Japanese Architecture

Almost 15 weeks have passed since I started my second semester of second year in university doing BCM320 (Digital Asia), a subject which is based on autoethnography. Although I would certainly say my understanding of the topic is significantly better than it was before I started, I believe there is a lot more that I need to learn before I can consider myself at all proficient at it. With that being said I tried my hand at autoethnography, specifically researching Japanese architecture, for my major assignment in the subject. I have always been fascinated with architecture and it was something I had planned to do in university back in my high school days, until the reality of my complete lack of ability in the area came crashing down on me. The video, although 13 minutes long, is quite brief on each topic because after getting started I realised how much there was that needed to be talked about in order to get the full image on architecture and development in Japan and after cutting out almost half of my total material I was still only able to get it down to its current size. The topics in the video below include; regulations on development in Japan, the Japanese aesthetic (not only in architecture but also in general) and some information on the use of traditional and modern Japanese architecture and the influence of Western themes in Japanese homes.

Apologies in advance for the terrible video quality, the camera decided to focus on the paintings behind me rather than me…


edX. (2018). Modern Japanese Architecture: From Meiji Restoration to Today. [online] Available at: https://www.edx.org/course/modern-japanese-architecture-meiji-tokyotechx-arch101x-0 [Accessed Oct. 2018].

Ellis, C., Adams, T. and Bochner, A. (2011). Autoethnography: An Overview. [online] Qualitative-research.net. Available at: http://www.qualitative-research.net/index.php/fqs/article/view/1589/3095 [Accessed 2018].

Essley, J. (n.d.). Japan Houses – A Look at Current and Traditional Japanese Homes. [online] House Design Coffee. Available at: https://www.house-design-coffee.com/japan-houses.html.

Lombardi, L. (2013). Japanese Architecture: What Makes It Different?. [online] Tofugu. Available at: https://www.tofugu.com/japan/japanese-architecture/.

Townsend, A. (2013). Understanding Japanese Building Law | AlaTown. [online] Alatown.com. Available at: http://www.alatown.com/japanese-building-law/.


DON’T COPY ME!!!!! Oh, Wait…. You Didn’t?

Personally I believe that people who think they need to have their own individual niche for every little thing are ridiculous, but after going through week 5’s content for Future Networks I am able to appreciate why people might think they need one, especially on the internet. With the exception of news and new product releases I highly doubt you would be able to find anything on the internet that has not been done before, heck, you could probably at least 5-10 other blogs from this subject talking about exactly the same thing as I am. Although people tend to bang on about how there are so many duplicates of everything on the internet I think it is silly to be talking about it as if it is some kind of serious issue. Having two or more options for everything is ideal as far as I’m concerned and having multiple copies of the same things can make it easier to find and grasp concepts or buy products etc. online.

The example I want to use to show the proliferation of data, often identical copies, is through the Twitter hashtag we use in this subject. Since Tweeting is a component of an assessment in this subject (find relevant content relating to the weeks lecture to start conversation/exchange ideas) you will almost always find that two people have made links to the same articles and you might say that this is because the person who reposts the article has just scrolled down, found one far enough back and then feigned ignorance as if they had no idea somebody else had already put it there, and although that may be true, I feel as though in 9/10 cases it is a complete coincidence.



Anonymous – a Global Hacktivist Group

Hacktivism is the process of using computers and computer networks to promote a political agenda or a social change. The hacktivist group, Anonymous, is one ‘organisation’ (more of a collective) that has achieved a lot in the sphere of hacktivism. Formed in 2004 the symbol of the group is the use of Guy Fawkes masks to cover their faces and today the use of these masks is commonly associated with hackers.


The group started out as a “joke” between like minded people online with their first major action being against the church of Scientology in 2008 after they had a video removed from YouTube that spoke about the church. The group quickly grew from there becoming an international symbol which eventually began targeting governments around the world such as the U.S, Turkey and Uganda as well as multiple large corporations such as PayPal, MasterCard, Sony and Visa exposing various information on these groups practices.

“If my cause is more important than the law or company policy — hacking for the data I want is fine.”


The London Riots and the Consequences for Social Media

I posted two links on my classes hashtag #bcm206 today talking about the London riots back in 2011 and how there was a massive call to have social media regulated by police to prevent future similar crimes. In fact I enjoyed reading it so much that I have decided to dedicate a whole 150 words to talk about it, maybe even 200 if I want to push my luck with whoever is marking this.

Following the London riots in 2011 the Prime Minister at the time, David Cameron, spoke about his feelings on the use of Social Media in being used to orchestrate/organise the attacks saying, “Free flow of information can be used for good. But it can also be used for ill.” and said he wanted to, “… (work) with the police, the intelligence services and the industry (Social media) … To stop people communicating via these websites (with the intention of inciting violence).”

After talks went ahead on this topic a conclusion was come to that all involved parties were happy with. In the agreement both Facebook and Twitter are helping teach police on the best methods of monitoring social network for signs of public violence without having to breach user privacy. After the initial hype of calls being made to have these services shut down or to allow unrestricted access to data on social media by police many officials, and users, of the social media companies were glad that no restrictions were being posed on the platform, with a spokesperson from Facebook saying: “We welcome the fact that this was a dialogue about working together … rather than imposing new restrictions on Internet services.”

As an Australian citizen who has lived in the country my whole life it makes me think about examples closer to home, the Cronulla riots in 2005 were organised mostly through circulating text messages and the turnout for that was huge. It just makes me wonder how big it could of been if each and every attack was being coordinated on social media.






Pros and Cons of Citizen Journalism

Citizen Journalism is a topic that has come up a few times since I started University last year and the first time it was ever spoken about I thought the concept of studying it sounded ridiculous. What do I care about random people being journalists either as a one off since they were there or starting their own “news service”? In case you haven’t worked out where this is going yet, my opinion drastically changed (well before this time around). I think anything that is relevant to us in our everyday lives should be considered important and almost any relatively informed person with access to the Internet has read and engaged with some form of citizen journalism. Although it is such a great source, like anything on the internet, there are both positives and negatives that need to be identified and understood to get the most out of it, so with that in mind enjoy this audio recording of my lovely voice as I list some of the pros, and cons, of citizen journalism.


Use of Walled Gardens in Digital Marketing

Online Walled Gardens are in use pretty much everywhere you look online. All the social media platforms you use are able to decide what you do and don’t see on their platforms, what you can and can’t do and are able to freely collect data on you based on the decisions you make while using their software/service. Another example of a walled garden is the Apple OS which, is a closed source operating system which means they have complete control over everything that can be done with device (apps, software, updates, no options for customisation, etc.), but for this post I want to focus especially on social media, and really just any big Internet based companies (like google), that can control what you can and can’t see.

Major companies that receive major traffic online are able to control what advertising you see on their platforms, whether it be the presumably innocent ad on google which happens to be directed specifically towards you or targeted marketing on Facebook based on what you like and which links you click on while using their service. Facebook is able to sell slots to advertise within their walled garden with the guarantee of reaching a significant, and appropriate audience and are able to charge essentially as much as they want either to have the ad put up, or can receive payment through the number of people the ads reach (which is almost always quite high since they are able to quite accurately work out who should be seeing what)



de Poulpiquet, P. (2017). What is a Walled Garden? And why it is the strategy of Google, Facebook and Amazon Ads platform?. [Blog] mediarithmics_what is?. Available at: https://medium.com/mediarithmics-what-is/what-is-a-walled-garden-and-why-it-is-the-strategy-of-google-facebook-and-amazon-ads-platform-296ddeb784b1.

Apple Vs. Android – As If You Haven’t Already Heard This Debate A Million Times Before

For pretty much as long as I have had a phone I have been an Apple user. Android phones and products have never really appealed to me and these days I’m not so sure why. about 5 years ago I would of told you it was because I didn’t like the interface design on Android phones, but these days they are practically more user-friendly than the iPhone is. One of the major points of differentiation between Apple products and Android products is the idea of closed source Vs. open source. Apple products are closed source which means they are walled off from outside influences, only things made, or approved, by Apple function with the device and the software is designed so that you do not mess around with the Apple base settings and change anything to your personal tastes. On the other hand Android is open source, which means that the device is essentially an empty canvas in terms of what you are able to do with it.

There are many apps for Android phones that allow people in this every expanding world of technology to connect to various devices around the home (throw forward to the blog post I am supposed to be doing 5 weeks from now, but really I am just doing this 5 weeks late on the IoT) while Apple, although does have the capabilities to carry out some functions with certain smart home features, is generally much more limited both in what it can do, and what other smart devices it lets you interact with.

To show this I made a short video showing how frustrating trying to deal with Siri can be: