web and technology
LiveJournal is a blogging website founded in March of 1999 by Brad Fitzpatrick, a student of computer science. In 2005, it was purchased from Fitzpatrick by the American blogging software company Six Apart, and in 2007 the Russian company SUP purchased it from Six Apart. Although academic research on LiveJournal is limited, a December of 2008 study ranked it as the sixth most popular website, among American college students. LiveJournal offers uses personal blogs (or weblogs, online journals) and the option of creating LiveJournal “communities,” which link multiple bloggers together. One LiveJournal blogger of note is Cleolinda Jones, whose blog is called Occupation: Girl. Jones began her LiveJournal in 2003, at the age of twenty-four, and is still blogging on it currently. In her first entry, Jones said, "I swore, when I was in high school, that I was going to grow up but I was never going to grow old, popular cultur
Several people have noticed, and I am feeling it myself as well, that it can be challenging to follow particular conversations within our #BMCed250 hashtag on Twitter. When Twitter hashtags are used at discrete real-time events (like in-class, at conferences, the scheduled #edchat, etc.) conversations are easier to follow because all the participants are attending to the Tweets at the same time. With our class we're using the #BMCed250 hashtag to converse over a longer span of time and asynchronously (without all necessarily seeing all the tweets simultaneously), so particular conversations within the hashtag are a little more difficult to manage.
Anyway, here are a few tools/techniques I found that might help you sort it all out if you are finding things chaotic:
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.
While discussing gaming, I was interested in the difference between virtual reality and “meatspace.” Meatspace refers to the publicly shared physical reality of our society—it’s where most people carry out their daily lives. A lot of avid gamers seem to give up this reality, at least to some extent. But no matter how invested a person becomes in a virtual life, they can never fully escape the fact that they are still a part of the collective meatspace, and exist in this reality, too.
My final project was a collaborative one with cr88, in which we created word clouds of the full texts of The Plague and The Origin of Species to look at 1) the differences and commonalities between scientific and literary texts, as embodied by this bizarre representational form, and 2) different forms of literary analysis outside of the ones we are used to and how they can be useful. These were the images we produced:
The Origin of Species
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.