complexity

sterrab's picture

Mass Protests and Crowd Intelligence

In the Digital Humanities Manifesto 2.0, the word “manifesto” from manus or hand helped me relate the mass 2011 protests, such as those in the Arab Spring and Occupy, to the digital humanities. As fists  reaching out for freedom and equality against corruption and unemployment in a mass protest, a similar hand reaches out for the freedom of the spoken word and the common share of ideas in the digital humanities. In a protest, a hand is not to be distinguished from the others around it as each one joins the others in a wave of fists for a common cause. Similarly, one person’s words and ideas in the digital platform matter, but how they connect to others' and their derived linkages create the multimedia network of “innovative thinking” that makes up the digital humanities. The emphasis of the ant colony instead of the Ivory Tower in the digital humanities reminded me of a book on complexity science (more about it here) that demonstrates the intelligence of crowds and how ant colony and swarm behavior can be used to determine the logic behind networks.

et502's picture

Lies and Single Stories

Check out this youtube!

This video immediately made me think of Adichie’s “The Danger of a Single Story.” As a homeschooler, I’ve encountered many of these questions (most of all, the pajama question). Although at times I liked getting attention for being an anomaly, overall, I felt very judged and limited by other people’s perceptions. I remember that, as a self-defense method, I would describe myself as “weird” so as to claim a description for myself rather than having it forced on me.

So this video was great. It didn’t capture my entire experience, but what I liked about it was that this guy – Blimey Cow – questioned certain beliefs merely by repeating them back. Rather than say outright, “homeschoolers are like this,” he repeats statements that might be said about us, as a sort of mirror effect. As if to say, “hmmm, did you really mean that?”

I love this word – debunking. “Let’s unpack that” – Let’s actually question those assumptions that we’ve accepted as realities. Because in order to truly respect other people, we must eliminate finite assumptions and be more open to complexities and details.

Seven Lies about Homeschoolers, by Blimey Cow
et502's picture

the Dilemma of Difference

In Access, Identity, and Education – a course taught by Jody Cohen – we read an article by Martha Minow.  This reading discussed the “Dilemma of Difference” (I couldn’t find the entire reading online, but here’s a quote: “The dilemma of difference may be posed as a choice between integration and separation, as a choice between similar treatment and special treatment, or as a choice between neutrality and accommodation”). From what I remember, Minow pointed out two problems with “difference” in the classroom: if teachers recognize that students are different, and meet their different needs differently, they run the risk of isolating some students. They might create a “different from” mentality – a separation between normal and different studdents. However, if teachers DON’T accommodate needs, some students may not get the treatment they require for learning.

Katie Randall's picture

A different kind of lecture

The lecture last night was intense and, for me, different from other lectures I've attended at Bryn Mawr. Partly it was the sheer scale of it and the buildup beforehand: while I'm sure there were some audience members only there for a class, there was a collective excitement that you just don't usually feel in an academic setting. The only event I can think of that came close was the lecture by Angela Davis. So first, there was a difference in the audience.

Then there was the difference in the speaker. The biggest difference, and the one I talked about with some friends afterwards, was that Judith Butler was there as an academic and theorist but taking a strong political stance. How often have we seen that? I can tell you how often I've heard it: never. Not once. I've occasionally had a professor take up political issues in the classroom, but not often. And never in a way that tied them so thoroughly to theory. I'd never heard a lecture that was both very academic and intensely political-- they tend to be one or the other.  I'd never seen theory and practice so thoroughly entangled (to borrow Barad's term, which I may or may not thoroughly understand. But it seems right here).

Then there were the ideas themselves. Other people have complained about how hard it was to take notes with hardly any light, but I did it anyway because I knew that otherwise there was no way I'd be able to remember even half of what was brought up. I can even read most of what I wrote.

chelseam's picture

Gender and Sexuality in the High School Biology Classroom: Fostering Critical Thinking and Active Engagement

    Gender and Sexuality in the High School Biology Classroom:

Fostering Critical Thinking and Active Engagement

 

Summary: This project was undertaken with the hope of changing the ways we think about teaching and engaging with science. This paper will discuss ways to help students recognize that science is interdisciplinary and can both affect and be affected by the social and/or political context it exists in.  

By asking students to think about the way science is presented and conducted, and giving them the tools to think about science not as an isolated body of information, but as a dynamic and shifting discipline, we will not only be encouraging more engaged science scholarship, but will also help students begin to notice the ways science is used as evidence in different contexts and evaluate these uses.

Objective:

The goals of this project are two-fold. I hope to suggest ways for biology teachers:

jfwright's picture

The Stories We Tell Ourselves: The Beginning of a Book about Sex and Gender for Trans* and Intersex Kids

I've decided to create a tumblr URL for this project. Not only is it more public that way, but I also have an easier time loading images.

http://thestorieswetellourselves.tumblr.com/

The blog is not currently password protected. If I chose to create a password for this blog, I'll comment on this webpaper.

kelliott's picture

Final Presentation

For our final performance, my group created an online chat room about sex robots in which each of us took on anonymous personas. We participated in the chat from separate locations, and only one member (the one who created the chat room) knew who each of us were. This was both a fun and frustrating process. First of all, it made me realize the inefficiency of technology. I thought that creating my screen name and logging in to the chat would take but a few minutes. I was wrong. I had to have at least three people help me create an account, download the correct program, and figure out how to connect to the chat. Technology was not working for me. Because I have a Mac, I had to download a specific type of AIM, which then didn't seem to work with other members.

AnnaP's picture

What is the revolutionary potential of comics as a medium?

Hello classmates, professors, and visitors!

As the culmination of The Story of Evolution and the Evolution of Stories, I have created a comic in dialogue with Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics that is meant to complement his work by both demonstrating how his ideas are useful and also highlighting some things that he left out of his theory of comics as a revolutionary medium.

kelliott's picture

Self-replication, power of creation...

After watching the film Teknolust, I thought back to my first web paper that addressed the idea of humanizing technology. In this paper I discussed the cyborg and the future of gender in robotics; I looked at various types of robot technology and the attribution of gender/ human characteristics to these technologies. I claimed that, "the more we actively interact with technology, the more desire there seems to be to humanize it--to make it not only an extension of ourselves, but to recreate what it means to be 'human' altogether." Thinking about this paper and these technologies in relation to Teknolust, I began wondering what it is about humans that makes us want to create things that look like us.

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