Monday, November 21, 2016

Morgan is Obsessed With Grey's Anatomy

My original work of electronic literature is a Grey's Anatomy Self-Generating Poem. This poem takes lines from the television show "Grey's Anatomy," including the life advise the characters give each other, mixed in with medical terminology used. People who have seen the show will understand this, but the poem randomly breaking up the quotes and throwing in medical terms is similar to the show. In this series, the characters are all very close friends that work together in a hospital. One will be going through a crisis and a friend will be giving them deep, heart-felt advise, when all of a sudden a patient is dying or the emergency room is fulling up with patients. So their advise is quickly interrupted so they can move on to the importance of the medical attention a patient needs. Mixing literature with my favorite Netflix series made college a lot more fun.
~Morgan Gleixner

"The Inexhaustible Gatsby"

F. Scott Fitzgerald is known for his poetic prose, and for this reason, I am in love with his writing style. I have read The Great Gatsby a total of five times, and fall in love with it a little bit more every time I read it. The Great Gatsby specifically impacted my love for literature, and indirectly directed me when it came time for me to decide on my college major; analyzing it in my high school literature class made me realize that I possess a passion and talent for analyzing literature. For this reason, The Great Gatsby holds a special place within my heart.

Due to my love for this novel, I dedicated my first-ever electronic literature creation in tribute to Fitzgerald and his novel, and created "The Inexhaustible Gatsby." (Warning: It takes a minute or so to load)

"The Inexhaustible Gatsby" is a self-generating poem that (sort-of) randomly spews words from a list provided within the poem's coding. Every word within the poem can be found within Fitzgerald's novel, and manages to capture a vital theme of the novel in the process.

This "major theme" involves reality versus illusion. The parties, colors, money, and rich people within the novel act as illusions, masking the reality of the unhappiness and corruption occurring within the novel. These materialistic people and things end up hurting Nick and Gatsby, and the novel ends with Nick's (the narrator) illusions being broken, and a new understanding of reality.

After playing with the code for a while, I figured out the code's pattern to generating text. Once I figured the code out, I realized that if I put certain words in certain places, I can make it match a vital theme within Fitzgerald's novel.

The first noun in each line of the poem (not including the lines that only involve one noun, or the lines starting with a verb) starts with a noun the novel used in reference to, or quoted from, a corrupted character within the novel (like Tom or Daisy Buchanan). All but one verb within the poem has a negative connotation attached to it (hurt, harm, etc.), and is used within The Great Gatsby as well. The last noun within the each line is used in reference to Nick or Gatsby, who are being fooled by the corruption within the novel. That makes every stanza within the poem a match to the idea of "reality" of Fitzgerald's novel; all of these grotesque things are happening in reality., and the illusions are being broken.  However, The Great Gatsby wouldn't be The Great Gatsby without all the things that cloud the novel's reality.

After a stanza of self-generated poetry, the poem generates a line starting with a verb, and continuing with one or many adjectives. After working with the code, I made sure the verb always starts with "believe in" (because Gatsby "believed in the green light"), and used all beautiful adjectives with positive connotations attached to them. Every line that starts with the words "believe in" represents the illusions clouding reality with the novel.

This poem is actually the coolest thing I have ever created. Authorship goes to myself, F. Scott Fitzgerald, the code, and Nick Monfort (who created the code).

21st Birthday google maps essay

My Original Work of e-lit

My original work of e-lit is a google maps essay from my 21st birthday trip to Key West, Florida. 

Trope on a Rope

Here is my original work: "Trope on a Rope."  "Trope on a Rope" is a second-person, present-tense hypertext narrative that allows viewers to adventure through a string of fantasy, sci-fi, and horror tropes.  Each knot on the string is a vignette of around 100 to 200 words.  Please enjoy.

Sixteenth-Century Setta Sandals

Our tribe has decided to preserve a very specific type of artifact in our proposed archive: sixteenth-century setta sandals.

Setta sandals (also spelled "seta") were, according to tradition, invented by Japanese tea master Sen no Rikyu for wear during tea ceremonies on snowy days.  At the time, the two dominant shoe types were called "zori" and "geta."  Because zori were traditionally made of straw, they would soak up the water one would pour in one's garden to start a tea ceremony.  However, they were once the fashion trend, before the geta sandals came along, and many future grooms gave these to his bride as an engagement gift.

Geta Sandals
Zori Sandals

Geta, made of wood, were unfit for wear on snowy days, for they left large footprints in snow. This shoe had a reputation that one could hear them before they could see them. Since they were made of wood, they tended to clack against the ground in a loud manor. This sound has been reported as heavily missed because they are no longer worn as much, so the clacking is scarce.

A modern pair of setta sandals

This form of sandal resembles a common flip-flop, though the two have much different compositions.  Setta sandals have a hanao (strap), a ten (insole), a nakaita (middle board), a kasane (heel), and a sole.  There are also some metal pieces and glue that bind the shoe together.  The nakaita is made of wood, and the sole is made of leather.  When one walks in setta sandals properly, one makes a clicking noise, which is considered fashionable.

Though setta sandals are still worn today, they have fallen in and out of fashion over the course of time. As of today,they are mostly worn by Buddhist monk's. For this archive, Just Us Hugh Manatees would like to try to preserve examples of this curious shoe from the century in which they were first conceived.  It may be very difficult to find surviving pairs, but any we find would be valued as historical artifacts.  How many objects manufactured today have been around for as long as these sandals and possess such a singular reason for their existence?  Not too many, we would wager.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Data Mining: Cool Tool of the Digital World

The internet has provided people the ability to access research around the world. This research can lead to future research, and further research after that. Nowadays, technology offers tools that allows its users to conduct their own research in simple ways. Our Digital Humanities class recently used tools that allowed us to conduct interesting research within a short period of time; these tools were data mining technologies.

Data mining is the process of analyzing data from different perspectives and summarizing it into useful information. Our Digital Humanities class spent some time working with websites that allowed us to perform the process of data mining: Voyant and Ngram. In the process of working with these websites, our tribe made interesting observations and were able to form hypotheses regarding the data-mined information.

...No, not quite.

Voyant is a technological tool that can take in a large amount of text and find the most commonly used words within the text. The tool then takes those commonly-used words and creates a collage of sorts for the user to analyze. While it may seem as though the site has just made a collage of random words, those commonly-used words can say a lot about the text as well as its meaning.

When using the tool, our tribe used some of our blog posts to see what kind of words we used the most:

The first chart presented from Voyant is tribe member Patrick's usage of words from all of his individual blog posts for the class, as well as the tribe posts he wrote. The second chart is tribe member Morgan's word usage of the posts she wrote as well. It may be unsurprising to notice that students tend to use the words "digital", "media", and "humanities" when observing the charts.When comparing the charts to each other, one may notice that both members have used the exact same words, such as "digital", "like", "human", "humanities", and "just". This can portray the ideas and themes that students are getting out of the Digital Humanities class.

Ngram is another data mining tool that takes the usage of words into consideration. A user will type in words, separated by commas, and produce a graph that portrays the usage of words in print texts from 1500 to 2008. 

In this Ngram, I typed in the words happy, sad, angry, annoyed, and scared. The results of this were, in my opinion, quite fascinating. As one can see when looking at this graph, the usage of the word "happiness" in texts has significantly decreased from the year 1800 to the year 1980, and slightly increase again from 1980 to 2000. Could the decreased use of this word in texts symbolize a decrease in societal happiness itself? The term "angry" is pretty static, and then spikes a bit at around 1990. After contemplating this, my professor urged me to add in the terms "war" and "peace":

The tribe found these results to be especially interesting. It is not at all surprising to see an increase of usage in the words "war" and "peace" in about 1918 and 1942; these are around the times where World War I and World War II occured. We also noticed that during the times that the term "war" spiked in usage, "happiness" was decreasing, and the usage of the term "angry" slightly increased. The tribe feels as though this could say a lot about society's reaction to wartime.  

The tribe also used Ngram to compare Morgan and Patrick's commonly used words to research how often those words have been used within a 200-year span. We entered each of their number one mos-used words into Ngram: "digital" and "media". The results show a prominent increase in the usage of both words beginning in the 1960s, yet the usage of the word "media" skyrockets. Media studies have been popular for quite some time, but digital studies (such as the Digital Humanities) and quite new. The word usage shows the difference in popularity.

Voyant and Ngram are tools that have allowed us to conduct research through the popularity and usage of words within texts and specific time frames. These data mining sites have allowed our tribe to observe interesting results, as well as form hypothesis that could be further researched. Tools like these can easily pose interesting questions, as well as lead to research that can further continue our attempt to understand society.

Collaborative Effort: Molly, Patrick, Morgan, Zack

Monday, November 14, 2016

Virtual Zack

Social media is just one of those things in the world… I hate that I love it. The world is in constant transition, especially with social media. Who thought that 10 years ago we would be post something on the internet that could go directly to someone anywhere around the world. It is said that 78% of Americans have some social media profile and almost 2 billion people worldwide. This is just an unbelievable number to really put in your head and think about it.

I personally have many different social media platforms including Facebook, twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest and Reddit. Out of all of these platforms I use to use Facebook the most when there were no parents on it trying to get the hang of it and talk to you all the time. I use Instagram, twitter and snapchat the most.

Instagram, I have had an Instagram for 5 years now, starting with a picture of me and my best friend at our soccer camp over the summer.
This was back when only a few people had Instagram so I only received around 5 likes on the picture. Instagram is a platform where most people go and post a picture or video that others will like or enjoy. Typically from a vacation, party, concert or some significant event that they went to. The other things on Instagram are direct messages where you can send pictures to individual people, also there are Instagram stories. This is something that is pretty much stolen from snapchat which I will be discussing next. Lastly is my most recent picture that I posted to my Instagram.

The social network account that I use just as much as Instagram is Snapchat. Like I was saying earlier, stories on Instagram were kind of stolen from Snapchat because they have what is called snap stories. You can post this just like an Instagram picture or video but on snapchat it is only there for 24 hours. You can also send pictures or videos to 1 or people at a time without putting it on your story for everyone to see. Now the biggest thing on snapchat is filters, there are different filters you can scroll through and put animations on things or your face. The most popular is the “puppy face”. One of the latest things is “featured and subscriptions”, which includes daily mail, NFL, Buzz feed, ESPN, Cosmopolitan, CNN, Comedy Central, MTV, etc. These are pretty much like stores that snapchat puts out about these topics. I usually do not post much to my stories but do send individual snaps quite frequently.

The last big social media platform that I use constantly is twitter. I actually am in a social media class now and poster for a local company Media Xchange. I post on that account 2 times a day every day. For my account, I do not post much, I usually am retweeting my friends tweets or sharing certain tweets with friends. There is also a DM feature in twitter where you can send individual people tweets. One of the most iconic things about twitter is the #hashtag. This was started on twitter and is still used extremely frequent. This is usually used at the end of the tweet usually a word that is associated with the tweet being sent out. One of newest things on twitter is “moments”, this is pretty much the biggest news events for the day or a few days. 

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Virtual Molly

Social media is an enormous part of modern-day human culture. According to statistics, approximately seventy-eight percent of Americans have at least one social media profile. This may not be a surprising statistic to you, but if seventy-eight percent of Americans have social media profiles, that means that seventy-eight percent of Americans have "virtual selves." In the context of social media, a "virtual self" is how one expresses his or herself on his or her social media platform.

I am not embarrassed to admit that social media is an important part of my life. I am considerably active on multiple platforms, including Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and VSCO. Although an avid user, promoter, and lover of social media, I think that a virtual self cannot fully exemplify the person it is attempting to express digitally.

I use Instagram frequently, and scroll through my newfeed multiple times a day. I actually control a total of four Instagram accounts: a personal account, Humans of Johnstown (inspired by Humans of New York), a poetry account, and an account for my cat. Out of the four accounts, I am most active on my personal account.

I tend to post pictures of the world around me (with or without me included in the picture) on my personal account. It may be a picture of food, coffee, a sign, street art, or anything that really captures my eye and makes me want to take a picture of it. This is where I express the things I see, and attempt to capture meaning within them. I am interested in photography, and have found that Instagram is my favorite social media platform. I also use VSCO to post photos I take as well, for the same reasons. 

Posted picture from Instagram account
I post the most on my Twitter account. I use Twitter, especially when I am really tired and feel no shame, to express my stream of consciousness. On this platform, I tend to post, or "tweet", multiple times a day. My tweets are, in a sense, random. I may make a political statement one minute, and tweet a meme from The Office the next minute. I have looked back at past tweets, realized that I have tweeted ten different tweets regarding ten different subject matters within a span of five minutes or less. I also tend to retweet anything I find to be funny, sad, or interesting in any way. I don't consciously "watch" how much I tweet; I have been told that I tweet and retweet a lot more than people deem "normal". 

Avi makes me wanna drink tea & destroy the patriarchy
Actually, I always wanna drink tea and destroy the patriarchy

I use my Facebook account frequently as well. I am on it every day, and tend to post, as well as share posts, a few times a day. My posts and shares are mainly political (especially within the past year). I engage in political debates on Facebook, and have learned a lot about my beliefs in the process. I also post pictures that I have posted on Instagram, and have used it as a way to connect with family members that live further away. 
Current Facebook profile picture (due to outcome of Election)

Virtual Molly and human Molly have a lot in common. Virtual Molly possesses all the traits human Molly possesses, but human Molly is much more complex than virtual Molly. Using social media as a form of self-expression is possible, but people choose what they want to express. Human Molly may have had the worst day of her life, but if she chooses not to post about her day and sorrow on her social media platforms, virtual Molly had an okay day. 

Virtual Molly consists of a lot of pictures of coffee, political statements, and memes, but human Molly consists of a whole lot more than that. While social media and "virtual selves" can portray a lot about human character, it cannot completely display every aspect of what makes a person who they are. It's an interesting concept, and while technology continues to advance, "virtual selves" will continue to advance as well.

Virtual Morgan

Twenty one centuries later and the world has been taken over by technology. It has grew rapidly, has increased our knowledge, and has made many tasks easier and faster. Technology has become peoples most common recreational past time. As it is being used by most age groups, millennial's are the stars of the show. Social media and video game consuls are the most used technological upgrades used by the younger population. Social media is a way for this young population to stay connected with each other and update others on what is going on in their life.

As stated in "Like. Flirt. Ghost: A Journey Into The Social Media Lives of Teens," "Besides, ask any teen how to use social media-what those rules are- and they won't be able to tell you a thing. Bust ask them targeted questions and they'll break down a palimpsest of etiquette in rote, exhaustive detail..." This was proven in class as Dr. Justus asks his class questions about Snapchat. Many of us could break down his specific questions, however, if he would have vaguely asked "What is Snapchat?" or "How do you use Snapchat?" no one would have known exactly how to break it down enough to explain. I was able to answer a majority of his questions during class because I would describe myself as social media savvy.

I am just like any other typical girl that loves to update their Instagram accounts on their latest adventures, outfits, or best friends birthdays.  This is the site I spend a majority of my time on between all of my social media accounts. "Why do people do this?" is a common question my mother likes to ask me. I never have a good answer besides "This is what kids do now-a-days, Mom." I post a lot on this site and have a decent amount of followers, however, I'm not dedicated enough to get upset if I do not receive a certain amount of "likes" on a photo. I mostly enjoy posting so I will be able to have something to look at when I grow old to reminisce on the memories. My most recent Instagram post is the photo below, wishing a great friend from home, a happy birthday by sharing a memory we shared at Taco Bell. The mild sauce packet that I'm holding in this pictures states, "you're my soul mate."

Snapchat is the second most used social media site on my Iphone. There are so many different reasons as to why. The best reason I could give is because it's just an easier and more fun version  of texting. Sending a funny selfie of yourself and asking whats going on for the weekend is more entertaining than just sending them a text message.

Twitter is a close second to Snapchat of apps i use mostly. Twitter is where I let out my wittier self. Well, at least I like to think that I'm funny. I could scroll through my timeline for hours and watch all the funny animal videos or read all the sarcastic tweets coming from my peers. Its pretty neat to see when someone is going through the same situation as you or if someone has the same smart aleck humor as you.

Facebook is the most used social media and this is because it is more open to age ranges. This was the first social media I ever had and I am slowly growing out of it. I check it once in awhile to check on my family and to see what the people from high school are up to. My profile pictures usually stick to photos of me including some family member. It is currently a picture of my brother, my aunt Mary Lou, my Mom, and I.

As one could see, I could classify myself as social media savvy. I enjoy the entertainment that comes from each and every site. I would like to say that I am the same person on and off the screen. I do not try to present a person different from who I am. People know I am pretty heavily active on social networks and I myself know it too, and I'm okay with it. I take no offense when people point out how much I play on my phone because that is who I am. Some people like to play a lot of video games, some like to play a lot of sports; I enjoy reading about others and posting about my life. It's a fun way to learn about others and they learn about you.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Virtual Patrick

Homo Digitalis stalks the cybernetic steppe, sling and sack of emojis tied to his canvas belt.  Winter is mounting in the land of Facebook.  Likes are scarce, and reactions are even harder to come by.  Digitalis halts at a river, furtively scanning his folders for the right image to offer up to the gods.  He finds it, throws it into the rushing water, and waits.

For many living in the developed world, there lies a division between Homo Commonus and Home Digitalis.  One reflects who we show ourselves to be in common, unplugged interactions, while the other reflects who we present ourselves to be in the digital realm.  Neither person can completely capture who we are at our core, in our fabric of being, but both can reveal parts of that complex material.

"Two Worlds"
Deception is a common vice for both Commonus and Digitalis.  Sometimes it isn't even a deliberate action.  We as humans lie about ourselves or manipulate our personages constantly for various reasons.  Perhaps we wish to impress someone or appease an argumentative combatant.  Usually, these are small deceptions, and they do not go so far as to truly bear false witness against one's neighbors.  But they can.  These deceptions can destroy one's relationships both with others and with oneself; however, often we get away with these deceptions.  This feat can be achieved with Homo Commonus, and many do pull the wool over a multitude of eyes.  It is Homo Digitalis, on the other hand, who gets the bad rap.  Through social media, we can become who we wish to be, no matter how far it is removed from who we really are.  Through social media, we can live two or three or tens of different li(v)es.

There is a distinct difference between a li(f)e and a persona.  In my online workings, I aim to stay true to myself, while allowing for a few personas.  These personas take some aspects of my "self" and run with them.  We as human beings are wildly complex.  Could we show all of ourselves online anyway?  Most people never see the full breadth of our "selves" from Homo Commonus even over years of contact, not because we are hiding pieces from them, but simply because there are so many pieces to see.

My Twitter persona is probably my most distinctive.  On Twitter, I am a professional, a member of the field of creative writing.  I am also a low-key musician, blogger, and Digital Humanist.  Most of the time, it's about business.  I can reply to my friends' tweets in a more personal manner, yet it is still the professional aspect of myself who is being developed by these interactions.  Politics are especially taboo for my Twitter persona (though that is not the case for many writers out there).

A cover spread I once retweeted

On Instagram, I'm mostly absent.  When I'm present, I'd like to think that I'm kinda suave.  I haven't gone out of my way to show a particularly-suave image of my "self;" I don't go that far.  There are simply very few photos and videos that I feel the need to share, and these happen to be some of my suavier ones.

In the blogging world, I'm just a guy trying to contribute to my field.  I'm a little bit more personable than I am on Twitter, and I allow my less-typical, arguably scatter-brained or quirky (see the first paragraph of this post) aspects have a little light.

On Facebook, I show the widest slice of my "self."  I reveal personal details, engage in occasional political discourse, promote my artistic and professional endeavors, and try to maintain a decent level of suavacitude.  (That's totally a word.)  My Facebook profile is my oldest and most open account.

My Facebook profile picture (and Senior yearbook photo)

I cannot say that I am free of all deceptions, both as Commonus and Digitalis.  They are both human, remember.  My goal, however, is to always stay true to my "self" even in the digital world.  I may have different personas across different platforms, but all of them are me, just different pieces of me.