The not so Beginning of a New Book

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Last night, being the nerdy college student that I am, I finished reading the Kilian text instead of watching the Steelers game.  Overall, I felt that it was good to hear some of the ideas that I  already knew repeated and others that I instinctively knew told clearly.  However, I did tire of the orientation, information, action mantra much in the same way as Daniel Pink's A Whole New Mind jaded my opinion on Asia, automation, and abundance in 200 pages.  I think that my pet peeve is people wasting paper, time, and energy publishing a book that is over 100 pages long, when in reality it could be thirty and have the same impact.

Most of the FAQ section pertained to issues that did not and will not affect me since I do not want to be a teacher, nor do I want to be a teacher who teaches the internet.

The blog chapter could be useful in the future, but for now I wish to write about whatever I feel like, and whatever I need to do for EL236.  I did realize that I had a pot luck idea about what a blog was when I started the course.  I thought that it would specialize in one are of our choice, then we would blog about a current event, form an opinion, and then attempt to motivate our readers to act on that opinion.  It really has not been that way.  A lot of what I have been doing is just putting ideas, about anything and everything, down on paper.  I have been half-heartedly trying to find my voice through these responses, which makes me wonder how much paper people use finding their voices, and if we can ever run out of space on the internet?

Chapter 8 had some good points.  "Yet manipulating readers by appealing to their fears is not deeply disrespectful (140)."  That is not one of them.  I think that if that statement were true, then every science fiction/horror writer has committed a terrible crime.  Fear is one of the only ways that your argument gets through to people.  If Frankenstein was a fluffy, pink bunny that went around picking daisies to give to old ladies as he helped them cross the street, Mary Shelley's novel would not force us to question how far is too far in science.  Even if it is unethical, how unethical is writing about people dying when compared to people dying in real life when a crazy scientist releases a superresistant virus.  I think that you have to ask yourself how much you want to change people's thought processes and behaviors (which is what persuasion is) if you do not resort to scare tactics.

I think that this book is fair on my rating of usefulness.  It keeps you from making a total fool out of yourself when writing your first website, but I think that Kilian says it best when he says that experimentation is the best teacher for the web.

Now to read more fun blogs.

2 Comments

Daniella Choynowski said:

you're using your blog the same way I use mine-as a virtual notebook. Think about it: these blogs would be essay exams if this class were taught in the traditional way.

I don't bother trying to find my voice on paper anymore. I don't think I've hand-written a story since 8th grade.

Fear is a powerful emotion-and propagandists are masters at appealing to it.

By the way, the Frankenstein castle (the inspiration for it) is in one of the most gorgeous places on the planet: Lerici, Italy. Nothing scary about it. It overlooks the ocean on the Italian Riviera. But since Shelley was trying to appeal to the "fear factor", she decided to place the castle in a more sinister location than Lerici.

Jed Fetterman said:

I enjoy writing stories on paper, but it is so inefficient that I tend to hurry too much and make a bunch of mistakes. I think that I do have better ideas on paper, there is just something about holding a pen that just causes my ideas to flow out. And I do like the fact that these blogs force you to think critically without all of the pressure of knowing that someone will tear your words apart for a grade.

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