Introduction – Miho



I’m Miho – an undergraduate senior in Mechanical Engineering at MIT. My concentration is in biomedical applications and international development, and in the past few years, my interest in product development has been getting bigger. I have taken many CMS classes (once I was a minor candidate …) and I really, really love CMS. I enjoy photography, design projects, reading novels and writing.


I’m taking CoDesign this semester finally – I tried to take it last year, but couldn’t because of the schedule conflict – now with more knowledge and interest in media issues after taking Intro to Civic Media with Sasha last semester. I have been an active member in D-lab (a program dedicated for designing appropriate technologies for developing countries), and also leading a community project in Japan for more than a year now, and I’m hoping to utilize the skill I get in CoDesign for both the project and my contribution in D-lab. I’m interested in finding an intersection what kind of media use would be possible in communities with little experience in media. It would be great to see the examples of empowerment and education as well. I’m also interested in seeing how hardware projects can empower people to fight against surveillance and for their own privacy and freedom – interesting exploration can happen in urban communities, I think.


Reading through The Day We Fight Back gave me a chance to read more about Aaron Swartz – since there is so much information about this issue, I couldn’t internalize everything but gained more understanding than before for sure. I was browsing through the Twitter #DayWeFightBack which remained very active even until 11PM of the day. I also watched multiple videos uploaded on YouTube today – wow so many – and I finally realized that it is actually happening widely around the Internet. It was good to see some people in protest in videos – my favorite one is this one, where a guy with hand-made “NSA camera” keeps appearing while others are giving a speech. haha


However, it is a bit sad that I didn’t hear anyone I met today talking about this movement at MIT which is relatively an Internet-heavy community, and where Aaron Swartz studied. Tech released today was not covering that as well. Though the movement is a big issue among Internet activists, the event may not be very effectively participatory for the others.


Lastly, here‘s something I found that would be a nice thing to have done last weekend to prepare for The Day We Fight Back –  DIY projects to fight for online privacy. People would keep finding these solutions no matter how much the government tries to oppress them – I feel like I found some hope.