Final Assignment

A collection of loops of music which can be accessed by any individual with Garage Band. Scary is not? The shear fact that anything can be digitalized, modified so that it can be used in any location without instruments. Music is a form of art which requires immense skills. Garage band, allows any person regardless of their personal background to produce music. It somewhat devalues “true” music. It trifles with the work of musicians who worked years honing their skills to master a single music form. Garage Band allows any person to manipulate the guitar, drums, saxophone (to name a few) and vocals all at once. This demines the work of musicians all over the world.

The song that I included in the video, is appealing to me. However, I don’t believe it is fair to the musicians who created that loops that I integrated. Could I even call this song my own? The only hard work I did was deciding which loop to add and where. In my opinion, the quality of work and how good it is, is determined by the effort and time placed into a work. Sure the song sounds okay, but I think it would sound better if I had taken the time to learn the instruments within the song.

If anything, one can appreciate the way technology has developed over the years. Garage band embodies the vision of Dr. Vannevar Bush.  During his life, Bush argued that true technology should replicate the “bewildering store of knowledge.”  In addition, he sought to develop a device that would extend the power of our minds. Garage Band stores a vast amount of information, which during the life of Bush would have been impossible.

Similar to how a sword is seen as the extension of the arm, the internet can be seen as an extension of the mind. The mind works through association operating through an intricate trail of information. We often take for granted all that is around us, as it is a routine part of our lives. Technological advancements in information storage has benefited us in various ways. Physicians all across the country now use electronic health records (EHR). EHR’s allow employees of health related fields to store the information of their patients. Thereby allowing them to access information from any patient in the country. EHR’s have also been developed to work in conjunction with the physician. To explain this further a brief example is described below.

A patient’s culture comes back for moderate growth of streptococcus pneumonia. The physician knows that this bacterium is sensitive to the antibiotic Bactrim and therefore prescribes it to the patient. Prior to providing this to the patient, it is required that the medications be included into the EHR system first. Immediately after, a warning box appears explaining to the physician that the patient is allergic to sulfa drugs. Had the patient taken Bactrim, a sulfa based drug, the bacteria may have perished but the patient would have suffered adverse effects due to an inevitable allergic reaction.  Bush dreamt that technological advancements in information storage would be used as an extension of the brain, and one can see how it has influenced the lives of individuals in all professions. A similar example by Bush describes the need for better information storage for people of all different backgrounds.  “The chemist, struggling with the synthesis of an organic compound, has all the chemical literature before him in his laboratory, with trails following the analogies of compounds, and side trails to their physical and chemical behavior” (Bush).

Technology in so many ways has improved our lives but it has also made life more difficult in ways. Take for example the instance of Nicholas Carr and his colleagues having difficulties reading and paying attention.  He attributes these issues to the internet. According to Carr, our brains are being “rewired” as a result of prolonged internet use that simple tasks such as reading silently become an endeavor.  Technology has also caused many social issues to arise. Unfortunately, social gatherings have become a group of individuals fixated on their cellular devices. Similar to the Garage Band dilemma, technology has devalued the very essence of a social events.  Returning to EHRs, the patient-physician interaction has also suffered. In an attempt to record all information regarding a patient and the exchange that occurred during the visit the physician, discusses with the patient while looking at his computer screen as opposed to the patient. Of course the quality of care is the same but the experience is not.

Like all things in life, there is a tradeoff associated with technology. One can thing of it like the example provided in class regarding Wonderbread. Wonderbread a cheap tasteless version of French bread is sold in countless stores across the country. Although it cheapens the express of eating true bread, it enriches the lives of countless Americans as a result of its price and accessibility.

Class began with the quote “the life of the mind is a playful one.” However, the mind is also a dangerous thing. We often undermine technology and its history. Jonathan Sterne describes how there is a whole history behind the invention of the MP3. In the pursuit of knowledge man can lose sight of morals and ethics. In his book, Sterne describes an inhumane experiment which aided in the development of the MP3. Two physiologists, Ernest Glen Wever and Charles W. Bray, in an attempt to illustrate the important concepts in acoustics, removed parts of countless cats’ skulls and most of its brain attached an electrode to it (Sterne).  As opposed to viewing these cats as living animals, these scientists viewed them as microphones and transducers. The sheer number of cats being killed did not bother them so long as their thirst for acquisition for knowledge was meet.

The ink of the past is already dry, one cannot change what has already been done but we must learn from its mistakes. Technology is here and will be continuously used by people all across the world. We must find a way to discipline ourselves and learn to balance both disciplinary forms.

Music was made using garage band

Video was created using pow toon



Bush, Vannevar. “As We May Think.” The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2016.

Carr, Nicholas G. The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains. New York: W.W. Norton, 2010. Print.

Sterne, Jonathan. MP3: The Meaning of a Format. Durham: Duke UP, 2012. Print.

History of the Digital Past: Final thoughts

In my opinion any class that causes the student to intellectually think outside of class is a class well taught. The class was far from traditionally but it has taught me many things that I never was interested about and a lot about my self. Through reading hard books and essays and listening to class discussions I learned about what kind of learner I am. It is true that I am a associative learner that jumps from one subject and thought to the other, but in order to become a good doctor I have to manage both. To be disciplined in the art of thinking without distractions and to stay focused is what I struggle with, but I am glad to have learned this weakness early on in my career and hope to modify it.

Class stimulated my curiosity in the technology around us. The history behind it. Although I’ll forever be daunted by the voices of cats every time I look at any phone, I learned that I should question the origins of everything around me. Besides isn’t a good doctor a person who can critically analyze his or her patients? To evaluate the symptoms and draw proper conclusions by learning and reading about them.

If anything, i would like to have seen more assignments in class. I know, I am that one crazy student who actually loves homework!  I enjoy it because it allows me to continuously think about the subject at hand. It also allows me to ensure that I have actually grasped the material at hand.

Overall the class was amazing, lecture was fun, never boring…

The Pursuit of Knowledge: Digital Technology &Jonathan Sterne

Unlike other species, mankind is driven by the pursuit of knowledge. This has been apparent   throughout time but peak curiosity in digital technology began in the early 20th century. In the book, MP3 The Meaning of a Format, Jonathan Sterne discusses twentieth-century sound history. In it his book he describes a unethical experiment which ultimately aided in the development of the MP3. In this experiment,  scientists removes parts a cats skull and most of its brain and attached an electrode within it. The auditory cortex  located in the temporal lobe, I just took my Advanced Anatomy exam on the nervous system hence why I know the locations :),  and the auditory nerve were attached to this electrode and connected to an amplifier. After this signals were transmitted to a telephone receiver. ” What they found astonished them. The signals picked up off the auditory nerve came through the telephone receiver as sound.” (61) Although this was used during the era of the telephone Sterne begs to argue that within the MP3, like all technology, is a stark past.

We often take for granted the technology of Today. I’d like to think that the reason being is, we are so used to it and it is everywhere that we don’t think about where it came from. This class made me wonder of the history behind all the technologies that we are constantly  using.  How many cats were mutilated in order for me to speak over the phone? How many unethical experiments were implemented in order for me to write this on the computer? Does the pursuit of knowledge and technological advancements justify inhumane experiments such as the one discussed in Sterne’s book. I’d like to say no. But I can only imagine what I would say if I lived in an era without telephones, laptops, and the many technological blessings in our modern times…

Final project

This we began discussing the science of music. Sound waves and physics! Subjects that interest me tremendously.  Dr. O’malley said ” everything is science.” Which is true, music especially. In order to change the beat, increase the volume, amplify and more, all require knowledge of the physics behind sound waves. I never really understood how complicated music was until attending this class. I never really valued music. I only viewed it as a background in my life. However, I came to realize that it requires a tremendous amount  of knowledge and effort. This is why the final project seemed so scary at first. I am not very creative when it comes to music. I also am not good at things that i lack interest in. However, after discussing the final project further in class I came excited to “make” music.


In class we discussed whether or not information should be free and should not have a copyright. In my opinion,  information should be shared. It is understandable when an individual wants to claim all the glory for an idea or invention that they make, but it can be improved and exemplified when others are compassionate about making said invention better. In the world of medicine, physicians are constantly implementing new trials and surgical techniques. These techniques are published in case studies, and physicians all over the world can access them in order to implement the same technique or even make modifications. There is no copyright on a surgical technique, and if there was many patients would suffer.

Information wants to be free. This is one of the things Vannevar Bush emphasized. Instead of encyclopedias which cost a lot of many to have, everyone should have free access to information. Information is only valuable when it is shared. This is something that was said in class and is very true.  When a person is passionate about a topic or subject they will fight to make sure it is represented in the best way. This is what makes wikipedia so great.  If everyone had access to free information I can only imagine how much better the world would be.

I do agree that history is sacred and should not be altered, but that shouldn’t prevent all individuals from accessing information freely. In my High School we had a class devoted on teaching us the lessons by peace. We often discussed Ghandi, and one of his quotes which affected me the most was regarding education. He discusses how the road to peace is built on education. If information was allowed to be free, maybe more people could become educated and one day we would live in a better place. This idea of freeing education and peace arising is a tad optimistic but who knows what could happen!


Unfortunately, I was sick today and was unable to attend class. Therefore, I don’t have much to discuss about class but I would like to use this blog post to be my last time discussing politics and use it as a way to vent out my frustration.

Race and politics are so deeply rooted in what we discuss in class that I was compelled to share my thoughts on last nights election.

Last night, Donald Trump was elected as the next president of the United States of America. As a first time voter I was so emotionally vested in this election. I was really hoping that other citizens would truly see Trump for who he is. I can sit here for hours listing all the nasty remarks he has made toward women, minorities, mentally and physically disabled individuals, and even his own fellow republicans.

He is a man who incites violence, who supports separation, and stands agains the very morals that make America great. As Palestinian-Muslim-American Female, I can say with true pride that America has provided me opportunities that I would not have been able to receive anywhere else in the world. It is a beacon of hope to many individuals all of the world. But I know believe that this will drastically change.

As I walked to class on Monday, I overheard a conversation between three females. They were discussing who they voted for in the 2012 election. One of the females asked the other if she voted for Obama, to which she replied “Hell no, I would never vote for a black man.” Unfortunately in todays society, race is still a major factor and an issue. Trump has just opened a can of worms and allowed a vacuum of hatred to occupy our  nation.

In class we discuss the racial inequalities prevalent in American culture by analyzing pop culture. We progressed so far from the view of African Americans when Minstrel shows were popular to the point where we now have an African American who is president. Everything we worked hard for feels pointless with the election of Trump.  He is everything that this nation is not….

I am trying to stay optimistic and I hope that something good will result from this unprecedented election.




Digital Hunt: BOOGALOO!

For this Digital Scavenger hunt assignment I decided to search for the term Boogaloo. I decided to search for this word because it sounded fun and It was a word that I am unfamiliar with. The earliest reference that I found was that In the New York Times. On March 11, 1966 an article, Dance: philly-dog Routing Boogaloo, discusses the various music trends around that time. Although he doesn’t explicitly state this he alludes to it by describing a female getting “into the boogaloo.” “The girl, hair blowing wild, dress-nude look complete-gaping wide at empty seams, moved with a sort of flip shy confidence into the boogaloo.”The author describes how it beginning to lose it fame and the new  popular dance style the Philly Dog. He writes “ the boogaloo is doomed. Have you heard of the Philly Dog? You will. Its coming in.”

The book One Thousand Novelty and Fad Dances written by Tom Nelson, describes the Boogaloo as a “ fluid style that uses every part of the body.” Those who dance in this style ensure that their entire body flows together.

Google Books Ngram Viewer, displayed that the term Boogaloo began being used in the late 1950s and its use increased in the 1960’s. The author of the New York Times article discussed how the Boogaloo will lose its fame to some new dance style. This is supported by the graph which displays a decrease in the usage of boogaloo in the early 1970S. To get a better idea of how Boogaloo looked like, I searched for videos that deosntrated the dance style. My favorite was a combination of an electric boogaloo, which I included in a link below.

Looking Glass Self

Why would an African-American join the the confederate army? We discussed this in class and many students provided valid reasons as to why they suspect black men would join a confederacy that has enslaved, dehumanized, and oppressed them.

I ask myself a similar question every time a Palestinian joins the Israeli army. How could you serve a country that continously agonizes  your fellow people. I think the reason why they feel the need to join the army of their opresser is for the following reason. When an individual is constantly told that he or she is worthless and can never amount to anything, they come to believe in it.  They become the “lesser individual” that they have been told they are.

In “Mean Girls” Regina George consistently taunts and ridicules her friend Gretchen Weiners. Gretchen truly believes she is inferior and therefore follows her every command. Unfortunately,  succumbing to the remarks of others is inevitable for many people.

These “oppressed” individuals develop a “self” which mirrors the expectations and perceptions of the oppressor. This development of self is called the looking-glass self, a social-psychological concept developed by Charles Cooley. Seeing as slavery ended along with the Civil War, one can only speculate why a black man would join the confederate army.

As a Palestinian it never ceases to amaze me when an arab is so sympathetic to Israel that they discriminate against their own kind.  My brother-in-law and I went to McDonald’s in Beit Or, an Israeli city with a large Arab population. I approached the cashier and noticed that his name was Ahmed which gave away his Arab origins right away. I proceeded to order my meal in Arabic and to my surprise he yelled at me in Hebrew! Embarrassed due to the looks of the Israelis waiting in line behind us, and the fact that he refused to answer me in Arabic, I asked him why he wouldn’t answer me. The manager became aware of this issue, yelled at the cashier and took my order.

I thought for a while about why he was reluctant to answer me in Arabic despite being an Arab. I suspect that he was embarrassed of his origins. He would rather be an Israeli than be a Palestinian. He came to believe that Israelies are more superior and that he would rather be an “undercover Israeli” than embrace his true origins. Now the connection between this story and blacks joining the confederate army may differ. But I believe that Blacks in the confederate army and Ahmed truly felt inferior. They were told that their race is inferior and they came to believe it. Ashamed of their origins they attempt to makeup for their “shortcomings.”

The History of the Digital Times and the MCAT

An inevitable obstacle that all pre-med students must strive to overcome is the MCAT. A daunting exam which determines whether or not one can achieve his or her dream to become a physician. I always try to form a connection between the classes I am taking to the MCAT. By forming these connections, I can determine how I can improve to be a better test taker.

One of the many things I have learned in this class is the importance of critical reading and listening. The verbal reasoning section of the MCAT is the biggest struggle for pre-med students majoring in the sciences. The several weeks in this class taught me how much I struggle with critical reading and listening. Unfortunately, I have been unable to hear the “beats” described in class. When Henry Thomas’ Railroadin came on I could barely decipher what he said. That is not my only struggle, reading “Shallows” and “Segregating Sound” was  another battle. After reading both books, I understand the “big picture” but I fail to comprehend the many details they provide and the arguments they seamlessly integrate into their works.

From the beginning of class, we discussed the importance of obedience and discipline in reading and listening. To become a good physician, I must be able to interpret the symptoms a patient presents. These signs can also be nonverbal. However, in order to do so, I must be a critical reader, who can interpret the signs presented to me, and draw conclusions based off of what is presented. In the MCAT, I must also draw conclusions based off the literary work presented.  I have 9 more months until I take the MCAT. I got my work cut out for me, but hopefully, I will discipline my mind in the art of reading so that I may overcome this heinous exam!


Hidden Racism in Music Culture

As I was looking at my Facebook feed I came across a video: “12 Nursery Rhymes You Didn’t Know Were Racist.” (I Included the link below) I am a very positive individual and always try to see the good in others. Although Donald Trump really is pushing that side of me, but let’s not dive into politics!  Last week we were discussing the influence of African Americans during the early 20th century on American music culture. When I heard that the national anthem of Texas was about a man and his black love interest I was really confused. Texas?! Really? But I guess it’s just human nature to stereotype in some ways. But it really is shocking knowing that a heavily racist state would be singing about African Americans.   This brings me to back to my point about the nursery rhyme video. I never realized how racially rooted this country was until Dr. O’Malley made me aware of it in class. As a Muslim Palestinian I am quickly aware of racism that is directly related to my culture. This may be an issue in and of itself. I am quickly aware of the hatred imbued against my culture, but fail to realize the hatred towards others. I think all people, regardless of race, heritage, and culture, should be more empathetic and socially aware and embrace different selves, including myself.

I also think there is an issue with how I listen to music. Miller describes learning as a feelingful activity. He adds that by thoughtfully listening to music we should be able to embrace various “selves.” When I first listened to the State of Texas song, I really did not answer it. That is because I have not been disciplined in the “art” of listening to music. On day one of the class, I supported the notion that music should be a backdrop in our daily lives. Now I have to disagree with myself. In order to truly understand the essence of the music, to embrace the lyrics and the passion of the artist, I must listen thoughtfully. As I listen to Railroadin by Henry Thomas, I should embrace this shared experience of the Great Migration.