Hayles, Goetz, Slavin, Pariser

Last semester when I returned to the world of academia, I was surprised that I was being asked to read so many long-winded articles on my computer.  Of course, I figured out that I could, with a little additional effort and money, print the texts out myself and carry on with my reading assignments.  I must be old school, but I know I’m not alone.  I must also sound like someone who gets easily distracted…

I did read “How We Read” on my computer, however, and I’m glad for that as it aligns with the purpose of our discussions for this week.  I thought it was interesting how key points were highlighted, and was conscious of my reading behaviors (and distractions) as I made my way through the piece.  Skipping or skimming through elaborations and examples is something I tend to do.  Ultimately, I want to get to the end and be done with the reading so I can read what I want to read on my own time.  That’s how my brain works, and again, I know I’m not alone. 

Literature classes are not my strong suit.  Don’t get me wrong; I love reading.  But as soon as someone tells me I have to read a specific book and analyze it, it’s as if my brain shuts off and I go through the motions with my eye balls and turn pages while gleaning very little.  It’s sad.  I want to get better at close reading.  I think it’s something I recognized a long time ago, and my skills have since remained, for the most part, underdeveloped. 

Hayles discusses the various kinds of reading and poses this question: “What transformed disciplinary coherence might literary studies embrace?” (78)

It seems to me that MSU, or at least WRIT 371, is right on track with what Hayles suggests.  Print may be declining, but it’s never going to go away.  Therefore, it makes sense that students and educators alike take a comprehensive approach and embrace both sides of the coin.   

I watched Goetz’s TED Talk for about twelve minutes before I became bored and started clicking on other tabs I had open on my computer.  Occasionally, I’d click back on the “T” tab and see him pacing around on the stage.  The subtitles omitted his use of filler words I noticed.  I experimented with pressing the mute button and just reading the text.  Interesting, I guess. 

I found Slavin and Pariser’s TED Talks to be quite enlightening.  Pariser’s point that it is not just Google and Facebook who are “flirting with filters,” it’s a widespread web issue.  Yikes.  He makes such a beautiful point, and I hope that Google, in particular, has taken his advice to allow users some control over the information that they receive.  I look forward to reading and learning more about this soon…

If I haven’t made this clear by now, I’m just not that into spending time on my computer.  Tough tiddlywinks though, right?  My website and blog for this class is my online presence.  (Yes, I am aware that this fact might shed light on a few things that I don’t really feel like getting into here.)  I do claim to be open minded though, and this is helping.