Final Reflection

Overall, I really enjoyed this course on the history of the information age. I honestly did not know much about this topic, and was excited to be able to learn more throughout the semester. One of my favorite things that we learned was that AT&T stands for the American Telegraph and Telephone company that was founded by Alexander Graham Bell. This is a simple fun fact that I did not know. 

Another favorite topic of mine was discussing memes, technology and war, and cybersecurity. I was excited to learn the history of memes and the origin of the word, because I feel like not a lot of people know about it. It was interesting to think about the impact that memes have on our culture and how they can convey certain cultural themes in a funny, engaging way. Lastly, I really liked the discussions about technology, war and cybersecurity. I enjoyed these topics because my dad was in the military and was a cryptologist, and now he is a cybersecurity analyst, so it was exciting to learn a little more about those topics. 

Another aspect of the class that I enjoyed was the class discussions led by students. I found these to be engaging, important to the content of the class, and allowed the class to hear everyone’s thoughts on the topic. Personally, I would have liked it if we spent one day doing a more lecture based class, and the other day doing a class discussion. 

I enjoyed that we were able to come up with the syllabus together as a class and brainstorm all the assignments. For the final project, I was excited that we were able to choose between the AI assignment, the alumni project, or the timeline. I think that providing options for final projects is imperative for students to do well and succeed because they have the ability to choose something they want, rather than feeling forced to do a project.

Final Project: AI and Crazy Horse

For the image, I used Canva Image Generator. The first prompt I used was “Crazy Horse,” and it generated images of mountains with Native clothing details, which was really odd. However, when I put in “portrait of Crazy Horse,” it generated this image. It is important to note that through my research, there are no known photos of Chief Crazy Horse, so it is interesting that the AI was able to create one. However, this brings up the issue of stereotypes. Is the AI attempting to portray Chief Crazy Horse accurately, or is it affirming stereotypes by creating an image? 

For this essay, I used ChatGPT. The prompt I put in was “Write a 2 page essay about Chief Crazy Horse, colonization, and his connection to the reservation system.” Overall, the essay does a relatively okay job at touching on the points from the prompt, but lacks an in-depth analysis on the topic. 

The first essay generator that I used was called Essay Genius. This AI program actually contained some pretty harmful stereotypes of Native peoples and stated that their resistance to colonization “ultimately failed.” In comparison, while ChatGPT is nowhere near perfect, I think it provided a relatively accurate description of the disturbing actions the US took against Natives during the time. Of note, it stated that the government wanted to move westward and as they did so, they “sought to acquire their land through treaties and force.” While this is a very broad statement on this topic, it is interesting that ChatGPT was able to state that Indigenous land was taken by force. This makes me reflect on multiple class discussions about who is behind AI programming and how biases can make their way into the software. This is especially true when comparing the essay from Essay Genius to ChatGPT. 

It is interesting to think that we are at the point where AI can write essays for us, but I think we still have a long way to go before it will be able to critically analyze a topic and come up with new ideas about interpreting history.


Chief Crazy Horse was a prominent figure in the history of the Lakota Sioux people and the colonization of North America. Born in 1840 in what is now South Dakota, he played a leading role in the resistance against the U.S. government’s attempts to colonize their lands.

The Lakota people had lived in the Great Plains region for centuries before the arrival of Europeans. However, in the 19th century, the U.S. government began to expand westward and sought to acquire their land through treaties and force. Chief Crazy Horse, along with other Lakota leaders, resisted these efforts and fought to maintain their way of life.

Crazy Horse was known for his courage and strategic thinking. He was a skilled warrior and was highly respected among his people. He played a key role in the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876, where a coalition of Lakota, Cheyenne, and Arapaho warriors defeated a U.S. Army force led by General George Custer. This victory was one of the most significant for the indigenous peoples of North America in their fight against colonization.

However, the U.S. government continued to pressure the Lakota people to surrender their land. In 1877, Crazy Horse surrendered to U.S. forces along with his people, and they were forced to move to a reservation in South Dakota. The reservation system was a policy that confined indigenous peoples to specific areas of land, often far from their ancestral territories, and was a tool used by the U.S. government to dispossess them of their lands.

Crazy Horse initially agreed to live on the reservation, but he soon became disillusioned with the conditions there. He saw that the Lakota people were being forced to abandon their traditional way of life and were suffering from poverty, disease, and despair. He became a vocal critic of the reservation system and continued to advocate for the rights of his people.

In 1877, Crazy Horse was arrested by U.S. troops after they claimed he was planning an uprising. He was killed while in custody, and the circumstances surrounding his death remain controversial to this day. Some believe that he was betrayed by his own people, while others believe that the U.S. government was responsible for his death.

Crazy Horse’s legacy has endured long after his death. He is remembered as a brave and visionary leader who fought for the rights of his people. He remains an inspiration to many indigenous peoples who continue to struggle against colonization and the legacy of the reservation system.

In conclusion, Chief Crazy Horse was a symbol of resistance against the U.S. government’s colonization of indigenous lands. He fought bravely to maintain the Lakota way of life and challenged the reservation system that was designed to dispossess them of their lands. Although he was killed, his legacy lives on as a reminder of the ongoing struggles of indigenous peoples against colonialism and oppression.



Chat GPT:

Essay Genius:

Alexa – Amazon Commercial

Alexa – Amazon Echo Commercial 

I found this commercial to be really interesting. Especially when the daughter asks “does it listen all the time?” and the Dad responds, “no, only when you say Alexa.” This is incredibly interesting to me because I feel like there has been a lot of talk about how our technology (phones especially), listens to us 24/7. We have all had those moments where we receive an ad for something we talked about earlier in the day, and it is incredibly scary to think that our devices are listening to everything we do.

With this video, I think the Amazon marketing team did an amazing job at showing how Alexa can be an aid in your life from alarms, setting timers, and adding things to the grocery list without having to take the time to physically do those things yourself. 


Introducing Amazon Echo

Cybersecurity and TikTok

This week was my last week leading discussion and I really enjoyed the topic of cybersecurity. Growing up, my dad was in the military and was a cryptologist. After he retired, he worked for a cybersecurity contractor that works with the military. Because of this, he is well versed in the world of cybersecurity, and thus, it is a big topic of conversation sometimes. In the past few years, my dad has had multiple conversations with me about the dangers of Facebook and other social media like TikTok, and it got to the point where he deleted his own Facebook. I am an avid Instagram and Facebook user, but I refuse to download TikTok, despite how popular it is. This is in part because of the conversations I have had with my dad about the apps cybersecurity and the government warnings against it. However, I do recognize that Instagram and Facebook also have loads and loads of my information, but again, I can never wrap my head around TikTok. 

In class, we discussed why the government has issues with the app. Many students noted that it is simply because China is the one who owns the app, and because we as a nation do not “like” China, that is why the government is wanting to take steps against it. At the end of the day, I do believe that TikTok is a great security risk, despite my classmates thinking otherwise. It is interesting that it is such a hotly debated topic. I do not know how the government would go about banning it to begin with, but I think more people need to think about the gravity of our national security. 

Source: What TikTok cybersecurity concerns could mean for you

Week 12: Memes

My favorite material this week was the video by Vox entitled “Why Do Memes Matter?” This video provided wonderful insights into memes and how they impact our daily lives. The word “meme” was created by Richard Dawkins and explains that a meme is “the unit of cultural inheritance” and “anything that spreads like a disease.” In 1994, someone referred to memes in relation to the internet. I do agree with Haubursin, who says that memes are basically inside jokes because some people understand them and others don’t. I think memes do hold significant cultural value, as Dawkins suggests. 


Why Do Memes Matter? – Glad You Asked S1 

Week 11: Digital Identity

My favorite video this week was “Identity in a digital world” by Alec Couros. This week, as discussion leader, my group came up with a handful of thought provoking questions to get the class talking. One of the most interesting questions to me was “81% percent of children will have a digital identity by the age of 2. Do you find this concerning? Why or why not?” 

Personally, I find this statistic to be incredibly alarming and scary, especially considering the amount of creepy people that are on the internet. This statistic made me think a lot about family vloggers on Youtube, and how these kids are being forced to have their faces all over the internet at a very young age. This is alarming because children, at least in my opinion, really do not understand the gravity of the internet and what it means that millions of people are watching their everyday lives. This begs the question, when is a proper age of consent for the internet? Should parents be posting photos and videos of their kids? If I am being quite honest, I do not know what the answers are, but the more and more I learn about the internet, the less and less I want young children to be on it. 

Identity in a digital world | Alec Couros –16 minutes —

Week 10: Cellphones

This week, my favorite video was “History of Cellphones and How Drastically They’ve Changed.” First, I enjoyed the information about car phones. Interestingly enough, I was actually born in a car on the way to the hospital, and my parents said they called 911 with the car phone. In the age of landlines, cellphones, and computers, I never really understood how interesting the concept of a car phone truly was. 

I thought it was really interesting that only a limited number of people could use car phones in the beginning (1970s). Then, Motorola introduced the first ever “cellphone.” It is insane to think these early cell phones took 10 hours to charge and only lasted 35 minutes, especially when now my phone can charge within an hour or two and last the whole day. Technology really has come a long way! 


History of Cellphones and How Drastically They’ve Changed 

Week 9: Technology and War

This week, I was a class discussion leader. I enjoyed finding articles and videos for the class to engage with. One of the more interesting materials was the Does Technology Win Wars by Foreign Affairs. The article mentions and implies that war technologies work to lessen the amount of people lost in military conflicts, which is fascinating yet scary at the same time. A few classmates mentioned that yes, it is imperative that we reduce casualties for military conflicts. With new inventions such as strike drones, the military can make advances without sending real people on the ground. But at the same time, we should not be letting technologies make automatic, split second, and deadly decisions on their own. Once we take away the act of being the one to press the “send” button or make those decisions, it depersonalizes war and lessens the reality that people are being killed by these actions. This could then lead to even deadlier conflicts. 


Schneider, Jacquelyn. “Does Technology Win Wars?” Foreign Affairs, 2023.

Week 8: The Rise of Computers

For this week, I really enjoyed the Youtube video about the history of computers. One thing that the video did not touch on is that prior to machines calculating numbers, it was people who were doing the same thing. 

The abacus was considered to be the first calculation in Mesopotamia. I feel like in high school when learning about these ancient civilizations, many times they were seen as “primitive” and rarely explained how complex they were. This complexity is evident through items like the abacus. 

With the onset of World War II, the United States advanced in the world of computers and breaking enemy codes. In class, we discussed this in multiple different weeks. Personally, I do not think that the United States would have excelled in this area if war had not been the motivating factor. 


History of Computers 

Misinformation Meme

My meme is about the moon landing and how some people believed it was fake. The image on the left is from NASA and is an actual image of the moon landing in 1969. The picture on the right is from Wikipedia but is said to be from NASA training, which was used by conspiracy theorists to “prove” that the moon landing was actually conducted on a set. I used the website ImgFlip meme generator to produce this meme. 

Meme Generator: 

“Meme Generator.” Imgflip. Imgflip LLC. Accessed March 22, 2023.


“July 20, 1969: One Giant Leap For Mankind.” NASA. National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Accessed March 22, 2023. 

“Moon landing conspiracy theories.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Accessed March 22, 2023.