First World Problem and Hacking

First I’m glad I finally found the meme generator because I had a great idea for a First World Problem one. As for hacking/making, memes and internet fancy is right up my alley.

I read more memes and internet lingo everyday than I read out of a traditional text like an e-book, textbook, or novel every month. Lately, I’ve tried to counter this by reading a chapter every night. The internet now is just the way to go though. This random knowledge of the latest meme or fad like Bronies (and becoming or developing one) will help me in the future. By knowing what’s popular, I can use that on my blogging, networking, and building my online profile which will gain me readership and followers. When I get published, I will know what to publish, what will sell well, and my audience (young adults who make up a large portion of the internet base).

However, in reading Hello Worlds by Matthew Kirschenbaum, I realized I know very little about programming. I don’t even know what BASIC and Pascal are, and every time I go to learn anything technical I feel like Matt did in the beginning: “But I hated the classes. At least at the time, the pedagogy was purely vocational. ”

Matt goes on to say how he realizes he was learning the basics and that he could go further, but I don’t have any desire for that. In EL405, I worked with an even simpler programming than C++ called Scratch and put some of the experiences on YouTube. Really, honestly, I did not enjoy it even when it was up to my own creativity.

I’m sure coding is seen as poetic to coders, tech lovers, etc. But it’s not my piece of cake. I find it more frustrating and confusing than poetic or liberating. I do not like technical analysis, just like some people don’t like literature analysis.

As for worlds becoming stories outside of text, I do believe that. Stories exist everywhere and through all devices. They’ve gone from text to film to digital stories. “Virtual worlds are interactive, manipulable, extensible; they are not necessarily games, though they may support and contain games alongside other systems. Virtual worlds are sites of exploration, simulation, play, ” said Matt.

Though the name slips me, there is a book that started as a blog which compiled receipts, Facebook posts, etc of a fictional girl and where she was last seen.

From this inspiration, I’ve begun planning my future novels with this virtual world in mind so that I may be successful. I probably don’t know all the codes to do it. I may have to learn some new things, I may know the basics. I’ll probably hire someone or find a friend that can do it for me and just split profit.

Hackers and Makers

8 thoughts on “First World Problem and Hacking

  1. I agree that learning programming is so tedious, especially when we now have technology that allows us to pass over these complicated languages while still being able to create. Do you think learning it though gave you a better appreciation for this medium?

    • I’m not sure it gave me a better appreciation. I mean, it’s good to know where everything comes from, I guess. But no one can be good at everything, or even know of everything. So I think my lack of understanding (even after several classes) leads me to a lack of appreciation, which I will never gain because, at this point, I have no further wish to focus or take up the mouse and learn it.

    • I think, even if you do not learn it completely the exposure to knowing what it is and what it takes to make it is enough to give us an appreciation for it. Sit any student in a 2 week course on how their favorite website or program is made, and I’m sure they will appreciate the work it takes to make it.

  2. Aja, you may be thinking of

    Beth Anne, while it’s true we do have some tools that free us from some drudgery, what would you say to a student who says “why should I memorize the multiplication tables when I can use a calculator?” or a principal who says, “Why should I hire an English teacher to read and mark student papers when a computer can do it?”

    • Interesting proposal. I thought of the same thing reading Beth Anne’s comment about calculators at least. I actually must say I don’t see much a point in children learning the multiplication tables now anyway. Certainly teaching them the route, but when will they be without a computing device of some sort and (at the same time) in desperate need for multiplication calculation.

      As for the English teacher, someone still has to teach them. At least for grade level work, I believe it could be sorted and graded much like standardized tests are, but with upper level English (just as hacking or programming) there is a creativity, nuance, and flexibility than cannot be matched by computer (yet).

    • I think this is one of the biggest issues in education, and that is getting students to see that there is meaning in what they are learning. When speaking to my students, if they were to ask why we need to learn something that can be completed with technology, I think there is always the argument for the failure of technology. I have encountered situations where I don’t have access to these technological shortcuts and my own knowledge has helped me succeed without it. That being said, in my own math classes, we were always instructed both ways. We learned the problems without the calculator and with the calculator. Some teachers shun the technology, but we need to understand that both forms of knowledge are important.

  3. Pingback: Portfolio 2: Technology and the Future of Book Culture « Beth Anne Swartzwelder

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