Week Two – links and admin details

Hi, class:

* For those who might want to hand in their essay early (e.g.: if you’re likely to be out of the UK, on the last week of term), I’m currently asking the admin staff about how to go about this. It used to be easy, when we had a dedicated office for the Electives administration — but that’s been closed down recently to save money. I’ll let you know how the early hand-in process will work, hopefully by next week.

* I’ll also see if I can get you a list of example self-chosen essay titles, as chosen by previous students on the module, by next week. I urge you to stay away from topics involving CAD, or that simply describe software or hardware. That approach might be OK in a quick seminar-presentation paper, but what you’re going to write for me is a proper academic essay.

Here are some Web links to things mentioned today:

A short guide to free academic search tools.

Lev Manovich’s Five Principles of New Media, which can be found in his useful book The Language of New Media.

IBM’s data visualisation tool, ManyEyes, and Google’s We Feel Fine, a tool for emotion-mapping weblogs in an aesthetically pleasing but informative manner — we’ll have a whole lesson on data visualisation and suchlike, at some point in the next few weeks.

Second Life and furries.

Donna Haraway and cyberfeminism are difficult to sum up in a few words, but this Powerpoint presentation and this rather basic Wikipedia article on cyberfeminism might give you a quick idea of the outlines of the debate/ideas.

Ideas and debates about a possible technological singularity are summarised fairly well here. Possibly this is an example of the way in which mystical and eschatological thinking infects the wider cultural debate about technology — there’s a excellent book on this topic in the reading list, Technognosis.

Here’s a pretty good 2-minute summary history of Wikipedia…

Kevin Kelly recently said of Wikipedia…

“Much of what I believed about human nature, and the nature of knowledge, has been upended by the Wikipedia … The Wikipedia is impossible, but here it is. It is one of those things impossible in theory, but possible in practice. Once you confront the fact that it works, you have to shift your expectation of what else that is impossible in theory might work in practice.” — Kevin Kelly.

***

Also, I mentioned the free Calibre software for the Kindle ebook reader, and I have a quick tutorial on how to use Calibre as an ebook conversion utility.

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2 Comments to “Week Two – links and admin details”

  1. Hiya,

    Can I have some previous questions as I am struggling with my essay question?

    Ross.

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