Saturday, January 28, 2012

Reading, Thinking, and Reflecting #4

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, chapters 16-22:

"Because without the Mercerism experience we just have your word that you feel this empathy business, this shared, group thing" (209-210).

After our 1/23 class when Dr. Rodrigo shared that one reason we are reading this book is to think about empathy as we study new media, I have found myself pondering this idea even more. When I first wrote about empathy, I was thinking about whether digital networks can ever replicate the empathy drawn from physical proximity that underlies non-digital social networks. Dick wrote (see above quote) that empathy will always be the divider between human and android -- which makes me think about whether humans can ever find full empathy through digital connections. Does the inherent lack of empathy in something digital create a barrier to the conveyance of human empathy across digital channels? Dick's empathy box does generate human empathy across its technology -- is this something possible outside of science fiction?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Reading, Thinking, and Reflecting #3

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, chapters 11-15:I am going to wait to comment on this novel for my next post when we have finished reading it all ... Today instead I would like to explore our next text ...

Lingua Fracta, chapters 1-4
I somehow reached my place in life as an English major and teacher without taking classical rhetoric. However, I am lucky because I am married to a Latin teacher who pulled right out of his files this when I asked him about the classical rhetoric canons. I hope you find it helpful too -- I keep mine in my Lingua Fracta book as my reference. My husband says the picture is of him at a younger age ...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Reading, Thinking, and Reflecting #2

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, Chapters 6-10
I am still enjoying reading this book. Dick has set up parallel story lines that I know must cross in significant ways as I finish the book, and I am curious how that will happen. A version of Rachael Rosen showing up at John's apartment was the first link, but now with the android faux police headquarters appearing, it seems certain that the idea of separating android from human will only tangle up more. I did wonder how the (as we were to discover) android police were able to run the bone density test so quickly on the victim in Rick's car; that test had been said to take a very long time at Rosen. Maybe androids are more adept at pinpointing other androids? Which is intriguing -- how the humans are worrying so much about correct identification, while the androids are either better at it or care less for accuracy.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

My Story of ENGL 866

My Goals for New Media Theory I: My study of Pottermore in Tracing Digital Cultures in summer 2012 is the most interesting work I have done thus far in my PhD studies, confirming my New Media emphasis choice. This degree focus plus my acceptance into DMAC 2012 led me directly to this class and these goals:
  • To gain a strong base in new media theory to found my DMAC project and future studies
  • To determine which language I want to use for my digital portfolio requirement and begin to learn this language (and maybe even start on my digital portfolio)
  • To determine my direction for my independent study post-DMAC -- this might be theoretical and it might be practical ... the wide scope of this class will show me all of the possibilities and allow me to explore enough to make an educated decision
  • Last but not least, to take a class with Dr. Roderigo, who is my independent study mentor for DMAC and post-DMAC!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Reading, Thinking, Reflecting #1

(A note about many of my blog posts this semester: I have started my New Media Theory I class in my doctoral program at ODU with Dr. Shelley Rodrigo. Many of my posts will be reflections on the reading and work we are are doing. I will always note what reading I have done in case you want to find the texts yourselves. I am loving Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep!)

Chapters 1-5,
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep
I am thinking about empathy right now. Empathy -- the connection to others that androids cannot feel. Rick's realization that he was caring for an android in the form of his electric sheep (42) really spun the idea of empathy for me.