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August 31, 2003

That said...

I do have plans for the future. I'm meeting with Michael Edmunds who directs the InfoCommons at UofT, and Derrick De Kirkhove and Mark Federman of the McLuhan project later this week. The goal is to push a large scale blogging tool on the University of Toronto. I'm pushing for livejournal.com. To that end, I've been talking with Brad Whitaker, one of the founders of LJ. I... could... work... and it would be great to have a blogging tool on campus that was centrally managed, and useable by literally thousands of students. As of this moment, LJ has 1280099 users, of which 611679 are active. They are making 2647 posts an hour; 44 a minute... and this is 8am on a sunday, EST, on a holiday weekend for many of us. Robust or what."

Posted by jason at 08:08 AM

"This is the weekEND... my only friend, the END..."

Something was going to happen this weekend. Something apocalyptic. Something now. I didn't plan for anything. Just assumed that it would happen of its own accord. But nothing came my way. So I rearranged the furniture.

Posted by jason at 08:00 AM

August 29, 2003

How Microsoft fuels Internet terrorism

From the ZCC collective blog: ZeroCostComputing: How Microsoft fuels Internet terrorism The conclusion: ""Either buy a Mac, or switch to Linux. """

Posted by jason at 09:10 AM

August 27, 2003

Bruce Sterling: Computer as Furoshiki

ZeroCostComputing: Computer as Furoshiki is a cleaned up version of a 1992 commentary by CyberPunk author (and many, many other things) Bruce Sterling that was orignally published in Mondo 2000 in 1993. Since most people missed the pre1994 Internet and how people were thinking about tech back then... it is a good chance to catch up on some back reading. And it is not too long."

Posted by jason at 03:24 PM

August 26, 2003

Even Stephenson's figured it out...

I thought I was one of the only ones into pre-digital technology. I'm using that book New Media: 1740-1910 in one of my upcoming courses... and here's Neal Stephenson (author of snowcrash, diamond age and cryptonomicon) who's already looking down that path in the popular realm. Good for him. Wired 11.09: Neal Stephenson Rewrites History Neal Stephenson Rewrites HistoryFor the dark prince of hacker fiction, looking backward is another way of seeing the future."

Posted by jason at 04:09 PM

Regretting Giving People a Voice

I ran into Bill ""the scream"" Kennedy at the UofT bookstore today, amid the computer books. He told me about two articles, reffed below, from Wired and TheRegister on how Blogs are wrecking the algorithms that run Google. This is interesting to me in that it shows, once again, how the internet is biased against individuals expressing themselves, communicating, or sharing something about themselves on mass. There seems to be something intrinsically distasteful to the broadcast media, writers, academics and those who control technology about millions of people just sharing the stories of their lives. Though some of us find it delightful. The Register: Blog noise is 'life or death' for Google Wired News: Search Results Clogged by Blogs Of course the fact that according to _The Register_ Most bloggers 'are teenage girls' - survey suggests that there is a modicum of ageism and gender bias involved."

Posted by jason at 04:02 PM

something bloggy this way comes

But the question is what? Yuka said that I was supposed to add something, but my mind is a big of a morning fog... Ah, got the word from Yuka. Two nights ago, at around 2am, I was up mindlessly looking at the TV or computer. Allergies had done their work and prevented me from sleeping. And the phone rings, getting my attention. But it is not the normal ring, rather the ring that means someone is dialing up from downstairs and wants to be let into the apartment. Some nefarious character no doubt. So I ignore it, and it stops. I go out to the balcony to see who may be there, and there are two ambulances 3-4 police cars and a couple of fire trucks. Strange! Especially because there was no blaring alarms, as would usually announce their presence. Stealth safety workers. And in the middle of the group down there, I see Joshua, the be-dreaded art person from the ground floor who likes my ugly building cam (on the right). So I shuffle down to see him, somewhat worried that something bad has happened. It turns out that the police are ringing all the apartments in the hopes that someone will let them in, in response to a phone call that a body was seen hanging from a rope inside an apartment. Joshua tells me that there are even a fire captain and police supervisor here... expecting heavy stuff, it seems. Joshua and I chat for about 15 minutes, he's explaining some circuitry he's designing for graphics, and the difference between parallel and concave geometry in relation to it. I pretty much missed the point. And while doing this, he's directing the odd cop car and fire truck wandering by for a bit of late night rubbernecking. Finally the paramedics come out, wheeling their gurneys. With no body on board. The verdict? A large doll hung from a rope. A bit of a gruesome living room decoration. Or more likely, for this neighborhood, an art project or movie prop in preparation or discarded after a production. Joshua wonders about how much money was wasted on this night's adventures. And I wonder if the poor folks who were just pulled out of sleep by all these public safety personnel walking in on their dreams, because of a bit of fun they left hanging around, will ever get back to sleep tonight. I know I will. This kinds of excitement makes me sleepy."

Posted by jason at 09:06 AM

August 25, 2003

Romanian Photos en force...

Here are a pile of pictures, somewhat organized, that you may or may not have seen from Yuka and my trip to Romania last May. Our friend and travelling companion Lokke Heiss wanted to see what I had, as he's looking for some images for a project of his... so, here's what I've got: Dracula Conference, Sighisoara, Sibiu, Borgo, Castle Dracula Hotel, Various Dracula and C.. I think that only two of these links have been published before."

Posted by jason at 08:57 AM

Deconism in the Dark Picts

Here are the pictures of Derek, Steve, Maurice and Pierre that I took at the event I mentioned last week."

Posted by jason at 08:48 AM

August 24, 2003

A beta of our MOO paper available for comments...

Rhonna and I just finished up a book chapter entitled: ""MOOs: Polysynchronous Collaborative Virtual Environments""(.doc format). It wil be part of the forthcoming Workplace Internet-Based Communication: Industry and Academic Perspectives. Pavel Zemliansky, and Kirk St. Amant eds. Idea Group. I've got to say that Rhonna is a wonderful person to collaborate with. Thoughts? Errors? Omissions? Suggestions?"

Posted by jason at 11:03 PM

Freedom from the Cow...

Yuka has given the thumbs up to this morning's latte made with soya milk, instead of the bovine equivalent. That means that I can switch to soya milk (yes, organic, and hopefully non-GM) fulltime and give my lactose intolerant self a break."

Posted by jason at 10:59 AM

August 22, 2003

MOOkti: Helping teachers and students work together

This is an article that I seem to have written back in 1998 for SchoolNet Magazine - MOOkti: Helping teachers and students work together. I don't remember writing it, which isn't much of a shock, but finding it sure is shocking. I was doing a google search for the word ""Polysynchronous"" that I coined back in 1997-98 to describe a particular feature of MOOs. There are 120 hits on Google, and a few of them are about some obscure math stuff. Isn't research fun?"

Posted by jason at 03:57 PM

Working along quietly

Rhonna and I are working on a chapter about MOOs for a forthcoming publication. Can't remember the book title at the moment, but be sure that you'll hear about it. So, I'm at home, quietly working away, and slightly suffering from allergies. Not too too bad this year. Hope you're all working hard."

Posted by jason at 01:23 PM

August 20, 2003

iPod of the Mind...

For those of you with iPod envy, or merely those with an iPod... I have an iPod from the Onion."

Posted by jason at 09:46 AM

August 19, 2003

Appointment at Ryerson University

I just got email confirming that I have been appointed to teach ECE 912: Early Childhood: Computers in Education at Ryerson University this upcoming fall. I've hinted about this in previous posts, but now it is confirmed. Just imagine me teaching Early Childhood Education. I can't wait."

Posted by jason at 12:24 PM

Eves under fire for scrapping energy directorship

From the The Globe and Mail: ""On a day when Premier Ernie Eves and other public officials pleaded with Ontarians to use less electricity to prevent blackouts, the government was scrapping its newly created position of energy conservation director."" If the Ontario voter is so thick that they vote in the conservative government again, the government that brought us Walkterton water, the SARS medical system and a crippled energy grid... then at least we'll know who to blame... and it would not be the government."

Posted by jason at 07:26 AM

August 17, 2003

Attention Queen Street Shoppers...

Julia_D came by this morning for tea, and to borrow a spare laptop. Her's had a virus, that couldn't be cleaned, so the genius crew at DELL told her to turn it off. Then it wouldn't start. So they're sending her a new harddrive. Smart? Sure. If you think it is smart, you too should buy a DELL. Anyway, she got the puter, and Yuka and I went out with her to Babur for Indian food. And the shopping day began... we hit just about every clothing and furniture store on queen from McCaul to Claremont and back again. I found 2 beer glasses that are suitable for Belgian beer, and some beer to go along with it. And some EmilyStrange flipflops. Yuka got a neat ring. And Julia_D morphed into CleverGirl... as you can see."

Posted by jason at 07:24 PM

August 15, 2003

Steve Mann: Power in the Darkness...

[I start by apologizing to all and sundry for this post. Steve asked me to come by and blog this evening's activities, and it was a great opportunity to participate. This record is just what I heard, saw and felt... as with any other personal blog, it is ideosyncratic. Though, it is not, as you'll understand why I say this when you've read more, narcissistic. Just a uniperspectival view on a very interesting evening.] This is my first Steve Mann event. Well, mostly. I was present at TedCity (now IdeasCity), back in 2000? when Steve and his crew of cyborgs gave Jeanie Beker a cyborg fashion show to end all fashion shows. But that's another story... probably to be found via your favorite search engine. I'm left with the assumption that everything is normal tonight, despite being in the middle of the largest power outage in Canadian history. All Toronto is without power, except for Steve, of course. He's wired in more ways than one. He's got electricity, and has placed a television out on the street before his gallery telling people what's going on in the world around us... next to a neon sign saying ""Open"". Inside is lit by three flood lamps, powered by some unseen force. The show starts with Derek De Kerkhove introducing the program... with the three participants slowly immersing themselves into a large clear plastic bath tub. Steve (Natural Born Cyborg), Maurice Benayoun (Poet of Electricity) and Pierre Levy (a delight and dismay). Parenthetical descriptors are Derek's. The metaphor of the public bath in western culture holding forth over the night. [No comment was made regarding the male only space of the bath in public discourse.] Interesting sight though. [Most of the Internet is down as I edit this, so I can't provide links to everyone's web sites.] Of course, there were an equal number people taking pictures and recording the event than were not. And this was not seen as strange by any participants. And there was a baby crying in the backyard... which lent a strangely organic counterbalance to the cybertheorytalk. Many things were said that reflect what Derek, Steve, Maurice and Pierre are known for. And with my limited battery power, and the speed at which their ideas were flying back and forth, and the amount of water being splashed about, I wasn't going to try and generate a transcription of what was said. Perhaps some folks who were recording it will take the time to transcribe the whole two hours and send it to me? Or perhaps not. Suffice it to say that it was the dynamic interplay of these ideas, and their being performed in an art gallery that made this a particularly energetic and interesting discussion... despite the heat zapping everyone's energy. And energy was often a point of reference, ""People will do anything for a bit of electricity"" Steve noted. Poignant tonight, in that we're willing to give up our freedom, from technology, in order to maintain our ordered existence. And this extends from reliance on electricity, to acquiescence to surveillance, and beyond. It was if Steve had personally requested the power outage, to illustrate his point, commenting on how the vulnerability that is build into electric circuits, in the form of circuit breakers... ""penny wise and fuse foolish"" as he put it, are optimized for the expected, and optimized for unstable eventualities. This is not the case with our society, or our social/technological infrastructure. It is too costly to build for unlikely contingencies, and our safety and freedoms are left to pay the price when something does go wrong. The whole notion of hubrisic notions of invincibility is the target of his musing in this regard. Trying to build an invincible system attempts to build a system that has no provision for instability, no systemic circuit-breakers. [About this time Stefano calls from somewhere far away, it seems, and is piped into the room via a hands-free phone. But nothing seems to be coming from the phone, after a first wave of hellos. Which is unfortunate.] After a while, the bath metaphor takes on a different, and more powerful notion. While these three guys are sitting in a tub, discussing surveillance and sousveillance, I'm struck by how a voyeuristic positioning forced on us observing these three men in a tub. The juxtaposition of the nursery rhyme three men in a tub with the feeling that we're interloping in on a private conversation is too strong to shake off. Though comments and interjections from the audience are invited, it feels difficult to break the invisible barrier and virtually immerse oneself into the tub/conversation. Over all, I get an interesting sense of where the bath fits into this evening, from the perspective of the speakers. I'm really hearing three men sharing with each other, and vicariously with the audience lounging at the pool's edge, their philosophical musings on life and culture and language. Such a discussion would not be out of place in any Roman or Turkish bath. [lacuna] As Piere suggest, we've moved to a collective intelligence of a post-metacity. Beyond the spoken (the individual). Beyond language and writing systems (of the city and the nation state). And onto a level of metaphoric abstraction of the interdependence of the whole species. He wants to transform cyberspace into a domain of the collective intelligence of the human kind... though we are not really aware of the discource of this realm. [And my battery dies, under the stress of the darkness that has embraced us all... well, not really. I have just commandeered the one free powered jack, aside from the three powering the lights. And I'm off in a dark corner, recharging and typing away.] Oh, and Derek brings up blogs! which are a stated aspect of the evening, but Pierre dismisses them (I'll convert him later...), as merely easy web tools, easily commented on and interconnected... as a 'kind' of connected intelligence... only one or two steps along... not a new symbolic layer, such as he's trying to build, but very limited. Of course, that's probably due to the standard lack of long term hands on experience with new technologies that major thinker have. (See my dissertation for a long discussion on this problem. And if you can't find it, then that just supports the point.) Is what he's saying only another philosopher's top down visionary approach, versus what blogs represent as a bottom up movement, unemcumbered by wetware of the actual user's experience (wetware being the average you and me, who may blog, but are not struck by the obvious truth of visionary pronouncements), or is Pierre talking about a whole new layer of abstraction that is embedded in a whole new metanarrative. This is vapourware that you can sink your teeth into. My statement is not to diss what they're trying to accomplish. I'm totally comfortable with academics and artists who work with grand gestures and totalizing statements. I'm more shocked by people who want to dismiss anything greater than the diversionary and mundane. The ides of these three men in a tub can be either contextualized as the cutting edge that is leading us forward to knew ways of understanding ourselves, or as the anchor that ties us to artistic and philosophical traditions, relocalizied into the digital age. Either way, they represent the edge which allows us to reflect on ourselves at the center. And if we lose the ability to reflect on ourselves, we wallow and are lost. As Pierre says (as in a precis by me), these new tools will allow us to move more fully into the world of ideas, beyond the fixity of Plato, into the dynamic mutation of abstraction that can be made visible with new tools. A merging of philosophy and technology. The last word, Pierre ... the web has existed only for 10 years, almost nothing in term of the cultural revolution/evolution, and the Internet for 30. We have no idea what it will being one generation. Cyberspace is a process, something that is becoming... and we're all responsible for this evolution... especially if done together. Currently the Internet is narcissistic... personal website/blog... the mirror of collective intelligence of a large organization/country... the circulation of ideas between all the creative/organizationa/productive aspects of our societies. Though we have no means to visualise it yet, with cyberspace and tools of abstraction there are possibilities.... Not that it will be something beautiful to see, or that what we are doing together will be beautiful or magical, but rather the real (mimetic) mirror of what we are... Maurice closes the discussion... ""everything is good with a good glass of wine, and friends."" At which point the discussants exit the tub, and dry off, and we all repair to the Village Idiot Pub for some beer in the uncharacteristically sultry Toronto night. [Please post corrections, comments and links to any material you have.]"

Posted by jason at 03:44 PM

No power? No worries... or few

Yes, I lost power, along with the rest of you, but it was an interesting evening, worth sharing. Servers... http://projectachieve.net is on a nice smart server; an old linux dell. Though I didn't have it set up to restart the three moos (Achieve, eden(telnet), MOOkti). So I had to come in and turn them back on manually. Nothing lost though. The server did restart itself, AND still backed up the server at its appointed time (around 4am) successfully. http://edublog.com didn't fare quite as well... it hosts this blog, Yukazine.com, http://roomofbensown.net, http://lmmontgomery.net, and probably something else. I had to come in and manually restart it. As for the rest of the night... everything you heard about ""Toronto the Polite"" was true. We didn't have any impromtu traffic wardens at Dundas and McCaul (Where the Art Gallery of Ontario is located.) but we didn't need them. Everyone just moved through the intersection a few cars at a time, giving space to the other cars and pedestrians. The only place that was lit up was Steve Mann's Deconism gallery. He was open for the event I blogged about earlier this week. He had his own power, and had put a neon ""OPEN"" sign on the street, and a 12"" TV showing the news. But I'll blog on that event as soon as I get a chance to arrange my notes from last night. Yuka and I immediately filled up all my wine making containers with about 100 liters of drinking water, enough to share with neighbours, in case the water dried up. Yuka had heard on the radio that many condos lost their water power immediately. And I was worried that many of the old folks in our building, most who don't speak English, might have not thought to store water. Then we both had a wonderful BBQ on the balcony, and quaffed the slowly warming Guinness in the fridge by candle light. I'd been putting off buying one of those hand crank radios (Freeplay S360), and now I wish I had one. And no doubt they'll be sold out for a while. And then I was off to Steve's to watch Three Men in a Tub."

Posted by jason at 12:37 PM

Social Ecology of WiFi

In ZeroCostComputing: Social Ecology of WiFi Julia as a great commentary on the article A social ecology of wireless technology published in First Monday by the Critical Friends of Technology. Don't miss it."

Posted by jason at 12:24 PM

August 14, 2003

Paper accepted...

My proposal: From the Virtual to the Real: The Construction of Landscape in _Anne of Green Gables_ and _Dracula_ has been accepted for the 2004 conference entitled ""L.M. Montgomery's Interior/Exterior Landscapes."" at the Lucy Maud Montgomery Institute at the University of PEI. Yuka will be happy. This will be our holiday for the next year, and the conference time, late June, is a great time to visit PEI. We're discussing the rental of a small house in downtown Charlottetown from a friend of ours. Nothing could be more fun than doing a paper on Dracula and Anne and Virtuality. [full conference proposal below...] From the Virtual to the Real: The Construction of Landscape in _Anne of Green Gables_ and _Dracula_ It is not difficult to see L.M. Montgomery and Bram Stoker as contemporaries, writing Victorian fiction at the dawn of the 20th century. These two writers also share a common bond that is rarely matched by other writers in any period. What they wrote about was imaginative fiction that would become created in the real world long after they had written their works. Both authors constructed fictional topologies based on real places: Montgomery created Green Gables and the community of Avonlea, and Stoker created Dracula's Castle in Romania's Borgo Pass. Several recent critics (Janice Fiamengo, James De Jonge, Patsy Aspasia Kotsopoulos, et al.) have discussed the process that led to Montgomery's selective reproduction of late-19th-century Prince Edward Island landscape for her fiction. In a forthcoming book chapter about virtual spaces, Benjamin Lefebvre argues that this reinvented landscape becomes a sort of simulacrum (to use Baudrillard's term), free of temporal restraints and therefore suitable for national and international consumption; it is in this way, Lefebvre suggests, that Montgomery's imagined community has proven so easily malleable in adaptations by the Disney Corporation that international tourists have been known to find Sullivan's recreated Avonlea (in Uxbridge, Ontario) more ""authentic"" than the ""real"" geographic space of Prince Edward Island. This thinking also extends to Anne's World, constructed in Hokkaido, Japan in the late 1990s. Stoker's work has yet to receive this kind of scholarly inquiry, but this may change with the interest in the proposed Dracula Theme Park, recently slated for Sighisoara, Romania. Espen Aarseth notes in his discussion of the labyrinth that virtual space predates the development of computers and the Internet by centuries. Both Montgomery and Stoker's works have grown into worlds unto themselves that have expanded beyond the confines of the linear narrative text and that have morphed into labyrinthine worlds that are explored as much as read. And the exploration of these worlds has resulted in pressure from readers for the creation of physical spaces that they can experience firsthand. Despite drawing heavily from her personal experience, Montgomery's work is primarily one of her own imagination. As result of this imaginative text, however, governmental and tourist organizations have had to scramble to (re)create Green Gables and impose Montgomery's vision on already existing topographical features of the area. Stoker, on the other hand, drew from his own imagination and the gothic literary tradition, and worked from published accounts of Transylvannia, such as Emily Gerard's _The Land Beyond the Forest_, in the creation of Dracula's castle in the Borgo Pass (Borgo Prund in Romanian), and the Golden Crone hotel at Bistritza (Bistrita). He went so far as to invent foods such as robber steak, all of which are ficticious constructions. The hotel now exists in downtown Bistrita, as does robber steak. And what was the dirt forest track through the Borgo Prund has been transformed over the past 25 years into a major highway leading up to the Castle Dracula Hotel. Furthermore, this forested area is now a blossoming community of farmers and cottagers, complete with church and nunnery. In both cases, the author's imagination has returned to haunt, cryptically as Derrida conceptualizes it, the landscapes what were in themselves the inspiration for the fiction. This paper will explore how these two authors' adapted existing landscapes into imaginary fictional constructs, and how the popularity of these fictions, in turn, resulted in real places being transformed to conform with the fiction. References Aarseth, Espen. (1997) Cybertext: Perspectives on Ergodic Literature. Baltimore: John Hopkins. Baudrillard, Jean (1988) ""Simulacra and Simulations."" In Selected Writings. Mark Poster, ed. Stanford: Stanford. Pp. 166-184. Castricano, Jodey (2001) Cryptomimesis: The Gothic and Jacques Derrida's Ghost Writing. Montreal: McGill De Jonge, James (2002 )""Through the Eyes of Memory: L.M. Montgomery's Cavendish."" Making Avonlea: L.M. Montgomery and Popular Culture. Ed. Irene Gammel. Toronto: U of Toronto P. Pp. 252-67. Fiamengo, Janice (2002) ""Toward a Theory of the Popular Landscape in Anne of Green Gables."" Making Avonlea: L.M. Montgomery and Popular Culture. Ed. Irene Gammel. Toronto: U of Toronto P. Pp. 225-37. Foucault, Michel. (1980) ""Questions on Geography."" In Power/Knowledge. Colin Gordon, ed. New York: Pantheon. Pp. 63-77 Kotsopoulos, Patsy Aspasia (2002) ""Avonlea as Main Street USA? Genre, Adaptation, and the Making of a Borderless Romance."" Essays on Canadian Writing 76:170-94. Lefebvre, Benjamin. (Forthcoming) ""Virtual Avonlea."" In The International Handbook of Virtual Learning Environments. Joel Weiss, Jason Nolan, Peter Trifonas eds. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers. Montgomery, Lucy Maud (1992) Anne of Green Gables . Toronto: McClelland. Orig. Boston: Page, 1908. Miller, Elizabeth (2000) Dracula: Sense and Nonsense. Wescliff-on-sea: Desert Island Books. Nolan, J., Lawrence, J. & Kajihara, Y. (1999). úMontgomeryˆs Island in the Net: Metaphor and Community on the Kindred Spirits E-mail List."" Canadian Children's Literature. 91, 24:3-4. Nolan, J. (2002). úText as Horror: Cryptomimesis: The Gothic and Jacques Derridaˆs Ghost Writing.î Journal of Dracula Studies. No. 4. Rubio, Mary, and Elizabeth Waterston. (1985) The Selected Journals of L.M. Montgomery: Volume I: 1889-1910 . Toronto: Oxford. Rubio, Mary, and Elizabeth Waterston. (1987) The Selected Journals of L.M. Montgomery: Volume II: 1910-1921 . Toronto: Oxford. Stoker, Bram. (1998) Dracula Unearthed. Annotated and Edited by Clive Leatherdale. Wescliff-on-sea: Desert Island Books. Zizek, Slavoj (1997) The Plauge of Fantasies. London: Verso. References Aarseth, Espen. (1997) Cybertext: Perspectives on Ergodic Literature. Baltimore: John Hopkins. Bachellard, Gaston (1964) The Poetics of Space. Boston: Beacon. Baudrillard, Jean (1988) ""Simulacra and Simulations."" In Selected Writings. Mark Poster, ed. Stanford: Stanford. Pp. 166-184. Burke, Edmund. (1998) A Philosophical Enquiry into the Sublime and the Beautiful. Toronto: Penguin. Castricano, Jodey (2001) Cryptomimesis: The Gothic and Jacques Derrida's Ghost Writing. Montreal: McGill Foucault, Michel. (1980) ""Questions on Geography."" In Power/Knowledge. Colin Gordon, ed. New York: Pantheon. Pp. 63-77 Lefebvre, Benjamin. (Forthcoming) ""Virtual Avonlea."" In The International Handbook of Virtual Learning Environments. Joel Weiss, Jason Nolan, Peter Trifonas eds. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers. Lyotard, Jean-Franƒois. (1984) The Postmodernism Explained. Minnesota: U Minnesota P. Lyotard, Jean-Franƒois. (1999) The Postmodern Condition. Minnesota: U Minnesota P. Montgomery, Lucy Maud (1992) Anne of Green Gables . Toronto: McClelland. Orig. Boston: Page, 1908. Miller, Elizabeth (2000) Dracula: Sense and Nonsense. Wescliff-on-sea: Desert Island Books. Nolan, J., Lawrence, J. & Kajihara, Y. (1999). úMontgomeryˆs Island in the Net: Metaphor and Community on the Kindred Spirits E-mail List."" Canadian Children's Literature. 91, 24:3-4. Nolan, J. (2002). úText as Horror: Cryptomimesis: The Gothic and Jacques Derridaˆs Ghost Writing.î Journal of Dracula Studies. No. 4. Rubio, Mary. (1975) ""Satire, Realism & Imagination in Anne of Green Gables."" Guelph, Ontario: CCL . Volume 1, No. 3. Rubio, Mary, and Elizabeth Waterston. (1985) The Selected Journals of L.M. Montgomery: Volume I: 1889-1910 . Toronto: Oxford. Rubio, Mary, and Elizabeth Waterston. (1987) The Selected Journals of L.M. Montgomery: Volume II: 1910-1921 . Toronto: Oxford. Rubio, Mary, and Elizabeth Waterston. (1992) The Selected Journals of L.M. Montgomery: Volume III: 1921-1929 . Toronto: Oxford Stoker, Bram. (1998) Dracula Unearthed. Annotated and Edited by Clive Leatherdale. Wescliff-on-sea: Desert Island Books. Zizek, Slavoj (1997) The Plauge of Fantasies. London: Verso."

Posted by jason at 03:20 PM

Event at the Deconism Gallery TONIGHT

DECONism Gallery is at 330 Dundas St. West, directly across the street from the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) entrance. Tonight's event, at 8pm is DECONversation / Maurice Benayoun, Pierre Levy, and Steve Mann, moderated by Derrick de Kerckhove , tickets $10 available at the door. Post-post cyborg, performance artist and visionary Steve Mann as well as virtual reality artist Maurice Benayoun and the French cyberspace philosopher Pierre Levy will take part in a HOT TUB PANEL discussion mediated by the director of the Marshall McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology, Derrick de Kerckhove. The topic of discussion will be connected and collective humanistic intelligence: how do personal cybernetic devices change the way we interact, and our perception of reality? The personal will turn political as the three intellectuals debate the nature of virtual fiction, whilst submerged in a translucent, networked, interactive and IMMERSIVE multimedia art installation. Displaying the private DECONversation as a public event will allow for an interactive reversal between the counterpublic and the counterprivate. The reversal will come into full effect as microphones and cameras will project the communal bath by means of simulation and simulacra, in the tradition of Plato's Caves, into another spatial reality. Professor Steve Mann's vision that: In the coming decades we will live in an age of shared realities and new levels of cultural discourse"

Posted by jason at 11:05 AM

August 12, 2003

MSNBC... Gates on a white horse.

And from MSNBC, a company that has nothing whatsoever to do with the cause, creation and distribution of spam or computer virii: Who profits from spam? Surprise... Many companies with names you know are benefiting."

Posted by jason at 08:44 AM

Today in Literature....

William Blake died on this day in 1927... ""Blake's last years passed more or less as his others, in such poverty and obscurity that his burial in Bunhill Fields was largely unnoticed and on borrowed moneyÄnineteen shillings for an unmarked grave, the body nine feet down, stacked on top of three others, and eventually followed by four more."""

Posted by jason at 08:42 AM

August 11, 2003

Game survey for Jessica...

[Jessica's a friend of mine that I met at SXSW when I was down there with Salmon. She asked me if I could help get people to fill out her game survey. It won't take long, and if you're a gamer, it will be an opportunity to push the envelope in a direction you may want games to go. Thanks, in advance, if you fill it out.] Hello friends and compatriots! Schooner Productions is developing a new game that eventually we hope will be available right on our website for direct download. In the meantime, while the gerbils are working away, we wanted to get some input from you, the end user, about what you prefer in a computer game. So please, and (believe me) we understand your time is valuable so we really appreciate in advance your taking the time, visit our site and take a few moments to answer our brief survey. http://www.schoonerproductions.com/surveywrapper.html Thanks a million times over, Jessica, Partner Schooner Productions Inc."

Posted by jason at 09:50 AM

"The year ú2004î set for the opening of the Dracula park by lake Snagov, North of Bucuresti (cca 40 km) is a forlorn target. "

Just got this in the mail from the TSD, of which Yuka and I are members. I don't know if it is posted online anywhere... so read it here first. There is also a downloadble version of the newsletter below. JULY 2003 Reincarnation The old Ministry of Tourism died; long live the new Ministry of Transport, Building and Tourism, headed by Minister Miron Mitrea. The new minister made waves in the media of Romania declaring that úthe Dracula park is not one of his prioritiesî (as is not yet another dear project of the former minister ì Matei Agathon Dan: a 5-star brand new resort by the Black Sea). Instead, H.E. Miron Mitrea took a more pragmatic approach to tourism in Romania, urging, for instance, a general lowering of prices in the sea-side resorts, before the Romanians desert them altogether in favour of the cheaper Greek, Turkish or Bulgarian resorts. (What has become of Matei Agathon Dan? He is now the secretary general of the political party in power, the Social-Democrat. With the elections in sight, we hope he might not have time for something else). The Dracula park "The plan was accepted, announced Mr. Grecu (TSD member). He presented the details on the national TV channel and said some of the money comes from the government ì the rest from private investors.

Posted by jason at 09:37 AM

August 09, 2003

Call the number on your screen...

Tomorrow, between 1 and 3pm call Alexis at 647-220-4857 or Elizabeth at 647-224-4857. And tell them that Ken told you... by proxy. I don't know them at all, and I sincerely hope that Ken's given me the right numbers. I was down in the Distillery District today with Yuka and Masako, and her baby, for coffee and to check out some outdoor art show/sale. Yuka got her finger caught in a ring, and we had to buy it. :) Just as I was leaving to go over to St Lawrence Market to do some shopping, I saw a woman, out of the corner of my eye. Answering a cell phone, and throwing it to the ground, and grabbing another. I ignored her, as I'm wont to ignore people making a spectical of themselves, but kept her in the periphery of my vision, I like art at the periphery of vision, until I left. After getting home, and putting away groceries, and having some lunch, I'm reading some stuff from this new cool book I bought ""New Media: 1740-1915"" when Ken calls from Ottawa. He told me to go to the Distillery District cause there were two friends of his doing performance art with cell phones. I said, ""Ya, saw them already. Figured that they would be friends of yours."" (Ask ken to tell you about some of his old Cell phone performance bits some day. So, I'll call Alexis and Elizabeth tomorrow. Will you?"

Posted by jason at 04:24 PM

Meeting the locals...

Barry Wellman email introduced me to Shyon Baumann a while back, and Shyon and I finally got together for lunch at Momo's on Harbord yesterday. Shyon's a new sociology prof out at UofT's Mississauga campus, and his thing is the socio/cultural aspects of cinema, and the conceptualization of cinema as art in North America (read Hollywood). I'm usually too shy to just email people and just go out for lunch as a social thing, but I should do it more... the things you learn."

Posted by jason at 08:54 AM

August 08, 2003

100th Anniversary of Roselawn Lodge

100th Birthday of Roselawn was held last week. These are pictures that I took of the event. The house is owned by our friends, Jack and Linda Hutton, who also own the Bala Museum. The lodge is the sister building to the one that LM Montgomery stayed in when she toured Bala in 1922. And the museum is the ex-guest house in which she took her meals. Jack is the guy on the piano, Linda's the MC, and their son John's the hippie. Jack's a famous ragtime player, who has done concerts around North America. His daughter is the lead singer for Rhea's Obsession The site's in Japanese, but the 'net is a multicultural event, so deal with it."

Posted by jason at 10:16 AM

August 07, 2003

Cats - the sibbling

A picture of my little sister Cats, unrelated to KAT! who's linked on the right hand column. I think that she's just finished a swimming competition in Montreal and is on her way home.I realized that I never post family pictures... and isn't that, in part, what blogging is all about?"

Posted by jason at 07:35 AM

August 06, 2003

Chromosoft Mirrors (V.4.2)

Just got a confirmation that I got permission to reprint Jeff Noon's short story ""Chromosoft Mirrors (V.4.2)"" in our forthcoming International Handbook of Virtual Learning Environments. If you ever get a copy of Noon's collection pixel juice scarf it up, and check it out. Unfortunately, it is not available in North America."

Posted by jason at 09:43 AM

August 05, 2003

Brainwave Building Blog

[Steve asked me to post this on my blog... and I'm only too happy to comply.]

Brainwave Building Blog

Deconism Gallery/Arts Complex was designed as a blog --- something we call ""buildinglog""(which, like cyborglog, abbreviates to ""glog""). We've all seen smart buildings, smart lightswitches, smart toilets,and intelligent user interfaces, but what happens when you have""smart people""? What happens when you wire up the ""intelligence"" ontopeople? 2003 August 14th and 15th we explore what happens when the intelligentbuilding meets intelligent occupants. The August 14th event will be an intellectual discussion aboutthe relationship between cyborglogs and buildinglogs.Three panelists (Maurice Benayoun, Pierre Levy, Steve Mann),moderated by the Director of the Marshall McLuhan Program inCulture and Technology, will enter an immersive multimedia space(a brainwave bath) while discussing the implications of the post-cyborg age. The August 15th event will be an actual collective (de)consciousnesswhere the occupant-cyborgs interact with the building, to create an audiovisual experience from their brainwaves, as partof a brainwave (de)concert performed by jazz musiciansBryden Baird, James Fung, Dave Gouveia, Sandy Mamane, and Corey Manders. For more information, see http://eyetap.org/deconism/index.htm"

Posted by jason at 05:46 PM

Switch Linux - hacker humour

Check out this little bit of humour based on the Apple - Switch commercials, called: Switch Linux PS: I scarfed this off Catspaw's Guide to the Inevitably Insane. But since I gave her a cool scsi zip drive way back, and she never did figure out how to install a proxy server for me..."

Posted by jason at 09:01 AM

August 04, 2003

Digital Media Revisited

Just bought the following book for my teaching next year. Digital Media Revisited - The MIT Press Digital Media RevisitedTheoretical and Conceptual Innovations in Digital Domains Edited by Gunnar Liest%uFFBFl, Andrew Morrison and Terje RasmussenArguing that "first encounters" have already applied traditional theoretical and conceptual frameworks to digital media, the contributors to this book call for "second encounters," or a revisiting. Digital media are not only objects of analysis but also instruments for the development of innovative perspectives on both media and culture. Drawing on insights from literary theory, semiotics, philosophy, aesthetics, ethics, media studies, sociology, and education, the contributors construct new positions from which to observe digital media in fresh and meaningful ways. Throughout they explore to what extent interpretation of and experimentation with digital media can inform theory. It also asks how our understanding of digital media can contribute to our understanding of social and cultural change.The book is organized in four sections: Education and Interdisciplinarity, Design and Aesthetics, Rhetoric and Interpretation, and Social Theory and Ethics. The topics include the effects on reading of the multimodal and multisensory aspects of the digital environment, the impact of practice on the medium of theory, how digital media are dissolving the boundaries between leisure and work, and the impact of cyberspace on established ethical principles."

Posted by jason at 07:40 PM

August 03, 2003

Ugly building cam is back!

I have the camera turned back on the OCAD construction. It is only running for 30 minutes at a pop, because I'm waiting for the update on my driver."

Posted by jason at 04:50 PM

Saturday Summer Feast.

Jack, Julia and Gary joined Yuka and I for dinner last night. We toasted to Rochelle's birthday in our hearts. Jack, Julia and Gary are all OISEites, but I got to know them at different times. Jack Brown and I went to teacher's college together 1990-1991, and he's just finishing up his PhD studying why educators leave the teaching profession. Gary and I started at OISE together as students in 1994, and after graduating in 2000, he's been teaching at a variety of universities in the cold parts of the US. Now he's off to Duluth, Minnesota to teach at UDM. Julia is someone you all know... and is in the midst of her PhD at OISE. Three generations of OISEites, all bitching about the place... it was a site to see. And they're all involved in blogging, against their better judgements, under my hegemonic influence. Gary, Yuka did most of the cooking. Gary and I did the shopping. I did the cleaning. Yuka's amazing ribs and saussages from the market. BBQ asparagus, shitake mushrooms and peppers. Julia's amazing white wine (I usually hate white wine), beers and ros, AND what Gary liked, my invention of a raspberry gin and tonic. I love pizza nights, but with all the food flying, I love BBQ season too."

Posted by jason at 10:05 AM

Winter teaching @ KMDI confirmed.

Finally confirmed that I'll be teaching KMD 1002H - Research Frontiers in Knowledge Media Design and KMD 2003H - Knowledge Media & Learning. Not that I've not mentioned it already, but now I have some facts about them. KMD1002 will be monday evenings, starting January 2004. And KMD2003 will be at some time to be determined, starting January 2004. I'm hoping for Tuesday or Wednesday evening. If you're interested in taking the courses, please contact me, or check out the KMDI collaborative program web page formore information. Especially after it gets updated. [Thanks to Benzone for helping me get the year correct.]"

Posted by jason at 09:32 AM

August 02, 2003

Rochelle Mazar!!!

Happy birth day Rochelle!!!! AND congrats on the new blog!!!"

Posted by jason at 08:25 AM

August 01, 2003

"Yuka says, ""Jason Blog this..."""

And I comply... Hello Yuka, Ever since I stumbled over your website, I've thought we should let you know about our project, which is a musical called ""Anne and Gilbert"", based on the second and third books. We'd originally hoped to have it produced in Charlottetown (my home town, actually) but discovered after the first draft was finished that the authors of the ""Anne"" musical there did not want a sequel produced in that theatre. So we're searching for another theatre to do it, rewriting (for instance, the parrot didn't make it to the second draft, to my sorrow!), shortening, cutting characters, all that stuff. Anyway, next time we do a reading in Toronto, we'll definitely invite you. Meanwhile, if you have any friends in New York you think might be interested in coming to this reading, please forward my invitation! with every good wish, Nancy White"

Posted by jason at 10:17 PM

Just a quickie...

Just got back into town, after 2 days consulting up north... ie living on georgan bay, and installing computers at my dad's house. They're now all Mac users. Dad has a new 17"" iMac that he has no idea how to use. Cheryl has an old G3 powerbook which still serves her well. Cats and Emily have 14"" and 12"" iBooks, respectively.Got speakers for Cats, showed Cheryl how to uses her iPod and DV camera. And arranged for a new printer to be delivered. Happy to be home. oh ya this blog entry was about something else. I now have 2 confirmed courses to teach this year. KMD1002 (half the course I co-taught last year) and KMD2003: Knowledge Media and Learning. Just waiting on an interview that I had a another local university recently. News August 8."

Posted by jason at 03:41 PM