52 Matching Annotations
  1. May 2019
  2. Feb 2019
    1. There are 22 response models in the system, including retrieval-based neural networks, generation-based neural networks, knowledge base question answering systems and template-based systems.Examples of candidate model responses are shown in Tabl


    1. I would love to hear your own creations/remixes of “Daft Valentine” should you be intrepid enough to try.

      Neville Morley has written a post on his blog called Fables of the Reconstruction which responds to Reinhard's invitation, and is worth a listen.

  3. Jan 2019
    1. Empirical research on historical disaster events shows response efforts taking four different organizational forms: established, extending, expanding, and emerging [3

      Types of organizational forms of digital volunteers

    1. Our extensions also have implications for theories ontrust.

      Bookmarked section for later consideration of proposal studies on how time interacts with trust in time- and safety-critical social coordination.

    2. Therefore, training should focus on learning how toquickly recognize volunteers’ volition in participating inan emergent group, the tasks they might engage in, andthe support they might need to carry out those tasks.Such training could also help people to recognize thebenefits and dangers of generalized trust. It could alsohelp people to quickly evolve a coordination mecha-nism that does not rely on what people know, but oncompiling and communicating a narrative of the actionsthat volunteers take, so that others are able to assess forthemselves what actions they could take to help.

      Majchrzak et al continue to suggest that emergent response training could reconceptualize a new role for emergency management professionals, aside from the default coordination/management. Further, they suggest that citizens could be trained to participate.

    3. ur examination suggests that by expandingthe context in which TMS theory is applied to includeemergent response groups, insights can be gained intotheir internal dynamics. The three indicators of the levelof development of a TMS provide a useful frameworkfor organizing these insights in the exhibit.

    4. The urgency of time may make it too onerous forthe extra effort of articulating actions as they are beingperformed, yet most emergency response requires somecommunication.

      Interaction of time (tempo/pace) and breakdowns in articulation work.

    5. Explicitly articulated narratives mayalso make clearer that multiple sequences of actions maybe occurring simultaneously, thus resolving role conflictsby allowing multiple ways to accomplish a task

      Evokes Schmidt and Bannon's articulation work in CSCW.

    6. Emergent response groups may also use a mechanismof creating a community narrative (Boland and Tenkasi1995), which is a running narrative of the actions takenand not taken, the decisions made, and the theories inuse. Narratives do not represent a single shared under-standing of a domain; rather they represent the mul-tiplicity of events and actions a community is taking,as members are taking them. Narratives may be articu-lated explicitly or understood implicitly.

      SBTF after-action report, as an example. But who is the audience for this narrative?

    7. Whenemergent response groups first come together, membersare likely not to ask one another about who knows what;instead, they are likely to ask about what is knownabout the situation and about the actions taken thus far(Dyer and Shafer 2003, Hale et al. 2005). The cogni-tive structure that they develop for the group centersnot around people, but on action-based scenarios thateither have been or might be carried out. These scenariosinclude decisions, actions, knowledge, events, and feed-back (Vera and Crossan 2005).

      Suggested extensions for TMS theory:

      "1. Tailor the Role of Expertise"

      "2. "Replacing Credibility in Expertise with Trust Through Action"

      "3. "Coordinating Knowledge Processes Without a Shared Metastructure"

    8. On the surface, the lack of sta-ble membership suggests that a shared mental modelmay not be viable or even desired in emergent responsegroups. Time may be too precious to seek consensus onevents and actions, and agreements may make the groupless flexible to accommodate to changing inputs.

      Evokes pluritemporal concerns about tempo, pace and synchronization.

    9. hus, we believe challenges occur in all three indica-tors of the level of development of a TMS—expertisespecialization, credibility, and expertise coordination—requiring a need to consider extending theorizing abouteach indicator for emergent response groups.

      Ways to extend TMS to emergent groups:

      "1. Reconceptualize the Role of Expertise Specialization as a Basis for Task Assignment"

      "2. Assessing Credibility in Emergent Response Groups"

      "3. Expertise Coordination in Emergent Response Groups"

      These extensions evoke boundary objects and invisibility

    10. Moreland and Argote(2003) suggest that the dynamic conditions under whichthese groups form and work together are likely to havenegative effects on the development of transactive mem-ory.

      Are there workflow or technology breakdowns that could help ameliorate the negative effects?

    11. Research on TMS has identified three indicators of thelevel of development of a TMS (Lewis 2003, Morelandand Argote 2003):1.Memory (or expertise) specialization:the tendencyfor groups to delegate responsibility and to specialize indifferent aspects of the task;2.Credibility:beliefs about the reliability of mem-bers’ expertise; and3.Task (or expertise) coordination:the ability of teammembers to coordinate their work efficiently based ontheir knowledge of who knows what in the group.The greater the presence of each indicator, the more de-veloped the TMS and the more valuable the TMS is forefficiently coordinating the actions of group members.

      Three indicators of the level of sophistication of the system:

      • Memory specialization (think trauma/hospital care CSCW studies)

      • Credibility

      • Task coordination

    12. A TMS can be thoughtof as a network of interconnected individual memorysystems and the transfer of knowledge among them(Wegner 1995). Individuals who are part of a TMSassume responsibility for different knowledge domains,and rely on one another to access each other’s expertiseacross domains. Expertise is defined in the TMS litera-ture to broadly include the know-what, know-how, andknow-why of a knowledge domain (Quinn et al. 1996),what Blackler (1995) refers to as embodied competen-cies. Expertise specialization, then, reduces the cognitiveload of each individual and the amount of redundantknowledge in the group, while collectively providingthe dyad or group access to a larger pool of knowl-edge. What makes transactive memory transactive arethe communications (called transactions) among individ-uals that make possible the codifying, storing, retrieving,and updating of information from individual memorysystems. For transactive memory to function effectively,individuals must have a shared conceptualization of whoknows what in the group.

      Majchrzak et al describe how TMS is oeprationalized as a network.

    13. TMS theory, a theoryof group-level cognition, explains how people in collec-tives learn, store, use, and coordinate their knowledge toaccomplish individual, group, and organizational goals.It is a theory about how people in relationships, groups,and organizations learn who knows what, and use thatknowledge to decide who will do what, resulting in moreefficient and effective individual and collective perfor-mance.

      Definition of transactive memory systems theory -- used in org studies to understand how knowledge is coordinated among groups.

    14. The urgency of the situation meansthat the objective of coordination is to achieve minimallyacceptable and timely action, even when more effec-tive responses may be feasible—but would take longerand use more resources.

      temporal issues related to emergent response: pace and timeliness

    15. hese characteristics require thatemergent response groups adopt specific approaches forknowledge coordination. One such approach commonlydocumented in studies of such groups is their use ofa learn-by-doing (versus decision making) action-basedmodel of coordinated problem solving, in which sensemaking and improvisation are the norm rather than theexception

      Evokes LPP, sensemaking, and improvised coordination.

    16. isaster researchers havedefinedemergent response groupsas collectives of indi-viduals who use nonroutine resources and activities toapply to nonroutine domains and tasks, using nonroutineorganizational arrangements (Bigley and Roberts 2001,Drabek et al. 1981, Drabek 1986, Drabek and McEntire2003, Kreps 1984, Tierney et al. 2001).

      Definition of emergent response groups

    17. Disasters have wideimplications for expertise coordination because the pre-conditions known to facilitate expertise coordination arelimited or nonexistent in disaster response. Such precon-ditions include but are not limited to, a shared goal; aclear reward structure; known group membership, exper-tise, and skills to accomplish the task; and time to sharewho knows what.

      Implications for org studies research.

      At least as of 2007 (publication date), the internal dynamics of emergent orgs were still relatively unknown.

      The dynamics of professional-emergent disaster response is under-studied.

    18. Although the con-ventional indicators of efficient coordination—expertisespecialization, credibility in expertise, and coordinationof expertise—are relevant in disaster response, disasterspresent a unique operational environment. Disasters are“events, observable in time and space, in which societiesor their subunits (e.g., communities, regions) incur phys-ical damages and losses and/or disruption of their routine

      "Disasters represent a unique operational environment."

  4. Sep 2018
    1. I have wasted my life.

      Well...OK, this is the gut punch. From my own personal experience on my farm, I feel the same. This morning I saw a a pair of juvenile greater blue herons flying across the creek and then gone. We have at least three nesting pairs of herons on our farm down by the same creek. I feel a wildly inappropriate sense of having helped this brand new mated pair of herons come into being. And then I feel that nothing else in my academic life compares to that. I, too, have wasted my life. It is not a reasonable line of argument. It is a gut feelilng as Wright lays the earlier observational truth upon us. Who can stand in the wake of nature's creative force? Pan always wins.

  5. Feb 2018
    1. younggirls,because those typesoffictionareoften theonlytypestoofferpositive,well-roundedfemale protagonists.When societyshamesyounggirlsfortheirinterests in these kindsofstories,girlsfindthemselvescutofffrompotentialrole models,fromrelatable stories,andfrom a widercommunityofgirlslike themselves.Representation matters,partic

      Thesis / Response

    1. Summary Marquit begins by introducing us to the principal concern of philosophy of technology, which is how technological development influences societal organization and culture and how culture and society influence and drive technology. He then repeats the three theories of technological and societal relationships that Nye introduced us to last week. Technological determinism states that technology spontaneously evolves and that society must adapt to make efficient use of it. Second, technological advance is driven by human culture and cultural developments. Third, a mix of both of those views is the most generally held. Marquit makes the case that Human evolution is intertwined with technology and that technological, biological and societal interactions make up a kind of pyramid of forces that created the modern Human. Bipedality freed up our hands to use and create tools, while the need and ability to use tools may have driven us to develop brains large and capable enough to make use of the tools. Changes in the hand allowed for the use of tools, while the lowering of the larynx and decrease in canine teeth size enabled articulate speech which was another use of larger brains. Tools, intelligence and bipedality were critical in the move to humans as hunters. The first evidence of human hunting is from one-hundred-thousand years ago, an eight foot wooden spear found in an elephant. As a case-study for ancient hunting societies the Mbuti people of the Ituri rain forest in Zaire are a good example. Most of the people in the society participate in the hunt, and there is little hierarchical structure. There is much cooperation between ages and genders, especially in the important songs used for various reasons. Group members make decisions collectively, with the chief providing guidance in conflict, the shaman providing religious guidance, and singers and dancers serving important roles as well. The first major revolution in social organization associated with technological developments was in 10,000 B.C. with the advent of the city-state in Mesopotamia, Egypt, China, India, Mesoamerica, and the Andes. The first sign of technological change involved the transition to complex foraging, society becoming more static with the ability to acquire a surplus of resources and store them. This gave rise to larger populations and allowed for some specialization. Social differentiation arises through the need for individuals to be in charge of administrative tasks. Structures are built to house goods and ceremonial structures hint at the possibility that leaders and central management were present. Eventually the state emerges as a bureaucratic institution and exerts control over resources. Needing a reason to justify this control, institutions are put in place based on morality and being enforced with the threat of physical violence. In 3300 B.C. bronze metallurgy is introduced in Mesopotamia and Egypt. The ability to create metal tools significantly increases productivity and harvest capability, leading to a surge in population and allowing for more specialized professions, including the first known specialization that is not related to the ruling bureaucracy or directly to food production, the blacksmith. Urban developments spring up as a result of these changes and society becomes stratified into state societies by the 4th century B.C. which are ruled by priest-kings. Later in the Middle East accounting for all the surplus supplies becomes critical and because of this need, mathematics, the first currency and the first written language, cuneiform is developed. Greeks as discussed in the last article, equated technology and physical labor as being lesser than theorizing about philosophy of mathematics. The Greeks also have slaves, so labor is much more efficient than implementing new technology. The Romans a few centuries later did innovate and had a much higher opinion of technology. They used their centralized power to build aqueducts, roads and grain mills. The Chinese in Asia, valued technology, science and writing very highly. As a result were much ahead of their western peers for a long time. The early move to a feudal system of a lord, taxation in the form of unpaid labor, and very centralized government however, stunted their growth, there was not enough free time available to the lower class and the middle class was caught up in serving the lords who were content with the system.

      Response Marquit lays out the principal concern of philosophy of technology which is how technological development influences societal organization and culture and how culture and society influence and drive technology and I think this is the lens through which we should be looking at this article. The course dictates that we look at how this frames our relationship to technology which I think is complementary. Regarding the triangle or pyramid of society, biology and technology, I find this very relevant in today’s world. Soon technology and society may even more directly impact our biology. Indirectly our biology has been greatly shaped in recent years by modern medicine. In times past many of us with what are seen as minor health issues today would be dead or looked upon as detrimental to society, today many of these health issues are able to be corrected. In the near future the relationship with biology and technology/society will have a much more direct impact. As long as society allows, humans will begin augmenting themselves, if not at a dna level perhaps as implants, and it will be something to keep an eye on. I found the portion of the article relating to the formation of city-states and production and storage of excess products extremely interesting and important. The relationship between technology and society is really boiled down and almost purified in this moment. Society was so simple before we had excess food, there was little to no hierarchy and no social classes. We see a clear delineation between the time before and after humans started to settle down. The creation of modern society is seen in its’ infancy in this period and I think it can be a great place for me to study technology going forward. It surprised me how much studying history really taught me about how technology affects us today! I am happy that we will be studying more about Greek and Chinese society after this paper, because it seems brushed over compared with how much detail and growth we really see in the ancient Mesopotamian and Egyptian cultures within the article. I did find it interesting how these more modern (by comparison) groups were described as failures in Marquit’s opinion. The Greeks held themselves back by thinking of technology as a lesser endeavor, while the Chinese organized their society in such a way that they did not allow for growth, the lavish lifestyle of the upper class cramped the growth of their area.

  6. Dec 2017
  7. Oct 2017
    1. Howard Rheingold

      Howard Rheingold is a psychologist/neurologist incredibly invested in the effect today's digital net world has had on society. He has written a large amount of article, launched a magazine, and delivered a TEDtalk on his findings. His about website is http://rheingold.com/about/

    2. We must teach our children to be "bitextual" or "multitextual," able to read and ana-lyze texts flexibly in different ways, with more deliberate instruction at every stage of development on the inferential, demanding aspects of any text .... My major conclusion from an examination of the developing reader is a cautionary one. I fear that many of our children are in danger of becoming just what Socrates warned us against-a society of decoders of information, whose false sense of knowing distracts them from a deeper development of their intellectual potential. It does not need to be so, if we teach them well, a charge that is equally applicable to our children with dyslexia.

      People might start feeling so smart and "all knowing" that they will shut out anything they personally don't intellectually identify with. The main problem in today's society is that others don't think they should know anything else about other people's experiences and ideas and they'll label these types of informations as unnecessary. Basically, they will make up their mind that they are right anyway so they shut out anything that will probably enhance their culturization and most likely change their minds on a certain topics. It's easy enough for people to surround themselves in a community that will agree with their views and thus they will no longer mentally grow because they only expose themselves to their own side. this is the type of distraction that Wolf claims hinders "intellectual potential".

    3. Democratization enables vulgarization. As cultural practices become more common, they also become more coarse and misinterpreted. In the early twentieth century, the young print journalist Walter Lippmann claimed that U.S. citizens are too gullible and ill informed to govern a modern, complex society. In response, philosopher-activist John Dewey responded that in a democracy, the answer was not, as Lippmann sug-gested, to confine governance to an elite but rather to make the entire pop-ulation less gullible through better public education and better informed through better journalism.6

      This hits the nail on the head in reference to one of my previous annotations on the fact that the only reason Russia felt bold enough to invest time to create fake American profiles was because they felt the American people were gullible enough to fall for their propaganda. It is up to the people to educate themselves into not falling for this series of media directed attention.

    4. our brain had at its disposal three ingenious design principles: the capacity to make new connections among older structures; the capacity to form areas of exquisitely precise specializa-tion for recognizing patterns of information; and the ability to learn to recruit and connect information from these areas automatically.

      It's interesting for me personally to read about how the brain basically rewired itself when we started developing our own system of reading and writing. Neurons connected themselves in different ways to accommodate our new method of communication. Most likely, our hippocampus enlarged to support this new feed of info. It makes me wonder how exactly the mechanisms in our brain changed to make space for this enhancement, like did we lose some sort of heightened senses such as sight and hearing to make room for our reading abilities? Are our brains changing once again since the advancement of the internet? For example, will we become near sighted to increase our short attention span since we spend such a long time reading information and needing to pay attention more today than ever before?

    5. self-control along with the skillful use of attention, participation, crap detection, collaboration, and network awareness through social media ought to be taught to future netizens as early as possible.

      It is vital that from now on people grow a sensitive sense of detection of false information. In this day and age it is easy to become engrossed in the multitude of data being spread. People need to reverse look up anything they are not sure of, and have a general idea of which sources can be trusted and which cannot. Otherwise, it is easy to fall victim and be guilty of spreading misinformation. Ultimately, it was this lack of skepticism that enabled Russia to spread its agenda undetected throughout facebook.They stole a Brazilian man's pictures and made up false addresses and education in order to do this, when a simple search of this fake profile would have been easily exposed.

    6. I conclude that teaching people how to practice more mindful mediated communication seems the most feasible remedy. I like Jackson's query in an excellent Boston.com article about attention training: "If focus skills can be groomed, as research has begun to hint, the important next question is whether, and how, attention should be integrated into education.

      The key to understanding the world around us is face to face communication that is "mindful" and "mediated". Personally, I believe that people lose their sense of empathy online because they don't have a physical face in front of them talking about their experiences. Usually, all you truly see online are either data or opinions, and it becomes incredibly easy to side with one issue because one absorbs information with no consideration on how different types of people are involved. According to the article "is the internet killing empathy?" it is stated that

      Their brains have become "wired" to use their tech gadgets effectively in order to multi-task -- staying connected with friends, texting and searching online endlessly, often exposing their brains to shocking and sensational images and videos. Many people are desensitizing their neural circuits to the horrors they see, while not getting much, if any, off-line training in empathic skills. And the effects may even reach young people.


      The effects of widespread media and propaganda most likely will make it easier for the consumers to become self centered and desensitized to others and thus fall for the Russian social media plants which caters to these types of mentalities.

    7. A search engine," he writes, "often draws our attention to a particular snippet of text, a few words or sentences that have strong relevance to whatever we're searching for at the moment, while providing little incentive for taking in the work as a whole."

      Although Google is made out to be a great search engine for whatever people want to look up when they need to be distracted, Google still doesn't use a database containing everything that's on the internet. in "Mystery of Russian Fake on Facebook Solved, by a Brazilian", it is mentioned that

      Before publishing the photos, The Times tried to find their source using Google’s image search function, but nothing turned up. This suggested that they might belong to a Brazilian Facebook user because Facebook blocks image searches of its profiles. The company declined to say whether it had searched internally and found the photos before Mr. Costacurta came forward.

      This shows that even when our attention could be completely focused on finding as much information as we can for one subject, in the end our dedicated attention may have been in vain overall.

    8. Only you can know your goals, and only you can determine which stimuli are relevant at any moment.

      Because almost the entirety of the country already had predetermined that the most relevant issue in 2016 was the presidential election, it became all the more easier for Russia to create fake profiles in the heightened scrutiny that both of the candidates were under, and repeatedly post about politics and their "opinions", and influence people who's goals were to figure out who to vote for.

    9. Humans pay a lot of attention to other humans-hence the success and seductive distractions of social media such as Facebook and Twitter. The discovery of "mirror neurons" in primates strongly implies that paying attention to others is one of the few human cognitive capabilities that may be neurally "hardwired." Mirror neurons fire when you do something, but they also fire in the same way when you watch someone else doing the same thing. The scientists who discovered mirror neurons believe they are fundamental to social behavior: "If we want to survive, we must under-stand the actions of others. Furthermore, without action understanding, social organization is impossible. In the case of humans, there is another faculty that depends on the observation of others' actions: imitation learn-ing. Unlike most species, we are able to learn by imitation, and this faculty is at the basis of human culture.

      This is quite possibly the main reason the Russian government was creating fake profiles in the first place. They wanted to spread propaganda about Hillary Clinton and her emails in order to sway the public vote to Trump. It has already been proven that Russia had a hand in hacking the 2016 elections, but it appears that they wanted to go a step further with this propaganda. Because they had a lot of plants in the social media community highlighting the problems with Hillary, due to mirror neurons, it most likely caused the people who saw these posts to attribute a "regular American person" to thinking that Hillary was bad, thus swaying their thinking to gear more toward Trump.

    10. Oversimplification num-ber one: attention, memory, and executive control are the fundamental com-ponents of thinking-and the executive control process is the particular power you can tap to control your use of social media.

      Attention to detail, one of the vital necessities of media navigation, was needed for the people who were being exposed to things such as fake profiles, like that Russian propagandist that was posing as a regular man on facebook that spread certain types of information for whoever followed him to see. If they were not paying close enough attention to whoever was behind the propaganda being exposing them to these ideas, then they will fall victims to the pushed ideas.

    11. The supplemental reading I chose was the article "Mystery of Russian Fake Facebook Solved, by a Brazilian" This article examined the fake profile the Russian government made during the 2016 election between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.The reason for this was to perpetuate the email scandals that Hillary was involved in to sway public opinion toward Trump. one specific fake profile, Melvin Redick, had pictures stolen from a Brazilian man from 2014 that was only identified when the pictures were made public in an effort to find out who the man really was. It was also discovered that the addresses, jobs and schools claimed to have been attended never had heard of the person in the profile, raising quite a few red flags to the investigators. In all, when the true man of the photographs was contacted, he was unnerved at the fact that his pictures had been taken from him due to the fact that he had had his facebook profile on private, not to mention that when reverse looking up his pictures on Google, it leads to zero results because Google blocks Brazilian Facebooks. It just goes to show that no matter what type of privacy precaution one can take, hackers are still able to take pictures without permission and use them to their own gain. This also personally makes me realize how undeniably corrupt governments can be in order to influence elections not even in their own country.

    12. There are two main issues that need to be addressed when talking about this Russian, and by extant all, propaganda endeavors: internet privacy and gullibility. Everything can and will be seen on the internet, no matter how many precautions one will take, that's why it's important to limit the amount of media you post publicly. Governments will have access to your information and could use it to push their own agendas.Tying more closely with the main text, Net Smart by Howard Rheingold, is the gullibility issue. It's brought up that paying attention in the age of the internet has become incredibly difficult for today's society. Because people aren't paying attention to the world around them, and to an extent the world on their phones, they are missing the crucial details in life. People are letting this excess flow of information take over their lives and influence their opinions and ideas. This is the main reason why Russian propagandists posed as regular American people in the first place; they knew the Americans scrolling through the posts of this fake profile will inadvertently subconsciously take into account the posts that the fake profile feeds to them. One needs to become aware of what they are reading online, why is was posted, and by who. By researching, becoming skeptical of online presences, and overall being aware of their thoughts while reading texts online, one will be more prepared to deflect propaganda planted into their social media feed.

  8. Sep 2017
    1. . The US military and the national guard could provide critically important capabilities—but federal plans assume that “no significant federal response” would be available for 24-to-72 hours
    1. when we want to know who another person is, we ask them to share part of their story.

      This is pretty difficult for me sometimes: the more people know me, the easier it is for them to hurt me.

  9. spring2018.robinwharton.net spring2018.robinwharton.net
    1. The significance of basic materials created within a certain cultural structure is vital to the advancement of the traditions and ideals of the cultures. In both "Mohegan Wood-Splint Basket" and "Mark Their Words: Medieval Bookmarks" two incredibly overlooked yet culturally significant material usage objects are observed. It's the simplest of items, the ones that are rooted in the daily routine of the people, that have the most stories to tell.

      The woven baskets (and other materialistic cultural items such as bookmarks) should not be considered and analyzed as texts according to the Mohegan Wood-splint Basket chapter, and therefore not be treated as such. In general, doing so would result in missing some of the most critical components of the reason they exist or what they truly symbolize. There is no true author, there is no audience, and there are no literary devices to analyze.

      Rather than analyzing the literal contexts of the materials, one has to make meaning of each three dimensional detail and why it is there. For example, in the case of the Mohegan basket, the lining contains scraps of newspaper from 1817, which gives an accurate time period of when it was made. The same can be said about the found item type of bookmark during Medieval times. For example, a leaf used as a bookmark can tell you that the person had been reading outside, and you can even go as far as to find out what type of tree the leaf was from, and draw conclusions based upon that.

      There may exist some opinions that stake the claim that typical items that were used in the general lives of individuals are not as important as written primary source documents. Although it is true that written documents are more likely to contain confirmed specific details, they sadly cannot provide a true visual perception of the writer's life. Materials are far more tangible and physical to provide a deeper look and the historical aspects of a culture that cannot be represented on text.

      Culture analysis does not have to solely focus on written media. Looking past the surface of materialistic culture is also as vital to the development of ideas of how a certain community lived in the past.

  10. Apr 2017
    1. eporterscreatedhundredsofmessages

      I like this example; the moment was so urgent that it demanded a rhetorical response, but a particular kind of rhetorical response that could be predicted before it was ever written out. It could be predicted so easily that hundreds of reporters performed it almost at once. There are certain types of rhetorical performances that we expect, and certain people from whom we expect those responses, to the point that they become comforting and predictable, regardless of the drama of the context:


  11. Mar 2017
    1. The Eskimo reading is unaccepta­ble because there is at present no interpretive strategy for pro­ducing it, no way of "looking" or reading (and remember, all acts of looking or reading are "ways") that would result in the emergence of obviously Eskiri:lO meanings. This does not mean, however, that no such strategy could ever come into play, and it is not difficult to imagine the circumstances under which it would establish itself.

      And this is the point.

    1. How did it get into the tamarind pot?’ Mother asked.‘Somehow,’ replied Leela.‘Did you put it in?’ asked Mother.‘Yes.’‘When?’‘Long ago, the other day,’‘Why didn’t you say so before?’‘I don’t know,’ said Leela.When Father came home and was told, he said, ‘The child must not have any chain hereafter. Didn’t I tell you that I saw her carrying it in her hand once or twice? She must have dropped it into the pot sometime . . . And all this bother on account of her.’‘What about Sidda?’ asked Mother.‘I will tell the inspector tomorrow . . . in any case, we couldn’t have kept a criminal like him in the house.’

      Is Leela's naivety and innocence a good thing or not? Explain your response.

      Would you lay the blame on Leela for Sidda's misfortune? Explain your answer.

      What hints does Narayan leave in this story to provide an understanding of Sidda's ambiguous words and silence?

    2. ‘I have asked it to follow us about.’

      Sidda obviously told a lie. Do you think it is a bad thing? Explain your answer.

    3. The screen which had covered the image parted. A great flame of camphor was waved in front of the image, and bronze bells rang. A silence fell upon the crowd. Every eye was fixed upon the image. In the flame of the circling camphor Nataraja’s eyes lit up. His limbs moved, his anklets jingled. The crowd was awe-stricken. The God pressed one foot on earth and raised the other in dance. He destroyed the universe under his heel, and smeared the ashes over his body, and the same God rattled the drum in his hand and by its rhythm set life in motion again . . . Creation, Dissolution and God attained a meaning now; this image brought it out . . . the bells rang louder every second. The crowd stood stunned by this vision vouchsafed to them.At this moment a wind blew from the east. The moon’s disc gradually dimmed. The wind gathered force, clouds blotted out the moon; people looked up and saw only pitchlike darkness above. Lightning flashed, thunder roared and fire poured down from the sky. It was a thunderbolt striking a haystack and setting it ablaze. Its glare illuminated the whole village. People ran about in panic, searching for shelter. The population of ten villages crammed in that village. Another thunderbolt hit a house. Women and children shrieked and wailed. The fires descended with a tremendous hiss as a mighty rain came down. It rained as it had never rained before. The two lakes, over which the village road ran, filled, swelled and joined over the road. Water flowed along the streets. The wind screamed and shook the trees and the homes. ‘This is the end of the world!’ wailed the people through the storm.

      Why do you think the full force of cosmic power is unbearable to human beings? Does this point towards a universal and timeless truth? Explain your response.

  12. Jan 2017
    1. Knowledge of these hereditary properties has been of significant value in the history of human development.

      This is an understatement. Plant and animal domestication was required for the development of agrarian societies.

  13. Apr 2016
  14. Feb 2016
  15. Jan 2016
    1. It’s now up to us to choose who we want to be over the next 15 years, and for decades to come.

      This line really drew me into the speech, making me feel like I was part of the decision.

    1. It’s now up to us to choose who we want to be over the next 15 years and for decades to come.

      This line really drew me into the speech, making me feel like I was part of the decision.

  16. Dec 2015
    1. And the result is a book, which is being released this month by Polity Press.

      The metaphor behind "release" is pretty profound. Released into the wild. Like the book is a injured wild thing that has been nursed to health and now returns to the zeitgeist from whence it came? More like a domesticated thing that we allow in and out through the pet flap in the door?

      I am thinking more in terms of 'reader response' theory which argues among other things that the book as a stable thing that the authors have control over no longer exists once it is 'released' into the reader wild. As lit-crit David Bleich once noted, "Knowledge is made by people, not found."