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A GROUP WEBLOG FOR TEXT AND MEDIUM: THEORY OF THE BOOK AND THE FUTURE OF READING ENG 577.

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January 30, 2009

Animal Communication


Take a look at this video. When we were discussing animal communication yesterday, I kept thinking of this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozkBd2p2piU


It is amazing!
Posted by      Wesley M. at 8:12 AM EST
  Rachel Lee  says:
Speaking of animal communication, there is a "talking" crow at Wild Wings, at Mendon Ponds Park. (It's only mimicry, I know, I know.) And while you're there visiting non-releasable birds of prey, you can feed wild chickadees by hand in the nearby woods. (This has not a thing to do with animal communication, but it's really awesome.)
Posted on Fri, 30 Jan 2009 3:58 PM EST by Rachel L.

January 29, 2009

Oldest Known Recording of the Human Voice


In our seminar session earlier today, Nikolaus mentioned the voice recordings made by Parisian inventor Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville using a device called a phonautogram. An 1860 recording of ?Au Clair de la Lune? made on the phonautogram is currently the oldest known recording of a human voice.

You can read more about the history of the recording, how it was made, how it was finally ?played,? etc. on the ABC News website:
http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/WireStory?id=4542357&page=1

You can listen to the actual recording here (there are two different versions):
http://www.firstsounds.org/sounds/

And just for fun, here is a 1929 recording of ?Au Clair de la Lune? sung by Yvonne Printemps:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHljM0bxQ-g

If the 1860 recording sounds like nothing more than noise, try listening to Printemps (to familiarize yourself with the tune) and then go back to the early recording. It is truly haunting.
Posted by      Andrea E. at 10:36 PM EST

January 28, 2009

Ong's Article


In reading Ong's article on orality (or, really, the first chapter of his book,) I was quite moved when he wrote, at the end of the chapter, that, "There is hardly an oral culture...left in the world today that is not somehow aware of the vast complex of powers forever inaccessible without literacy." This was quite poignant because those of us who are literate are constantly concerned with the "complex of powers" of digital and technological media. We are concerned with staying up to date and "with it" in this age of computers, internet, etc. But, I think that it is a good thing to be reminded from time to time just how fortunate we are that we have access to, as Ong says, "the exciting world of literacy." Just thinking....
Posted by      Wesley M. at 11:44 AM EST
  Ryan Donnelly  says:
True. I do sympathize when he discusses the value of purely oral cultures, but you can't have it both ways. We can't have the societal benefits of an textual culture with the personal cognitive function found in oral culture. Can we?
Posted on Wed, 28 Jan 2009 5:08 PM EST by Ryan D.
  Wesley Mills  says:
Indeed...Can We?
Posted on Thu, 29 Jan 2009 8:19 AM EST by Wesley M.
  Rachel Lee  says:
I get caught by Ong's observation immediately following this passage, that "this awareness [of the vast powers of literacy] is agony." Similarly, McLuhan refers to the "trauma of literacy." Having taught children to read for a summer, I can attest to a certain kind of agony one undergoes in the process... =)

But the question of whether it's possible to "reclaim" certain features of oral culture is really tantalizing. Ong explicitly states that literacy can be used to "reconstruct for ourselves the pristine human consciousness which was not literate at all," and Foley's Pathways Project also asserts that "oral tradition and the internet...are fundamentally alike." Support for this thesis includes the fact that both oral & internet depend upon continues processes (not static products) and the importance of "linked pathways" (not "things") that allow users to have unique, singular experiences, where a user can "co-create his or her own contingent reality."

This sounds lovely, and ameliorates some of the agony/trauma of literacy...but I'm not sure I agree 100%...
Posted on Thu, 29 Jan 2009 12:29 PM EST by Rachel L.

the day the newspaper died


"The newspaper is dead." But "news" papers haven't always been what they are today. "The Day the Newspaper Died" is an interesting piece on their history (in America beginning in the 1690s) and their role in the Amer. Rev. by Jill Lepore (a very good writer for The New Yorker, usually in the Critic at Large slot) in the 26 Jan. 2009 issue, p. 68. She ends with RSS feeds and iPhones.
http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/atlarge/2009/01/26/090126crat_atlarge_lepore
Posted by      Morris E. at 8:50 AM EST
  Wesley Mills  says:
Right. Newspapers have not always been what they are today and maybe for them to be successful again they need to become something that they are not today. Change is part of progress.
Posted on Wed, 28 Jan 2009 11:45 AM EST by Wesley M.
  Peter Zogas  says:
http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/01/31/a-newspaper-on-a-pc-thats-crazy-talk/?hp

I saw that today and thought of this posting.
It's a case of newspapers wanting to jump to a different medium but being restricted by the limitations of available technology.
Posted on Sat, 31 Jan 2009 12:15 PM EST by Peter Z.

January 27, 2009

Essay Contest: "Living with Rapidly Changing Technologies"


Janus Essays Project (2009)

Time Lived/Time to be Lived

The Janus Essays Project (2009) invites interested students and faculty members to write a personal reflection on "Possibilities and Challenges in Living with Rapidly Developing Technologies: Human and Ethical Dimensions".

Six cash awards will will be given for best submission: One $1,000 prize, Three $500 prizes, & Two $250 prizes!!!

For further information and rules for submission please visit: www.janusessays.org. Essays must be submitted no later than February 7, 2009.

This is an Intercolleigiate project open to students/faculty of Cornell University, Fordham University, Georgtown University and the University of Rochester.
Posted by      Rachel L. at 9:14 AM EST
  Herman greene  says:
The technology is much the same as an entryway which carries me to a totally new world. It is additionally similar to a wire that associates me and the outside world. The principal thing that I do before getting up and the exact opposite thing that I do before going sleeping is checking my phone. Consistently, I do schoolwork, compose writes, send and get messages, take photographs, think about the most recent news, and talk with companions with the guide of innovations. And you will get more such essay tips from
custom essay writing service as well.
Posted on Wed, 30 Oct 2019 1:38 AM EDT by Herman g.

January 26, 2009

knitting your voice


A slightly different take on how to make words visible...a machine that knits the soundwaves of your voice. From Make:Blog
Posted by      Rachel L. at 2:03 PM EST
  Wesley Mills  says:
Interesting...I wonder who came up with this?
Posted on Wed, 28 Jan 2009 1:33 PM EST by Wesley M.
  Hilarie C Lloyd, J.D.  says:
Every time I see this post I think it's pretty awesome. I want a Tori Amos scarf!!!
Posted on Mon, 9 Mar 2009 1:21 AM EDT by Hilarie L.

January 23, 2009

Data loss on class website


I emailed NFO to let them know that we've had some problems with students losing data. Here's what they had to say:

***

One possible cause of data 'not being saved' is when the student spends more than 30 minutes in edit mode (e.g. working on Journal, Profile, Blog) before clicking save. The system will automatically 'log out' users after 30 minutes of inactive browsing -- meaning clicking from one page to another. Unfortunately, typing inside an edit box doesn't reset the clock. There are a couple ways to prevent this from happening:

1> Click the 'Preview' button every few minutes to reset the clock.
2> When logging into Nfomedia select the 'remember me' check box (this keeps you logged in).

Of course, this doesn't solve the problem of data just disappearing, which we have noted and will investigated further. Thanks for reporting the issues, and please let us know if they continue to occur. Once again, Thanks!

***
Posted by      Rachel L. at 5:14 PM EST

mass/miscommunication


David Perry at academhack has a post up about being misquoted in a CNN article that discusses the new White House website. It's a bit longish, but scannable, and touches upon many of the aspects of mass communication we've been discussing: miscommunication, the role of mass media in general, the future of journalism, and what counts as expertise.

Also, I find the last sentence of the CNN article really amusing:

WhiteHouse.gov is not to be confused with WhiteHouse.org, a spoof of former President George W. Bush and his administration.
Posted by      Rachel L. at 3:03 PM EST

Why humanities students should learn to program


This article from the Chronicle of Higher Education argues that humanities students should learn programming because understanding representations of reality (aka created worlds, aka "virtual" realities) is exactly what humanities people do (traditionally through literature).
Posted by      Rachel L. at 12:41 PM EST

January 22, 2009

Stuart Hall Article


In thinking about Hall's "production, circulation, distribution/consumption, reproduction" process of communication, it would seem to me that the largest challenge here is the "reproduction" part of the process. This is not to say that there are not challenges in the production or circulation or distribution and so on, but I think that the trick with communication is to get the message reproduced. I am thinking of this not in terms of the original sender reproducing the message ad nauseum, but instead in terms of getting the consumer to reproduce the message and, in turn, getting other consumers to do the same. Getting the message out is one thing, having the message consistently and correctly reproduced is quite another.
Posted by      Wesley M. at 12:29 PM EST
  Rachel Lee  says:
You bring up an interesting point about message reproduction - which makes me think that the process of *reproduction* could fall into models of transmission different from the original. Or - that within the reception model, receivers could reproduce the message, but encoded with *their* particular interpretation.

This is making me remember a friend of mine in Jr. High School who used to collect Absolut vodka ads from magazines and hang them in her room. (Her walls were PLASTERED with them.) Certainly reproducing the message, but not in with the original intent. (The ads failed to convince us to buy Vodka.)
Posted on Fri, 23 Jan 2009 8:50 AM EST by Rachel L.

Help with HTML


For anyone interested in embedding links, images, etc. Check out the wikipedia page on Hyperlinks. I've been slowly teaching myself HTML, and wikipedia is very helpful.

To practice your HTML, try www.practiceboard.com. It translates your code so you can see if it will appear as you want it. Have fun!

Posted by      Ryan D. at 9:40 AM EST
  Hilarie C Lloyd, J.D.  says:
Thanks, Ryan! I didn't know about the practiceboard site, and that's very handy.

Here are two websites I use for html help - they have all the basic html tags, and what each one does.

http://www.w3schools.com/html/html_primary.asp

This one has too many advertisements, but is still helpful for its chart of html tags, which I often glance at to refresh my memory about which html tag to use. You have to scroll down a bit to get to the chart.

http://www.web-source.net/html_codes_chart.htm
Posted on Sat, 24 Jan 2009 3:51 PM EST by Hilarie L.

January 20, 2009

Kaplan University Commercial


I don't know much about Kaplan University, but I saw their commercial on television earlier today, and I thought it was interesting considering our introductory discussion of technology and the university system.

You can watch the commercial on YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e50YBu14j3U
Posted by      Andrea E. at 10:51 AM EST
displaying most recent comments (2 ommitted) | Comments (5)
  Ryan Donnelly  says:
My HTML skills failed me! How do I edit my post???
Posted on Thu, 22 Jan 2009 9:30 AM EST by Ryan D.
  Ryan Donnelly  says:
Kaplan

Hope this works.

Posted on Thu, 22 Jan 2009 9:33 AM EST by Ryan D.

January 18, 2009

"A New Generation Finds an Old Music Format"


This story from RNews describes the steady increase in (used) LP sales, even in the "digital age."
Posted by      Rachel L. at 1:49 PM EST
  Hilarie C Lloyd, J.D.  says:
The link didn't work for me, but I've definitely noticed an increase in records and record players lately. The hipsters I know all are buying records and record players! It's definitely a cool thing to do. I have a retro-looking (but new) record player that was a wedding gift, and I have old records that I inherited from my grandparents, including: The Beatles, Johnny Cash, John Denver, Peter Paul & Mary, Stevie Nicks, Bob Dylan, etc.

I heard that records actually sound a lot more realistic than cds or mp3s do. I listened to some Dvorak and Tori Amos records, and it definitely felt more like the musicians were actually in the room than it does with a cd or mp3. I think piano music sounds particularly good on vinyl.
Posted on Sat, 24 Jan 2009 3:58 PM EST by Hilarie L.

January 14, 2009

Welcome!


The class blog is an experiment in collaborative authorship. Some assignments will include postings to the blog (so that others in the class can you the results of your research), but the blog is also a place to extend class discussions, pose questions about the readings, or post links others in the class might find interesting. The blog is more public than your journal, as everyone in the class can see it. Currently, it is not publicly viewable.
Posted by      Rachel L. at 12:53 PM EST




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