ACCC sues US video games giant Valve

ACCC sues US video games giant Valve.

Good example of how local media laws apply. So if I libel someone in Britain, and arrive in Britain, and they want to take me to court, they can, even though what I wrote I wrote in Australia and the server is in California…

In this case US company sells stuff here, and ignores Australian consumer law. As the ACCC says, sell here, local laws apply. (It isn’t really complicated. When I am in America American law applies to me, I can’t claim that in Australia it is legal so all is good.)

Temporary Interruption

I will be overseas at a conference for the next week and so it is unlikely I will be doing much here. Enjoy the semester break, do the readings, and given the sorts of questions that have been occurring in classes, blogs, and so on, I’d recommend you read:

Shields, David. Reality Hunger: A Manifesto. New York: Vintage, 2011. Print. Extract, PDF

Readers Reading

Jamie on the Douglas reading and the difference between us changing our interpretation of something each time we read it, versus the thing we are reading each time we read it. Meanwhile Niamh sees that hypertexts are more complex than choose your own adventure books, and that they are fluid rather than fixed. Excellent summary from Anna, picking up key points. Cassandra is, well, more shocked I think. The point is not take an existing book and turn that in hypertext (that is like treating cinema as filming plays) but to think about what a story that began from the condition of hypertext might be. This is the key difference. Books that work well as books won’t work well as hypertexts, just as we can argue whether the film version is any good or not. Rebecca remembers choose your own adventure books to, though of course these don’t change, just our pathway changes, which is an important difference. James on the Douglas reading and books and futures. Marina on the changed role (and authority) of the reader in hypertext – and by implication other multilinear narratives. Kiralee is interested in the idea of a story where the reader has some agency.

Symposium Takeaways

Rachel on technology and art and culture. What was unclear I think was whether ‘culture’ was meant as like art, or more broadly in the way it is used in ‘cultural studies’. As I said today, I think the humanities trips over itself foolishy by putting up a fence (between nature and culture, art and technology, and so on) where fences don’t actually exist. Niamh with notes (quick aside, I’ve met Ted twice and am a serious fan boy, just sayin’), so don’t want to give the impression that I think he’s wrong, he’s not. David on transclusion, and the comment about copyright is interesting as in Nelson’s vision copyright is a bit of a non issue. Louis liked the idea of personal web servers (so do I, it is odd that a structure that is decentralised has relied on such a centralised technical/electrical infrastructure). Rebecca wonders what we mean by technology anyway. Good question. Technology is using a tool to do something. That is it. Anything else is complicating through academicspeak something that doesn’t need to be. What technology does, and lets us do, is the point, not what it is.

Marina on what we didn’t get to. Privacy and narcissism. I think exhibitionism is probably a bigger issue than narcissism, and privacy and online is an oxymoron. Rachel revisits Nelson to get a better sense of what hypertext is and why it might matter.


Mia on how the WWW is a ‘web’ and thinking through that a bit more. Jane realises that things are immediately near to hand when writing online, and this makes a difference. More significantly it makes a difference to your own writing in an essay for now any paragraph is as far away from another paragraph as any other. Marina on Landow, hypertext, and usefulness. Interesting question, a part from convenience, what else does hypertext teach us? Angus on blogs and realising that medical research is blogged. I’m an academic, there are a lot of amazing academic blogs out there which are more active than many a book or journal. It’s the same with every area, once you realise that informed time based reflective writing lets experts share, then things change a lot. Monique has intriguing comments picking up the elegance (simplicity) of what lies behind Nelson’s things. 

HTML Beginnings

Rebecca is busy getting better at writing HTML, remember your final essay can be written in HTML, even possiby as a hypertext, so you can use these skills if you wish. Kelsey uses HTML at work, and Isabelle does a bit of freestyle. Jane found it simpler and more relevant than expected, and disagrees with Brady, for while things like Dreamweaver make things simpler no one uses it professionally for web development. (There are programs that make it easier to write stories, they automate parts of the process, but if you were serious about writing stories, would you use one? Ditto with web authoring. Pros code, amateurs use WYSIWYG.)

Clumsy Closure

The symposium ended in a clatter and rather inelegantly. To the person who’s very good question I was answering, I apologise. It deserved more time and craft, particularly around the idea of intent, than it received. Intent as an idea might turn up again, it might not, Intent is the idea that I mean to say something by saying (writing) something, and that this intent matters. It does, that’s why we try and say things, but intent is fragile and in capable of being attached to what we say, write, or do in any way to ensure its (our intent’s) preservation. Which is why things are always misunderstood. 


We didn’t get to the privacy question, but take it as a given that the distinctions between public and private are being dramatically changed. Internet combined with mobile telephony is the push there. 

In relation to privacy we have these two gems from Betty:

Symposium Responses

Isabelle sees that people who are good at things explore and push their medium, not just the content, and so understanding some things about hypertext matters as it gives us some ways to think about the deeper parts of the medium of the Web. Gemma picks up some of the edu conversations and has a great example from being taught dance. Karlee notices just how much she uses the internet and wonders if her defending books is now compromised. I’d add that there is also the things you don’t see that rely on the internet. Banking, student records at RMIT, results being entered and managed, the information that the library gets from other places. Laura wonders about education and that kids writing HTML is probably unnecessary. I think it is absolutely necessary and as basic as any other sort of learning how to write in primary school. Being in control of what you write and how is the essence of being literate. If you can’t write a platform (eg WordPress), then simple HTML is that control. And kids should know it (and many do). Kelsey finds a brief video from the inestimable Sir Ken Robinson on the same things mentioned in the symposium. Rebecca wonders just how much HTML is changing us.