Month: January 2014

Response to Jay Bolter

I sometimes find myself the subject of ridicule due to my preference for the printed word over the electronic screen. I may be called, a hipster, a loser, poor in a couple cases, all because I do not read on an electronic reader. It isn’t that one has never been offered to me, several times family members have asked if I would want one for my birthday. Whenever I say no to them, I can see confusion in their faces. My response to them is usually along the lines of, just because something is technologically superior, does not mean that it is better.

I admit, writing in an electric medium can bring about things that the printed medium can’t, such as immediate responses from others, and it is a quick way to get public opinion on  a topic. However, not all everything electric does that print can is good. Jay Bolter praises electric mediums in his Writing Space: Computers, hypertext, and the remediation of print by saying, “Electronic writing shares with the wax tablet or chalkboard the quality of rapid easy change” (23). I do not mean that type should be static, but that stories should. Looking back across various literary periods, I can only think that they may have been harmed by too rapid of change. For example, why continue exploring Romanticism when Naturalism is already changing everything? Not everything in the world needs to be the same all the time. That would be silly. There are some things that should stay the same though and not change for some amount of time at least.

I believe that a large problem I have with electronic media in general is that is too quick to change and add to its self. To me this simply speaks to a lack of depth on its part. Bolter almost seems to try and prove my point in his praises. “Hypermediated media give up the attempt to present a world beyond themselves; instead, they offer themselves as immediate experiences” (26). While one could make a claim in favor of the immediate experience, isn’t the experience that is immediate all the more fleeting? I’ve played games where I fulfilled a series of immediate activities, and then, not an hour later, I could not remember a single task I did. What is the point of performing a task, not matter how fast it is, if you won’t even remember doing it? When I set aside time with a book though, I want that world beyond the text. I don’t want an immediate experience that I won’t remember by tomorrow. I want to take the time to reflect and think on that book. Electronic media is all too willing to start throwing recommendations, things your friends have liked, and other nuisances at you before you’ve even finished reading the first item.

When I take in a narrative or a text book, I don’t want it done now, I want it done right. That is to say, slowly, with care, and consideration. I want time to take in the text I’m reading without interruption. I freely admit I am somewhat biased in my regard of electronic media. I see it as too fast, too willing to change, and too fast to add to itself. Even for this posting, I grasped for a quote from Edgar Poe I thought would appropriate, but I cannot find the essay. I instead find many people talking about the essay, most of whom are saying the same things. It is a great irony then that this aids my point of electronic media not thinking as well as print than if I had been able to find the essay.

Works Cited

Bolter, J.D. (2001). Writing as technology. Writing space: Computers, hypertext, and the remediation of print. Mahwah, NJ: LEA. 14 – 26

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Response to Jay Bolter articles

In our Intro to Writing Arts class we were assigned by professor Wolff and respond to two articles we read for his class. The First Article is Titled “Writing in the Late Age of Print” and the second “Writing As Technology.” I took a quote from each piece and gave my opinion on what I got out of it.

In Bolter’s first article Writing in the Late Age of Print that discusses the role of technology in for printing and literary uses. It is argued throughout that although technology is a different medium and provides different experiences with texts, it is still just as useful and insightful as words printed on a paper. In one part of the article Bolter mentions how critics claim that technology will never replace printed books due to the fact that you cannot bring your “computer in bed” (p. 8). Seeing as this article was written in 2001 and he talks about how technology is advancing to the point where we can, today we see how true his prediction is. With devices such as the Kindle and Nook technological devices are being invented to specifically replace the comfort of reading a printed page on a device without the discomforting feel of “using a computer.”

In Bolter’s second article Writing As Technology I think makes an excellent point of accepting how our culture and literary needs change within the times. Bolter claims: “Our literature culture is simple using the new tools provided by digital technology to reconfigure the relationship between material practices of writing and the ideal of writing that these practices express” (p.18). We must be able to acknowledge these differences in technological writing and not look at how the texts is be presented through technology but what programs are used and consider the use of the programs to be a literary act itself. Personally I do not believe the expression of words through a computer on any set program- whether it be blogging, tweeting, or even in a visual Prezi prevention- prevents a message from getting across. I compare it to a photo of poverty and hungry to an article written about the same topic. Both express the topic in different ways, without being done in a right or wrong way.

References

Bolter, J.D. (2001). Introduction: Writing in the late age of printWriting space: Computers, hypertext, and the remediation of print. Mahwah, NJ: LEA. 1-13. [pdf]

Bolter, J.D. (2001). Writing as technologyWriting space: Computers, hypertext, and the remediation of print. Mahwah, NJ: LEA. 14 – 26. [pdf]

Review of Jay Bolter Articles

For homework in my Intro to Writing Arts class, we were each asked to read both articles by Jay Bolter. The first one was titled “Introduction: Writing in the Late Age of Print” and the second one was titled “Writing as Technology”. After reading the articles, I found some interesting points that were made which connected to writing and writing technologies within my own life.

Bolter makes a good point in his article “Introduction: Writing in the Late Age of Print” when he states that the computer is taking over printed texts. For most of us, we still like the feeling of holding a book or a magazine in our hand, but technology is changing the way we live. Many authors prefer to publish their first novel in written text instead of over the internet. However, some groups such as scientific researchers, businesses, and the government, are transferring their printed work to the computer screen. I can relate this to my personal life because growing up in the township of West Deptford I carried textbooks to each of my classes. Now as a substitute teacher within the West Deptford school district, I watch the students carry around their individual school-supplied laptops to each of their classes.

Bolter made another notable point in his article when he states, “in addition to redefining the voice of the text, our culture is also redefining the visual and conceptual space of writing” (12). During the writing process, the writer creates a reflective and a reflexive relationship with the written paper. Their thoughts are created and connected to the paper when seen on the page. Some may argue that when typing a paper, the writer may feel the same connection, but the writer doesn’t physically write out their thoughts and see them in their own handwriting. Making our thoughts visible is something that we shouldn’t forget how to do.

There are both advantages and disadvantages to using the computer instead of picking up a pen or pencil to write. However, whether we want it to or not, technology is changing our lives. Electronic writing today is “the remediation of printed text, with its claim to refashioning the presentation and status of alphabetic writing itself”. Overall, I know that I have personally seen myself using the computer more than printed text. I type papers instead of write them and I read articles online more than on written text.

References:

Bolter, J.D. (2001). Introduction: Writing in the late age of printWriting space: Computers, hypertext, and the remediation of print. Mahwah, NJ: LEA. 1-13. [pdf]

Bolter, J.D. (2001). Writing as technologyWriting space: Computers, hypertext, and the remediation of print. Mahwah, NJ: LEA. 14 – 26. [pdf]