sunnuntai 29. tammikuuta 2012

Defining Culture

The topic for our lecture this week in our course "Digital culture in humanities" was culture and its many faces; what it consists of? What it's built upon etc.? A both complex and obvious topic in itself. As a partial assignment we were divided into smaller groups in class and supposed to come up with smart definitions to the questions above. Me and my friends settled on some smaller truths (or what we considered truths, anyway...), like how culture is everything that affects usand how we're all affected by it in some manner. We agreed that culture is often considered as something created by humans; human nature and society, but that it also creates human society. In short, it all evolved into a very lengthy and versatile conversation. Interesting in some aspects...

A big part of the lecture was taken up by the topic of linguistics and how it's a defining and building tool of creating a culture. I do understand that language is very important to the emergence, existence and sustainability of human culture - I've always been interested in languages and have studied and still do study quite a few. Still many aspects of the entire theory and emerge of theories considering linguistics kind of passed me by as very peculiar and impossibly incomprehensible. I understand they are an important part of society and culture, but I still think the topic really opened up to me. Most of the time I just sat with my mouth open, wondering when things were going to start making sense in my mind. So far they haven't, but it's okay. I don't take it personally, or anything.

For one topic to another, lighter one: I suppose most of us cursed to live in this country called Finland, have noticed how it's recently changed into this gloomy, glacier-cold landscape of snow (f*ckloads of snow if you ask me, we don't bloody need any more of it -___-!). I dare say, that many people, just like me, are gripped by frustration and persistent grumpiness and just wish they could do the Moomin and go into hibernation for all winter and wake up in Spring. Some of us retort to more realistic musings, like thinking about summer or those tantalising, over-priced vacation trips to sunny beaches, tasty food with diarrhea-warning and cheap hookers. To cheer you up (or alternatively piss you off >8D!) here's some nice pictures from my trip to Thailand a few years back. Nope, just kidding, these pics are from online. I'm not as low as to force horrible vacation pics onto anyone. Enjoy 8D!

Did you like the cheap fantasy? I'm afraid if you look outside the window, you're still stuck in cold, winter-y Finland. Tough luck. Let's hope global warming gets serious soon...

Gyaru Supreme

lauantai 21. tammikuuta 2012

Why I write this stuff ~ brief introduction and analysis on my habits as a computer user

Hello everyone!
Just to clear any confusion, I'd like to start this blog by explaining the reason as to why I'm writing it. This isn't exactly a life-style blog of some kind...but then again, computers and internet can also be a sort of life-style for some of us. Ok, maybe that part of our lives involving computers and the like are actually more important than we really want to admit. But then again, in this era, it's cool to be a nerd. Or at least that's how I perceive it.

In short, this blog was created as a part of the course work for my course in Digital culture in humanities (if that would be the proper translation of "Digital kultur i humaniora" :'3 some one correct me, if I'm wrong). In other words, I'll be writing about the assignments and keeping a kind of course journal once a week. And maybe, if I feel inspired (slightly unlikely due to the amount of stress I'm currently under), I'll add in something more of my own, yet related to the topic and theme of this blog.

Btw, I choose this random name for the blog because it was one of the only funny ones available. One shouldn't take life too seriously, right?

So as our first topic for the first lecture, we had as assignment to describe ourselves as computer users - what we use the internet mainly for, what kind of users we are?

I guess I could call myself very much addicted to internet, and part of the generation that has been more or less born into it (well, not as much as the following generations, though). I find myself using computers daily, whether for something as simple as checking out tomorrow's weather or to stalk someone's blog or browse around on facebook.

I have to admit, the rising popularity of facebook has affected my life as a computer user strongly - I've even found myself being more active online thanks to facebook. I guess we've come to the point were this spoiled generation of mine finds life unbearable without access to facebook. Some first world problems, right? I guess hanging out on facebook takes up most of my time in front of the computer.

For me, internet is also a huge source of information and news, since I watch TV very seldom, although I have one at home. A huge part of my average day goes to checking out friends updates and new pictures on facebook, checking out my email, different currencies (for my upcoming trip to Japan in May, since the Euro is so weak compared to the yen -___-). Then I might browse some Japanese ladies' fashion pages and drool over clothes I really shouldn't even think about buying.

If I have some extra time, I settle down to read fanfiction - this I've done actively for about 9 years now. This takes actually about maybe 40-60% of the time I use in front of a computer, at least if I find something interesting to read. Those who know me, know the crazy stuff I read 8D! I guess this actually correlates directly to porn, which I also watch online. Feeling shocked? Don't be - well, those knowing me are probably not the least shocked. It's just a part of internet, a big part of internet and its contents. I have some pages I frequent, which I choose NOT to display here. It's somehow so much more convenient than steering my steps to a shop and awkwardly standing in queue with my dirty movie. No thanks. "The internet is for porn!" like one of characters stated ironically in the Avenue Q musical. To some extent, it's true, at least for some people.

I huge part of my time goes to watching movies, tv-series (a wide preference from Korean and Japanese dramas to American fantasy), reading online manga and Japanese fashion magazines and listening to music. For me, it's never been an issue to read even lengthier texts and excerpts from a glowing computer screen, as some people complain. I'm so used to it nowadays, that I barely register whether I've been sitting there reading for 2hrs or 5hrs. I guess that's a bad sign on some level :'D.

Another source of daily entertainment is offered by the Memebase internet page, which offers a person with such a bad sense (or good, depending on how you look at it ;D) of humour as myself some pretty good laughs. The silly memes always manages to make me look at the bright side of life, no matter how gloomy I feel. I can spend up to 3hrs or more on this particular page on a bad day. In a good day it varies quite a bit. I can confess I check out this page at least once a day, for the better or the worse, that's up to you to decide.

I don't play any kind of online games, because I honestly suck at those. I'm the complete opposite of natural talent when it comes to playing video or internet games of any kind. I don't make music either, have no musical talent to boast about. I don't consider myself especially talented when it comes to computers - things beyond browsing around, downloading and burning CD:s and DVD:s are above my forte. That's what my boyfriend's for - he's a software engineer and pro nerd. All kind of programming is in his area of expertise, so I haven't found the enthusiasm to pursue it on my own. Plus, I have a very short temper when it comes to a computer not working. Had it not been for my rationality (which I pride myself in possessing every now and then :'D), I'd probably thrown about 5 computers out of the windows in a flurry of anger. Although I'm still to dependant on computers to drastically rid myself of mine.

In short, for me, internet is for past time and leisure mostly, although it also serves as one of the best sources when looking for information. Informative, yet fun, that's how I experience internet and my relation to it. I don't think there is any kind of going back to a life without internet for me any more. Sad but true.

But that's all, folks! See ya around!

Gyaru Supreme