I just realized that I did not tackle:
THE WRITING ISSUE
It must be because they reminded me nightmares.
This is linked obviously linked with the language barrier.
French on one side of the barrier, English on the other side. And I am not Liu Xang or Dayron Robles.
I am used to watch movies in English, have my lectures in English back in my Bachelor and live in England for few months. But when it comes to write formally, use the most accurate word and show the extent of my vocabulary, the French part of the brain came back.
While struggling with my brain to squeeze out, another issue of the same range occurred.
==> Find the best words, the best sentences, the best syntax. Unfortunately, formal writing did not come naturally at this moment. As any other international student I guess, informal writing is easier.
I met these two problems in each written assignment this semester, with different difficulty levels. While sentences were coming rather naturally for some Practices1 tasks (e.g. Essay of 500 words about “Media Specificity and Gesamtkunstwerk”), I really struggled for the summaries of sources (Annotated bibliography) in Research & Enquiry module.
- A real challenge: 50 to 100 words to summarize and give your opinion about a book.
- A real headache: I want to show that I have READ this book!
Expressing & Compressing are linked each other because they concern the writing and deal with being a non-native student.
My solution? Work hard, read a lot and work hard!
Multi multi multi tasking - Critical Analysis
So here I am.
Reading and reading again the article of Nicholas Carr taking up its main argument about Internet and its impacts on our brains. Nicholas Carr belongs to cyber-pessimists like Sherry Turkle (Alone Together). For him, digital media affects our cognitive faculties: we divide our attention and the multitasking - the assumed main quality that new technologies provide us - is actually a great danger for humans.
It was easy for me not to accepting his ideas at face value. I know that I did not choose the best quality source but this article is especially relevant to (my) interests. Indeed, I felt concerned by this article (Digital Natives) and I rapidly found both his good points and my counter-arguments. Then, I thought it was a good idea to support my arguments and assert their reliability with other sources: an older article from Nicholas Carr which proves his incoherence, books by cyber-optimists like Clay Shirky and Steven Johnson. These sources was an help to build a substantial critical analysis.
Take it to the Bridge
This reflection happens when I had already summarized my 13 sources and needed to find the excerpt of text for my critical analysis.
- Alphabetical order (and select the 7th text - G = 7th letter - G like Geoffrey)?
- Pick 1 out of the 13 sources randomly?
- Find thirteen stairs (and select the text which felt onto the last one)?
My selection process for my critical analysis was (fortunately) a bit different. I focused on areas of reflection of each book that I have tried to identify.
- Introduction to New Media
- Human-Computer Interface and Culture
- Digital Natives
- Positive cognitive impacts of our use of Media
- Negative cognitive impacts of our use of Media
- Framing the current relationship Human-Technology
- Benefits of mass collaboration, social determinism
- The multidimensional organizations of networks
- Future of the Internet
- Personalization of the Internet
- Manifesto to make people aware of digital threats
- Cyber Human Rights
- Freedom, Privacy and Safety on the Internet
It’s easy to notice.
The relation HUMAN-MEDIA (technology, screen, new media) is the most present debate of my annotated bibliography.
From this discovery, I attempted to find the source that best characterizes this issue. A text, which could start a debate, written by an involved, committed author not afraid of criticism.
My “Internet & Society” search engine
An impressive initiative.
A website filled of essential books and informative links and projects.
For someone like me who was missing knowledge on new media, New Media: a critical introduction, has quickly become an essential book. He acted as a proper handbook for me. As many other books found at the LRC, this book is rewarding and both accessible and profound. Initially chosen for my research, I nonetheless used it for my different modules (Research & Enquiry and Practice 1).
Authors’ main objective is to focus on readers’ understanding. Thus, theories are illustrated by relevant case studies which improved my understanding. The writing style is plain. There is a substantial amount of definitions.
I truly recommend to any student, practitioner and researchers in Media to keep near you several books of this standard. It is your best friend in building you the knowledge to question, assess and compare opinions of other authors.
I like to snoop. (snoop => fouine in French ==> also means weasel)
As a child, I am curious, always want to know “why?” “where does that come from?” “how does it work?” “how could it happen?”. (Yes, sometimes I wish I can switch off my brain)
But back in my research, this can be an advantage.
I just need to put limits to avoid wasting time.
I am the audience, I AM THE AUDIENCE! This annotated bibliography is for ME!
At the half of the research, I thought I was done with problems. I have detected all of them, now I just need to achieve thirteen annotations. But certainly occupied with the precedent content-oriented issues, I did not realize that I was actually writing in the wrong way. My annotations were more a promotion than proper summaries of my sources.
Until the tutorial with Ian, I was intentionally trying to convince people that these books were marvelous (and get royalties from them?). It is not a misunderstanding or my will to do so, I knew that this annotated bibliography constitutes an help for my research.
-> An outside opinion is essential
-> It is important to be constantly in hindsight to be aware of issues
I decided to forget for few days this assignment to clear my head and take a backward step. With “YOU ARE THE AUDIENCE” in mind, I went over each annotation. And to apply this creed, I attempted to create different contexts:
- “Geoffrey+10y.o.” asking the current Geoffrey: hey, tell me why did you chose this source?
- a countdown TV quiz show called “Why this source is useful for you?”
The result may not be perfect but I am rather satisfied of my evolution in 5 weeks.
And if I have to pick one author now, I would rather choose Kevin Kelly.
Kelly is neither naively optimist nor unnecessarily alarmist. He is balanced, which makes him very open-minded. He travelled, launched projects (Wired) and involved himself in a large number of different initiatives.
My list of influential authors does not stop here and includes for instance Lev Manovich, Lister and Dovey, John Palfrey and Lawrence Lessig. And it needs to (will) enrich.
But after one semester in UH, he is the author that I feel the closest to.
A friend in need
In such a project, it seems essential to have someone you can rely on. A friend, a partner, a parent, a brother/sister is indeed helpful to assess your ideas or simply have a break. In the digital world, things are quite similar…
Amazon: The mother. It didn’t give birth, I agree, but it takes care and accompanies you throughout your education. Since your childhood, your mother represents your main source of existential answers. Since the start of your research, Amazon represents your main source of must-read books. In looking back to your life, she has been the first and most influential person for you. In looking back to your research, Amazon has been the first and most influential website for you.
Google Scholar: your best friend. The one that you admire. He knows everything, even the last current trends. He helps you to reach your goals. A best friend is also someone that you can reach at anytime, anywhere and introduce to you his family.
Voyager, the perfect grand-father. Don’t expect him to provide the latest books published. But he offered you an unforgettable present, a gift that you did not expect before meeting him: his substantial address book, built through years of work experience. Thanks to him, you’ve met your dear uncles Athens and Jstor, always here to help and provide you unexpected resources.