This is where my digital life comes together
I'm a journalism academic at the University of Wollongong. My interests include: convergent journalism, literary journalism, myth & media, storytelling, art & image and social media
I am completing a thesis about apocalyptic narratives, popular culture and news media
This site assembles my Twitter feed and Delicious bookmarks which I sometimes comment on tag and add to.
“The eighth annual meeting of the International Association for Literary Journalism Studies (IALJS) convenes this week (16-18 May 2013) at the University of Tampere, in Tampere, Finland. The theme of this year’s conference is “Literary Journalism: Text and Context” and the conference program is filled with exciting & cutting edge scholarship from around the globe. The keynote speaker this year is Robert S. Boynton, professor of journalism at New York University where he directs NYU’s Literary Reportage concentration. He is also the author of the acclaimed book The New, New Journalism (Vintage, 2005).
“This year the entire conference will stream live online via the web application Ustream. You can watch the conference proceedings on your computer by visiting IALJS’s UStream channel. If you’re on the go, you watch the panels on your smartphone or tablet by downloading the free UStream application and then tuning into the IALJS channel. You do not need an account to watch these sessions; just go to the web site. Please note that these sessions will stream live; therefore, if you’re viewing from home you’ll have to account for the time change (for those in the States: Tampere is seven hours ahead of the Eastern time zone). However, if you don’t want to get up in the middle of the night, an archived version of the session will exist on the IALJS Ustream channel.
“To further promote our global conversation about literary journalism, please follow our real-time Twitter page (hashtag: #IALJS8): You don’t need to have a Twitter account to view the tweets, but you do need one to contribute. I encourage those in attendance at IALJS-8 to live tweet interesting or salient points that come up during the panels, and those not in attendance can respond to what they see online as well as ask questions. Just tag your posts with #IALJS8 and they will show up on the live feed.”
(Source: IALJ email from Joshua M. Roiland, Ph.D. University of Notre Dame)
Turner’s 2006 book, From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network and the Rise of Digital Utopianism, gives more of a clue. Several epoch-making events were going on in the San Francisco area in the late 1960s and the early 1970s, and at the centre of them all, linking them together – no surprises here – was Stewart Brand. Ken Kesey believed that drugs would herald a new era of human consciousness. While scientists like Doug Englebart (who had, like Brand, taken part in LSD-assisted creativity sessions) came to believe that computers would be part of that. They were were developing the hardware while Brand was articulating a vision of how they might be a new tool to empower ordinary people: small scale, democratic and free. Or, as John Markoff, a technology writer for the New York Times, puts it, the Whole Earth Catalog was “the internet before the internet. It was the book of the future. It was a web in newsprint.” It changed the world, says Turner, in much the same way that Google changed the world: it made people visible to each other. And while the computer industry was building systems to link communities of scientists, the Catalog was a “vernacular technology” that was doing the same thing. “And Stewart knew this because he’s sitting here in the middle of the tech world. But much of the rest of America can’t see that yet. But he can see it. And he makes it visible and he makes it cool – and these things are important.” (via Stewart Brand and the Whole Earth Catalog, the book that changed the world | Books | The Observer)
An account called ’80s Don Draper sprang up recently, applying the genius for selling that viewers cherish toward products and ideas from the decade when Cosby was king. Created by The Onion contributor and comedian John McNamee, tweets name-check TV shows, politicians, and trends with either sales pitches or day-to-day moments in Draper’s ostensible 1980s life. These pitches skirt the line between ridiculous and maybe almost plausible in the context of what we know about Draper, who seems to be at the beginning of his downfall. (via 9 | ‘80’s Don Draper On Twitter Sells You More Than Nostalgia; He Sells You Himself | Co.Create: Creativity \ Culture \ Commerce)
In the four months since the Newtown, Connecticut shootings, the tone of the conversation about gun control on Twitter has shifted sharply several times in apparent response to ongoing events, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of nearly 21 million tweets from December 18 through April 21. (via Gun Control and the Media | Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ))
As a side project, he decided to record the inner dialogues of people walking in New York City—to map part of the city’s thoughtscape, layered beneath its audible soundscape. He approached strangers at different points in the city. “Excuse me,” he would say, “this might sound like a strange question, but can I ask you what you were thinking before I stopped you?” If the stranger did not run away, he would ask them to wear a microphone headset attached to a digital recorder and speak aloud their thoughts as he followed closely behind with a camera. He would not be able to hear what they were saying, Irving explained, and they would be free to walk wherever they liked and continue their business as usual. “I was surprised by how many said Yes,” Irving says—about 100 in all. By overlaying the recorded audio onto the videos, he has created portraits of individual consciousnesses on a particular day in New York City—transcripts of people’s inner dialogues that remind one of works by Virginia Woolf, James Joyce and other writers who were especially interested in recreating the mind on the page. He calls the project “New York Stories: The Lives of Other Citizens.” Different videos focus on different parts of the city, such as streets, bridges, squares and cafés. (via Can we record our inner monologues? - Salon.com)
The Boston Marathon bombing was not another 9/11. Not close. The order of magnitude speaks for itself: three dead in Boston, nearly 3,000 in New York City. Still, in the aftermath of the Boston tragedy with what now appear to be links to conflicts half a world away in the Caucasus, it is impossible not to ask the same questions that came on the heels of 9/11: just how safe are we in our homes, in our workplaces, on our streets, and at our celebrations? Why on earth would the United States be targeted so often by so many people with so many grievances—why do “they” hate us? And given the destructive power now available to almost any lunatic, just how safe can we be? (via The Story Behind the Bombers - The Daily Beast)
Bartana’s piece is a pseudo-documentary, built around the fiction that a new party called the Jewish Renaissance Movement in Poland has taken root in Warsaw, with the goal of renewing Polish greatness by restoring its slaughtered Jewish population. We get to witness the construction of a new Polish kibbutz, and then the mourning that follows the assassination of the movement’s young founder. Formally, the piece is amazingly subtle – it toys with various documentary styles while always making clear that it’s playing. (via Yael Bartana at Petzel Gallery is the Daily Pic by Blake Gopnik - The Daily Beast)
An attempt by a handful of Reddit users-cum-wannabe digital forensics experts to find the perpetrator of last week’s fatal Boston Marathon bombing has been rightfully criticized as unhelpful by multiple commentators, including many reporters and the FBI itself. However, many of those critics have unjustly targeted Reddit as a whole, as opposed to the small but suddenly highly visible minority who engaged in the digital witch hunt. Those who would make such widespread accusations are ignoring several key points about Reddit’s structure. (via Don’t Blame All of Reddit for Boston Bombing Witch Hunt)
Second, “Internet Islam” is here, it’s queer, and we have to deal with it. Conspicuous in the Boston case was how the Boston bombers learned their bomb-making from the internet. No Al Qaeda master or war-hardened foreign “terrorist” guided their efforts. But, going unnoticed was that they learned their religion in the same way! RD bloggers have rightly asked the question of the depth of the “piety” of the Tsarnaevs. That too misses a vital point. I do not for a moment discount the sincerity of the feelings for Islam by the Tsarnaev brothers. But, what Islam was the object of those feelings? I would offer that it was for an “Internet Islam”—for an abstract, compact, easily rendered Islam, fed by the representations flowing from out of the ether! When the older brother went to Dagestan, apparently, to find himself, he did not take Islamic instruction there. He hung around aimlessly in his uncle’s apartment, and relished in the call to prayer echoing through the streets. Deep stuff, no doubt. What Tamerlan Tsarnaev did when he moved from the world of “Internet Islam” to Dagestan Islam may be like the let-down felt when moving from the world of internet porn to one’s regular sex partner. Flesh and blood: what a downer! Why should we see the “Internet Islam” phenomenon as different in kind from the phenomenon of white suburban teens who imagine themselves “gangstas” because they wear designer hip-hop gear? Why should we see this kind of Islam as different in kind from the ways we all identify with images in the mass media? And, although we may be tempted to see “Internet Islam” as “an inch thick,” and thus dismiss it, we should not. Like other fads, “Internet Islam” is a “million miles wide.” Indeed, what is to stop “Internet Islam” from making a move to become that “essential” Islam of which so many speak? With the Sunni world in disarray, and authority structures in a shambles, who will speak power to internet truth? In a globalized world, “Internet Islam” links Muslims or wannabes in ways no sermon or newsletter could. And, like internet sex and porn, it makes no demands on us that we do not ourselves embrace. (via Was Islam Responsible for the Boston Bombings, or Was “Internet Islam”? | Politics | Religion Dispatches)