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Activism Won Net Neutrality - Can it Stop Trump’s FCC from Rolling it Back?

We’ve defeated efforts to roll back net neutrality. I’ve provided a link on to make your voices heard in a time Trump and his puppet at the FCC are threatening our internet freedoms.

How to comment on the FCC’s proposal to revoke net neutrality

Visual Culture

One of the papers I’m taking this year is Visual Culture, or as one of my lecturers has defined it, ‘how seeing functions’. 

If I’m being completely honest, I first chose the paper because I wanted to toss aside books of Romantic poetry and study paintings instead (and for an essay I’m studying Botticelli, yay 🎉)… but little did I know that I had actually always been emotionally invested in the study of Visual Culture.

Two weeks ago, I tentatively made the suggestion of an idea that I had for an essay to my supervisor. I had no clue whether this thing had any potential or anything, but I remember thinking that I wanted to bring my own, personal experiences and therefore opinions to the paper. So, what did this idea entail, I hear you cry? 

Blogging. Profiles. The Self.

I have accounts on most main social media sites (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr). I’m not alone in this at all - in fact most people I know are on these sites - but that is precisely my point. I occupy a small fragment of the vast, virtual world of the Internet…. I occupy a ‘space’. This ‘space’ is essentially shown to me & others via pixels on a flat screen. I can then perceive other people’s small fragments and compare them, perhaps connect them, to my own. Is it not interesting that what we ‘see’ when we view a profile comes to represent that which we assume is real (i.e. another person/life)? This may not make much sense, but I’m basically telling you my perspective as a person scrolling through Instagram/Tumblr on my phone. And it was these two social media sites that interested me the most.

Although the Photograph has been said to contain a trace of the ‘real’ - something other artistic medias such as painting do not - we have also all heard, as citizens of the 21st Century, the common phrase that a person’s Instagram life is not their ‘real’ life. And to this we think, well…duh(!). It’s common knowledge that usually people only post photographs they feel look good, or ones they think will express a superior part of their life, because this is the part which adheres to the culturally constructed ideas of ‘beauty’ and ‘taste’. But I’m not interested in this ‘why’, more interested in the effect. Before I say anymore, I thought I’d specify that the kinds of Instagram profiles I’m interested in looking at (literally) here are those that are – or so we think they are - focused on material objects. You will recognise the ones: you go onto an Instagram profile, where the image of a hand with an expensive watch on the wrist lies next to an image of the body shown in a ‘mirror pic’, the head is cut off from the frame and our first focus lies on the expensive suit. The next image shows slick shoes, worn on the feet of…who? Well, the faceless blogger, of course. This person intrigues me, but I couldn’t give a damn who they are. I’m more interested in wanting to find out what they’ve done to the representation of the human body in the arrangement of such an Instagram profile. The fragmentation of the body when I visit these pages feels harsh to me. For me, their Instagram page is not purely a show of economic surplus or capitalist culture; I think there’s something more to be said, and I’m wanted to use Visual Culture – ‘how seeing functions’ – to say it as the viewer.

Tumblr is different. The blogs I am interested in talking about are those that feature photographs mostly taken by other people, collated to form something we have come to acknowledge as an ‘#aestheticgoal’. I’m not going to go into theories of aesthetics because this just isn’t relevant here – ‘aesthetic’ in the social media sense is essentially ‘taste’. But in any case, the impression bloggers on Tumblr are presenting is that of an even less ‘real’ … the people we assume lie behind these blogs aren’t even trying to construct an image of themselves, instead a persona for who they ‘ideally’ wish to be. The imaginative inhabitation of – say – an image of a New York apartment is something we can experience on this site, next to the #goals of an image of a bikini-clad model at the beach. I’m interested in how this juxtaposition of images plays out in our perception as viewers, and what kind of effects this kind of viewing experience has.

This is where my idea gets quite personal. I’m not going to get personal in my essay because it wouldn’t be relevant, but I think my feelings are relevant to the efficacy of this blog post. Thinking back to my first experiences of Tumblr and Instagram as a teenage girl, I must admit I consistently reblogged and liked photographs of unattainable #bodygoals and #relationshipgoals. I’ve just been reading an essay by Rosalind Coward called, ‘The Look’ in preparation for a seminar tomorrow, and I’ve actually (usefully) been able to link it to my ideas for this social media essay. Her essay made me feel… uneasy. Not because I disagreed, but because I actually felt an affinity with the conclusion. Her essay basically (I’m being extremely general here) describes the circulation of images of the female in society, and the effect these images have on women. What is usually seen to be the ‘Narcissus’ stage of woman’s life (i.e. the woman-child stage), where the woman ‘identifies’ with these ‘ideal’ images surrounding her, turns out to be an identification laden with discontent, namely because the woman cannot see herself in the image of herself presented. Coward concludes the essay by saying that these images create an anxiety: if we cannot become the ‘image’ presented, if we cannot prune ourselves to ‘perfection’ through dieting, buffing, bronzing, waxing, etc… then we will, ultimately, face the future as unloved.

Reading this essay now, I can see that the idea of being unloved because you cannot attain the ‘ideal’ look is a false notion, but it is 100% something I have felt and do still sometimes feel. I no longer follow blogs that promote these kinds of images, I also no longer follow the profiles of those who are said to represent society’s ‘body goals’ on Instagram - not because I do not like who these people are (I like to think every person in and of themselves is lovely) but because I have been exposed to the images of these women in the past, and it is these images that have affected my perception of my self. The images of these real women that have been taken with the ‘ideal’ in mind is the problem. By unfollowing, I am choosing not to expose myself to the images any more than society dictates I have to via billboards or other forms of cultural media you see walking through the street … therefore I feel like I can begin to cultivate a certain comfort in the skin I am in.

I’m actually quite nervous for the seminar tomorrow, as I would not feel comfortable taking about my own experiences as a teenage girl and even as a woman in front of 25 people, no matter how useful it may be. However I need to say here that exposure to an ‘ideal’ definitely played a part in my issues surrounding mental health. There were days, weeks even, where I wouldn’t leave the house because I felt too ugly to expose myself to the world. This sounds melodramatic now, but it’s actually fucking serious. And it makes me angry. In 2013 I cancelled a trip to Barcelona with friends on the day I was supposed to leave because I thought I was too fat and too pale to enjoy myself, and I was terrified of the photographs. I measured myself by the societal ‘standards’ handed to me on a plate in the form of social media such as Tumblr/Instagram. I’m not saying there is fundamentally anything wrong with having an account (I’d be the definition of a hypocrite if I did), but I do find the effect exposure to such images can have interesting – even in the instantaneous effect of scrolling past something. 

Which brings me to the last interest I had: the difference in experiencing Tumblr/Instagram real-time on a feed, to experiencing individual pages. This to me seemed to have very different effects. We scroll, we like, we move on. But a profile with a collection of images calls for more contemplation, more judgement. And it will be interesting to see where this goes. 

In any case – two weeks ago I pitched my idea to my supervisor, expecting to be shot down. Instead he was really excited. And so am I.  

- Sarah (or, the woman who made the image below monochrome because I think it ‘looks good’ … I’m conforming to certain standards, but I’m also showing an image of my ‘self’ I wish to present. It may not be the ‘real’ me, but in a world which is in itself virtual, it may suffice as a trace of reality attempting to provide a somewhat genuine account of my life.) 

anonymous asked:

Regarding the Dem. Nomination, you said in a post before that you're worried that if Hillary wins the nomination, Sanders supporters just won't turn out to vote for her in the general election. Doesnt that mean that the smart play for democrats is to vote to nominate Sanders because he is more likely to galvanize people to vote and win, in comparison to hillary who's nomination will disillusion young people not to turn out and vote thus losing the white house to republicans? like in 08 with obam

There isn’t a “smart play” for democrats. People are going to vote for who they would like to be president, and it seems fairly likely that more democrats are going to vote for Secretary Clinton than for Senator Sanders. I know this seems impossible considering that the corners of the internet I occupy are 95% Sanders supports (and a fair number of outright Clinton haters.) But there is a very large contingent of Democrats who are, y’know, more moderate and more wealthy and more…old. Those people are overwhelmingly Clinton supporters and my concern is that the established base will vote for Clinton and carry her through to the nomination, but younger, more radical people will have gotten so used to hating her, or seeing her as backwards or as part of the establishment that they won’t vote, and then we’ll end up with President Cruz nominating four Supreme Court justices and starting three new wars we will never extract ourselves from.

But the important point here is that people don’t vote as a block, they vote for who they want to vote for, and lots of moderate democrats (myself included) really like Hillary Clinton. And most of the reasons I hear for disliking Hillary Clinton come from Sanders supporters who have become convinced that she’s not just less good than Sanders, she’s actually evil. I think she’s fantastic, even if I disagree with her on some issues. I also, to be clear, disagree with Sanders on a lot of issues, but I do not expect to ever vote for someone I agree with 100%.

change.org
PETITION TO STOP THE LAW THAT WILL CENSOR THE INTERNET

This is serious people, first it’s our jobs, now it’s our internet and it’s already been our human rights, the next thing you know is they will rewrite the fucking constitution. I’m so disgusted with this world.

IF anyone’s confused about what this means it’s basically there will be a cap on the internet and they will inevitably blacklist us. Anything ILLEGAL, LOSS OF OWNERSHIP, COPYRIGHTED, PORNOGRAPHIC, UNLAWFUL TO MINORS, ETC. 

And they will surveillance EVERYTHING that we do online if they’re not secretly doing it now, they will be soon. 

Land of the liberty my ass….

tigull replied to your postbecause tumblr hosts unoriginal user content, the bill would allow for the copyright holders to shut it down. Same with websites like youtube and reddit, and search engines. Essentially, this bill is censoring the internet.

It’s… pretty chilling. America’s always been looked at other countries as an example of free speech… if they censor the internet, then other governments… I don’t know. It’s just a scary thought. :T

Wow, that is really true. America is just being a hypocrite. They (the government) obviously need to review the laws/ Declaration.  I’m just worried in the direction America is going in lately… :/

It is a scary thought!

#ows - The Obvious #FACT: #Obama can’t be trusted when the #TPP that he’s pushing for threatens internet freedoms.

TPP = a threat to the US constitution.

Tough love from Jamie!

One of the best things about doing what we do at Sorted is getting to meet people who watch the videos, send us tweets and Facebook messages and generally chat to us online about the one thing EVERYONE IN THE WORLD has in common… food! A couple of weekends ago at Summer in the City we met a tonne of people who enjoy the little corner of the internet occupied by  SORTEDfood, which was incredible! But there was a running theme… “I watch all the videos but I hardly ever cook any of the recipes because…” Now the last part of that sentence was made up from a few options, including: 1) I don’t have any time - do you know how incredibly busy I am?! 2) I can’t cook - honestly, I’d burn a salad  3) I don’t have any money - I spent it all on takeaways :-S 4) All the recipes are for 4 people and I’m cooking for one! :’( 5) Pfft, that’s what my mum/dad/aunt/grandparents/dog/imaginary friend are for. If I’m being completely honest, these excuses are limper than a wet piece of lettuce (or Mike’s handshake). So, being my ever helpful self, I’ve come up with a few comebacks… 1) No time - Screw that… A stir fry takes 5 minutes, just buy a pack of fresh veg, shove it in a wok and stir it on a high heat for 5 minutes… Seriously, it’s that quick!! 2) Can’t cook - Absolute testicles… That is purely a mindset thing, anyone can cook… See above example… OR boil some pasta for 10 minutes and then stir in an egg, some chopped garlic and some ham - BOOM, you cooked a carbonara! 3) No money - Male cow excrement… Actual ingredients cost very little and can be used more than once, rather than a £2.50 microwave meal that you use once spend that money on some potatoes/pasta/rice and just buy some protein (meat/fish etc) when you need it! 4) Portions - For the love of… Why not cook up a large amount and then refrigerate or freeze whatever you don’t eat and then you have another meal waiting for you in days/weeks to come! 5) Other people to cook for me - What happens when they leave? What if they’re not there? Part of being an actual human is the ability to be independent and look after yourself… Or, just return the favour once in a while! Ok, ok, so that might be slightly tough love… But here’s some actual tips for how to change your mindset when it comes to food: 1) Instead of treating yourself to a takeaway/fast food meal etc, try treating yourself to a proper home cooked meal - I guarantee you’ll feel fuller for longer, be more satisfied and get this lovely little warm fuzzy feeling of pride deep inside your private parts. 2) When you get home after a long day of working/schooling/procrastinating decide to do something productive with your time. Cook for yourself, your flatmate, your family, your partner, your neighbour… What else would you be doing with that time? Watching tv? Surfing the internet? Some of the best dishes I know (e.g. a chilli/curry etc) need 5-10 minutes of actual work before leaving them to cook… Then go back to doing nothing and get yourself ready to eat something delicious that YOU actually made. 3) What could you value higher in life than your health, wellbeing and happiness? Life is about priorities and surely those things come pretty high up that list? Don’t choose a ‘healthy ready meal’, that’s counter productive - just cook something from scratch and see how cheap it works out in the long run! 4) Challenge yourself to try something new each day/week/month, whatever you think is achievable. That could be a new type of food, a new ingredient, or a brand new way of cooking you’ve never tried before… Self improvement is one of the most attractive qualities in a person, so give it a go! Now the chances are, this blog might not apply to you, so if it doesn’t please share it and pass it on to someone you think needs to read it! Ok, so SORTEDfood might not change the world, but together we can help to make it a little bit better… It’ll certainly taste better once we’re finished with it!! Love Jamie xxx

This will remain my tumblr, but my official site has moved to occupy a different internet space. Come visit me at www.dylanmarron.com and you’ll find a fan art gallery because it wouldn’t be an official website without it. Love you guys. 

honestly, this was the best time for phil to upload a day in the life video. I don’t have any friends to hang out with, so during long breaks from school when I’m just stuck at home I try to occupy myself with internet and tv before I fall apart into pieces. having dan and phil taking us along for a happy, festive day with them makes me feel like I’m not alone after all. I’ll always have them

Coffee Confession

GUYS, I BECAME INSPIRED TO WRITE MY FIRST SCENARIO/FIC/IMAGINE. I don’t know what you would really call this..Please read it and let me know what you think! ♥ Thank you so much and I hope I get inspired like this again really soon. If you guys pitch me ideas, I can probably try to write something based on it heheh~ Consider this a big thanks to all the new followers!

Mark // Fluff // 1,273 words

Originally posted by markjin

“It’s like 30 degrees out… Why do you would you wanna go out and get coffee when we can just make some at my place?” you asked as you were walking out of your class with Mark, who was your classmate. “Well since we’re already out, might as well go to a coffee house to study, but your place is good too” he replied. 

 You and Mark met this fall semester and became close because you didn’t really understand the material so you both relied on each other as a crutch to get through the class. It was finals week and this last exam was worth a huge portion of your grade. Naturally, you and Mark decide to team up as you always did.

 After a long school day, Mark was waiting at the car for you because it snowed earlier and you thought it would be a good idea to car pool since the roads were pretty icy. “You’re lucky I’m here to take you huh? I mean a terrible driver like you couldn’t possibly drive in weather like this!” he teased as he was starting the car. You managed to come up with a response despite of how embarrassed you were “I’m just glad I have someone who is willing to drive me because I hate driving, especially in this weather.”

 The two of you are not really sociable and you prefer to keep to yourselves, but that’s how you became friends! You both enjoyed the silence in between conversations when most people would feel awkward and obligated to say something. This car ride was the same as any other which made you think to yourself that you were really lucky to have someone like Mark who understands you and is willing to do things like this for you.

 Soon after you reached your house, Mark quickly ran to the coffee maker to brew some coffee but he was in such a rush that he left wet, sloppy tracks all over the front entrance of your house. “MARK! YOU MADE A MESS!! I’m gonna kill you!!” you screamed as you tried to rush to grab a rag. Mark quickly comes to help as he’s begging for your forgiveness. “It’s fine…” you say as you plop yourself onto the couch.

 Come to think of it, you have been a little on edge lately because of school, work, and other daily occurrences in your life that seem to keep popping up one after another. Normally you wouldn’t react that way and you feel terrible for snapping at Mark. After all, he did give you a ride home in dangerous weather conditions… 

You suddenly feel a tap on your shoulder while you were lost in your thoughts and self-loathing. You turn around and it’s Mark holding two coffee mugs saying “Here, take one! I made it just how you like it. Two creams and hella sugar… I don’t know how your teeth haven’t fallen out with all that sugar you put in there.” You smile as you take the mug from him and remind him that bitter coffee is at the top of the list of things you hate. Mark comes around and he takes a seat right next to you and the air around you two becomes a little dense. 

You can sense that something is a tad off from the usual silence that takes place between you two. It’s slightly tense and awkward.. So you starting dwelling in your thoughts again thinking “Maybe he still feels bad for making a mess and maybe I was too hard on him. I should say something so he doesn’t feel so guilty.”

 As you were about to say something, Mark says something that you really didn’t expect. “ Hey y/n, do you know what I like about coffee?” You were taken aback by this because the coffee was the last thing on your mind and Mark was just so focused on it this whole time? He’s listing the reasons as you ponder this “Well” he continues: 

  • Coffee is hot.
  • It makes me excited.
  • It helps me wake up.
  • It keeps me up all night.
  • Coffee is good enough to have every day.
  • It smells good.
  • Coffee makes me nervous sometimes.
  • It keeps me warm and fuzzy♥~

Totally confused by what he was saying, you ask him “Okay….? What does that have to do with anything?” You really weren’t sure as to how to respond because it took you by surprise. Here you were over-analyzing something that seems to be not even a big deal to him. Well, obviously not that big of a deal if he’s here just listing the reasons why he likes coffee. 

After asking your question, there was a slight pause where you’re basically trying to guess what he was going to say next. You anticipated what seemed to be an eternity trying to see the gears in his head turning. Then he asks “Do you wanna know the reasons why I like you, y/n?” 

He responds to his own question with:

  • Pretty much the same as coffee.

You stared at him with this shocked/blank expression on your face. You couldn’t believe it. Mark Tuan? Just said something smooth? To you? This is the guy that you’ve seen get flustered by small things, and basically has little to no presence because of how quiet he is? Honestly, you didn’t think he had it in him to say something like this because most of the time he didn’t seem to want to bother with things like relationships or anything emotional for that matter. He has always been so goal driven and so focused on his future that it seems nearly impossible to even think that he has a romantic interest. 

Let alone having his romantic interest be YOU. You of all people he could be interested in. Most of your days are spent alone on the computer surfing the internet and occupying your time with things that most would find mindless. You’re just a simplistic, apathetic, introverted college student who just seemed to make it by in life by merely existing. And he basically just confessed to you..

“Hello?? Are you there?? Hello????” you hear the voice starting to become clear. Mark waved his hand in front of your face and knocked on your forehead to make sure your soul hadn’t left your body. “Did you hear what I said?” he questioned. “Yeah, I heard you.” you replied shyly “Are you just messing with me? ‘Cause if you are, that’s not funny you know..”

Mark just laughed and put his arm over you and said “I’ve thought about it for some time now and I was thinking of the perfect way to say it! Do you not remember how we first met? You spilled your coffee on me on the first day of class because you were shaking so much because of how nervous you were.” 

Realizing it now, you and Mark did have a thing for coffee and it was something you both really enjoyed and spent a lot of time doing together. The both of you always winded down the end of the week with a nice cup of coffee together and it was little things like that that made you feel so blessed to have someone as precious as Mark in your life. 

“I just don’t want it to become bittersweet, Mark” you say as a rebuttal to his explanation. Mark smiled and looked at you with the most sincere eyes, held your hand and said “With the amount of sugar you put in, there’s no way. You’re too sweet.”