Technology and Culture

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MediaCommons, Computers and Writing, etc.

Early this week, I participated in a few days' long meeting about MediaCommons, and I'm excited about where it's going. If you're going to be at Computers and Writing, I hope you'll check out my presentation about MC. The presentation will be in the format of a user's guide to MC, after the fashion of Collin's presentation at CCCC, which was terrific. Here's my abstract:

Peer-to-Peer Review, Metadata, and Distant Reading: Introducing MediaCommons, a New Scholarly Network

MediaCommons is a project of the Institute for the Future of the Book. A scholarly network-cum-academic press, MediaCommons will take advantage of the affordances of web technology to create what has been termed a peer-to-peer review process. This process will be transparent, onymous, and publicly accessible online. Like the CCC Online archives, MediaCommons will use metadata including traffic, Technorati tracking, and Google Analytics data in order to assess the circulation of scholarly discourse about new media. We encourage scholars to use images, audio, and video in their projects; reviewers may also post their comments in the form of podcasts or videos if they like. This presentation will serve as a user's guide to MediaCommons, a brief review of existing MediaCommons initiatives such as In Media Res, and an opportunity for the audience to ask questions and offer valued feedback about the project.

Now if I can just manage to do something on Sunday, I will actually be presenting every day of the conference. Behold my current C&W schedule:

Thursday, May 17, 1 pm-4 pm

Getting Started With Open Source Software

Bradley Dilger, Matt Barton, David Blakesley, Troy Hicks, Clancy Ratliff, Charles Lowe, Jeremy Tirrell

Friday, May 18, 10:30-11:45

H. Web Sensible Selves: Individual and Institutional Identities in Digital Writing
Darren Cambridge: Deep-Web Sensible Selves: Writing the Responsive Learning Organization

Byron Hawk: Identifying Web 2.0: Institutional Identities and the Grounds of Research

Clancy Ratliff: Peer-to-Peer Review, Metadata, and Distant Reading: Introducing MediaCommons, a New Scholarly

Saturday, May 19, 9:00-10:15

I. Roundtable: Digital Writing Research(ers): Institutional Review Boards: Mapping the Issues for Organizational Position Statements

Will Banks, Michelle Eble, Gail Hawisher, Heidi McKee, James Porter, Clancy Ratliff, Cynthia Selfe, Pam Takayoshi, Laura Gurak

But back to MediaCommons for a moment. You may have checked out In Media Res before, but if not, I strongly encourage you to do so, and leave comments. One in particular that I recommend for rhetoricians is Fay Ginsburg's blurb about Amanda Baggs, a brilliant autistic woman whose video "In My Language" is easily one of the most sophisticated and sensitive analyses of language I have seen in a very long time. I subscribe to and watch all the videos on Baggs' channel on YouTube, but "In My Language" is my favorite, followed closely by "Being an Unperson" and the three-part interview with Laura. Here's "In My Language" -- the first half is in Baggs' native language; the second is what she said, translated into English:

Quick Takes

Not that anyone's been asking, but yes, I have been following the M&M controversy intently. To make a long story short, the John Edwards '08 campaign asked two excellent bloggers, Amanda Marcotte* and Melissa McEwan of Shakespeare's Sister, to write for the Edwards campaign blog. They were hailed by lefty bloggers, not only because they demonstrated web savvy by picking established bloggers who had built audiences, but also because these particular bloggers were women, who are, as we know, underrepresented in punditry.

Then the protests began, spearheaded by Michelle Malkin and Bill Donohue. They, along with some other politically conservative bloggers, objected to posts Marcotte and McEwan had written about the Duke lacrosse team rape case and about reproductive freedom. The Catholic League called for their termination from the Edwards campaign. Edwards seems to have decided to keep them, at least for now. You can find more detailed analyses at Noli Irritare Leones, Obsidian Wings, oh, and a couple thousand via Technorati.

Web 2.0 network ecology stories. This, to me, is potentially a very productive methodology for understanding networks and social software.

If you haven't yet read this stunning and courageous narrative by Eric Fair, do so now.

Watch A Girl Like Me, a film by Kiri Davis. Via BlackProf, and read that post too.

Anyone know how to tweak Google Reader to filter out all stories related to sports? I subscribe to Google News and BBC News, and I want to keep those, but I don't give a yotz about sports.

* whom I'd love to hang out with now that she's in Chapel Hill!

Next Rhetoric & Composition MMTOR?

Massive Multi-Thinker Online Review, that is. I think it should be about John Logie's new book, Peers, Pirates, and Persuasion: Rhetoric in the Peer-to-Peer Debates, now available from Parlor Press. You can order it or download it for free as a PDF. The book has a Creative Commons license too. More about the book:

Peers, Pirates, and Persuasion: Rhetoric in the Peer-to-Peer Debates investigates the role of rhetoric in shaping public perceptions about a novel technology: peer-to-peer file-sharing networks. While broadband Internet services now allow speedy transfers of complex media files, Americans face real uncertainty about whether peer-to-peer file sharing is or should be legal. John Logie analyzes the public arguments growing out of more than five years of debate sparked by the advent of Napster, the first widely adopted peer-to-peer technology. The debate continues with the second wave of peer-to-peer file transfer utilities like Limewire, KaZaA, and BitTorrent. With Peers, Pirates, and Persuasion, Logie joins the likes of Lawrence Lessig, Siva Vaidhyanathan, Jessica Litman, and James Boyle in the ongoing effort to challenge and change current copyright law so that it fulfills its purpose of fostering creativity and innovation while protecting the rights of artists in an attention economy.

Logie examines metaphoric frames—warfare, theft, piracy, sharing, and hacking, for example—that dominate the peer-to-peer debates and demonstrably shape public policy on the use and exchange of digital media. Peers, Pirates, and Persuasion identifies the Napster case as a failed opportunity for a productive national discussion on intellectual property rights and responsibilities in digital environments. Logie closes by examining the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in the “Grokster” case, in which leading peer-to-peer companies were found to be actively inducing copyright infringement. The Grokster case, Logie contends, has already produced the chilling effects that will stifle the innovative spirit at the heart of the Internet and networked communities.

So what do you think? Want to do it? What's a date we can shoot for?

(Cross-posted at Kairosnews.)

Retro fun

Why don't they make commercials like these anymore?

and the greatest of all:

I wish I could find the "Baby Ruth...and Butterfinger: fresh, guaranteed" commercial and the cloyingly sentimental McDonalds "Little Sister" commercial. I should probably keep searching RetroJunk until I find it.

BPAL and meme propagation

It's about time I succumb and link to this meme for MLA.

Okay, now that that's done, on to another succumbing, this time to Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. I ordered two six-packs of samples (called imps). Had to get the Rosalind one on principle, as she's my favorite character in Shakespeare -- yes, how predictable. These are the ones I chose:

Florence: "The pearl of the Italian Renaissance. Elegant iris, bright berries, gilded amber and velvety spices."

Gluttony: "Thick, sugared and bloated with sweetness. Dark chocolate, vanilla, buttercream, and hops with pralines, hazelnut, toffee and caramel."

Cordelia: "The essence of faith, love and devotion: lilac, lemon, green tea, wisteria, osmanthus, white cedar, and Chinese musk."

Rosalind: "Dew-covered berries and fresh green grasses with a faint breath of spring flowers."

Athens: "A reformulation and modernization of a true Classical Greek perfume, myrrhine: voluptuous myrrh, golden honey, red wine, and sweet flowers."

Versailles: "Grand, courtly and robust: a glittering, golden scent that would do Louis XIV proud. Gilded red and gold citrus with amber, ruby roses, jasmine and orris."

The Caterpillar: "Heavy incense notes waft lazily through a mix of carnation, jasmine, bergamot, and neroli over a lush bed of dark mosses, iris blossom, deep patchouli and indolent vetiver."

Lady Macbeth: "The essence of ambition, covetousness and manipulation: sweet Bordeaux wine, blood red currant, thyme and wild berries."

The Red Queen: "Deep mahogany and rich, velvety woods lacquered with sweet, black-red cherries and currant."

Carnal: "Bold, bright mandarin paired with the sweet, sensual earthiness of fig."

The Lady of Shalott: "The scent of calm waters just before a raging storm, limned with achingly-beautiful blooms, an icy scent, but somehow warm, and mirror-bright: bold gardenia, crystalline musk, muguet, water blossoms, clear, slightly tart aquatic notes and a crush of white ginger."

Lolita: "Bright, sweet and youthful, but swelling with a poisonous sexuality. Glittering heliotrope, honeysuckle, orange blossom and lemon verbena."

Folgers Commercial (the Ramen and Curry Mix)

Hadn't seen this one before:

If you search YouTube, you can find lots of good Folgers commercials. (I confess that I wanted to watch that "Happy Morning" one again.)

DevonThink: I don't get it

After reading a post on Becky's blog a while back, I decided to download DevonThink for reading notes. After playing around with it, though, I have realized that I don't really get this tool and why it's better than just storing all of one's reading notes as text files in the same folder and then searching them with Spotlight or Google Desktop when you need to find something. I guess what I don't quite understand is the tagging system.

O dear.

This is almost as bad as William Hung's Vegas show (the lucrative deal that he was offered but turned down because he had better offers from other people).

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