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After reading Cramer’s paper on the term “post digital”, I was left thinking about the symbolic shift in who controls new and old media. I found Cramer’s point that digital media has essentially shifted from being a very populist, DIY, and egalitarian space to one controlled mostly by corporations and large, powerful entities to be very poignant and related to a lot of the papers we’ve read this year. It definitely made me think of the idealized version of the internet that many activists for internet privacy and freedom seem to be holding on to and whether places like this still exist in an accessible way online. I found it particularly interesting that, as Cramer claims, many people have abandoned new media for now near obsolete old media because it has now been abandoned by many of the groups that hold a lot of power on the internet and has thus become a free and open space. A lot of old media like independent zines, as Cramer claims, also seem to be used for the symbolic meaning that has been attached to many of these mediums as DIY or independent. I certainly found this one explanation for the widespread adoption of old media very interesting and something that I hadn’t consciously thought about but can now recognize in a lot of places.

It’s also interesting how this symbolic connection that we have with forms of old media and independence, trendiness, and anti corporate sentiments has become widely adopted by corporations as a means of selling their products. Similar to the way cultural free labor is exploited by corporations, the vintage or rustic old media aesthetic as a symbol for freedom or uniqueness has been entirely coopted by corporations and is now aggressively sold back to the public with a mask of its original symbolism. This is just something I found really interesting about the reading this week.