Ontological implications

17. Representational Fears


Fear of Fragmentation

  • Every new representational medium has been accompanied by fear that representational arts can be delusional.
  • The more persuasive the medium, the more dangerous.
  • Digital can assimilate all previous representations . . . so seems excessively dangerous.
  • Worries over the power of a simulated world to alter the mind’s conception of its own desires

Fragmentation of the Self

[17.1 deleted purposely]

Answer to fragmentation--Kaleidoscopic Vision?

  • Multiform narratives feature alternative time/action lines; Readers assume a more active role when processing them.
    • We may learn to understand narrative PROCESS (rather than just practices and/or outcomes).
    • Immersion is possible here; agency has real outcomes.
  • Digital media can manage multi-form-ality via procedurals, spatiality
  • Because of the encyclopedic nature of computers, digital communication technologies might help us master the fragmentation of the age.

[Begin 17.2 at 2:45]

Order of the third order: "As we invent new principles of organization that make sense in a world of knowledge freed from physical constraints, information doesn't just want to be free, it wants to be miscellaneous. The more information, the more possible ways to search, find, organize. The more ways to search & find, the less organized; the less organized, the better the chances of finding what you really want. (David Weinberger from Everything is Miscellaneous).

"Transformative Experiences: VR for Good."
Jeremy Bailenson [also at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-O6AcLOOGnQ&t=10s]

Concept 17 Analysis article:

"AI’s Best Trick Yet Is Showering Us With Attention"

Want to learn more ? (I mean, besides re-watching the Matrix movies)

Meghan O’Gieblyn. God, Human, Animal, Machine: Technology, Metaphor, and the Search for Meaning. NY: Doubleday, 2021. [reviewed here: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/24/books/review/the-fate-of-the-self-in-the-age-of-clicks.html]
"Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen has a new mission."
https://www.latimes.com/business/technology/story/2022-05-10/facebook-whistleblower-works-to-pass-new-internet-laws [contact me if you have trouble getting this link to work/seeing the article]
Janet Murray: Hamlet on the Holodeck. MIT Press, Updated Edition, 2017.
Jim Blascovich and Jeremy Bailenson, Infinite Reality: Avatars, Eternal Life, New Worlds, and the Dawn of the Virtual Revolution, Harper Colllins, 2011.
David Weinberger. Everything is Miscellaneous: The Power of The New Digital Disorder. Harvard University Press, 2007.
Edward Castronova, Exodus to the Virtual World, St, Martin's Griffin, 2007.
Edward Castronova on the Exodus to the Virtual World, EconTalk Episode with Edward Castronova, Hosted by Russ Roberts
Edward Castronova, Synthetic Worlds: The Business and Culture of Online Games, U. Chicago P, 2005

(A) Text Reading Analyses

(B) Concept Analyses

(C) Extra Credit (D) Grading
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