Sunday, May 25, 2008

Session H: Open Source Writing And/As Ideology

Benjamin Cline: Using William Brown's work on "the rhetoric of social intervention"--attention-power-need cycle. Focuses on the attention cycle--axiology, epistemology, ontology--and its application to the Ubuntu Forum, "Absolute Beginner Talk." Forum members attempted to not only help new Ubuntu users, but tried to shift their axiology. Great examples of responses that combined trouble shooting and proselytizing. Users wrote about Ubuntu making the world a better place; about OS users breaking into two camps--the pragmatists (most users--whatever works) and principled users (Ubuntu / Linux) [my terms, not Ben's].

Maggie Christensen: using 3rd space as concept for analyzing technology in the writing classroom. 3rd spaces as parallel to heterogeneous space (Foucault), as real and imagined, a space of multiple and conflicted values. Multigenre identity project an attempt to bump students into 3rd space. Satire, advocacy, technology autobiography used as assignments that ask students to think critically about technology.

Discussion: Maggie got a good question about demographics and identity; even older than average students still sorting out identity in 3rd space. I asked why people proselytize about technology and Benji added Richard Weaver's shamanic language into the mix of Brown's ideology, and suggested that all assertions are a kind of proselytizing. If technologies are extensions of self, proselytizing about technology is proselytizing one's world view; technologies are integrated into world views, ideologies.

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