http://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/read/artificial-wombs-are-coming-and-the-controversys-already-here

I first want to take a look into the creator of this article: Vice. We talked in class many different times about who is creating the news that we consume everyday. Usually we look to CNN, Politico, MSNBC, FOX, or The New York Times but there is a new player in the game. Vice news has taken what it means to be a news provider and turned it upside down. They are creating real news the goes super in depth to issues that younger generations find interesting. They no longer are creating news that is cut and dry and very typical. They are making stories that are sensational but not in a bad way. Vice is able to go to war torn countries and talk with real people about the issues. They do it almost in a fun way, they cuss and act like real people. Typically with the other news sources I provided above keep to a very strict pattern on giving the news. I thought it was important to introduce Vice before I introduced and talked about the article.

Science is constantly coming up with new and game-changing technologies. I will be talking about how scientist are slowly starting to be able to create fetus’ outside of the womb. As the article title says, the controversy is already here. The article specifically talks about how this is a direct example of transhumanist. In this specific case, it is asking the question of whether or not creating offspring in a tube should be considered human. This idea of creating humans inside embryo’s is something non-fiction often depicts as the savior of human kind.

One of the most interesting parts of this article is how these embryo’s will decide gender. If this is something that actually works and we start to use it, we will now have the capability to decide what gender the baby has. This could definitely be problematic because of certain cultures that favor men to women. China and India specifically have a overpopulation problem. Their cultures typically tend to favor men to women which often results in the mistreatment of women in their culture. If people were able to choose the gender of the baby peoples culture could have an effect on the amount of men to women born.

This article talks about the importance of women in our world in general. Women have the role of actually creating new offspring. This goes along with what I had to say earlier, but what role would women have in a world where they are not needed to birth babies anymore. Will it have a positive effect where women now can base more of their time focusing on the workplace and not have to worry about the 9 months of carrying a child? Or will it have the negative effect of women being ousted in society because they no longer play that vital role in our society. These questions are extremely important to ask when new technologies like this are created.

Electronic Literature

 

moulthrop__deep_surface [image from “deep surface” by Stuart Moulthrop, found here]

Even with the growth of computer technology, the paper book is still the paradigm for the text. The published book is primary, so that when we read on a computer the software imitates the experience of the physical book as close as possible. An article in pdf is divided into paper sized (not screen sized) pages, and despite the interactive potential of computer media, pdf texts are arranged in a linear fashion (one page after another), without internal links or embedded sound and video. In Hayles words, the interface for reading on a computer uses the paper book as a “material metaphor.” (p.22)

But there are other texts which experiment with the potentials of reading on a computer. One archive of these experiments is the eliturature collection linked above. The literary works in the collection cannot exist on paper in the way that they exist here. Each unfold differently, combining text, sound, movement, and organized in hypertext or other branching formats.

Explore some of the documents in the collection and consider the ways that the format interacts with the words and their meaning. In Writing Machines (2002), N. Kathrine Hayles writes, “To change the material artifact is to transform the context and circumstances for interacting with the words, which inevitably changes the meanings of the words as well. This transformation of meaning is especially potent when the words reflexively interact with the inscription technologies that produce them.”(p.24)

Here the computer interface is the “material artifact” and the “inscription technology.” In each case, how does the document “transform the context and circumstances for interacting with the words,” and thus change “the meanings of the words as well?” In what ways were these “technotexts?” That is, in what ways do the stories and meanings embedded in the text comment on or interact with their own interface?

Is this the future of the book or a detour along the way?

 

Studying the Digital Self

Because OSU has a subscription to the Chronicle of Higher Education, the link seems to work when logged in through the University wireless network. Otherwise, it’s on Carmen in PDF format. 

In this short essay, OSU’s own Julia Watson (along with Sidonie Smith from U of Michigan) outline 5 analytical concepts for useful for when considering digital self-representation (such as personal blogs or social media).