Chell's blog

Thoughts, ideas, and other things 'a bit unkempt'…

Reconfiguring Narrative, George Landow


I found this reading just reiterated a lot of what we have already learnt about hypertext. It addressed the problems with structure (beginnings, middles, ends) and the lack of power to the author in some circumstances and the power to the author available in others. I liked that it incorporated Aristotle’s early definitions of beginning, middle and end, etc..but I felt that in all the reading was just a recap on what we have already looked at. Don’t get me wrong, I prefer to spend a few weeks on one concept rather than trying to grasp a new one each week… but in terms of making a great reflective blog post on it, I am limited in what else I can say.

Take away idea…. I am going to explore Apple’s HyperCard, never heard of that before.

Critical Theory and New Media in an Era of Globalisation, George Landow


The bad news is, printing all of this week’s reading used an entire cartridge of black ink because the photocopying was a little bit skew-wiff (is that a word?).

The good news is, I took a lot from it and I think I finally understand Hypertext (read: Look at my awesome photo post of Winnie the Pooh and Friends create your own adventure storybook as my first point of being exposed to Hypertext) 🙂

Here I will list a few key-points which clarified my understanding and light-bulb moments I had while reading this text:

1. In the future all texts will eventually electronically link to each other, creating metatexts and metametatexts.

2. Example of Hypertext: CD Word: The Interactive Bible Library (read: me immediately thinking of the Walt Disney create your own adventure books I read as a child)

3. We are writing in the presence of other texts.

4. Hypertext Essay- Networked Documents.

5. Readers can choose where they want to go next (see Winnie the Pooh again) i.e. they can keep reading in a linear mode, they can investigate one point further, they can go in a completely different direction, informed by their own opinions and interests.

6. Reading a blog is Hypertextual. 2 forms of Hyperyextuality: 1) Bloggers can link chronologically distant entries to each other 2) By a reader wanting to insert a comment they are diverted from the text.

7. Advantage of blogs rather than emails- no spam.

8. Feed Readers/ Subscribers (Lecturers and Tutors in Networked Media via Feedly etc.)

9. Facebook is kinda like blogging

10. Blogging is like a web diary

11. Can blur the distinction between real and fiction, private and public

10. Many of our activities are Hyper-textual. Even me stopping to look up a word in the dictionary while I’m reading this reading is hypertextual

11. Hypertext blurs the boundaries of the borders, metatext, start and ending of texts.


Literary Machines, Theodore Holm Nelson


This was my take-notes-as-I-read approach to this reading…

–       How the heck am I supposed to read this? Chapter 0> Pick one of three chapter 1’s > Then chapter 2 > then another chapter one> then one of the chapter 3’s, and then there are lots of other chapters not even numbered…. What???

–       I didn’t know George Orwell’s name was actually Eric Blair! 🙂

–       Hypermedia/ hypertext

–       Nelson actually coined the term “hypertext” over 20 years ago

–       Hyper-text.. non-sequential writing… ahhh! So that’s why the chapter-structure is non-linear!!!

–       With computers, beginners are taught a world of prevailing but unnecessary complication… yep that’s how I feel!

–       Overall, if I’m being completely honest, this reading tried to, but did not help me understand the meaning of “the network”.

–       However, I did make a connection between this reading and the Bush reading… Nelson says that “ A universal repository hypertext network… will make stored texts and graphics, called on demand from anywhere, an elemental commodity, like water, telephone service, radio and television”, and Bush said that “A scientific record must be stored, continuously extended and consulted. Today we make the record conventionally; by writing and photography, followed by printing;; but we also record on film, on wax disks, and on magnetic wires”.


‘As we may think’, Vannevar Bush


It’s not a secret that I’m not very technologically savvy… My Mum had joined MySpace and Facebook well before me (and frequently communicated with all my school friends while I was still overwhelmed by the whole idea)! So after months of contemplating purchasing a Mac computer, I finally caved. Yes, it was a really hard decision for me… I stink at using computers and I was just fine using Microsoft Word on my Dell laptop. However my trusty Dell weighed nearly 3kgs and was 17 inches… Additionally to this it only stayed charged for 2 hours so I had to lug the charger around everywhere too. It was simply impractical for me to take this to school. It was time I entered the 21st century and bought a Mac. A MacBook as I discovered they are called ,( “MacBOOK”? really? Books have pages and sit on my bedside table, this space-age alien piece of machinery is NOT a book! Ok, forgetting my old-fashioned mantra starting now…) is small, compact, light-weight and can be plugged in to the charger thingy at Uni! Win! But then it dawned on me, as I was about to purchase a Macbook Air in Dick Smith, there is no cd drive. How am I supposed to watch dvds and upload cds to my iTunes library (does anyone still do that?) ? My friend Mitchell tried to convince me that “everything is done online now” . But this did not satisfy me. I thought I really want this computer because its light and small (yes, that was the selling point), but I really want to be able to play discs on it…..

WHAT IF!?!?!   what if there was a device, that I could plug into the usb port, that was a disc player thingy… not as big as a whole dvd player, just big enough to read a disc and transmit the info to the computer or whatever it has to do? I WAS GOING TO INVENT ONE!!!!

Ok, so this thing already existed… 🙁  Its called a superdrive! But still, I bet that person went along the same thought process of me (just years earlier).

So yeah, thats my contribution to the future in science and communication technologies and inventions and stuff… If I come up with another one, preferably one that hasn’t already been come up with, I’ll let you know! I might be an inventor! But this is what I took from the reading. Never stop asking what if? Man has come a long way since our cave-man ancestors; we have developed in possibly almost every physical way to make our lives easier and more efficient. There is no telling where this can lead? Will we be able to improve our brain power through technological inventions? Can we create a cure for cancer? The possibilities are endless and exciting!

And here’s my lovely new (Bejazzled) MacBook Air !


Blending my photo post and notes on the reading into one! Pretty Nifty! Thanks Sumeyya! <3

Chris Argyris: Theories of Action, Double Looped Learning and Organisational Learning


For me, this reading was very long and complex. I think the points made were simple enough, but the writer kept jumping back and forth between the types/ models of learning. So, in a nut-shell, here is what I took away from it:

– People subconsciously follow a ‘mental map’ that they have planned out for themselves when acting in a situation.

– Theories-In-Use are evident when someone’s actions result in consequences that meet their initial intentions.

– Espoused-Theories are very formalised. It seeks the direct and obvious path to achieve intentional outcomes.

– Be not afraid of errors! As Adrain pointed out in the ‘Unlecture’, and as did my mother when I was growing up… its ok to make mistakes, you just have to try again. She also said I probably wont make the same mistake again, but that didn’t ring true when it came to not backing up my work from my USB… :S

– Single-Looped Learning is operationalised, not questioned; if it doesn’t work, troubleshoot the problem and if that fails contact someone who can fix it.

– Double-Looped Learning questions the variable and puts them under a critical analysis; look into why something isn’t working, try and fix the problem yourself.

Model One

-Governing Values: 1)Achieve the purpose as the actor defines it 2)Win, do not lose 3) Suppress negative feelings 4) Emphasise rationality

– Primary Strategies: 1) Control environment and task unilaterally 2) Protect self and others unilaterally

– Operationalised by: 1) Un-illustrated attributions and evaluations 2) Advocating courses of action which discourage inquiry 3) Treating ones’ own views as obviously correct 4) Face-saving moves such as leaving potentially embarrassing facts unstated

– Consequences: 1) Defensive relationships 2) Low freedom of choice 3) Reduced production of valid information 4) Little public testing of ideas

Model Two

– Governing Values: 1) Valid information 2) Free and informed choice 3) Internal commitment

– Strategies: 1) Sharing control 2) Participation in design and implementation of action

– Operationalised by: 1) Attribution and evaluation illustrated with relatively directly observable data 2) Surfacing conflict view 3) Encouraging public testing of evaluations

– Consequences: 1) Minimally defensive relationships 2) High freedom of choice 3) Increased likelihood of double-looped learning

I think currently, myself and many of my peers generally follow Model One, but what we should be aiming for is Model Two. I feel like I really should have read this before writing my first blog on the ‘Unlecture’ because I think it conveys perfectly what I was trying to explain about coming up with my own ideas, not just taking the expected and easiest route and turning x into something better.


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