Future Literacies: Crash Course Media Literacy #12
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Future Literacies: Crash Course Media Literacy #12


Facebook first launched in 2004. YouTube came out in 2005. Twitter and Spotify: 2006. The first iPhone was released in 2007. Snapchat launched in 2011 and so did Siri. Tinder was founded in 2012. Google Glass was first released in 2013. Amazon’s Echo smart speaker came out in
2015. From social media to smartphones to augmented
reality devices to smart speakers. All of these inventions have changed how we
interact with each other, and especially with media. And yet, they’re all just getting started
– Well, maybe not Google Glass. It just wasn’t your time, man. Virtual reality and artificial intelligence
are already starting to work their way into
our media diets little by little. You thought internet ads were annoying? Wait until they can follow you around from
billboard to billboard thanks to facial recognition. You thought it was hard to decipher fabricated
news from truth? Wait until even videos can be Photoshopped.
Er…Videoshopped? Media literacy doesn’t just mean learning
how to navigate today’s media landscape. It means preparing yourself for tomorrow’s,
too. Today we’re talking all about literacies
of the future. [Theme Music] This is our last episode of Crash Course
Media Literacy, and I want to thank you all for
joining us this far. During this series we’ve made a lot of references to
new media – computers, the internet, social media – and how they change or challenge our traditional
relationships to media and media literacy. Today we’re going to really dig into that, and talk
about two new forms of literacy that promise to shape
the future: Data Literacy and Algorithmic Literacy. OK. First: Data literacy, as you might have
guessed from the name, deals with understanding
and analyzing data. And there’s a lot of data out there. You may have heard of “raw data” or “big
data” or, if you have a fitbit, “personal fitness
tracking data.” So what is data? For our purposes, data is: information about
the world that is stored in a specific format. And this is a pretty broad definition. With every passing year, online companies
think up more and more ways to track us. Links, cookies, IP addresses. Quite simply, every time you “step out”
onto the web, you leave a huge path of data
behind you. If you go back and look at the coverage of the
2016 U.S. election you’ll find countless articles
about data collected from people: their preferences, their values, their political party. When data gets used this way, it’s often
to give an argument of sense of being scientific. But just because data exist, doesn’t mean
it’s accurate, or helpful. Humans are flawed. We have biases.
We have agendas. And humans make the data. It is not neutral, because we are not neutral. Say you see in a magazine that 30% of Americans
love chocolate ice cream the most. Ok, well what did everyone else like the most? Were they undecided? Did they prefer vanilla or chunky monkey or
cotton candy? Maybe 30% isn’t even the majority, and 65%
of people like peanut butter ice cream the best. Data only matters in context. And it can be helpful in many ways. It helps us track everything from personal
fitness goals to citywide poverty levels. It’s just very easy to misconstrue, because
humans are susceptible to nice, wholesome,
easy to believe numbers. I said we’d come back to how your personal data can
be used, and that brings us to: Algorithmic Literacy. Algorithms are basically sets of instructions
or calculations for a computer to run. Websites and apps take the data they collect
about us and send it through an algorithm,
and out pops some result. Like Facebook. It takes all your personal data
and what you’ve liked and shared and – serves
you ads, yes. But it also sticks info into an algorithm
to decide what appears in your news feed. Its goal is to keep you on Facebook, so it
shows you things it thinks you will really like. That’s why there’s no “dislike” button. The way algorithms personalize stuff for us
can be fun and useful. Plus it makes us feel a little special, like
those Christmas ornaments in the store that
have your name on them. It also makes us feel comfortable, like we’re
in our own little world of happy things. That’s because often, we are. Eli Pariser calls this the filter bubble, the media
world we create where we only see and interact
with things and people we already like. Sometimes we do this to ourselves by curating
feeds with our own interests in mind. But this also happens behind the scenes,
algorithmically, without our knowledge. Facebook might serve up posts from the half
of your friends that like the same things you do. Or Google news might show you a mix or articles
they know you’re likely to click on. This might be convenient, sure, but it can
also mean seeing a very different version of
the world than the people around you. Algorithmic literacy is knowing that any
information you see online is only one slice of the
pie, and one that’s been cut specifically for you. One of the most important things about Data and
Algorithmic literacy is that they always go hand in hand. And when you know about them, you can start
to ask classical media literacy questions, even
of the newest of media. It’s impossible to know what new media
technology we’re going to be dealing with next
year, or next decade, or next century. And there will always be new complications
to learn about. But no matter what form of future literacy
you develop, it’s sure to rest on the same
basic principle: Skepticism. So as we wrap up this series, and leave
you staring into the uncertain future, let us
leave you with this: Being skeptical means approaching everything
by questioning its truth. Every ad, every song, every book, every article
– everything Being skeptical doesn’t mean taking the
fun out of all media; it just means that instead of blindly accepting
whatever’s thrown your way, a little voice in your
head says, “But what about…” Our brains love to play little games with
the media. They love the familiar. They love things with easy explanations.
They love taking shortcuts. They even love believing things we’ve heard
already, even if they’re not true. Skepticism, adding in a dash of logic and
context to our media interactions, helps fight
our brains’ annoying habits. You know that saying, “follow your gut?” That is the opposite of what you should do
with media. “Follow your perception of bias and textual
analysis skills” should be the saying; it’s just
not as catchy. Media consumers fall into traps all the time
because they like when things are comfortable,
certain, and easy. But the world is not always comfortable. Nothing is certain but the fact that Prince
is greatest musician of all time, and that
life is rarely easy. Once you come to terms with the fact that
every bit of media isn’t as simple as it looks,
you’re that much closer to understanding it. Over the past dozen lessons, we’ve learned the
history of media literacy, how to read advertisements
and their darker cousin, propaganda. We have looked at our minds on media and our
media on money. We’ve explored media law and how to break
it, and even looked into the future of literacy. We shape the media as much as it shapes us. Our reactions to media are just as important
as what’s thrown our way. We’re all media creators now, like it or
not, and we’re certainly all consumers. Everyone has a role to play, and a responsibility
to share, and we all need to do it together. I’m glad you’ve joined us on this journey. Until next time, I’m Jay Smooth and this
has been Crash Course: Media Literacy. Crash Course Media Literacy is filmed in the
Dr. Cheryl C. Kinney Studio in Missoula, MT. It’s made with the help of all of these nice
people, and our animation team is Thought Cafe. Crash Course is a Complexly production. If you wanna keep imagining the world complexly
with us check out some of our other channels, like The Financial Diet, SciShow Space, and
Mental Floss. If you’d like to keep Crash Course free for
everyone, forever, you can support the series
at Patreon, a crowdfunding platform that allows
you to support the content you love. Thank you to all of our patrons for making
Crash Course possible with their continued
support.

100 thoughts on “Future Literacies: Crash Course Media Literacy #12

  1. There have been many Crash Courses, many of which I have loved and enjoyed (I'm looking at you Crash Courses: Anatomy & Physiology, World Mythology, and Philosophy). But Crash Course Media Literacy is, by far, the most important.

  2. Thanks for the series! Being skeptical is important but it shouldn't be an excuse to deny anything you don't like. A key part of being a skeptic is knowing when to accept things. There's a podcast called "The Skeptics Guide to the Universe" that helps teach people on how to be skeptics by looking at scientific articles and explaining if they're good or bad.

  3. The worst thing about the filter bubble, is that over time, it will serve to reinforce your views. Whatever persuasion you are, it will deepen it, unless you have the ability to think critically. (not negatively). ie If you are conservative, the filter bubble will reinforce that by only showing things you've watched before. That will create a feedback loop that gives you more of that, and it will deepen your conservatism. Same if you're Progressive, Religous, Radicalised, Fundamentalist doesn't matter. If you don't have critical thinking skills, your views will tend to the extreme over the years unless you can learn to intervene in the filter bubble.

  4. This was a great crash course and was absolutely necessary. Thank you Jay Smooth. Thank you Crash Course

  5. Thanks for all the good information, Jay. Hoping you're moving on to newer and grander things.

    Also, tons of respect for putting both Public Enemy and Judas Priest on your wall.

  6. As students are turning to digital information and tools to compete reserch and perform tasks on assignments, it becomes imerative that teachers show our students the importance of media literacy.

  7. Its already over!? I feel I could still learn so much more!!
    Thank you Jay this has been one of my favorite courses!

  8. Videos can be videoshopped, its called special effects and editing. Fun fact, the video you are in was edited, and bonus fact, those graphics did not exist as physical objects when you filmed them.

  9. Thanks for the Course! Ended a bit quick though. I hope a future one focuses on Art. So far this, CC Psychology and CC Philosophy are my favourites.

  10. Thank you, Jay! This episode might provide one of the most important theses that everyone needs to know – the news you're digesting isn't necessary the whole truth even if they are from a trustworthy source

  11. "Follow Your Perception of Bias and Textual Analysis Skills." Put that on a mug and I will buy it. Thank you all for this vitally important series! You've changed my life for the better.

  12. Please have Jay back on! He's a fantastic media critic in general, but also an excellent presenter. He did an amazing job with this series. And for all his new fans, I highly suggest checking out his past work. He made a name for himself with his political commentary videos. Great content with a unique presentation.

  13. Thunder….All through the night.. promise to seek jesus in the mornin light….take my hain…it’ll be alright.

  14. so many Crash Courses on this channel, but this was my absolute favorite. Thank you, J! Also, does anyone have any more recourses for a Media student? Thanks

  15. Dude, 30% is never a majority. You're thinking of plurality – the largest percentage when there is not majority (>50%).

  16. Prince is the greatest musician of all time, not Celine Dion? So what you're saying is that Titanic would have been even better if the music was provided by Prince instead of Celine Dion?

  17. As a person who has been consuming Crash Course since its inception, this is by far my favorite series this channel has produced.

  18. Most of us, myself included, are probably pleased with how skeptical and media literate we are. However, we also likely hold contradictory viewpoints, and think that the others have been duped by fake news and propaganda. Most of us have to be wrong, but I'm sure we're all pretty sure it's not us. I sure am. Funny, huh?

  19. I always wondered about the dislike button. Wouldn't they get even more specific data about consumers if there actually is a dislike button? Way to go with this series. It was fun watching it all!

  20. aw I'm kind of sad this series over! loved learning about media literacy as a former media studies student from the uk

  21. I've been a fan of Jay's for some years now on his own channel, and was really happy to see him here on Crash Course. Hope he comes back on for some more great videos soon. Thanks for all the great work of everyone involved on this series.

  22. What I want to know is who is going to interefere in what election next? Could it be an election that effects me (like I vote in it)? Should I fast from social media before an election (if possible)? What else should I avoid? What new ways will they find that I should be ready for?

  23. Thank you for a very valuable course. I'm sorry this hasn't gotten the attention it deserves. I only hope more people will discover this course in the future.
    Great job, I hope to see Jay in the future!

  24. Damn do I feel sad about the ending of this course. I learnt a lot and it was a fun course to watch. Thank you for this journey.

  25. I kept thinking you were going to debrief the whole "Titanic" and "bad actors" inserts to make a point about how advertising works. Maybe just wanted to see who was paying attention?

  26. hey Jay and all CC staff!
    this was in my opinion one of the best episodes and I will take three important issues above all: data only matters in context, things are shown us online are already believed to be liked by us and skepticism (the latter is a keyword of the whole course I guess..)
    I loved this CC and thank you all guys for your work! Think I'm gonna start it over in a media literacy marathon tonight ahaha

  27. Great video, but… videos can be Photoshopped. Look at the fanvid community–especially the crossover videos. There is some impressive editing going on there.

  28. Dearly beloved. We are gathered here today to get through this thing we call life. Electric word life and that means forever, and that’s a mighty long time, but i’m here to tell you… there’s something else. The afterworld. A world of neverending happieness. Where you can always see the sun. Day, or night. So you can call up that strenkday, beverly hills, you know the one. Dr. Everything Will Be All Right. Cuase in this life; things are much harder than the afterworld. In this life, you’re on your own! And when the elevator tries to break you down, go crazy. Punktie!

  29. Why did you keep mentioning Titanic and using it as an example for almost everything? I've been expecting you to comment on that in the last episode.

  30. This was really helpful!, thanks Jay. If you have finished this series, I recommend checking out 'Navigating Digital information' also from Crash Course. It covers a similar range of topics and adds to what you learn from this course.

  31. Loved the course. I find it a real shame that this final episode only has about 50k views at the time of this comment. Loved the motto: "1.Access 2.Analyze 3.Evaluate 4.Create 5.Act" This is a nice, 4 step plan to pay attention and being able to be authentic, plus the acting part. Like a shorthand of an aware, happy and ethical life. What a course.

    The dose of critical thinking with some historical context was much needed. Now I feel like every action taken by a human is art and should be listened to, in order to learn. But one shouldn't believe anything outright, for we are all humans. Between this, BoJack and Rick AND Morty, I feel renewed to try and listen, to try and help out around freely. Putting a saddle on old reality and taking it for a spin. Who knows what we'd reap in the future.

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