Tag: Technology

Portfolio

Preface:

Literature today is shifting to a whole new world of technology. Literature pieces are being found in the electronic form more abundantly than ever before. This shift to electronic literature has a negative impact on the ways of the reader, even altering the way readers take in information. Conventional literature has the ability to immerse readers, and convey the emotions and beliefs of the author.

The reason I have chosen my third writing project to revise, was because I believed that it had the most potential as a persuasive essay. Before revisions, it was my best work so far this semester, but still not good enough. The goal for revising my third writing project was to revise in terms of expansion. Expanding my writing draft allows for me to really drive home the ideas in my persuasive essay. I expanded on the idea counterargument using Frankenstein, and also expanded on the idea of the electronic literature piece, Luminous Airplanes. In attempts to revise my draft even more, I contrasted the idea of expansion, and tried to condense some areas by combining sentences and taking some elements out. I also investigated run on sentences. Revising by condensing your argument allows you to keep your argument concise. A long argument will lose and bore readers, but a short essay will not get the argument across.

The revised draft of my third writing project is a shadow of my growing, writing, capabilities. Starting out the semester with strong writing, I have been using the writing role models to help model my writing. I believe that the revision techniques I have learned to use, have allowed me to better my writing in numerous ways. In high school, I never considered myself to be a strong writer because I was limited to writing systematized essays on books I didn’t enjoy. My writing this semester has opened a door full of new opportunities allowing me to go anywhere.

In future writing courses, I plan to use more of the techniques I learned this year. Using a role model to help style my writing, has also been very beneficial to me. In this particular revision I focused in on the work of Nicholas Carr; I used his extensive writing techniques to help strengthen my argument. Adapting to use these various techniques, I expanded on the use of counterargument. In the original draft, my use of counterargument was introduced, but did not drive home the idea. A strong counterargument introduces a new idea, and then reverts the reader back to the original argument. When revising and expanding on my counterargument I used this basic outline.

I pledge my word of honor that I have abided by the Washington College Honor Code while completing this assignment.

 Adam Andrew Mrowiec

 

The Electronic Way: Revised Draft

The world around us is relying on technology more every day. Even our common necessities like our wallets and maps are being integrated into our smart phones. With a smartphone we have access to a whole new world of information and knowledge. The shift to electronic literature is having a negative impact on people by shaping our society and the way we think. Written literature is an expression of an author’s beliefs and emotions. These emotions and beliefs are getting lost in this shift to an electronic era of reading because of the quick “skimming” adaptation readers have acquired, allowing for the idea of deeper reading to be forgotten.

Google works 20 times faster than most home internets, leaving the access to unlimited knowledge at your fingertips. Is this necessarily a good thing? In today’s world we are left with children who would google something 10 times before they open up a textbook to find an in text answer. In Nicholas Carr’s article, “Is Google making us stupid?”, Carr mentions the ungodly speed that we can get information. Our brains and bodies are adapting to this “swiftly moving stream of particles” (Carr 7). We are becoming more dependent on the internet for its tools and resources. We are entering an age where print is being forgotten. We are entering an age of electronic literature. Libraries are becoming less relevant, students are buying less textbooks, and people are forgetting conventional literature. Articles are no longer being read, but they are being dissected for the plunder of information. People find what they need from a piece of literature, and don’t look back. The age of immersion and reading is over. Is google making us stupid? Not necessarily, but it is changing our way of life and learning.

The idea that our society is shifting into one big “global village,” is not new to us. In 1967 McLuhan predicted this shift in a novel he wrote: The Medium is the Massage. He understood the technologies before his time. McLuhan pondered the question: is the medium that delivers the message more important than the message itself? He wrote, “All media work us over completely. They are so pervasive in their personal, political, economic aesthetic, psychological, moral, ethical, and social consequences that they leave no part of us untouched, unaffected, unaltered” (McLuhan, 19). In writing this, the author told readers that we are becoming absorbed in the way that we receive information. Our brain begins to adapt to the way we read. Since the new form of skimming and electronic literature have become prevalent, our mind has altered the way it tries to obtain information. Our society is becoming dependent on this idea of electronic literature. Written literature is being forgotten and replaced by search engines and “find” tools on our electronics. Electronic literature is not, however, exactly by definition “literature.”

When defining literature, there are a couple different approaches a reader can take. By definition, literature is “written works considered of superior or lasting artistic merit.” The problem with electronic literature, by definition, is that the artistic merit is overlooked by readers. While exploring electronic literature pieces such as Luminous Airplanes, I overlooked the message that the author was trying to get across because I got lost in the reading.  The piece was merely a perception of the writer, and more of the reader. Readers could navigate through the piece as they pleased, and could pick out parts they that wanted. The reader could in fact pick out the way the story played out. This is not a conventional reading experience. The artistic merit of Paul La Farge is lost because the reader does not receive the artist’s message from a deeper reading because there is no deep reading involved in the completion of electronic literature. I felt like I was clicking through a labyrinth of chapter that were somehow all connected. Birkets defines novels as “immersive” and he wrote about how reading in his younger days took him places with the characters. Electronic Literature lacks being immersive, because the reader is not going where the author wants them to. When an author writes a piece of literature, there is an introduction, body, and conclusion with an overall message. With electronic literature, all of this is avoided, because the reader can just pick out what he needs, and the author’s message is not passed.

The idea of deeper reading is being lost with this adaptation to a fast paced electronic world. McLuhan even said, “I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski” (Carr). By saying this, Carr shows readers how much the ways of the reader have changed. He finds himself guilty of only skimming through electronic literature, finding just what he needs; contrary to his old “scuba diving” ways of deeper reading. Birkets, in his Gutenburg Elegies, coins what it means to deep read. He tells us what it truly means to read. “Reading, because we control it, is adaptable to our needs and rhythms. We are free to indulge our subjective associative impulse; the term I coin for this is deep reading: the slow and meditative possession of a book. We don’t just read the words; we dream our lives in their vicinity. The printed page becomes a kind of wrought-iron fence we crawl through, returning, once we have wandered, to the very place we started” (Birkets). In this passage, Birkets gives an illustration of what an immersive text should feel like. He touches on the idea that reading changes from reader to reader to help us fully immerse into a text. Electronic literature adapts to the readers need in a different way. Electronic literature pieces do not immerse the reader because of the way it is read. Electronic literature promotes the idea of “skimming” and sells people short, instead of exploring new limits pushed by imagination. Part of the reading process is bringing a narrative to life and exploring the deeper natures.

Many people may disagree with my argument and say that the idea of a rapidly growing technologically based world is beneficial. Search engines leave people with the knowledge of a dozen libraries at their fingertips, instantaneously. Technology and electronic literature can indeed be used for efficient learning; however, the classic reading experience cannot be forgotten. The benefit of efficiency is conversely not applicable to electronic literature pieces similar to Luminous Airplanes because the reader is choosing the plot of the story taking away from the artistic merit and not picking out specific information. Classic literature pieces like Frankenstein show the author’s depiction of a cruel a dark world by using intertextuality. Readers must use Birkets’s idea of deep reading to analyze text and fully appreciate Mary Shelley’s artistic merit.

The deeper reading of Frankenstein can also be in some sense perceived as a hypertext. The reader must be interested and engaged to understand the intertextuality that allows fir the novel to further complicate the simple plot. Mary Shelley uses multiple literary techniques to immerse her readers that will further analyze text. Although I grant that electronic literature may be efficient at times, important artistic depictions are lost without the idea of deep reading. The idea of deeper reading is lost in the element of electronic literature pieces like Luminous Airplanes. It does not immerse readers for a deeper reading of a written piece.  Our minds are adapting to the vast availability of quick information, and people are forgetting the immersion of conventional literature.

Reading a book allows readers to push their imagination by immersing themselves in the authors words. In a conventional piece of literature, there is a beginning, end, and an overall message up to interpretation. With the shift to electronic literature, readers are allowing this access to alter their ways of reading. The altering of our reading habits changes the way our brain takes in new information. Readers are no longer absorbing the emotions and beliefs put forth by an author because they have the ability to skim through and pick out what information is needed.

The Electronic Way: Original Draft

The world around us is relying on technology more every day. Even our common necessities like our wallets and maps are being integrated into our smart phones. With a smartphone we have access to a whole new world of information and knowledge. The shift to electronic literature is having a negative impact on people by shaping our society and the way we think. Written literature is an expression of an author’s beliefs and emotions. These emotions and beliefs are getting lost in this shift to an electronic era of reading because of the quick “skimming” adaptation readers have acquired.

Google works 20 times faster than most home internets, leaving the access to unlimited knowledge at your fingertips. Is this necessarily a good thing? In today’s world we are left with children who would google something 10 times before they open up a textbook to find an in text answer. In Nicholas Carr’s article, “Is Google making us stupid?”, Carr mentions the ungodly speed that we can get information. Our brains and bodies are adapting to this “swiftly moving stream of particles” (Carr 7). We are becoming more dependent on the internet for its tools and resources. We are entering an age where print is being forgotten. We are entering an age of electronic literature. Libraries are becoming less relevant, students are buying less textbooks, and people are forgetting conventional literature. Articles are no longer being read, but they are being dissected for the plunder of information. People find what they need from a piece of literature, and don’t look back. The age of immersion and reading is over. Is google making us stupid? Not necessarily, but it is changing our way of life and learning.

The idea that our society is shifting into one big “global village,” is not new to us. In 1967 McLuhan predicted this shift in a novel he wrote: The Medium is the Massage. He understood the technologies before his time. McLuhan pondered the question: is the medium that delivers the message more important than the message itself? He wrote, “All media work us over completely. They are so pervasive in their personal, political, economic aesthetic, psychological, moral, ethical, and social consequences that they leave no part of us untouched, unaffected, unaltered” (McLuhan, 19). In writing this, the author told readers that we are becoming absorbed in the way that we receive information. Our society is becoming dependent on this idea of electronic literature. Written literature is being forgotten and replaced by search engines and “find” tools on our electronics. Electronic literature is not, however, exactly by definition “literature.”

When defining literature, there are a couple different approaches a reader can take. By definition, literature is “written works considered of superior or lasting artistic merit.” The problem with electronic literature, by definition, is that the artistic merit is overlooked by readers. While exploring electronic literature pieces such as Luminous Airplanes, I overlooked the message that the author was trying to get across because I got lost in the reading.  The piece was merely a perception of the writer, and more of the reader. Readers could navigate through the piece as they pleased, and could pick out parts they that wanted. The reader could in fact pick out the way the story played out. This is not a conventional reading experience. The artistic merit of Paul La Farge is lost because the reader does not receive the artist’s message from a deeper reading because there is no deep reading involved in the completion of electronic literature. Birkets defines novels as “immersive” and he wrote about how reading in his younger days took him places with the characters. Electronic Literature lacks being immersive, because the reader is not going where the author wants them to. When an author writes a piece of literature, there is an introduction, body, and conclusion with an overall message. With electronic literature, all of this is avoided, because the reader can just pick out what he needs, and the author’s message is not passed.

The idea of deeper reading is being lost with this adaptation to a fast paced electronic world. McLuhan even said, “I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski” (Carr). By saying this, Carr shows readers how much the ways of the reader have changed. He finds himself guilty of only skimming through electronic literature, finding just what he needs; contrary to his old “scuba diving” ways of deeper reading. Birkets, in his Gutenburg Elegies, coins what it means to deep read. He tells us what it truly means to read. “Reading, because we control it, is adaptable to our needs and rhythms. We are free to indulge our subjective associative impulse; the term I coin for this is deep reading: the slow and meditative possession of a book. We don’t just read the words; we dream our lives in their vicinity. The printed page becomes a kind of wrought-iron fence we crawl through, returning, once we have wandered, to the very place we started” (Birkets). In this passage, Birkets gives an illustration of what an immersive text should feel like. He touches on the idea that reading changes from reader to reader to help us fully immerse into a text. Electronic literature adapts to the readers need in a different way. Electronic literature sells people short, instead of exploring new limits pushed by imagination. Part of the reading process is bringing a narrative to life and exploring the deeper natures.

Many people may disagree with my argument and say that the idea of a rapidly growing technologically based world is beneficial. Search engines leave people with the knowledge of a dozen libraries at their fingertips, instantaneously. Technology and electronic literature can indeed be used for efficient learning; however, the classic reading experience cannot be forgotten. The benefit of efficiency is conversely not applicable to electronic literature pieces similar to Luminous Airplanes because the reader is choosing the plot of the story taking away from the artistic merit and not picking out specific information. Classic literature pieces like Frankenstein show the author’s depiction of a cruel a dark world by using intertextuality. Readers must use Birkets’s idea of deep reading to analyze text and fully appreciate Mary Shelley’s artistic merit. Although I grant that electronic literature may be efficient at times, important artistic depictions are lost without the idea of deep reading. Our minds are adapting to the vast availability of quick information, and people are forgetting the immersion of conventional literature.

Reading a book allows readers to push their imagination by immersing themselves in the authors words. In a conventional piece of literature, there is a beginning, end, and an overall message up to interpretation. With the shift to electronic literature, readers are allowing this access to alter their ways of reading. Readers are no longer absorbing the emotions and beliefs put forth by an author because they have the ability to skim through and pick out what information is needed.

Works Cited:

Birkerts, Sven. The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age. Boston: Faberand Faber, 1994. Print.

McLuhan, M. (1989). The medium is the massage. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Carr, N. (2008). Is Google Making Us Stupid? Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education.

 

An Electronic Age

Everyday our world takes more and more transitions to an electronic driven lifestyle. When I first came to college I was introduced to the app Venmo. Venmo is the idea of electronic money transactions to each other. For example, if I were to split a pizza with my friend, one person would buy the pizza and the other person would “Venmo” the other. The idea of venmo is pretty much another bank account. A person can get away with not bringing their wallet anywhere and “Venmoing” people for things. Our lifestyles have become more and more reliant on electronics as we grow older. The idea of pocket change has been replaced by debit cards and even now books are transitioning to electronic articles. The use of books as a primary source is slowly being forgotten.

Browsing the Electronic Literature Collection was a disappointing experience for me. I briefly skimmed a few of the different games and readings, but spent most of my time on the “Chemical Landscapes of informal writing.” This was truly an unconventional writing. The writing had a title page, and when the reader clicks on the title page, it transitions to a paragraph. Where the reader clicked on the title page depended on which paragraph came up. The reading however, was a jumble of words that would fade before you could read the entire paragraph. It took a few rounds for me to truly read one whole paragraph. I would not consider this a form of literature in any sense but one. Birkets defines literature as something immersive. The “Chemical Landscapes of informal writing” immersed me because I was genuinely curious what the rest of the paragraph had to say.

Birkets would agree with me that this is not literature. Literature for Birkets is textbooks, novels, poetry, and other WRITTEN forms of literature. He wrote, “the difference between words on a page and words on a screen is the difference between product and process.” Reading this excerpt took me back to the readings of “The Medium is the Massage.” The medium is not more important because the medium is making readers lazy. On the Macintosh computer, someone can use the find tool to find keywords, so a reader can find exactly what they want to find in a matter of seconds without reading the entire passage. I agree with Birkets in saying that conventional literature immerses the reader into the writing.

Technology can be a useful tool but should not be abused. Our world is becoming more reliant on these forms of technology which makes it nearly impossible to ignore electronic literature. Electronic literature appeals to different people, but not to me.  There is something about sitting on your porch and reading a good novel that appeals to me.

Classic Literature

According to the dictionary, literature is defined as written works, especially those considered of superior or lasting artistic merit. In line with this definition, Luminous Airplanes would be considered a piece of literature. This new age literature is interesting to me, because it reminds me of my younger days. My junior year of highschool, I was introduced by a friend to the game “Grand Theft Auto.” The game is considered to be violent is frowned upon by many, however in some sense there are similarities between the video game and the online literature piece. In the game, one can follow the story campaign and live the life of the main character, “Trevor,” or they can do anything they would like in the game. One can do absolutely anything they please in the game. In this online book, one can read the book, or they can access the map, and read from anywhere they please.

After reading a few pages from the beginning, I decided to access the map. From the map I then press the help button where I was presented with an interesting text. The text read: “My god, you think you need help? You’re not the one sitting in his room in New Haven, Connecticut, right now, wondering what the hell happened to your life.” The text further went in a somewhat biographical sense expanding on the authors life and then closing with, “and you think you’re the one who needs help! My god.” This was interesting to me because it was a much more relaxed sense of text contrary to the other texts we were asked to read. It was even more interesting because I stumbled upon it by myself, and not just reading straight through. Most people most likely do not even click on the help section of the map. Luminous Airplanes is much different than say Frankenstein because Frankenstein is a piece of literature where Mary Shelley wants readers to get a message from reading her novel. The story has a plot with a beginning and an end. With this online text, I felt as if it didn’t have the same elements that Frankenstein had because the story was chosen by the reader. The reader got the message that he WANTED to receive from the text. It is unlike normal text, and I feel as if the author Carr would not approve of this form of literature because in the end the reader is somewhat of an author.

Birket’s in his argument puts forth an interesting idea that reading a text should take you places. That when you read a book you are not sitting there reading but you are actually immersed into the book along with the characters. Upon reading Luminous Airplanes, I did not feel this. I did not feel as if I was immersed into the text, because I was choosing what was going on, and there was not actually a moment that took me by surprise. By definition, people could say that this is a form of literature, but from an author’s point of view, and a readers standpoint, this is not “classic literature.”

 

 

What is the medium?

In today’s society, we are run by social media and alternate news sources. The presidential campaign was a turning point in my personal views of social media. Our current President of the United States, Donald Trump, constantly brings up the idea of “fake news.” Although I do not fully agree with his statement that the news is never right, I will agree that social media allows for different facts and statements to be skewed in a way that leaves viewers with an altered mindset. During the election, I decided to delete my twitter account because I could not stand to read different people’s strong opinions on the presidential candidates.

Marshall McLuhan, author of Medium is the Massage, understood the media before his time. In his novel, he argues that technology is changing society and the way people think and behave. He is not necessarily talking down on the advancements in technology, because the medium is the message. To McLuhan, it is not essentially the message that is put forth, it is the way that it is brought to us. He introduced the idea of the emergence of a “global village” and the unification of people through these technologies. During his time, there was no Twitter, Facebook, or instantaneous ways of finding news. McLuhan’s ideas, although presented before our time, are completely relevant. The way that information is brought to us, the medium, is more important than the message itself. McLuhan writes, “Societies have always been shaped more by the nature of the media by which men communicate than by the content of the communication” (McLuhan, 10). He further argues that, “All media work us over completely. They are so pervasive in their personal, political, economic aesthetic, psychological, moral, ethical, and social consequences that they leave no part of us untouched, unaffected, unaltered” (19). This is interesting because we do not understand how engulfed our lives are, in technologies. We use technology for everything. He believes that these technological progressions are inevitable, but not necessarily bad. These technologies unite humanity into one big global village. Me deleting my twitter account during the election was stupid according to McLuhan. For it is not what I was reading, but the fact that I could read what my second cousin who lives in Krakow, Poland was writing, instantaneously.

This idea is different from Birkets who believes that these progressions in technologies are diminishing our language and the idea of literacy. McLuhan uses the word “outdated” when referencing older news sources which would frustrate Birkets. The Medium is the Message tells the story of our technological advancements uniting humanity into one big global village, while the writer of the novel didn’t even know the power of social networking in place today.

 

Source:

McLuhan, M. (1967). The Medium is the Massage. Corle Madera, CA: Ginko Press Inc. .

The Quite Interesting Elegies

Placeholder ImageThe world around us is constantly changing. Those resistant to the change are deemed ignorant and old school. Technology and moral values are changing at an alarming rate. For example, every year there is a new iPhone that comes out with drastic changes and something a previous iPhone didn’t have. In the same sense, each generation of young people is being exposed to drugs, sex, and other corrupting values at an earlier age. They are exposed through movies, music, and their peers. In a sense, technology is to blame. I vividly remember for my 12 birthday I received my first bow hunting set. I was ecstatic. My best friend Joe, who at the time was 13, received his first smart phone. I remember being so jealous of him that he had a smart phone, that sometimes I forgot about my bow set. Looking back on my 12-year-old self I am angry with myself for being jealous. For it is with that bow that I killed my first deer, and many outdoor REAL life experiences while my friend was inside trapped on his phone playing tetris.

In a sense this is what Birkets was arguing. He pointed out that more and more people are forgetting what literature is because of the fast growing technologies. At one point he wrote, “we have created technology that not only enables us to change our basic nature, but is making it inevitable.” It was inevitable that I received my first smart phone; it was just a matter of time. I agree with Birkets in his argument in chapter 1. He further more argued that “by in large, we ignore the massive transformations happening before us.” His argument was very urgent. He begins to close his argument in chapter 1 with the idea that a whole generation of children was engulfed in one motion picture, and the introduction to Disney. He specifically wrote, “will all these kids march forward into adulthood as Diseny automatons, with cookie cut responses to the world they encounter?” After reading the closing statements to that paragraph I had to stop and think; the thought of this was all too familiar. 1984 by George Orwell. Birkets introduced the thought that this motion picture is brain washing little children, just how most of the people in 1984 were brainwashed with their “cookie cut responses.”

In Chapter 2, Birkets begins to get a little more in depth on who he is as a writer and how he became the writer he is today. I find this section of the book to be very relatable, because he mentions how his family at home didn’t speak English. In my home, my parents raised me to speak Polish in the house. I too went into preschool not understanding the common everyday English language. I too felt that, “English wasn’t mine, it belonged to them.” This section of chapter 2, I found to be the most relatable to me. Chapter 2 was generally a better read. Birkets was took a less formal approach to this section, and made it so the reading could relate and also feel for him. When discussing his childhood, one quote that stood out to me was when Birkets said how he was scared to be left alone in a room full of books. Birkets wrote, “I thought the dogs would slip free of their confinement, and come baying after me.” This shows the passion that Birkets had for literature, and how real it was to him.