On the subject of India

January 14, 2018 by

So I think if you guys all came just a few days right before the wedding is gonna work out pretty well.

Fly on the 21st of March, get there on the 22nd. Wedding is on the 25th so we can show you around KTM before the wedding. Again this page has some amazing info, so in the few days before we can show you all the places in KTM in one day, and on the 2nd day we can do Patan and Bhaktapur.

Because of the paper work I can’t leave until the 3rd day after the wedding, there may be wiggle room on this. We can go to Pokhara in the mean time. Or go jump off a bridge! More on this stuff as I know more.

Ok we’d love to go to India and show you guys what it’s all about, and I was talking to Linh and we figured when else are do you guys are ever going to come to this part of the world again? I mean places in south east asia is always gonna be on your list to be done sooner or later, so while in Rome, do as the Indians do.. I think that’s how that goes.

I don’t expect you to read all these links, they’re more for looking at photos purposes! I also normally dont usually plan it all out this but thought this would give off the vibe off i know what I’m doing and would be more reassuring than just saying ‘Let’s go to India!’

I came up with 2 different routes that we could do. Both very different from each other and in a different part of India. I have actually been almost all these places before (unless stated over wise) so I think you’re gonna be in safe hands. 3 trips to India and still have one kidney left!

These are just suggestions, happy to tailor a shorter version or separate after some days or something. I think most places listed are pretty interesting one way or the other so have a look at it all and decide for yourself! (I have now added a third shorter route)

So both start from flying from Kathmandu to New Delhi (About $90-120). There’s nothing to do here. If you thought KTM is shit, this is the worst. I’m kidding, but is too crazy busy and polluted and nothing really worth seeing beside the Bahai Lotus Temple, even that is a crappy variation of the opera house. There’s better versions of other sites else where in India too. Sooooo is literally a transit point.

Route 1 South India

Screenshot-2018-1-14 Google Maps
Pros: Better food, nicer people, a more nature orientated trip. Less busy and easier going in general.
Con: Is gonna be hot. There’s a long travel time for one part.

Day 1

Once we get to New Delhi, fly to Kochi for $70 (No direct flight from KTM sorry) Go to the Backwaters in Alappuzha. I haven’t been to the backwaters myself, but lot of tourists comes here to hire a house boat and have it slowly sail just kick back for the day and sleep there for the night. The boats can be as amazing as you want it to be or average or cheap haha. Or we could also just check it the areas on a local boats and stay on dry land.

Day 2

Spend the rest of the day in Kochi before leaving on an overnight night train to Mettupalayam.

Day 3

Had to take an overnight train because there is a toy train journey that goes up to Ooty at 7 in the morning! Is like a mini Harry Potter train.. through the hills of india! We get to Ooty and stay there for the night.

Day 4

We can do a day trek through the Teas plantations of Ooty. Or go on a nature safari at the national park near by. Is part tiger reserve too. I have not done these so I’m not sure how good they are. The trek I’ve done and is not bad, lots of eucalyptus trees actually… not sure why we came all the way here to see eucalyptus trees. When in India… do as the Australian’s do and bring this tree over so they blow up and burn the forest down..

Day 5

Wake up early and get the bus to Mysore. We can see the Mysore palace there. Could choose to spend the night there, otherwise just have to take an over night train to Hampi.

Day 6

Trek around Hampi. Is amazing, here is another video about it. There was a restaurant with a river view that does the best mango lassi on the planet! (It was also the first time I ever had a mango lassi so don’t take my word for it.)

Day 7

Take the train to Goa. The beach mecca of India. From there we can part ways as you fly from Goa to lots of places overseas! Having said that if we’re not sick of each other’s shit by then we could spend the day there and stay on in a ‘beach hut’ (I bet these look a lot nicer than you thought ay ;p) depending on the beach they can be literally right on the beach. Beaches range from really quiet to party party. They’re not super far from each other, so we can say pick a quiet one to stay, check out a busier one then just come back to our hut at night.  The sea food in Goa literally comes from the sea right next to the beach so is fresh and amazing and cheap as chips Indian prices. I stayed in Agonda I’m pretty sure… (As Elvin will know, I’m not a massive beach person so this is pretty optional for me especially I’m gonna go to Thailand later on.)

Option 2 Rajasthan
Screenshot-2018-1-14 Google Maps(1)

Pro: More touristy landmark things, A Camel Safari, sleeping under the stars in the desert
Con: More busy and dirty, people are way more pushy for your tourist dollar.

Day 1

As soon as we get out of New Delhi airport, we can take a train to Agra. If we get to Agra early enough we can go and see this.

Day 2

If not we can wake up early and see the Taj from across the river at Sunrise. After seeing the Taj, we can tuk tuk to see Fatehpur Sikri. Before coming back to Arga for the night.

Day 3

Take the train to Jaipur. I’ve never been here before and have always wanted to go, and based on this link here it looks awesome, lots of things to see!

Day 4 Optional

Option 1: Bus to Pushkar. We can kick back here and relax, there’s not that much here to do. Besides seeing some temples and checking out life over the lakeside. Haven’t been so yeah.
Option 2: Train to Udaipur. Some people call this the Venice of the East. Having been to Venice and Udaipur, they are wrong. Is still really nice though! With some different things to do.
Is a nice place but I feel this could be optional because is slightly out of the way so have to watch the travel time.

Day 5

Train to Jodhpur. This is where the blue city is. We’re getting closer to the desert now. So it starts to have a very Indian afghan kind of vibe! Here’s another link because more nice pictures! There’s a really cool Flying fox that goes over the fort!

Day 6

Train to Jaisalmer. We are really in on the outskirt of the desert now, we can do a Camel safari and sleep under the stars. I’ve done before and it is was definitely an experience, this link and this link gives you a pretty good impression of what is like. Jaisalmer is also known for it’s government approved Bhang Lassi. Is a weed lassi and is totally legal hahah.

Day 7

Explore the fort and city in Jaisalmer, then take the train/plane back to New Delhi. We can actually do the last few cities in a different order. I know is cheaper to fly back from like Jodhpur than Udaipur or Jaisalmer. So yeah, from New Delhi we can separate once more!

Oh this page has a great table of how much things cost in general. I honestly think the per person spend is gonna be less than $500 for the whole week on either options unless we go pretty crazy on accommodation.

Thanks for making it this far. I just thought of a shorter route.

Option 3 A shorter Visit
Screenshot-2018-1-14 Kochi to Goa

Pro: Is shorter, see Mumbai. The Ajanta and Ellora caves!
Con: Is Mumbai really worth seeing. Ehhhh… Also lots of rock stuff.

Day 1

Fly to Mumbai . Is a not bad city to walk around to see how an major Indian city functions. Some not bad sites, tourists come here usually do like a slum tour or be an extra in a Bollywood film.

Day 2

Take trains to see the Ajanta caves. Want to be like a tomb raider of sorts? This is it… kind of. I have not been but have wanted to go since my first trip! Stay the night there.

Day 3

Travel to the near by Elora caves. Stay the night in there or take the night train to Hampi.

Day 4

Hampi refer to Option 1 Day 6. Stay the night there.

Day 5

Take the train to Goa. Refer to Option 1 Day 7.

 

P.S.

There are a lot of different places in India but option one and option two is mostly what people do their first time here! With the Taj if you guys are really keen on seeing it anyways can add that onto Option 1 or 3 and it adds like an extra day and a half.

I haven’t really looked into accommodations but there’s a wide range from amazing to basic available generally everywhere we are going to, some can be really interesting like sleeping in an old fort, or village stay, stuff like that.

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Whats my identity?

June 8, 2010 by

The concept of identity is the way in which we classify and understand each other. The way in which this classification is done is usually limited to the individual’s physical traits. According to Simon During, ‘individuals have little power to choose what features will be used to identify them – these are determined socially, from the outside’ . Furthermore, an individual’s identity can also be ‘culturally inflected’. Cultural background can impact on the individuals identity, but once again it is usually determined by others rather than by the individual. It is due to such reasons that identity of an individual self is as During put it, ‘structurally loose’. I believe it is up to the individual to be identified with the identity society has given them.

For example, even though I am often identified as an Asian or a Chinese, I believe that I am a Australian with a Chinese background. In the internet age such as today, I believe that Identity is can also be self created, especially through the internet.  In the second reading, Herring describes how the idea of the Digital Youth is a ‘transitional generation, in which young internet users are characterized to varying degrees by a dual consciousness of both their own and adult perspectives.’ The point that our generation is one of uncertainty, is very debatable I believe.  As if you look back at history and look at the different ways in which new technology has consumed domestic life (such as TV,  or even further back radio) the effects would be quite the same, a generation lost in a new technology, before growing up and changing and evolving that technology into a newer age. (E.g Radio into black and white TV -> black and white TV into colour TV into cable networks) Internet, and mobile phones are the technology of our generation, what type of technology we can make of them in the future is one of a mystery, but it is a future I would sure like to see.

Signs.

June 8, 2010 by

The idea of semiotic is the idea that in our communication system, there is a method in which what we communicate can be understood by the other party. In literature, this meth of reading is called structuralism. Structuralism is the approach which attempts to analyse a specific field as a complex system of interrelated parts. It was started in Linguistics and became a literary theory, has been modified and applied to other fields such as media.  It is the study of the language in the most board sense. As not only language of speech and writing, but all linguistic signs (all conventions and codes of communication; smoke, fire, traffic lights, body language, clothes, status symbols, etc.) which humans communicate information to one another.

All linguistic signs can be broken down to the system of signs.

Signifier: the sound pattern of a word, the physical form of speech

Signified: the concept or meaning of the word.

“Signification like all signs are arbitrary without them we cannot apprehend reality.”

Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure, father of Structuralism. Course in General Linguistics, written by Saussure’s colleagues after his death and based on student notes. It started as the study of linguistics

Concepts he raised:

The distinction between the study of langue and parole.

Langue: Reps a language as a whole (English, German, French)

Parole: Reps utterance (how individual units of langue is used.)

Distinction between Signifier and Signified.

This concept is applicable in media as is influence the core structure of how things are read.  In Lury’s reading about Logo, he stresses the significance of how companies uses logo branding through the idea of semiotic to allow their targeted audience to recognise and remember their brand logo. He calls Logos as examples of “legi-signs or symbols” For example, the Apple used in Apple computers is a simple but effective design which draws on the fast that apple is the most common and most recognisable fruit. Apple is also associated with the English language, in that A is for Apple. Finally the simple cut out design allows the consumer to easily recognise and remember the apple logo in their minds very easily.

Who’s my audience?

June 8, 2010 by

If your reading this, you must be must be my audience. The idea of the contemporary audience is very different to the audience that came before them. In the internet age, audience is a very different beast to the one which read newspapers and watched TV. The Internet had given people a choice, and the paradox of choice is the problem of a contemporary, an audience which are given far too many choices, and are unable to be satisfied with the content they receive.  Couldry believes that these audience are ‘”diffused audience” who are permanently connected to one electronic medium (internet) across almost every activity of social and private life.’

This idea of the diffused audience is that audience is no longer situated at one place, they are everywhere. The clearest example of this is the use of the iPhone as a news receiving device, people can now be connected anywhere they want, and everywhere need to.  The problem with this diffused audience is that media has to come up with new ways to please the this new form of audience.  The idea of convergence comes up again, in which media are finding new ways for the audience to interact with the content. The “comment” function on most website is a prime example of such interaction between consumers and content producers. Youtube is also another example of this, with several millions of new videos posted each day, the line between consumers and producers are slowly but surely blurring. Further more, with blogs such as this, consumers now has the ability to be content producers themselves. The frequency of writing as also increased, as people want news and updates on the run and all the time, even though the quality of these writing has decreased as frequency goes up as a reading from a few weeks ago suggests.

Overall, the evolution of audience is continually evolving, prehaps in the future the boundary between consumer and producers will be gone when everyone can be an active consumer and active producer at the same time.

Where are these Networks?

June 8, 2010 by

Social networking I believe is one of the primary forms of networking methods that can be found on the internet. Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter are the primary examples of such, even this blog has a certain a networking power.  According to Castells, “The ability of networks to introduce new actors and new contents in the process of social organization, with relative independence of the power centers, increased over time with technological change, and more precisely, with the evolution of communication technologies.”

I wish discuss the power of networking illustrated by Castell’s quote. In early 2008, social networking, working with the movie studio Warner Brothers created several alternate reality games in which you have to find the Joker in various cities in the United States, these events were all held, in order to promote the movie The Dark Knight. These websites were first discovered by fan film websites such as slashfilm.com, which then it’s readership, (mostly people from social networking sites) spread the news to their peers. It is this domino type of effect, along with vital marketing that hyped up the movie of The Dark Knight, which in turn became the highest grossing movie at the time.

Networks is a concept that is aided by the idea of convergence, without the convergence of different media technology, the networks of today would not be as strong and binding as they are now. Castells points out the concepts of the space of flows and timeless time, a point that, network is made up of different nodes, I believed powered by the convergence of networks in a timeless always ready to go medium.

Let’s all converge!

June 8, 2010 by

I found Nightengale’s reading pretty interesting this week actually, I felt it was very relevant to the concept of convergence. The very idea of ‘internetisation-mediatisation’ is very interesting as new technologies such as newspapers and magazines are trying to change it’s form to try to stand its ground against the technology of the World Wide Web. With analogue technology dyeing in a digital world, these old tech are changing, adapting, converging with the new technologies. Media spaces are created in this process.

Nightengale notes that business has to go through a process of disintermediation, in which traditional business  “offers a lower cost version of the product or serivce. This is a different value proposition and not necessarily a superior one.” Here, I wish to draw upon the example of the Apple’s iTune,  which effectively cut the middle man out, becoming more and more successful in the world of the internet age, when real music stores sales are declining year by year.

There is also a enhancement trend, like such shows such as Big Brothers and Australian Idol, here these reality TV shows tires to integrate user participation in order to bring broadcasting into the internet age. I believe while this was effective at first, it’s becoming rather mundane, as these shows offer nothing new, rather it offers the illusion that you are in control, even though you’re really not.

These are just the several examples in which how media are converging.

Identity

May 31, 2010 by

The readings this week were interesting; identity is a hard thing to describe. What makes ones identity? Where does it come from? Can you change it whenever you want to? In the first article the author describes identity as a collection of traits, these traits can be physical part of the body, a belief, a genealogy, or even a cultural preference. The author explains that by placing people into categories labeled with these different traits, it depleted a person’s individuality. It is hard to know who a person truly is if they are labeled from a single trait. One trait that I find myself being labeled occasionally is by my hair color. My hair color is blonde, and blondes hold the stereotype of being academically challenged. I however am very intelligent, and it makes me angry when people use the phrase, “you are such a blonde”. I however am lucky because I can always change my hair color. Some people don’t have it that easy. I am from the United States and an example of skewed social identity is terrorism. After September 11th it was nearly impossible for someone of middle-eastern decent to board an airplane without being harassed. It is hard for people, especially people who have personally felt affected by the tragedy, to remove the cultural identity of middle-eastern people from the social identity of a terrorist. I have experienced a new side of identity categorizing being a study abroad student in Australia. It is lucky that so many people are warm and welcoming to Americans in Australia, at least to our faces, however being lumped into the cultural category of an American can have its affect on they way if not openly, subconsciously people see us.
The next article brought the turn identity into a technological context, with the use of self-branding. Self-branding is what a person chooses to wear, how they choose to act, what organizations they choose to belong to as a way of identifying themselves to the people around them. A good example of this would be Facebook. I am a member of facebook and all of my friends are. I have a section called info, which allows an individual to see that I am a single white female, that I am catholic, and that I have two brothers. There is also a section from favorite movies, books, hobbies, etc. Everything that I write on my facebook affects how people see me. The photos that I am tagged in are a direct representation of myself. Many of my friends have changed their names on facebook, made their photos private, or completely gotten rid of facebook all together because it is senior year and most are getting internships and jobs. They want their future employers to see them as responsible, hardworking, and trustworthy, which is hard when half of their pictures involve drinking and/or partying. Our generation has already been labeled by adults as lazy, easily distracted, anti-authority, etc. A lot of these qualities seem to come from the growing reliance on technology. News can be checked on cell phones, and I can watch my favorite TV show on my computer while writing a report. Everything now a days is faster, easily accessible, and convient. Does that make our generation lazy? Or are we just using technology in the advantageous ways it was meant to be?

WEEK8 NETWORKS

May 31, 2010 by

basically i do agree with the point network is quite an essential need of the today’s world. since the world now is no longer apart but together, the word globalization is raised, the connection between, the network, is important.

castells’s reading was quite complicated at first, which i dont really understand why those physical and technical explanation of the network is needed. anyway, i like the line which it said” the network is a pattern that is common to all life. wherever we see life, we see networks.” its true, everything we come across everyday is sort of networks. for example the transportation network. the technology improves our network everyday, like the article meant to say today we rely quite so much in the technology to keep our network going in nowadays. i rely on it too as computer takes a huge part of my daily usage. what i see the most is the communication network. since everyday i use the internet so much, i can see different networks filled with knowledge and information transfer. however what i use the most is to communicate with the others. msn and facebook, which i use most of the time, build up the network of communication for me to anyone else in the world.without it, i would feel so disconnected to the world.

rizzo’s reading was about some sort of the routine of the media, and the flow of it. yeah it is true that my life routine is somehow base on the tv program, like what we talked about in the dailiness week. but it was in before. the reading was talking about the new technology such as youtube or the new self schedule tv channel changed the culture, the routine of life. now we are no longer stick to the timetable of the tv program but we can watch whatever program whenever we want. i actually like the way it is now, since i can gain more freedom from it, and i can schedule my day easier. if i have to go back to the old life, i think i would be like in a mess for example the break between shows is not enough for me to do something else, orever whenever i missed one show, i would be pissed.

WEEK12 IDENTITY

May 30, 2010 by

this week’s readings were quite interesting i think. since identity is something that we could not live without, identity come along to our live ever since we were born, it is something that very related to our live.

the first reading from During was talking about some sort of the formation of identities, how identities are made of, and the politics of dealing with identities. it said the society is so connected to one’s identities, because identity is somehow the way we classify people in order to make up the structure of a society. a society need different type of people in order to run smoothly and build up a strong structure. a single person can have many different identities. for example I can be someone’s son, one’s friend, with nationality such as Australian, job such as teacher…etc. with all these identities make the world.

the second reading from Hearn is an interesting one, talking about how to promote ourselves, to have ourselves branded. although identity is often given by the others because how the others see you become your own identity. the reading then is mentioned that we can promote ourselves and be branded so to lead us to some particular identities. the example given and also what I immediately think of was the usage of facebook. we listed everything we like, things we hate, puting up photos to show how we are. all the information became like the promotion details. therefore the others know and give me the identities such as im a happy person, im someone who loves music, i am a uni student…etc. we are then, branded, eg:” oh this person is cool”

the third reading from herring was talking about mostly one identity, which is the internet generation. it mentioned that nowadays teenagers are quite addicted into using the digital media, hence identities were seldom made in the physical real world but the virtual world. although it is easy to have many different identities in the virtual world, most of them are fake or just some sort of imagination.

identities to me can sometimes be very clear but sometimes blur too. im kind of like the teenager in the third reading which i can get so many identities from the virtual world. it is sometimes hard to determine which identities are the real me or not. anyways it is always better to have identities than none, at least i know i am “somebody”, not “nobody” in one’s view.

Convergence

May 30, 2010 by

Convergence is particularly relevant to media studies because it shows where media is heading and concerns every one of us considering to possibly work within the industry, so I found the readings to be extremely useful.

The first article “New Media Worlds? Challenges for Convergence” showed how the use of traditional media is dwindling and has been taken over by new forms of media, which consists of the Internet. The internet is becoming the dominant form of news source and advertising because it offers access to many spaces in one setting and you can access as many sources as you like for free, so why wouldn’t the old media forms fade and be replaced? It does seem that the future of journalism is dying because majority of people are turning to online sources. It is cheaper for newspapers to put their contents online and due to this journalists aren’t needed and the bottom line is they aren’t being hired as much as they once used to. Compounding this issue is the fact that we can become creators of our own digital domain and choose what we want to watch and when we want to watch it, which consequently reduces the reach of the traditional media forms.

The article explains how the Internet offers greater reach and greater richness simultaneously which no other form of media offers. Richness refers to the “quality of the information” and reach refers to the “numbers of people accessing the information”. The article explains that with the Internet’s capability to produce high quality work and reach a mass audience it far outweighs old media forms and suggests our digital worlds are the way of the future.

I remember watching a “media watch” episode that supports the notion that the traditional media forms are “converging” and being taken over by the Internet. I pasted the link below if anyone wants to have a look at it.
http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s2235826.htm

The second article “Buying into American Idol” discusses how the popular reality TV show ‘American Idol’ was the first to converge media forms. The show combined or “converged” television, phone and advertising in one space. It is particulary evident that Australia has caught on to the reality TV phenomenon with shows like Big Brother, Australian Idol and more recently master chef our major TV stations are flooded with reality TV. My own personal problem with this is that in Australia I can count on one hand how many TV stations we have ‘free to air’ and so for each of the stations to consistently air new reality TV series it does get overwhelming and the market has become undoubtedly saturated. In direct contrast to Australia is the US who have approximately five times the amount of free to air TV stations as we do, so there is far more variety of content. The comparison of channels between Australia and the US relates to the “impress me” concept outlined in the article, which argues that a television show has approximately three seconds to ‘impress’ before you decide to change the channel. So I guess what I am getting at is that in Australia we are far more limited in the way of TV stations and so our threshold to “impress me” has to increase (unless you have pay TV) because we don’t really have anywhere else to go. So while this notion of “impress me” may ring true for some people I think it does depend in part on location.