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I notice that I tend to draw all kinds of connections between readings and classes now.

When I was reading the 5th Chapter about feminism, Barnard’s interpretation of Attfield’s opinion of design history captured my eyes:

The facts of design history do not exist ‘out there’, objectively and independently of the design historian’s consciousness.

Also, just a few lines below, Attfield quotes Bourdieu’s idea about the attempted ‘objective’ investigation:

[is] always bound to remain partial and therefore false, so long as it fails to include the point of view from which it speaks and so fails to construct the game as a whole.

These make a lot of sense to me and make me think about something Shaowen has talked about in Methods class. The issue of bias is discussed nearly each class. When considering about bias, Shaowen will always say that she believes bias cannot be eliminated. As long as we are human beings, we will always have bias. What we can only do it to take this bias into consideration, and this is exactly the same idea with Bourdieu’s. I have read about another discussion on objectivity in a Chinese journalist’s book. What she says is that she thinks only when one understands one’s own bias and also the bias of the interviewee can one approach objectivity more. To understand is very difficult, but probably it is the only way.


Criticism. Opinion. Perception.

While sitting in class, I was reminded of a story I once heard about Shiva and his wife Parvati. In this story, Shiva and Parvati wanted to understand what life was like in the human world. So they travelled to the human world using Shiva’s vehicle, Nandi the bull. Once there, they concealed their divine forms using their magical powers.

They began travelling down a path. Shiva was riding on top of Nandi and his wife was walking beside him. A human passing by thought to himself, “Why does that man ride on the back of that bull and make his wife walk, what a cruel man he is, he should be the one walking.” Hearing the thoughts of the passer-by, Shiva got off Nandi and placed his wife on the back of the bull.

Then another human passed by and thought, “Look at that man he is hen-pecked by his wife, he should put his wife in her place.” Hearing this Shiva asked his wife to come back down, which she did. Then they both together walked beside the bull.

A third time, a human walked by and thought, “Look at those two fools walking when instead they could be riding on the back of that bull in comfort and style, never before have I seen such foolishness.” After hearing this, both Shiva and his wife got on the back of the bull and began going down the path.

When they came across a fourth human, the human seeing them thought, “How cruel, those two are forcing that bull to support all of their weight, they should be ashamed of their cruelty.”

After hearing the thoughts of the fourth human, Shiva and Parvati grew tired of the human world and returned to their heavenly realm.

So I decided to look at a bit of machinima made from WoW clips set to the song “Here Without You” by 3 Doors Down. It has been an interesting journey. It is incredible to think that some clips from World of Warcraft set to a cheesy late 90’s love-rock song could make me misty-eyed. I dare you to watch this video multiple times and not be moved at least a little bit.

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So I also am going to put up what I have been thinking about for the mock outline exercise. The interaction (again) I was thinking about looking at phenomenologically is the Rock Band character creator:

So I won’t be able to give the “whole” outline here, but the topic I would be talking about is that creating rockers are a painful and reflective experience. The “pain” and “reflective” aspects are the things I would like to attempt to work out phenomenologically. In terms of the actual game experience, the pain comes in through what type of controller you are using to create/edit your rocker, how much time you can dedicate to your rocker, when/where you play Rock Band, and also if you can actually find anything in the rocker’s closet that will please your tendencies.

In terms of a reflective experience, I find this interaction to allow one to reflect on what it means to be a rocker for his/herself, reflect on the achievements done in game, listen and take action on other players’ comments about your rocker, how one can continuously keep reforming their “rocker identity” to the world, and how one can keep pushing themselves to make a better rocker.

So I’ll have to go back to my notes and see if I can find anything to support this (which I believe so, as this came from a reflection on my notes), but I was wondering what the class thinks of at large about how to pull this off in a written form.


Yesterday, I attended James O’Donnell’s talk at Lilly Library, the first talk in the History of the Book Seminars.  Right after I got out of the seminar room, I talked to myself, “Oh my God, I feel like I have been to the new world.” Professor O’Donnell introduced us a very short history of the book from the book in old days (14c ?) to The book in old days is just a piece of art. The meaning of the book in old days seems quite different from the meaning of the book in nowadays. I felt shameful that I thought that eBook is a simple physical “device” to read. Also, I felt like I miss something.

SO, I decided to try to identify diverse questions from diverse perspectives not to miss something that might be so important and to get diverse insights for the design of eBooks:

What kinds of experience do readers go through cognitively and emotionally while they are reading? What kinds of joy or sufferings do they experience?

What kinds of tasks do readers conduct while they are reading? What is each task mean (signify)? For example, readers are flipping a page back and forth. What does this flipping activity mean (signify)?

Are there any common features that need to be considered to support readers as human beings? For example, are font sizes large enough for normal human beings to read?

What does a book mean to each individual? Is it a simple device to read (just one of commodities)? Is it one of private belongings, such as iPod?

Any comments ? Any corrections ?

In response to a question from a post a few days ago–and a question I always get asked and seem to answer over and over–here is an effort to lay out the differences between opinion and judgment so that we can put to rest the false claim that “subjective” is always worse than “objective.” I have blogged about this before (e.g., this, this, this, and this), but I also understand that is not something that one can just hear once and then deeply get it.

That said, it is very, very important that you all start to understand this now, and understand it deeply. So if you have questions, concerns, skepticism, counter-examples, “what about …”s, and so on, please write about them or ask them. This is absolutely essential to understand! Anyway, here is my lengthy, example-laden response to that post:

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