(Too – I just noticed today that I have been submitting my blog posts to the Interaction Culture blog, and not the proper Interaction Culture Class Blog. So my blogs have never aired. But I figured I’d bring this one in since it was written about the readings due today).

Freedman asserts that “For Dick and Bakhtin, style is an intrinsically social category.” It’s quite  a nice paragraph here at the bottom of page 38, but for me a little difficult to suss out.  At core, it asserts that Dick’s work “strongly recalls Bakhtin’s insistence on the impossibility of detaching style from the sociality that it registers” and that Dick’s lexicogenetic ability relates “the smallest linguistic turn to the most general movements of culture and society. For Dick and Bakhtin, style is an intrinsically social category.”

So, if I can take a stab at articulating the core of this paragraph, Freedman seems to say that Dick not only comments on the social because sf inherently comments on the social due to estrangement and cognitive effect, but that Dick’s aggressive lexicogeny (?) inherently comments on society as well – at the atomistic level of the word-form itself. In addition, they way Dick mundanely uses these ‘bold new words’ creates a sense of the commoditization of radically new.

If that’s even remotely correct, then in the HCI sense, perhaps we can take a look at the ‘mash-up’ as the digital analogue of lexicogenetic production. This seems justified since Freedman says Bakhtin’s stance applies to meaning as a whole and not just to language. In the first broad stroke, this seems to end up well, mash-ups, by their nature “are an intrinsically social” object.  One author grabs the product of two or more other authors and digi-c0-genefies them.

But my reaction to that is interesting (to me). In a piece of literature, I am still inclined to give the author lots of props for the final work — even if all the material of her work comes from existing external reality, that solitary author goes through a lot of work to turn that external into textual meaning. In a mash-up?  I am still inclined to give the original authors of the existing digital pieces more credit, and then I kinda give the masher-upper just the credit of having the good idea to synthesize to other good ideas together. They’re more “inherently social” and collective, I think, then the writer working with text.  I mean, they are literally grabbing external material and digi-co-genefying. The textual writer isn’t actually able to reach out and grab the real.

But am I not giving digital masher-uppers enough street cred?

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