A Childhood Walk

One of our assignments for ECMP355 is to go on a ‘childhood walk’ on Google Maps, where we go along a route that we regularly took as a child using Google Street View.  It was actually pretty interesting going back to my childhood.

So, I’ve decided to follow the route that I took to school everyday back when I was in Grade 1.  Now, there were two starting points, my house…


or my babysitter’s house.


My house and my babysitter’s house were just a few houses apart, so I took the same route to school either way.

We (my babysitter’s husband and I) would walk down the street from his house everyday.  The street was quiet and peaceful, at least until we came to the one busy intersection.


Here we had to be careful when crossing the street, but we always made it.  When we reached the end of the alley, we could glimpse the school.

First glimpse of school

A low one story building at the end of the park.  It should be noted that there was once a sledding hill here, so we couldn’t see the school until we had passed by/over it.  It was nice to be able to walk through the grass, it made for a pleasant morning.


Here was my school.  It had a different playground when I was in Grade 1, but it was definitely the same building.

This was a really cool exercise, it invokes emotions where you never thought you had, or would have them.  Memories are all we have when we get older, but it’s good to look back and see yourself in a different place and time, back when things were simpler (weren’t they always).  I encourage you to try it.  The instructions are here, so have fun reliving your childhood.

Blog #4: Are we running out of bandwidth?

Hey guys, I was surfing youtube the other day, watching some videos from these guys called Extra Credits who talk about video games; their issues, thoughts on them, how they impact the world, they potential they have, etc.  Anyways, I came across this one episode they talked about, and I thought I should pass it on to you guys.

It’s about how studies are showing that, with the rate at which people are using mobile devices and other things is growing, we are going to run out of bandwidth in the air, and soon.  I know, it sounds crazy, but, according to these guys, it’s true, and so, will have incredible consequences on or technological world.  They explain it way better, so just watch the video.  But ya, the world as we know it is constantly changing, and who knows where it’s going to end up?

I know this video is a little bit old, but I think that it still applies to today.  What are your thoughts? Do you believe what Extra Credits is saying, or are you skeptical?

Blog #3b: What’s wrong with Remixing?

So, in our ecmp355 class, we watched this video called RiP: A Remix Manifesto.  This video was about making known the copyright laws and how they are limiting creativity by hording ideas, even though that’s what has been going on for a long time.  More specifically, it was talking about the music industry and followed music remixer Girl Talk, who takes samples of songs and makes entirely new ones.  The author of the movie talked about how music corporations are dominating the industry, and subsequently, the culture, by getting the government to ‘make pirates of its own citizens’ by supporting the corporations claims to intellectual copyrights.  With all this going on, it’s a pretty bleak future for the common individual.  But, the author then turns to Brazil, who rejects international copyright laws, and instead supports people’s creativity by not persecuting them for using bits of artists work.  For example, by ignoring patent laws on HIV drug testing, Brazil was able to make a, comparatively, inexpensive drug that it has then passed on to its people.  He ended by saying that remixing and sampling shouldn’t be a crime, because whether or not it’s a crime, people are going to do, as they have been doing for hundreds of years.

So, if you’re reading this and thinking, “didn’t you do this already?” it’s ok, I know I already reviewed “Everything is a Remix”.  So, I thought I would take the time to compare the two.  They are very similar, but there are also many differences.

So, I agree with the main point of what the author of RiP: A Remix Manifesto is saying: that copyright laws are limiting human creativity in ways that humans have always been creative, by taking what they know and rearranging in their own way.  I really enjoy the comparison that he used with books.  When writing a book, someone can take anything from another source, just as long as they properly reference the source that they took that thought from, so why can’t something similar be done in music, or other mediums?  But, along with that there needs to be official recognition that the original artist did create the original, or at least the original from which the sample came from.  There were some other things that didn’t seem right, I didn’t agree with the seeming promotion of pirating in talking about Napster, I mean artists still need to get paid for their original work, but extorting huge sums of money isn’t right either.  So, I think that what needs to happen is to go back to the original intents of copyright laws: to allow the creator to earn money for their creation for a limited time, and then after that limited time is over, to then give it to the public domain.  If remixers see that there are rules in place that support their “trade”, then I believe that they will follow those rules, because they know their voices are being heard.  So ya, let’s reevaluate the reasons we have such laws in place and stop being so selfish about who thought of what first, we’re all in this together, right? The least we can do is share.

Now comparing A Remix Manifesto with Everything is a Remix, I personally found the latter to be more enjoyable, easier to follow, and generally much more informative.  I found A Remix Manifesto to be unnecessarily long, somewhat hard to follow, and I found that it was very subjective minded, with an “us vs. them” sort of mentality.  I’m not saying they didn’t have good information, it was good, it was just a little too detailed for what I needed to know.  I found Everything is a Remix, on the other hand, very to the point, more a presentation of facts than an opinion (with lots of pictures), not that there wasn’t an opinion, it was more encompassing than just the music industry (I get that that was the main point of A Remix Manifesto, it just didn’t hit home for me), and it took about half the time.

So, if someone was looking to learn about this sort of thing and they asked me which one to watch, I would have to say Everything is a Remix.

What do you guys think?  What are your thoughts on remixing?  And which do you think you learned more from?

Blog #3: Everything is a Remix

Have you ever tried to create something?  More specifically, have you ever tried your hand at writing a song, or a story?  If you have, then have you noticed that as you’re writing it, your ideas seem to lack a distinct creativity that you would have expected from writing a story?  I know I have.  I tried to write a story once, and I had a pretty good idea.  I was writing it when I was suddenly struck by the similarities between my up-and-coming story, and a book by one of favourite authors.  Distressed, I went and explained my dire situation to the teacher who had goaded me into writing in the first place.  He responded, by writing on a big piece of cardboard, that I should look up “Everything is a Remix”.  I did, and I was amazed at what I found.

“Everything is a Remix” is a 4-part series, found here, about the idea that our creativity comes from without ourselves, not within, all we are doing is taking different things and ‘remixing’ them together.  The author and director, Kirby Ferguson, supports this theory by showing various examples, quotes, etc. but also describes some of the problems with patent laws, which were intended to allow for creators of certain objects to have free reign for only a few years, so that they would reap the rewards for their creation before the object went public, but which are now becoming territorial battles over who thought of what first.

I found this series to be quite fascinating and educational, and I would recommend it to anyone who has questions not dissimilar to my own aforementioned concerns.  But if you do not have time to watch all four parts of the series right away, I would recommend Ferguson’s TED Talk, which I found to be a more condensed version of the series.

What are your thoughts?  Do you agree with what Ferguson is saying, and that patent laws are going too far, allowing for territory wars in which late-comers have no hope of getting anything out of, or do you think that ideas are property, as much as a car is, and that the laws are good where they are?  I’m curious to hear, or more correctly read, your thoughts on this.