happen: yes.  Weird how that is always the case.

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This is the new world of technological business.  These transactions and payments are used every single day in our society.  People making money off of the gullibility of someone else.  I don’t agree with it, but it has grown to enormous amounts and taken over many social media platforms even if we don’t realize it.

Try thinking of a website you visited that did not have any advertisements on it.  Exactly.  Very very few (if any).  This is based off the twitter atmosphere of ‘pay-per-click’.  People using the social media platform to gain clicks onto their website or tweet because of advertisements or company branding on that certain visual.

The fact that people make money from doing nothing is disgusting in my opinion.  Earn you money has always been my opinion on the topic.  But hey…this is our world now.  Companies have taken advantage of it.  Twitter has endorsed it.  Humanity has accepted it.

Fifth Grade: Not Just Sweat and Puberty

It was a day I will never forget.  For some reason, that day has stuck with me throughout my whole educational career.  Fifth grade wasn’t just the year of reading more aggressive books, having long puberty talks in the middle of class, figuring out what deodorant is supposed to do, and realizing that girls are actually kind of cool, fifth grade was when we had our first research project.  Maybe I should clarify.  Fifth grade was the first time we had to CITE ALL OF OUR SOURCES.  Oh man… what a painful and confusing time that was.  However, one thing that my teachers never stopped repeating: “Do not cite Wikipedia“, “If you cite Wikipedia, it is an automatic zero“, “We cannot trust Wikipedia”, “We do not want to associate our knowledge with Wikipedia”.  It was like Wikipedia was some kid that my parents really did not want me hanging around with.  It was like they were trying to make a giant divide of our population… too soon? Well all of those issues aside, I was taught in fifth grade that Wikipedia was an evil monster that should never be danced with.

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Now I am almost 21 (*pretends to raise glass*), and I am still in this weird limbo of not trusting Wikipedia at all.  Sometimes I wonder if this is how propaganda starts…fifth grade research projects.  But is it just me ^^In 2014^^, there were over 22.3 million users of Wikipedia with over 38 million articles on basically anything you can think of.  There are over 800 articles added to Wikipedia each day.  Side note: the most viewed Wikipedia page is “Lists of deaths by year“… questionable and a little depressing.  But anyways, Why can Wikipedia be used by so many people in so many different ways when it is known that it could be false information?  If you have the answer to that question, the government would love to talk to you.  For you have solved the Fake News ‘crisis’.  Now, to say Wikipedia is Fake News is probably a stretch, but there are similarities: Anyone can write it.  Anyone can edit it.  Anything can be written.  However, ^^Wikipedia has a form^^ of checks and balances present that filter through the obvious garbage.  But why is it used by so many people and I still don’t trust it and never use it?  Because of my fifth grade teachers.

Can elementary/intermediate teachers be the change that this nation needs?  The more I think about it, I never touch Wikipedia.  Simply because that lesson was drilled into me when I was only if fifth grade.  Think about all the useful topics and lessons that they could teach and ‘drill’ into our youth that would then lead to them growing into proper adults.  All of these questionable ideas that come from different backgrounds and generations could be standardized in some way.  I understand everyone is different.  Everyone learns differently.  But starting in fifth grade, right after learning about how we sweat and sweat makes you smell, so you should probably bathe, the teachers can teach about fake news, untrustworthy sources, diversity, and issues that we are facing right now.

This is probably already taking place in classrooms right now at a young age, but I am determined that these moral values are needed at a very young age.  Even after over 10 years, I am seeing the lessons that my fifth grade teacher taught me.  So lets take advantage of that and use it to take care of some of these minor but damaging issues in our society.

So fifth grade teachers… here is your callingFix the world.

 

 

**Links with ^^–^^ go to source with data or reading from class^^