The Shallows, Reading Two

Most of this post was assembled by three awesome students from last year. Thanks people!

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Anybody else wonder what a theodolite is?
Here’s a definition. (Also, there’s an app for that.)

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Epic Poetry

Regarding the techniques used in an oral culture to remember information:

“Modern scholars recognize certain features common to oral poetry that often seem strange to readers. The key to all these so-called formulas is repetition, that indispensable prod to memory. In the Homeric epics, for example, long verse paragraphs recounting the details of sacrifice, the proffering of gifts, the naming of participants may be repeated almost word for word. Descriptive epithets repeatedly accompany characters’ names: “the swift-footed brilliant Akhilleus” or “Hektor, breaker of horses” or “the grey-eyed goddess Athena… these repetitions gave the bard a second to remember his place in the narrative… These oral formulaic devices, then, glued a massive narrative together, permitting feats of memory which readers in the computer age are more likely to associate with data banks than with poets.”

Read more about classical poetry here! It’s fun!

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Gutenberg

Turn the pages of a Gutenberg Bible.

An interactive map showing the spread of printing.

We’re all familiar with Project Gutenberg, but this automated bartending project by the same name is based on booze.

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Technological Determinism (aka the most terrifying thing ever)

A more recent expression of McLuhan’s view:

“While it depends on us, we are increasingly dependent on it. Like any child, it has its demands. So far, humanity as a whole is in denial that it even has a child.”

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Not unlike the Cylons? Any Battlestar fans in the class?

Ever heard of the Technological Singularity?

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Lee de Forest has a website. Here, learn more about the audion.

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Braiiinss

More on London cabbies and their hippocampuses.

A summary of a study on illiterate ex-paramilitary forces comparing the brain structure of illiterate and literate adults and how it changes as they learn how to read.
Why not just study children learning to read? The article says it’s hard to distinguish the changes that come about from reading from the changes that occur due to normal development.

Does literacy steal brain power from other functions? According to this study, probably. 

More info on magical mirror neurons and reading.

Are texting, emailing and other forms of purely verbal communication decreasing our ability to read non-verbal cues? This article says so.

 

The Shallows: Reading One

An assortment of things relating to Reading One.

2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY
2001-a-space-odyssey-original

On The Simpsons

On
Family Guy 

General cartoon appropriations of the film

The Space Odyssey explained

Roger Ebert’s (film critic) thoughts

Connections to other Sci-fi films 

TIFF recently hosted a retrospective of Kubrick’s films and art inspired by them

How much of Kubrick’s vision was scientifically accurate? (Engineering and Technology Magazine)

Internet Resource Archive on 2001

When computers say stuff with feelings

Articles/essays on Google Scholar

 

And now, on to SEA SLUGS

*aplysia2

Above, Aplysia. This image is from the Thornton Lab at the University of Oregon. (Are you recoiling? Are you not? What does that say about your neuroplasticity?)

PRINTING and READING
• Educational clip about the history of printing and reading
• Gutenberg then vs Gutenberg now: Project Gutenberg

Your Outboard Brain Knows All, Clive Thompson.

And…sigh…yet another indication that the internet/smart phones are rewiring our brains: Phantom Phone Vibrations.

NIETZSCHE’S TYPEWRITER
88229077f2writing-ball1
Read
about this machine and how it changed Nietzsche’s writing

 

MULTITASKING
Multi-tasking is a lie
. (That’s my summary)
Full academic article.
Summary of new human-information processing skills

 

GOOGLE and THE SHALLOWS
How Google is Changing Your Information-Seeking Behavior, Lab Soft News Blog.

Is Google Making Us Stupid? Nope!, Philip Davis

The above (Davis essay) is a response to this article in The Atlantic.

And, another anti-Carr response to the question about Google and our collective stupidity.

And, if you’re going to use Google, learn to really use it.

Nicholas Carr’s book site | blog


MIRROR NEURONS

VS Ramachandran: Mirror Neurons

 

NORMAN MAILER vs MARSHAL McLUHAN!
• Watch the video of Norman Mailer arguing with Marshal McLuhan

• Marshall McLuhan: talking about the medium is the message.

Just Remember This, by Michael Greenberg

 

The Shallows, Reading One

A great find by former student, Mary. Hi Mary!

The End of Cursive?

“It’s just not being assessed. That’s the biggie,” she says. “If it’s not assessed, it tends to fall by a little because people are teaching to the test.”

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Anne Mangen at the University of Stavanger’s Reading Centre. “But handwriting seems, based on empirical evidence from neuroscience, to play a larger role in the visual recognition and learning of letters.

“This is something one should be aware of in an educational context,” she stresses.

In other words, those who learn to write by hand learn better.

—–

The End of Cursive? – Article

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aplysia2

Above, a sea slug, Aplysia. This image is from the Thornton Lab at the University of Oregon. (Are you recoiling? Are you not? What does that say about your neuroplasticity?)

• Educational clip about the history of printing and reading
• Gutenberg then vs Gutenberg now: Project Gutenberg

Your Outboard Brain Knows All, Clive Thompson.

And…sigh…yet another indication that the internet/smart phones are rewiring our brains: Phantom Phone Vibrations.

MULTITASKING
Multi-tasking is a lie
. Summary of article. Link to full academic article. (Good to read this in context with the findings about multi-tasking posted in the Weekly Roundup)

Summary of new human-information processing skills

GOOGLE
How Google is Changing Your Information-Seeking Behavior, Lab Soft News Blog.

Is Google Making Us Stupid? Nope!, Philip Davis

The above (Davis essay) is a response to this article in The Atlantic.

And, another anti-Carr response to the question about Google and our collective stupidity.

And, if you’re going to use Google, learn to really use it.

MIRROR NEURONS
VS Ramachandran: Mirror Neurons

Norman Mailer vs Marshal McLuhan!
• Watch the video of Norman Mailer arguing with Marshal McLuhan

• Marshall McLuhan: talking about the medium is the message.

Just Remember This, by Michael Greenberg

More extensive links about neuroplasticity to come