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John McWhorter: How Texting ‘LOL’ Changed Communication - The Atlantic
[on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hA6V_th9rQw ]

"“Today, communication is much more fluid, much more varied, much subtler—it's better,” says John McWhorter, professor of linguistics at Columbia University, author, and frequent contributor to The Atlantic, in a new video from the 2018 Aspen Ideas Festival. A big reason for this advancement in communication is, McWorther argues, the advent of texting—and even more specifically, the proliferation of the acronym “LOL.”

In the video, McWorther explains how LOL “ended up creeping in and replacing involuntary laughter,” and what meant for the new era of informal, nuanced communication. “It used to be that if you were going to write in any real way beyond the personal letter, there were all these rules you were afraid you were breaking—and you probably were,” he says. “It wasn't a comfortable form. You can write comfortably now.”"
johnmcwhorter  texting  texts  lol  2018  communication  language  linguistics  mobile  phones  change  flirting  fluidity  informal  informality  comfort  nuance  optimism 
september 2018 by robertogreco
Boris Anthony on Instagram: “I hate linear narratives. My life, and mind, is made of hyper dimensional networks.”
"I hate linear narratives. My life, and mind, is made of hyper dimensional networks. And yet ALL out media is still linear. Text, video, audio, slide decks… The tyranny of a belief in linear time. But you know what isn't linear? Culture, high-context conversation, the Web…"
linear  linearity  borisanthony  howwethink  cv  texts  text  video  audio  slidedecks  time  tyranny  hyperdimensional  hypertext  reading  howweread  thinking  narrative  culture  conversation 
february 2016 by robertogreco
Nineteenth-Century Disability: Cultures & Contexts
"Nineteenth-Century Disability: Cultures and Contexts is an interdisciplinary collection of primary texts and images about physical and cognitive disability in the long nineteenth century. Each piece has been selected and annotated by scholars in the field, with the aim of helping university level instructors and students incorporate a disability studies perspective into their classes and scholarship through access to contextualized primary sources.

On a basic level, disability studies distinguishes between what is known as the medical model of disability, which sees disability as a personal tragedy that needs to be fixed or overcome through medical intervention, and the social model of disability, which argues that it is not the person with a disability who is defective, but the society that stigmatizes physical difference and builds the world around one standard kind of body ("Disability Definitions" Oliver). Scholarship in disability studies has suggested that the medical model of disability has its roots in the nineteenth century. Disability studies scholar Lennard Davis argues that broadly speaking, “the social process of disabling arrived with industrialization and with the set of practices and discourses that are linked to late eighteenth- and nineteenth-century notions of nationality, race, gender, criminality, sexual orientation” (Enforcing Normalcy 24). As Martha Stoddard Holmes suggests, nineteenth-century thinkers were among the first to see disability as a cause of individual suffering, which has the problematic consequence of minimizing “the importance of the material circumstances that surround all disabilities” while maximizing “the importance of personal agency while minimizing the need for social change” (Fictions of Affliction 28-9).

Following the social model of disability, rather than emphasizing individual impairments such as blindness or lameness, the reader emphasizes the technologies, institutions, and representations in literature and popular culture that shaped ideas about disability. The reader showcases cultural objects such as an ear trumpet in mourning, a journalist’s account of a visit to a school for the Blind, and Eadward Muybridge’s photographs of people with disabilities in motion. It is important to note that not every item in the archive presents a celebratory image of disability. For example, Martin Tupper’s poem “The Stammerer’s Complaint”, presents stammering as a melancholy condition. Yet, taken as a whole, the archive presents a historical picture of how disability was represented and experienced throughout the nineteenth century.

Nineteenth-Century Disability: Cultures & Contexts, has been featured in Hyperallergic, Collector's Weekly, and the Journal of Victorian Culture Online.

The reader currently comprises about 60 annotated items. If you are an academic interested in contributing to the site, please contact us.

Works Cited

• Davis, Lennard. Enforcing Normalcy: Disability, Deafness, and the Body. New York: Verso, 1995.


• Holmes, Martha Stoddard. Fictions of Affliction: Physical Disability in Victorian Culture. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2009.


• Oliver, Mike. "Disability Definitions: The Politics of Meaning." The Politics of Disablement. London: Macmillan, 1990.

How to Use

The material in Nineteenth-Century Disability: Cultures and Contexts is approachable and searchable in several ways:

• Under the Browse tab, readers can view all of the items in the archive as thumbnail images with an excerpt of the text. The Browse tab displays the most recently added items to the archive first. Click through to view the full image and annotation.


• Readers can also browse by the tags associated with each item. The tags are searchable by type of impairment (e.g. “blindness”, “deafness”, “mobility”), by author’s name, and by genre.


• The Timeline covers disability history in the long nineteenth century from 1798 up until the start of World War I in 1914


• Under the Discover tab, readers can explore disability in the nineteenth century by themes such as technology, literature, and institutions.


• Readers interested in scholarly articles on disability may consult the Bibliography

• Readers coming to the site with a specific idea of what they are looking for can use the Advanced Search feature."
disability  images  archives  texts  primarysources  disabilities 
february 2016 by robertogreco
These students learn through text message instead of textbook - Home | Spark with Nora Young | CBC Radio
"Eneza Education is a for-profit company that offers educational tools to students in Kenya through text message.  In a country (and continent) where cellphone penetration is high but internet access is low, they offer a virtual tutor that students can access through a low cost mobile phone. 

Toni Maraviglia is the co-founder & CEO of Eneza Education. She talks to Nora about the 500,000 students already taking courses with Eneza."
texts  texting  kenya  education  sms  eneza  mobile  phones  cellphones  tonimaraviglia 
december 2015 by robertogreco
79 Theses on Technology. For Disputation. | The Infernal Machine
"Alan Jacobs has written seventy-nine theses on technology for disputation. A disputation is an old technology, a formal technique of debate and argument that took shape in medieval universities in Paris, Bologna, and Oxford in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. In its most general form, a disputation consisted of a thesis, a counter-thesis, and a string of arguments, usually buttressed by citations of Aristotle, Augustine, or the Bible.

But disputations were not just formal arguments. They were public performances that trained university students in how to seek and argue for the truth. They made demands on students and masters alike. Truth was hard won; it was to be found in multiple, sometimes conflicting traditions; it required one to give and recognize arguments; and, perhaps above all, it demanded an epistemic humility, an acknowledgment that truth was something sought, not something produced.

It is, then, in this spirit that Jacobs offers, tongue firmly in cheek, his seventy-nine theses on technology and what it means to inhabit a world formed by it. They are pithy, witty, ponderous, and full of life. And over the following weeks, we at the Infernal Machine will take Jacobs’ theses at his provocative best and dispute them. We’ll take three or four at a time and offer our own counter-theses in a spirit of generosity.

So here they are:

1. Everything begins with attention.

2. It is vital to ask, “What must I pay attention to?”

3. It is vital to ask, “What may I pay attention to?”

4. It is vital to ask, “What must I refuse attention to?”

5. To “pay” attention is not a metaphor: Attending to something is an economic exercise, an exchange with uncertain returns.

6. Attention is not an infinitely renewable resource; but it is partially renewable, if well-invested and properly cared for.

7. We should evaluate our investments of attention at least as carefully and critically as our investments of money.

8. Sir Francis Bacon provides a narrow and stringent model for what counts as attentiveness: “Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.”

9. An essential question is, “What form of attention does this phenomenon require? That of reading or seeing? That of writing also? Or silence?”

10. Attentiveness must never be confused with the desire to mark or announce attentiveness. (“Can I learn to suffer/Without saying something ironic or funny/On suffering?”—Prospero, in Auden’s The Sea and the Mirror)

11. “Mindfulness” seems to many a valid response to the perils of incessant connectivity because it confines its recommendation to the cultivation of a mental stance without objects.

12. That is, mindfulness reduces mental health to a single, simple technique that delivers its user from the obligation to ask any awkward questions about what his or her mind is and is not attending to.

13. The only mindfulness worth cultivating will be teleological through and through.

14. Such mindfulness, and all other healthy forms of attention—healthy for oneself and for others—can only happen with the creation of and care for an attentional commons.

15. This will not be easy to do in a culture for which surveillance has become the normative form of care.

16. Simone Weil wrote that ‘Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity’; if so, then surveillance is the opposite of attention.

17. The primary battles on social media today are fought by two mutually surveilling armies: code fetishists and antinomians.

18. The intensity of those battles is increased by a failure by any of the parties to consider the importance of intimacy gradients.

19. “And weeping arises from sorrow, but sorrow also arises from weeping.”—Bertolt Brecht, writing about Twitter

20. We cannot understand the internet without perceiving its true status: The Internet is a failed state.

21. We cannot respond properly to that failed-state condition without realizing and avoiding the perils of seeing like a state.

22. If instead of thinking of the internet in statist terms we apply the logic of subsidiarity, we might be able to imagine the digital equivalent of a Mondragon cooperative.

23. The internet groans in travail as it awaits its José María Arizmendiarrieta."

[continues on]

[A collection of follow-ups and responses is accummulating here:
http://iasc-culture.org/THR/channels/Infernal_Machine/tag/79-theses-on-technology/

For example: “79 Theses on Technology: On Attention”
http://iasc-culture.org/THR/channels/Infernal_Machine/2015/03/79-theses-on-technology-on-attention/

And another round-up of responses:
http://text-patterns.thenewatlantis.com/2015/04/more-on-theses.html ]
alanjacobs  anthropology  culture  digital  history  technology  attention  dunning-krugereffect  anosognosia  pleasure  ethics  writing  howwewrite  jaronlanier  alextabattok  stupidity  logic  loki  cslewis  algorithms  akrasia  physical  patheticfallacy  hacking  hackers  kevinkelly  georgebernardshaw  agency  philosophy  tommccarthy  commenting  frankkermode  text  texts  community  communication  resistance  mindfulness  internet  online  web  josémaríaarizmendiarrieta  simonwiel  society  whauden  silence  attentiveness  textualist  chadwellmon  surveillance  2015 
april 2015 by robertogreco
Everything wants to be digital | booktwo.org
"Everything beckons to us to perceive it. My appreciation of a contemporary text is an appreciation of the network: will this text link me to further texts which will, knowingly or unknowingly, connect me to other texts that will expand or heighten my appreciation, not of it or the other text, but holistically, will raise the network value of texts and experiences in general. And the texts want this too: they are longing for the network.

Literature always adapts to the most disseminable state, and that state, now, is far more complex than our literatures have addressed, or our mental models, our metaphors, have prepared us to be. They can’t help it, but it doesn’t mean the apophatic silence is hand-waving: it is a necessary condition of the present.

The network is an emergent property of the internet…

Everything wants to be, and being is a hybrid, digital state now. Everything wants to be digital. It aspires to that higher form, to be capable of being networked…"
augmentedvalue  texts  howwelearn  howweread  literature  networkeffects  networkeffect  information  freedomofinformation  digitalization  ebooks  robingandy  flatland  poetry  craigdworkin  rolandbarthes  internet  online  web  networkedreading  2012  reading  books  digital  jamesbridle 
december 2012 by robertogreco
Texts
"Texts is a new kind of editor for creation of text structure and content. Books, articles and blog posts written once in Texts can be processed and published in many formats"
publishing  writing  osx  mac  windows  texteditor  texts  twitter  software  macosx  markdown 
february 2012 by robertogreco
We Can't Teach Students to Love Reading - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education [Too much to quote]
"I don't think of the distinction btwn readers & nonreaders—better, those who love reading & those who don't so much—in terms of class, which may be a function of my being a teacher of literature rather than a sociologist, but may also be a function of my knowledge that readers can be found at all social stations…much of the anxiety about American reading habits…arises from frustration at not being able to sustain a permanent expansion of "the reading class" beyond what may be its natural limits…

American universities are largely populated by people who don't fit either category [readers & extreme readers]—often really smart people for whom the prospect of several hours attending to words on pages (pages of a single text) is not attractive…

All this is to say that the idea that many teachers hold today, that one of the purposes of education is to teach students to love reading—or at least to appreciate & enjoy whole books—is largely alien to the history of education."
teaching  reading  learning  attention  alanjacobs  nicholascarr  books  academia  extremereaders  autodidacts  concentration  joyofreading  unschooling  deschooling  allsorts  allkindsofminds  2011  clayshirky  stevenpinker  staugustine  virgil  cicero  georgesteiner  annblair  studying  children  sirfrancisbacon  francisbacon  infooverload  filterfailure  text  texts  mariccasaubon  peternorvig  jonathanrose  homer  dante  shakespeare  attentiveness  kindle  hyperattention 
august 2011 by robertogreco
ICAM150/VIS159 | UCSD | winter 2009 [class schedule / readings / lecture notes]
"All readings for this class will be available online at no charge. The readings include articles and chapters from book drafts by the instructor and additional historical or theoretical texts by other authors. The students will be also asked to study the web sites describing particular cultural project, people, and art movements covered in lectures and sections…"

"In this class we will discuss the relationships between art, culture, and technology by focusing on two historical periods: beginning of the 20th century and the current period."

[Quotes from syllabus: http://manovich.net/icam150_winter2008/icam150_winter2011syl.html ]
levmanovich  media  history  art  ucsd  free  texts  technology  toread 
january 2011 by robertogreco
The Educational Benefit of Ugly Fonts | Wired Science | Wired.com
"direct test yet of the benefits of disfluency…researchers began by getting supplementary classroom material…from a variety of teachers. (Subjects included English, Physics, U.S. History & Chemistry.) Then, researchers changed fonts on all materials, transforming the fluent text into a variety of disfluent formats, such Monotype Corsiva, Comic Sans Italicized & Haettenshweiler. Because all of the teachers included in the study taught at least 2 sections of the same class, the psychologists were able to conduct a neatly controlled experiment. One group of students was given the classroom materials with the disfluent fonts, while the other group was taught with the usual mixture of Helvetica & Arial. The font size remained the same.

After several weeks of instruction, the students were then tested on their retention of the material. In every class except chemistry, the students in the disfluent condition performed significantly better than those in the control-fluent condition."
jonahlehrer  education  fonts  psychology  learning  research  reading  understanding  memory  difficulty  disfluency  tcsnmy  classideas  teaching  schools  texts  text  comicsans 
january 2011 by robertogreco
Tuttle SVC: Readers and Writers vs. Information Processors
"English teachers do not and should not believe that people "access and use information." That is not the way we think about the world, and it is not how the world works.
information  english  reading  writing  teaching  learning  signs  signifiers  texts  culture 
november 2008 by robertogreco
En Corea del Sur, utilizarán desde este año libros de textos digitales / Internacionales - PPN.com.py
"Desde este año, estudiantes de la escuela primaria recorrerán línea a línea libros de texto digitales y cliquearán en ellos, interactuando también con los maestros online (en línea), según un informe del sitio Corea Hoy."
korea  books  education  learning  schools  digital  ebooks  texts  technology 
january 2008 by robertogreco

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