Kate: Thornton’s argument suggests that handwriting as a technology is capable of indicating particular qualities of those employing the technology—whether or not an individual or group is indicated is based on the speciﬁc cultural understanding of community values. Is this true of other literacy technologies? In our contemporary moment, handwriting doesn’t hold much cultural capital anymore— as individuals, most of our written communication probably happens via typing and word-processing. Is it possible for typing as a technology to indicate particular qualities and characteristics of individuals or groups? Rachel: What hierarchies do we have in place today in our system of handwriting, if any? Is simply placing text into printed form a demonstration of status in ways?Monday, March 7, 2011
Tim: How does Gitelman help us dispense with fears of technology’s determinism? What method does she propose and enact to help us locate these tools in the cultural practices of people in places with purposes?Monday, March 7, 2011
Ben: We know that Gitleman responds to technological determinism and describes a more complex and subtle rhetorical technological development, but does her text respond at all to the “technology as neutral debate”? Does it matter? I think it matters for where we focus our critique. And it seems to me that each step away from technological determinism is a step towards technology as neutral–as a tool (or agency) in a wider social practice. And I guess I’m still ﬁguring out the extent to which we place responsibility on technology for the social ills it sometimes creates. Thoughts?Monday, March 7, 2011
Tim: How does the leaping of text from page and eye to wax cylinder and ear change its possible reception? How does it open transformative appropriations? How does it shut them down?Monday, March 7, 2011
Ben: Gitleman talks a lot about inscription. How does she deﬁne it? How far does her idea of inscription (reading X rays like a book, reading meters) go for describing the textual nature of technology? Inscription seems like such a pliable term that I wonder if it loses its descriptive power over Gitleman’s book. If we look hard enough, can’t we ﬁnd inscription everywhere?Monday, March 7, 2011
Ben and Tim: “For the “liberal apologists” who Burke responds to, science is seen as good and absolute (30). In the Grammar of Motives, Burke says that the area of applied science equals the elimination of purpose (286). The question of “can we do it?” replaces the question of purpose: “should we do it?” Science, as an autonomous entity, does it because it can. But in response, Burke describes science as an agency (Rhetoric 29), and thus as a tool in a wider context of actions and purpose. Burke does not see science as autonomous from political and economic structures saying, “a science takes on the moral qualities of the political or social movements with which it becomes identiﬁed” (31). Thus, “Insofar as a faulty political structure perverts human relations, we might reasonably expect to ﬁnd a correspondingly perverted science” (29). Nothing is purely autonomous, science also exists in the realm of identiﬁcation and division, and in so far as it does, science is subject to rhetorical concerns.” (TEAM SCENE!)Monday, March 7, 2011
A particular slide catching your eye?
Clipping is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later.