I found Kenneth Prices piece Elecrtonic Scholarly Editions to be much more accessible than the previous and I found a few points to be of specific interest. He writes about the archiving of libraries and what is included/excluded and where does the limit come with inclusion. Do we, for example include the food shopping lists of W.B Yeats into his archives as a true and transparent representation of the author? Fron a sociological perspective I would say, yes of course. It may sound strange but if we are wanting to grasp an understanding of an author, the age and culture in which h/she was a part of then we need to be documenting everything. This, arguably would give a much deeper understanding of his work, how he makes lists and an insight into the workings of his mind. However, where does this process then stop? This would entail huge amounts of work, money and time of dedicated scholars. Who finances this? Is it undertaken by undergraduates who as part of their education assist in the creation of archives?But then, how ‘correct’ is this work for publication for the world to see? Who ‘controls’ or regulates the work, are there guidelines on ethics to adheare to and who creates these?
Is the democratization of the web truly democratic or is it still confined to parameters of hierarchical regulation? Is there truly a voice for the people? This brings me onto the next point of the intertextuality of the web. This is very interesting, As we saw in class a few weeks ago, a text online can have a link which takes you onto the reference which it associates with. For example, T.S Eliots The Waste Land with its multitude of citation to classical literature which , unless you have somewhat of an understanding about you are lost within the reading. From a democratising perspective this could make dense texts certainly more accessible to those willing to take the time to read, and by read I mean close read. I am thinking of someone in a rural, developing country who may not have access to a wonderful library but they do have the opportunity to access online computers. The web could make a huge difference to their lives, their society and open up some very interesting discussions cross culturally. Could people from these developing countries be employed to contribute to the archiving as part of an online education programme? Yes it certainly is capitalism with a new face but there is also the argument that it creates employment and contributes to the greater whole. Are there intellectual ethical boundaries that would make it nearly impossible for someone without a recognized Western education from taking part? Interesting.
I also took a look at Katherine Hayles How we Read: Close, Hyper, Machine whilst cooking dinner the other night. She spoke about the monotonous, repetitive task of scrolling and skim reading through web ‘pages’ like I admit I do when writing essays in order to find the parts which are most useful to what I need for my work at hand. Close reading has all but gone, especially in academia and the art of skimming has taken precedent to such an extent that many of us no longer do any close reading. We text, tweet an article of interest (that may or may not have been properly read), and are becoming experts in the quick and fast nature of a consumerist society. Only the consumerism is, in this sense, knowledge based. Hayles also spoke about the brain being reprinted into reading like this, actually reprogrammed through the repetitive nature into a mode which facilitates the pace we all need to keep up with, creating the ‘F’ shape style which Oerla mentioned in class a few weeks back.
One thing which seems to me to be failed to have been mentioned is the fact that when I sit for a few hours in front of a computer, my eyes hurt. I need to get up, walk around, have a cuppa etc fairly regularly. How conducive is this to human physiology? And socially, Is it not isolating people and creating a more individualised society in which we check our emails before we have breakfast or look at our phone whilst having a cup with a friend or loved one. Where does this take us as a society of social beings? Social society is digitalised. I sat on a bis the other day, six out of the eight sittin gclose to me had phones or ipods out and were engrossed in them, thats some percentage!
My area of interest is how the digital media effects our sense of touch. And what touch means through digital media. Social forums which create networks of ‘friends’ who you may never see, virtual chatrooms which create forums for ‘voices’ to be heard but they seem to be fairly anonymous. Maybe that’s why we are either obsessive about it or reluctant to get started!?
Anyway, my area of interest for my blog is touch, social forums providing a voice for new mums and actually , not sure how to bring it in..dance! Ideas welcome and does anyone have the address of last years class website to have a quick look at?