Thoughts on Jan 18 Readings – Clayton Mathis

DMCA – Aside from being very hard to read, the question that came to my mind was “Who is this trying to protect?” In further reading it seemed clear it was trying to protect institutions and let them out of responsibility for their member’s copyright violations, whether that institution is an internet service provider or a university.

It’s woefully out of date, as most regulation about the internet is. It talks about “streaming media” as something that is on the boundaries of the internet, which it was in 1995-98, not as the staple it is today.

Library of Babel – I found this very interesting to read. The metaphor of the library as a representation of society was interesting; however many times the author had to stretch to describe society’s actions in the vernacular of the library. At the end I saw the narrator as someone who was hopeful, but unsure about the power of the library to define us as people, or himself more specifically, and to provide answers for us at the same time.

my body – a wunderkammer – For some reason this would not load for me

Galatea – This was an interesting attempt to further traditional storytelling through the use of html. The author could have obviously just written a story about an insecure sculpture and her self-realization. But she chose to create an interactive environment. This gave the subject of the story, the statue, the ability to surprise the reader with thoughts that were not expected. It also made the reader think critically about the story and the intentions of the statue, the way one would when interacting with a real person.

Change the Code, Save the Text – Another, more pointed and explicit example of a way to present a story while enhancing it through html. The hidden information in the code served to drive home the point that changing the format of a story can change the reader’s perception of the story, as well as their experience reading it, which in turn can fundamentally change the story itself.


~ by Clayton Mathis on January 18, 2011.

2 Responses to “Thoughts on Jan 18 Readings – Clayton Mathis”

  1. You have some interesting thoughts on the readings. You took it a lot more seriously than me. Concerning the DMCA, I agree with you how the document seems out of date. However, I am not so sure that the intent is to protect the ISP, but rather the business interests of major corporations. I believe around this was the advent of Napster and other music sharing services. At this time, there was a huge push to protect the music industry and punish music pirates. Because only a small percentage of the population seeded these music files, while the rest downloaded them, I think the point of the DMCA was to reveal the identity of the source of these files.
    Also, as a computer science major, I find the prospect of hiding information in code that is meant to be discovered by someone really dumb. I mean, it even annoys me to place my mouse over a picture from to see the caption! I don’t wanna have to ‘view source’ every time I visit the page of some guy who thinks he’s being creative 😡 In my opinion, the technology is not meant to be used this way and it shouldn’t be. You don’t see artists painting an additional picture on the back of a canvas, do you?

    – Mike Lew

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