http://lists.tmttlt.com/listinfo.cgi/transdisciplinarystudies-tmttlt.com This is the list for the book series ‘transdisciplinary studies’ which is seeking scholars interested in discussing transdisciplinary research and book proposals for transdisciplinary research
Closed Systems / Open Worlds
Edited by: Jeremy Hunsinger (Wilfrid Laurier University), Jason Nolan (Ryerson University) & Melanie McBride (York University)
This book will consist of explorations at the boundaries of virtual worlds as enclosed but encouraging spaces for exploration, learning, and enculturation. Game/worlds like Second Life, OpenSim, Minecraft, and Cloud Party are providing spaces for the construction of alternatives and reimaginings, though frequently they end up more as reproductions. We seek to challenge those spaces and their creativities and imaginings.
These worlds exist as both code and conduct. Code is a modulating multiple signifier, in that the interpreters of the code vary from human to machine and that our understanding of the signifier changes the worldliness in itself. The conduct of both participants and administrators of these spaces influences how they flourish and then fade. As such the worlds and their anima/animus are socially constructed fictions where authors/creators/users, both above and below the actions are sometimes in concert, yet often in conflict with the space and intentions of the originators.
This book seeks critically engaged scholars who want to risk the possibility of change in the face of closed systems. We are looking for critical or speculative essays that must be theoretically, empirically and/or contextually grounded chapters of 5000-6500 words plus apparatus. Doctoral students and non-tenure faculty members will be afforded blind peer review upon request.
We are aiming for 12 -14 chapters that define the boundaries and thus likely futures of research on virtual worlds.
Aug 1, 2014 – 250 word précis with 5-10 key references
Aug. 30, 2014 – accept/reject proposals
Feb 1, 2015 – final draft due
July 1, 2015 – feedback from reviewers
September 1, 2015 – final version
December 1, 2015 – in press
Queries and submissions: ClosedandOpenBook@gmail.com
Topics may include:
10 things that i think i know about learning ecologies
1. human beings learn; we don’t stop learning, we learn while we are awake, we learn while we are asleep, we learn when under stress, and we learn when comfortable and happy.
2. human beings do not always learn what others know, or think is the truth, the right, the good, or anything else that is socially or culturally endorsed. in fact, we frequently learn what isn’t endorsed, and what is around the endorsed, what structures the endorsed and what endorses the endorsed, etc. etc. instead of learning the endorsed. the learning around the endorsed learning may be the most important learning in the end.
3. learning is a process. it is not thing, nor a product. it must be performed, but awareness of its performance does not always improve it. human beings are not the only things that learn.
4. speed and change occur in ecologies and thus affect learning and learning ecologies.
5. learning constructs relationships. relationships are frequently labeled objects, essences, qualities, etc. but what we are doing is learning to relate one thing or set of things(subject, object, or quasi-object) to another thing or set of things. frequently when learning these relationships, we make them too ‘unchanging’, thus requiring future unlearning and relearning.
6. learning is social. there are always other human beings. other humans exist as learners implicit in everything, from our language, to our actions, to our texts, and to our world. even if there are no ‘physical subjects’ other than yourself present when you learn, there are tens of thousands of subjects, a virtual society or hidden college, around you. we learn from and with those human beings.
7. human beings build and inhabit ‘assemblages’ which are systems of relationships which persist through time such as institutions, environments, ideologies, etc. etc. we build structures for learning too. we also build ‘mechanisms’ which structure relationships with an intention of producing or re-producing in whole or in part assemblages. the structuring and/or mechanizing of learning can prevent or hinder the learning, as much as it can help and encourage it.
8. assemblages and mechanisms are internal to our learning ecology, but we do not always learn about them, sometimes they are purposefully hidden from us, sometimes justifiably, sometimes not. sometimes these assemblages and mechanisms augment human being’s capacity to learn.
9. when we structure and/or mechanize learning, we change its ecology, which necessitates the creation of relationships or the changing of relationships, thus we need to learn the relationships in the ecologies anew.
10. human beings have always been tool users. tools are technologies, and we have always learned about and through technologies. technologies, as such, are part of our learning ecology and play parts in structuring and mechanizing learning. technologies have always mediated relationships, and all media are technologies. there is a ‘craft’ to all technologies that must be learned, and in learning that craft, we create new relationships that we share with others.
The final issue of the journal learning inquiry has been published.
The topic was Learning Infrastructures in the Social Sciences.
The contributions are:
Introducing learning infrastructures: invisibility, context, and governance
Virtual office hours as cyberinfrastructure: the case study of instant messaging
Jeren Balayeva and Anabel Quan-Haase
Transforming learning infrastructures in the social sciences through flexible and interactive technology-enhanced learning
Philipp Budka and Claudia Schallert
The Brisbane Media Map: participatory design and authentic learning to link students and industry
Christy Collis, Marcus Foth and Ronald Schroeter
Learning to succeed in a flat world: information and communication technologies for a new generation of business students
Alex Ramirez, Michael J. Hine, Shaobo Ji, Frank Ulbrich and Rob Riordan
And one article not in the special issue, but included in the final issue:
The educational (im)possibility for dietetics: a poststructural discourse analysis
Jason Nolan and I wish to thank you for your interest and submissions over the last few years.
Digital Archives That Disappear
April 22, 2009
As digital archives have become more important and more popular, there are varying schools of thought among scholars about how best to guarantee that they will be around for good. Some think that the best possibility is for the creators of the archives — people generally with some passion for the topic — to keep control. Others favor acquisition, thinking that larger entities provide more security and resources for the long run.
I remember when people were horrified that google bought dejanews and when dejanews started archiving and keeping usenet, which was before fairly ephemeral. Those were horrific days for many people because something would be preserved and controlled by someone else that was never intended to be that way.
We’ve been facing problems with digital archives for ages and private digital archives are a huge problem for researchers, costs aside… The question of copyright, etc. is key and often misplaced, in the new form of the digital material. In any case, the discussion above points to some of the new problems of digital archives.
The Center for Digital Discourse and Culture is pleased to announce our Front Pages Collection, an archive of newspaper coverage of the April 16 tragedy. The hundreds of front pages posted on this site were given to the Center by a thoughtful individual in the aftermath of the shootings. Together, they capture a wide variety of responses to, and representations of, the events and aftermath of April 16 from around the world. The collection is organized by geographic location. It can be accessed at: http://april16archive.org/frontpages/
Culture in virtual worlds? Critiquing the complexities and our assumptions
Granted this model of culture makes things more complex and clouded than many current ideological strands of the cultural sciences and humanities might prefer, but in virtual worlds, where the environment is constructed either through fixed programmed interfaces or the through the results of genetic algorithms, the construction of subjects and objects as different in any knowable sense is speculative at best. The assumption that many cultural scientists, and humanities scholars make that if it seems to talk and act like a subject or like them’ then it is a subject very much depends on the environment. People have been simulating conversation in virtual worlds for years, and simulating actions just as long, beyond that people have been designing these virtual world for cultural effects that frequently do not come to fruition.
Consider the possibility of a virtual world developed to support natural and cultural sciences. In this world, the humans interface with the world is intended to simulate nature, such as pseudorandom distribution of wind or water flows over abradable media such as sandstone, or the bifurcations of tree roots as they interact with the soil. The purpose of such a world would be to see to what extent artifacts found in nature are likely man-made or man-influenced or not. In this game, individual actions add up to a part of the simulation, thus an ‘avatar’ would be the combination of forces over time as mixed with the forces and the fun would be had by influencing and changing the additive and multiplicative efforts of many people over time. The actions ‘avatar’, as a natural forces, is a combination of many possible people’s influences over time where time is one of the variables that consensus can effect and the interface can model, so that some people may slow down to a bacteriological time, or speed up to human time onward to the geological times of redwoods, and onto that of mountains. One possible sub-game may be to produce objects that might be confused with archeological artifacts, such as the Sphinx. Another sub-game that would surely arise is the design and or defacement of areas of the world for artistic or other purposes. We can see from such a game, that the ‘avatar’, or that which acts on cultural objects in the world may in fact be plural, and may produce things that are not considered artifacts as much as terrain. This possibility, the dissociation of the avatar from the individual and the dissociation of the products of the avatar from the culture is an extreme example of the reality of what people already do in virtual worlds today.
This dissociation of cultural subject and cultural production problematizes much of the scholarship being done in virtual worlds which depends on the assumptions that subject/s create or exist in relation to objects, but in the messiness of programmable systems, the mixing of subjects/objects into quasi-subjects, quasi-objects, and the pluralization of the relationship between a persons interface and their ‘avatar’, causes one to be immediately skeptical of the reported experiences of people acting through their interfaces in the virtual world. Even their reports should be colored by the researcher’s inability to discern the authenticity of the persons reporting given that the world they experienced through their screens, speakers, and haptic devices could be entirely different from that world experienced by a person using different devices, having different proficiencies, or living in different cultures. This is not to say that we cannot make assumptions about world, subjects, and objects, but it is to say that the assumptions that we rely on in the f2f world that ground our research may not be, and frequently are not valid assumptions. In short, when exploring culture in virtual worlds, we need to take care in our methodological choices and their assumptions for even the most basic assumptions such as, “my student in my virtual classroom had the same experience as my other students” is likely to be false in ways that are profoundly different than the ways it may be false in a f2f classroom. Similarly, our assumptions about the causes of behavior, social, economic, and cultural, must account for the new forms of re/mediation in their models, else they will likely end up describing less a model of subjects in a virtual world, then describing the base assumptions of their observations or experiments yet again.
Delanda, M. (2006). A new philosophy of society: Assemblage theory And social complexity. Continuum.
Guattari, F. (2000). The three ecologies (G. Genosko, Trans.). London: Athlone Press.
Latour, B. (2005). Reassembling the social : An introduction to actor-network-theory. Oxford University Press, USA.
Latour, B. (1993). We have never been modern. Harvard Univ Pr.
Latour, B., & Porter, C. (2004). Politics of nature: How to bring the sciences into democracy. Harvard Univ Pr.
Law, J. (2004). After method: Mess in social science research. Routledge.
Maltzahn, K. E. V. (1994). Nature as landscape: Dwelling and uderstanding. McGill-Queen’s University Press.
Suarez, D. (2009). Daemon. Dutton Adult.
Veblen, T. (1990). The evolution of the scientific point of view. In The Place of science in modern civilization. Transaction Publishers.
this is a brilliant use of youtube!
Research blogging is a blog for people who blog about peer reviewed research. It is a place to share and read about that research across many disciplines.