Advanced Composition

Reading & Writing in Digital Environments

Blog #5 Feed

One of the most thought provoking scenes in Feed lies in Titus sees no Art within the picture of a boat on the sea. Many see this scene as his inability to recognize Art because of his over exposure to the Feed. Others believe that he longs for a purpose to the picture in order to appreciate it. For me, I believe the answer lies in the latter interpretation. Titus is able to recognize something artistic, but his struggle in enjoying the boat picture is that he wonders why it was made. In that analysis, we understand how far Titus has become detached from the world.

When Titus sees the picture, he sees nothing happening. The boat is not in a storm or on a journey; it simply exists on an ocean for the viewer to see. He wonders what the point is. With classic paintings, you are able to see a message conveyed in the picture that the artist wishes to explain to you through their medium of Art, but Titus doesn’t get this sensation with the boat picture. We then begin wondering the same thing as Titus, “Why painting this plain picture of a boat?” The answer is simple, because we like it.

Although classic paintings can also be this, the boat picture is work by someone who enjoys making pictures. They are not trying to convey a specific emotion or story; they merely wish to create a picture of a boat and nothing more. The reason this scene is significant is because it shows that Titus can no longer recognize someone doing something for them. The Feed is about community and connecting everyone together; every action serves a greater purpose to the Feed. However, this picture is personal. It is meant to satisfy one person, the artist. That level of personal approval is strange to Titus which makes this scene important to his character growth.

Blog #4

It’s a difficult thing analyzing a book you haven’t read using only the most used words within that book. For this task, I chose Herman Melville’s Moby Dick because I do plan on reading it later this year. While researching the most used words, I found some predictable outcomes and some finds that made me consider some themes to keep an eye out for when I read the novel later this semester.

The most used word in the novel is “whale.” This didn’t really surprise me considering the novels alternative name is The Whale. Considering the book is about an old captain searching for the whale that took his leg, it is understandable that many common phrases connected to the sea would be among the most used words. I expected “boat,” “sea,” “captain,” and “Ahab” to be used a lot; however, I was surprised by one word in particular “god.”

As I thought about “god” and how it fits into the story, I realized that throughout this perilous journey many characters would reflect on the afterlife and the almighty’s role in their predicament. Furthermore, the word declines in usage as the novel goes on. Reflecting on this detail, I wondered if as their search for the whale proves more and more dangerous the characters lose faith in God.

Overall, I found this task quite interesting in terms of exploring a novel one has never read before. I am curious as to whether or not my predictions for Moby Dick will come true or be washed away with the tide.


Digital Literacy Blog #2 Coding and Web Design

Coding and web design both always seemed like advanced forms of computer science that I would never need to learn. However, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized how much the online world has affected the real one. Not only do most people communicate using the Internet, but almost everyone has a phone that is in reality a small computer in their pocket. After reflecting on this, I believe that a basic understanding and learning of coding and web design is important in the modern age.

Besides the fact that everyone stays in touch on the web, people create entire lives on the web that are important to whom they are. Many jobs look for professionalism which can be expressed simply by having your own personal web site. I believe an employer would be more likely to hire someone if they had a web site because it not only shows that they have knowledge of the web but it can also show references and credentials in a more organized manner.

Coding may seem like an extreme skill that is unnecessary, but a basic understanding can help educate a person to knowing more about their everyday devices. While it may be unimportant to know the ins-and-outs of a toaster, a computer is more important to know the workings of because of how much influence it has on your life. If typing and basic programs are learned, I think coding is not far from the realm of plausible subjects.

Overall, I see the importance of these tools. The world has grown into one of computers and machines, and the everyday person is affected by it whether they know it or not.

Note: I had difficulty taking a picture of my screen, so the one included was taken on my phone. I apologize for the poor quality, but I wanted to include my final work on the web design project from class.

Digital Literacy Blog #1

As technology progress, we not only hear about the benefits that will come with this development but the increasing dangers as well. The question of whether or not the advancement is worth begins to creep up as each year’s new marvels become known. Within Nicholas Carr’s “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” and Andrew Sullivan’s “I Used to Be a Human Being,” the ideas of the Internet’s threats to our individuality and consciousness become prominent and frighteningly clear. However, I believe that the Internet is like any tool in the sense that misuse of said tool can cause harm to anyone.

Millions of people over the past decade have become more and more connected through the internet yet simultaneously separated from one another as well. This example is one of both positive and negative outcomes of the Internet. With the push of a button, we can be in contact with anyone whether it be a police officer, a doctor, or a family member. At the same time, people have become so obsessed with staying in touch with people on their phones that they ignore the physical people in front of them. Sullivan’s article explains his break from the commotion of the Web and says, “I’d begun to fear that this new way of living was actually becoming a way of not-living.” He recognized that he was losing the experience that come from living in the moment as opposed to the almost trancelike state of living through the Web.

Carr’s issue with the Internet comes from his change is reading habits. He found himself distracted and less able to connect to what he was exposing himself to on the Internet. Ironically, I read these two articles online and can’t deny the fact that reading them became difficult at points. In this new age of constant information, the challenge of sorting out the important from the unimportant is harder than ever. Yet, the possibilities that are open for us to allow for progress are too great to ignore.

The important thing to remember is moderation. Sullivan began to limit his exposure to the Web and began see a change within his habits. The Internet’s ability to connect and teach us is marvelous to say the least, but the Web needs to be used as a tool not a crutch. If we rely on it too much, we become slaves that will be unable to live without our technological masters.

Women in the Workplace: More Than Mothers

The digital exhibit A Woman’s Work is Never Done shares images and information regarding women during the time before the American Revolution through the time of the Industrial Revolution.  A variety of working lifestyles are depicted in this exhibit, from domestic home life to factory work and war effort.  This exhibit offers the opinion that the domestic home was an occupation that was time consuming and called for great effort.  There are many images that show women working at home, taking care of family, cooking, cleaning, and various other domestic duties.  In contrast, there are multiple images depicting women in a more masculine work place, such as merchant work, factories, and war time duties.  This exhibit offers evidence that women during early America were multifaceted and worked in various areas, disproving the stigma that they were only domestic beings.

One image does stand out among the many in the sections of the exhibit.  It Picture61shows women aiding men during a time of war.  The section “Women in War” shows many images of women acting selflessly to help America during the Revolutionary War and the Civil War.  There were many jobs they held such as nurse which would call them away from home for periods of time, like the men they left their families to aid during the country’s time of need.  This reveals that women were brave and felt a sense of duty for their country; this idea is usually only associated with men, especially during war.  Many women of war, however, were never recognized for their efforts, and only a few are known today.  The images in this section, as well as the others, show how women were much more than domestic.

Overall, this exhibit shows the diversity of skills that women in early America possessed despite the stigma that they were only fit for domestic jobs.

Digital Archive Project

I am glad to have presented the project on Curious George goes to the hospital. It was a real treat and since I have never read it before I have begun to like it. There were so many interesting topics and processes that was just for one book. It is not as easy as it seems and I am glad to have seen bits and pieces of the archives. It was also my first time that I have went to the archive library. To even get to see the print before the already published book was so cool.

About Archives Visit

I know that i’m late on this post but I have to say that visiting the archives and graduate studies library was quite interesting.I thought it was a real treat in the beginning of this research project about the making of Curious George. In my years of childhood I have never heard of Curious George til now and just even observing the beginning process to the end was awesome! It was even more interesting just getting to look at different pieces that exemplify a piece of history that was being made at the time. Since I had free time I even got the chance to read the story as I was looking at the folders that I had assigned.

Playing With the Fine Print

We viewed a video about Fair Use regarding the Copyright laws in the United States. The video humorously engaged many clips from various Disney films in order to educate the public about this part the law.  They demonstrate how Fair Use allows the public to utilize small pieces of information that is protected by Copyright without getting into a legal situation.  The video itself is an example of Fair Use and makes a perfect visual representation of the information which it provides.
I found the video very interesting and informative. I did not expect the video to be as captivating as it was, but the use of Disney’s animated movies appealed to me greatly. Disney is such well known company that their movie franchises are instantly recognizable. The maker of this short video did well to incorporate such characters.  the little mermaidThe information in this video was very helpful for people who do not fully understand the concept behind Fair Use. I can now understand better how Youtube videos (because I watch Youtube more than TV) can get away with some things and how others cannot.

I will highly recommend this video for anyone seeking to better understand Fair Use or Copyright in general.  Education purposes aside, it’s a very funny video and is worth the time to watch.

Progression of the Archive Project

Starting off this project, I was pretty much lost. I had no idea how this project would end up in the long run or how the process would even happen. Of course, I knew my first step would involve taking a trip to the archive and just looking at the folders in which I had chosen to review.

From there, our group got together and started talking about ways that we would present our findings to the class. I honestly had no clue except for the fact that we would have to write a paper of some sort. After discussing with the group, we decided we were going to present the pictures in a power point and describe each picture.

But how were we going to organize the material in a sense that would be easy to follow? After this past Monday, my group and I made a layout as to how we would go about presenting the information and in what order we would do so. First, we plan on describing the journals and diaries we found and then we would dive into speaking of the books and articles H.A. Rey pasted in his diary. This will represent his inspiration. Georgie will then speak of her findings in which describes his work towards one of his first books as his work in progress. Finally, Mia will speak of the transactions he recorded in his journal entries.

Overall, I was a bit uneasy at the beginning of this assignment. After having several class and group discussions, I am becoming more at ease with the project. I hope the flow can continue flowing!

Cold Storage

Yesterday, the class watched Cold Storage. I did not think I would find much interest in the video until it started. Cold Storage is about a library near Harvard University that holds millions of items. The items include books, CD-ROMs, DVDs and other sorts of data. The materials are housed in a building that maintains a very low temperature. I suppose that must be where the title, “Cold Storage,” comes from.

As the video progressed, I was impressed with the vast amount of space the library occupied. It was very clear that this library was not just an ordinary library because it represented the ultimate human record of mostly all items that have been produced. I find it fascinating that Charles Elliot sparked the idea of such a library in 1986. After all, the human record attains more than just a few forms of information collected over the years. There are 9 million items and counting that reside in this library.

With low temperatures, calm and collective environment, the workers contribute to the cold atmosphere. The workers work hours on end in silence as they finish their particular task(s). I can only imagine the effort and work put into maintaining the building as well as preserving all of the items it holds.

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