Week 2 – Reading Response


This week I read the following two articles:

  1. “New Literacies and Social Learning Practices of Digital Remixing” – Lankshear and Knobel (2011)
  2. “Soda Tax Passes in Philadelphia. Advocates Ask: Who’s Next?”  – Margot Sanger-Katz, The New York Times

“New Literacies and Social Learning Practices of Digital Remixing”

This article introduces the idea of “remixing” as it pertains to one’s culture.  At first I had trouble really grasping this idea, but as I continued to read it began to make more sense.  In a simple sense, remixing is the process of taking two or more aspects of culture, whether they are from the same culture or different cultures, and mixing them together to create a new “product.”  Every aspect of my culture, of your culture, and of cultures around the world have been influenced, created, and/or changed by this process of remixing.

In a step beyond this, the article discusses the act of “digital remixing,” which as you can imagine, uses technology and media to remix culture.  At this point in the article I had an important thought.  I wonder to what extent ideas, knowledge, and cultures are becoming “digitally remixed?”  Many people do not have access to the resources that would allow them to share in this way; other people have the technology but are to some degree illiterate and unable to create digital media to share with others.  So, are the “digitally remixed” cultures shared really reflective and inclusive of all cultures?  Definitely a topic worthy of further discussion.

Within this chapter, I really liked the part about “fan fiction” and “cosplay.”  I will be attending ComicCon this weekend and will sure experience a lot of both of these!  I appreciated that they went into detail about both of these ideas because I can guess that a good amount of people are unsure what is meant by these terms, as well as how they can contribute to the remixing of culture as well as the creation of new cultures.

Throughout this chapter, there are additional explanations of remix practices.  For example, one very common way that people participate in remixing is through Photoshop.  What I find to be the most interesting about Photoshop is that it seems to be simultaneously celebrated and critiqued.

Soda Tax Passes in Philadelphia. Advocates Ask: Who’s Next?

My theme for this semester is Health/Nutrition, so I chose an article about the much debated “soda tax” which will be implemented in Philadelphia shortly.

Basic information from this article:

  • this tax will affect sugary drinks and artificially sweetened drinks
  • a similar soda tax has been proposed about 40 times in various cities but has failed to pass
  • the tax would be 1.5 cents per ounce of soda/drink
    • that’s about 30 cents added to a 20 oz drink

    Philadelphia, one of the nation’s largest and poorest cities, worked to pass this tax under the guise of “increasing the city’s revenue”

  • it is calculated that $91 million would be earned by the city of Philadelphia
    • plans to use money for PreKindergarten programs, community schools, recreation centers among other city programs
  • eventually, Philadelphia will participate in studies about the effect of the tax on drink sales as well as the effects on obesity

As I read this article and write this post, I am sipping on my zero calorie flavored water.  I admit, I am known to drink diet drinks and man do I enjoy them!  Overall, I think the tax would deter many people from purchasing unhealthy drinks, which would lead to improvements in health throughout the city.  I also like that there are plans to use the money for community programs.

I am interested to see how this tax develops and the effects it has on the people of Philadelphia; not only health effects but social/economic effects as well.  Which city will be next to take this path?  The article mentions Boulder, Colorado (which doesn’t surprise me).  Will it reach Denver?




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s