briana.993's blog

Oops We Did it Again

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In Clive Thompson’s book, Smarter Than You Think, the chapter on The Connected Society explores the concept of pluralistic ignorance. Pluralistic ignorance occurs when people’s beliefs about public opinion make them alter their own behavior. It reminds me of a bizarre case that happened back in the 1960’s. Thirty-eight people witnessed a woman, Kitty Genovese be attacked and stabbed by a man in front of her apartment. And not a single one of them called the police. They all believed that somebody else would do it and in doing so something truly horrible happened.

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

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The book GO by Chipp Kid was by far the most visually pleasing book I have ever had the pleasure of encountering. The effort and thought that went into making such a delightful book is apparent. With design on the brain I looked around Cooper library to see how else design is impacting the world around us.

This image is of the call numbers on the side of a bookshelf. The design used for it is quite straightforward to match its straightforward purpose. It is used to find books, so it is used as directions, a sort of map. To mirror this purpose the design is minimalistic and easily readable. It is practical in nature.

THE FUTURE IS NOW!

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Clive Thompson’s musings on ambient awareness reminded me of a point a professor of mine made concerning the cyborg manifesto. She claimed that we, today in modern times, have already become cyborgs. We carry around mini computers that link us to impossible amounts of information, not just about the world around us but to other living breathing human beings and their thoughts. Our awareness of the world has grown exponentially and turned us into creatures that have typically been considered as monstrous.

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Natural Selection

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Publishing a book seems to be a complicated process through the traditional routes and much more so when it comes to self-publishing. Once fully understood though, it is probably very simple. It’s the jargon and technicalities that can be deterring. It is this exploration of the technical that makes chapter 13 of APE the “hairiest chapter in the book”. Self-publishing sounds like one of those sink or swim situations where they throw you in the water and you have to learn as you go along, which is a very effective teaching strategy for those who don’t end up drowning.

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Doom, Gloom, and the Creative Tomb

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Society is a roiling mass of development whether that be in terms of fashion, technology, religious practices , or many more. Our world is a rapid-fire secession of innovation. In this kind of culture, where an idea quickly blossoms into a way of life, there are the leaders and there are the followers. So what makes a trendsetter? How does somebody become the triumphant frontrunner of a new fad or way of life? Austin Kleon’s book Show Your Work raised that question for me when he stated that, “ we all carry around the weird and wonderful things we’ve come across while doing our work, and living our lives. These mental scrapbooks form our tastes, and our tastes influence our work” (75).

Creative Integrity

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Guy Kawasaki describes the mainstream method of publishing as taking control from the individual author and putting it in the hands of a specialized team. This process mirrors Austin Kleon’s concept of a scenius. The best product is typically made at least somewhat collaboratively. APE takes this concept and explains what inevitably happens when the collaborators have opposing ideas of where the book should go in Kawasaki’s review of traditional publishing. Talking about collaboration is all well and good but it’s a different thing entirely to be confronted with a team of people whose ideas don’t match up with your own.

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We Shall Rise

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I found Clive Thompson’s Smarter Than You Think to support the study of the humanities. Our society has been experiencing a boom in technology and we have needed a labor force that was trained to create this resource. So there’s been a push towards STEM education, which focuses on science, technology, engineering, and math. And now we’ve reached a point where computers far surpass human abilities in logic and pattern finding. For example, “if you go eight moves out in a game of chess, there are more possible games than there are stars in our galaxy”(3) a feat Thompson says is a common practice for computers and essentially impossible for a human mind. We can’t think like them. Or at least we can’t be as good at it.

Let it Go

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Austin Kleon explores the concept of the lone genius in his attempt to debunk it. The myth of a lone genius stems from a concept that is ingrained in most of us from a young age with the special snowflake ideology. We grow up learning that we are super duper special, so we all believe in our heart of hearts that one day we’re going become president or that we would totally survive the zombie apocalypse.

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