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Week 5.2 Workshop
In today’s workshop we were asked to get into groups of 4 and given the opportunity to choose our own wiki topic. We chose Julian Assange from Wikileaks as our wiki topic.
Kim’s day with Julian Assange
• Into – with Midnight Oil blaring
• Embassy sign in
• Scours the newspapers over a morning coffee and finds articles on himself (could take this from documentary – direct quotes of footage)
• Chats with his friend, Bradley Manning on MSN (Manning is in jail still)
• Kim has lunch with Julian and staff AKA “family”
• Julian shows Kim his living quarters and the few photos he has framed. Could take a screenshot of him and his team in Iceland. Julian could tell a little story about his time spent there. Can also take story from documentary.
• Plays scrabble with Kim. Some of his beliefs could come out then.
• All members to write allocated sections (100 to 200 words). Don’t need to be too wordy as Kim L will edit
• Kim L to edit and compile feature article in first person
• James to upload Niki entry and to create Ecuadorian Embassy sign in sheet
• Kim and Shaz to take screen shots from Wikileaks documentary where necessary
• All to try gather one academic (peer reviewed) source to include or reference within the article. Topics of focus are freedom of speech from the public and in media as well as censorship
Week 5.2 – Database Logic
- Many new media objects don’t tell stories- don’t have a beginning or end or any development
- They are collections of individual items- every item has same significance as others
- Relationship b/w database and narrative?
- Database defined as a structured collection of data
- Data stored in a database are organized for fast search and retrieval by a computer
- Different types of databases use different models to organise data
Men and their humour
I’m not very witty with comebacks.
When my friends tease me, the best I can do is to say “Whatever dude.”
So, I bought myself this little book full of mean jokes and remarks.
They’re quite funny, but I would never say it out loud to people.
One day I found my brother flipping through it and laughing his head off.
So to share some of the humour with you…..
You’re very open-minded. Is that how your brain slipped out?
I like the material of your dress. You were lucky to get so much of it
I’m busy now. Can I ignore you some other time?
Do they ever shut up on your planet?
I like you, people say I have no taste, but I like you..
You’re so fat, when you get into an elevator, you have to go down
I thought of you today. I was in the zoo
Anyone who told you to be yourself couldn’t have given you worse advice
I see you were so impressed with your chin, you added 2 more
That’s what they mean by dark and handsome. When it’s dark, you’re handsome.
There was something about you that I liked, but you spent it
I can always tell when you’re lying. Your lips move.
Sigh…Men and their humour.
Week 5.1 Reading
The Potts and Murphie reading was about key theories relating to culture and technology and our society. Here’s a list of the key points I took away from reading:
- Poses the question are technologies neutral in themselves? So, does the way they are used determine their cultural impact? Or do technologies have intrinsic properties that shape the cultures into which they are introduced?
- Technological determinism refers to belief that technology is the agent of social change
- Technological determinism is linked to idea of progress
- TD considers technology as an ‘independent factor with its own course of development and own consequences’
- Ideas that we live in an Information society or Computer Age ‘betray the technological determinist notion that society is shaped by its dominant technologies’
- Consider whether society is shaped by its technologies or are technologies shaped by the needs of society?
- Alvin Toffler’s idea of the “Future Shock” which warned that ‘post industrial societies need to protect themselves from dislocating effects of automation and computer-based technologies’
- Theorists focus on the way a new technology creates new potential and possibility for human thought, expression or activity
– McLuhan’s theory: All technologies are extensions of human capacities
tools and implements are extensions of manual skills, the computer an extension of the brain
– Media are technologies that extend human sense perceptions
Inspired to Win
Growing up, my dad used to give me books to read.
Not the usual chic lits I like to indulge in, but the hard covers with scary balding men on it, asking you things like “Do you want to be a millionaire?”
Like duh, I would answer to their ever-smiling faces.
And thus, I read every last page of the books my dad had.
You name it, I’ve read it; The Google Story, Starbucked, One Minute Manager, Warren Buffet Books, Trump 101, Rich Dad Poor Dad Series, Success Built To Last, The Millionaire Mind.
Now ask me what I learned from those books.
I will answer you…not much.
Now ask me what I remember from those books.
I will answer you….not much.
Not because I didn’t read it. In fact, I read the prologue, the credits, the synopsis on the back, even the year of publication, everything!
Why I didn’t benefit much from those books is because I simply didn’t understand business yet. I was interested, but most of the business deals didn’t apply to me (When will I ever start my own online search engine??) so I was quick to discard it from the memory box in the top of my head. Especially if the books had a lot of analogies with big figures and pie-charts and complicated graphs.
I guess I was just too young to understand what my dad wanted by me reading those books. He wanted me to see how successful business people think, how they analyse deals, how they solved problems, how they managed their staff. He didn’t care much about the figures or the specific line of business these people were in. He just wanted me to be more exposed to the reality of business, in a more general way. To prepare me for this day.
What my dad didn’t realise was that 15 year old girls are still reading Sweet Valley High, and if it didn’t involve boys or make-up, then you can bet the books were better served as mouse pads.
Now, I’ve tasted a sip of working life and the reality of business. A tiny weeny sip. But I’m hungry for knowledge and I don’t want to leave everything to experience. So the only thing to do for a fast track education is READ. I’m starting to re-read the old books my dad has in his library, and am beginning to understand better what these balding men are talking about.
Recently, I read Ivanka Trump’s book.
The book is so inspiring for young women who want to be successful in their line of business. Being a young lady herself, she can better relate to us in terms of emotions so her book reaches out to all young women out there.
A year out of college, she joined the Trump organisation as the Vice President of Real Estate. Fresh, inexperienced, it was all a bit surreal and unfair in other people’s eyes that she didn’t have to climb the career ladder like everybody else. Her answer to all this; Get over it. People come to anything in different ways and shapes and methods, and this just happens to be hers. She knows she’s lucky, but she doesn’t want to be seen as an undeserved being.
What struck me as interesting is how similar my dad and Donald Trump are in terms of values. My god the way they raise their kids are soooooo alike I couldn’t believe it. Like Donald Trump, my dad too likes to put me on the spot in front of people, likes to call and check up on me, likes to cut out newspaper clippings for me, likes to introduce me to his contacts and leaves us alone with me having no idea what to say, how he’d get pissed off if he’s talking to me and I have my Blackberry in my hands. The only difference is my dad has a better hairstyle *ahem*.
Although Ivanka Trump seems to be a little more uptight than I would want to be (she doesn’t tolerate emoticons and shorthands like LOL or TTYL…and answering “I want to look for other opportunities out there” during an interview is a deal-breaker for her….and she no longer befriends her old friends who she thinks are lazy and ungrateful), I realise there are many values that Ivanka Trump talks about, which I myself am already practising and believing in.
So I would like to believe that maybe, just maybe, I am on the right track.
I would really recommend this book for ambitious and driven young women.
Week 3.1 Reading – Writing Space by Jay David Bolter
This week’s reading Writing Space by Jay David Bolter is focused on ‘The Computer, Hypertext and the history of Writing’.
As one would expect, there is an enormous body of literature on the history and development of writing. Bolter starts off by talking about writing as technology and how writing has become the preserver and extender of other technologies, as an advanced culture develops a technical literature.
“Writing is and has always been a sophisticated technology: skill is required to learn and write, and penetrating intelligence is needed to invent or improve some aspect of the technology of literacy”
To summarize some of Bolter’s main points briefly: writing was invented around 3400 b.c.; it was invented independently only twice (or perhaps three times), once in Mesopotamia and once in Mesoamerica (it was possibly also invented in China, although the possibility that writing was transmitted along trade routes from Mesopotamia to China cannot be ruled out); and all alphabets are somehow related to the Greek alphabet.
From the start of the modern means of book production in the fifteenth century through printing press to the introduction of electronic technology. How computers has in turn changed the technology of writing by adding new flexibility to the rapidity and efficiency of printing.
“The computer allows a writer or reader to change a text as easily as he or she duplicates it”
The capacity to adjust the text to each user’s needs is unmechanical, uncharacteristic of the classic industrial machine, and this capacity derives from the unmechanical materials of electronic technology.
“ If the printing press is the classic writing machine, the computer provides us with a technology of writing beyond mechanization”.
Bolter then moves on to elaborate on the economies of writing in different parts of the world. How the techniques, materials and uses have evolved, expand and at times even deteriorated.
At the end of the reading, Bolter explains what hard and soft structure is as well as electronic structure and how to make sense of texts in the visual space.
Autom the talking robot
A new invention from an MIT graduate.
A robot to interact with its owner in order to help him or her lose weight. The dieter will key in important information like weight, exercise regime, diet and goals and the Autom encourages the dieter to not give up and even gives feedback (??!!). Kinda like a food diary, but an actual robot to tell you off when you eat.
There was a trial and they found that people who used Autom stuck with the diet regiment longer than the people who just recorded on a piece of paper.
I believe this 100%. I mean, I’ve tried the whole food thing and well, if the record is right, I haven’t eaten anything since February.
Kudos to the inventor for being incredibly intelligent to create a talking robot.
But my god. A device telling me I’m fat and I should stop eating?!!
10 bucks says I’m going to turn it off. Or smash it like my previous alarm clock. May it rest in peace.
But then again, it will soon be adapted into other languages besides English. So I might just buy one to learn German or something.
Seriously, can you imagine, happily unwrapping a Toblerone chocolate and suddenly, “What. Do. You. Think. You’re. Doing? Put. That. Down,” in some robotic tone.
And worse if it could roll itself towards me!!
I won’t be able to sleep at night with Autom.
Yeah, cute and all with doe-like eyes.
But come on, we’ve all seen Chucky, right?
Weeek 3.1 Workshop- Patch Girl, What?
In this week’s workshop, Elliot brought up ‘hypertext’ for discussion, which I’m sure is something that everyone has encountered before. Hypertext is electronic text that consists of images and blocks of words that are linked together by many different paths that you yourself as the reader can choose.
You can choose how the story will begin and how it will end, just by what you click on. This forms a relationship between the reader and the text. The text reacts based on what you click and you click what you do based on what the text has given you.
Each thing you click on will lead you to a different lexia, which is the box of text that presents itself to you. Reading hypertext is not like reading anything else. You have to become a “cyborg reader” because of the relationship you create with the texts and the attitude you have to adopt.
When I was doing some research on hypertext, I stumbled upon Patchwork Girl. Patch girl, WHAT? It sounds interesting. Here’s what I found.
Patchwork girl is an electronic literature written in Storyspace by Shelly Jackson.
The plot of Patchwork Girl is about a girl who is “patched” together from different pieces of people, much like Frankenstein, to create a whole structure. It is about her figuring out her identity and her gender identity as well.
It tells the story through illustration of parts of female body that are stitched together through text and image. Like, you must piece together the different textual elements to come out with the full story.
“Not only does hypertext, by its very nature, resist closure and allow play, it also partakes of a condition of mutability, as the product leaves room for changes in the format colour, fonts, cascade, etc.
In this sense also, Patchwork Girl is not simply one more text that reflects the aesthetics of fragmentation and hybridity; it is a hypertext that allows for material and technological possibilities that would be unthinkable in a printed version.” (1)
This explains that you interact with the hypertext, and it allows you to change the story and the elements. There are more possibilities with hypertext than there are when reading a normal book. You can click different things that lead you to different places. You are basically in control of the order in which you read things and what you read.
“We typically come to a mystery novel much as we agree to a meeting with friends for coffee or a sip of wine: familiar images, rehashed tales, and the intimacy of shared experience and knowledge. Much of this, of course, has to do with rules. People love rules, which is one reason for the durability of games in culture. People also love to break rules on their own terms.” (2)
This explains that hypertext offers you something more than a normal story. Something normal would be within “the rules”, but hypertext breaks the rules by letting you interact with it and chose the path that you want the story to go down. A normal book is predictable. You know what to expect, and it is predictable. Hypertext is not, and this allows you to experience something different, something more interesting and unpredictable.
The hypertext, Patchwork Girl, contains many different parts. It starts out with five parts on the title page. They are “a graveyard”, “a journal”, “a quilt”, “a story”, “& broken accents”. You are able to click each of these and they will take you to images of Patchwork Girl and by clicking on the images you are brought to different texts.
You are also brought to webs that contain words that are all connected to each other and you can click on them as well (All of which you can see in the screenshots below). The images and texts all link together and the story can go in many different directions and orders, depending on what you click.
Everything you click on will bring you to something new, whether it is a picture or a new text. The first of the following screenshots shows the title page with the five parts on it that you can click on.
The second screenshot shows a picture of Patchwork Girl that is able to be clicked on to lead to other text.
The third screenshot shows a web of words in boxes that can lead you to different texts, and also a lexia with text in it.
By reading Patchwork Girl, you are supposed to understand Patchwork Girl’s structure and that these pieces that make her up have to be “patched” together to make one whole.
At first when I read Patchwork Girl I was very confused. I realized that the different texts had different authors. They are Shelley Jackson, the author of Patchwork Girl, Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein, the sources of her body parts, Patchwork Girl herself, and Victor Frankenstein.
Also, us, the readers, can be authors by choosing what part of the story to click. So, this was a bit confusing because it was difficult to tell who was saying what. As I spent some time with Patchwork Girl, I came to find that it was a story about a girl who did not find herself to be ideal or normal in any way, which she wasn’t.
She needed to find her place and find herself, which was difficult because there were many different parts of her that came from many different people. By reading this we need to find out how Patchwork Girl comes together as a whole structure.
I believe the best theme of this hypertext is that us as people, need to find ourselves in our own ways, and there are many different parts of us that make up who we are. So, we have to find out how these pieces go together and make us a whole.
1. Jackson, Shelley. Patchwork Girl. Watertown, MA: Eastgate Systems, 1995. CD-Rom.
2. Jackson, Shelley. My Body – A Wunderkammer. Alt-X Online Network, 1997.