digital (post)humanism pays attention

As an erstwhile practitioner of zazen meditation, I can say one thing with a fair degree of certainty: humans suck at focusing on a single thing, or even worse, on no thing. PBS Frontline's recent, interesting and wide-ranging program Digital_Nation spent a fair amount of time on the theme of focusing: the price of multi-tasking,... Continue Reading →

avatar: exposure, immersion, becoming

So to dispense with the critique of dismissal, yes, you could say Avatar is Dances with Wolves in 3-D, or any other narrative of the imperialist-gone-native with the beautiful native informant love interest. In face, one can go back to the Crusades to find Knights Templar "going native." More interestingly though, one can situate that familiar narrative... Continue Reading →

The apprehensive economics of rhetoric

I just finished reading Agamben's essay "What is an apparatus?" (AMZ). It raises some interesting connections for rhetoric that I had certainly not thought of before, at least not in this way. The essay begins as an exploration of Foucault's use of the term apparatus, or more precisely, dispositif in French. Agamben notes this word... Continue Reading →

mapping play

From Johndan I picked up on this interesting model of "play" (PDF) from the Dubberly Design Office. I'd stick the image up here but it is quite intricate and you'd really need to download the PDF to read it. We can think of maps in several ways. Conventionally, in the humanities, we might be suspicious... Continue Reading →

Blog personality test

Just for fun you can check out Typealyzer. Put in the URL for your blog and discover your blog's Myers-Briggs personality type. Mine was INTP- "The Thinkers," described as The logical and analytical type. They are especially attuned to difficult creative and intellectual challenges and always look for something more complex to dig into. They... Continue Reading →

teaching new media subjectivities

Michael Wesch offers a new article on Academic Commons "From Knowledgable to Knowledge-able: Learning in New Media Environments." Wesch writes not only of the now familiar social media applications that are changing the contexts in which we teach but also of the institutional limitations that hamper our efforts to respond as educators to the cognisphere... Continue Reading →

anathem and the consolation of rhet/comp

With the semester over, I finally got the opportunity to read Neal Stephenson's Anathem. If you like Stephenson's work, particularly his more recent work, I think you will enjoy this novel. It is science fiction, but it often reads more like a Platonic dialogue with extensive philosphical conversations about time, space, and consciousness, generally articulated... Continue Reading →

being on time: kairotic microblogging

Plane travel and various appointments has me thinking about being "on time" quite a bit today, in the conventional sense. Then this morning I encountered so less conventional ways of thinking about the issue. As I've now made a regular practice, I was listening to Melvyn Bragg's "In Our Time," where this week's discussion was... Continue Reading →

not ready for spime-time pedagogy

I'm teaching Bruce Sterling's Shaping Things right now and thus thinking of his neologism, the spime. Spimes are Sterling's vision for the next generation of technology and draw their name from their unique ability to be precisely tracked in space and time. As Sterling suggests in his book (and here in a 2004 Wired article),... Continue Reading →

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