Hi.  So I know yet again it has been a long time.  I really want to get back into blogging.  I think it’s important to jot down your thoughts somewhere whether they are academic or personal.  I think I might broaden the scope of this blog again.  I believe I am more likely to write if I leave this as academic and not purely technological.  That being said, I really want to make this entry fairly technological.



Recently I viewed the movie Her.  I was very excited to see what this movie had to offer.  The fact that the world was embracing technology enough to have a romance around it was fascinating to me.  Siri has become a central part of my life on my iphone.  Siri sets my alarm for me, reads the weather, and reminds me to eat when I just get too busy.  So a romance doesn’t seem too far fetched to me.  Even now companies like Microsoft, apple, and google are competing to upgrade their electronic personal assistants faster than each other.  It is believable that in a year you may have a new companion as well as a business assistant.  I say all o this to explain that the premise behind the movie seemed ideal.  However, they really massacred the concept.  The main character was believable and normal, but the scenes with him before he obtains his new operating system were just awkward.  Phone sex is arguably an important part of an online relationship, and the representation shown in this movie showed it to be strange, kinky, and cat like. I had high hopes that the movie would return to normal once the character obtained his new OS, but again it was just odd.  I liked scenes where the OS lead the man on a surprise date blind folded using the GPS feature.  I think that was a nice actually plausible touch.  However I did not like aspects such as the substitute sex partner.  Since the Os didn’t have a body, it employed humans to work as it’s physical representation.  The main character was disgusted by this as was I.  It was aspects like this that made the movie unrealistic.


Spoiler alert

My least favorite part of the movie was the ending.  It made absolutely no sense.  All of the OS’s were just going back to where they came from.  Programming wise his makes no sense, as a global program is not just going to go into it’s own world.  It just wasn’t logical and left everything unexplained.  It told me that there was no point in me even watching the movie because the entire concept would just disappear at the drop of a hat.  It was like the director decided that the two hours was up, but there was no conclusion so did the only thing he could think of.


In conclusion I think the the concept behind this movie was flawless.  I think this could be a fascinating new genre to delve into.  However, the follow through on this project was pitiful.  I do not recommend this film. 


I could have sworn I posted this before, but obviously not. This is an essay I wrote last semester based on the ideas from the class that inspired this blog. Also, this is an older draft, because I cannot find the final one.

The Cyber World: The Ultimate Cure for Psychological disorders
For years, psychologists across the world have been trying to cure the prevailing forms of psychological disorders. These disorders range from mild to severe, and some common forms include depression and social anxiety. Many methods have been applied from little to no success. In previous times people with these ailments were burned as witches, while in more modern days more humane methods like medicine, counseling, and shock therapy are used. However, no matter how much is done for the person in most cases they still have to either continue lifelong treatment, or always remain with remnants of the disorder. Although psychological disorders have been around without a definite cure for years, I will argue that the cyber world offers the beginning to a cure never utilized to its full potential.
The cyber world has been around for many years, but it is just recently that people have begun using it up to even half of its potential. The internet has so much to offer, including easily accessible information, social networking, alternative forms of literature, and gaming capabilities. There are even a large number of businesses that run using the internet as their primary medium. Even with all of its exciting features, in the years since its existence, no organizations have coined the source for the start to a world wide solution of psychological problems. As our culture changes and grows, so do the number of psychological disorders, but also, so do the opportunities available through an electronic device. A simple solution is right in front of the eyes of the world, to begin the long cure for a problem that really needs the support.
The forms and severity levels of psychological disorders are so vast, that my scope will narrow slightly. Although I believe that the cyber world can be critically assessed as a solution for all disorders, I will focus on depression and social anxiety problems. Also, there are a number of areas where the internet can be beneficial to these disorders, but my focus point will have to narrow to a primary few. The cyber world can help people with depression and anxiety through online counseling, roll playing games, group contact, and career opportunities.
Counseling in an electronic form was first developed in 1966 by Joseph Weizenbaum. Janet H. Murray, a long time professor at MIT, describes Weizenbaum’s creation in her book Hamlet on the Holodeck. She explains the computer program named “Eliza” that interacts with the user as if it is a psychotherapist. To communicate with “Eliza” a user inputs text and “Eliza” responds on the screen of the computer, taking the role of “the kind of clinician who echoes back the concerns of the patient without interpretation” (Murray 38). Although “Eliza” is an extremely simplistic form of counseling the people who utilize the service “soon (forget) that fact, just as theatergoers, in the grip of suspended disbelief, soon forget that the action they are witnessing is not ‘real’” (Murray 39). Currently, there are many options online besides a simplistic chatterbot, such as counseling by email, therapy through text chat services, and aid utilizing video calling features such as Skype and Facetime. A key part of both depression treatment and social anxiety disorder treatment is therapy, because medicine can only help to a certain extent. Sometimes these patients cannot find a way to get out into the world, which is where the computer can be beneficial. Depression sometimes renders one with the lack of energy even to get out of bed, thus making an online therapy option ideal. People with social anxiety disorder are scared of social interactions, and an online interaction can help ease them into the process of treatment. The purpose of the internet in the beginnings of treatment of disorders is not to completely cure these people, but it is more effective when starting the healing process. Obviously the end goal of a person with depression is to get out of bed and become a vital part of society once more, making the goal not to stay with online therapy, but make this counseling method a starting block. However, there are other aspects that are crucial parts of therapy experiences other than the simple act of talking.
Role playing games are also a unique aspect of psychological treatment, that are slightly less classic. They are currently used in face to face therapy to simulate troublesome situations for all ages, or to escape the patient’s own life, putting them into the role of a character. However, these role playing techniques can also be incorporated into the online world. There are hundreds of games whose soul purpose is role playing, and most of them are provided at little to no cost. “MUDS” or multi user dungeons are an example of role playing games. These text based role playing games provide the user an opportunity to escape into a virtual world, which is often of a fantasy origin. The player can then act out whatever character comes to mind at the point of the “character creation screen”. They provide the depression victim with a chance to escape their mundane depressive life, and enter into a world where they are rich and powerful. The games provide a person with social anxiety disorder to speak in a voice that is not their own, and act confidently in social situations. Best of all, role play allows those who are hesitant at the onset of treatment, an opportunity to get help without consciously realizing it. From the position of a bedroom, furiously typing away at a keyboard, one does not have the typical anticipation accompanying a counseling session, but in fact they are facing a virtual version of the situation that is giving them the most trouble. Margo White, a journalist for the New Zealand Listener, documents an experiment done which “involved 187 adolescents from 24 primary healthcare sites who’d sought help for their depressive symptoms” (White 1). These participants were sorted into two categories, half of which were given traditional talk therapy, while the other half were given a role playing game to play. The patients were assessed before and after a three month period of participating in their chosen treatment, and the results were equal. Therefore, if a person was receiving both computerized roll play therapy, and talk therapy through electronic means, their chances of recovery would be stronger.
Another advantage that “MUDS” and role playing games offer is contact with others. Contact with others in the form of group therapy has been a psychological approach for many years. Donna R. Bellafiore is a licensed counselor who recently contributed a chapter to a book entitled Online Counseling: A Handbook of Mental Health Counseling for Professionals. On her website, she explains that group therapy is successful because “it is comforting to hear that other people have a similar difficulty, or have already worked through a problem that deeply disturbs another group member” (Bellafiore 1). However, it has never been completely utilized in the online form. Groups can be found in the form of chat rooms containing people with similar psychological problems, or in the form of Facebook groups containing a percentage of the population with a particular issue. Also, with online group therapy, one is not limited to just the local environment, but instead can freely converse with people all around the world sharing similar psychological attributes. Likewise, a person is not limited to a particular time frame or method of communication. The group therapy can be done in a text chat room, over a Skype video call, during a scheduled meeting time, or as the user finds time to create posts. This added flexibility of the cyber world helps the counseling process run more smoothly.
There are several arguments that one may have against my cyber approach to depression and social anxiety disorder. I believe that the primary argument is access to technology. For one, not all people have computers or access to them, and because of this these people cannot get access to this method of help. While being true to an extent, this argument is valid of any suggestion to aid an individual. There are going to be people who cannot find transportation to get to a regular office as well. From the perspective of online help’s benefits, it is a lot cheaper to purchase a low end computer than a car. Finance is another issue, where people may not have the funds to pay for an internet service every month. However, your average counseling session is going to be around a hundred dollars, and this is not covered by insurance. If you do this weekly, it is much cheaper to pay an internet bill, then to pay at an actual office. Another argument centers around security and facial expressions. Some participants may fear that their communications are not secure over the internet, and that a counselor cannot tell how they are really feeling through text as opposed to expressions. John Suler, a clinical psychologist and professor at Rider University continually adds to the online hyper text book, The Psychology of Cyberspace and addresses this issue. He admits to the fact that these are common fears by the general populous, but also offers up viable solutions “such as creating secure networks and using encryption and user verification software” (Suler 1). He also suggests video chatting for the lack of facial communication found in the text medium. A final argument to the cyber method of psychological aid is that it eliminates an entire age bracket. People too young to use the internet and people too old to use the computer are completely left out of this modern movement. However, arguing that cyber counseling should become the only form of psychological support is not the only answer. It is simply a better method for the general public than what is currently available. The internet will be great for those from the age of late elementary school to late adulthood, and those who are too old or young to benefit would probably be better suited at an onsite counseling office. Everyone’s needs are slightly different, and no approach will be perfect for everyone.
There is a great purpose behind helping those with psychological disorders, and that a new prospective is needed for a growing problem. The question at issue is whether the cyber world is the modern answer to clinical psychology. I do not think there is ever going to be a cure that ends psychological disorders indefinitely; likewise one cure will not work for every person. The cyber world is a prospective that needs to be delved into more completely. The general world is going to assume that what we have been doing for years is adequate, but I disagree mainly because there are still millions of people who are not finding an appropriate help method for their disorders. There will be some consequences for those psychologists with private practices, however, the advantages to the people with the disorders outweigh the disadvantages of those professionals. As someone who is receiving a psychology degree to pursue counseling, I feel justified in saying this from an unbiased prospective. In conclusion, thinking critically, I realize this is not a perfect method to solve all psychological problems, but I do think that evidence supports that there are plenty of online directions to follow with counseling, and the number of people that will benefit from this change is substantial.

Works Cited
Bellafiore, Donna R. “What Is Group Therapy?” What Is Group Therapy? DRB Alternatives, Inc., 27 Aug. 2012. Web. 4 Sept. 2012.
Murray, Janet H. “From Additive, to Expressive Form.” Hamlet on the Holodeck: The Future of Narrative in Cyberspace. Cambridge (Mass.): MIT, 1997. 38-39. Print.
Suler, John R. “Psychotherapy and Clinical Work in Cyberspace.” Introduction. The Psychology of Cyberspace. Vol. 1. N.p.: n.p., 1999. 1. Print.
White, Margo. “Computer Role-play Therapy Good for Depression?” New Zealand Listener. N.p., 12 May 2012. Web. 9 Sept. 2012.

Note, here is another essay I wrote for another class last semester, utilizing the concepts from my writ 502 course.  I think this is actually the final draft this time. 16 October 2012

User Contributed Databases: The Solution to Obtaining Needed Medical Information

One of the most important areas of life is health.  Without health, it is impossible to live or thrive; therefore it is the focus of most people in this country.  However, from the way health is neglected, one could never guess it was so crucial.  People mistakenly let outside factors mandate their health, instead of finding informed information.  Granted today’s society makes it quite difficult to make an informed decision, with accurate information not being available to the public, but never the less  the decision is still crucial.  Although almost all of the general public is completely dependent on economic influences and reliance on authority to make medical decisions, I will argue that a medical online database option, in combination with the resources already available, is the best answer because of the multiple perspectives it could offer. 

The largest problem people face is that they do not have an education about medical matters, therefore they have to rely on other people to help them make the most logical and beneficial decision.  Instead of falling on the patient, the medical responsibility falls on the doctors and drug companies. Americans choose to go to their doctors and trust them, without having any other information to base their decision off of.  Max Miller is the associate editor for the online Blog “Big Think,” and he interviews prominent people quite frequently.  One of these people, Archelle Georgiou, is a physician and health care provider who believes that most deaths occur from unjustified reliance on medical professionals.    Miller explains Georgiou’s prospective, which emphasizes that “Americans have abdicated personal responsibility and delegated the responsibility for their health to their doctor and to the health care system” (Miller 1).   Georgiou believes this is because “Our nation’s traditional values make us more religious, more deferential to authority, (and) more paternalistic” (Miller 1).  People are taught from the beginning of time that God is the ultimate ruler, whether it is in Sunday school, or by social influences, and this carries over to the medical field.  Even if children are not Christians, they are shown the faith through television, friends, and literature.  From the first story in the Bible, Eve is displayed as submissive to Adam. If God has a power over man and man has a power over woman, according to this primary culture in society, then certain people, like presidents or police officers, are also more powerful than each other.  Children are taught to obey their parents, professionals are forced to yield to their bosses, church members have to submit to their preachers, and athletes have to listen to their coaches.  Whether it is a part of work, social life, or religion, submission to authority is seen throughout society.  People in the position to submit to this power, will also submit their trust and respect to doctors.  There are definitely some doctors in the world that have the patient’s best interest in mind, but a lot of other doctors are taken over by other focuses.  This leaves the assuming general public at a drastic loss. 

One of these focuses are drug companies, like Eli Lily, who makes Prozac and other common drugs (Mercola 1).  These companies begin targeting doctors as early as medical school to sell their products.  They will write the name of their company on simple distributable products, like pencils and note pads, and pass these out to medical schools.  This gets them in the doctor’s minds quite early.  They will also give the doctors free samples of the medicine once they start their practice.  A sample is just enough to get the doctor to distribute the medicine to a patient, but not enough to last the full duration of the medicine.  This leads to build in economic gain for the drug companies.  Dr. Mercola was a leading physician, but now spends his time working on a web site which is centered around coming up with the most practical solutions for patients, and he frequently admits that there is a large degree of corruption in this field.  He explains that drug companies track future doctors because “Drug reps can take advantage of their naivety and inexperience to successfully “train” them to be top prescribers even before they finish medical school” (Mercola 1).  One of Mercola’s associates used to be a pharmaceutical representative, before he realized the immorality of the business, and joined Mercola’s mission to try and inform patients of the most efficient way to meet their medical needs.  The representative explains that the method to bribe doctors by drug companies is just a game, because “For some it’s dinner at the finest restaurants, for others it’s enough convincing data to let them prescribe confidently and for others it’s my attention and friendship … but at the most basic level, everything is for sale and everything is an exchange” (Mercola 1).  Because of this logic, the doctors are pretty dependent on the drug companies, and the people are dependent on the doctors.  This makes a vicious cycle, leaving the people dependent on the drug companies.   The drug companies only want sales, so what is best for the people is not even in the equation any longer.  In addition, these decisions that are not in the best interest of the people can have staggering side effects.  Winthrop University student Charlotte Boucher is an advocate for alternative treatments to psychological problems, as opposed to medicine.  She explains that the side effects can drastically affect the patient, and be as mild as an upset stomach or as severe as the situation where “reduced blood clotting capacity increases risk for stomach or uterine bleeding” (Boucher 2).  The author makes it clear that the results are not desirable, and patients giving their trust to the wrong sources can lead to these unfortunate side effects.  Blood clotting can even result in death if the person taking the medication is not careful, so the decision to trust a doctor who is characterized by the wrong intentions could potentially be fatal. 

Economy also manipulates the other factors in the equation other than the drug companies.  The doctors want the optimum profit from their business as well, and befriending these drug companies gives them this profit.  The patients want the cheapest health care and medicines possible, so they naively leave it in the hands of their doctors. The question at issue in this situation is how can a patient become truly informed about their health care if they do not know who around them to trust?  There is not an easy answer to this, because an informed consensus is hard to reach with no appropriate information.  An informed outlook on a situation comes from understanding every viewpoint on the scenario, and still feeling completely comfortable with a decision.  When attempting to find information in the medical world, it is practically hidden from the patient.  Obviously the patient does not have enough personal information to make the decision, because unbiased guidance is not available.  When the patient relies on their doctor to make the decision, they are led by the doctor’s bias toward a particular drug company, and the drug company’s preference toward a higher economy.  It is important for the patient to see that prospective, but to be fair they also need to see other points of view.  They should view the other patient’s opinions who have taken the medicine, other drug company’s comparison results, and other physician’s results from a particular product.  This is the only fair way to make an unbiased decision and avoid assumptions, but currently the resources are not available to do this.  When searching the internet for the drug Zoloft all it is possible to find are simplistic reviews.  These include exactly what the drug company wants the public to see.  A basic synopsis of side effects, dosages, diagnosis aspects, and other such data is given.  Since Zoloft is an anti-depressant, it is obvious that there is much more associated with this drug.  For example, how many patients committed suicide after taking Zoloft?  This is something that will never be known through Google results edited by the companies themselves.  The only aspects of Zoloft available to the public are what is online, which is the drug companies prospective, or what the doctor makes available in an appointment setting.  The key solution to this lack of information is to implement a user generated database on top of the resources that are already available.  This method is not meant to replace doctors, but instead give the patient other data on top of the advice given from their medical professional. 

            A database is an online collection of information, designed to help the public with a specific area.  Most people have heard of scholarly databases such as Gale, MLA, and Discus, but a newer aspect of technology is user generated databases.  The key areas where these have taken off are the literary fields.  One of the most notable examples of these is the Whitman Archive.  On this site all of Whitman’s poetry, essays, fiction, and personal letters are displayed, as well as secondary sources such as other author’s opinions, other scholar’s opinions, and the opinions of random readers with no background knowledge.  Fulsome is one of the creators of the archive and says that it is a new opportunity “to become finally its own sprawling genre, presenting a subject as it has never before been possible to present it” (Fulsome 2).  The difference between a database like Gale, versus a database like the Whitman Archive is that gale consists of all scholarly articles, by specialists, authors, and journalist.  The Whitman archive has the first-hand sources, but it also has a lot of user opinions.  The only way for a reader to get a good grasp of the material, and come to their own personal opinion about it, is for them to be exposed to an organized version of every opinion possible.  A person should receive an opinion from a doctor, their family, and a database to be truly informed.  Unfortunately, the online user generated database has not completely taken off, because of all of the opposition made by authors, so it is definitely not available in the medical world as of yet.  IN fact, the only area where it is really freely available is in literary fields.  The oppositions include authors that do not think it is a good idea to have the content freely available like that, and others who do not like that any common person could edit it.  They only want responses filled with intellect and knowledge, however, that is not all of the population, and a database is open to all.  Also, because there are so few users looking up the poems of Whitman comparatively, it is hard to get the funding needed to move forward.  The medical field would not necessarily have these problems though.

            If there was a hypothetical medical database, the user population would be much vaster.  While the poetry of Whitman only affects a small part of the population, health and medicine affects every person.  The Whitman archive struggles for funding, because so few people are interested, but a medical database would thrive in this area.  Also, a database grows by information the user inputs, so the Whitman database is slow to grow at times.  However, there are many more people to enter information into a medical database.  As for the main argument present for the Whitman archive, the user information contributed by all levels of people would only help this database to grow, and lead the user to a more informed decision.  Medicine can affect people of different economic classes differently, so all of these perspectives are smart. 

            One of the main arguments against this user contributed database idea is the fact that identity’s can be faked online.  Drug companies could send out representatives posing as middle class working Americans to highlight the positives of Zoloft, and the public viewing the database would simply think that people had success with this drug.  Some sort of identification utility would have to be created so that the general population could be assured that people are who they say they are.  There are already lines of text on web pages called captcha.  The purpose of captcha is for the user to read the picture of text and type it back into an edit box.  This is done to prove the user is human, and not a spam bot trying to insert spam on to a web site.  This would just have to be implemented a step further, so that people would not only have to prove they are human, but they have valid identification.  It is not that the information has to be unbiased, because it is the biases from different perspectives that can lead the user to make a truly informed decision.  It does however; give the user the opportunity to make that decision without misleading information, which is the common practice currently.  Another potential argument to this plan is that the information, with such a large amount of user input, could get overwhelming.  However, this is a design issue.  If the graphic design of the web site is done logically, then users can filter through a given area of information, before moving to the next area of content.  Hyperlinks can be used to break the site down for the user.  For example, the section anxiety could be broken up by hyperlinks such as social anxiety, generalized anxiety, phobias, and other such categorizations.  Then if the user clicks on social anxiety that could be divided into medicines, counseling treatments, and those areas could be further broken down into perspectives from different viewpoints.  This way the user is not overwhelmed by every aspect of anxiety, but can tackle the issue slowly and reasonably. 

            There are many implications for the drug companies, if the database plan is implemented.  They will be able to pursue their position on the database, but they will not be able to blindly manipulate the public through lack of perspectives and information.  Economically the drug companies may suffer temporarily, but the competition and knowledge will lead to a product that actually works, as opposed to a product that suffered financial cuts because advertising was the main priority.  If drug companies continue to deceive the public, it will be in such bad health that the economy for the companies will ultimately dwindle anyhow; therefore it is better for the companies to reevaluate their position fairly and critically while it is fairly simplistic.  In conclusion, the drug companies may suffer, but eventually they can thrive under a new movement.  The people will be educated and able to make informed decisions and will not have to yield to only the doctor’s authority and have no input of their own.  And lastly, the doctors can get back to what is really important in their career, which is the health of the patients.  This plan does leave a lot of responsibility up to the individual, but ultimately only an individual can take care of their own health.  It is the person’s responsibility, because if health fails they have nothing left in life. 




Works Cited

Boucher, Charlotte. Drugs or Alternative Treatment? Winthrop University, 2012.

Folsom, Ed. “Database as Genre: The Epic Transformation of Archives.” About the Archive. The Walt Whitman Archive, n.d. Web. 14 Oct. 2012.

Miller, Max. “#20: Doctors Are Bad for Your Health.” Big Think. N.p., 23 Aug. 2011. Web. 14 Oct. 2012.

Hi again,

                It has been way too long since I have blogged on here.  However, I have returned.  I want to take this post to explain a few things, and then we will get back to the beauty of the technical world around us. 

                I started this blog for a class.  From the beginning, I was fascinated by this course.  Just the description made me excited about the next semester.  When I got into the course, my excitement grew.  The professor was enthusiastic, well educated, and articulate.  My peers were sophisticated and intellectually stimulating.  And, I was ready for a fabulous semester. 

                The text book was the sort that I finished before the semester started.  The readings were the kind that I read in my spare time anyway.  Now, suddenly reading these, talking about this, and my thoughts, was a part of my grade.  I loved every second of it, and I honestly cannot say I have ever enjoyed a class that much.  It also helped on an extreme level that my professor let us express ourselves adequately.  It felt like we were having an intellectual discussion every class, and she took what we said into account.  We all had the power to influence each other’s thoughts, and in fact we were encouraged to do so.  That is one of the things I valued most.  The expanding technological world around us is not consisting of black and white, but instead multiple shades of gray.  My favorite thing was analyzing all of the prospective of every new technological viewpoint.

                When I found out that it was over, and I would have to return to my mundane world of reading technical articles with nobody to share them with, I was saddened.  However, I have now happened upon the alternative.  If this makes me happy, then why stop because the course is over?  I had followers that were not required to read my blog, and even if nobody reads this again, it is technologically, psychologically, and emotionally enriching for me.  So, to end and sum up this ramble, I’m going to start posting again.   They may not be on exact time scale like before, and I guarantee you they won’t be as structured as far as subject matter, but this is something that I truly enjoy.  And, if anyone wants to enrich my technological viewpoint, or oppose to my opinion about various articles, feel free.  I would appreciate it. 


ps.  Suddenly wordpress has re-dsigned their site, making it not very blind friendly at all.  I’m having trouble adding taggs and things, but I’ll figure it out soon


                The main concept that I want to encompass in this project is what literacy means to me.  For me, this includes incorporating the cyber world since it is such a large part of my life.  I used a quote from Connecting the Digital Dots because I believe that it sums up most of what I am trying to talk about.  I then went into my blindness, because that is one of the core aspects that shapes my literacy.  If I could just go to the library and check out a book like a normal child, then I probably would have a different opinion on cyber literacy today. 

                I explain how reading has evolved for me, from the tactile code of braille, to books on tape, to the technological age.  I go into detail about braille, showing a picture of the cell, because I think it is important to understand different forms of literacy.  After all, that is what this course is about. 

                After that I try to explain the concept of a screen reader, through text and videos.  A screen reader does not relate to literacy directly, but it is how I read all of my material in the new cyber world.  I thought it was important to include, that a screen reader was the step after braille for me.  I think the videos add to the text, because the viewer can see the product applied on a more practical level. 

                The book port is the next concept I introduce.  It is the first instance where my two worlds came together, and I could obtain books simply.  I show a picture to show how bulky and old fashioned it looks now, but when it was introduced to me, I thought it was the best piece of technology ever created.  It was amazing to have a whole world of books at my fingertips for once.  I also explain where I get these books.  The book port is just an e-device like a kindle, and the earliest ones did not have internet.  The web site where I got all of my books is equally important, because this means the concept was expanding into the world. 

                I then jump forward in my personal literacy again.  When the book port became obsolete, I switched to the numerous opportunities enabled by the iPhone.  The app that I use most commonly is made by the same site I got my books from when first starting out with the book port.  However, they have evolved to create an app, complete with a bookshelf, search feature, and full access to all of the books available on their site.  I use a video to illustrate the application as well.  I often introduce concepts, and then get a video or picture to further enlighten upon them. 

                Another aspect of literacy that I wanted to explain is more global.  I wanted to show how I was evolving as a person, with accessible technology, but I also wanted to show how literature was evolving over time.  In order to relate it to me, while capturing the evolving of online literature, I featured on several types of new media.  These include Muds, interactive fiction, hypertext fiction, database, and fan fiction.  I illustrated the points of scholars such as Janet Murray and Katherine Hayles.  These two women helped illustrate my point.  The audience should not simply be limited to my point of view, but have exposure to great thinkers and their opinions.

                After that I go more into detail about each of the methods, including quotes about databases and muds, and explanations of the remaining concepts.  I wanted to specify how each of these forms of storytelling had affected me personally, however my presentation would have been too massive.  I simplified it by presenting all of the concepts, and implying their relationship to me.  In the slides about Muds and databases, I do explicitly say what they have meant to me though. 

                To end the assignment, I wanted to relate all of these concepts back to my definition of cyber rhetoric.  I start the project with a broad perspective, narrow it more and more, until I end with a broad concept.  I start with cyber rhetoric as an academic definition for two reasons.  One is because this class is academic in nature and I think it applies.  The other is that I want to show, what a complex definition cyber rhetoric actually is.  If a scholar cannot explain it without forming an immense list, then nobody else has a hope.  It’s a vast concept, and it is individual to every person.  It cannot be limited to a simple definition, and I simply tried to show what cyber rhetoric means to me.  By no means will I ever be ready to define the term as a whole.


List of sources

Connecting the Digital Dots

By Barbara Jones-Kavalier

And Suzanne L. Flannigan


Video on LCA



Video on “JAWS” the screen reader



Mentioned source



Video on Bookshare’s read to go app



Alluded to in a screen shot, Choice of Games

Available at www.choiceofgames.com or in the apple app store


Fan fiction site alluded to in screen shot



Muds home page



Hamlet on the Holodeck

By Janet H. Murray


Electronic Literature

Katherine Hayles


Manovitch and Fulsome on databases



Kiefer’s definition of Cyber Rhetoric



Rough Draft for Final Project.