Is this my diary? unlecture part 2

so, i told you i was going to need a second post to cover everything that was mentioned in this weeks unlecture. this post will also probably cover some stuff from last weeks class and my most recent post about hypertext. but anyhow, onwards and upwards! (speaking of, i saw up for the first time the other day. it is brilliant.)

one of the main interesting things that was mentioned by both Elliot and Jasmine was the Korsakow program which i had neither heard of or was able to spell. but it’s a pretty cool concept nonetheless. similar to a hypertext novel, it does what a typical film can’t do by being fluid and changeable. it allows the viewer to create their own film by choosing the path that they wish to take. every time you return to something, it is completely different to what is was the first time you do it. now, this concept emphasises what was described as the “gap” between the media maker and the receiver. in any form of medium, the author can never guarantee the receiver will decipher the intended meaning of the text being created. and so hypertext and korsakow is allowing this gap to flourish so that rather than a specific meaning intended by the author that may not be received, each member of the audience can make their own personal interpretations of the text. there are an unlimited number of pathways one can take. it’s like in the brain, any one idea or thought can lead down a large variety of different neural pathways that span across the whole brain, each one leading to a different thought and each one individual.

this whole notion of hypertext leads on from the advancement of technology today. everything has had to change and adapt to fit into the new society. if a medium cannot adapt, it cannot survive. and hypertext is about joining all the little parts of the world together to make one big web of networks and connections where everything can be joined in multiple ways rather than just one linear connection. and our blogs allow us to form those connections and become a part of the wider network. this is similar to the niki’s we’ve been working on in class. each time one group presents their work to the rest, it’s a chance for everyone to gain. the group can get feedback about there work and the others can get both new knowledge and ideas about extra things they could include in their posts. the aim of the niki’s is to create a learning space for everyone in the course to be able to contribute to, in essence, to create a network that they have all worked on.

someone asked in the lecture, “do the blogs even count if no-one is reading them?”. now this was a matter i had considered, because i write as if people are listening, adrian called them our “imaginary audience”. but that doesn’t mean that the imaginary audience won’t eventually become a real audience. that’s why we make those connections, so that we can get that audience. i think it was jasmine who asked “why do you write a personal journal or diary if it’s not intended to be read by anyone?”. and that’s a brilliant point. when i was young i kept a diary. i never wanted anyone to read it, but i still wrote in a manner of telling a story to a reader, just like how i write this blog assuming people are reading it. so is this blog my diary? i guess while it hovers at a low 5 visitors a day it probably is. but hopefully i get up there soon.

and one more thing from the lecture. it doesn’t really relate to anything but i thought it was cool. in fact, i don’t even think it actually happened, i think i just heard something. but at one point adrian said “automatically” and it sounded like “automagically”. now i don’t know if he really said that or i just had a major mishear but either way, it’s an awesome word that i think really represents how our world functions today, especially if you consider it in the eyes of some of the people we are researching for our niki’s, (i’m looking at you charles babbage) who would just see everything we have today as a sort of magic. who could have imagined 100 years ago where we would be today in terms of technology. it really does seem like the world is “automagic”

surviving the titanic

so, i started writing this post 10 whole days ago. then i realised that i’d read the readings for the wrong week and left it to come back to on a later date. and then time completely got away from me and so here i am, ten days later, finishing off and posting this (hopefully) awesome post about the reading. and of course, now i actually have to read the reading again to make sure i remember it. but that’s not too bad.

so, this reading, “the end of books or books without end?” was pretty hypertext heavy. and it was the first reading i’ve read so far that made me intersested in the concept of hypertext. why? because of that one question that was asked: what if you had a book that changed every time you read it?

Now, to me, that sounds crazy. as you all know, i am a traditional book lover. and i will read my books over and over again. but to me it does get a bit repetitive and i often find myself wishing that the book could change somehow.

not to fear! hypertext is here! what do we mean by that? that author’s can create stories with an almost unlimited number of possibilities. and the best part is.. we are creating the story. the story of the book will be based on our choices so it is unique to each one of us. this kinda reminded me of those old goosebumps books we used to read as kids. you know, the choose your own path books? they pretty much all ended in the reader’s gruesome death. my personal favourite was “escape from the carnival of horrors”.

but then, aren’t we destroying the timelessness or changelessness of the book? or are we just making it better? how do you know when you’ve reached the end. how does the author know how to write an end, or where the reader will take themselves? i guess this is where hypertext comes in. as Douglas mentions in the reading, “hypertext it fluid. print is fixed”. where a simple book can sometimes just last a matter of hours (unless you’re reading a song of ice and fire. that thing is huge!), an interactive book or hypertext novel can last for over a week! now doesn’t that sound exciting? and as a bonus you get a brand new story every time you read it. but even for me, every time i reread a book, i tend to find something i missed the first time round. now maybe i’m just not paying enough attention when i read my books, but still, no matter how many times i reread harry potter (now keep in mind this is generally about 3 times a year for each book) i still pick up something i didn’t remember from the previous read. and i have a pretty good memory. so for me books are always exciting.

now, speaking of harry potter, another thing douglas mentioned was the interactive titanic adventure. lets be honest, it sounded pretty cool. surviving the titanic, changing history. where can i find this. but this concept made me think of something else, not quite exact but similar. and that was pottermore.

now if you haven’t heard of pottermore, i really urge you to check it out (click here for the link). pottermore was created by J.K. Rowling to give her fans a more in depth harry potter experience. in addition to an awesome online read along version of each book (in which every screen has hidden clickable goodness), readers can find out what house they would fit into by completing a quiz, earn points for their house which is combined with points from all the others online, they can purchase all their own wizarding goodies from diagon alley, make potions and even compete in duels against other readers online. so not exactly hypertext but getting there. the difference here is the story stays the same, you just get to experience the world of the story in a way that you couldn’t really just from reading the book.

i guess i’m not so against hypertext after all. as long as it doesn’t replace the book altogether. i’ll leave you with one more quote from Douglas.

“the book is a highly refined example of primitive technology while hypertext is a primitive example of highly refined technology”.


please don’t kill my books

i really enjoyed today’s symposium/unlecture. i found that there were a lot of interesting points brought up from the answers to the various questions. so much so that this post may be split into two posts discussing different things. but we’ll see how we go (that’s real essay writing here folks, i never know where it’s gonna lead!).

so, onto today’s ever so important question… is the book dead?
I, for one, certainly hope not! you probably all think i’m crazy but i love books. and i hear you all saying “but lauren, it’s all so much easier on the ipad. who wants to lug around 6 text books?” and the answer is.. me!!! even despite the slipped disk in my back, i still would rather carry around 6 physical books than one lousy ipad. you can flip through a book. you can hold it there in front of you. and you can highlight it!!! (as we’ve already discussed, i cannot do readings online, i need to print them out to be able to take in the info while reading). maybe it’s different on the ipad but on the computer you’re reading upwards, like, vertical. it just doesn’t work!

now, i do see what adrian was saying, the difference between literature and books. and that even though books may be dead, but literature isn’t. and yeah, that’s alright

for the people in offices who don’t want to have to search through 50 filing cabinets to find one file. but what about all us bookophiles (is that a word? it is now) who just love to curl up with a book and read it. an i pad or e-reader or kindle just isn’t the same. you don’t get the love, it can’t really be passed down. and it doesn’t crease when you’ve read it too many times (like my harry potter 4, which had so many pages falling out from overuse that i need to buy a new one. but i love that!). and best of all, crazy bookmarks. i love using different things as bookmarks. here’s the one i’m using now, isn’t it great? can’t have one of those on a fancy e-book now can you?

i liked the idea that soon, when everything does become digital, books will become more valuable, collectors item like vinyls. i guess i’ll be rich then with all my books! not that i’d ever give them up. i was explaining to someone today just how attached i am to my books that when my mum took my copy of twilight overseas and left it there i was both furious and devastated. now, i hate twilight, i thought the book was terrible and i was never planning on reading it again. but it was still my book, i had read through those pages and it had sat on my shelf with my others books so the thought of it lost in a foreign country was just awful. (still haven’t worked out that i’m crazy?).

and no one can ever really get rid of books… right? like was discussed at the symposium, everyone thought theatre would die with the introduction of film, but plays and musicals are still going strong (and if none of you have heard of or seen “book of mormon” i urge you to check it out.) and vinyl is back in fashion again (if only i had a record player). i don’t remember who said this in the unlecture but it was a good point; “the same content but different carrier”. i guess the problem is i like the book as the carrier. i don’t want the book to be a temporary technology. but i guess it will have to adapt to survive in our ever changing modern world. if only we as humans didn’t always find it necessary to have things as technological as could possibly be. i miss being able to throw my brick phone nokia at a wall and pick it up like nothing has happened. i miss when toddlers had to learn shapes and to read from books and toys not electronic games and screens that just tell them everything. maybe i’m a little too nostalgic. but i will miss the book when it goes. hopefully that won’t be for a long long time.


i will obey traffic rules

as you’ve probably realised by now, i’m quite a big teen titans fan. and i’ve been watching the series lately and its hard not to notice that in random episodes, the theme song is sung in japanese instead of the usual english. now, i thought nothing of this at first. i mean why would you? japanese themed show, comic book characters, makes sense to have a japanese theme too right?

but then i looked up the translation. now here was silly old me just assuming the japanese version was the same as the english version, just in japanese. i could not have been more wrong!!  please watch the video above and you will see the english and japanese versions with the english lyrics of both. the japanese lyrics are ridiculous! and hilarious. my personal fave line is “i will eat everything without likes or dislikes”. (maybe because it reminds me of the episode where cyborg gets a virus and calls the rest of the team “the nasty eggs who stole his waffles”. you kinda need to see the episode for that to make sense).

so anyhow, here’s me thinking “ok, crazy lyrics, kids tv show, thats alright”. but then i was reading through the comments thinking, “hmmm, maybe they’re just fake lyrics”, when someone mentioned that they used these joke lyrics whenever they had a completely random or insane or crazy or weird episode. so, of course, i tested this theory out.

and i got every single guess (ok, except 1) right! every single insane or weird episode starts with the japanese title sequence and every normal episode starts with the english title sequence. who would of thought that so much hidden stuff would be in a simple kids tv show? ah, the things you learn.

too much fatty food

so, during my recent trolling of the internet as a means of procrastination from doing uni work, i discovered this lovely little website/blog which is similar to the awesome top ten site but this one is pretty much all about food. welcome to endless, a site that will not only tell you the top foods that could only have been invented in america but also top drinks, fatty foods and food that could have only been invented in our humble Australia. oh, and who could leave out the top ten ways to eat mac and cheese? that one will sadly make you actually want to eat mac and cheese while feeling extremely grossed out at the same time. (woah! there are a lot of links in that paragraph, but they are all worth the look)

below are some pictures off those lists that really just make me feel sad for humanity.

first off, deep fried coke! say waaaat? that just seems wrong. but apparently it is not only doable but edible. good luck shaking off those calories

and here’s the perfect meal to add to your deep fried coke, just in case you weren’t consuming enough carbs, yup, waffles, ice cream and fried chicken. sounds scrumptious.

and who could forget the delicious turducken? thank you america for ruining my mental image of birds for life

have i grossed you out enough yet? probably. so, to lighten the mood, and because i still can’t get enough of all things minion related, here’s the top ten minion inspired items. is it sad that i want every single thing on this list? especially those slippers! and the dog outfit, although my dog would not be very happy with it.

goodbye lecture

so we were finally getting the hang of the unlecture symposium only to have it stripped away from us. yes, hopefully the strike will lead us to a good outcome for students and teachers, but it was cold and raining and i spent around 2 hours trying to film the protest while shielding the camera from the rain under other peoples umbrellas. safe to say, i couldn’t feel my hands when i came back inside which made transferring the footage onto the computer a much harder task.

but, onto the the lecture that never happened. instead we got some pretty interesting youtube videos to look at. the problem was that watching these videos on youtube of course led my mind to wander so after watching one i’d be led onto something completely random and irrelevant (like the new honest trailer for star trek into darkness or what if star wars episode 1 was good or more info about the new pokemon mega evolutions – megakangaskhan anyone?!?!) so it really took me a lot longer than it should have to get through the videos. but i did. and they were pretty good. and here are some interesting points i took away from them.

the first video asked us if schools kill creativity. this comes from us learning and creating through making mistakes and being wrong however the current construction of the school system puts great emphasis on being right and never making mistakes. kids aren’t afraid to be wrong but as we grow older we become more afraid of being wrong because the institutions around us push us to be right.  if you’re not prepared to be wrong then you’re not gonna come up with anything original. education system restricts creativity by not allowing being wrong at all. we grow out of our creativity. again this relates back to design fiction. we need to be able to think ahead, to speculate and not just live in the present where we are told what to do and whats right and wrong. nothing can ever be created in an environment where creation is inhibited.

next came the description of the hierarchy of subjects in school: maths at the top, then humanities, then arts (and within arts is art and music then drama and dance). and all these relies on academic ability – aimed at creating the university professor. in this model, most useful things (subjects) for work are classed as more important. we need science and we need doctors and lawyers and maths. but the problem with this system is that highly talented people don’t realise they are because what they are good as is not classed as important during school. kids who are brilliant at music or dancing or acting are forced into those horrid methods or physics classes and are told that they are not learning right. and so the actual talent is suppressed. who knows what these kids could create? and now we might never know and the whole world has missed out.

the second video emphasised the difference between knowledgable and knowledge-able and the importance of the latter. Wesch describes knowledge-able as “being able to find, sort, criticise and create new info.” again this is similar to what we were hearing from adrian back on day 1 of Networked media, we want the “know-how” not the “know-what”. anything can tell us the know what or give us the knowledge but we need to know what to do with that, how to use it or even how to create our own.

there was also a lot of talk about the impact of media on communication and the world in the recent years. how “media has mediated our relationships” for example us changing the layout of our living rooms to be situated around the tv. our programs and conversations have been shortened and are punctuated by commercials. tv and media is a one-way conversation. you have to be on tv to have a voice or be significant. in the classroom, the students are trying to finding meaning in the word and find their significance in the huge world online. media is a global conversation, and now, even though it is easier to connect and share than it ever was before, it is also know eve harder to actually get out there.

Welsch also discussed the video he made with his students. check it out below if you haven’t already because it was actually brilliant and describes how most students feel at uni or even high school.

just so interesting, it’s like what’s been discussed previously in the lectures and classes. we need to create our futures. what we are learning right now isn’t necessarily the best or most conducive way to learn what we need. problems with technology now, we all have our fancy laptops open in class but are we always working? sit at the back of a lecture theatre and at least half of the screens will be showing facebook or some other social networking site. the sentences i found the most interesting in the video were about how much reading and writing would be done for their classes compared to their online life. which is why i have found keeping this blog is so great. it encourages us to contribute in a way that we are familiar with. i feel i’ve written more in this blog for the subject than i would have for any other class this year so far. and that’s the importance of creating and introducing these new modes of learning that better suits the way society and students function today. the current education system is practically archaic and students tune it out purely because most cannot focus for that long. we are used to 6 second videos, not 2 hour lectures.

Batman Ben

for those of you who aren’t keeping up to date with all things superman, here’s some very, uh, intersesting news that was announced today regarding the new superman/batman  movie (which, btw, i’m still hesitant about in general).

yes, you heard it right, Ben Affleck has been cast as the billionaire bruce wayne, more commonly known as Batman. i’m still unsure what to think. i’ve always preferred superman to batman. yeah, the more recent movies haven’t been as critically brilliant as the dark knight trilogy (even if it should be called the batman begins trilogy because that was the first one) but as a superhero himself, i would take superman over batman any day. and the superman films are just happier than the dark knight ones (hence the “Dark” in the name).

now, people are saying that this is just as bad as george clooney being cast as batman (and if you want evidence of just how bad that turned out, check out this video). but think about this, when anne hathaway was cast as catwoman we all thought it was a terrible idea. but she was brilliant (well, i know i thought she was). as the article says:

Ben provides an interesting counter-balance to Henry’s Superman. He has the acting chops to create a layered portrayal of a man who is older and wiser than Clark Kent and bears the scars of a seasoned crime fighter, but retain the charm that the world sees in billionaire Bruce Wayne.

so it could be could work. lets not judge this decision just yet, we need to see how he does in the film, as batman and against henry caville (who i am loving as superman by the way. and lets not slide over his amazing looks either). you know what, i’m excited, mainly coz we’re getting another superman movie that will hopefully lead us towards getting a justice league movie sometime soon. i guess we just have to wait and see. but i am still a bit unsure about the casting choice. he is just not who i can picture as batman.

What decade are we in again?


So, found this photo and just realized how true it is! I don’t know where all the time has gonna but somehow we’re a third of the way through the teens. Or is it Tweens? What exactly are we called this decade? And speaking of, what did we call the last one? The ones? The naughties? The unos? Anyhow, the point is that we (or maybe just I) barely even noticed this time disappear. And I think we just let this last decade pass us by. Yeah, we got all this fancy new technology and iPhones and all that stuff. But is that all we’ll remember?

I guess, the problem for me is I’m picturing the 90’s as my childhood. Movies and cartoons and toys and primary school. Which, in part, is true. But I was born in ’94 so by the time we hit 2000 I was just 6. Now, lets be honest, who remembers what they did from ages 0 – 6? So when I’m remembering my childhood or thinking back ten years, I guess even though I’m imagining the 90’s, I really am just thinking about the early unos. It’s so crazy thinking that within ten years I went from a little girl who loved Pokemon and teen titans and her tamagotchi to a year 11 student who still loves Pokemon (and plays the games on a Nintendo DS), knows how to download her favorite shows to watch them before they come out on tv and has her first iPhone.

So maybe more happened in the last ten years than I thought. The picture is still true. When I try and go back ten years, my mind immediately skips back to the 90’s, but I really am just thinking about the last ten or so years. Now I just wonder where the next 10 years will take us