Category Archives: Uncategorized
I thought it was interesting that the oldest form of writing was less for entertainment and more for practical purposes. Dr. Bolin said that kings needed to keep track of the sacrifices made to the gods however they usually could not read or write so they had educated scribes do the work for them. I have always been fascinated by how people figure out what word is associated with an abstract symbol. He also mentioned that one symbol could have multiple sounds or meanings and I wonder how difficult it was to create thousands of symbols.
Seeing the pictures of actual pieces of clay or papyrus made what he was teaching more interesting. I liked imagining a young boy in ancient Egypt learning how to write and somehow we now have it. It really makes me appreciate how far society has come as well as the fact that I have access to an education. With only 1-3% of the population being able to read and write back then, it was still limited to white males so I would not have been able to learn how to read or write.
I was also fascinated by the Egyptians believing the world was a tablet God wrote them signs on like in the liver of a sacrificed animal. Thank God for modern technology! Looking at the thousands of symbols written on tiny tablets reminded me of the article we read discussing the Google database you can plug any word in and see how many times it appears throughout literature. What if someday there is a database similar to that for Hieroglyphics? I t would make a historian’s job easier.
All in all I was really interested in what Dr. Bolin had to say and I learned a lot!
This blog post analyzes my posts throughout the semester. After rereading my posts the common theme I found was my use of the word “interesting”. One of the things I appreciated about this class was how much I learned. I was exposed to topics I had never even heard of and believe my horizons were broadened because of our class discussions.
One quote I used was “every generation thinks that their ideas are the most innovative and modern but do we ever really think about out lives in perspective to the rest of time?”. I am still fascinated by how fast technology develops and how drastically our world has changed even over the past decade.
Another theme throughout my posts was frustration regarding using technology I did not fully understand. I still am not an expert on all things technology but I feel like I have a much better grasp on some basics.
I also had concern regarding where technology would take our generation and future generations. Sometimes it feels like society can’t keep up with technology and I worry mu childrens’ generation will rely too heavily on technology and lose some key social skills.
Overall I really enjoyed this class and learned a lot!
How will the future college and the higher education program be? As the high technology developing, we can expect the digital technology, internet, social network will become more and more parts of the college life. There are two blogs/articles talking about the future higher education format.
In the first blog titled “The Liberal Arts for the 21st Century” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeff-abernathy/liberal-arts-education_b_1472420.html), the author thinks the liberal arts colleges have to make some changes to meet the demands of a new age. Since St. Norbert is one of the liberal arts colleges he is talking about, I think it worthies to read the essay. Among the four things that the author thinks the liberal arts colleges in 21st century should do, one thing catch my attention, he says, “We must bring the world to our campuses and ensure that our students have opportunities to learn through their engagement with the world.” However, many liberal arts colleges, e.g. St. Norbert, is located at non-international cities, it will not be easy to bring the world to the campus; one way is enrolling more international students —- that is why I am here; another thing is using the internet, bringing the whole virtual world to the class, the internet has pulled the world closer, and the future technology will make the virtual world more real.
The second article is a news titled “Explosion In Free Online Classes May Change Course Of Higher Education” (http://synerzhang.visibli.com/links/deLWy2), it was tweeted by @HASTAC, too. The free online classes from the most top schools, like Stanford, Princeton, Berkeley, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Michigan, will give more people the chances to touch the most advanced knowledge on the world., students even get the homework graded for free. And, of course, everything relays on highly developed internet technology. By the way, the free online courses do not mean that the students will not pay anything anymore, because “None of these universities are offering a degree program unless you pay”. So, if student wants a bachelor’s degree, they are still required to pay for the classes. So, the free online classes are kind of free auditing.
Mark Sample posted a very interesting blog this week, Notes towards a Deformed Humanities. Mark has always believed that digital humanities is about sharing and not building, but in his post, he looks at destroying things as a mode of learning. He proposes a theory of deformed humanities which is made of broken and twisted, yet beautiful things which hold knowledge. This has much to do with “deformance” which is all about misreading the text intentionally. By breaking apart the text and not reading it in the intended manner, you are able to see it in new ways. An example he shares is reading a poem backwards line-by-line. He uses a comparison of carpentry and deformed humanities to really get at what deformed humanities is. The difference, he says, is that
“Carpentry aspires to build from scratch, whereas the Deformed Humanities tears apart existing structures and uses the scraps.”
Another main message he tries to get across is that there is no need to go back to the original text. By viewing it in a different way, going in a different direction and getting at the makings of the text, you are creating an entirely new text itself.
This reminds me of our discussions about the many e-lit projects we looked at. ”Star Wars, one letter at a time” and “Cruising” stand out to me the most. The point of each of these is not about the text itself. It is going beyond or behind the text and giving a whole new perspective on it. I’m not saying that I loved all of the e-lit works, because many of them confused me and made me dizzy, but I think Mark is right in the fact that by this “deformance” of the text, you are creating an entirely new meaning of the original text. When watching the letters fly by one at a time telling the story of Star Wars, it is nothing like the original text the author intended. If this was the first time you encountered it, you would have no idea of the meaning of the story, so obviously the intent was not about learning about Star Wars. It went beyond the text. It is the same for “Cruising.” If I were asked what the story in “Cruising” was about, I wouldn’t be able to tell you. The nature of the work was not intended for you to simply read the story and know what it was about. It was very interactive and got the subject to learn how to control the screen. Even though the story was read aloud, it is not the same as simply reading the plain text.
Earlier, I was commenting on one of my fellow classmates’ post on e-readers and the pressures/restrictions that some of the large corporations (amazon/apple) are putting on authors to publish through their medium (ipad/kindle). My comment expressed an optimistic hope that these authors, in the near future, will have an alternative online platform to publish free from restrictions of corporations that can be widely accessible in more mainstream media. Well, a short while after writing that, I came across an article from HuffPost that describes almost exactly what I was hoping for. The intention of the article’s project is to make the theses of master degree graduates (and probably doctoral dissertations as well) available online, instead of the old method: let it collect dust on the library shelf. While this doesn’t encompass fiction or other genres as my original comment hoped for, it does serve a great purpose by giving new life to the works of graduate professionals around the world, and serves as a base for future research and collaboration. The article doesn’t specify the number of works they will publish on Huff Post’s college page, so that could be a downside to the project, allowing the editors of Huf Post to pick and choose what will be published. They do boast though, that the website has a more than one billion page views per month, 40 million unique visitors per month and averages close to 200,000 comments per day. In other words, your thesis will have an exponentially larger amount of exposure compared to that dusty old shelf.
The article has sparked an idea in me for SNC, that might be too extravagant for such a small school (although maybe not with the SNC website impending revamp). It involves showing off students’ work, by creating a smaller version of what HuffPost will do for a thesis. What if we had a part of our website dedicated to publishing everything from poems to scientific experiments to student/faculty collaborations for the world to see? It could be reserved only for works that received a certain grade standard, and if you met the cut, you could work in collaboration with web design/computer science majors to digitize the work. For me, it would be entirely more motivating to write a well thought, intelligent and relevant paper if I knew that it could be published online and actually have value and meaning outside of just a course grade. I’m sure we’ve all felt at one time or another the frustration of putting a lot of time and effort into a paper, that once graded, will likely never see the light of day again. This would eliminate that feeling. I’m entirely too optimistic though, on such an endeavor that would likely be a funding and logistical nightmare for such a small school, but you never know what the future might hold.
I am working with technology, I am writing and reading text. What one takes from this course could be as simple as that. However, with a little bit of motivation and inspiration, an entire new perspective can appear that opens up a myriad of possibilities for the learning experience. This class can be tailored towards communication majors, english majors, science majors, math majors, computer science majors, education majors, business majors, and pretty much anything else you can think of because literature and technology are all-encompassing. The information presented in the course gathers material from each and every one of these areas and if utilized correctly, can be a great asset to a career. These are just the beginning tools and it is what we make of them that will determine our grade, of course, but also the knowledge gained. My high school’s motto was always “we learn not for school but for life.” Call the mice police because that may have been a bit too cheesy but I honestly think that this course has given me more tools to apply in my future endeavors. I have added skills in several new technologies to my repertoire and have also learned new and creative ways to dig into texts to find meaning, something that can apply to many areas of life.
I appreciated this class more than I have appreciated any other of my gen-ed courses. I came into it as a senior and surprisingly have found a lack of senior-itis as I finish up my project because I am enjoying the process and I like manipulating the technology to discover (and help others discover) the objects I focused on. I have very much enjoyed this class over the course of the semester.
I figured for my last blog post, that it would be cool to share what I learned from taking Technologies of Text.
This class was a lot like I pictured it to be, and I went back to the course description on knightline to see if it matched up with what we were told to expect.
“When you hear the word ¿technology,¿ you may think of your computer or iPhone. You probably don¿t think of the alphabet, the book, or the printing press: but each of these inventions was a technological innovation that changed dramatically how we communicate and perhaps even how we think. Texts are at the heart of most disciplines in the humanities¿literature, philosophy, history, religious studies¿but this course will argue that technology and humanistic study are deeply intertwined. Literature in English, for instance, has always developed in tandem¿and usually in direct response to¿the development of new technologies¿e.g. printed texts, newspaper publication, radio, film, television, the internet. Our primary objective in this course will be to develop ideas about the ways that modern innovations, including computers and the internet, continue to shape our understanding of texts (both classic and contemporary) and the human beings that write, read, and interpret them. In order to help us understand these recent changes, we will compare our own historical moment with previous periods of textual and technological upheavals in Western Culture. We¿ll learn that many of the debates that seem unique to the twenty-first century¿over privacy, intellectual property, and textual authority¿are but new iterations of familiar battles in the tumultuous history of technology and literature. We will see how modern scholars are illuminating these debates in our textual past using the rapidly changing tools of our textual present: e.g. geographic information systems, data mining, textual analysis. Finally, we will gain new skills for working with texts as we develop digital projects using texts from the Center for Norbertine Studies¿ special collections library.
I remember doing everything that this course description said we would be doing and I just wanted to share the top 5 things I learned.
1. How we interpret texts or literature depends on the way it is presented to us. (E-lit for the win).
2. Making an Omeka Exhibit is a ton of work and not as easy as it sounds.
3. I am both afraid and excited for the new technologies that will be surfacing after learning about how our newer technologies today are already changing our world and the way we live.
4. I need an Ipad, and maybe if I tell my parents that it will make me a better student, then they will pay for it.
5. I enjoyed the new experience of checking my twitter, because I didn’t have it before this class- but now I’m learning that celebrities post stuff every two seconds, and its even more annoying than the 19 year old girl on facebook complaining about her love life.
Hi all, I read Jeff’s post Some Things Are Better Left Alone and I can share in a lot of frustration. For me the e-lit we “studied” was more frustrating aesthetically, but I can share in your epistemological pain a lot as well. Not only form is inferior to what we expect on average from anything called “literature”, themes and discourses were lacking to engage or entertain.
WHY SO SAD????? WHY? I have not found any e-lit object that I could consume without chewing through painful existential dilemmas.
Nevermore! Please indulge with me watching my hero, Ze Frank on TED. Ze Frank’s nerdcore comedy is e-literature done right, I say.
There you can also find Rives on 4 a.m.. Hilarious and witty. I never do this, but I just can’t resist… LOL!
I really hope it helps to wash the taste of e-lit of your… whatever receptors you used there, OK?
Being that it was the first time I was exposed to E-literature, it was quite an experience for me. I never considered myself a very big fan of literature but the interactive aspect of E-lit has made me rethink this. Like most people my age I am a huge fan of anything with a screen or some type of controller. The E-lit allows you to interact with the literature making it much more exciting to read/experience. Many of the pieces in the collection do not have a definite story line because you can control the story yourself. I think this makes users more interested in the literature because we always like our own ideas.
Some of the pieces of E-lit are quite bizarre and it is hard for me to classify them as literature. A few of the pieces had no writing and seemed to have no story line either. It is quite hard for me to give them any credit as literature without having to also classify the interactive ads where you shoot flying ducks as literature. I feel as though the definition of literature may have to be tweaked to include this new E-lit.
Video games are also very hard to classify as E-literature for me. I look at video games as something designed to bring entertainment but not be a piece of literature. Something like a poem on the other had is meant to be a work of literature. However, it is very hard to not say video games are literary works. The amount of time spent researching and working on the story line for some games is astonishing.
Our generation grew up still going out side and playing real sports rather than virtual ones, but when the next generation is our age I would guess E-lit will grow very fast.
If you were wondering, the “star wars, one letter at a time” is still driving me nuts; for multiple reasons. It’s an indescribable frustration that is agitated more and more every time I hear the key stroke sound effect of the typewriter. A big part of it comes from the idea that Dr. Cordell brought up in class about how our brain reads one word at a time, not one letter at a time. This makes perfect sense after you watch the video for longer than 2 minutes and you begin to get frustrated as you can no longer put the letters together fast enough to formulate a word before the next word starts.
There were a few possible meanings and perspectives offered in class that could apply to the star wars program but it is still unclear what the original intentions were. Having known the story, it becomes extremely frustrating when the story doesn’t start matching what you are envisioning. We all know how spectacular star wars, it’s an legitimate fact, look it up, so when we start to see it broken down into its bare roots it becomes an immediate failure in our minds when it doesn’t reproduce the same sensation. Stepping back into a philosophical mind set, by seeing each letter at a time we are not able to see the greater good of what the letters are representing as a whole.
The second time around, the “everybody dies” program was also extremely frustrating. It was confusing, unclear, and it had a path already decided for the player. You could make multiple decisions to do something or go certain places, but ultimately you were destined to die. Just when you get stuck at a point when you aren’t sure what to do, you die, then come back to life, get stuck in a new way, then die again. It really exploited things that we don’t realize in many video games we play. We think there is a vast multitude of different possibilities but really our fate is already predetermined. Basically any first person game results in the player doing some activity, dying, and then coming back to life to do the whole thing over again. The only thing that separated “everybody dies” is that the options were extremely slim and the way you die was already chosen, you just had to find it. One thing I did notice is that the everybody dies program had one essential characteristic that makes any good game, good; it could frustrate you to your last nerve and then give you a new hope and new direction that makes you want to keep playing. The example from the program was after we drown in the river and came back to life and were seemingly stuck in a bathroom scrubbing toilets, (which I initially thought was a type of hell to the character) but then you pull a knife on someone who doesn’t like you in the bathroom and they come back and shoot you and your boss, then you come back to life in the streets of some neighborhood. It was an extremely bizarre and unpleasant experience.
I think both of these programs helped me step outside of the game or the story to see what its deconstructed roots look like. For star wars, you lose the special effects and graphics in exchange for the individual letters of the storyline. For everybody dies, your role playing game is broken down into what it essentially is, a game in which you basically find ways to die, you magically come back to life, and then you find a new way to die. Both push our brains to view the games we play and the stories we view in a way that exposes the building blocks used in its creation, whether we want to see them or not. Just like how we would rather not see where the hamburger meat for our juicy double cheeseburger comes from when we go to McDonalds.