Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Week 9: Focus on Essay

Question re last week's feminism lecture: look at the language Irigaray uses; how does she refer to male and female genetalia? Does she use slang or colloquial terms for both or just the male?

*** Now to course-work ***

"There is no single best way to begin a writing project. What's best is what gets you going and builds momentum for the journey ahead. You may want to start right in on a draft or do some preplanning."

Essay brings a focus to the module. We'll talk about what we're expecting and how you might go about it.

Key: to apply the ideas we've been talking about as a way of making sense of digital culture.

This is an opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of the ideas and of course you ability to research.

DEADLINE: 30 Jan. 2007 (but this remains to be confirmed!!)

LENGTH: 2000-3000 words (but double-check your module handbook)

STYLE: Whatever style you use, MLA, APA, HARVARD, just use it consistently

ESSAY: we're expecting the centre of the essay to be an argument. There are two main ways of doing an essay: discuss or compare/contrast.

FRAME your essay as a QUESTION. "How" questions lead to deterministic arguments, "WHY" difficult, "what" questions are useful, "who" leads more to biographical and perhaps journalistic interpretation so try to avoid this one, and "when" has potential. The way you frame the question influences how the argument is played out.

Remember, don't be too general or too focused. An example of something extremely focussed see Philip Tagg on semiotics of film.

A potential "who" question: collaborative authorship, reliability of information, the nature of people who write it (but how you would determine this info.) Alan Liu is a good resource here (info on filtering the knowledge and how you measure the reliability).

Paul: how to understand spaces, holography, architecture, a 2d object to be appreciated in a 3d space. If digital life is a chaos of information, you're being constantly advertised to, and there are lots of kinds of info. coming at you at the same time.

Think of Creativity Conversation at the IOCT last week: "Creating Spaces: Virtual and Real" with Martin Richardson (Holographer) and Martin Michel (Product and Spatial Design). Talked about new way of reading cathedrals...have a ready of The Cathedral and the Bazaar by Eric Steven Raymond.

Check out "photosynth" by microsoft: photos arranged into a 3d cloud.

See TechCrunch's take on photosynth here and another interesting post here at Stink Digital.

Essay Idea: we don't need to think about the future anymore because it's already here...the future is not so impossible. Why?

Think of Institute for the Future

See also Map of Future Forces Affecting Education

TASK: for next week come to the session with your essay question ready!!

It might help to decided whether you want to do a quantitative or qualitative essay.


Moving to linguistics
think of the word television - half greek half latin

what is "the digital?"

What is linguistics?

Linguistics is the study of language – not just particular languages, but the system of human communication. Some of the basic issues of this field are?

* What is language? How is it organized?
* How is it analyzed? How are its units discovered and tested?
* Where is language stored and processed in the brain? How is it learned?
* What do all languages—including nonvocal systems of communication (e.g. writing and sign languages)—have in common? What do these properties show us about human cognition?
* How did language originate? What does it have in common with animal communication? How is it different?
* How many distinct families or stocks of languages are there in the 6000 or so known languages today? What original languages did they come from? How have they changed over time?
* What does dialectal and social variation show us about the use of language? How has this diversity affected issues of social, political, and educational policy?
* What is the relationship between language and culture? Language and thought?

Excellent source from Wake Forest.

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