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Geeky Mom Discussion

sgb90's picture

 We began class with a short, yet involved, discussion on plagiarism and the values of originality and authenticity. Someone claimed that plagiarism is not a new issue, but that the Internet makes it more evident and possibly augments the problem. Some of us worried that plagiarism taken to its extreme will limit the flow of ideas, but this was countered with the argument that if everyone plagiarized, there would be no new ideas. We also debated the difference between authenticity and originality. It was suggested that authenticity requires effort and individual thought. Some of us suggested that a work is only authentic if it somehow reinterprets or builds upon others' ideas rather than directly taking them without further contribution.

The conversation then turned to Geeky Mom's blog. Each of us summarized our reactions to her blog. One person celebrated the fact that it was unexpected by breaking stereotypes of motherhood. Other had the (positive or negative) experience of being a voyeur. We explored the possible link between bloggers and video gamers and decided that the link was somewhat coincidental and it also depends on what types of video games someone plays...if the games are socially interactive, then a person may be more likely to enjoy the (ideally) conversational aspect of blogs. Someone raised a question about the ethics of portraying others in a blog. Geeky Mom portrayed personal details of her family's life in her blog. How might her family members feel about how they are being represented? We also mentioned the idea of her blog being "character-driven." 

We also examined what the meaning(s) of Geeky Mom's blog might be. A couple of us wondered what her intention in starting the blog was. Geeky Mom started the blog as a means to establish connections with others, and yet what sort of connections (if any) are possible upon the basis of monologue? Perhaps blogs are not capable of living up to their democratic ideal? This ties in with Geeky Mom's own sense of "benevolent dictatorship."

At the end of the discussion, Professor Dalke brought up an interesting point that was raised in Geeky Mom's blog--that of the productivism mentality. How valuable is it to be constantly producing? I thought it was a somewhat ironic question given the context (a small liberal arts college where it seems all we do is produce ideas and thought, then only to go on producing in careers, to keep producing in society...to what end? I spent way too long producing this summary, perhaps as long as I spent experiencing the class. There's definitely absurdity in that.) 

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