Thursday, January 31, 2013

Online Assignment 1

Name: Jack Peirson

Hometown: I am from Shoreview, MN which is 20 minutes north of St. Paul, MN.

Article: Many people have no idea that Frank Lloyd Wright, an acclaimed and famous architect, attended the University of Wisconsin- Madison for a couple of years before dropping out and doing his own work. This article is a short, but fascinating read as it displays some of Wright's famous accomplishments in architecture. The piece I found most interesting is that Wright actually constructed and proposed a blueprint for Memorial Union. There are several links under this very brief article that I strongly suggest checking out. My all-time favorite structure by Wright is a house he called 'Fallingwater'. Scroll through the four pictures and be amazed by the last one!

Music: I am actually in the process of finding some very impressive songs done by Imagine Dragons. I think everyone has probably heard , but I would like to show you a few other songs they have done that have really caught my attention. The first is a song called Tiptoe, and the second one I would strongly suggest if you haven't heard it yet is On Top of the World. The part that I love about their songs is that there is true and authentic meaning behind their songs which I think really adds a lot to a song.

Video: One of my favorite movies is Miracle on Ice which portrays the incredible, under-dog story of the 1980 US Men's Olympic hockey team. This story tells a key part in American history and is an inspiring story that goes far beyond the sports world. I believe this story that was made into a movie, portrays the importance of a strong work-ethic, leadership, hard work, dedication, pride, and resilience. My favorite clip from this movie is the pre-game speech by Herb Brooks before they play the Soviets. Although many of you have probably seen the original before, this kid does a fantastic representation!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

About Me - (Blogger Version)

Name: Caleb Donald Townsend

Hometown: Lake Summerset, Illinois

To give you an idea on the type of place I'm from, just go ahead and press zoom in until you see Lake Summerset, IL. (It's going to take a couple of clicks...)

Music:  My taste is music is about as diverse as a New York Subway system.  Since this is my first ever semester away from home, I've had this song stuck in my head.  On the other hand I am a huge N'Sync, and more specifically, JT fan...therefore, when I first heard this, I kind of went a little crazy.  Other than that I like you know the soft, relaxing sounds such as this. (turn your speakers up...the song is kind of hard to hear).

Video: This on goes out to all us college kids who had a month off for winter break.  We're all sorts of not in the mood to do anything school related yet.  I hope that this video can inspire and encourage all of us to step up and get through this year. "We were made to be awesome, give the world a reason to dance." Maybe I can score major brownie points since he quotes the great Robert Frost...


Delusional? I think so.
This article just was published on  How can Moss say that he is the best wide receiver to ever play the game with not even a Super Bowl ring on his finger yet?  Maybe I am a little biased since I am still salty about Moss mooning the Packer fans during a game a couple of years back, however, all the records and evidence show that Moss, while near the top of the best receivers to play the game, is not THE best to play the game.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Cultural Approach to Communication Discussion Questions

Carey's essay heavily focuses on John Dewey's understandings of the contrasting definitions of communication in 19th century Western thought.  What were these two definitions and how are these two definitions/methods used for a society's better organization of comprehension of their world/culture?

Why does Carey say that the United States is traditionally distant from the ritual definition of communication?

With respects to the two practicing definitions of Western communication, how do the two definitions/practices differ in Carey's example of a newspaper as a form of communication?

How does Carey interpret Dewey's logic of communication being "the most wonderful"?

Contemporary sources has lead Carey to define communication as:

"A symbolic process whereby reality is produced, maintained, repaired and transformed."
With this definition in mind, would you say that art is a "good" or efficient form of communication?  How and why?

How is our reality "humanly" produced and maintained?  Think of Ernst Cassirer's  take on contemporary forms of communication.

How are symbols/representations able to be both representations "of" and "for" reality.  Consider Carey's blueprint example.

According to Raymond Williams, when do people encounter problems with their forms of communication?

What is the abstract goal of communication according to Carey?

How is a society/civilization a form of communication?

National News and the Nation:Research Report

National News and the Nation is a chapter in the report Newspapers and the Making of Modern America by Aurora Wallace, published by Greenwood Publication.

Wallace, a Canadian, is an associate professor with the department of Media, Culture and Communication at New York University. She obtained a B.A. in mass communication at Carleton University, a M.A. and a Ph.D. in communications at McGill University. Her research interests include 19th and 20th century American newspaper as evidenced with her publications National News and the Nation and Media Capital, which focus on the history of US newspapers.
Wallace’s degrees and interests are significant because it confirms her role as an authority. Her current profession is equally important as it shows that her article may have had been written for an academic purpose, perhaps to enhance her credibility by writing on subjects relevant to her line of work. Likewise, she may have written her apt article for a course she teaches – Twentieth Century American Newspapers. Indeed, according to a written interview from NYU, Wallace wanted to explain how newspapers have shaped “communities, towns, regions, and … the nation” during the 20th century in the US.
Wallace’s article focuses on the following newspapers: The New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. This is because they are significant in the US newspaper industry – indeed, according to the Alliance for Audited Media, these newspapers appeared on the list of top 10 most read newspapers in the USA. Another reason may be because each newspaper seemingly focuses on a different category.
The written nature of Wallace’s article is academic – Wallace provides a detailed historical account by utilising and uniting various publications/sources. Moreover, Wallace avoids bias/opinion by utilising older publications and avoiding the first person narrative. Ergo, Wallace appears to have written for those interested in the history of newspapers/mass communication in America and those interested in how newspapers have shaped modern US society. To that end, Wallace puts stunning details on the histories of the various newspapers along with that of American history.

Nonetheless, questions are raised from further research. As a Canadian, Wallace may not be entirely familiar with all US newspapers that have affected America on a national level. She merely focuses on four newspapers, failing to give even a cursory review/summary on other newspapers which may have affected America. Moreover, a review/article by Jeffrey L. Paisley notes that the histories of newspapers were presented in a “dry” manner and that while Greenwood Publication is a ‘venerable institution,’ and trusted amongst journalism schools, is not particularly trusted with history departments.

In retrospect, this article may be interpreted with credence – Wallace’s chapter shows objectivism and shuns away her opinions. However, very few reviews on Wallace’s report were found, and the one that I could find took a rather critical stance towards her report. Accordingly, readers should consider other newspapers that may have also affected America, perhaps by looking at the various sources Wallace has cited. Hopefully readers may realise that other newspapers may have affected the US and potentially verify dubious claims.