Writing Machines is the course website for English 170L at Pomona College in Claremont, California.
Also, I want to reiterate how pleased I am with the way the wiki has turned out. I've showed it to a few friends who are definitely not up on their hypertext literature, and they all liked it quite a bit. Good job, us.
I think that much of the posting craziness that has gone on in the past few days is evidence of our collective procrastination, but I, for one, have enjoyed it quite a bit. For perhaps the first time this semester, I find myself approaching the blog as something fun to do, rather than something I'm doing for a grade and therefore must do an impressive job of. I'm going to be a bit sad to have it gone. I hope that you guys keep posting every now and again, even if only occasionally. This has been a lot of fun.
Fine! It is possible that pseudo is going to kill me for this, but I suspect the class will revolt if the secret is not revealed. I'm not sure that the person wants their name posted on this blog, so I'll just say this: On pseudo's project page, there is a section on possible suspects. One possible suspect is described as having their fingerprints all over this. That person was the main initiator of the Cassie prank. Said lead prankster had help from several individuals, most of them on the suspect list. Crashingintowalls and I both knew the identity of the prankster, and I fear that a couple of joking suggestions I made were actually implemented (the "You don't care about me!" letter, among others).
I just ran across a really interesting blog post on The Daily Dish about the nature of interpersonal connections online, particularly on blogs. It's definitely worth a read.
It makes me think a lot about the nature of online communication. I don't necessarily agree with the commenter in the above post that online communication is false. I would argue that it is just incomplete. Blogs (and forums, chatrooms, etc.) offer a way of connecting with people outside of their normal context. It's hard to get an accurate picture of someone if you never see them interact with their real-life friends, family and co-workers.
This is in response to Oz's post about email diaries. I had a similar experience at one point a few years ago, except mine occured on IM. I have a friend who I was intially introduced to by a mutual friend in real life, but who I first got to know well on IM. We were both working boring summer jobs far away from our normal circles of friends, so we ended up talking online a lot, sometimes for hours every day. When we got back to school, we started to see eachother in real life more, but we kept up with the incessant IM conversations for a long time.
It's true that the end of semester increase in post frequency has allowed for a lot of fun interaction. It also seems that without a ton of class reading to discuss, people are making fewer monologues and are actually responding to eachother, which I think is fun.
Early on, we talked a lot about whether blogs were truly interactive, or whether they offered a false interactivity. I think in these last few weeks I've gotten a better sense of the kind of interactivity that really serious bloggers manage. Professional bloggers often post several times a day, and when you have a group of peop
I agree with Oz and Silversprung that our wiki is turning out really well. It seemed to me that while it started out being very promising, it then went through a somewhat dismaying phase of chaos and contradictory lexia. I've been really pleased and excited to see the way various storylines have been tied together. The whole thing makes much more sense as a coherent whole than I ever expected. There are still a few things I hope we can all iron out before the end of tomorrow, but I'm really very happy with our experiment. It's not a small thing to create something this ambitious with this many authors in the mix.
I'm currently in the process of working on law school applications, as well as helping my friends who are working on their own grad school applications. More and more schools are requesting that applicants submit their materials online, so that is the route I've elected to go. I have a very love/hate relationship with these online applications. On the one hand, the ability to copy-paste or automatically fill in some of the basic information that every application asks for has made my life much, much easier. I like being able to save my applications online, not having any papers to keep track of. On the other hand, some of these text boxes do not have anywhere near enough room. You run into the same problem on paper applications, but at least then you know ahead of time how much room you have, and can fudge things a little bit with small writing if you have to. There is at least one applicaiton that I may have to submit in paper because the boxes they provide don't even have enough room to list the name of the company I've worked at for the last two years. I'm glad the option is being offered, but some of these electronic application are a bit more of a pain in the neck than I anticipated.
I finally got around to playing Winchester's Nightmare, and I have to say that I'm not very impressed. I agree with thenewblack that the context provided made some of the wandering more bearable. However, I would inevitably hit a point where I was stuck doing the same things over and over again, trying to figure out what I had missed. To be fair, I'm not exactly a gamer, so people who were better at Zork and Adventure might have a more rewarding experience with Winchester's Nightmare than I did. It seemed comparable to Zork and Adventure as a game.
There is something about finals week that makes me want nothing more than to hunt down my favorite children's books as a way to relax in between bouts of studying. In keeping with this goal, I borrowed the Orson Scott Card novel Ender's Game from a neighbor. Then I remembered the storyline in which 12-year-old Peter and 10-year-old Valentine plot to take over the world. Their first step in their plan is to publish their writings on "the nets" using false names and adult personas. Take a look at the following passage:
They stayed away from the nets that required use of a real name. That wasn't hard because real names only had to do with money. They didn't need money. They needed respect, and that they could earn. With false names, on the right nets, they could be anybody. Old men, middle-aged women, anybody, as long as they were careful about the way they wrote. All that anyone would see were their words, their ideas. Every citizen started equal on the nets.