Fastwrite: What, if anything, has made it hard for you to generate posts for your blog? What advice would you have to offer someone else about how to sustain a consistent pace of posts?
Groups: Spend five minutes on each blog. What ideas for new posts do readers have?
Andrew Keen (pp. 242–49) argues that social media have fostered a “cultural Marxism,” a “creeping narcissism,” a “flattening” of “talent” into “opinion,” and a loss of “our memory for things learned, read, experienced, or heard.”
- What sorts of evidence does Keen offer for such claims? What other kinds of evidence might be provided?
- What sorts of evidence—from other pieces in Digital Divide, from your own experiences— might be used to argue against them?
What are the cultural and individual gains of “nomadicity”? (See Todd Gitlin, pp. 207-14). What are its downsides?
Gitlin also points to the “invasion of solitude” (213) as one of the costs of universal access. How usefully, or not, does William Deresiewicz (307-17) develop and refine this concern?
- Digital Essay Proposal, due Friday, 3/16.
- Conferences to discuss proposals (optional): Mon, 3/19, 11–1, Tues, 3/20, 1-4
- Class, Tues, 3/20: We will meet in 01 Old Chem for an intro to editing with iMovie (iMovie_Handout).
- Continue blogging! I will review your blog and give it a final grade on Friday, 3/23.
The first article in the section, Todd Giltin’s “Nomadicity,” immediately caught my attention. Too often have I put in my headphones in order to “shut everything out” and “squash thoughts:” I prefer my iPod to any other “escape implement.” While reading this description, I couldn’t help but think of my recent Spring Break trip to Washington, DC, where the Metro was filled with passengers drowning out the world with their headphones; in fact, the subway was almost silent from lack of talking. At Duke, I think the situation is slightly different, as the buses are normally filled with conversations. For that reason, I wonder if this more solitary form of traveling is related to cities, or what conditions the city produces that lead to portable music players and silent subways.
Also, it seems that this article was written long before the Smart Phone era, as the author notes these “wireless handheld devices with Internet access” had only begun to spread throughout the United States. In fact, only 35% of Americans own a smartphone now, but that number is expected to reach 65% by 2015. I have managed to get by with my Macbook and Duke’s seemingly endless WiFi network, but if the university did not have the wireless coverage it did, I would consider paying an extra $15 to $80 a month for the required data plan. Considering this, and the author’s suggestion that we are always striving for more portability, what is the ultimate form of technological mobility? Have we already reached it, with internet accessible phones?