14 Matching Annotations
  1. Feb 2018
    1. lthough she isn't a cognitive psychologist or neuroscientist, Linda Stone was an obvious choice when I started inquiring into the connection between attention, always-on media, and health. Stone has in fact been immersed in creating online media for the twenty-five years I've known her. I first met her when she was one of Apple's multimedia researchers in the 1980s. In the 1990s, when she was director of Microsoft's Virtual Worlds Group, Stone and I sat in my garden to discuss virtual communities. Since she retired from Microsoft, Stone has been concerned about the ways social media use might be affecting our minds and bodies. She was kind enough to make another garden visit this past summer to converse about our mutual interest in literacies of attention. As we sat under my plum tree, Stone recalled that she had noticed some-thing crucial about her own online behavior while she sat at her computer one day. "I realized that I hold my breath sometimes when I am doing my email." She has recounted this little epiphany in print:

      It's assumed that people who are outsiders to the realm of technology are the biggest proponents, but I have seen many people in the field who are just as adamant. Rheingold agrees, and he cites Linda Stone, who has worked in online media for a long time.

    2. 1 Attention! Why and How to Control Your Mind's Most Powerful Instrument

      "How to Thrive Online" is a text written by Howard Rheingold about technology in modern society and its tremendous impact. Rheingold talks about topics such as focus, attention span, and learning in a classroom setting among many others. While Rheingold inherently believes technology has a positive impact on knowledge in our society, he argues that the overload of information can have negative effects.

      An interesting subject that Rheingold brings up is the core, scientific reasons why staying connected all the time is addictive. Rheingold uses the term "dopamine squirt" to refer to the hormonal stimulation the brain receives when engaging in frequent social media. Social media, at it's core, is about connecting people. Social media websites are meticulously crafted and engineered to remove the awkward long pauses and small talk normal conversation might have, and makes engaging with other people more fun. Streamlining this engagement makes the brain pump out frequent bursts of dopamine, enough to the point that not being on social media and not making those engagements feels boring.

      Rheingold presents a broad range of information about how the mind is altered when we become too comfortable with the easily-accessible technology that surrounds us. He cites the research of many noted psychoanalysts and researcher and this shows the reader that extensive research went into the development of this text.

      Source Rheingold, Howard. Net Smart: How to Thrive Online. MIT Press, 2012.

  2. spring2018.robinwharton.net spring2018.robinwharton.net
    1. PROWNIAN ANALYSIS Description-> Deduction-> Speculation-> Research-> Interpretive Analysis

      In the length of a semester, it may seem that each little assignment is trivial and often times it is challenging to view the bigger picture. What I can see from this course is that each assignment is a culmination of a major assignment and the Prownian Analysis boils that down in a more digestible manner.

    2. One way we respond to what we see in or experience of an object .imounts to intellectual detective work.~ We see articulation and deduce patterns of use; we see interaction and deduce relationship; we see expres-sion and deduce reception. Another way that we respond is through our senses: tactility suggests texture of engagement; temperature degree of inti-macy; and so on.

      This paragraph describes the HIV/AIDS perfectly. I think the main point of each part of the quilt is to engage the viewer as a sort of detective. Every small detail holds a certain weight and one can see themes pop up after more investigation.

    3. Prown goes on to suggest that "[t]he most persistent object metaphors expressive of belief" seem embedded in polarities, including but not limited to the following:

      The article "3-D print your way to freedom and prosperity" isn't necessarily about polarity, but I think it uses compare and contrast in a bad way. The article jumps from the pros and cons of 3-D printing jarringly, without really establishing a strong opinion on either one.

    4. In searching our an object to interpret, these are factors co be kept in mind. Moreover, such polarities and oppositions offer effective analytic "hooks" of use in organizing insights.

      This serves to be an effective tool for analytical interpretation. Often times, one attempts to perceive the nuances and deeper meaning behind an object right from the beginning. I know this is something that I tend to do. If something can be boiled down to something as basic as the polarities mentioned above, a birds-eye-view can be allocated to an object and zooming into smaller details will be easier.

    5. Composing and revising an objective-as-possible description frees one to move from a narrow focus on the object itself to a focus on the rela-tionship between the object and oneself as its perceiver. 8

      This is an interesting comment and it helps understand how easy it can be to add subjective bias to a topic. Any kind of personal additions can largely narrow the scope of writing and it can make establishing new topics about a certain object even more challenging.

    6. The fruits of one's research are not co he presented as some-how self-explanatory, but rather as evidence introduced in support of claims.

      This is something I have struggled with in the past. Once my questions about certain topics are answered during research, it is difficult to keep my original thoughts in order, since I now know what is fact.

    7. Michael Baxandall has noted: "We do not explain pictures: we explain remarks about pictures-or rather, we explain pictures only in so far as we have considered them under some verbal description or specifi-cation ... Every evolved explanation of a picture includes or implies an elaborate description of that picture. "4

      Baxandall makes a good point about pictures and how we use language to truly understand what one is looking at. In the context of objects in general, I think the supplementary text "3-D print your way to freedom and prosperity" sheds some light on how that could change if 3-D printing becomes more commonplace. I think being able to print whatever simple product one needs can change perceptions in a material culture and make certain things lose the value they may have once had.

    8. Having addressed an object intellectually, and experienced it actually or empathetically with our senses, one turns, generally not without a cer-tain pleasure and relief, to matters more subjective. How does the object make one feel? Specifically, what in or about the object brings those feel-ings out?

      This statement reminded me of the HIV/AIDS quilt. One can see the quilt objectively. I think the size of the quilt alone gives a good idea of how many people are/were affected. The quilt's subjective and personal appeals are what makes it so effective. Each part of the quilt has a story, family, and a fragment of time that makes it so memorable.

    9. This is why the words we choose in saying what we see have such far reaching importance. It is out of our paraphrase of what we see that all interpretation grows. Speaking of pictures, for which we might substitute ob1ec:ts, Michael Baxandall has noted: "We do not explain pictures: we explain remarks about pictures-or rather, we explain pictures only in so far as we have considered them under some verbal description or specifi-cation ... Every evolved explanation of a picture includes or implies an elaborate description of that picture. "4 Descriptton provides the bridge between the realm of the material and that of concepts and ideas.

      In this context, this statement is very illuminating. In a material culture, such as the one that is being described, the primary focus is on the objects. However, what makes certain objects more important than others in this viewpoint is how words are used to describe. I think a great example of this can be applied to the art world. There are countless talented artists in the world today that have incredible abilities.

      This image looks like a picture taken by a camera, but it is actually hand-drawn. In an internet age, this illustration will get likes and favorites on social media, but there probably are not many long, meaningful comments about it.

      Meanwhile, if you're shown an image like this one, it's instantly recognizable, and I believe that is largely to do with the amount of language used to describe this painting.

  3. Jan 2018
  4. spring2018.robinwharton.net spring2018.robinwharton.net
    1. American Artifacts

      "3-D print your way to freedom and prosperity" by Jathan Sadowski

      "The maker movement embraces a kind of naively apolitical, techno-economic, capitalist utopia that thrives on individualistic value" (Sadowski). This quote has it's own section in this article and provides a strong mantra for the phenomenon that is 3-D printing. Jathan Sadowski, a Ph.D. student at Arizona State University, talks about the concept of 3-D printing and how versatile it can be. The article begins with comments made by Barack Obama a State of the Union address from 2013. "'Three-D printing [has] the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost everything,' he said." Sadowski agrees with this and brings up a lot of points about the benefits of 3-D printing, such as the ability to be creative, ease of accessibility, and individualism and power given to the entrepreneurial mind. However, Sawoski argues that these very benefits fit well into "the Californian Ideology". This theory suggests that high-tech entrepreneurs can bypass the regulations and systems that have been established. However, these systems would not be broken or disrupted, but would actually stay the same. Sadowski makes another strong point about what dangers could be presented in easily-accessible 3-D printing. Since manufacturing regulations can be so easily disregarded when 3-D printing, dangerous products can be made. Sadowski writes about Cody Wilson, "a founder of Defense Distributed, [who] designed, prototyped, and posted plans for a working 3-D-printed plastic handgun he called the Liberator."

      This article was written in 2014, when 3-D printing was still a very new concept and the potential for what could be created and which huge conglomerates could be toppled where boundless. However, the years have past and 3-D printing has slowly crept away from the mainstream media and dinner table conversations. The equipment needed to 3-D print a few years ago was still not consumer-friendly, but now you can buy 3-D printers for a few hundred dollars. Many schools around the United States have 3-D printers that are accessible to schools. I believe that the 3-D printing concept was always destined for small-scale usage. The flexibility to create whatever someone needs works best in a small-scale, because these products being printed do not have to go through the quality control that bigger manufacturers. I think the Californian Ideology did eventually come true, but under a different pretense. I think that the "system" was not impacted by 3-D printing because the bigger financial piece of the pie is the manufacturing of the 3-D printers, not so much the products being printed.

      Source: Sadowski, Jathan. "3-D print your way to freedom and prosperity." Al Jazeera, 17 May 2014, http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2014/5/3d-printing-politics.html.

    2. The key to good description is a rich, nuanced vocabulary. Technically accurate language (nominative, for the most part) plays an important role in this, but ultimately not the most important role which is reserved, per-haps somewhat counter-inruitively, to descriptive modifiers (adjectives) and, most crucially, to terms expressive of the dynamics of mterrelation (verbs, adverbs, prepositions).

      I thought this sentence accurately described what one might feel they lack when reading essays such as this one. The dense language and seemingly abstract concept of objects that Prown and Haltman write about... Prown and Haltman write about the concept of objects in a seemingly philosophical sense. Their use of dense and "nuanced" vocabulary allows for a very meticulous description, but it alienates me as a reader. In comparison, "3-D print your way to freedom and prosperity" takes a similar approach but makes understanding easier. The words chosen to describe concepts like "The Californian Ideology" are rich and nuanced, but using them to talk about a concept/product that is more commonly known in modern-day makes the idea easier to grasp.

    3. The more self-conscious one becomes, the more complex one's rela-tionship co an object becomes, physically and ocularly as well as psycho-logically and experientially. For the purpose of analysis, there is value in isolating different realms of deductive response so that these can be han-Jled more circumspectly.

      This further cements the idea that rich vocabulary is essential for elaborating the emotions, sensations, and descriptions one can create when analyzing an object. The term "self-conscious" has taken a negative connotation in the way we speak today. Many use this term to describe aspects of themselves that they are insecure about, like appearances, emotions, or mental well-being. However, when analyzing an object, having a self-conscious viewpoint can be a benefit.