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Grokking on the Internet

Day 27 of Emerging Genres

Grokking on the Internet

"The teacher's failings in which the students ripen...
this error is the sign of love." (Lewis Hyde)

What might Stranger in a Strange Land: Grokking in the Americas

add to our knowledge and understanding of the genre of blogs?

What do we know now, that we didn't a month ago?

What illuminations came while writing your papers?

Thoughts and threads from the forum over the past two weeks,
about the connections between writing a self, a blog, a community, a history:

1. genre determines the structure and rules;

2. the genre of the blog (can be) distinctive in its open,
participatory quality, both random and emergent;

3. the self who writes is also under construction,
changed by (the endistancing act of) its own writing;

4. perhaps this happens more quickly than in conventional writing,
because time speeds up on-line;

5. perhaps it happens more efficiently than in face-to-face conversation,
because there's time to think.

What do you think?
How might such a process actually intervene to change the world--
and how its history is written?

Hannah on genres in general (hah) and how they relate to thing Juan Díaz talked about was...fantasy/history/dicatorships all have the same structure in that they are controlled, self-contained worlds that have their own rules...I thought this was amazing. It's like genre is everywhere, because genre is the rules...Díaz said that there is something "sinister" about our desire for fantasy/fiction, because it is so closely related to our acceptance of other rules/realities..If anyone can formulate a genre, then anything can hapen within the "world" of that genre--from unicorns to genocide.

Calderon on emergence of genre is all over the place: we the new generations (genre) need to break down this old code and create maybe a new...meaning....language in the political sphere is a construction of what "might" suit the current time....this code changes....and society changes along with it sometimes....So emergence of genre is not only literary, but also social....I think that the randomness is what I very much like about blogs. It has no...code; it has just whatever words one wants to leave....

Christina's challenge: Where is the final destination of each posting?...there is no end to the story...

& Christina's response: are you saying that the definition or outline of what was considered 'human' changed? That the genre of 'human' is always changing?...this reminds me of a basic mathematical concept. When there is a moving object, you cannot define its velocity and its position at the same time....this relates to this concept of ...perpetual change...because meaning is hugely extracted based on any previous meanings....

Calderon's Yes!!! Yes. I believe that we are a genre in constant development...we are like a public blog, those who contribute, participate, and not afraid to be known, write the book....we people are a work of literature that try to keep the good old chapters and try to write new ones.

Hannah's definitions: There's a parallel between writing a blog and "writing" history as it happens...people can build up systems or structures of meaning that will allow for events to take place...that never would take place outside of it....The world "definition" is a good one for this conversation, since it means to set limits and make something "finite." The limits (of governments, blogs, what is a human, etc) are always shifting and changing....the genres never stop changing.

Hannah also wanted to a blog, then, an "ephemeral archive"? Seems like an oxymoron, but at the same time kind of fitting....Jorge Luis Borges...writes a lot about the disconnect between the writer and his/her writing, and between past and present selves...nothing he wrote could express who he really was....his thoughts were "redefining" him (in the way Calderon suggests above)constantly, so he could never read his own writing and totally identify with it. Maybe this sense of alienation from academic writing is only a more noticeable...form of this alienation from all writing...less of a bloggy question than a textual one in general....

Calderon: Kate Thomas's blog...feels very much like a dictatorship...I believe that one of the characteristics of blogs is to alow the exchange of thoughts...a blog works very much like history..I like the fact that there are many postings it seems like an evolution, an emergence of thoughts within the blog...Simone de Beauvoir...recognizes that all human beings have within them the potential for transcendence....humans should strive to always change into "others."

Hannah wouldn't call it a dictatorship: I wouldn't be so quick to create a metaphorical relationship between the political sphere we're talking about and blogs...the two are just so different--in substance and intent--that the comparison you made seemed extreme....

Alexandra: many people are hailing the blog as the medium with which they can finally expres their true self. Which seems a bit ridiculous...This immediacy harmful to the discovery of the changes in one's self....That's why academic writing is useful, it gives you separation from yourself so that you can easily evaluate and understand how you evolve.

Christina on the connection to Borges and the constructed personas that we commonly use...a surfacing of the 'true' or a covering...really a part of our real selves or is it a means to conceal certain chosen facets of our real selves?

Hannah: your own person is constantly changing, so putting anything into writing is problematic if you are trying to convey your "real" self...a constructed persona seves both to cover and hide our "real" selves, in that with every word we write online we are choosing to put forth some aspect of ourselves and to leave others "usaid," unrevealed.

Al on Genre Quandary: I do think [Syllabub's] approach is more authorial. She exercises much more control over the site....I think the most interesting classification..compared the form of a blog to the form of a bound book. It houses many genres, many types. It is very much its own form physically, but will almost undoubtedly be classified by the...content of the language it houses.

Calderon: her blog is not very open....blogs are known for the sense of community response they have....
The fact that people are eager to hear...doesn't mean that it is a legitimate blog. It means that readers are waiting for a story they can admire...what I am interested in is contributing to the process of its development, not admiring a great writer....great stories not welcome participation....blogs are so popular because the readers can become the writers, not because the readers can comment on a great story.

Louisa: Do you think that your issues...arise from the fact that her writing style doesn't invite feedback, or that she just doesn't have a community that engages with her properly?

Christina re proper upatake: Freadman would argue that it is Syllabub's fault for not ensuring a proper uptake. Then again, if her uptake is so efficient that no one has any questions or if her goal is to leave people speechless, may she has achieved what she wants.

Marina on Syllabus: Reading information doesn't seem like participation or community building to me.

Marina on LJ: It is restrictive and oesn't seem to be open to the same kind of conversation blogging invites.

Claire, just looking back through webpostings: I realized that one has a lot of comments on it....a small community has popped up on this one post that I didnt' think anyone else would ever read.

Paul, on hybridity: I was particularly intrigued by the question of whether a conversation published on line is or is not "writing"....My sense is that what's critical is...whether it is offered and taken in the spirit of ongoing on Serendip involves promote ongoing change rather than to settle anything, and so for me satisfies the desiderata of conversation. And it may in fact do so in some ways better than vocal face to face conversation since one has time/space to do some reflective thinking in the interstices of the exchange. In this sense Serendip exchange is a hyrbrid form, somewhere between published writing and informal verbal conversation.

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