Reading Machines

This week’s readings were interesting in different ways. Reading Machines was particularly intriguing to me as it introduced and described how computers can be used as “reading machines” to explore and discover literacy paths. In addition to being a very thought provoking book, I feel like this is no light reading material. The language used to communicate this literacy algorithm had me confused most of the time, I’m still not sure that I know exactly what to do with this text.

As far as the other two readings, I found them both to be fascinating all around. I really appreciated the format that the content was presented in both Jon Bois’ 17776 and What is code. Though at first I was confused with the format…  feeling dumbfounded, I had to double check that I clicked on the right link and that I was reading the right material. It was definitely a new experience. nonetheless it tied in well with the topic we discussed in class two weeks ago when discussing Between Page and Screen. I think that because this was such an odd and new reading experience, I feel like I was mostly focused on the format of the content being present and less on the actual content being presented.

Between Page and Screen

This week’s reading was a unique experience, primarily because it was different. I really found it fascinating the way in which the book Between Page and Screen requires a computer to be able to access the content in the book. Though I must say that having access to the content in the book can be a hassle for those who are not tech-friendly, it provides a new perspective towards reading. This combination of technology with literature made me feel like I was experiencing something familiar but different for the firs time.

The content of the book was interesting as the author uses poetic language between the main characters. I really liked how the author used P and S to identify the protagonist of the book, in addition to representing the Page and Screen aspect of the title.  It’s really cool how the author literally named the book “between Page and Screen” -referring to the content in the book being a dialogue between P and S.  This was so creative, on top of using both paper and a screen to share this book, the author emphasizes the title through both the language and the platforms it requires to access the content of the book.




Reading Writing Interfaces

This week’s reading was a lot less complex and easier to follow than past readings. I feel like the topic and the way this was written allowed me to find more manful connections to the way technology has affected my experiences. Furthermore, this made me think about technology in a broader spectrum, rather than just my laptop and my phone.

This reading analyzes the interfaces of our everyday lives and our usage of smartphones/computers/cars/appliances and everything that has influence our way of living life as well as thinking about different elements in life. I found it fascinating the way in which the author talks about how much technology has really affected our access to technology. As I much as I’d like to think that technology has opened up a whole world filled with information, a classmate and I were discussing how technology has also limited us to information in a way. For instance, yes technology has allowed us to find any the of information online, however because it is alway s accessible to us, we don’t always take the steps necessary to gain that information, whereas when no we had limited technology available, we would have to go out of our way to find something we can now find in seconds.

Plowing The Dark

This week we read Plowing The Dark, a novel that was really interesting to read. Though not as difficult to get through as past reading, I found myself having to read it in chunks. With so much going on, I wasn’t sure how exactly if I got everything that I could have out of it. In addition, the title and its connection to the actual story still doesn’t seem obvious to me. What did you all think?

Thinking about the two narratives in the novel, beginning with the war prisoner, Taimur, and how he spent his time trapped in a room with no contact to the outside world. The second narrative follows an artist Aide and a computer crew who work together to create virtual real worlds.  Both narrative connect in a way that shows what all can happen in a room.

Though this novel provides these two narratives, there also exist many other important events. The drama within the characters love life and friendships and all the issues that lead to this connection between the narratives.

Paper Knowledge

This week we read Paper Knowledge by Lisa Gitelman, it definitely took me by surprise because it was better than I expected. Gitelman took what could have been a very dry subject and gave it life.  It is obvious that Gitelman did her research on the subject and explored it thoroughly. Gitelman explores the notion of what a document is and how it originated, not only based on research, but also through anecdote filled stories of the declining use of old technology as the new technology emerges. Throughout the text Gitelman splits up the content into four chapters, in which each chapter draws attention to a different document genre. Though I found it hard to follow at times, I found the content to be interesting.

A quote that I thought was interesting to me was from the introduction.

“What had been published first as instruments calling the slave system into complicity, to aid in slaves’ recapture, were now republished as instruments of moral suasion whereby the slave system became paradoxically enrolled in the antislavery cause: slavery “as it is” condemns itself. Because it implies accountability, knowing and showing together constitute an epistemic practice to which ethics and politics become available, even necessary.” (pg4)

I’m curious, what do you think about this?

The Intuitionist

This was an intense text to read due to it being so dense and very wordy.  Even though I had to take breaks while reading this text, I thought it was soooo weird, yet so fascinating. Though Whitehead never really explicitly mentions the time or place of the novel, he provides enough explicit details of the setting, events/topics that were current at that time.

Unlike the other stories we’ve read, this book focuses on elevators as its technological advancement. Even though an elevator is something that we use often today, I couldn’t help but to think about the way technology has advanced. By this I mean that we are so privileged to love in a technologically advanced society that we don’t always realize how much we really depend on technology daily. For example, as weird as this sounds, I never considered or thought of elevators as anything more than a fast and easy way to get to my destination. Today however, as I took the elevator to the third floor of the library, I couldn’t help but to admire it and think about how great it is to have something like this. Without even knowing it, this book made me think about things from a new perspective. Though I realize that the book also discusses social issues, I think that the purpose of this novel is to get us to think about society and the issues that we have today, compared to the issues that from the past. It seems almost as if the social issues from the past, continue to exist today- just in a more modern way. Just like technology continues experiences its own modern tech-issues today.

Semester Project Draft 2:

After taking some time to figure out how to get started with my semester project, I finally came up with some ideas.  For example, I’m thinking about conducting a survey where older generations who did not have that much access to technology during school – so people like my parents- and those who are currently in school now, using technology daily. Though i’m not sure what kind of questions I would use, I’m thinking of including questions like

(1) Do you think that kids should have access to technology in during school hours?

(2) Is technology a helpful tool for students learning, or is it a distraction?

(3) How often do you use technology?

(4) Do you prefer reading e-text or hard copies?

and so forth, -basically focusing on their own perspective on the use of technology.  I’m hoping to find out if their is any correlation between the each generation and their responses.

In addition, I’m thinking about conducting a short study with the students I currently work with. So, thinking about our class discussion on how we prefer to read literature (hard copy, e-text, audio ), I want students to experience 3 short stories using all three forms hard text, e-text, and audio and then asking them comprehension questions of each story, whether they liked on over the other, or if they disliked one the most. I’m not completely sure about this last part, but i really wanted to do something to include along these lines.  If you have any suggestions on how I could make this work, please comment. I’d love to hear some input from a different perspective.

Track Changes

To be honest, this week’s piece was a bit more challenging to get through. The book Track Changes by Matthew Kirschenbaum was a bit more challenging than the previous readings since I felt like it was difficult to keep up with. In addition, the language and vocabulary that was used throughout the text was much more complex than previous texts, thus making it incredibly difficult to focus on the reading. It could be that the book’s focus on technology is a lot more advance than I anticipated, and it’s not really something I have ever really thought about to this extent. Furthermore, the book’s style on the other hand was interesting to me. It doesn’t solely focus on a few characters to narrate the story, on the contrary it’s a collection of stories of many authors and the word processors they used. I also found it interesting that the text included more than just the collection of stories, that is, the book also includes a bunch of pages filled with notes. Though this book traces the history of word processing, I think it also illustrates the writing process, how you get from a full brain and empty sheet of paper to a finished book.(How we get our thoughts n written words)



Semester Project Proposal

Thinking about what my project should be about, I have thought about how I could make this project connect to something that fulfills the criteria, but also interest me.  As a future teacher, I am around elementary students a lot, so I really want to research the way technology and reading have modified the way students are now learning and reading today in comparison to when technology wasn’t used as much. After reading the pieces by Sloan and Flusser, I feel that this connection between technology and reading in comparison to time, is worth writing about. That is, I want to focus on analyzing the way that technology and reading have impacted one another throughout time, and more importantly the role that these two very incredible resources, play in the lives of elementary students.

This is obviously still very raw, but I really want to do something along these lines. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please feel free to comment. I’m still very indecisive so any type of feedback helps!

24-Hour Bookstore

I really enjoyed this novel, as it kept me intrigued the entire time.  In MR. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, the characterClay is a design graduate whose life changed after he was laid off from his job at a company that focused on creating algorithm-based bagels. Clay soon finds himself working in a bookstore that isn’t very busy but has the same customers reputedly visiting. The way Sloan describes this bookstore and the way clay portrayed it made me think that there had to be more to this bookstore. As the novel continues, clay realizes that there has to be more to this bookstore, and there is. With the help of some high-tech friends, clay realizes that the bookstore has a backroom filled with one of a kind books, things get interesting. I feel that Sloan uses this novel to show how technology and literature complement one another and are equally valuable. I really liked that the author, Sloan, uses a tech-friendly character like Clay to demonstrate a continuous connection between books and computers. That is, allowing a design graduate to explore the walls of, what the novel describes as a regular corner bookstore, made me feel like clay could be a character that most of society today can relate to. Overall, I feel that this novel emphasizes the beauty of reading, regardless of how one choses to do it.