I saw this last night and thought it was interesting considering our recent conversation about Twitter.
The commercial plays on Twitter’s relative novelty, but its mere presence indicates its move into the mainstream.
What do we think?
The interesting thing about spell-check (for computers) and auto-complete word programs (for cell phones) is that there is a fear that it will destroy our ability to spell.
In a very real way, however, these two functions force us to know the following information about a word: what it begins with, and the letters that it contains (but not necessarily the order of the letters after the first letter).
There has been interesting work done suggesting that so long the first letter of a word is static (not changed), it rarely matters what the order of the rest of the letters is. People can still make out the message (rearranging the letters in their head, or possibly doing the final calculation of what the word means before the rearranging takes place, as it might not be necessary for understanding meaning once a reader becomes “expert”).
So, the question is no longer “is spell-checking and auto-completing making us bad spellers,” but rather, how much spelling education is required before a reader becomes talented enough to take a shorter approach towards finding meaning, via more simple forms of representation and recollection (i.e. first letter and any combo of letters thereafter)?
I have no questions to ask in this weeks blog post, nor any interesting details to ponder…and really, not much to say. However, I did stumble across a few things over the last couple of days that I’d like to share with all of you.
The first is a new twitter-like application called “Flutter”. Okay, this is not a new application, it’s pure satire. But I found it to be clever, have some good observations on the lack of originality in the internet market…and, it’s pretty funny.
The second thing I’d like to share is a painting done by Brandon Bird. The painting is called “Signifier and Signified”…there isn’t much to say about it, the title speaks for itself. If there are any Noam Chomsky fans here, definitely check this out.
So, what do you guys think?
Wish I had some better questions and more to say but my brain is a bit fried from the over consumption of words.
So I am now obsessed with the idea behind Post Secret, partially because of my thesis project, and partially because of a lifelong obsession with how people interact and connect (or don’t). First of all, check out this week’s Sunday Secrets. The one at the top really got me thinking, and then the one about the movie previews almost made me cry. Seriously.
So here’s what really gets to me about these posts, and confessional websites in general (see Jo’s recent post): they are just so sad. But not because of the content of the actual secrets/posts, although often it is quite sad. I think they’re sad because there is a need for them. People feel the need to confess things to strangers. This trend obviously points to a severe lack of meaningful relationships or a lack of ability to communicate these inner skeletons to people we care about, or maybe both. And it’s this widespread human isolation that gets me. Of course it doesn’t help that I’m currently writing a 60-page document about the alienation epidemic, but still…
I proposed a theory in my response to Jo’s post that I’d really like to put in my thesis but can’t because it would be too hard to “prove”: I think we are all dying to be heard. I think that, even though we are surrounded by communication, we’re not really communicating with anyone, perhaps least of all ourselves. I look around and I see connections breaking, people missing each other. I mean, I can actually see this happening, in my own life and others’. I can actually feel people, myself, letting go. Like we’re each in a boat in a giant ocean and we’re paddling as fast and as hard as we can, but the waves keep pushing us further away from each other, ever so gently, so that we don’t even realize it’s happening until it occurs to us that we’re so exhausted from paddling and that all we’ve accomplished is drifting. Even the people who have always believed that if you give your 100% that’ll be worth something, that’ll get you somewhere — even those people (and I’m one of them) are starting to let go, starting to loosen their standards. So I think this post phenomena is like a last desperate effort to connect. The irony is (I’m not actually sure if this is ironic or not) that when you post something, you don’t even know if you’ve been heard or not. You have no idea whether even one person read your post, unless you get a response or something. And yet it feels better than not posting at all. At least for me.
I spent a good bit of time reading lots of “secrets” in the Post Secret books, always thinking about what I would say if I sent one. The conclusion I came to is that I am afraid to send one at all, not because I don’t want to risk someone finding out my secret (which is what I thought I felt when I gave my presentation), but more because I don’t want to think about the possibility that no one would read it. Or that no one would care.
At one point, I thought: I would need so many postcards to send all the secrets I’ve never told anyone. Just one would be too much pressure. And I actually thought about doing that, getting a whole stack of cards and just cranking out the secrets. And then I thought: if I send them all and I get no response, I’ll never know if anyone read them or cared, and then that’ll be my whole life’s worth of secret things that have shaped who I am, good or bad, and they’ll just be “out there,” floating around, with no tangible receiver. And then I will have taken away that little spark of hope I have in thinking that someday I’ll meet someone (in person) who will care about my secrets. So in the end I didn’t send any.
Sorry if this is too depressing for you guys, but I think it’s definitely relevant to what we’ve been talking about. Also, here’s something ironic: I don’t feel like I really aptly expressed what I was thinking in this post. But I’m done.
Inspired by Chapter 3: Popular Websites in Adolescents “Out of School” Lives, I took my own mental poll of popular adolescent web sites. It is a chapter that is almost impossible to write except in terms of hypotheticals, trends, and snapshots.
Most recently, I have learned that the tots are interested in a web site called FML. Certain students urged me to read this site. I had trouble believing that the postings were real or true. It seemed that at least they had been wordsmithed by the same editor. They all seemed to have the same structure and the same tone.
Around the same time, Keyna presented Post Secret. A pattern seems to emerge on that site as well, but it that situation, I believe that the submissions are genuine and that the editor is the common thread.
So it is possible to have a “confessional” website in which anything goes? I doubt it because the success of these websites is not the confessor but the voyeurs. (Is there a word for the “reading” version of voyeur?)
Enter confession website number 3! This week cnn.com, which was once a news organization, featured a web site called flightsfromhell.com. Since I am planning a trip to Phoenix next month, this website seemed worth my time, but already I smelled hyperbole. In the era of post-911, my personal standards for a flight from hell would require passengers being tortured and burned to a crisp. It turns out that flightsfromhell.com allows anyone one to post the most infantile whining and complaining and NO ONE is checking the grammar.
I’ve rambled, but I end with this: what draws people to read and post on ”confessional websites”?
one of my favorite moments in Cathy’s book is where she hurries past Bush Man, “the weird guy at Pier 43 who hides behind the lamp-poles and jumps out at people” (106). She avoids his shananigans by glaring at him over her sunglasses and pretending to reach into her purse for a can of pepper spray. here’s a clip of the famous Bush Man for anyone who is interested.
well, i don’t want to spoil my presentation, but here are a few links in case you’d like to check them out:
Cathy’s Book (of course)
Cathy’s Book on Wikipedia (yes, i did just do that)
Bay Area Rapid Transit (yay for BART)
Reading Cathy’s Book got me thinking about multiliterate and/or multimodal works of art and how each moving part contributes to the overall whole. First, I started wondering what Cathy’s Book would be like as a film. Although much of its multiliteracy would be lost, what would be gained? How about a soundtrack? And that got me thinking, what would the soundtrack to the movie version of Cathy’s Book be? And that got me thinking, soundtracks can be an example of multimodality in art. And that got me thinking, what are some examples of films with a soundtrack that is truly effective?
I thought Garden State was a pretty good film. A little self-indulgent, but funny and at times even poignant and moving. But I really liked the soundtrack. It was a strange experience the first time I heard it; it was like remembering. I had never heard some of the songs before, but once I did, it was like encountering an old friend after a long time of being apart. What is it that great art does, makes the new familiar and the familiar new? It was interesting to read that Zach Braff chose the soundtrack based on the songs he was listening to when he wrote the script. This could be why each song seems to fit so well.
This leads me to another point. I grew up in a very musical household. My dad is very musically literate, and we always had something on the stereo. I can highlight a dozen songs as essentially being the soundtrack of my childhood. So, as we got older, my sisters and developed a refined and diverse taste of music. We also can become territorial, nay bitter, about sharing our discoveries with unworthies.
I don’t want to give a list of my top albums of all time, top songs, etc. Maybe another time. I do, however, want to share some recent discoveries in the spirit of charity and generosity in hopes of sparking some musical dialogue on this blog. If you’re not musically inclined, that’s fine. Just no Britney Spears songs, OK? (only if you have to, in which case I might have to make an emergency burned CD with certain musical fundamentals.)
I swear I’m not a music snob.
Recent Albums I’ve purchased/listened to:
Solid Gold, Bodies of Water
French Miami, French Miami
Toots & the Maytals, Funky Kingston and The Very Best of Toots and the Maytals
Thievery Corporation, The Cosmic Game
Amadou & Mariam, Sou ni tile
Last week, as we were leaving class, I had so much to say. I’ll save it for the blog I thought. But somehow, I let the whole week pass with no post. And now in the final hour, I have nothing left to say. Inspiration fizzled. Things that seemed interesting a week ago now seem dull. Mostly, this week I have been reading and reading about Manga, but I don’t want to write anything about that here – want to save it for my presentation.
Here is something I thought might be interesting to hear from people. As we discussed The Mutiliteracies Project last week, it sounded as though Richard didn’t fully approve of his Texas education. I am wondering how others might feel about their educations. If you take EDU courses, as some point someone is going to ask you to write an educational biography. I wrote mine in 1992. It was 22 pages long and wonderfully self-indulgent. They all were. For weeks, as we presented our papers, it was like we were inventing reality TV. Except it was the 90′s. So it was the Confessional Memoir. One girl wrote about how a school bus accident, killing 40 kids, brought the whole student population together for about a week, melting away the cliques. Another girl wrote about how she grew up in NYC. Her father owned a jazz club. She met BB king and Dan Akroid and watched celebrities doing coke when she was 13. So the question is this: In a nutshell, what would the biography of your education include?