Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Milton Friedman: Storify account

When the September 11 attacks hit, the White House was packed with Friedman's disciples, including his close friend Donald Rumsfeld. The Bush team seized the moment of collective vertigo with chilling speed—not,as some have claimed, because the administration deviously plotted the cri­ sis but because the key figures of the administration, veterans of earlier disas­ ter capitalism experiments in Latin America and Eastern Europe, were part of a movement that prays for crisis the way drought-struck farmers pray for rain, and the way Christian-Zionist end-timers pray for the Rapture. When the long-awaited disaster strikes, they know instantly that their moment has come at last.
For three decades, Friedman and his followers had methodically exploited moments of shock in other countries—foreign equivalents of 9/11, starting with Pinochet's coup on September 11, 1973. What happened on September 11, 2001, is that an ideology hatched in American universities and fortified in Washington institutions finally had its chance to come home.
The Bush administration immediately seized upon the fear generated by the attacks not only to launch the "War on Terror" but to ensure that it is an almost completely for-profit venture, a booming new industry that has breathed new life into the faltering U.S. economy. Best understood as a "dis­ aster capitalism complex," it has much farther-reaching tentacles than the military-industrial complex that Dwight Eisenhower warned against at the end of his presidency: this is global war fought on every level by private com­ panies whose involvement is paid for with public money, with the unending mandate of protecting the United States homeland in perpetuity while elim­ inating all "evil" abroad. In only a few short years, the complex has already expanded its market reach from fighting terrorism to international peace­ keeping, to municipal policing, to responding to increasingly frequent natu­ ral disasters. The ultimate goal for the corporations at the center of the complex is to bring the model of for-profit government, which advances so rapidly in extraordinary circumstances, into the ordinary

Friday, October 7, 2011


Today we examined the social media and viral phenomenon of "Rick Rolling." In class, we listened to two NPR articles that gave a definition and colorful interpretation of the Rick Astley song. Links to the NPR site are embedded below. Also, we saw an even more colorful Bill O'Reilly reaction to the song, (also linked below) and concluded with a short clip from Family Guy.

As we watched and listened to the media above, the class kept in mind three topics:
1. Why is Rick Rolling so popular?
2. Why this particular song?
3. Comparing what we see in class to the times you have been a victim to this phenomenon.

The class answered these questions in a short writing assignment.

Here are the links:

Bill O'Reilly

An apparent spoof, created digitally (though some of us wish otherwise!)

Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday, 9/30

Hi class,

Today, group B looked at the effect Twitter and Facebook had on the revolution against president Gadaffi in Egypt. I have linked a few of the resources we looked at below.

Here is a video describing the issue:

One of the articles we looked at:

For a writing prompt, group B examined how the Civil Rights movement may have been different had Twitter and Facebook been available.

Here is an example of how one student viewed the prompt:

"The civil rights would have been different if they had social networks like twitter or facebook because it would have been a lot more effective. Some of the reason it would have been more effective is they can communicate faster and they can reach a bigger audience. It can also help them organize better because everyone will hear the same thing instead of when someone passes down the news it changes and it is slower. Social networks would have also allowed other countries see how America treated African Americans at the time so the world would have stepped in to help. And lastly it would have help citizens see what is going on not what they see on T.V."

Another said,
"Social media sites are a catalyst for revolutions. It allows occurances to be viewed by the whole world in a matter of minutes. In the American Revolution it took weeks for citizens to hear about the Boston Massacre, and even more weeks for them to rally a makeshift army to fight the British. In Egypt's revolution, Twitter and Facebook let the world see the injustice. Instead of fighting oppression with guns, they used their phones to rally the rest of the world. When the world saw the issues they rallied behind the cause of the citizens of Egypt. If Martin Luther King hand the Civil Rights Movement had social media, they would have raised awareness much faster and would have accomplished their goal much more quickly."

See you in class,

Mr. Kurtz

Friday, September 16, 2011

Mass Media, Friday 9/16

Hi Everyone,

In class today, group A from 1st and 4th hour listened to a soundclip from NPR discussing Media Consumption, in particular how it relates to online vs printed news. We jotted some one-word notes down, and created a "Wordle" image. (This site would work really well for a discussion topic in one of your other classes!)Embedded below are the wordle images, as well as the NPR soundclip. This is not an assignment, but I will be posting what we do each Friday for those of you who were gone and would like to see what we did in class. Have a great weekend!

Hour 1:
Wordle: Mass Media week 2: NPR soundclip, "Talk of the Nation"
Hour 2:
Wordle: mass media hour 4

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Post your Vuvox presentations below:

Here is my Vuvox presentation. Please post your name ABOVE YOUR VUVOX window!!!! Do good things, and see you in class!