As the semester is coming to an end, I would like to reflect on what we have discussed. Some of my main takeaways are that “things” are just things until we notice them as something more than that, technology is changing and we should think about how we are reading texts and who is actually doing the writing– us or technology, and that literature can be more than simply literature, it can be art.
At the very beginning of the semester, we discussed the idea that “things” are only things until we notice them as something more. We talked about “Thing Theory,” and we even discussed this idea after a couple of the other readings. This is the idea that we do not notice objects as what they are until they break or need our attention in some way. One example we talked about was if there was a green chair and something that you needed was set on top of that chair, you would likely ask someone to get you that object “on that green thing.” You would likely not recognize the green chair as more than a green “thing” until it was broken or needed to be moved. This was an interesting idea to me, I had not heard it before. It made me think about how I view the objects in my house.
Technology is always changing. We first talked about how we read books. Personally, I said I would rather read a physical text rather than online. Some people said they like being able to flip through the pages, they remember where certain parts of the book are better in physical texts, and that ebooks or online texts make their eyes hurt, or make it harder to focus. We then talked about who is actually doing the writing these days. There were comments made about how computers are only as smart as humans and some other comments about how we, as humans, are only pushing buttons, while computers are processing and forming the letters, therefore the computers could be the ones doing the writing. This idea stood out to me because I had not previously thought about who was doing the writing. I just assumed that people were the ones doing the writing, but after hearing both sides of the argument, I am not sure where I stand. It makes sense that computers are technically writing, but they are writing for us. We still have to tell the computer what to write, and how to write it.
Literature can be art, not just the story within a book, but how it is shown. We looked at electronic literature and even the text Between Page and Screen. It was interesting to see how people could come up with these ideas. I did not find these convenient to read, in fact, it took far more effort to get through most of these texts. I usually found myself focused on the structure and how the words were presented to me rather than what the text was really about. It will be interesting to see how this type of literature evolves over time, but I cannot see a world where people prefer to hold a physical book up to a screen in order to read it. The world is all about making things easier, and that form of reading is far from easy.