Groupthink in Beta

Mahsa’s project made me cackle and scratch my chin menacingly as I muttered “well, well, well, if it isn’t my nemesis”. Which is to say, it was very apparent to the reader what her project is about! (Also, I’m joking, I have no qualms) It was funny to read a sort of counterpoint to my own project. I thought that it was very well researched and the citations affirmed that. I will say that towards the end of the paper, I found a few phrases problematic, such as the statement that  Everything you’ve ever done on the Internet and even on your computer will always be there and are referred to as your digital footprint.” To me, this attests to the government surveillance that she lightly acknowledged earlier in the paper, and it effectively disarms the entire perception that internet users are ever anonymous. This notion in and of itself is compelling, but in the current context it sterilizes her entire argument, I think it could use more elaboration and integration into the paper in order to help instead of hurt it. I also think there were a few places wherein the pseudo-anonymity of the surface web and the encrypted anonymity of the Deep Web are regarded as one in the same, when they are inherently different. The masquerade of a username is still traceable, whereas the Deep Web circumnavigates the geolocation of IP addresses and tactile methods of linking individuals to activity. Overall, I think it is a very good draft, with some really great ideas and interesting notions about anonymity and secrecy and cultural values being brought up. I’m excited to see where it goes!

Mariah’s project started out very strong. I wanted to revel in that marine analogy for 3500 words, like a young Leonardo DiCaprio on the Titanic (before things got too real). Right after the tide of the analogy withdrew, she stated her thesis super concisely. Like, ridiculously so. I read it and said “Thesis!”. So, that was easy for the reader to handle. I am super on board with her arguments, and the sources from our class readings in particular were well utilized. She admitted that towards the end she became a bit lost, and, well….yeah. I think that the content is all there, but the paper could really use a buffer paragraph to ease the reader into the Wikipedia aspect of the work. I found that I was suddenly face-deep in Wikipedia wars when I was still thinking about the Civil War. To mend this, and to up the word count, a couple more paragraphs to tie it all together would do wonders. Still, brilliant argument and good draft.

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