Re-evaluating my understanding of Ghost in a Shell


I feel my account of Ghost in a Shell requires further analysis. I want to further explore a few elements that invoked strong responses from me within my previous post. Firstly Ghost in a Shell requires previous knowledge, it has assumed knowledge. This is a trait of Japanese culture, Japanese culture is known as a high context culture thus they communicate primary through nonverbal cues. This is through the belief that everyone has a shared understanding. With this now in my mind I recall the characters often communicating through nonverbal communication, cues which may have added to my confusion due to my lack of contextual background.

The nudity within Ghost in a Shell was confronting, especially since Japanese culture has strong censorship within the media; nevertheless, Motoko Kusanagi consistently had her nipples on display. Though I could not grasp why we never saw a naked male character. Japanese culture does not condone the male organ, their adult toy industry for instant will not allow penis shaped objects to be sold. To counteract this all penis shaped objects have a face on the end. Even though the culture has strong censorship it seems clear the female body is more acceptable than males. Though why isn’t the nudity censored as it would be generally in a Japanese film? This perhaps could be due to the anime being a computer generated image or perhaps it is widely accepted because the character is a cyborg and not footage of an actual human, thus this leads into my second question, was Motoko really a human?

My basic belief is that due to being self-aware Motoko could be considered human. Japanese culture embraces artificial intelligence as demonstrated within this film. Christopher Mims (2010) notes that Japanese culture is accepting of robots as equals and believe that they inherit a soul, this is stemmed from Animism that is a component of  their religion Shinto. Thus they see robots as aiding everyday life, this is clear in Ghost of a Shell as they are aiding in peace keeping. This also provides context to why the main character is conflicted with grasping her existence, the film is promoting the audience to question their beliefs. Thus stimulating audience participation within the film.

Perhaps if I was to re-watch the film knowing the belief that robots are equals with souls in Japanese culture I would perhaps greater understand the importance and melancholy feeling and be able to engaged within the films attempt to make me question her existence.


Mims, C 2010, “Why Japanese Love Robots (And Americans Fear Them)”, MIT Technology Review, 12th October, viewed on 25th August 2015, url < >


Adapt to beat Reporting Extinction

It is in our nature to want to know what is occurring around us, though the medium for how we receive our news has altered over time with dramatic change in the last few decades. Being able to acquire news was once limited and often spread through townships via gossip or kingdom messengers. However, this then evolved into newspapers then to radio and then Television; though of course mediums once again developed due to the internet becoming a main household item in first world countries.

Rosenstiel (2013) on Ted Talks  details some of the issues of the medium constantly changing and the effects it has on the previous medium. Through his research he has found many positives for media content now being shared in a digital sense.  He found that younger generations are more likely to take an interest on a daily basis  to consuming a type of news media content, where the average age of a newspaper reader would be 50+ while for those now consuming news from a tablet the average age was 37 (Rosentiel  2013). This is a significant achievement in gaining the interest of younger individuals in news content, and could thus be of benefit to the democratic process. The media are the main source for political information, and therefore it is important that more individuals (especially the younger generation) become informed so they are able to provide comments and opinions on global topics within the public sphere.

Rosentiel (2013) also notes on this topic that the internet has allowed consumers of news to be able to further engage with this content with many online articles providing a comment’s section for individuals to engage through a discussion. We are no longer a passive consumer that “has to be home at 6:30pm to watch the news, or up early to receive the paper” (Rosentiel  2013). We can now dictate when we receive this media content and how we do this.  The only negative he details is how this is declining traditional media’s profits, though, they are still able to make a profit through advertising on their websites which is often a better option as it is more specific to the consumers tastes depending on what they have previously accessed and currently accessing through the use of cookies.

Though I do not think that traditional media has to be concerned with extinction, I do believe they need to merely adapt to a digital society. As Rosentiel (2013) noted all traditional media types are still present and television is the top source of news which then leads 85% of users (Rosentiel  2013) to undertake further research on other platforms.


To read my comments on similar blogs discussing these topics please click below.
Andrew Jackson Blog

caitlinosborne29 Blog



Rosenstiel, T 2013, The Future of Journalism: Tom Rosenstiel at TEDxAtlanta, YouTube (Online Video), 28th May, Tedx Talks YouTube Channel, Viewed 18th April 2014, <;



The educational digital divide

Dapto nbnImage source: NBNCO

In Australia there has been a shift in educational materials, especially within High Schools. Gone are the days where you find yourself walking around a store with your parents searching for the correct stationery. Schools this year have seen the implementation of bringing a device such as a Tablet or Laptop to class as a requirement. Caringbah High School has seen this policy implemented with 150 of their year nine student’s stated to be ‘embracing’ the policy (Smith 2014).  Though this policy has the potential to create economic class warfare as the child’s family’s economic status will decide which device, if any, that they will be able to bring to school.  Smith (2014) described this as a “digital divide” though is this inevitable? Laptops are now part of the culture of education as are pens and paper (Wright 2013), thus, this is an issue which needs to be overcome.

With the Federal Government no longer funding the Laptop for school’s program, schools have had to find alternative solutions. Some schools have made arrangements with a private provider thus allowing parents to buy a laptop under $1500 or provide a renting scheme (Wright 2013). This perhaps will allow those with a lower socio economic status to provide their child with a sufficient laptop.

Laptops do provide benefits within the class room by connecting students to organisations and other teaching facilities across the globe. However, to allow these students to efficiently use these devices better broadband infrastructure needs to be implemented. The Labor Government started to implement upgrades on current communications infrastructure under the National Broadband Network (NBN). Though this infrastructure has not been installed in many areas, it has been installed in my area within the Illawarra (Dapto and Kiama), with 11 900 homes in Dapto soon to be connected to the NBN (Lynch 2013). Therefore students from Dapto High School will be able to benefit from this implementation and their students will have a fast and more efficient internet usage.

This is beneficial to Dapto High as Smith (2014) states student’s devices must be compatible with the school’s existing Wi-Fi network. Though with the implementation of the NBN it would guarantee up-to-date Wi-Fi connection infrastructure therefore allowing all devices to adequately connect.

There are clearly obstacles in implementing a device driven education structure. It can create class warfare between students and communication infrastructure needs to be updated to allow this education system to effectively provide students with the learning benefits that computers can provide.


Lynch, C 2013, NBN rolling out in Dapto, Stephen Jones MP, Website Blog post, 31st July 2013, viewed 9th April 2014, < >

Smith, A 2014, “It’s BYO Laptop now as Schools End Free Program.” Sydney Morning Herald, 3rd February.

Wright, J 2013, “Computer Cash in Lap of Chaos.” Sydney Morning Herald, 3 Feb.

The technophiles war

Journalism is an ever changing landscape. Of-course with change comes resistance as Quandt ( 2011) details in their case study, there is turmoil within the profession especially between older individuals within the field and technophile youths. Those whom are against participatory journalism argue that it will degrade the profession. These individuals fear that user-generated content will over shadow real journalism due to the lack of resources and researching that goes into participatory journalism; therefore degrading the journalism profession as a whole. Though what they have not taken into consideration is why participatory, or citizen journalism as it is also known, is so intriguing to the audience. Citizen journalists are intriguing and often preferred by the audience as they offer an unbiased opinion. Obviously many citizen journalist pieces can be completely biased but their opinion can also sometimes be held in a higher regard as the consumer can be assured these individuals do not have corporate backing whom is dictating what opinions to print. Citizen journalists also suffer from the same issues as print journalism, they can control the medium but not the message. Stuart Hall’s decoder/ encoder model explains adequately that the audience depending on their context will decode a message perhaps differently to how an encoder anticipated. This has significant issues within the political sphere as noted by McKay (2013), as paid political advertising can make or break candidates (McKay 2013 p. 152) due to this model. However, in regards to Obama we have seen why technological communication has its benefits. The Obama administration participated online through social media which allowed him to better connect with the American people and McKay (2013 p.154) believes that it was Obama’s internet campaign in 2008 that saw his popularity rise so significantly. 1-socialnetwor

       Image source: CDN

It is clear that journalism is altering into the technological world we are now all living in. Though still a great fear is held that participatory journalism will degrade journalism,  it is clear that no matter how the message is relayed it will depend on the audience’s interpretation of the message. The case study of Obama indicates that perhaps participatory cultures are providing a better platform to convey these messages and are not detached as journalists have become from their audiences (Quandt 2011).


McKay, D 2013,  American Politics and Society, Wiley- Blackwell, United Kingdom.

Quandt, T 2011, ‘Understanding a new phenomenon: the significance of participatory journalism’, in Jb Singer, A Hermida, D Domingo, A Heinonen, S Paulussen, T Quandt, Z Reich & M Vujnovic (eds.), Participatory Journalism in Online Newspapers: Guarding Open Gates at Online Newspapers, Wiley- Blackwell, Chichester, West Sussex, pp.155-175.

Information transcending generations

When the library of Alexandria burned down in 391 AD generations of scrolls and artefacts were lost. Knowledge is believed to be the most important aspect that can be handed down to future generations, as “man will profit from his inheritance of acquired knowledge” (Bush 1945). The destruction of the Alexandria library is a perfect example that humans needed to find a way to ensure that knowledge is never lost again.

Before technological advancements there was no easy way to duplicate texts and to share information to scholars around the world. Bush (1945) notes that if we cannot share information broadly, that important theories could be lost. This is an adequate statement as Mendel’s genetics concept was developed generations before someone that could analyse and understand his concept was able to obtain the text (Bush 1945).  The individuals which his concept did reach once published had limited understanding and could not interpret his findings.

Technological developments, however, have allowed individuals to manipulate and extract knowledge often in a digital form, thus, providing a means to allow knowledge to last many generations lives. Though when we are supplied with vast amounts of knowledge what effects does this have? In 391 AD those who were able would take vast amounts of time to read and analyse one text within the Alexandria library.  However, today’s youth are what Rowlands, Nicholas, Williams et al. (2008) deem the “Google Generation”.  Today’s generation often go to search engines like Google to search for information rather than reading an entire text within an library and accumulating multiple facts.  Though the “Google Generation” will view a text rather then read and thus do not possess the analytic and critical skills to assess the information they find on the internet (Rowlands, Nicholas, Williams et al. 2008).

Technology has allowed knowledge to transcend generations but perhaps has also created a generation that does not obtain a vast amount of knowledge.



Bush, V 1945,“As We May Think”,  Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 176, no.1, pp. 101-08

Rowlands, I, Nicholas, D, Williams, P, Huntington, P, Fieldhouse, M, Gunter, B, Withey, R, Hamid R, J, Dobrowolski, T & Tenopir, C 2008, ‘The Google Generation: The Information Behaviour of the Researcher of the Future’, Aslib Proceedings: New Information Perspectives, vol. 60, no. 4, pp. 290-310.

Smart Homes.. Homes of the future?


Image Source: xposingfalsehoods

When I imagine where technology is taking us in the future, I envision the Terminator movies remixed with Futurama and perhaps even a little bit of Back to the Future II.  I personally would not mind some of the technologies used in these films, minus the homicidal computer robots in The Terminator. Though I do wonder what will the future hold regarding technological advancements?

The term “internet of things” was created in 1999, it is in regards to objects which are now having network connections integrated.  Objects are gaining a network address, sensory capacity, independently initiate action and computation, they immediately transgress the borders assigned to them (Mitew 2013). We are now seeing our everyday analogue objects, becoming digital. Currently the new addition to the home is smart televisions and fridges containing a limited computer technology. Though this is set to advance under the Internet of things and this concept notes that eventually most household objects will have their own network connections and be networked together. This means that your entire household system can run as a whole.

However, this is not a new concept and we are already starting to see such developments as Smart homes. I was previously unaware of how common Smart Homes were, but even Australia has a development company which specialists in building and implementing Smart Home infrastructure. Firstly what is a Smart Home? Smart Home Solutions Australia notes;

“ might think of the Jetsons, but in reality it’s about using technology in ways that fits with and enhances your lifestyle through added comfort, convenience and security.” (Smart Home Solutions 2013)

Their Homes automation systems integrate multiple systems :                                                              smart-house_2-4f8c476-intro

Image Source: arstechnica

  • Audio/Video
  • Energy and Water Management
  • Home Security and Access Control
  • Home Lighting Control
  • Home Networking and
  • Home Communications (Smart Home Solutions, 2013)


Diane Cook of Washington State University is researching Smart Home technology that will observe the occupant’s and make decisions on the behalf of the occupant’s wellbeing. This will make it more convenient for those in the household and also has the potential to significantly help those that are disabled or the elderly that are incapable of undertaking certain tasks or decisions, possibly in regards to heating (Holloway 2012). Cook’s ideal is that computer software will “act as an intelligent agent and perceive the state of the physical environment and residents using sensors that then take actions to achieve specified goals.” (Holloway 2012).  These goals are simply to maximize comfort, minimize consumption of resources and maintain health and safety (Holloway 2012).

I find smart homes interesting and can envision this will be the new home of the future that our children are likely to grow up in. Would you like to live in one of these homes?

Also this is sadly my last blog for my Global Network subject at University, thank you for following my post’s throughout these last few months. I hope to connect with you all again in the near future.




Mitew, T 2013, ‘The internet of things: from networked objects to ubiquitous computing’, Prezi, DIGC202, University of Wollongong, 22nd October 2013, <>

Holloway, J 2012, ‘Watchers, carers, and administrators: the smart homes of tomorrow’, arstechnica, 17th April, viewed 23rd October 2013, <>

Smart Home Solutions, 2013, Home Automation and Home Control, Smart Homes, viewed 23rd October, <>


Mobile operating system wars… who will claim dominance?

0104_mz_28applegoogleSource: idownloadblog

When the first smartphone was released everyone was amazed how multiple devices had been converged into a singular device. The current two major smartphone operating systems on the market are Google’s Android and Apple’s iSO, both systems are remarkably different and both allow consumers to interact with the device on different levels. Though which operating system will dominate our future market?

I am a firm advocate for Android. Android is an “open” operating system, this means that individuals can download apps from a store that is not Google Play. Individuals can also create apps and make them freely available to anyone that has an Android operating system. Google delegates tasks to the users thus, saving costs and constraint on how a person can use their device. Juxtapose this to Apple’s iOS system which is a “closed” device, therefore, you can only download content from the Apple Itunes store  and all content on this store must be approved by Apple. This is not allowing consumers to act freely with their device but rather full control is implemented from the products creator.

These devices are said to be at the forefront of the wireless future.  Mitew (2013) noted that as of 2010 3.81% of the world web usage is mobile, and according to the BBC there are five billion mobile phone users. Of these users 31% access web content on their phones and these trends are seen to be climbing especially as mobile phone technology advances.  From these statistics 75% of mobile phone users are running an Android (Mitew 2013) operating system with only 14% running an iOS system (Anonymous 2013); juxtaposed to tablets where iOS is run on 87% (in North America)(Anonymous 2013) compared to Android tablets at 3.7% (in North America)(Anonymous 2013). Clearly this data shows the potential for our future to be based on more mobile internet usage, though which operating system will benefit future mobile wireless internet?

Roth (2008) notes a statement by Rubin(Google co -founder) where he noted that Android is the solution for “a free, open source mobile platform that any coder could write for any handset maker”. He then goes on to state that Android would be global and an open operating system for the wireless future. I believe an open operating system is better as it allows me to have freedom over my device and over my usage of online content (example apps I wish to use). If my internet usage is going to be mostly through a mobile device I want to be able to customise my device as I wish. However, an opposing argument is that iOS has a better quality control due to their concentration on the interface of the device (Dachis 2013) and control over available programs, thus ensuring that quality will never be lost, and even though the device processing system is marked to be slower than Android it is because of this interface that the device seems to not ‘lag’ (Dachis 2013). Though as Anonymous (2013) states ‘Android’s connection to the Google ecosystem of services is strong and arguably more useful compared with Apple’s cloud services suite.’ Therefore, maybe it is perception regarding quality of the device.

The operating system that will dominate our future mobile wireless internet sphere will depend on whether one operating system significantly advances over the other; or the personal choice of consumers whether they prefer an open or closed device.



Anonymous, 2013, ‘Android vs iOS’, Diffen, viewed 18th October 2013, <>

Dachis, A 2013, iOS vs. Android: Your Best Arguments, lifehacker, blogm 9th of July, viewed 19th October 2013, <>

Mitew, T 2013, ‘Apple vs Android, or the two futures of the mobile net’, Prezi, DIGC202, University of Wollongong, 15th October 2013, <>

Roth, D. (2008) ‘Google’s Open Source Android OS Will Free the Wireless Web’. Wired


Anxious Addiction to our Mobile Phones

The use of mobile phones while studyingMitchell multitasking by using his mobile devices (mobile and tablet) 
while also studying for an exam and disengaging 
with his family around him

Mobile phones allow an individual to be a part of many audiences simultaneously. This is evident when you observe those around you on a train , they maybe part of the the trains audience and consuming the same sounds or sights on the train as yourself; but due to mobile technology they can also be part of another audience at the same time. Mobile phones allow us to consume content regardless of where we are and whom we are with, therefore allowing us to be part of simultaneous audiences. However, how does this effect our physical audience interaction?

This video above I believe addresses our current usage as a society of our mobile phones. This video addresses many worrisome areas of how do we balance our personal and shared space? As it is obvious the girl in the above video is at a family dinner therefore, a shared space. Yet she is still content to scroll through Facebook rather than interacting on a physical level with her family. What is this doing to her personal connections ? Why are we more social online rather than being social in the physical space we are in? Kitani (2003) answers this through his research on the subject where he produced evidence to show that individuals are increasingly using technology such as text messaging in spaces (as the video depicts above) due to their level of shyness. Individuals who display a very shy personality find that text messaging is easier to have a conversation. Though I also believe that text messaging would help shy individuals from having to engage in conversations they do not feel comfortable doing. People often will pretend to be engaged in their mobile phones so other individuals will not bother them, thus, people are using their mobile devices to escape physical contact and face to face communication.

Though how else are these devices distracting or affecting us ? Referring to my Image above of Mitchell he is studying for a mid term exam yet he still has his mobile next to him and checks it often as well as using a tablet in front of him for Facebook and lecture slides. Then referring to the image below of Mitchell leaving for University he is once again checking his mobile as he steps out onto the road. This is a common occurrence when you observe individuals on the street, I wpid-20130927_083732.jpgmyself often walk with my mobile in hand.  It could be argued our attachment to our mobiles is similar to a coffee or nicotine addiction as many feel a sense of anxiety  when they leave the house and forget their phones.

We are reliant on our mobiles and seemingly use our mobiles to access content in any physical space, therefore, we are limiting our face to face communication.

Are you addicted to your mobile?



Kitani, Y. (2003). Daigakusei no keitai mail no riyo taido ni-kansuru kenkyu: Hiroshima shinai no daigakusei wo taisho to-shite [A study on the attitude of college students using mobile mail]. Hiroshima Shudo University Academic Journals, 44, 341-371.


The Screens Have Eyes

UOWThe Digital Advertisement Screens at my University

Advertising has become part of our culture, thus , we are finding more advertising screens in our everyday society. Firstly New York is famous for Times Square where there is advertising screens on the side of every building. You can not turn anywhere without being exposed to a company advertising, this is an iconic area of advertising but how does it affect people when it progresses to be everywhere you go?

Recently I was in my local doctors surgery where I noticed advertising screens for the medical centre itself on every inch of spare wall. Advertising the services that the medical centre provides, this is a space I never assumed to find an advertising screen. Though I do agree this is an effective method of advertising, as often the wait is an average of three hours, therefore, you are likely to at least stare at this screen at least once out of sheer boredom.

Although do individuals really react to these signs or do we ignore them. Kuikkaniemi et al  states that as consumers we have an interaction phase that takes place; passing by, viewing, reacting and then subtle interaction (2011 p.42). However, they go on to state it depends on the environment and the engagement of the screen advertisement though it is clear that eventually we will subconsciously interact occasionally with these signs.  Kuikkaniemi et al compares these signs with a performance that these screens are ‘transforming passive viewing into an involved performance’  (2011 pp.40-41) also states how the digital signage is allowing signs to be more engaging and flexible ( Kuikkaniemi et al 2011 pp.40-41).Though where should the line be drawn with these signs? When do they become to innovative that perhaps they are verging on piracy issues?

This journal article details new innovations that advertisers are using for their signs. A new innovation is Euclide’s virtual puppets which is part of a Science Museum in Naples. It allows individuals to interact with the virtual puppet and entertain while explaining about the museum with a operator watching through a camera and operating the puppet from a remote location (Kuikkaniemi et al 2011 p.42) . The sign even adapts dialog depending on the particular visitor.  This poses the question regarding the piracy of these individuals whether they are aware they are being filmed. Another interesting innovative sign noted in Kuikkaniemi et al journal article is the Digital Advertising Column. This column detects the users movements and then adjusts its reactions accordingly, this provides engagement with the sign and multiple users can use it simultaneously (Kuikkaniemi et al 2011 p.44).

The reactions I usually note around my local establishments which have these signs are either people ignoring WP_001494 them or only glancing at them in a state of boredom, so companies are seeking to make these signs more interactive and engaging; but are they necessary? I believe it is a good form of marketing but perhaps not necessary in all establishments.

Have you reacted to a digital sign lately?



Kuikkaniemi, K & Jacucci, G & Turpeinen, M & Hoggan, E & Muller, J 2011, ‘ From Space to Stage: How Interactive Screens Will Change Urban Life’, Computer, vol. 44, no. 6, pp. 40-44.

Mobiles influencing our personalities ?

While observing Katy Perry’s new music video I noticed how it adequately demonstrates the obsession we currently have as a society to our smartphones. This video shows the young girl taking her mobile phone to the bathroom, waking up to a message and so on. It also I believe demonstrates how meaningless our conversations through our mobile phones often are. I can not generalize for others but as for myself, I find when I am bored I will start up a meaningless conversation through my mobile rather than using it for what I believe would be it’s original intention. I believe the original intention was to have a portable phone that allowed individuals to contact you if they needed you and text messaging was a quick and easy way to leave someone a message that they can reply to in their own time. Not to have meaningless conversations through. Therefore, if we created a messaging system originally to exchange messages of importance to now mean nothing; what have we done to our personal relationships?

Often modern relationships are conducted through media devices, how has this affected our relationships on a personable level? When I view my relationship with my boyfriend, who lives an hour away I notice that a large part of our relationship when we have University and work is conducted through text messaging.  How does this effect my characteristics as a person? Text messaging is often used to express emotions that we can not say to a person in real life because of the feeling of security of it being through a text message.  Ueda and Nojima 2012 studies the effects of relationships using text messages and how this media type effects characteristics, they also believed that media characteristics would influence the media that the individual used or selected. To simplify this, they proposed that an individual would choose the media type depending on their personality, an example being shyness, as also evidence by Kitani (2003). Kitani (2003). They produced evidence to show that shyness had significantly impacted on the frequency of text messaging usage. However, Ueda and Nojima wondered what psychological effects were created due to using this media to replace physical contact.

Sadly their studies did not provide anything conclusive, however, It is clear that the use of text messages are effecting audiences especially youth. Smith et al (2008) states that their actually has been a drop in the rate of bullying, however, bullying in youth now occurs more frequently outside of the class room with the main cyber bullying stemming through text messages.This is clearly an effect of this media device on individuals.  Bullying in the traditional sense has decreased, clearly this shows that media content such as text messaging has impacted how youth treat each other and that they believe they can “get away” with bullying if it is through this medium.  I can also speculate from personal experience that the obsession with text messaging is aiding in a lack of social skills and issues are conveyed and taken with less emotion than traditional communication platforms.

Do you believe communication media such as text messaging has changed or influenced your characteristics?

– Amy


Kitani, Y. (2003). Daigakusei no keitai mail no riyo taido ni-kansuru kenkyu: Hiroshima shinai no daigakusei wo taisho to-shite [A study on the attitude of college students using mobile mail]. Hiroshima Shudo University Academic Journals, 44, 341-371.

Ueda, Y. & Nojima, M. 2012, “The mediating effect of perceived media characteristics on shyness and text messaging in cell phone relationships”, Journal of Technology Research, vol. 3, pp. 1-12.

Smith, P. K., Mahdavi, J., Carvalho, M., Fisher, S., Russell, S. and Tippett, N. 2008, ‘Cyberbullying: its nature and impact in secondary school pupils’, Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, vol. 49, no. 4, pp. 376–385