Big Data Ethics

Until today I had never really put any thought into Big Data Ethics. The reason I chose it as my research topic was just because I had herd it mentioned on the news. After doing some reading I am a little terrified about how naive I have been about my data. What I found out while researching was there are relatively few laws governing how large company collect data and what they do with it. We as consumers are the product and our information and data is used to target marketing and information. In other words big data turns our information into the product that they are selling.

The CEO of the company i used to work for said at a meeting once, ” if you look at a company and you don’t know what their product is then your their product” I didn’t realize until now how right he was in reference to the digital world. While part of me is terrified by how much information I leave out there the other part wonders if offering up a portion of your data isn’t the price you pay for digital citizenship. With a huge digital world out there and a low cost of entry for the average user there has to be catch. I feel like our data is the catch, and if we cant keep big data from collecting the information then maybe we can mandate that they use it ethically?

Digital Literacy/Fluency

It may seem funny that I would enroll in a class that dealing with digital literacy with no idea what that meant and only an elementary understanding of computers. Seriously up until this point 98% of my computers use has been for sending emails, google searches, typing word documents. Even video conferencing was something I hadn’t really used until classes started last week. So diving into what Digital Literacy is has been a fascinating endeavor.

What I found is that Digital Literacy is built around understanding, not in the sense of understanding what you read but understanding what you see and being able to interact with it. At this point my understanding of Digital Literacy had evolved from being able to turn on a computer and navigate to a web page to, being able to understand an navigate. While I still have what I consider a basic understanding of Digital Literacy and its applications in education my research also introduced me to the concept of Digital Fluency. Digital Fluency expands the topic from not just understanding but understanding and being able to create. At this point I feel like my ability to understand has grown slightly and while I have started to engage with digital fluency I am still a long way from fluent.

I have included some links to sights that explained Digital Literacy and Fluency to me below.

Videos from Kodiak

For my second creation I took a trip into the world of video, I created an account with Magisto and used their program to edit together a few videos I have taken around Kodiak. The quality is poor but I am proud of the attempt.

Magisto was pretty user friendly, I was able to download the app on my phone and access my account from my laptop made it easy for getting my videos into one place. They also supply a music library for you to choose from so selecting a background song was easy. For anyone considering giving Magiso a try I will warn it is a subscription site with a 7 day free trial after that you are paying for it. I went ahead and payed for a month to try a few other videos but it my not be worth it for everyone.

My First GIF

This is overly simple but I consider it an accomplishment as I explore using new technologies.

As this was my first adventure into the world of creating digital media I went looking for all the help I could get and I turned to my friend google! After reading a little bit in GIF’s and how they are made I discovery. I found mention of the app GIFSHOP as a simplified GIF maker. I downloaded the app on my phone and from there it was incredibly easy. You pick a video from your phone edit the speed and select a messege to display. It is a free app and a lot of fun to use. I have been making GIFs and sending them to my wife at work.

Sam Starr, the Man the Myth, the Legend

Hello everyone,

I would like to start off by thanking you for making it this far, and by addressing the somewhat misleading title of this post. While my name is indeed Sam Starr, and I am a Man, I don’t know that I am in fact a myth or a legend. At least not to atone but myself. Until now I have lived a rather unplugged life, I have a Facebook account that occasionally gets used and a personal email account. Other than that I don’t maintain much of an online presence. I don’t want to bore you with the facts but I consider myself to be a pretty average guy. So in order to write my biography in a way that is fun for the whole family lets continue operating on the assumption that I am indeed a man, myth, and legend.

The Man

I was born in a rural Kansas farming community in the winter of 1993. I completed Kindergarten through 12th grade in the same town. I was born in and lived in the same house for my whole childhood. Rural farming communities tend to act as a vacuum, the people who are born there usually die there, with very little adventure in between. If you can’t tell, this wasn’t going to work for me, right after high school graduation I was off to bigger and better things. First to Kansas State University where I studied Political Science and Business, then off to the big city to make my fortune. I took a job right out of College as a loan originator at a Kansas Bank, I had a knack for developing the skills of the people around me and before long found myself managing a branch. After being at the bank for about 5 year my wife was offered a Physician Assistant position at a clinic in Kodiak, Alaska. Neither of us had ever been to Alaska before but we had a a deep love for nature and adventure (more on that in Myth section) so we packed up and headed North. Once we got to Kodiak I stated looking for work, to make ends meet I started subbing for the district. I immediately fell in love with being in the classroom, it was like doing all the things I loved at the bank with non of the things I didn’t. I decided to make a permanent career change and now I am enrolled at UAF pursuing a Masters in Secondary Education.

The Myth

Now that all that ugly house keeping is out of the way we can get in to who I am. As a kid I woke up early on Saturday mornings, not to watch cartoons, but because I figured out that from 6:00AM to 8:00AM on Saturdays ESPN played fishing shows. From the age of two I was infatuated with fishing up until the age of 10 when you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up the answer was a professional fisherman on TV. No one in my family was an avid fisherman and I don’t know where my love came from but form a very early age it was there. When I was old enough to ride I bike nothing could hold me back, I would ride my bike to a nearby lake and I would and I would fish anytime that I could. More than once growing up I was grounded for being late to school because I stopped to fish on my way. When I turned 11:00 I found out there was going to be a fishing tournament about an hour from my house. I begged my Dad to take me and let me enter and he reluctantly agreed.

The further north you go the less people know about competitive bass fishing. I would guess that no one reading this from Alaska has ever herd of it but it is a multi billion dollar industry built around catching the five biggest bass in an 8 hour period.

I will save you the details of my first tournament, the only important thing to know is that I won and my life changed forever. Once I had won money fishing there was no stopping me, I travels to fish every weekend, when I turned 14 I bought my first tournament boat by 18 I had upgraded it 3 times. In high school I was an integral part of bringing high school fishing to the State of Kansas and my senior year I won the first ever Kansas High School Fishing State Championship. I went to College to fish competitively fishing all four years for the Kansas State University Team. My senior year I spent a considerable amount of time living out of my truck traveling around the United States trying to make the Professional Bass Fishing Circuit. The reason I am telling you all of this is to explain the role the outdoors has played in my life. I have spent thousands of hours fishing in some of the most beautiful places in the country and through this formed a deep love for the natural world. There is extreme beauty in the natural world and I hold the land fish and animals close to my heart.

The Legend

It takes a legend to walk away, or at least that’s what I tell myself. After my senior year of college and a few very narrow misses from making the pro circuit I had a decision to make. Either I risk it all and spend another year living out of my truck (literally living out of my truck, almost pro doesn’t pay for hotel rooms) trying to make to pros or go home get a job and propose to the girl I been dating for four years. In the end the girl won and I have no regrets. I now spend my time hunting and fishing every chance I get and advocating for conservation and getting kids involved in the outdoors. My wife and I are very happy with the adventures that Alaska has provided us and we are here to stay. Even if that does mean a little less bass fishing.

List of the boats I have owned

1988 Champion Bass Boat

2000 Skeeter Bass Boat

2004 Ranger Bass Boat

2010 Skeeter Bass Boat

2 Wilderness System Kayaks