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.


Natural Selection


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.


Pluralistic Ignorance


"Where do you want to go eat?"
"I don't know..where do you want to go?" (Knowing that I wanted Outback)
"I think I could do Outback."
"Oh awesome! That's what I wanted."
"Well, why didn't you say that in the first place?"
"Well...I just thought that you thought......."

We have all had these conversations, aloud or in our heads before we voice our opinions. They could be about steak or sex, rompers or race issues. No matter what anybody tells you, they don't want to rock the boat.

Ambient Contact


Ambient contact.

Clive Thompson discusses this idea and describes it basically as being aware of what was going on in a person's life just based on their social media posts. You gain an awareness of their train of thought and the lives they lead. You become aware of their favorite things and can almost intuit what is going on their life. It reminds me of a scene in Tina Fey's Mean Girls where Karen, the on sight air-head says "It's almost like I have ESPN or something." Yes. We all have ESPN. But now, with ambient contact we can all have ESP.

Too Stressed to be...anything other than stressed.


Kawaski and Welch most likely describe chaper 13 as the hairiest chapter in the book because it is without a doubt the most stressful and complicated thing I have read in my life. I've said it once, or twice or a million times, but I do not like complex technology mostly because I don't really understand it. Just reading it gives me so much stress and anxiety that I feel like I can pass out.

Be yourself. Unless you can be Kanye...Then be Kanye. Or maybe a slug.


Tell your stories. That's what I got most out of the latest readings from Austin Kleon's book. Not only do you nee to get good at showing your work, but also expressing yourself and talking about who you are. Kleon suggests that you should be confident when talking about yourself at a party or describing what it is you do. My favorite part from this selection is probably the use of a Kanye West quote, because nobody has self love like Kanye West. The deepest love that can be achieved is one where someone loves you like Kanye loves Kanye.

Thoughts from a "post-'90s"


Since the beginning of time, language has been the medium for humans to share ideas. Before the advent of the written word, oral histories were passed down from generation to generation as a means of preserving the past. Then, as written communication really began to develop, people realized that the act of putting pen (or quill) to paper made their words permanent. To put it simply, written words seemed to mean something.


Modern media stops Pluralistic Ignorance


minion lol

Pluralistic ignorance occurs when a population believes that the majority has one opinion, where in reality they share similar opinions but do not say anything about them. The book gave the example of racism and segregation. When taking an anonymous survey, most whites admitted that they did not agree with the segregation laws, but they believed that most whites did so they said nothing about it. Pluralistic ignorance is a tricky thing to pin down, because most people are afraid to give an opinion that is against what they think the majority believes.

Write > Revise > Rinse > Repeat


In chapter 8, Kawaski writes on the importance of editing. This immediately struck me as something I need to read, because, admittedly--I am often a poor editor of my own work. It took me until junior year of college to concede that I needed to give myself a day between finishing a draft and editing and reworking it. My beginning stages as a writer were marked (frustratingly) by trying to produce final draft product on the first draft. It seems obvious now, but no matter how good a writer a person is-- things will not come out publisher-ready the first time around.