The other day we discussed changing news articles. This was intriguing to me. With the recent demise of the print industry comes a few interesting things. Our news and all data on the internet is dynamic and can forever be changed. Something put on the internet can be edited on the fly. This makes…
This is one of the main concerns when it comes to online news sources. Reliability and quality. That’s why larger companies and newspapers are able to charge money for online use. Because the reader knows they are going to have the most updated article with the most reliability. I think that people need to be aware of what they are reading and whether or not its accredited. The internet is where so much falsified information exists.
How this Relates to English
How does all of this relate to English? I thought this to myself randomly over the semester during some of our readings and for a long time I couldn’t think of what its importance was. Then, throughout our class discussions, I realized the importance, not only to English but to everything. These concepts can be applied to so many things. Control, Rhizomes, Decay, etc. are things that we made applicable to all types of subjects.
English is the study of language and communication and how it relates objects. By relating the theories we have learned in class to different networks, we are doing just that. After seeing everyone’s projects, we saw that subjects ranged from politics, copyrights, welfare, commercial realtors, to construction projects. And even more. Everyone was able to take one of the concepts we learned in class and apply it in a physical real event or thing that exists. This relation between things you normally wouldn’t see connections in is what English is all about.
There was a moment in “Rainbows End” (which I can’t find the page number now) but basically Miri’s imaging software glitches for a moment and she remarks of herself as something of an “ordinary fat girl”. This part reminded me of “The Networking of Public Space” where Varnelis and Friedberg talk…
This reminds me of the movie Gamer. Someone showed us an excerpt from the movie for their project. In the movie, if they are in the game, their physical selves are under complete control by someone else. The people playing momentarily embody everything that the players are, completely losing sight of their own reality. Like Rainbow’s End, reality is consumed by a false image of place.
“For Thich Nhat Hanh, nonviolence is a natural and necessary part of Buddhist religion. To understand his teachings, then, one must start with the most basic religious foundation: “In Buddhism the most important precept of all is to live in awareness, to know what is going on…to be aware of what we do, what we are, each minute.” When we are totally mindful—in direct contact with reality, not just images of reality—we realize that “all phenomena are interdependent…endlessly interwoven.” This is the foundation of Nhat Hanh’s approach, not only to nonviolence but to all of life. He calls it the principle of “interbeing.” “In Buddhism there is no such thing as an individual.” There is no such thing as a separate object, event, or experience, because no any part of the world can exist apart from all others. Rather, everything that looks like a separate entity is actually dependent on, and therefore interwoven with, something else. Everything (object, event, idea, experience, whatever) is made up of other things. Whatever appears to be an isolated “thing” is actually a combination of its constituent elements. These elements are the influences from the other things with which it is interwoven. And those elements, too, are made up of other combinations. The world is an endless web of combinations.”
Hanh’s definition of interbeing reminded me of the ideas of networks. In a network, everything is layered, compiled from other things and then put together to form the whole. Though it may seem like a solitary subject or thing, each network goes with the idea that everything is interconnected. Networks can be anything, ranging from the growth pattern of tulips to the world of Facebook. Not only do objects form to create one network, objects and people intersect from one to another, creating connections from network to network.
So I came across this photo and the first thing that jumped out at me was the title. ”Slow Decay”. The photo is a futuristic representation of the world. It’s very gray and dark. If you click it, it will take you to the artist’s page. He explains what he wanted to accomplish through the photo. He wanted to demonstrate a story of a man who’s world of blue skies and unpolluted air eventually transformed into a dark, gray, smoggy world.
This reminded me of the discussions we had on decay. One of the main things we associated with it was the idea that without use, things were more likely to decay. I like this picture because it kind of shows that the opposite is true. That overuse also leads to decay. Technologically we advance, but the world is slowly transforming into a place where natural things are decaying at alarming rates.
In class we briefly discussed the idea that currently, everyone owns a digital SLR camera and thinks they are a professional photographer. I know this to be absolutely true because I have several friends who simply purchased a camera, set up a blog, and took off with photography. For all of them it is something they do as a “side job” and it pulls in a little extra money. Thanks to the internet, photography is something just about anyone can pick up and do, without having any experience. Interesting to think how once upon a time someone most likely had a degree within photography.
Its so true. And what stood out to me is what you said about the blog. The same thing could be said about writing. The blog craze allows instant access to anyone who wants to share their writing with the world. All of the sudden, all these bloggers are calling themselves writers. It brings around the question of how you differentiate a “true professional.” It’s hard to base it on quality because some amateur photographers and writers do have amazing material.
I found this article about how Target is phasing out kindles and Amazon related products. Though the article doesn’t explain why, it does mention that Apple’s Ipad and the Nook will still be available for purchase. It could be assumed Apple gave the chain stores an ultimatum. They could only sell one.
This type of thing is becoming more and more common as the control over eReaders becomes increasingly controversial and prominent. The publishers are coordinating with the makers and the makers are negotiating with commercial retailers. It’s all about money and exposure. How to sell the most and what will make the most profit. As the world is transferring to digital place, where online activities are becoming the norm, the competition for control of these places skyrockets. Whoever has the most control is the person making the most profit and benefitting the most in monetary terms.
Latour and Acting
Today in class, we were discussing the difference between one’s authentic self and their social roles. There are many different arguments about the separation between these two. Latour says ”It is not by accident that this expression, like that of ‘person’, comes from the stage. Far from indication a pure and unproblematic source of action, they both lead to puzzles as old as the institution of theater itself—as Jean-Paul Sartre famously showed in his portrait of the garcon de cafe who no longer knows the difference between his ‘authentic self’ and his ‘social role’. To use the word ‘actor’ means that it’s never clear who and what is acting when we act since an actor on stage is never alone in acting.” Since you are never solitary, because it’s in human nature to crave social interaction, you are constantly acting or being on the stage of your life. So essentially, what I am trying to say is that your authentic self and your social roles could consequently be considered the same thing. They help to define each other. Your “self” influences how you act in social situations and your “social roles” influence your self and your decisions. Since the two are playing off each other is such a role, they are becoming so intertwined that they seem like the same entity.
I thought this image did a good job demonstrating the idea of digital control I was trying to convey in my last post. In an economic sense, it shows the distribution of consumerism through through digital means or through brokers and retailers. Digital means of purchasing allows companies to escape from the middle man. This control of selling directly to the customers as well as the retailers allows for more profit. They have control not just of the retailers, but a larger portion of the direct clientele as well.
Control and Place
I have been tossing the idea around for a project that involves the desire for control now residing in digital forms. This evolution of control has moved from physical groups to a much larger and accessible world. By controlling digital places, you have more influence over a majority of people. Accessibility and quantity are the two main driving factors in an attempt of control. The more people someone can reach or obtain information on, the more people they have that control over. In such a digital age, with everyone putting all their information online, through social networking, banking, blogging, etc., that information is easily gathered and compiled for the use of anyone. Advertising agencies use this type of information to analyze which ads will run more successfully and produce a higher income.
My friend was recently working on a database for his information systems class. He was telling me that personal records are stored in these databases. Medical records, phone records, bill payments, etc. could be compiled into these databases. Anyone who had control or access to that information would in a sense control the person who’s information it entailed. This accessibility to information is making the idea of controlling in a digital manner more appealing than in a physical manner based on the amount of people that would fall under that control.