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January 31, 2003


If any of you go to http://roomofbensown.net you will find it down. I didn't make the payment before I left, on ben's behalf. Luckily, jenny lister noticed and emailed me. Hopefully I can get it up in the next hour or two before my plane leaves. Otherwise I'll get to it tomorrow. SORRY BEN!"

Posted by jason at 10:41 PM

Greetings from Haneda Airport

Yay!Excuse the typos. I am challenged when it comes to a japanese keyboard, especially when it comes to punctuation... but here I am! I am at the Yahoo!Cafe, in the airport. Took a picture, and I'll upload it in a bit. Using computers at the cyber Cafe's free. That is free internet access, as long as you buy a drink, and don't stay too long. And actually paying 350 yen for an iced late is not much more than you'd pay at Starbucks, and cheaper than anything at Toronto Airport. I just realized, as I was looking out at the airport, and the water beyond, that I'm flying out of Tokyo without ever seeing it... except as a haze in the distance. I've written two proper length blog entries, which I'll upload as soon as I'm online at Larry's office tomorrow (Sunday in Toronto). Gonna go and check my email now, and see if I can log onto Achieve."

Posted by jason at 10:25 PM

January 28, 2003

Postless in Toronto

I'd like to say that I'm in pre-packing mode for my trip to japan. But that's not the case. I'd like to say that I'm busy working on the AoIR conference, but that's off the mark. I should be preparing more on the KMD1000 assignment 3, and I will... tomorrow. Right now, I'm transcribing latin. William of Newburgh's Historica Rerum Anglicarum, and figuring out which sections of Newburgh, and Walter Map, that need to be translated by ""our man in the Ancient world"" Ben. Getting all my photocopies ready to take to Japan with me, so I can work on these venerable d00ds whilst I'm abroad. Oh, did I mention that I'm going to Japan for the month of February? Invited to Larry's university (Future University) in Hokkaido."

Posted by jason at 09:59 PM

January 27, 2003

Microsoft Virii-Terrorism

Computer virus infects networks around world Why when Saddam wants to control his oil and piss off some people in the neibourhood do we want to destroy him, but when Microsoft wants to bring the internet to its knees with software that's a threat to the world, we don't care? Hmmm... more than likely, this Microsoft SQL Slammer virus that's shutting down the internet IS a form of terrorism. Well it is. It causes terror in people. Threatens people's banking, sharing of family photos, blogging, and no doubt accessing online porn. Hmmm... sounds like something I'd do IF I wanted to strike a blow against, say, american values? And it started where? Probably in South Korea. And who put it there? Your guess is as good as mine... Anyway, I don't worry much. Having the Internet down once and a while is a good thing as far as I'm concerned. It is like Ramadan, Lent, Passover, periodic fasting, or not drinking every day to give your liver a rest. Being off line is a goooood thing. I'll be off a lot over the next four months, and I can't wait. But the point is, as always, if someone in the west does it, it is OK, or just an accident. But if a corporation in the east does it, it is terrorism. And here's the neat bit. The virus/worm may have started in asia. Perhaps as a north korean wakeup call. But it is really Microsoft SQL's fault. And we know that everytime a virus takes over the net, it is Microsoft's products. When's the last time it was a Mac? Or even a standard Unix box. Yes, I know they happen, and how the first internet virii were propigated, but Microsoft just makes it so so SOOOOOO easy. Microsoft products are a breeding ground for virii. And people have the gall to call me a Mac fanatic? I just prefer to work in environments that are not plague vectors. Especially ones that don't charge you for the privledge. Give me Unix... breakfast of champions!"

Posted by jason at 08:29 AM

January 26, 2003

This is the TV for me!

I want a Predicta! By telstar! No Joking. Look for it on my tabletop soon."

Posted by jason at 09:03 AM

January 24, 2003

Birth of A Brave New world

You may think that this is just an egoblog for me to tell you want I'm doing. That's all well and good, but when you're a lifetime ADD (attention deficit disorder) dyslexic, you need to document your life, lest you lose it and a scattering of thoughts. So much of what I put here is for me to remember as well... this especially goes for the list of links down the right hand column. Anyway, Cosmo just sent me a link to Birth of Brave New World. Cosmo and I have collaborated with CVEs for years, and he's an audio designer for computer games. This link seems to be another attempt at remaking CVEs into games, without realizing where the real location of interest in CVEs are... and we all know where that is, right?"

Posted by jason at 11:57 AM

The Common Sky: Canadian Writers against the War

Just got an email from Darren @ alienated.net. Perhaps I can remember how to write poetry... properly. CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS The Common Sky: Canadian Writers against the War As the rhetoric of war in Iraq grows louder, there is an urgent need for reflective, responsive, and resistant voices in the Canadian public sphere. Published by Three Squares Press, and edited by Mark Higgins, Stephen Pender, and Darren Wershler-Henry, The Common Sky: Canadian Writers against the War will assemble a diversity of Canadian writers expressing their opposition to another (potential) war in the Middle East. Writers are invited to submit poetry (1-3 pages, max. 3 submissions) and short fiction (max. 1500 words) occasioned by the threat of war in Iraq. Electronic submissions strongly encouraged. threesquares@sympatico.ca OR Three Squares Press 16 Ashdale Ave. Toronto, ON M4L 2Y7 *Please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope if you need your submission returned. Contributors will receive 2 copies of the anthology. Proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to the Canadian Peace Alliance www.acp-cpa.ca Submission deadline: Tuesday February 11, 2003 Publication

Posted by jason at 11:38 AM

January 23, 2003

Who thought Brin could do this?

Brin is capable of many strange things, but Wow. Brining a turkey takes this to new heights."

Posted by jason at 11:01 AM

Count Bill...

Thanks to Ben's sister... who led me to this site..."

Posted by jason at 09:07 AM

January 22, 2003

Happy Anniversary

Happy Fifteenth Wedding Anniversary Yuka!!! Jason and Yuka were wed at 3:15 pm, January 22, 1987. Yuka has such a good sense of humour that she's kept with the status quo. Yay! We had a great dinner at Le Select Bistro on Queen... minutes after I got back from a wonderful day visiting the department of education at Trent U."

Posted by jason at 09:58 PM

January 21, 2003

Going to Peterborough

Off to the land of the liftlocks tomorrow. Just for the day. I'm sure you won't miss me. And some of you may wish me luck. I just hope that I can get my presentation done in time. :)

Posted by jason at 08:12 PM

Dad and Sis

Here's a picture of my dad and sister Cats (Cats is no relation to Kat!) at the Father and Daughter dance last spring. Just got the picture from Cats' mom. I just want to go on record to praise dad for doing the 'right thing' and going, even though there was no complimentary bar or cigar smoking."

Posted by jason at 09:50 AM

January 20, 2003

Vampires in Budapest

Going to Vampires: Myths and Metaphors of Enduring Evil 22nd May - 24th May 2003 Budapest, Hungary. Going with Yuka and Elizabeth Miller. Presenting on the stuff Ben and I are working on..."

Posted by jason at 12:34 PM

Just who is this woman?

As I'm looking through SXSW /interactive/panels for March 9th, I see: ""Katherine Parrish will discuss barriers to participation in Internet communities."" Yay! Katherine!. I will take pictures. Her discussion is called Conceptual Firewalls... and somehow it includes me too... though you won't find me listed on the program )PDF). And that's a good thing. Anyone else going? I need a cheap place to stay..."

Posted by jason at 11:35 AM

January 19, 2003

Still no coffee but buttons work...

It is true... the links above to courses, papers and projects are now more than dead hotlinks. They're live, new and improved, hotlinks, with shiny content behind it... though the font's probably too small."

Posted by jason at 09:45 AM

The Joy of Dross

I was about to post a comment responding to comments made by RK and Pea to my micro-rant on voice, but then I decided to make it a post. I don't know how false. My point is that blogging is about having a voice, not about having to say something intelligent or interesting. You, RK, would know better than most of us, which famous writer wrote her/his best stuff the first time pen was put to paper? Probably 100000:1, could be more. Blogging is a tool of public voice, and it is still in its prenatal stage. And new writers have to find their footing. Of course writers who already have a skill in a nother public writing medium (academics, professional writers, journalists) can leverage their prior skills and experience, and leap over those who are new writers and new bloggers. Yes, publishing the mundane facts of your life can be boring... unless you happen to be Catspaw who can turn the act of clipping her toenails into high drama, or Blatherings where Debbie's life is subject of her cartooning. What's different? Well, they're both out to manipulate the reader, rather then being out to share the facts of the day. They're ready to beg/borrow/steal from their own lives in order to caputer some market share of your attention, and some cycles from your cortex processor. [Sorry, this is pre-coffee, so I may be losing the fight for clarity.] That said, we don't expect the first painting, poem, written page to be perfect. But we do have a fetish that when something is public, it should be interesting and professional, and we have a defacto write, nay a divine command, to position ourselves within a 'great chain of blogging' that puts the writer of the mundane at the bottom. Bet I can't completely escape from that either. Personally, I am more interested in the writers of the mundane than I am about reading what goes on in The New Yorker. Always been that way for me. I figure that enough people read the big journals, journalists and rags that I'll pick up anything interesting by cultural osmosis. Same goes for blogs. Though there are some big names, at least in their own minds, on my blogroll, it is only because I've tripped over them in the same manner that I have tripped over everyone on the list. At random, as friends in other contexts, or as friends of friends. Ok, my point is that it is a new medium, a new form of expression. We can focus our attention on those who will, reasonably enough, want to hijack for ends that jive with their previous medium, or we can focus on the people for whom this is their first location for public voice. There are more of the latter, and most will fail, but some may take up blogging in a new way, and add to our palate of forms of written expression in ways uncharted. And I'm curious as to what they'll do. Another point is that, unlike is the case for previous forms of publishing, it doesn't take much cash. It IS an elitist western form of communication... you need a computer and access to the internet... which leaves most of the world out. That number goes up and down by a billion people depending on what the chinese government's doing. But all in all, it has given more voice to more people for less gelt, and right off the bat I started hearing, in other media, how blogs would bring down writing, pollute the rarified air of journalism with the dross of the average d00d with nothing to say. And thank god for the editors, and more for the filter of time, that separate what is worth reading from what is not. The only rationales I can imagine for this position is that people want to keep their own privledge and power, and don't want to be threatened in their position of authority, and that, as a reader, people want to know what is right and good to read without having to discern what is interesting for them to read. If it is in the 'Time Literary Suppliment' it must be good. But if it is on a blog called the ""fetid gerbil"" who is to tell us if it is good or not. What if we read something trashy and find that we like it. What if we really do enjoy a good wallow? Luckily, we have http://blogdex.media.mit.edu/ which is probably the greatest tool invented for limiting the scope and diversity of blogging that I've ever seen. Or it is the greatest tool that I don't understand. It tells you what is best. It tells you who is reading whom, what topics are hot. And everything else is not. So? If you can't find out what's important to you, you can find out what is important to everyone else and read that. There are others that help you find the best of the best: blog of the day and the list who show you what is good out there. I guess I shouldn't complain. It is just the way things are. I just want to encourage people to keep blogs. Boring blogs. Blog the minutae of your life. Do it the way you want. Don't think that it has to be interesting. And don't care if anyone reads it. Fight the temptation for audience, and embrace the temptation to find something interesting to say to and for yourself. And I think that people should consider how controlled and directed their tastes are towards what is 'best to read' and worthy of reading, without much in the way of criteria beyond the fact that they were trained from an early age to appreciate such things. And you don't challenge your training? I do think that a bit of unlearning is a good thing, when it helps you to find a home closer to your heard, and a bit farther away from the dictates of taste and style. And even if your true and eternal home is rapt and wrapped with all that it 'best in our culture' (you unpack that... my hands are sticky) at least you'll know that it is, cause you've hung with the backwoods homeys for a while. [I reserve the right to disagree with this after coffee...]"

Posted by jason at 08:34 AM

January 18, 2003

Typing in the past...

On Jason O'Grady's PowerPage I found a link to The ElectriClerk. Go. Look at it. It is great. It is wonderful. It is a William S. Burroughesque/Brazilesque mechanical/digital monstrosity of beauty."

Posted by jason at 08:36 AM

January 17, 2003

Who gets a voice around here anyway?

I ran across Start-up marries blogs and camera phones on Eszter's Blog Entry: ""Mobile blogging.. any blogging?"" (01/13/2003) and ended up at Slashdot | Blogging With Camera Phones. I think that Eszter's comments were great. Mostly that the Slashers are complaining about bloggers, but really do the same thing, except that they do it in a famous place, and therefore are more cooler. But I thought that this thought was strange, ""Yes, there may be lots of blogs out there that are truly about nothing more than what someone had for breakfast or what the weather was like in their town today, but if that's all some people see in blogs then they are really missing out."" If we're sociologists, aren't we more interested in what people do, rather than deciding what it of value and what isn't? I rant a lot about finding it much more interesting to read about the daily events in the life of a healthcare worker than a list of what papers Jason's published, or who some star had lunch with. Back to the roots of the internet, and we're back to a bunch of people chatting with each other about things that interest them. I think it is the fact that most people complaining about how the net is used or not used now came onto the net after 1994 that leads them to think that it is about glitz and hype of interesting people doing interesting things with their lives and careers. Or zany d00ds who can titilate us with their antics. Go back and have a look at Ed Krol's ""The whole internet"" 1992 edition, to see what was really there, and what people were doing. They were just chatting with eachother. Sharing bits of their day. Perhaps sharing some info that they had access to that might be of interest to others. I think that the net was closer to blogs in terms of how they were used, than they've been to much else since the advent of the first graphical web browser. That said, I'll stop ranting except to say that Blogs seem to be about the individual, and most other online portals/slashydottythings/Usenet/edTech/CMC technologies are more about the collective. The latter focus on the location and topic of communication, and less on the reflective individual exploring issues and topics. And this exploration of diversity is interesting to me."

Posted by jason at 09:16 AM

Mann in KMD1000

Here's the site that Steve Mann put together for the lecture in my class todayInvention of the Wearable Computer: Fundamental Issues and Technologies. When I get Ravin Balakrishnan and Paul Milgram's stuff, I'll post it too. I most always put the notes up on the course page for KMD1000, but I should have been pointing out the more publically interesting lectures in both places."

Posted by jason at 07:46 AM

January 16, 2003

Unvoicing the bloggers...

Some people don't have comments on their blogs because they don't know how to add them. Easy to figure out whom... people who use Blogger for instance. They have difficulties adding comments functions without knowing how to edit html and the like. Others don't. If you use moveable type, you have to turn off comments. And that's interesting to me. If comments are off, it means that you do not want to engage with readers. You do not want to hear what people have to say. You do not want to be challenged. That's well and good. All of us get tired of having to defend what we're saying. But it also means that you're part of the broadcast culture... the old paradigm. The technology that silences the many for the betterment of the few. And I can't but wonder why... would it be a disinterest or a disrespect for the reader? Or a heightened sense of self-valuing. It is an open question, because I still think that the real value of computers is in their ability to put people in touch with people. using them to isolate yourself from them (beyond the use of it as a broadcast medium) is problematic in the least."

Posted by jason at 11:46 PM

January 15, 2003

The gaze never gazes on the geezer.

Mann-O-cam [Potentially Large Video Feed]"

Posted by jason at 09:56 PM

Jeff Noon and Dave Goulden

Katherine and I just got our copies of Jeff Noon's new book Falling out of Cars, thanks to Dave. Got it acouple of days ago, and I've been too busy to even email my thanks to dave. Time to do it publically!


And the book is great, as are all of Jeff's books."

Posted by jason at 05:53 PM

Steve Mann announces Glogs

Cyborglogs (""glogs"") is what Steve's using to describe what he and Joi Ito, and others, are doing in the blogging world... He's always got something new up his sleeve... collecting intel. And he'll be doing, I think, his first public lecture on Glogging in my KMD1000 class this week. Don't miss it... As Steve puts it: Cyborg Logs (also known as cyborglogs, or ""glogs"" for short) are timestamped stream-of-deconsciousness personal diaries often made public in realtime on the World Wide Web. Unlike Web Logs (weblogs, blogs) that are done from a desktop, glogs invite the public inside the life of the glogger, and allow others to communicate with the cyborg by modifying his or her visual perception of reality in realtime."

Posted by jason at 03:14 PM

Something overdue

The Politics of Code: Shaping the Future of the Next Internet is a conference next month hosted by the Oxford Internet Institute. People seem to think that code is culturally neutral... scary that people can think that value neutral technologies and text can exist."

Posted by jason at 01:45 PM

Shaping up and shipping out...

It is a strange time of year... stranger than you might think. I've had one job interview already, and have at least one more before I head out to Japan. I think I've mentioned it 200,000 times this fall, but I'm going over to spend a month working with Larry Davies at the Future University in Hakodate, Japan. Going over for the month of February. What I wasn't expecting was that February is job interview month. What has been very nice is how accommodating people have been in trying to schedule interviews such that I don't have to fly back from Japan for one. The world is full of sweetness and light today. Good time to send out some more job applications... Guelph and Ryerson, here it comes!"

Posted by jason at 10:15 AM

January 14, 2003

Why Kat Should Be Institutionalized

Catspaw's Guide to the Inevitably Insane presents Extreme Sledding. Of course this is something Julia's been whining about not doing. I think she and Kat should hang out."

Posted by jason at 04:24 PM

January 13, 2003

China Blocks Bloggers

Kat ICQed this to me... from Ron Deibert's lab: China blocks bloggers "

Posted by jason at 10:30 AM

January 12, 2003

Count Virtula and the Simulacrum of Doom.

I have a task. And the task is to show how Dracula is a virtual being, an consequently how the character of the Count, and the novel Dracula represents virtuality such that it is worthy of inclusion in our handbook on virtual learning environments. It is a challenge that I've been given, and accepted. But it is daunting to say the least. I KNOW I am right, but how do you get around to saying it? The problem is to step outside of the normal notions of VR as a post-gibsonian term for a computer generated consentual hallucination. And even farther beyond the notion of VR as a simulated environment. Hmmm... Perhaps not that far from that latter notion we got there. When I think of Plato's cave, or Swift's lands that Gulliver travels through, or the gothic topologies of Beckford's Vathek, I know that I'm engaged in a psychological landscape that has less to do with dirt than it has to with the visual manifestation of a concept. Likewise, Dracula is no less a conceptual being, and much less a dude in an opera cape. He is desire, fear and all the strong emotions made apprehensible; a psychological event. Moreover he is a cultural and political manifestation of white, male, colonial european unease; the virtual embodiment of that which has been supressed in their own individual, cultural psychies, and suppressed in the colonalized. The Virtual is a term that exists in opposition to the 'real' or the 'natural'. That which is not real/natural is variously noted as surreal, unreal, fictional, unnatural, and virtual. Virtual is opposed to actual. But it also partakes of the real. According to the Shorter Oxford, virtual is ""Possessed of certain physical virtues or poewers; effective in respect of inherent qualities; capable of exerting influence by means of such qualities."" And specifically ""Not physically existing but made... to appear to do so from the point of view... of the [reader]."" (Edited to remove computer references.) Dracula is the arch represenation of the virtual being, both the constructed fiction and the simulacra, the 'other' who does not (being undead) and cannot (because of the logical impossibility) exist. He is the created thing, created to fill the void of signified that requires a signifier. That is, there is 'something' unknown out there. And this 'something' is the unknown and the non-human, extra-cultural, 'the other'. How can you define this unknown. How do you attribute meaning to it, how do you confront it? You create something, this simulacrum, and forge a relationship between this signifier and the 'unknowns' which are now the signified. Dracula is now the signifier. He is a construction that stands in the place of the unknown. He signifes and embodies the unknown. Dracula is about the unseen: the other-worldly, the cryptic, the haunted. But he's also about the world that is just now being seen under the lense of science: blood and water born pathogens, anthropology, sociology, and of course the psychology of madness. All these conceptual landscapes were then, and are now, virtual spaces, not real or physical. You could call them imaginary or fantastical, and these designations may be true, but as with imaginary and fantastical landscapes, they are not merely locations without meaning, but rather they are constructed so that they might reflect the real and precipitate a greater understanding of the real through the engagement with the virtual. And of all the virtual characters that have found their way into English literature and culture, it is Stoker's figure of Count Dracula who has not only the greatest sway over our hearts and souls, but speaks as the representative embodiment of the virtual 'other' itself. Thoughts? This will be on the final exam..."

Posted by jason at 08:21 PM

Blogging Books

Has anyone read or seen these books? I have Essential Blogging, which is useful, but a total yawnfest. Thoughts? The Weblog Handbook: Practical Advice on Creating and Maintaining Your Blog by Rebecca Blood We Blog: Publishing Online with Weblogs by Paul Bausch, Matthew Haughey, Meg Hourihan We've Got Blog: How Weblogs Are Changing Our Culture by Editors of Perseus Publishing (Introduction), Rebecca Blood"

Posted by jason at 11:08 AM

[Air-l] Call for Papers - Internet Research 4.0: Broadening the Band - 4th Annual AoIR Conference

[Note: Katherine and I are working on this conference. So you'd better submit something. You folks in KMD1000 better submit something!] Subject: [Air-l] Call for Papers - Internet Research 4.0: Broadening the Band - 4th Annual AoIR Conference Reply-To: air-l@aoir.org [please distribute widely] Call for Papers - IR 4.0: Broadening the Band International and Interdisciplinary Conference of the Association of Internet Researchers in Toronto, Ontario, Canada October 16-19 Lead organizer Knowledge Media Design Institute at the University of Toronto Submission site opens: January 15, 2003 Deadline for submissions: March 1, 2003 Conference Website: http://www.aoir.org/2003 | http://www.ecommons.net/aoir Digital communications networks such as the Internet are changing the way people interact with each other, with profound effects on social relations and institutions. Yet many remain excluded from access and meaningful participation. It is timely to consider who is included, who is excluded and what we now know about the composition and activities of online communities. Internet Research (IR) 4.0 will feature a variety of perspectives on Internet, organized under the theme Broadening the Band. As in previous conferences, the aim is to develop a coherent theoretical and pragmatic understanding of the Internet and those that are empowered and disenfranchised by it. IR 4.0 will bring together prominent scholars, researchers, creators, and practitioners from many disciplines, fields and countries for a program of presentations, panel discussions, and informal exchanges. IR 4.0 will take place at the Hilton Hotel in the heart of downtown Toronto. The conference is hosted by a team led by the Knowledge Media Design Institute (KMDI) and its partners at the University of Toronto. The IR 4.0 steering and working committees reflect the growing pan-Canadian network of Internet researchers, including members from Quebec, Alberta, and New Brunswick, in addition to the local contingent from Toronto, York and Ryerson Universities. This year's theme, Broadening the Band, encourages wide participation from diverse disciplines, communities, and points of view. Under the umbrella theme, contributors are called to reflect upon, theorize and articulate what we know from within the emerging interdisciplinary space known as Internet Research. In a cultural sense, the theme calls attention to the need to examine access, inclusion and exclusion in online communities. What role do race, gender, class, ethnicity, language, sexual orientation, age, geography, and other factors play in the degree of online participation? What are the indicators of meaningful participation? In a technical sense, the theme points to the development of broadband, wireless and post-internet networks and applications that are currently coming on-stream including community, private, public as well as national research networks (e.g. CA*net 4, Internet 2). We plan to use these technologies to make the conference an internet-mediated and internationally accessible event. In an organizational sense, the theme reflects a widening of AoIR's reach to include more researchers and constituencies involved in the evolution of the Internet. French language presentations will be included in the call for papers for the first time. Researchers and practitioners in the arts and culture sectors are encouraged to participate alongside social scientists and humanities scholars and researchers. In a thematic sense, ""Broadening the Band"" suggests widening the scope of topics and problematics considered within past conferences, while retaining the consistent emphasis on rigorous research work. This call for papers thus initiates an inclusive search for theoretical and methodological correspondences between this expanding theme and the many disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches that are required to address it with precision. Possible Topics: - Who is bridging what: questions and answers on the digital divide - New directions in digital art - E-me, e-you? (E- Health, E-Governance, E-Commerce,E-Business, E-games, E-entertainment, E-other) - Ethnicity, Race, Identity, Gender, Sexuality, Language(s) and Diverse Cultural Contexts Online - Who Decides: Ethics, Law, Politics and Policy of the Internet - We can't measure that, can we? Meaningful Indicators for Internet Access, Participation, Use and Effects - Who owns what? Value, Space, and Commons on the Internet - Is there an Author, a Publisher, or writing on the internet? - Transformed by Technics: New Technologies and The Post-Internet Age - Who is watching your computer, when You're not watching it.... - When we are glocal: the internet in global and local manifestations - I put my lesson plans on the internet, what changed? Teaching, Learning and the Internet - Digital media and terror/ism: global flows, economies, and surveillance - Social movements, net-based activism, and hactivism in a global arena - Which methods, whose theories? determining approaches to internet research - Why did we digitize that, and what's it worth? Exploring the value of digital content This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but rather to trigger ideas and encourage submissions from a range of disciplines. The organizers will take an active role in generating and joining the various interests into appropriate formats. Submission of Proposals The Association of Internet Researchers invites paper, presentation, and panel proposals from AoIR members and non-members on topics that address social, cultural, political, economic, and aesthetic aspects of the Internet. We welcome interdisciplinary submissions as well as submissions from within specific disciplines. French language presentations will be included in the call for papers for the first time. We especially seek panel proposals that establish connections across disciplines, institutions, and/or continents. We also encourage creative presentations that will make use of Internet technologies and artistic techniques. Proposals for papers should be in the form an approximately 500-750 word abstract. Creative presentations and demonstration projects should consist of an approximately 500-750 word abstract, plus brief illustrative material. Panels will generally include three to four papers or presentations. The panel organizer should submit an approximately 500 word statement describing the session topic, include abstracts of up to 250 words for each paper or presentation, and indicate that each author is willing to participate in the session. Abstracts and proposals may be submitted for review in English or in French. Papers, presentations and panels will be selected from the submitted abstracts on the basis of peer review, coordinated and overseen by the Program Chair, assisted by sub-chairs with expertise in specific areas of scholarly and aesthetic knowledge relating to the Internet. Proposals can be for three types of contribution to the conference: - papers, creative presentations, and panels. Each person is invited to submit a proposal for 1 paper or 1 presentation. People may also propose a panel of papers or presentations, of which their personal paper or presentation must be a part. Average time allotted for a paper or creative presentation will be 20 minutes. Average time allotted for a panel will be 1 hour and 30 minutes, including discussion time. Detailed information about format of submission and review is available at the conference website http://www.aoir.org/2003. All proposals must be submitted electronically at http://www2.cddc.vt.edu/confman/ (_note_ - submission site opens January 15, 2003). Deadlines: Submission site available: January 15, 2003 Final date for proposal submission: March 1, 2003 Author notification: April 1, 2003 Presenter's Registration to the conference: September 1, 2003 Student Award: Completed paper: September 1, 2003 Graduate Students: Graduate students are strongly encouraged to submit proposals. They should note their student status with submission in order to be considered for a special Student Award. Students wishing to be a candidate for the Student Award must also send a final paper by 1st September 2003. Canadian graduate students outside of central Canada should note that funds may be available for travel and subsistence. Notice will be sent out to the AoIR list as soon as funding commitments are confirmed. To ensure diverse participation, registration fees will be kept low for presenters, and a billeting and room sharing system will be established. Simultaneous French language translation will be available (subject to budgetary considerations) in certain sessions. Pre-Conference Workshops Prior to the conference, there will be a limited number of pre-conference workshops which will provide participants with in-depth, hands-on and/or creative opportunities. We invite proposals for these pre-conference workshops; local presenters are encouraged to propose workshops that will invite visiting researchers into their labs or studios or locales. Proposals should be no more than 1000 words, and should clearly outline the purpose, methodology, structure, costs, equipment and minimal attendance required, as well as explaining its relevance to the conference as a whole. Proposals will be accepted if they demonstrate that the workshop will add significantly to the overall program in terms of thematic depth, hands on experience, or local opportunities for scholarly or artistic connections. These proposals and all inquires regarding pre-conference proposals should be submitted as soon as possible to the Conference Chair aoir@ecommons.net, and will be accepted up to June 15th. Notification of terms and space allocations will be sent out as soon as details are confirmed, with final acceptance required by June 30, 2003. CONTACT INFORMATION If you have questions about the conference, program, or AoIR, please contact: Program Chair: Matthew Allen, Curtin University of Technology, Australia m.allen@curtin.edu.au - All inquiries on review and acceptances Program Co-chair: David Mitchell, University of Calgary mitchell@ucalgary.ca - Inquiries on conference themes and special technology themes Conference Chair: Liss Jeffrey, Knowledge Media Design Institute and McLuhan Program, University of Toronto aoir@ecommons.net - All inquiries on Toronto conference and pre-conference workshops Associate coordinator: Katherine Parrish, OISE/University of Toronto aoir@ecommons.net AoIR President: Steve Jones sjones@uic.edu Association Website: http://www.aoir.org Conference Website: http://www.aoir.org/2003 | http://www.ecommons.net/aoir"

Posted by jason at 10:37 AM

"Inkygirl - telecommuting writing jobs"

What is Inkygirl, exactly? ""A central place where I can post my findings during my daily visits to various writing job banks and resources, as well as posting my writing-related cartoons."" Inkygirl is Debbie Ohi's lattest writing vehicle. From the woman who brought you inkspots.com and joy and mayhem 24x7. And I think she still lives down the street."

Posted by jason at 08:41 AM

January 10, 2003

Vampire bat saliva may lead to new stroke drug

The Globe and Mail: Breaking News has an article about Vampire saliva. Sounds like something that would interest Blake, who in his past life was making articifical blood. And is now a cosmetics god."

Posted by jason at 09:15 AM

January 09, 2003

The Biggest Threat To Peace

TIMEeurope.com: Poll The Biggest Threat To Peace. Have a look. And guess who comes in first? You guessed it. America. Thanks to Joi Ito, as I first read it on his blog."

Posted by jason at 11:51 PM

Ooolong-chan has passed away.

Oolong-chan that famous bunny with an orange (and other things) stuck on his head, whose pictures adorned the internet for so long, is gone. At the age of 8. The page is in japanese, but the alt tags for the images are in english. Sniff... Here's Oolong in happier times Newyears 2003."

Posted by jason at 08:42 PM

International Handbook of Virtual Learning Environments

virtuallearninghandbook.net is now up and running. This is the official site for the handbook that Joel, Peter and I are editing. And which Katherine and Vera are assisting with. We have a list of contributors and chapters up now as well."

Posted by jason at 09:53 AM

January 08, 2003

Guess What Apple Lost Tonight?

Their Homepage..."

Posted by jason at 10:41 PM

For KAT and the Cats

Eat them all! Sche wonders how yuka finds all of these..."

Posted by jason at 09:33 PM

Surfing Safari!

Just downloaded Safari, the new Apple web browser. Somewhat similar to the Mozilla Navigator browser, but closer to the MacOS. Much nicer than IE, which I'm using at the moment. Why? Because all the other browsers act funny. Sigh."

Posted by jason at 08:53 PM


Eszter reminded me of the Third Annual Weblog Awards. Gotta look closer to see what's up this year with them. As Eszter says, they at least recognize that blogs exist outside of the USA."

Posted by jason at 08:06 PM

How they do that...

I used to ride motorcycles... dirtbikes. Between 14 and 16 year old. Finally sold the bike to pay for repairs I couldn't afford. Well, that's the past. Was channel surfing, looking for weather news, and ran across an extreme sports channel. I used to also skateboard around 1972-4, so I like sk8ters. And I stopped to watch. And what to my wondering eyes should appear? ExtremeDirtbikes. Same as skateboards, but with motor cycles. A guy, and this was suposed to be the frirst time in competition, did back to back backflips on a motorcycle. First one was a 45' flip, and the second was an 80' flip. And there was only about 40' between the jumps. It was an incredible thing to watch. Yay extreme! And yes, I'm taking the afternoon off after a draining 30 minute job interview."

Posted by jason at 03:12 PM

January 05, 2003

Yuka says...

Play the tout est beau point com * monkey lander game."

Posted by jason at 09:44 PM

Watch Julia Think...

If you don't already, you should be reading Flailing in the Surf! That's Julia's blog (link down on the right). First of all, she thinks no one reads her blog. Second, she says lots of interesting things and has a snarky attitude about things that should be snarked at. Third, there is no #3. Two is enough."

Posted by jason at 09:18 AM

January 04, 2003

Conceptualizing makes you hungry.

Sure, some of you are shoveling sidewalks. But I have other things to shovel. I've spent every waking moment for the last week planning for a presentation that I have this week. And I'm just about all conceptualized out. Unfortunately, I have meetings packed in all day monday and tuesday as well. I just can't wait until Wednesday afternoon, when it will be too late, and I can take a nice trip over to Ryerson with David Mitchell from UCalgary to talk tech with folks there for the upcoming AoIR 2003 conference. Oh, did I say that I have 5-6 job applications that I should send out, and 3 abstracts for the VLE handbook? Well, I'm done for the day. All typed out. Gonna have sausages and the healthfood version of kraft dinner. And wash it all down with some cranberry wine from Bala."

Posted by jason at 05:44 PM

How did this happen?

I have too many domains under my control. Luckily two of them are going to expire at the end of the month. Torontodarkwriters.com is going, as is another one that you don't know about, and will probably never know. That leaves jasonnolan.net, poetrix.net (for the fish), projectachieve.net, roomofbenzone.net (for the zone), edublog.com. Plus achieve.utoronto.ca and edublog.kmdi.utoronto.ca. There should be a limit. Course the only one that is mine to do with what I want is jasonnolan.net, as it should be. Actually, I just noticed that I don't have control over edublog.com. I wonder who does. I will have to look into this."

Posted by jason at 05:30 PM

January 03, 2003

"Yuka says, ""Ben is famous"""

Yuka just emailed me this URL L.M. Montgomery Institute - Research - Conferences. No, I'm not at home, and she didn't email it from one side of the table to the other. Have a look. Our famous Ben is pictured hobnobbing with all the big-wigs. See it soon, before ben finds out and makes me remove the link. Nice goatee ben!"

Posted by jason at 12:56 PM

passing the keys

I was up at the office yesterday, preparing a presentation for Jan 8th. Had gone up to the library to get some books, and had had to take my key off its chain in order to get it swiped. My office key is my library card, you see. Well, that meant that back at my office, my key was laying next to my computer, not on it's chain, which I have around my neck. The chain binding me to the office on a wintery day. Though an unforeseen bonus was that I still have a 6 week allowance for borrowed books. Can't complain about that. I rush off to the washroom, and what should happen but that I'd left my keys in my office. Woe is me. Luckily a nice student in the lab close to my office let me in to use the phone to call UofT police, gave me a place to sit, and a cookie. The officer arrived after about 20 minutes and asked me for photo ID. That of course would be my library card/office key. We worked that out, and she was on her way, and I was back in my office quickly putting my key back where it belongs. An hour later, I'm on the first floor heading to the post office when I hear. ""Excuse me, sir?"" I ignore things like that, not having reached the 'sir' station in life, except when teaching highschool. Then, ""Sir? Can you help me?"" at which I turned to find someone running down the hall towards me somewhat frantic and relieved to find anyone else in the building. ""Er, I've locked my keys in one of the classrooms, and I don't have any money for the payphone to call for help. Can you let me in?"" Well, my keys don't work down here, as this is an engineering and computer science building, and I'm the lonely humanities geek, privy to nothing. But I offered to try. Lo and behold! The card is swiped and the door doth open. After a grin and a wave, I made my way back towards the post office, hearing him mutter, ""You're a god."" Well, it does seem that I do have some faculty clout that I didn't think was attached to my card any more. If that's divine intervention, I'm all for it."

Posted by jason at 10:24 AM

January 01, 2003

Very Potter and the Photo Opportunity.

Saw the latest HP vehicle today. I'm willing to say that I enjoyed it, if I'm also allowed to comment on what was so horribly stupid about it. Very little of the stupidity actually came from the story, but lots from the film production itself. That is unless the story actually goes to all the trouble of describing events like the chamber of secrets itself: first that the hidden chamber is hard to find, but when you enter it it is an entrance to the sewer system full of bloody entrances and intersecting drainage ways, all the way to the central entrace to the snake pit. Then on the way out there's the massive crevase from which the heros leave. I know, I know. Reading too much into a children's story. But I deny that. Again, Philip Pullman to the rescue. He knows how to write a tight story. Yuka's reading Terry Pratchet's intelligent cat and mouse story (can't remember the title at the moment) which also sounds internally consistent. Even CS Lewis (ugh), Ursula Le Guin and the billion and a half other children's books around me know how to get continuity and internal consistency right. Sure, lots of kids, and parents won't notice. But then again, they're probably the types who don't notice the clouds on the horizion, and when the storm hits they blither, ""Why me?"" No, the silliest bits were the stupid music. The standard lame symphonic stuff that doesn't want to admit that it has no melody. The really disney type music that is vague and without voice. Icky. No, the silliest bit was the long, plot-independent, probably contractually obligated, closeups of smiling actors being mutually supportive. Would have been OK if the stares conveyed information, or plot development, or something. But they were just something that credits could roll through. Bit of a waste of screen realestate, if you ask me. The ending was the worst. Big boy gets out of prison, and gets a standing ovation for just being there. Oh, ya. Because he wasn't guilty of something he wasn't guilty of. No apologies for feeding HP and the crew to the spiders. No apologies for saying that the answer was to follow the spiders (which it was not), when the answer was to go in the opposite direction. Oaf. So he comes back and smiles at everyone. And they smile at him. And then everyone claps. And it is obvious to everyone that this is a good thing. Silly inconstant movie. But all in all, I guess that the problems I've always had with HP was the total disregard for internal consistency, except on the most superficial level of the plot. And you can never always blame the book for that when watching the movie. Though the first book was a good example of not bothering to connect all the dots, and no I don't mean merely leaving a thread hanging, and this is carried over to the movie. So I sort of assume that it happens in version 2. Bought ""the Science of Harry Potter"" though. Should be a fun read."

Posted by jason at 08:55 PM