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Readings in Non-Western Lit:

Communication Theory:
Answer question for chapter 29 for next Thursday
Summarize chapters 33 & 34, answer one question for each for March 23

The Writer’s Mind:
Last revision for family story??
Read assigned pages in book for Thursday

Intro to Writing Arts:
Self-assessment for Friday
Chart for White Paper For Friday
Project One For next week

I just need to breath…and write…and pick my own brain apart…and spill my guts about readings…and….and…and…and…and… .. … .. … .. … 

Enos and Lauer

I finally understand this paper more after our discussion in class. I feel like I can more competently create a blog about it. It probably won’t be too extensive, but it’s all I know.

Aristotle describes rhetoric as the means and criteria for persuading an audience. He explains that invention of an argument, arrangement of your information/points, style, memory, and delivery are the cannons of rhetoric.

As described in class, Aristotle thought of rhetoric as the act of convincing an audience that something is fact. Example: That tree is a maple tree because such and such blah blah blah.

The new rhetoric, as described by Enos and Lauer, focuses on the idea that fact is fact because we say so. Example: That three is a maple because we have decided it is.

New rhetoric revolves around collaborative knowledge forming.

Epistemology: the study of knowledge, “What are the necessary and sufficient conditions of knowledge? What are its sources? What is its structure, and what are its limits? As the study of justified belief, epistemology aims to answer questions such as: How we are to understand the concept of justification? What makes justified beliefs justified? Is justification internal or external to one’s own mind?” (

Heuristics: “to find out or discover” through discovery, research, common sense, educated guess, collaboration, etc.

Swarts : White papers

Okay, for starters, I think I remember Profesor Teston saying to blog about Swats and his white paper. Not just about the information he provided.. We’ll see.

I had never heard of a white paper before this class. I’ve had research papers and other projects, other than writing on a paper that is white, not a clue.

Swarts’s white paper is in an article format, Like you would see in a magazine or something. There’s a division down the center so writing is on both sides of the page. Interesting.

Each bit of information Swarts provides is in an appropriate section, keywords are listed, his purpose is stated. Very neat and reader-friendly I guess you could say.

…That was short.

 Swarts uses headings for all his sections for each of his points or informational bits.
He uses numbers throughout his white paper for his citations. The last page is devoted to all the sources and such he used. Each source is numbered, the numbers can be found within his work. Easy and organized. I like it.

White papers are a lot easier on the eyes and on the brain. The papers are broken up into small blocks of information in ways that do not cause the eyes to search for way they last left off. The brain is helped by the division and headings. Extensive paragraphs do not have to be deciphered and worked through. Important information is made obvious and is easy to find.

I feel like I can breath a bit easier after seeing how Swarts organized, formated and wrote his white paper. Maybe my group’s will turn out just as well? Or at least close?

 Some notable facts included in Swarts’s white paper:

ANT - Actor-Network Theory. In other words, collaboration through Wikipedia by way of human and non-human sources. People input information and their source => the information is analyzed by someone else who happens across the page => the information is edited if needed, elaborated on, deleted, etc.

Acts of collaborating:
Translation- linked pages. Pages are linked based on commonalities. “A process of translation implies a linking that makes the entities difficult to uncouple because their interests become intertwined.” Translations strengthen both works.
Black Boxes: “…a black box forms when people no longer pay attention to the actors that make up the technology, concept, or process and instead start treating the aggregate object and is heterogeneous interrelationships as a single actor [25].” An example is fact building.

Technology Studies

This is my outline from the first two chapters we read for class on writing as a technology. My blogs were messed up before so I am reposting this.

Technology Studies

Ÿ  Technology Studies: examine and verbalize the changes brought on by technologies in writing; “a concerted, focused attempt to examine technologies of writing - historically, theoretically, empirically, and practically” (24)

Ÿ        Scholars should examine all aspects of technology, its advantages and disadvantages

Ÿ  The Enterprise of Technology Studies

Ÿ  To examine and be able to explain how writing is different when a computer is used and to clearly examine those differences

Ÿ  Writing = “individual, an act of mind; cultural, an historically based practice; and material, inherently dependent on physical, space-and-time artifacts” (26)

Ÿ  Technology Studies Crosses Disciplines

Ÿ  “…understand how material technologies both constrain and enable acts of mind, on one hand, and how cultures produce, adapt and are affected by material technologies, on the other hand” (27)

Ÿ  Determining how culture, thinking, and technology affect writing will require the work of several specialists and a range of types of technology study

Ÿ  Specialists: historians, psychologists, social psychologists, organizational behaviorists, critical theorists, educational researchers, rhetoricians, computer scientists, linguists

Ÿ  Collaboration between specialists would be needed to thoroughly understand

Ÿ  “It is probably in these circumstances - where scholars form diverse disciplines work together on common projects - that Technology Studies has the greatest chance of taking hold” (29)

Ÿ  Pg. 29 “Stockholm’s Royal Institute of Technology…”

Ÿ  Technology Studies should be “consciously and studiously interdisciplinary” but should not “shy away from normative studies of value and policy, or on the other, practical studies of development and use” (30)

Ÿ  Technology Studies Focuses on Technology Itself

Ÿ  Empirical studies must begin with the notion that “the” computer does not exist. It is a tool used in many different ways in classrooms, homes, offices, and corporations

Ÿ  Empirical studies should look at the hardware and software used by writers as well as the setting in which they use it

Ÿ  Technological Myths That Impede Technology Studies

Ÿ  People are putting themselves in the position of the receivers or consumers of technology

Ÿ  Myths: Technology is transparent. Technology is all-powerful

Ÿ  Both these myths have the central idea that writing and technology are independent of one another

Ÿ  Technology should not be seen as only technology

Ÿ  It should instead be held at the same scholarly level as writing and culture

Ÿ  The Transparent Technology Myth

Ÿ  Technology is a “distortion less window” (34) - it has not changed writing in any way

Ÿ  Another spin on the myth acknowledges that technology has changed writing, but only goes so far as to say technology has made writing more efficient

Ÿ  The Technology is All-Powerful Myth

Ÿ  Computer technology will have “far-reaching and profound - but essentially one way - effects” (35)

Ÿ  Dangers to the myth: individual uses, motives, cultural habits, and beliefs are beneath technology which determines the uses for itself

Ÿ  “Existing theories, practices, and rhetoric will be useless in the new age of this unique literacy tool, the computer” (35)

Ÿ  A Theoretical Grounding for Technology Studies

Ÿ  Two problems: “the tendency of writing and discourse theorists to fall victim to the dual myths of transparent and all-powerful technology, and the inability of literacy studies broadly conceived to deal with materiality, particularly the embodied materiality of writing” (37)

Ÿ  Classical rhetorical theory and cognitive theory both treat technology as transparent

Ÿ  The Cognitive Theories of Writing

Ÿ  Flower and Hayes - touch indirectly on technology of paper

Ÿ  They treat “translation” the act of putting works down on paper as a mental process instead of a material one

Ÿ  Flower and Hayes do not account for computer technology or any other writing technology other than pen and paper

Ÿ  For de Beograd - mentions technology, including spell-check and the benefits of computer revision when writing his book

Ÿ  Classical Rhetorical Theory

Ÿ  According to Plato, the body and nature are inferior to the mind and are considered dangerous

Ÿ  Augustine - maintains a distinction between knowledge and truth for one and words for another

Ÿ  Frances Yates - ancient art of memorizing; retrieving, imprinting, and improving memory

Ÿ  Yates explained memory as a material based process involving placing and retrieving memories within “architectural structure” (41)

Ÿ  Crowley - argues that the “importance of memory could aid in the construction of a postmodern rhetoric” (42)

Ÿ  Postmodern Theory

Ÿ  Plato sees writing as material and, therefore, suspect

Ÿ  Derrida is useful in Technology Study because he sees writing as much more than material but he does not “provide grounds from which to begin the constructive project of Technology Studies” (43)

Ÿ  Foucault does not address technology but explains how prisons control the behavior of prisoners in a technological way

Ÿ  Foucault does, however, reforms the body/mind distinction which provides and understanding as writing as both a product of the body and mind

Ÿ  Postmodern theories avoid the transparent technology view

Ÿ  Towards a Theory of Technology

Ÿ  Haay’s Goal: “to argue for the materiality of literacy and, more specifically, to explore the relationships between material tools and practice and process of writing” (44)

Ÿ  Our everyday lives are full of technology (examples page 45)

Ÿ  Lave discusses the importance of technology in everyday human practices and the vital need to understand it

Ÿ  Johnson and Connerton: “cognitive activities are learned, in a very real sense, by our bodies” (46)

Ÿ  Their work emphasizes the material world of literacy, how writing, the product of the mind, is bound to the body

Ÿ  Lave - help understand technology and artifacts of technology, and acknowledges cultural tools and cognitive activity

Ÿ  Connerton and Johnson - human actions directly affect the cultural tools and cognitive activity

Facebook vs. Twitter featuring Nardi and O’day!

It’s easy to assume that Twitter and Facebook are one in the same. Both are social networks right? So how different can they be? Well, to start, there are the obvious differences. Facebook includes a profile filled with personal information, picture albums, and loads and loads of applications. Twitter on the other hand provides the oppurtunity for a small profile, you can to inclue one picture, and as far as applications go, so far I haven’t seen any. But they do have one thing that links them in a way. Both Facebook and Twitter provide an oppurtunity to update your status. Ah, but see there is an issue with this too. Audience.

As pointed out in the article my class needed to read, those who read Twitter status updates are different from those who read Facebook status updates. That is not because only certain people are on one and certain people on the other, it isn’t uncommon for people to have an account on both, it is simply because of the ability to either friend, as on Facebook, or follow, as on Twitter. Twitter does not require that a person follow everyone that is following them whereas Facebook requires ‘friends’ to accept each other and view each others posts as they arrive. Twitter only displays the status updates from people you wish to see them from. Also, Facebook allows for commenting and liking on statuses and the such. Twitter allows for you to re-tweet tweets you found interesting without the person you quoting knowing unless they are following you.

So.. It makes more sense for Facebook to be a place where you connect to people in a conversational, social type way. Twitter is a place where you send out information that you think it interesting, things you want to share with whoever is out there to listen.

Nardi and O’day wrote on technologies and how they are view, much like all they other works we have read so far. However, they commented on technologies being used for things they hadn’t initially being intended. Their example was a refrigerator. They are meant to keep things cool right? What about their use as a gallery for all the pictures you drew as a kid? What about all your report cards or photos or postcards or other memorabilia? Facebook and Twitter are already being used for ways unitended when they were first created. This is what causes advances, changes, improvements. This is how technologies are used, as a way to aid us, to help us grow. They do not, however, overpower us, we use them to our advantage and develope them to be better. So back to the first article, “boy is it fun to watch these spaces evolve.”

Writing Technology

Today was the first class of the first module of my Intro to Writing Arts class. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect initially. I would not have guessed that I would be writing a blog for it, creating a twitter account, or using RSS. Well, that’s exactly what happened. I was excited in some ways. We’ll see how it goes.

Prior the class we were asked to read two chapters from a book by Haas (Chris Haas I believe Professor Teston said.) The chapters were about viewing writing as a technology and how technology has changed writing. We didn’t get to discuss it during class this time so we will have to wait until thursday. I am looking forward to discussing the chapters to gain a better understanding and a better grasp on the concepts and what exactly Haas means by the materiality of writing.

The suggestion from Professor Teston about our blog is to write about our assumptions about writing. I think a list would work best for me.

  • writing ideas come when you least expect them
  • it takes perseverance to be successful (as is the case with anything)
  • writing is a writer’s brain in the form of text
  • the medium used to write does not change the fact that it is writing
  • there is always room for improvement

I will probably add to this list the more I think about it, but I think this is a good place to start.

About me

So maybe this post should have come first but who wants to be normal?
This is a tid bit about me, who I am, what I’m trying to do, what I like, and what have you.

My name is Stephanie Coller, I live in Camden County. I have one older sister, a brother-in-law, a niece, an awesome boyfriend, and an adorable ragdoll kitty named Hoshi (Ha-she).

This is my first semester at Rowan. I just transferred from Atlantic Cape Community College where received my Associate’s in Culinary Arts (Baking and Pastry) :) I am now working on a Bachelor’s in Writing Arts. I eventually want to open a coffee shop/bakery and write a book (hopefully get it published too.)

I think I am more of a creative writer than anything else. Hopefully I will work my way to getting a fiction book or two out there someday. They will probably be for young adult readers. I am still working on lengthening my pieces. Maybe I will stick to short stories.

Hobbies: reading, baking, writing, hiking, canoing, camping, paintball, swimming, running, going on adventures, and probably others that I can’t quite think of right now.

Moore reading

The Moore article made a lot of interesting points and made me really evaluate technology and writing. The article explains both the mind and the instrument as technology. Without what, the other would not be of any use. Without the mind, instruments would not exist.

The article continues on to make statements that seem obvious and simple but are hardly thought of because people simply use techonology without really thinking about what it means, how they work, and how the technology helps them function better.

The importance of knowing a little bit about the technologies you used was also mentioned. It allows for unexpected problems that arrise to be fixed without much help or at the least a better understanding of the problem. Aside from the obvious benefits, knowing a little something can save you a lot of troubles.

Latour mentions a “black box effect.” The way I understood it, this is the mindset that dismisses the interworkings of technology and simply focuses on the input and output.

I think it is definitely better to understand how technology works so problems can be fixed, technology can be appreciated, and advancements can be made. Without an understanding of what you are using, how can one expect to make any progress and develope something more efficient?

In terms of writing as a technology, Moore’s article makes it clear that how the words are created is only part of the picture. It does not change the writing just because it is formed by way of a computer, the writer’s mind is still the initial starting place. Technology provides efficiency, but it does not change the mind of a writer.

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