Crap Detection Lesson Reflection

TOK: I was really interested by what had to be said during the lesson related to crap detection.  I am very interested by all the different types of crap that we as people experience in our everyday lives.  From advertisements and commercials to product placement and marketing.  This entire lesson about what is crap and what is not is something that I can’t help but related to my life and all of my experiences, past and present.  I would like to discuss the resources that I was introduced to to  help me comprehend everything related to crap.  A video by Howard Rheingold, a UC Berkley professor, and the three part documentary done by Front line discussing “Crap Detection”.

Howard Rheingold is a professor and the University of California at Berkley specializing in the social, cultural, and political effects of modern communication media and technologies.  He made a video in order to try to help the everyday web surfer identify and eliminate information on the internet that isn’t entirely true.  I really liked his video because it  helped me see how much crap is in our everyday lives.  His solutions to help us avoid the false information posted on the internet were really helpful and enlightening.  I especially liked how even though he admitted that the internet can be “an evil place”, he didn’t discourage his audience from using it.  Instead, he discussed ways to identify if the information being viewed is false or not.  The Frontline video documentaries about the role of advertising and marketing in our lives was another part of this lesson that I enjoyed. These videos not only discussed the economics behind marketing but by the means that the companies are willing to do in order to have their product on the “big screen” so to speak.  My favorite part of the videos was the part when product placement was discussed.  After that part, I can’t help but notice how many products are placed in movies and TV shows.

The lesson on “Crap Detection” has really opened my eyes to what really happens when I find a source on the internet and also when I see that Coke in that one movie.  Learning how to identify and assess information on the web is the one thing that I can take away from this lesson, if I take anything. On a side note, I was introduced to a fun and interactive crap detection page by Wired. It shows two studies and asks you to determine which one is fake.  It is amusing because it shows a poll of what other people think is the crap study.  In a wrap, I really enjoyed this lesson and will using the information that I learned for the rest of my educational career.



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