All posts by allysoncartwright

Longer Blog Post #1: Love and Humanity in Neuromancer

The improvement of technology is a double-edged sword; intelligence increases at the expense of humanity. In the novel Neuromancer by William Gibson, the futuristic dystopian world shows that the more technology invades people’s lives the less human people behave. The dystopia of the novel illustrates a society riddled with crime, debauchery, greed, and cruelty. The advanced technology of the world in Neuromancer gives people more control, but they use this control for devious purposes. How does Case’s relationship with Linda show that technological advancement causes the deterioration of humanity in society? The technology is used to manipulate others, steal from others, and torture others. Through ROMs, RAMs, and simstims, the characters artificially make emotional connections with others, which make it easier to be detached from others. Through Case’s relationship with Linda Lee is where humanity is restored and technology is demoralized. Case seems to actually love Linda, but as technology further invades his life that love gets corrupted. Continue reading Longer Blog Post #1: Love and Humanity in Neuromancer

Blog Post #3: Flarf Poem “Get Him to the Church in Time”

Get Him to the Church in Time

A riot occurred at the school in 1907
Complete with shared spaghetti and
Paul the psychic Octopus from Germany
We riot like Iraelis
But nothing could prepare the Starlight Express Room
Awesome NY band of 20-years-olds
Playing dancey orchestral stuff
It’s a Britney Spears sex riot!
But when nothing points to the identity of the true killer
Anger levels rise

Soup/salad/breadsticks for lunch
Red Lobster cheesy biscuits for dinner.
Now that’s my ideal date
As of right now, I can’t even get a dude
I have been to Grissini’s a few times and thought
Go to Fazoli’s for dinner, where you will be served,
Rosemary breadsticks
blinis with caviar
glazed carrots with ginger
Just the right words to use
So that I’d still feel his love

The poor little guy soon learned to play his luck
At her wondering if it was her (or a breadstick)
I definitely wanted to know if you were barfing at your wedding,
But didn’t want to ASK
I’ve never told you guys before,
But I’m a little psychic
I don’t print, I invent it and predict it
Like a psychic

Artist’s Statement: I created this Flarf poem using the Google search “psychic breadstick riot“, the most random words I could think of. I did not approach creating this with a theme, but I just tried to make it somewhat coherent. I picked out random interesting lines and then pieced them in an order I thought was more lucid. Rereading the poem I could see how there could possibly be some interpretation despite me randomly picking the lines.

Longer Blog Essay #2: Nightingale’s Playground

The piece of electronic literature I explored is Nightingale’s Playground by Andy Campbell and Judi Alston that I found through the Electronic Literature Directory. It is a work of digital fiction that follows the story of the main character, Carl Robertson, who is trying to decipher the vanishing of his friend from high school, Alex Nightingale. The story begins as Carl has returned to his hometown for his high school reunion after splitting with his girlfriend. He reconnects with his old classmates who he has seemingly lost touch with, but strangely, none of them remember his old best friend, Alex. In order to quiet his own doubt, Carl becomes determined to prove that Alex did in fact exist and to uncover where he is now. This is where the reader becomes involved in the story.
nightingale pic 1

Nightingale’s Playground allows the reader to uncover the mystery surrounding Alex along with the main character, Carl, by scrolling around different locations in order to discover text extracts. It is told in four parts, “Consensus Trance”, a browser-based experience, then “Consensus Trance II”, which is in the format of a 3-D game, followed by “The Fieldwork Notebook”, in the format of an online notebook, and then the conclusion, a PDF file. The locations in “Consensus Trance” are creepy, opening in a dark, dilapidated bedroom, moving to different dreary locations like an abandoned house and a forest. Text extracts are spread throughout locations that the reader must uncover to be able to unlock the next locations. At the end on this part the reader runs through a forest being chased by “the Sentinel”, which is a computer game that Alex and Carl used to play. This then opens to “Consensus Trance II”, the 3-D game. The reader navigates as Carl through his dark and scary childhood home looking for Alex’s school fieldwork notebook, in hopes that it will prove Alex’s existence and his sanity. Continue reading Longer Blog Essay #2: Nightingale’s Playground

Blog Post #2: Dickinson Electronic Archives

dickinson archives

The Dickinson Electronic Archives exists to provide a digitization of Emily Dickinson’s original manuscripts of her poems that are found in correspondences from Dickinson herself that they have archived. The aim of the site is to give perspective on how her Dickinson’s life correlated with her poetry. According to the site, because of the limitations of printing, Dickinson’s poems are picked out of her letters by editors and publishers, but the Dickinson Electronic Archives shows the poems within the manuscript that Dickinson had placed them in. Seeing this original context of Dickinson’s letters that surrounds her poems can provide more insight of their purpose and significance.

I think that this site is mainly for scholars doing research on Dickinson’s poem because I do not really see why an average reader would be interested in reading letters by Emily Dickinson or what an average reader would gain from these archived letters; unless they had a particular interest in the life and times of Emily Dickinson. The archiving of Dickinson’s original letters that include her poems is something that only studiers of Dickinson would really find useful because it says a lot about why Dickinson was writing a certain poem, the context that lead to her writing the poems, and who the poems were for; someone who just wants to read her poetry would not find much use in this. However, the site does admit that they exist for “students, teachers, and scholars”. They hope to create dialogue on Dickinson’s poems with these archives among those that study her work.

Something to take away from the Dickinson Electronic Archives is the importance of the original manuscripts of an author. Dickinson’s poems were in letters she had written and that intended form tells a lot about Dickinson’s works. I think original illustrations from the books or the original manuscripts could also possibly be important to include in our projects as they would help with our perception of the works.

Blog Post #1: “Oppression” and “Liberation”

I first picked a word that I think greatly defines history, which is “oppression”. The OED definition of oppression that I considered was “Prolonged cruel or unjust treatment or exercise of authority, control, or power; tyranny; exploitation […]” (15th century). Then I thought the appropriate word to compare its usage to is “liberation”, which defined by the OED is “Freedom from restrictive or discriminatory social conventions and attitudes,” (14th century).

When putting oppression and liberation into the Ngram viewer, there is a stark contrast in their usages when the chart starts at 1800. Oppression slowly declines until a few years before the Civil War and from that point there is then a rapid decline, probably because oppression was relieved somewhat in the years following the Civil War as slaves were freed. But this is only an example that would support increased use in America.

OppressionLiberationNgram

Liberation is not a widely used term until a surge in 1915, presumably due to WWI. I wonder, though, why this is the war that sparks people talking about liberation? It is notable that liberation and oppression converge in 1940, suggesting that there became more emphasis on people’s freedom from tyranny and not just the tyranny itself. From 1940 liberation has been rapidly increasing in use and has a higher frequency than oppression. However, in 2000 it appears that the two words are about to converge again, which is to assume that people are reverting from the hopefulness of liberation.

The value of using the Ngram viewer is it gives us a perspective of people from the past because it charts word frequency throughout time, thus showing ideas or concepts important to people at that time. With the Ngram we can see changes of attitudes and beliefs of people by the shift of the words they are using. However, it is charting all English texts so it cannot be assumed that notable points on the graph are made because of a specific event since situations around the English-speaking world vary so much. Also, a problem is that the definition of the word cannot be specified on the Ngram viewer and as the OED showed, single words can have very different connotations. In this case, the OED is beneficial because it shows when and how a word was used.