What questions should we be asking about algorithmic culture

  • we must know more about the assumptions upon which they are based, the information about us upon which they act, the priorities they serve, and the ways in which they shape, distort, or tip the process (Gillespie 2017, p64 )
  • treating the world in which the algorithmic system operates as otherwise simple, untouched, and vulnerable to manipulation. (Gillespie 2017, p64)
  • untouched, and vulnerable to manipulation (Gillespie 2017, p64)

Just some thoughts to remember


Gillespie, T., 2017. Algorithmically recognizable: Santorum’s Google problem, and Google’s Santorum problem. Information, Communication and Society, 20(1), pp.63–80.

Week 6 round up


I ended week 5 saying that week 6 would be about focusing on readings and reflection and my thoughts. Didn’t happen, work and life have just got in the way and week 6 has been a blur of trying to keep up. I feel like I am especially behind with my readings, they just aren’t going in no matter how often I read them.

2 areas where I have seen success this week however are in community building and managing to catch up with the blogs of my classmates. This takes the edge off my annoyance at myself slightly.

I’ve consciously tried to join in with the twitter chatter this week and managed to have a couple of conversations, although I have missed so much more that I wasn’t even aware of and I really enjoyed a skype chat with some classmates this week where we discussed the ethnography assignment and mostly took the micky out of Linzi.

I’ve blogged a little more this week, and followed Daniel’s example when he shared some drumming from his MOOC course and I have shared some of my photos. I realised that just because I have a large digital footprint, doesn’t mean my classmates see the things I share, so I made the conscious effort to share them here where they are easier for my classmates to find.

The theme I am taking from this week is opinion. I’ve confronted my own unconscious bias this week and discussed our assumptions based on singular perspectives so I will be taking that with me as I look at my netnography.

Week 4 roundup

Quieter on my lifestream this week but had lots of fun seeing the visual artefacts of my classmates and chatting about them.

It all started with a tweet from Matthew about the fun of reading my personal blog and getting a bit of an insight into his classmates which raised a discussion about how comfortable some of us are in being ourselves online whilst others have created a persona just for this course. I wondered what the impact of this was in the sense of communities, does it hinder the creation of community to have people hold back? Or does it only hinder if you know they are holding back?

I pinned a bit of an experiment this week, I am trying to go paperless in comradery with the academic community at work who are being forced to go paperless.

Twittersphere this week is awash with our ethnography project, is it good to have previous knowledge of the subject or does that hinder? I instagrammed a photo of my desk showing my chosen mooc and my camera as a prop.

A change to this chain of thought was Helen’s post about technology in education sparking a conversation between us about how technology has always had it’s nae-sayers and the same arguments regardless of the technology, from blackboards to printing presses to computers.

Philip has been exploring self-directed learning and I commented on my need for connection to my peers.  Linzi felt the same way so we broke the isolation with a skype call.

Film Festival Thoughts

Memory 2.0

The 2.0 part of this is what struck me the most with this title and indeed the film. In general, the clip felt very similar to a film I saw a few years back “Sunshine of the spotless mind” which I didn’t rate as a particularly good film but the idea of controlling memories about a relationship was a theme in both. In “Memory 2.0” however rather than erasing memories, it was about replaying them and reliving them.
The 2.0 was intriguing, what did the film makers mean to imply by 2.0, and what have the viewers implied by looking at this through their perceived lens. Straight away for me, 2.0 means content generated by the user, so for me, the virtual reality aspect where the protagonist experienced the memories was also where, possibly because of over exposure, where he also contributed to the memories.
My VR lesson on mitochondrial DNA
Again viewing with lenses, and relating to my own work experiences with digital education, virtual reality and memories were a keen “take home”. We do have a virtual reality set up in our office at work and the educational implications of this as a way to engage students in an immersive learning experience is my focus but pushing this one step further into the boundaries and looking at this through the perspective of the film clip, what if students could “relive” classes, not just watch lecture capture, but relive and possible contribute to the content of the memory after the fact? With the chance to learn more, create a greater understanding of the subject matter and then go back to the memories of a lecture and correct or enhance, could this take education and learning to a higher level? Super education or education 2.0?

Open – I feel vulnerable

screenshots of my digital footprint

Currently battling with my own perception of my personal cyber culture. With the #MSCEDC course being pretty much conducted publicly for all and sundry, I’m questioning why I feel uncomfortable about it. After all, I blog, publicly A LOT, at last count I have 8 blogs, I have a youtube channel which again is public, I tweet, public, and much more so what’s the issue? I can only ascertain it’s about control or the level of control.  My digital footprint is massive, google me (that sounds like a teenage put down) and you’ll find pictures, blog posts etc. but in all of that I control what is and isn’t public, who can and can’t access things and how they are displayed. I carefully construct what I say and how I interact on these platforms to present the public face I want people to see. With the course blog, I feel I have very little control, it’s all public but I can’t decide not to post because I have to use it for the purpose of the course so all my thoughts, my personal development, my mistakes are there, laid bare.