SLA event 31st March

I find it hard to express opinions sometimes so I just thought I’d try one…

I don’t like video links.

Often I try to be considerate to anyone around me and not force audio material onto them, often I don’t have headphones and often I am frustrated by a video that makes no sense without sound and that has no summary..It looks nice but I have no idea what it’s telling me without sound.

I also don’t like knowing I have to watch something for the entire duration to understand it… You see the seconds of your life tick away and at the end you may think was it worth it? Could I have got the same information by scanning a paragraph of text and saved myself x minutes?

Not to mention videos that autoplay on newsfeeds and force strange images into my mind and suck data from my allowance..

The exception of course is if you want to send me a link to cute cats – that will be cute with or without sound – then I’ll happily watch it for hours regardless of anything else.


thoughts on death

People find loss hard to deal with.  Many react in ways others don’t understand but it’s the only way that they can. They often go through stages as they try to process a reality without what they have lost. Some say 7…denial is common.

If the author is dead either a lot of people didn’t get the memo or they are in denial.

People find it hard to accept and understand something that is distant from their own experience.  By knowing the author they can draw parallels or contrasts and feel more related to the creation…as though they too might produce something as significant or popular.

There seems to be a cult of the author.  Far from letting the author pass away in anonymity people obsess about the minutiae of their existence.  Many works are read not because of their own merit but because of the author’s persona that the public buy into.

That aspect the publishers promote – foolish if they didn’t to be fair. Hard copy books signed by the author (the celebrity), the chance to hear the author (as the ultimate expert on their creation) speak the words they wrote, pausing at the moments where they intended to be emphasis, answering questions about the hidden background world that existed only in their mind and was alluded to but not fully explained. Tantalising extra nuggets of information for fans to dwell on.

For an example, J.K. Rowling, wishing to create writing that wasn’t associated with her authorship as the world knew, tried to remove herself from existing as its author by a pseudonym…of course the world found out…and the publishers relabelled the work so the buyers could complete their cult-like worship and buy anything and everything she is associated with…  The sales because of the author vs. The sales because of the content.

This format here especially promotes the individual author. We have profiles specifically to inform any readers about ourselves. People follow blogs because of the declared interests of the author before they may have seen it proved in prose.

Everyone wants to be an author…because they have something they desperately want to impart to the world? Or because they want to be worshipped and collected and have recognition.

The people scream out in denial at the author’s death…but here at least the mass of fans have such power that they can keep them alive.

Brecht and Weill’s Opera being staged this Spring and made accessible through the Cinema

The Royal Opera House are staging Brecht and Weill’s Opera “The rise and fall of the City of Mahagonny” this Spring 2015:

“John Fulljames presents a new production of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s furiously impassioned satire on consumerism”

It’s showing at Cinemas across the country on 01/04/15

So an Opera on stage but accessible to a wider audience via the Cinema…Is it now a film?

Does the difference in experience alter the work? The staging is a version of the original and the cinematic screening is again different.. some may say better – no obstructed views, sound and visuals arranged to give the best experience, close-ups of expressions that are indiscernible from the distant seats or standing positions that are the cheapest alternative to seeing the production.

However, someone decided the “best” camera angle, the choice of where to look has been removed and the mass audience’s gaze is forcibly directed to a point and who is to say that is what the individual would have chosen.

Democratizing a form of entertainment previously reserved for the elite? C.f. ,as discussed, printing and copying of texts becoming commonplace and thus accessible to the wider populace.

And of course it’s not just the witnessing of such spectacles, or the reading of texts, but now the audience can be the critic, they can review and publish their opinion to the world via social media etc.  Who’s to say they don’t have an equal right to speak on their own experience – no-one but trolls – one may say that they may not have the depth of knowledge and experience of a professional reviewer, and by their ignorant contributions endanger the employ of said reviewers, however, when something is as subjective as watching a performance, when audience members can be moved to tears by themes that leave others untouched, then every voice is valid.

What is an information society?  In an Introduction to Information Science, Bawden and Robinson discuss that there is “no single agreed definition” that:

“Alternative theories invoke technology, politics, economics, occupations and roles, networks and communication, knowledge and abstract theory, and other factors as the basis for the idea”

So we are in an Information Society but no-one has enough information to fix the definition in the kind of precision that would make a neat quote… the above only gives more questions, hints at more perspectives and invites opinion…

An Information Society

In the beginning

Dear World,

I’ve never written to you before and although I have often thought about addressing you I never have; until this moment.

This moment of self-publication has been accelerated due to my enrollment in a module that deals with Publishing..
We, the participants, have been called to be involved with the creation and dissemination of the media we study.  So whilst I once was an anonymous reader, I am now also an author.

Welcome to my world.