30 December 2005 



My betrothed is on a fantasy class Star Destroyer.

I want her back in the Rebel Alliance.



20 December 2005 

The Chronic-What!-cles of Narnia

This video is the funniest thing I have seen come out of SNL in a long time.


16 December 2005 


We are pleased to learn that Target has heard our concerns and decided to use Christmas in their advertising and marketing efforts. Since the company has responded positively, we see no need to continue the boycott,” said AFA Chairman Donald E. Wildmon in a released statement. According to AFA, over 700,000 people had signed an online petition to boycott the company."

Why, why, why do they want to get in bed with Caesar?

So much for family values.


14 December 2005 

Maybe it's a little mean but...

I got a kick out of it.


09 December 2005 

snow day art work

The phrase "A Hero for the Modern World" has been running through my head for years. I don't even particularly like the phrase, so perhaps this illustration of it will exorcise it from my brain.


07 December 2005 




06 December 2005 

James Gee Post #2

Now it's time for some P-O-S-T-I-V-I-T-Y.

I rather enjoyed Gee's description of "design grammars." Well, more generally, his description of semiotic domains have been helpful. I fixate on the concept of design grammars in particular for a couple of reasons.

For one, I think it is helping me think through a lot of thoughts and feelings I encounter when moving about the Web. There are so many particularities to the different cultures that I come across that it is sometimes hard to peg them. I'm thinking about a blog like BoingBoing, for instance. Heck, blogs in general. Production and design are very much a part of any cultural transmission one is going to make on the Web, and it seems like the notion of design grammars is a very useful way of navigating and indentifying the boundaries.

I don't have much else to say about it, save for the fact that I love it when I come across a lovely, useful nugget like this one, especially when it's in a work by which I am otherwise frustrated.



James Gee Post #1

I will be reacting first to some ideas from chapter 4 of James Gee's What Video Games Have to Teach Us about Learning and Literacy.

Gee begins the chapter by discussing views of the human mind and learning. He briefly summarizes two perspectives, moving quickly away from the first which he describes as a view that "treats the human mind as if it is pretty much like a digital computer." (73) The reason for this description is a belief that the mind stores rules and computes them. Gee's view, which he seems to indicate is superior, believes that learning is based on previous embodied experiences in the world where people "store these experiences, and make connections or associations among them." (73)

Gee goes on to describe his view on learning. Things got interesting for me when Gee makes a very particular word choice that has me somewhat confused "All the cavepeople who stored the generalization 'Tigers are dangerous' and refused to apply it to even the first lion they saw probably died without many offspring. The ones who let the many features lions share with tigers trigger the association between these elements and danger passed on a great many more genes." (75) [emphasis added]

What, exactly, does Gee mean when he used the word "refuse" when describing the poor cavepeople who were likely to be gobbled up by lions? Refusal is, to me, a term that explicitly implies choice when it is used in regard to human beings (or, as in this case, pre- or early humans.) Does he believe that the ill-fated cavepeople might have consciously noted that the lion was a distinct creature from a tiger, and then said to themselves "I am not going to apply what I have learned about the striped creature to this golden one?" Or is he using the word "refuse" in the way that we often do about machines (e.g. "my car refused to start!")

This is further complicated by the fact that Gee also seems to be hinting at some evolutionary ideas in his paragraph, namely that the people who did not refuse to make the association were more fit and were selected. If he is implying it had anything to do with their genes, then this further complicates matters, as it makes the possibility of their conscious "refusal" less likely if they are beholden to some sort of genetic leash.

So are people chained to their embodied experiences or not? If, according to Gee, they are, then I do not think that Gee has gotten away from the "digital computer" model as much as he thinks he has.