33 Matching Annotations
  1. Oct 2015
    1. Whether a narrative is generated by a human or by software, it can be understood in terms of the motivated procedures that highlight certain portions of the database while neglecting others.

      Simultaneously a reflection and deflection of reality.

    2. When analyzing a text or speech, the critic can seek to understand which of these terms serves as the central focus. Is the text focused on specific actions (acts), who or what is doing the acting (agents), what the actors are using (agency), the context for actions (scene), or the reason those actions are carried out (purpose)? Burke sets up ratios using these terms, and those ratios can reveal the motives at work in the corpus. The pentad seeks to understand and describe the “forms of thought” that motivate “systematically elaborated metaphysical structures, in legal judgments, in poetry and fiction, in political and scientific works, in news and in bits of gossip offered at random.”
    3. What ethical programs should citizens and media consumers use to sift through competing and conflicting narratives? How do we make judgments in situations when different authors and organizations carve different paths through the same database? One possibility is to cultivate a machinic sensibility. Such a practice could be useful not only for examining stories written by computational machines.
    4. These patterns exclude certain bits of information, making them ethical through and through. Narrative Science’s algorithms sit in the liminal space between database and narrative, toggling between stuff and story. This toggling is a useful way of understanding both the generation and interpretation of narratives.[57]
    5. Brooke’s notion of patterning remakes arrangement without holding on too tightly to the assumptions of print. One could argue that a digital rhetor arranges both databases and narratives, but Brooke argues for a different conception of arrangement altogether: “Rather than seeing arrangement as a canon that is divided into categories like narrative and database, it is possible to reconceive it as a practice that mediates those categories.”[56] Thus, patterning is about how the rhetor moves between database and narrative. If Lanham presents a framework for a digital rhetoric with his oscillatio and the “shifting of attitudinal worlds” then Brooke’s patterning presents a specific rhetorical strategy for such oscillations. Patterning allows the rhetor to move between the attitudinal worlds of narrative and database.
    6. In another text, The Electronic Word, Lanham describes this movement in terms of looking “at” text (noticing surface and style) and “through” text (reading for meaning). For Lanham, a rhetorical education presents us with the tools to move between looking “at” and “through” texts and, therefore, to shift attitudinal worlds. Lanham calls this movement oscillatio.[36]
    7. Machinic thinking means we don’t have to choose between the worldview of narrative or database. Rather, it allows us to oscillate between the two.
    8. The human-written stories (though, given that the algorithms of Stats Monkey were written by humans, this label is an imperfect one) of this particular game are quite different when compared to the Stats Monkey version.

      good to note.

    9. Instead, it uses data that tracks important moments in the game, and it even uses “angles” when generating stories. If a journalist looks for an angle during a baseball game—a player who is having a spectacular day at the plate or a pitcher who is recording a large number of strikeouts—so does Stats Monkey. Both human and computational machine use motivated procedures to generate narratives
    10. motives of any ethical program

      Seems to suggest software indeed has agency if we can track motives.

    11. Such robots now sit alongside human journalists who are attempting to aid in the interpretation of hospitable databases. Our contemporary media environment allows access to a staggering amount of data. Of course, as this book has argued, that welcoming gesture is never purely realized, and no database welcomes all information. The Law of hospitality remains unreachable, since it is visible only at the moment that we sift, sort, and restrict. The hospitable database simultaneously welcomes data and serves as a gatekeeper, deciding what information can pass and how it will be sorted
    12. However, to limit rhetoric to this realm is to miss that rhetoric is concerned not only with the output of machines (text, image, and so on) but also with the machines themselves. Rhetoric, even in its predigital permutations, is concerned with the machines that machine discourse. That is, rhetoric cuts across the concerns of database and narrative.

      Out of curiosity, what is the definition of rhetoric that operates in this book?

    13. They are not “mere machines” but are rather rhetorical devices that sit between database and narrative, making decisions. In short, they are ethical programs

      Exercising agency

    14. As Manovich argues, narrative and database are best understood as approaches to information rather than as specific genres or forms.
    15. This suggests that narrative and database are not separable, a point that Katherine Hayles makes in her response to Manovich.
    16. We could call it a battle between “writers” and “stats geeks,” or “scouts” and “computers,” or those who trust their “gut” and those who discuss “small sample sizes” and WAR.

      All participants in the Swarm

    17. Mike Trout

      Baseball's Jesus

    18. demonstrates that arguing in software means more than understanding software as a kind of container for arguments and persuasion. When I am arguing in software, I am negotiating a complex rhetorical ecology of audiences, from parsers and APIs (which I take up in more detail in chapter 3) to the companies tracking my keystrokes.

      Maybe medium, delivery, and agent can be present at once in software.

    19. Software is both tool and interlocutor
    20. MediaWiki tracks nearly all user activity. It is a hospitable archive that files away keystrokes, building a database that is deep and wide. In such a space, ethos becomes the Wikipedian’s primary strategy for influencing conversations about articles.

      Human agency versus software agency

    21. demonstrates how ethos is one of the primary rhetorical resources in a massive database such as Wikipedia
    22. The hospitable network extends an invitation to data, tracking every click, calling for writers and programmers to determine which ethical programs are best suited for parsing a world in which the relationship between narrative and database is shifting.
    23. By demonstrating the possible, it exposes the available means of persuasion and foists a new rhetorical arrangement upon users and software designers. The implication of such computational arguments is that the space can (or should) work differently.
    24. power dynamics of networks
    25. Ethical programs are arguments, rhetorical engagements with networked life that determine how to be connected. They establish, break, and manage relations.
    26. What Allman is advocating for here is a revisiting of the laws of hospitality in the face of the Law of hospitality. The Law will always invite packets of information, in whatever form, whether they follow procedure or not. The laws of hospitality must draw lines and sort through what should or should not be allowed to pass.
    27. It makes an argument, marshals persuasive resources, and addresses the particulars of a situation.

      Could this be a software possesses agency argument?

    28. The ethical programs I focus on in this book come in the form of software platforms that shape, enable, and constrain networked life. Software on the network cannot avoid questions of ethics and hospitality, and this is because the network is based upon the assumption that others will arrive
    29. ethical program to evoke both the computational procedures of software (a computer program) and the procedures we develop in order to deal with ethical predicaments (a program of action)

      Manovich later makes the move, to transform the McLuhan notion that the Medium is the Massage (message), that software is the message.

    30. Ethical Programs takes up these questions by examining software in networked spaces. How does software navigate between the unconditional welcome granted by a network connection, an invitation extended to a faceless foe, and the measured, conditional gestures that inevitably emerge in response, the gestures that begin to determine who or what is friend and foe?
    31. a space of hospitality.

      Intriguing to do public annotations while reading about the "hostage" situation we are currently in with networked living.

    32. Ethical Programs extends her question about answerability and ethics from circuit switching to packet switching, from Bell to Berners-Lee.
    33. This book suggests not that networked computing creates the predicament of hospitality but rather that it takes up this very old problem—the problem of others arriving whether we invited them or not—over and over again.

      Makes me wonder what Brown's thoughts of agency are. Wonder if that will come up explicitly later.