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.
|Harrison Ford as Rick Decker in Blade RunnerImage from the Alt Film Guide|
I do think though that the ambiguity of the live versus real animals adds a layer of complexity to the android versus human issue. If they cannot tell an electric cat from a live one, how can they possibly think they can do this with more developed technology for people androids?
New Media, Chapters 5-8
My reading of Gane and Beer did not link as much to DADoES this week as last, but I feel the connections will start again as I finish DADoES. So, what I want to focus on here are Gane and Beer's conclusions. First, let me lay out the concepts from this reading with quotes I feel connect these three in particular to the conclusions of the book:
- Archive: "archives are no longer housed simply in buildings such as libraries and museums, but are now increasingly generated and maintained by lay users in virtual environments" (location 1893, paragraph 1)
- Interactivity: "in spite of the almost ubiquitous presence of this concept in commentaries on new media it is not always clear what makes media interactive or what is meant by the term interactivity. Interactivity is a concept that tends to be used to bypass descriptions of the workings of media technologies" (location 1917, paragraph 1)
- Simulation: "simulated media environments are now so ubiquitous that they are taken for granted rather than placed under critical scrutiny. There has also been a subtle shift in the focus on contemporary media theory, which now rarely looks at simulation simply in itself" (location 2252, paragraph 1)
The concept of archive was one I played with this past summer in Productive Theory with Dr. Phelps because I was so intrigued by the reinvention of it through digital means. If you care to read my concept definition, here it is. The idea of an archive moving from a strictly controlled collection to a wide open accumulation is both scary and exciting -- scary because of the overload we all face when trying to navigate the accumulation and exciting because of the different stories being told. One of the things I do as a teacher in a laptop school is help students understand that every action they take online becomes part of their digital archive of themselves -- a digital archive others might use as well. We keep our students in private environments for schoolwork in lower and middle school, then we open them to public environments in upper school with the idea that they understand how to be a part of this larger world. However, they are already often a part of this larger world for their own uses much earlier than we bring them there, so the conversation is so important to have all along.
Beer, Nicholas Gane and David. New Media: The Key Concepts. Oxford: Berg, 2008. E-book.
Dick, Philip K. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? New York: Del Rey, 1968. Print.