[iDC] academics and laptops
kham at uiuc.edu
Sun Jul 9 10:15:54 EDT 2006
From a lurker
Emails from Mark and Trebor refer to the phone or PDA surpassing the
laptop as a means of accessing web and email exchange.
I imagine that the sort of emails on this list - typically long even by
email standards - would be difficult to compose or read from a portable
device. (Maybe there are some out there who have experience with that.)
Parallel to the important question of who has access at all (or access
in a familiar language), we might look at what kinds of discourse are
happening in different media spaces.
What does a discourse of the thumbs look like? Is a laptop the spatial
equivalent of a collegiate campus, providing cloistered space for more
protracted and privileged discussions?
No doubt some will say that text-to-speech technology will render such a
discussion obsolete, but I find that hard to believe. The physical space
and temporal window of composition plays a part as well.
Writing on the run seems to be a part of the lives of many on this list
- any thoughts on the differences between more and less mobile
manifestations of networked exchange?
For one, I would suggest that close reading is a challenge in more
mobile instances - in the context of a listserv, for example, reading
quickly can result in mis-reading. Mis-reading spawns whole threads of
(often, but not always) productive exchange. A discourse of accidental
tangents? Not so different from some spoken contexts, perhaps, but still
The new volume on IDC is a lot to keep up with even for this relatively
immobile academic on summer reprieve. But the content is great. Looking
forward to the coming months' discussions.
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