Tag Archives: E.M. Forster

Fight fake news waste by asking W.A.I.S.T.: “Why Am I Sharing This?”

27 Feb

[I’ve prepared the following post to go with a brief talk I’m giving on March 1 at UC Berkeley’s Academic Innovation Studio for a panel discussion on “Beyond Hype, Hysteria, and Headlines:  Strategies to Address Media Literacy Gaps in the Classroom.”]

Shortly after she became a grandmother, the writer Anne Lamott came up with a brilliant acronym as a reminder for herself. Any time Lamott felt the urge to offer unsolicited (and probably unwelcome) parenting advice to her son and daughter-in-law she would try to stop herself by thinking:  


Which stands for “Why am I talking?”

The acronym works beautifully in its two-fold way by first reminding one to pause and then to think before speaking. Though she intended it for her own use, and subsequently as a suggestion for other grandparents, I’ve found it helpful to employ as a parent of a pre-teen as well as in meetings at work and in conversations with friends and loved ones.

Inspired by Lamott, and knowing I wanted my undergraduate students at Berkeley to do a little thinking about the “fake news” that’s much discussed in the real news these days, I came up with an assignment for them centered around another acronym:


Which stands for “Why Am I Sharing This?”


Guiding Students Through the Morass of Fakery and “Fakery”

As many media observers have noted, fake news has become a kind of catch-all term in the past few months to harness information reported and shared online that is entirely or partially made-up, and which could constitute anything from straight-up propaganda to biased half-truths to cynical attempts to profit from people’s mindless, emotional clicking to sharp satire and on and on until we get to meta moments like this piece of performance art when earnest news commentators are rightfully sussing out fake news purveyors who, in their turn, prove the point of how easy it is for fake news to go viral.

And that’s to say nothing about the most troubling category of fake news:  the news that the current president categorizes as “fake” not because it’s not factual or well-sourced but because he doesn’t like the story.

Into this breach stepped the students in my second-semester freshman reading, composition, and research class. As in thousands of other college classes across the country, my students always learn to practice careful critical assessment of source material. This is essential not only to their work while in college, but also to their future as engaged, productive citizens. Since my current group is studying issues around the Internet, social media, and the human-machine interface generally, it was a natural fit to ask them to spend some time discussing and then evaluating some of the news they themselves were inclined to share in online spaces.

We first discussed what they took “fake news” to mean, and looked at some samples of things that were flat-out lies, such as this meme that was widely circulated in many forms and on many social media sites prior to the election last November:


Source: Snopes

As has been widely reported, Donald Trump never said this. It didn’t stop the meme, even after it was debunked, from being shared again and again on social media by Trump’s detractors who desperately wanted it to be true. As my students noted, it’s difficult to figure out who originated many memes, but whoever created this one did a bang-up job of trying to capture a Trumpian tone to the quote that made it seem potentially real.

My class also looked at this bit of fake news about President Obama supposedly banning the Pledge of Allegiance in schools that stirred up predictable outrage amongst those who didn’t like him. Those same people presumably ignored whatever internal “Really?” voices they possessed (not to mention the funky URL with the extra “co”) and instead liked, shared, or otherwise reacted to this fake post on Facebook some 2.2 million times as of mid-November:


Source: Refinery29


Among the key things to note about these two samples of fake news are that each of them went viral because of the emotions they stirred among Trump’s and Obama’s detractors, respectively. Many people who were pleased to see confirmation of their own biases, and who were spurred on by the controlling fervor of their emotions and the satisfying immediacy of the social media interface, shared and reacted to this fakery quickly and without much thought.

Clearly it’s time we all slowed ourselves down a bit.


The Assignment

After the above discussion, I asked my students to read this excellent article by the journalist Brooke Berel that usefully frames in the problem of fake news, provides historical context and helpful links (including this list of fake news sites from Melissa Zimdars of Merrimack College), and points to steps that journalists, tech companies, and we, the public, can take to ensure that fake news doesn’t metastasize into a permanent condition.

My assignment, which you can see here (why-am-i-sharing-this) was a simple one.

I asked my students to pick two items from their social media feeds that they’d be likely to share with others (or which indeed they had already shared) without too much thought. Whether a joke or apparently serious news, whether an article or a meme or a video or a GIF, the two pieces they picked had to have some facts or claims that would need to be verified. Then I asked them to write up their assessments of each piece in five steps:

  1. Describe what it is.
  2. Explain why you’d be inclined to share it quickly.
  3. Identify and carefully evaluate the source:  its origins, its credibility, its biases, its truth.
  4. Consider your audience:  how would they react?  what benefits or problems might arise from sharing this post so quickly?
  5. And then, knowing what you know now, would you still share the post, and what have you learned by doing this exercise?

The students picked a wide range of material and revealed themselves to be astute evaluators of truth on social media (contrary to what some studies of their generation have found), readily identifying clickbait and things that would stir social media users in particular ways. However, there was also evidence that some of them needed more help in assessing not only the factuality of material but also the context in which that material was situated and how that shaped the message. This was to be expected–most of my students are college freshmen, and people of any age can make these types of mistakes. But it also pointed up a key thing to consider about the problem of fake news:  in school assignments, students make these mistakes even when they are keyed to think and act more carefully and critically. In everyday discourse on social media, where speed and emotion are king, what chance does the truth have?

Another thing that stood out in the students’ responses was their acute awareness of their immediate audience on social media:  Not only (or even primarily) “Is this post true?” but “Will my followers and friends like it?” In doing so, they seemed to enact their own versions of this graphic representing “How to be unannoying on Facebook”:


Source: WaitButWhy


Intuition and the Mind:  

A Few Obvious and Yet Important Takeaways for Fighting Fake News

After the students had completed the assignment, we talked about some of the things they thought we all should do to better evaluate news and “news” that is shared on social media. Working in small groups, they each came up with lots of good suggestions for making classic critical moves of evaluating authors, media outlets, and interest groups; cross-checking facts; following trails to original sources; being aware of confirmation bias; sniffing out doctored images and sketchy web site design; relying on fact-checking sites and on distinguishing credible sources from non-credible ones, and so forth. I was pleased to see them suggesting many of the same steps recommended by the UCB Library when it issued a guide to identifying fake news a couple of weeks later.

An amusing contrast emerged when one group listed the advice to “Use your mind!” when on social media, while across the room another group advised people to “Use your intuition.” While the assignment and our debriefing of it were largely focused on doing the former, the latter was indeed an important step in the process of assessing an item’s veracity. It just shouldn’t be the only one.

So, distilling the students’ very concrete findings and that mingling of mind and intuition, I come to the following steps for asking and enacting W.A.I.S.T. (“Why Am I Sharing This?”) not just in scholarly work but, especially, in everyday social media use, enabling a pause to think before sharing, liking, or reacting in whatever way:

*The more emotional you are, the more you should pause.

*If it’s not a credible source you know you can trust, you should pause.

*If the piece speaks deeply to your own biases, you should pause. Twice.

*If liking/sharing/reacting is mostly about making yourself feel better, you should pause. (See Venn Diagram above.)

*If you haven’t carefully considered how your audience will react to the news, you should pause.

*Do you want the site you’re sharing or liking to make money from your sharing and liking? No? Then you should pause.

*Have you actually read or watched the thing you’re sharing? No? You know what to do.

You get the idea. Like Anne Lamott, the grandmother aspiring to restraint, we all need to take a moment to WAIT before reacting, then ask WAIST, and then, and only then, should we act. Remember that most of the time on social media we are not in read-and-react situations of imminent danger:  we are not in a war zone, on a dark street corner at night, or about to be sacked by a 300-pound lineman. Most of us are sitting on our couch at home, getting stirred up by the little machine in our hand.

Speaking of machines…


…A Coda from E.M. Forster


For several years, I’ve had students in this same class read E.M. Forster’s prescient short story, “The Machine Stops,” which was first published in 1909. (I’ve previously written about Forster’s story and its relevance for our time elsewhere on my blog.) In the story, the people of a futuristic society live entirely underground and rarely move or leave their hive-like “cells,” such that their bodies have become “lump[s] of flesh.” The most common activity is sitting alone in one’s cell before a screen, remotely connected by a central, god-like Machine to thousands of other residents, all of them incessantly listening to and giving lectures on various “ideas” that aren’t ideas at all.

At one point in the story, an influential lecturer whose area of expertise is the French Revolution gives some advice to his sedentary, isolated listeners that captures the ethos of the soon-to-perish Machine civilization. Like so much of Forster’s story, the lecturer’s absurd advice to his somnolent audience offers us an all-too-relevant warning for our own time:

“Beware of first- hand ideas!”….“Let your ideas be second-hand, and if possible tenth-hand, for then they will be far removed from that disturbing element—direct observation. …You who listen to me are in a better position to judge about the French Revolution than I am. Your descendants will be even in a better position than you, for they will learn what you think I think, and yet another intermediate will be added to the chain. And in time…there will come a generation that has got beyond facts…a generation…which will see the French Revolution not as it happened, nor as they would like it to have happened, but as it would have happened, had it taken place in the days of the Machine.”








“Only Connect”

6 Feb

Earlier this week, I was standing at a bus stop in busy downtown Berkeley, waiting to ride home after work. An email came in on my smart phone from one of my students who had a question regarding an essay he was writing about E.M. Forster’s speculative 1909 short story, “The Machine Stops.”

E.M. Forster, by Dora Carrington (Source: en.wikipedia.org)

E.M. Forster, by Dora Carrington (Source: en.wikipedia.org)

I looked up from my phone and briefly locked eyes with a gaunt, ragged-looking man who was walking past. He had all the markers of the hardcore homeless who, sadly, are all too familiar in Berkeley:  matted hair, torn clothing, dirt covering him from head to toe. Given his appearance, I assumed he was likely drug-addicted or schizophrenic, or both.

An extended gaze exchanged with someone like this rarely goes well; I looked back down at my phone to consider my student’s email.

Suddenly, a grimy palm was thrust between me and the phone, inches from my face. A faint scent of decaying garbage.

I recoiled, and there the man was, almost shoulder to shoulder with me as I leaned against a brick wall. The wild eyes seeing me, or not. He was muttering. I waited.  

“Can I tell you something?” he finally asked in a faint voice.


He muttered again, almost as if praying. What I could hear sounded like gibberish. I waited.

Then, with a violent motion, he chopped his hand against my phone and sent it clattering to the sidewalk.

“Turn it off!” he shouted, and then continued in unintelligible fashion, only now more loudly and inches from my face.

“OK, OK,” I said as calmly as I could, then bent to pick up my phone and started walking up the street away from the bus stop. Away from him.

“You will be executed!” he offered as benediction and then stalked off.

I circled back to the bus stop, wondering how many of the people there had watched and heard this exchange. It was hard to tell:  none of them looked at me. Most of them were looking at their phones.

Kuno Comes to Berkeley

In “The Machine Stops,” Forster’s narrator tells of a futuristic world in which the people are willingly in the grip of an all-controlling Machine that was created by humankind generations before. Each person now lives alone underground in windowless rooms that are honeycombed together “like the cell[s] of a bee.” Physical touch between people is considered repellent, in-person meetings rare. People are entirely disconnected from Nature and from each other, communicating via screens, delivering empty lectures, having things brought to them by the Machine, their minds and muscles atrophying. When the main character, Vashti, is first introduced to us, it is not as a woman but as a “swaddled lump of flesh…with a face as white as a fungus.”

My students frequently make connections to movies like Wall-E and The Matrix, and it’s also an easy leap to see the way Forster imagined us all a century later Skyping and Facebooking and You Tubing and ordering packages from Amazon by drone, as in this description of Vashti’s small room:

“Then she generated the light, and the sight of her room, flooded with radiance and studded with electric buttons, revived her. There were buttons and switches everywhere – buttons to call for food for music, for clothing. There was the hot-bath button, by pressure of which a basin of (imitation) marble rose out of the floor, filled to the brim with a warm deodorized liquid. There was the cold-bath button. There was the button that produced literature. and there were of course the buttons by which she communicated with her friends. The room, though it contained nothing, was in touch with all that she cared for in the world.”

The only one in the story who resists The Machine and its dictates is Vashti’s son, Kuno. He begs his mother to journey across the earth to see him so he can speak to her and see her face-to-face and “not through the wearisome Machine.” He thinks and asks questions. He longs to visit the forbidden surface of the Earth and to exercise his body and to look at the sky and wonder at the stars, all of which he does before The Machine violently tugs him back beneath the ground. Kuno is the only one who foresees The Machine society’s cataclysmic end.

Kuno is the voice of reason in the story, the only one to resist the absurdity and tyranny of The Machine. Kuno’s is Forster’s voice, and ours.

And for this, Kuno and his like–the rational, the physical, the emotional, the sensual, the non-mechanical people, the ones who can see the truth–are outcasts in the society of The Machine, flung to the surface of the Earth to die, and assigned the status most feared by Vashti and her “friends”:


I boarded the bus for home and looked down at my phone, its screen streaked with oil from the man’s hand, from mine. I wondered if I had dared not to avert my eyes from him to look at my phone but instead had held his gaze and smiled or given a friendly nod whether his response would have been different. Or perhaps he would have raved at me regardless.

How many people must shun this man, minute by minute, every single day of his life? Imagine the cumulative effect of that loneliness and that rejection by one’s fellow human beings.

In his own way, whatever the biochemistry of his brain was doing to thwart his efforts, the man was looking to make contact, and I had instead responded in a way that was perfectly normal, perfectly acceptable in polite society (“perfectly mechanical,” Vashti would say), and instead had turned to my phone. I had, as the characters in the story do, “isolated” myself.

His enraged madman’s response to me was, in the end, perfectly rational. It’s a less-polite version of the same lament so many of us regularly have about others and, if we’re being honest, about ourselves, even as we can’t resist the pull of the flashing notifications, the desire to see what the web, Forster’s evolved Machine, has delivered to us.

Indeed, the man’s screaming was a crazed echo of another of Forster’s creations, Margaret Schlegel of Howard’s End who wants to implore the rigid, unemotional Henry Wilcox with one of Forster’s most famous entreaties, one that rings down the decades, louder and more urgently now than ever, if we’ll stop long enough to hear it:

“Only connect!”


Monument to E.M. Forster in Stevenage, Hertfordshire.

Monument to E.M. Forster in Stevenage, Hertfordshire.






A Farewell (for now) to my R4B Students

26 Apr

This is a blog that I created for the New Media Faculty Seminar I attended here at Cal this semester. It’s been a place for me to think ever so briefly about the readings and discussions in the seminar. Some of my colleagues, or others, may read this.  However, as our semester together nears its close, I write today’s blog post primarily for you, my students.

I’ll start here:

Imagine a veteran of combat, someone just returned from the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan, walking into a bar back home. He sees an older veteran of the Vietnam War already sitting on a stool and cradling a beer bottle. The younger veteran approaches and juts his chin upward in greeting. The older veteran responds by tipping the mouth of his bottle towards the wall opposite them, where there is a poster of Picasso’s Guernica:

The younger vet just nods in reply. He knows. They both know. Enough said.

Or perhaps not. Who is the audience for this exchange?

Perhaps we need some writing as a means of communicating.  That’s been the dominant mode in our class, the thing we’ve been working on together.  Tim O’Brien, who writes more eloquently about war than perhaps any other living American writer, has written book after book in an attempt to remember what he saw and did as a soldier in Vietnam, his stories sometimes recursively circling back on themselves as he searches for meaning by writing his stories again and again, trying to get closer to the truth. As the narrator of his short story, “How to Tell a True War Story,” puts it, “You can tell a true war story if you just keep on telling it.”

Or maybe we need a more visceral image, something that’s less abstract than Guernica or something that’s at less of a literary remove than a short story, to get us (civilians) to feel a small measure of what war means for those in the thick of it. I thought about posting a few disturbing images that stand on their own, ones that have jarred me in the past, and then I thought, “Now why would you do that, especially for this audience and this purpose?”

And then, magically, on the very day I was having these thoughts, Colby Buzzell, an Iraq war veteran and former gunner for the Army, put writing and photographs together to reflect on the ugly photos that soldiers sometimes take during war.  Let him explain.

Hold it hold it hold it hold it!

[Use your imagination to insert the clichéd sound of car tires squealing to a halt, or else a needle screeching across a record…wait, have any of you ever used a turntable?]

What exactly do I think I’m doing here?  Why am I starting this blog post with a few thoughts about war? Perhaps it’s because war was the subject my previous sets of R4B students studied while they worked on their writing, their reading, their research. And Colby came to see several semesters’ worth of my students to talk about his memoir, a memoir that, as it happens, was based on a series of blog posts he wrote anonymously while he was serving in Iraq.

But we haven’t discussed war at all. What the heck is up? The previous subject is obviously still there in my brain like a cookie stored on my computer, waiting to be accessed.

No, that’s not quite the right analogy. I’m not making strong links in this meditation, am I? My flow needs some work.

Time to revise.

Start again:  We communicate in different ways and in different contexts.  We use different modes and technologies to communicate meaning. Writing (and reading) is the means that I use most often to make sense of the world; your means of communicating and making meaning may well be different. Writing still remains an important skill in our fast-evolving, tech-heavy world, though that may be changing.

Let’s risk a digression, and take a trip to Japan to look at some different photographs. Take a moment to look at the images in this slideshow. What do you see?

These are photographs that were recovered in areas ravaged by the 2011 tsunami in Japan. By themselves, many of them are strikingly beautiful multimedia works of art.  This technological means of representation and memory—the photograph—has been altered by Nature, by saltwater and dirt and bacteria so that the original objects have been radically damaged. Overlay that with the fact that some of the people in these photos surely died in the tsunami, and that there are efforts afoot to reunite these photos with the people who lost them, or with their survivors, and the pictures take on an almost unbearable poignancy. (Thanks to Tim Gotch for drawing my attention to these.)

So in the end, Nature maybe wins out over us and our efforts to tame it via technology.

By the way…sorry…BTW, have I succeeded in distracting you yet with my hyperlinks via this “ecosystem of interruption technologies” as the writer Cory Doctorow (qtd. in Carr 91) calls the Internet? No? You’re still with me? Good.

Because elsewhere in Japan, there other things going on. Have you ever heard of “vocaloids”? Until last week, I never had. You may shortly be able to take a De-Cal course about this, which is how I found out about it (from Alex de Guia of the Student Learning Center).

I imagine that if E.M. Forster were sitting with his afternoon tea watching this video, he’d have done a spit take:

This is Hatsune Miku, who is apparently a huge pop star in Japan, where she sells out concert halls with her singing and dancing and irresistible cuteness. She is also a computer program. A tech company created Miku a couple of years ago using technology developed by the Yamaha Corporation, and then, somehow, she evolved into a pop star that people would pay to see in concert. What?!

The Machine Sings.

Yes, those are actual Japanese fans—that is, actual human beings—in the audience who paid actual money to attend an actual concert and wave actual glow sticks while actually going wild. Presumably not all of them are on Ecstasy.

Those Japanese…crazy. For all the ways in which we human beings are much the same the world over (see again those tsunami photos), there are still plenty of things that are culturally specific and arise out of certain contexts that make us distinct. You’d never see something like that in America, right?

Except maybe that’s not so different from sitting passively here in America in a dark theatre to watch other kinds of computer-generated entertainments:

And then some of you were in Coachella a couple weeks ago where you saw Tupac Shakur brought back to life.

A dead rapper projected onstage so he could perform once more alongside his old buddies. Was it cool or creepy? A little of both. At least Tupac was alive once, an actual human being who spoke and rapped these words at some point before Dr. Dre and company made a Pepper’s Ghost out of him. I imagine that Tupac will finally get to rest in peace when there isn’t anybody left who stands to make money off him.

But back to Miku for a second. Apparently some of her human fans write songs for her using Yamaha’s technology, and then Miku performs some of those songs in concert; so maybe she’s sort of a social media crowd-sourced musical collaboration. Part machine, part human.  (Look at me, using the female personal pronoun to refer to Miku…I mean, to refer to the program…I mean…)

And as this PBS Idea Channel video questions:  who’s more real—a computer program like Miku or a manufactured human pop star like Lana Del Rey?

Trying to push against the on-rush of technology and the increasing presence of machines, let alone dealing with so many of the other challenges in our lives (chief among them our mortality), can come to seem like each of us is Sisyphus, eternally doomed as in the myth to keep pushing that rock back up the hill only to have it roll back down to the bottom again.

And yet I liked this formulation by Albert Camus taken from a book of his essays—a reminder that even in the face of absurdity or doom, we have to keep persevering and even to laugh and to try to enjoy ourselves: “One has to imagine Sisyphus happy.”

(Caution:  this quote of Camus is drawn from a secondary source, albeit a very reliable one.)

The Flight of the Conchords seem to have Camus’ spirit in mind (thank you, Satya Levine, for reminding me this was out there):

The fact that we can joke about such things sometimes means that we take them dead seriously.

Are you distracted yet?

So what was this all about? Out with it already.

This is writing. A mostly linear medium you’ve been reading here from top to bottom, from beginning to end (sort of). As with any book that you could choose to put down, you’ve had opportunities to jump away, though in this case you’ve had even more of them than a printed text affords you.

Even if you haven’t made it this far, I know somebody—or some thing, some program, some company—has followed me this far. I used the Collusion add-on from Mozilla to track the companies that have been following me. By clicking on each of the nine hyperlinks and videos above on this page, I have been tracked and cross-tracked not only by the original web sites I visited but also by about 24 other big name companies (like Twitter) and odd-sounding advertising and data mining companies (like “adnxs.com” and “tynt.com”).  Here’s what that looks like:

(If you’re reading this online and you’ve clicked those same links, those companies have also tracked you. Sorry about that. Maybe I need a privacy policy on this blog.)

So, all that web surfing isn’t free. Somebody is reading me. After all, I’m somebody’s—or lots of somebodies’—micro Tupac ATM.

But have you been reading me?

My job as the writer here was to keep you reading, keep you with me from beginning to end, and if I’ve failed maybe that doesn’t matter because this is just a blog post, a piece of digital ephemera full of silly digressions and errors and elisions.

But it does matter to me if you’ve made it to the end, if I’ve made myself clear rather than serving as a human version of the Postmodernism Generator.  I trust that the same imperative will apply for you as each of you put together your final project for me and for the audience you’re imagining.

My job, in short, was to convey my meaning to you, my audience.  To present a unified piece that cohered—around a theme, a gesture, an argument.  Is this an argument?

What I think I mostly want to say is this: each of you is a distinct person, not a machine.  If I could standardize and mechanize my teaching more, and standardize your output even more, a machine might be able to grade some of your papers. However, I can’t input each of you tidily into my Larkinoid program and spit out great writers at the other end. (I can’t even do that for myself.) Maybe I’m falling prey to another version of Jaron Lanier’s “lock in,” only in this case it’s a lock in of the education system, or of academic writing conventions, or of my teaching. Perhaps it’s time to revise or re-program.

So here we are, learning how to write the human way—not very efficient, perhaps, but it’s the reality of the moment. In my view, it’s also a major part of what makes things interesting.

The truth is that while teachers can (and should) help guide you, you mostly have to teach yourself to write; you have to discover for yourself.  If you want to develop the muscle—if you don’t want to lose the muscle and turn into a lump of flesh like Vashti sitting in her little cell at the beginning of Forster’s short story—then you have to keep working the writing muscle, the reading muscle, the thinking muscle.  If you do this, if you don’t let yourself get overly discouraged as you push that rock up the hill, if you keep working, you’ll teach yourself more about how to write well than I or any other instructor (or machine) could ever teach you.

And you’ll be a very interesting human being.

You can do it, yes?

Good luck on the journey.

# # #


Works Cited


(Not entirely necessary, given that this is a blog post. However, I can’t very well ask all of you to carefully keep track of your sources if I don’t do it myself, can I? The sources for the jpegs above, admittedly, have not been cited.)

Buzzell, Colby. “My Father’s War Pictures, and Mine.” Daily Beast. 20 Apr. 2012. Web. 26 Apr. 2012.

– – -.  My War. New York: Berkley Caliber, 2006. Print.

Carr, Nicholas. The Shallows:  What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains. New York: Norton, 2010. Print.

“CV01 Hatsune Miku -World is Mine Live in Tokyo, Japan.”  Perf. Hatsune Miku. (Really?–yeah, OK, I guess I should cite her as a performer… maybe)YouTube. You Tube, 13 Apr. 2012. Web. 26 Apr. 2012

“Flight of the Conchords – The Humans Are Dead.” YouTube. You Tube, 15 Mar. 2007. Web. 26 Apr. 2012.

Forster, E. M. “The Machine Stops.” The Eternal Moment and Other Stories. London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1928. Print.

Gopnik, Adam.  “Facing History.” New Yorker. 9 Apr 2012: 70-76. Print.

Gotch, Tim. “The Memory Salvage Project:  Haunting and poignant images recovered from the tsunami.” Spookymoonbeam. WordPress. 9 Apr. 2012. Web. 26 Apr. 2012.

“Introducing Collusion.” Mozilla. Mozilla. Web. 26 Apr. 2012.
Lanier, Jaron. You Are Not a Gadget. New York: Vintage, 2011. Print.

Leon, Melissa. “Hatsune Miku, Japan’s Holograpm Pop Idol.” Daily Beast. 18 Apr. 2012. Web. 26 Apr. 2012.

“Lost & Found: 3.11 Photographs from Tohuku.” Exposures Blog. Aperture Foundation. 28 Mar. 2012. Web. 26 Apr. 2012.

Lost & Found Project: Family Photos Swept by 3.11 East Japan Tsunami. n.d. Web. 26 Apr. 2012.

O’Brien, Tim. The Things They Carried. New York: Penguin, 1991. Print.

The Postmodernism Generator. Communications from Elsewhere. n.d. Web. 26 Apr. 2012.

Rugnetta, Mike (narr.). “Is Miku Hatsune A More Authentic Pop Star Than Lana Del Rey? | Idea Channel | PBS.” PBS Idea Channel. YouTube, 28 Mar. 2012. Web. 26 Apr. 2012.

“Staff.” Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. U.C. Berkeley, 2012. Web. 26 Apr. 2012.

“Tupac Hologram Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre Perform Coachella Live 2012.” YouTube. You Tube. 17 Apr. 2012. Web. 26 Apr. 2012.

Winerip, Michael. “Facing a Robo-Grader? Just Keep Obfuscating Melliflously.”  New York Times. New York Times. 22 Apr. 2012. Web. 26 Apr. 2012.