The E-Mail Novel

I really enjoyed reading "Kind of Blue." I thought the story itself was compelling and it was nice to have the reading broken up into little pieces (e-mails). E-mail is an interesting platform for a novel because it is virtually all dialogue. We only know what the characters themselves know (either they have written the e-mails or they have received them). Granted, we have acess to the e-mail boxes of many characters, so we have slightly more information, but all of the information we're reading was read by at least two characters.

more wiki love


well, i finally put some more stuff on the wiki. add to it as you wish. also, i'm interested to know whether anyone gets this reference, so please let me know.


Reading about the gadgets in the Diamond Age is like experiencing any of the other new mediums through which we've read/experienced literary forms in this class. I always have to understand the gadget by likening it to a form I already know and then branching off from there, in the same way that we can't seem to read new media without thinking of our experiences with the novel. The Primer is of course the most advanced hypertext novel that could exist. Don't know the definition of the word you're reading?

the text/machine, the existence of the text itself?

I suppose I should have written this post for last class, but since I'm a horrible horrible person and didn't I'm just going to use this space to clarify my understanding of Aarseth's "text machine," the idea that intrigued me most in his book Cybertext. From what I gathered, Aarseth's grievances and main points seem to be as follows:

  • the technique of "theoretical imperialism" might be a good starting point, but we shouldn't be so quick to assume it correctly analyzes all forms of new media

more facade


well, i managed to get them to stay together. i don't think they're very happy though. also, i think that very little of what i type in affects the game at all. here's a partial transcript of my "generated stageplay":

Andrew, I know what you're hinting at...


about me...

Do you two want to hear the honest truth? Huh?

Andrew, do you want that?

let's eat

No, Andrew, just, yes or no, do you want to hear the truth?

(ANDREW comforts grace.)


i'm hungry




facade is crazy. i've played one round so far. i thought they didn't hear what i said at all, because they almost never responded to me. but then, a little way in, trip said "oh, i've heard what you've been saying tonight" and then pretty accurately listed off a few things i said. the ai can't be that good - they haven't made a program that can come close to passing a turing test yet, i don't think. still pretty impressive. something about the gameplay is really engaging, in a way i didn't find with adventure or zork.

Where are the Vishnu Cookies?

Meant to post this thought last week after we spent a lot of class talking about facebook. One thing we talked about was the difficulty of labeling identity constructs. What do we call that part of someone that is their facebook profile/blog personality/ virtual body?

term project

well, i've barely started thinking about my term project and already it has taken a different form. because the romans borrowed so many myths (all of their cool ones) whole cloth from the greeks, it's proving nearly impossible for me to find a myth that exists only in latin documents (i.e. ones that i can read).


I thought I would make this a new thread so it would be a little more immediate and present.

zork, adventure

i have found these games really, really frustrating. it's not at all intuitive what you are allowed to do and what you are not allowed to do. it seems like there's a logic to the games that you have to get used to, and it's a very different from how i usually think. i can imagine this sort of game being really, really cool with a better parser, but these early versions make me want to kill the computer. actually a bunch of times i tried to kill random objects out of anger ("kill rainbow," "kill grating,") and the game made some smart-ass remarks. that was probably the most fun part so far.

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