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Class Notes 2/21/2011

leamirella's picture

Class Notes 2/21

For Wednesday: Watch the 85 minute movie "Conceiving Ada" which is on reserve at Canaday library. Think about the movie in response to Hayles' call for new media and think about how you would handle this material in a 'digital humanities' mode.

For next week: Come to class prepared to 'speak as' an individual whose life or work circumstances shaped, or were impacted by, an interesting interaction of gender, information, science and/or technology. Chose your person by Friday and include this in your post. The reading for next week is in preparation for this.


Section 1:

Last week, we looked at information and how it could be defined. Liz came up with this definition in class:

"Information is organized data or signals that has the potential to be meaningful in an exchange."

Tangerines brought up the idea that information has to be meaningful to at least one party. For example, if person A talks to person B in a language person B does not understand, it is still information because it is information that person A finds meaningful.

leamirella then asked whether information had to be received which was like what was asked last week.

PhreNic then made the point that information emphasizes the external so that it can be received and a transaction of information can be made. izemmahi then agreeed with this and built upon it as she said even information that you have youself (in perhaps the form of monologues) can be externalized. 

Liz then ended this discussion about information by asking:

Is the information created before or after the exchange? and Is meaning created before/after the exchange?

Section 2:

Afterthoughts from the forum:

- You can use information to obscure meaning. Rubikscube posted about the importance of crytology and fawei posted talked about how what we read/ignore is affected by what we are taught or trying to find.

Most posts did not seem to think that there was a reading crisis, rather, most people seemed to think that the different types of reading that are emerging now help us learn in a multitude of different ways.

Shin106811 and MSA322 both discussed how the movement into the different types of reading is natural.

Section 3:

Observation of the picture.

Apocalipsis talked about the information that you take from the photo is influence psychologically. kelliot agreed with this and then included that we are trained to look at the background or the foreground when looking at an image. Aybala50 pointed out that you can't see both the dolphins and the lovers at the same time. Shin106811 said that he had seen the image before and that what you see also depends on age. PhreNic said that the image has both components (the dolphins and the lovers) and that it is potential information. We are the ones who provide the meaning. leamirella said that this links back to the idea of the encoder/decoder - there is information which then passes through us, decoded and then meaning is thus created. Fawei pointed out that that what you think you see (for example, if you only saw the couple) is not all the information that is there.

Section 4:

Hayles: Rethinking how we think.

The class thought of how their brain looked like. (Taking inspiration from An Active Mind's online post about her mind.)

We then thought of what the difference between the brain and the mind:

- The mind is how you see your brain

- The mind extends beyond the physical boundaries of the body but the brain is still in charge as you wouldn't have a mind without it.


Thinking about web projects:

"Central focus should be on creating media appropriate for projects" - Hayles

Try to use different media/alternate modes fo your next paper.




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