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Blog Prompt #1

This is the post excerpt.

In the novel Neuromancer, hyper attention is heavily used over deep attention from the rapid changes and occurences that Case experiences in his adventures with Molly. During the run in chapter four, Case must focus on multiple situations at once to make the heist a success. A technology introduced in this world is the simstim. This allows Case to tap into Molly’s experiences including all of her senses while having no other control over her. Case must use multiple programs in the matrix to allow Molly into the building physically while following Molly through the simstim to see what is occurring during the run. During this run they created a field of panic by inducing a terrorist threat leaving the building in complete disorder. Katherine Hayles explains hyper attention as “negotiating rapidly changing environments in which multiple foci compete for attiention” (Hayles 188). Deep attention on the other hand involves “solving complex problems represented in a single medium, but it comes at the price environmental alertness”(Hayles 188). The situation that Case is in requires definitive hyper attention as he attempts to follow the multiple tasks going on around him while maintaining focus of his environment. The world to Case and Molly is of constant threat under the pressure of Armitage’s tasks which are rapidly changing from location to location. Their mode of engagement must not be of singular focus on one task because their job inhibits this type of thinking through constant action. This occurrence is common such as when Case and Molly are called to Istanbul after figuring out about Armitage’s past. Case observes Molly packing and thinks “There were dark circles under her eyes, but even with the cast on, it was like watching a dance. No wasted motion” (Gibson 85). The story emphasises their ability to constantly be on the move leaving no time for solving of complex problems such as figuring out who Armitage really is. 

 

Sources

Gibson, William. Neuromancer. New York, NY, Penguin Group, 1984.

Hayles, Katherine. “Hyper and Deep Attention: The Generational Divide in Cognitive Modes” Profession. (2007). 187-199. JSTOR. Web. 8 Sep. 2016.

 

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Blog #11 – Pine Point

Pine Point was a wonderful reflection upon how memories of things that disappeared in our life feel. Pine Point is an extremely ordinary place that has no meaning to anyone outside of the people there except this website when encountering it makes that different. The website brings you into the lives of these people in a way no book description ever could possibly. At first you begin to relate to the childhood memories that the people of Pine Point lived. Through many pictures, music, and especially videos of the people explaining their memories it becomes very surreal and emotional to the reader. This work is completely based around memories of what Pine Point used to be with large amounts of pictorial and video documentation bringing it truly to life.

Pine Point is alike a traditional documentary by first introducing the situation to you while taking an in depth adventure through the entire life and structure of the location. This website takes everything to the next step by first revealing characters of the town’s past and then interviewing them in their current everyday life. These people would be allowed to reflect upon what Pine Point means to them as they remember what can only be a memory now. However this is only alike a scrapbook collection then an entire documentary which may do a more in depth report yet Pine Point comes rather close to that.


Pine Point brings a niche environment to the online world for a permanent place for a town that once was to survive forever. Pine Point will continue to survive forever for those who desire to continue accessing it. The website will be forever archived while the real location is only in scraps and pieces. This presentation reveals how much can change from a location forever destroyed and deserted when it continues to live on through memories by the people who cherish it.

Overall this was one of the most pleasant reads of e-literature we have done this semester. The way it was presented and the feeling attached to it is something extremely difficult to achieve alone through words.

Blog Prompt #10 – Redshift and Portalmetal

The work named ‘Redshift and Portalmetal’  is a piece about a failing environment in our world taken to extreme measures in the future. The main character is seemingly a female who needed to pack hormones leading me to believe they did not feel like they belonged in their body. The way this media was presented was alike a ‘choose your own adventure’ story where you got the option to click to the next webpage. Each page had text whether it was organized alike a poem or a short stated sentence. Behind each page there is a video with audio representing a certain type of emotion or revealing the story itself visually. This would help support this type of adventure as it felt more realistic. This story was placed in what seemed to be the future where planet travel was available after much development and destruction of our own planet. The story is different each time as it allows for multiple reads or playthroughs giving the reader a different experience each time. Sometimes the reader may feel like they are in control of the story but the choice seemingly does not matter to where the link takes them. This work focuses on the changes in rapid movement between environments for a woman trying to find her home. Alongside the main focus of someone searching for a place to belong it reflects upon the current destruction of the environment as this initially caused the story to begin. It honors the Native Americans as they struggle to move and find new places to live often as they are kicked out and forced to move. This brings to light the struggles they must go through to survive daily.

Blog #9 – Arcoiris Paranoico

Initially attempting to take in what “Arcoiris Paranoico” has to offer is quite the challenge. First being presented with a page title reading “paranoico arco iris” and understanding this won’t be in English leaves the reader with one of two feelings. One of excitement for those who might understand the language or another of fear for those who won’t be able to understand Spanish. The second the cursor moves across the page you are presented with many lines of rainbow changing color. Quickly moving your mouse across the page reveals the entire poem if done fast enough revealing the writing behind the “Paranoid Rainbow”

The poem begins with a reflection upon the coming of Spring. The author thinks about how Spring is almost upon them while attempting almost to hide from it. First the author “tried to cover Spring with a finger” only to realize that they could “not being able to remember the usual”. This means the author has attempted to almost look out upon nature and hide themselves away from it. They are now forced to “rebuild” things back from winter. I believe this is all in reference to religion as the author spends the latter half reflecting upon who created Spring and how people often forget that. The author feels that “one doesn’t know/ whose house this is” meaning a higher being had created everything for them. This higher being is seen as under appreciated as the author finally closes the window as morning approaches.

Blog #8 – The Circle, Part 2

  1.  ‘”It’s not that I’m not social.  I’m social enough.  But the tools you guys create actually manufacture unnaturally extreme social needs.  No one needs the level of contact you’re purveying.  It improves nothing.  It’s not nourishing.  It’s like snack food…endless empty calories, but the digital-social equivalent” (134).

During this quote Mercer is in an argument, as always, with Mae about the control social media has over their lives. The argument begins with Mercer going on about how so many people beg and plead for following on their social media pages, such as Zing feeds. On top of this Mercer complains about the problem with being on a near infinite number of mailing lists. This amount of forced social interaction brings Mercer to a breaking point. Normally there is an enjoyable amount of privacy to a person alongside social interaction. With the system The Circle has created it forces people to continually update others on their current social news. Mae believes that “It is good in a different way” adding “your social needs are so minimal” (Eggers 134). Mae has been taken over mentally by The Circle and the social online world.

This relates rather well to some significant issues that occur in current society that are reflected in the novel. I believe the novel aims to point out the issues between staying private in today’s society with the abundant use of online social media. This amount of forced socializing that does not need to occur between people eliminates human to human contact. As evident in the novel, people who live under the reign of The Circle have everything handed to them. All they have to worry about is constantly keeping up with online social interactions instead of living life outside the cyber world. Currently the use of smartphones and sometimes abuse of the internet tears apart the lives of some people. This forces people to stray away from human contact or interaction from each other leading to a more detached society.

Blog Prompt #7 – The Circle

  1. “And those who wanted or needed to track the movements of consumers online had found their Valhalla: the actual buying habits of actual people were now eminently mappable and measurable, and the marketing to those actual people could be done with surgical precision.  Most TruYou users, most internet users who simply wanted simplicity, efficiency, a clean and streamlined experience, were thrilled with the result.  No longer did they have to memorize twelve identities and passwords; no longer did they have to tolerate the madness and rage of the anonymous hordes; no longer did they have to put up with buckshot marketing that guessed, at best, within a mile of their desires.  Now the messages they did get were focused and accurate and, most of time, even welcome” (22-23).

This quote reveals the readiness and intrusiveness together of technology in the future. The quote initially starts off with something I personally view as terrifying, “buying habits of actual people were eminently mappable…marketing to those actual people could be done with surgical precision” (Eggers 22). This states that a company can and will own all the information is can grasp about your identity and use it as a marketing advantage. In of itself it seems harmless as it attempts to give you the best possible option from a sales point but from a consumer’s point it’s intrusive as it takes all the information out of you and stores it. This can be used maliciously as privacy becomes something nonexistent in the future. Companies can abuse this form of aggregated personal data to destroy privacy and intrude into the lives of anyone they follow. The context around this quote is the description about some of the technology that is under development and in use at The Circle. Through “TruYou”, users would become completely available online through one combined profile. Everything becomes public and aware to all of society bringing in another variable that eliminates privacy. In the novel it states “The trolls, who had more or less taken over the internet, were driven back into darkness” (Eggers 22). The strength of TruYou destroying privacy gets rid of any opposing opinions creating online conversations to be forcefully civil. Everything is completed for the user leaving a laziness factor on the end of the user. This brings ease of access to the user but takes away control and privacy for people. These issues are becoming more apart in current culture but can only develop into worse issues in the future.

my body – a wunderkammer

Title Page -> Arms -> Fingernails -> Eyebrows -> Tail

“My Body – a wunderkammer” brings a reader on an experience unlike anything physical literature could produce. Jackson created an adventure through the experiences of her body while growing up with the power of web pages and hyperlinks. Jackson tells a story through each individual part of the body which includes hyperlinks to other parts of the body. This leads the reader on a never ending adventure throughout the whole body that could never be the same read for two people. Jackson analyzes her body noticing the frightening imperfections that occur during development that reveal harsh differences between the bodies of others. Acceptance of such imperfections lead to confidence in one’s own self.

Upon entering the website, I was initially perplexed by the breathing that plays at the beginning. With slight horror and curiosity I moved to click on a random picture which led me to the “arms” page. This page begins to describe a masculine child’s body that is evidently about a female. This individual saw herself as a monster or a freak simply because of the fact that she was more physically adept than all the other females in the grade. Jackson says “I looked at the other girls’ arms and knew I was a different animal”. This indicates the feeling of insecurity that pubescent girls often feel. The image drawn directly next to the text resembles the muscular body that Jackson has due to much climbing, swinging, and sawing wood as stated in the text. This muscular body can easily be seen as a male’s body as men tend to have more prominent muscles. She lives a more masculine life than the boys in her class and they approach her like “a sports hero”. Jackson immediately feels separated from the norm as she notices how different of a being she is. Eventually this feeling of insecurity develops into a feeling of pride as she looks down upon the other females who are seen as physically sufficient after doing one chin-up. This is seen through her confident use of the phrase “My arms are an anatomist’s fantasy, muscle and bone in a thin sheath of skin”. Her differences brings her power as she feels strength over the others in her grade. This statement is rather strong and intriguing bringing curiosity to what could be behind the hyperlink “I looked at the other girls’ arms and knew I was a different animal” which brings the reader to the fingernails page.

To continue the journey through “My Body” the reader does not know where they are headed due to the ambiguity of the included hyperlinks. The connection between hyperlinks can bring much confusion as there is little indication of what introduces the next body part resulting in a need for conscious thought about the reasoning behind the change. Upon further reading into the page Jackson makes a comparison between her fingernails and those of the other girls’ in her tumbling class, resulting in a further understanding of her unique life. Her desire to be different from the others only inspired her to explore her body. She acted strange around her friends by doing things such as playing with her fingernails. She says “More recherche were the fake fingernails I snipped for myself out of fruit leather at lunchtime and stuck on with spit, to my friends’ disgust. I privately thought they looked glamorous”. Jackson’s deviance from the norm and exploration of her body only encourages her confidence. She finds joy in the childish fascination of her body recognizing her differences and “glamorous confidence” which links to the next page: the eyebrow page.

Jackson’s eyebrows are something of disgust to others alike the rest of her body which only coerces Jackson to further explore her body . She was intrigued by her thick, dark brows that she would often be exaggerate with a pencil which left her with a near dirty look. This look is often seen as of a difference from the norm where cleanliness was a must for most. This however did not please Jackson as she says “I went to school smudged and interesting. When people commented on my eyebrows, I gave explanations, feigning exasperation at the inefficacy of soap”. Jackson would often not enjoy the cleanliness of a body as she found it fascinating to be different and smudged. It is often seen as a masculine characteristic to be smudged with dirt after working more manual labor intensive jobs that are seen as male dominated careers. Jackson herself gains confidence feeling different from the normal expectations of a female revealing her seemingly strange acceptance of her body. Curiosity of her own body leaves her with much more time to explore everything it has to offer. Jackson mentions one of her experiences in which she states “In Spanish in the seventh grade, I taught myself to raise my left eyebrow”. This quote reveals her curiosity with all body parts and includes a hyperlink to a hypothetical body part, her tail.

The tail represents the pinnacle of separation from the norm physically which develops confidence sexually for Jackson. Finding the tail hyperlink in itself is something of a challenge as it is not accessible from the beginning title page, which symbolizes her nature the hide her tail from others out of fear for her own confidence. The tail is a non-existent feature of Jackson’s body that she discovers at a young age. Physically it could be possible that Jackson was born with a small tail, but nowhere near the extent that she expresses. As she develops, her interest and secrecy about her tail connects her to her sexuality more than anything else. Early on in schooling her tail was something that could never be shown off out of pure terror of the reactions others would have of her. This caused her to punish her tail by “[sitting] on it, [hanging] weights from it, [clamping] clothespins on it”. After nearly destroying her tail out of lack of confidence in it she began to grow a small affection towards it post high school. College leads her to a development of more sexual characteristics that derive from appreciation for her tail. An experience with another female led to a true understanding about herself sexually. Jackson wrote “She plunged her arm under me, closed her fist firmly around my tail, rolled me onto my side, my back to her. Then she guided me inside her. I lay there staring perplexedly at the wall while she panted and strained behind me, sketching out a new world for me”. This experience reveals a very intimate scene with another female that Jackson had in college. This reveals her finally stepping outside of the boundary bound by her tail and lack of sexual discovery. This is Jackson’s final step at accepting who she is physically and sexually as a person.

Through Jackson’s analysis of her own imperfections it leads the reader own a journey reflecting upon their own development. She brings up many strange experiences of not fitting in with the norm. The realization that not following the norm made her more confident in her own differences. Jackson’s experience of her development mentally and physically can leave the reader with a feeling of confidence in their own personal differences as they can compare this coming of age story to their own lives.

Blog #6 – Midsummer Night’s Dream

The closing of Midsummer Night’s Dream leaves the audience with a strange perspective of the play itself as Puck attends to the audience with a strange closing directed towards them. Most plays would not take this approach as it brings to question whether the character Puck himself is addressing the audience or addressing the audience by an outside individual. Shakespeare presents the ending with a mystery leaving the audience in question of what just occurred. Puck states “No more yielding but a dream” (5.1. 414). Puck brings the idea that the play itself was merely a dream to everyone. Puck states before this “That you have but slumber’d here/ While these visions did appear” (5.1.411-412). This reflects the fact that the audience might of experienced a whole dream alike how the play was a dream in itself. Shakespeare goes further than other writers to bring a larger mystery to the play then what had already occurred. He takes the thoughts of the audience outside of the play back to reality stating that this play was merely just a fantasy of the mind that will be moved on from after leaving. The play was not real nor was anything inside of the play. It reminds the audience members to go back to reality as nothing that occurred before them was real at all. The pardon at the end of the play reflects the pardon at the end of the play inside of the story. This was stated by the members of the play in case the play was not enjoyable for the royalty. The title of the play “Midsummer Night’s Dream”, matches the ending of the play that the entire play was just a dream. The magic and fantasy the occurred throughout the play was something of the imagination of a person in sleep.

Sources:

Shakespeare, William, and Harold F. Brooks. A Midsummer Nights Dream. London: Arden Shakespeare, 2007. Print.