Monday, January 23, 2012

Reading, Thinking, & Reflecting Notes - January 23, 2012

Key Concepts Chapters 5, 6, and 7 covered the following topics, respectively: archive, interactivity, and simulation.  The eighth chapter concluded the book, and reflected on how the concepts covered throughout the first seven chapters could and should be considered together as a "network of concepts." Figures 1 and 2 (pgs. 123-124) provided of framework in graphic form of the interrelatedness of the six major concepts covered in the book (network, information, interface, archive, interactivity, and simulation).

When I hear the word "archive," this is the kind of image that first comes to mind ...
(Source: Rebel7ibrarian)
Obviously, I need to wrap my mind around the fact that nowadays, it's more like this...
(Source: Digital Production ME)
Part of this change in how we conceptualize archiving has come about through the existence of digital media. Digital media is defined as "a form of electronic media where data is stored in digital (as opposed to analog) form. It can refer to the technical aspect of storage and transmission (e.g. hard disk drives or computer networking) of information or to the "end product", such as digital video, augmented reality or digital art (Wikipedia 2012)." 

Here is a link to an opinion piece about some of the ethical issues related to "new media" vs. "old media." 
(Source: Bright Side of News)

"Electric Sheep" Digital Art by John Edwards
(Source: Fine Art America)
Since I did not write much about DADoES in my last blog post, I would like to take the opportunity now to define some of the important vocabulary from the novel. I always like reading novels that have "invented" vocabulary. First of all, an andy is an android.  The Penfield mood organ is what the humans remaining on earth can use to regulate their emotions on a day to day basis.  Rick Deckard is a bounty hunter, who uses a Voigt-Kampff testing apparatus that measures empathy in individuals to determine whether or not he/she/it is an android.  A chickenhead is a human with an abnormally low IQ and lives a marginalized life away from society. Mercerism is the belief system that the humans on earth have - it is like a moral code or religion. Wilbur Mercer is a God-like figure with whom the humans communicate by merging with an interface. The Nexus-6 is an android with abnormally high intelligence and has the ability to feign empathy.

Chapters 6-10 in DADoES had a few surprises.  For instance, John Isidore met one of the "Rachael Rosen" clones called "Pris Stratton"; Rick Deckard continues down his list of targets and begins running across a couple of the Nexus-6 droids, including Luba Luft the opera singer; and Deckard ends up in a "police department" that he has never heard of and has never heard of him.

One of the things that stands out to me the most in DADoES, in general, is the fact that in this novel, living beings are so highly valued.  "Everyday" animals they we take for granted like squirrels, raccoons, and spiders are highly valuable (even the lowest of vermin), and canned vegetables are a delicacy.  On a personal note, as a hardcore environmentalist and conservationist, this particular theme in the novel strikes a chord with me.  It reminds me of a Bob Marley quote that says, "You ain't gonna miss your water until the well runs dry." It's hard for people to see the intrinsic value of living beings such as plants and animals until they simply aren't among us anymore.  Some things just simply are not "fixable" or "replaceable." 

I grew these tomatoes and peppers in my garden last year.
The paw-paws (left box) came from my neighbor's tree.
I can't imagine earth's conditions deteriorating to the point
that such a bountiful harvest would be impossible. 

My dog, Bueller
My cats, Karly (front) and Molly (back)

Gane, Nicholas and David Beer. New Media: The Key Concepts. New York: Berg, 2008. Print
Dick, Phillip K. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? New York: Del Rey, 1968. Print.

"Digital Media." Wikipedia.  Accessed on-line Jan 22, 2012. Available on-line at  


  1. Great use of images (esp. to help tell your story/thinking).

  2. I like that you connected to DADES on a personal level. Sometimes we need to remember why we do new media!