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Kathi Berens

Kathi Berens's Public Library

  • WEEK 4 — CONCRETE POETRY History & Today
    Concrete Poetry (Wikipedia entry)
    Adam Lisckiewicz, Alphabet Man
    Dan Waber, “Strings

  • Great Salt Lake, a saltwater lake in northwestern Utah, is the largest lake in the western United States.
  • the lake covers about 1,600 square miles
  • The concentration of salt varies, depending on the amount of water in the lake at any given time.

  • remake their institutions, and working -- from the inside -- to embed core humanities values and knowledge into academic structures and policies.
  • Raising awareness of problems like student debt, overproduction of PhDs, under-preparation for ther realities of the market, exploitative labor practices, and the corporatization and adjunctification of our universities is the way to go.

  • The talk was as humorous as it was serious. Bérubé acknowledged that some of us in academe are the sort of people who name their cats “Trotsky,” but we are often exploited because “we love this profession so much, we’d do it for free—and many do.”


    How do we talk about a profession that feels like a calling—that’s infused with the rhetoric of “love”—without at the same time undermining the other reality that being an academic is a job, and we are workers who need to advocate, collectively, for our common interests?

  • While the MLA can suggest a $6,800 minimum wage for college teaching, the organization can’t dictate policies to individual institutions. Bérubé exhorted the MLA membership to use any position of power that we might have to work towards a more equitable labor system.  It’s a matter of fairness—something for which the remaining tenured faculty should lobby—and it’s a matter of survival as we lose control over faculty governance at our institutions. Perhaps the percentage of tenured faculty is already so small that we can be “drowned in the bathtub.”

  • Modernism, when it appears at its most formal, when it seems most concerned with its own materials and practice, is generally at the same time responding to the social transformation of its conditions of existence.
  • What Peter Bürger calls the historic avant gardes go further than this. [3] They seek a conscious transformation of art into a social practice, a merging of art and life, an overcoming of the limits of the aesthetic as a realm of mere compensation for the commodification and formalization of the world.
  • Art, cut adrift from the modern vocation to revolutionize, if not life, then at least its own form, becomes nothing more than high-end interior decoration.

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  • By choosing to adapt such a familiar story, the series' creators are allowing you to notice these limitations at each turn. You’re not just watching them recreate Pride and Prejudice, you’re watching as they problem-solve their way out of the constraints of the format they've chosen.

  • Thus from a background of artificial intelligence or electronic literature, the consternation caused in some circles by Bogost's 2007 book Persuasive Games, which proposed that one could use simulation games' rules as rhetorical devices, was surprising. If anything, I was expecting the opposite criticism: "sure, that's right, but this isn't new". That would've admittedly been a bit unfair, but certainly the basic idea that one can deploy procedures encoding a viewpoint, for rhetorical purposes, didn't even really raise eyebrows in my circles.
  • systems are more complex, inscrutable, and non-human-controlled than I think many of the examples on either side give them credit for
  • But systems are more interesting and elusive than that, as Turing noted. Even an activity as simple as playing with river rocks in a stream derives a key part of its interesting strangeness from nonhuman systems: unlike playing with a static material like Legos, playing with river rocks is inherently a play with systems
08 Jan 14

"This article proposes a critical review of the literature on procedural rhetoric, from a game design perspective. The goal of the article is to show the limits of procedural rhetorics for the design and analysis of ethics and politics in games. The article suggests that theories of play can be used to solve these theoretical flaws."

  • This article proposes a critical review of the literature on procedural rhetoric, from a game design perspective
  • Unit Operations (2006)
  • Via their simulation rules, games present embedded values, and it is the players’ appropriation and understanding of that model that make a game have meaning: “A simulation is the gap between the rule-based representation of a source system and a user's subjectivity"

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  • @RustyByke 


  • the sense of "digital busyness" that comes with information overload typically  leads to a lack of depth in the ways that we think and connect with each other.
  • Digital Sabbaths
  • call to disconnect was found in several best sellers of 2011 from Sherry Turkle's Alone Together to William Powers' Hamlet's Blackberry. Powers has since become emblematic of a movement called the "Digital Sabbath." Each Friday night, he and his family  disconnect their computers from the internet for the weekend as a means to curb an ever-growing sense of information overload.

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  • I think that the two learning skills that are in the most jeopardy in our hyper-connected world are the ability to concentrate on one thing and the capacity for the kind of solitude that replenishes and restores.
  • Robots are thus considered “alive enough” for the job of care and companionship, at the limit, alive for affection.

  • By reading this agreement, you give Technology Review and its partners the unlimited right to intercept and examine your reading choices from this day forward, to sell the insights gleaned thereby, and to retain that information in perpetuity and supply it without limitation to any third party.
  • Actually, the text above is not exactly analogous to the terms on which we bargain with every mouse click. To really polish the analogy, I'd have to ask this magazine to hide that text in the margin of one of the back pages. And I'd have to end it with This agreement is subject to change at any time. What we agree to participate in on the Internet isn't a negotiated trade; it's a smorgasbord, and intimate facts of your life (your location, your interests, your friends) are the buffet.
  • Facebook then responds to the inevitable public outcry by restoring something that's like the old system, except slightly less private.

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  • A voyage into the invisible business that funds the web.
  • Every move you make on the Internet is worth some tiny amount to someone, and a panoply of companies want to make sure that no step along your Internet journey goes unmonetized.
  • While the big names -- Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, etc. -- show up in this catalog, the bulk of it is composed of smaller data and advertising businesses that form a shadow web of companies that want to help show you  advertising that you're more likely to click on and products that you're  more likely to purchase.

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