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Call Me Ishamel

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 6 months ago

May 18, 2007 (Documents)

I've been crazed over creating my curriculum for creative writing and history of rock & rocll (teaching both in July at PSU) and finishing up 2 6-month courses on the world campus site in 6 weeks. I do not have a life. Anyways I composed my proposal based on the wiki...



Date: May 15, 2007

Subject: Project Proposal



Even though the collegiate experience commonly assigns some current event issues for discussion in the pre-service classroom, university students often are disconnected from issues that will heavily impact their professions. Most of the educator based organizations, such as the National Education Association (NEA), often target teachers already deeply involved in the issue and student focused organizations, such as the Pennsylvania Student Educators Association (PSEA), face too many hurdles in reaching an already apathetic student mindset.

By providing a bridge between undergraduate students and recent graduates, more information can be directly communicated. A gateway between students and educators is needed to answer undergraduates’ future concerns, as well as allow information from the active classroom to reach those who will be entering it in the next few years.

This project sets out to establish an Internet based communication between Pennsylvania State undergraduate students and recent graduates in the educational department.



The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), signed by President George W. Bush in 2002, set out to redefine education in America, but after its implementation, teachers grew rebellious at the goals the act set out to achieve. NCLB searches to hold institutions and educators liable for their products, otherwise known as students. By using standardized tests, which research has found biased and therefore not legitimate in measuring students, the U.S. Department of Education believes that they can classify teachers as “Highly Qualified Effective” and “Ineffective.” Teachers often fault the act for comparing students on a standardized system, taking the student’s environment and family life out of the equation of accountability.

Another major fault of NCLB remains the financial support from the federal government. According to the American Federation for Teachers (AFT), “For Title I, the NCLB sub-act that distributes federal money to schools with high percentages of students from low-income families, the authorization for 2006 was $22.75 billion. But President Bush only requested $13.3 billion of that total for this vital program. This continues a pattern of under-funding for NCLB” (Funding.)

Most students in the collegiate setting lack the knowledge to politically and professionally handle NCLB, which creates larger issues when the primary and secondary education institutions are seeking to eliminate future modifications and resigning. While current professions see what the lack of funds and focus on standardized testing does to students, both as individuals and participants in the classroom community, millions of pre-service educators around the United States lack the involvement they need to secure a positive future in this profession.

Currently, all of the major national and state educational organizations, such as NEA, PSEA, and AFT, are fighting to formally petition NCLB’s 2007 resigning. All educators fear what the new addition, Highly Qualified Effective Teacher (HQET), can do to all of the educational system, but specifically the at-risk schools with high percentages of students from low-income families. HQET sets out for even more accountability for teachers when it designates written notices to be sent home to parents concerning the effective status of their student’s teacher. If the majority of the students do not meet requirements of the frequently administered standardized tests, a letter is sent home to parents stating, “Your child’s teacher is not effective” (NEA Position). After two concurrent years of sending the letters home, the state must revoke that teacher’s certification.

This is problematic for any educator who wishes to teach in at-risk schools and may lead to pushing them away from positively affecting at-risk students. The majority of at-risk students are already not meeting requirements and this mandate further dissuades even the well-established educators from moving to inner city schools.

Because of just recently leaving the collegiate atmosphere, where I spent numerous months around pre-service educators, I know that not only do they rarely hear of HQET’s resigning and new additions, but also care little about what organizations have to say. It may be too late for students to realize that they need to care and need to understand after already established educators failed to petition the federal mandate. Power does come with numbers and educating the millions of pre-service undergraduate students could provide a higher possibility of controlling the educational profession.


Research Plans

First, I will need to contact other fresh graduates, most of whom I held classes with, from Pennsylvania State University to see if they have come in contact with NCLB and HQET. These statistics will allow me to assess the preparedness for the current political intervention and knowledge the educational profession needs.

The next will be to assess already established programs aimed at reaching college age students. During this step, I will search for Internet-based programs and sites that allow for direct communication and ease of providing information.

After I decide on the program and review how to access and manipulate information while using it, I will need to contact instructors in the educational field at Penn State. My recent classroom experience at the university allows me to take advantage of professional relationships I have built with professors in both the English and Education departments at Penn State.

After contacting faculty at Penn State, a discourse needs to occur on how the flow of information should be developed and what needs to be done to implement this into the Penn State Education curriculum.


Schedule (Beginning May 16, 2007 and Ending June 12, 2007)

• Email and call graduates in the education major

o Discuss NCLB and HQET to assess their amount of understanding

o Ask if they would participate in a program to help advise and answer questions for pre-service teachers and undergraduate students

• Research programs and websites that will allow for the appropriate transfer of information between undergrads and grads

o Look into Wikis, Blogs and Forums

• Contact Penn State Faculty

• Discuss Program Implementation at Penn State

o When should the program be implemented in the Penn State curriculum?

o How should the information flow between undergrads and grads?

o How this might improve pre-service transition into the professional role and classroom setting?



Thank you for the opportunity to submit this proposal. As I am sure you understand by now, our educational system is at risk of becoming under heavy standardized scrutiny that could dissuade many great individuals from entering this remarkable profession. I am eager to put my time, research skills and knowledge into this project and develop a solution to reaching collegiate students and persuading them into action. At this point, I ask for your permission to continue developing a medium where undergraduate students and recent graduates interact and communicate to improve knowledge among professional educators.



May 9, 2007 (Experiencing the Chain Yank)

Well I've entered a month long TAZ area, my parent's new home, which used to be my grandparents' home. They moved in last summer, but I lived in SC, so I never really experienced a long term stay here. But this whole living PSU hasn't been that hard, but it's been a little rough with the difficulty of keeping in touch with colllege friends that will soon occur. Anyways, I plan on getting to checking out other projects as soon as I get some sort of a living space organized, but until then... Enjoy our global warming!



Wiki Words of Wisdom (Peep, Princess, Ishmael)


Assignment Recap.doc


Ishmaels's Rrremix


Words of Wisdom ReMiX


The Resurrected Wiki Words of Wisdom Soundboard (Mixed Version)



This board is the un-mixed version. Click the link above the player for MiXeD VeRsIoN.


Here are the files for those who wanted them Click Here! And they are a stuffed on a Mac using "Stuff IT"




Message for Ishamel


Check out WikiWav2 if you need hosting space, PW: same as Mobius's site.


Ishamel...WikiWav is well underway! Check it out! ~BigYellowPeep and Society of Control: Voice Wiki Proposal (In Progress)


EDIT AGAIN: Hosted through pbwiki. WikiWav is back. ~Peep


Ishmaellian's Profile Page

New Wiki Page for Easy Remix Viewing... Call Me Ishmael, The Ubik Remixer

Society of Control: Voice Wiki Proposal (In Progress)

Society of Control: Voice Wiki Idea Page

Society of Control: Words of Wisdom

Society of Control: Wiki Words of Wisdom


Thank you for your response. I am glad you connected to it like that. --GoNZo


Apr. 14, 2007 (A New Beginning)

List to Ishmael's WikiWav Wiki-ing: WikiWav 4/14


Ish, your WikiWav is awesome. I love how you can just turn on the mic and go and go and go. It's a real solid string of thoughts and really easy to listen to and follow. The one bad thing (counter arguement) for our WikiWav is the ammount of disk space we need for these files and how long it took me on a broadband connection to download your WikiWav post. I mean, I'm worried it's just not quick enough, but again I do think as connection speed increases with time this time problem will be eliminated. That 50mb file def exhausted that created pbwiki's disk space, and I don't know if it's practical to start a new pbwiki account (for the spcae) whenever we want to create a WikiWav. Wish there was some other way. Of course, pbwiki does offer tons of space, 30 gig for 30 dollars a month, but I would definitly want to keep this free. But again, the actual WikiWav itself was real good. Possibility: Convert the Wav file to an MP3. Did you try this yet? ~Peep


Apr.8, 2007 (Ramble On My Friend)


"What the cow, becomes habit forming of grades. Of numerous coffee cups in heaps of irish punk indie mixtures." This is how I am describing this morning. On many levels, today has been quite strange, but yet more peaceful then I ever imagined. I woke up and truly realized that this is the first Easter away from my family. Even though this is my last semester in school, I always made sure to make it home for the weekend to be with my family, but the 23 credits and teaching middle school all, but destroyed my ability to have travel time. Anyways, my reality is largely becoming disrupted by the change at this intersection of life. I will be moving home at the end of May to live in my hometown to complete student teaching. After this, I will hopefully be moving out on my own in late December. Which state, county or city or town... I have no idea. First, the thoughts of moving home to live for an extended period (I haven't spent more than 4 weeks at home since high school) begin to toss about how my everyday lifestyle will most likely change. Yes, I have much more autonomy, but around my parents I lack the ability to truly act as freely as I do in my apartment. Anyways, that shifts to the huge choice I have of staying close to home or moving out of state. Then which state? Could I be happy in Boston or New Orleans? I'm slowly being thrown into the "AHH" moment Mobius so often puts forth. His class has aided in my "keeping calm" life goal that I've always been working on. I want to be able to simply shrug and know that the AH moment only happens because I make it so. Anyways...

I've been grading for the past 3 hours (tests and essays from my middle schoolers and then working on the wiki) and I had to take a break after reading Peeps remix (although the combination of all the remixes probably sparked this thought) to comment on shifts of reality views. Many explanations focused on how individuals and Dick shift about their reality views and purposely alter them. Many suggest drug intake (such as beer or vodka, etc.), but Houdini's link to last.fm sparked my interest into trying it out and behold! I instantly fell in love with the program. Afraid of being persecuted for Limewire, I deleted the lime and switched to itunes, where I can play what I want, when I want. But this is what I want to focus on. Music is a physical and psychological shift in how we view reality. Whether it is through the goggles of jazz, classicla, indie, punk rock, rap, metal, we can easily alter or views of the world and events in our lives my altering the sounds we jam into our ears. Since Napster, Limewire, and iTunes, people become premise locked into their music. The ability to download mass amounts of what you want, when you want puts you into listening to large amounts of the same genres. I haven't listened to the radio or any function similar to it since high school, until last.fm this morning. I noticed how newer sounds and genres, that I'd otherwise be absent from listening to, presented me a newer version of what was going on. I purposely engaged in listening to genres I'd normally not download or tune out and think about current situations or happenings and notice how my mind shifted on choices and chances.


Kudos to Houdini and last.fm


Apr. 6, 2007 (Quick Shnizzle)

I was reading through some news this morning with a nice cup of Joe when I came across this great story about journalism and activism. It's quite interesting how the interviewer kept telling him to take sides as if it was impossible to be a journalist and an activist at the same time. I'm still confused why the government made such a deal about a video tape. Anyways, enjoy the story.



Whatever your final project idea is, it sounds good. I am down. ~Peep


Mar. 24, 2007 (Sound the Alarm)

Increasingly it seems that my years pass at an exponentially increasing rate. Every year seems to pick up speed on the path that is deemed life and I am always attempting to counterbalance this through mental escapes. When I get those AHHHHH another year almost gone moments, I push myself to take mental escapes. These for me are moments when I take walks and observe the greater complexities around and take joy in knowing how much the world puts me in awe. I love to understand and always attempt to understand the a backing behind everything, but my simple observance joy allows me to settle back and enjoy not knowing. I look at the tree and I see something spIritual, sacred and oh so calming. Maybe this has been a cause for me to constantly reject learning science and mathematics. While I see how the knowledge and experiments add to the viewers understanding of how complex the object truly is, it breaks it down from the "art as I see the world." A way of thinking for me is how society and higher education thinks that teaching is a science. While learning can be measured, it is not always systematic. The student who gets the best grades and scores on standardized tests ends up drowning himself in a bathtub. Affecting lives is an art, not a science. It's a swaying between some realm of knowledge the sits in communication with our internal minds. There is no way to apply this rule for this problem in the classroom and the outcome is always 4. Any belief in that teaching system is ridiculous. Yes, some patterns may arise, but are almost always broken out of by the students. The question is, does a pattern really exist or is this the dotted snowman trick of our minds at work? Are we merely searching for pattern, because an evolution of society pushes us to understand so that we can possibly do something about it? I get afraid sometimes that our lack of being able to say ok, it really doesn't matter will end up the doom of us all. Like before, I'm hardcore nostalgic. The things that come out of science are cool, but for me just that. In history, they did have to work and maybe more physical labor, but to me it seems harmonious with the natural world we are allowed to be apart of. Eh, enough of this rambling. Enjoy the weekend everyone!




Mar. 21, 2007 (Ugh and Remix)

So long, farewell da da da da da da! I have been super busy preparing a unit to teach in which starts Monday (I only had about 2 weeks to prepare everything for it). So, I haven't exactly been wiki focused, since I wake up not long after 6am and don't get back to my apartment till well after 7pm and at this point, I begin further grading of student assignments and lesson plans. Damn you advisors for not making my schedules more efficient before so I have to take 23 credits this semester. Anyways, I'll get some wiki compositions in during the weekends I suppose.


Here's the remix...

Enjoy this puppy Ubik Rrremix


Remix Explanation Paper


Mar. 5, 2007 (Freemasons and the Blues)

Whie I indulge in conspiracy theories from time to time, it is usually for speculative enjoyment. I think conspiracies and knowledge of what people's perceptions of reality are, could help us better understand our own framework for interaction with realitieS. What interests me is this notion that reality is not concrete (sorry for the use of abstraction) and belongs to the perceiver. Obviously my reality could not be duplicated or ever completely understood by anyone... Even the powerful, overseeing, freemason, extraterrestial Mobius. My reality if not only relative to my position in the universe at that moment and no two people can occupy the same material space for the same vantage point. I hope everyone understood that. Also, my position in the universe at that snapshot moment also becomes relative to my past positions in the universe since existence. Where was I standing on 9/11? What did I see? Where was my body when Katrina happened? Every second, or even smaller, our position in the universe and our cumulative positions dictate our relative reality. This does one major thing, the decentralization of reality. If reality is concrete or a singular function, then someone has ownership over it (this could be chaos, government, natural laws, spiritual influences, etc.). Once reality becomes true to the individual, no one can have ownership over reality. This does not exactly strip everything away from some religions, but calls for a redefining of principles and viewpoints. In Christianity, God does have ownership over reality and our interaction (purpose) in it.


On my page, I just commented how God can be viewed as an essence. I could read your last statement as The essence, or, spirit world does have ownership over reality and our interaction (purpose) in it. You are a fan of synchronicty, right, so what's the difference between giving providence to a Christian God or saying it's some other force in the universe? Like I said, same message, different mediums? We are free to program our realities, and the two media we are discussing do so in different ways. Trigger speaks of meditaion, or foreign substances to reprogram perception. This puts the meditator in contact with the essence, the higher power, using the advanced and absolutely phenomenal nervous system that is our mind. The Christian or religious medium does the same, but call it prayer. Either way you want to do it, my hope now is that the message from the higher up is optimistic and welcoming, that there's something more out there, that the rest is not silence. Also, like any meditator has the right to explore consciousness in any way he or she chooses, the religious, or at least Christianity, preaches free will, the ability to have ownership over one's wetware. Let me know what you think! ~BigYellowPeep


BAM! Let the classic American blues keep streaming from my iTunes radio.


Conspiracies do allow us to make order out of a chaotic world and by minimalizing an infinite amount of chao into a reduced theory of conspiracy, our brains can calm down a bit. I watched a cool lil segment on the freemasons tonight (tivo'd from earlier, but it's from 2007) on The Discovery Channel and I saw some things that just awed me. I like it, not that I believe in it, but I never conclude that I don't either. It's all very possible either way.


Here's some cool shnazz-ma-tazz...




This is the Mason symbol






In the segment, they actually circled the letters before drawing it out. See each letter that the point is...







Notice that the headof this one is the White House... It traces a street pattern...








Mar. 1, 2007 (RFID Encounter and Paine's)

So, I took a retreat from the Wiki in order to feed my hunger of inputting knowledge. I find this need comes and goes, so when it comes I work for it. For some reason, I've been leaning toward philosophical writings...mainly Thomas Paine. I've noticed so many similarities in the writings of Paine, Trigger and Ubik (a surprising synchronicity). While Paine helped me develop my ideas and concepts with Religion, his writings on government and the Rights of Man are sheerly astonishing. Do people think this way today? People once sacrificed their lives and risked becoming martyrs for the rights of humanity and their ideals. Where did they go? I wonder if media and society's "metaprogramming" are acting like the annoying assistant at a baby photo center. You know, the one with the duck puppet, quacking every 3 seconds to distract the child from the camera's flash and make them smile temporarily. Does media kill of our imagination and philosophical oatmeal in our heads? To me it's all possible, because it seems we began losing those hardcore martyrs of humanity when media truly swept the world. Maybe media, acting as a gatekeeper, takes away through avoidance, the people who try to inform the masses.

I was in the police department off of Beaver last night. As a preface, my roommate and I were attacked after someone broke in last semester and we we're scheduled to do a photo lineup. When we got to the door, she swiped a plastic box on her keychain across a nub on the wall. Correct and incorrect, it was HIFD. So kinda cool to see it in use I suppose. Add that one to the list.

Finally, I must say I'm very happy with the projected assignments. I've been considering what to work on and what direction to go with all this information. The remixing of Ubik is such a creative and interesting idea! I think besides the obvious, my encounter with Italo Calvino If On a Winter's Night a Traveler, which is in my top reads of all time. Simply amazing. I love when books really challenge my ability to lift them off the page and bring them to life. It most cases, although not always, it is very beneficial and worth the effort.




Minor Note: I saw The Number 23 last night. The writers/creators had to of read Cosmic Trigger. I don't want to spoil anything for anyone, but I felt quite alone in the theater, b/c I got a bunch of jokes/concepts that you might only have if you experienced Cosmic Trigger. Plus it wasn't a bad movie anyway. I'd encourage anyone who can to get out and see it....maybe keep Trigger in mind.




The giant white box on the right burns my retinas when reading your wiki, and I love it.


DOES ANYBODY HAVE _VANILLA SKY_? Maybe someone would be kind enough to let me borrow it for the weekend, cause all of this are we alive or not alive (pulse-wise) got me thinking of that movie, which I haven't seen for ages.

My sis owns a copy, but she's in P-burgh. I'm 95% positive Mike's Video has a copy of the original movie it was based on, \"Abre los ojos,\" which is far superior and in spanish! -Houdini

I saw "23" the night it came out, and I was pleasantly suprised. Jim Carey actually was good...hmmm...anyway, I don't have Vanilla Sky, but I do have Fight Club if you're interested. AND, I'd highly recommend (I'd mandate it if possible) that you check out "Stranger than Fiction". It's out to rent now, and I've ordered a copy which you could borrow on this coming Tuesday, provided I got it back before spring break. ~ Ceridwen





Feb. 22, 2007 (Synchronicity and the need for Grey)


Synchronicity has become my favorite term. While I have been exposed to various psychological terms and concepts, I've never been exposed to this one before __Cosmic Trigger__. Family and friends love when I put out things that seem oddly in connection. But for me its fun and in a way, expands my knowledge. I truly believe that everything is connected in someway and not just what I want to see. I think, connections pop-out to you and you have to be skeptical, but explorative. I try to push through and discover why there is a connection. One, without going into much detail, as a personal experience is a repeating dream. I have a specific dream, which includes one other person besides myself. It always happens on the same night of sleep of every month. At first it freaked me out, but then again its only been happening for 3 or 4 years now. Oddly enough, I read this book before rolling over and falling asleep (not even consciously aware that last night was the dream night), but the dream had a new side. Throughout the dream I kept asking myself what this meant and even sought new forms. What was interesting however, was the fact that the new forms, had blurred faces when I spoke to them. So enough of that. I must add that I've read a shit load of books, poems, theories, etc. and it's hard for me to rank them, but Cosmic Trigger has quickly jumped into my top 10. I definitely think that the rest of the volumes will be added to my shelf in the not too distant future.

Another aspect of the novel and maybe the most pertinent to my beliefs on life and societ, is Wilson's concepts of multi-working perspectives. " 'Convictions cause convicts. Whatever you believe imprisons you.' " B-E-A-Utiful! That has always been a petpeeve of mine. When you engage in dialogue with someone (maybe a new acquitance) and they quickly jump into categorizing you.


Them:"Are you Christian?"

Me: "Not reall."

Them: "Well, What are you?"

Me: "I am me."

Them. "Ugh, well what religion do you adhere to?"

Me: "Love."


Them: "Democrate or Republican?"

Me: "Maybe both."

Them: "Are you undecided?"

Me: "No I have my political agendas."

Them: "Well what is it? the Green party?"

Me: "I believe in the Democratic Socialist Party"

Them: "Who heads that?"

Me: "No one and everyone."


At what point does absolutism become a central part of the large social disorder we call individualism? Along with Wilson's points, I ascribe to a multi-faceted society, where Christians, Buddhists, and all religions are "right." Right doesn't seem to be the appropriate term, but it works. Why does everything have to be right or wrong or black or white? What happened to grey?



Feb. 17, 2007 (El Frustration)

Well, the time I spend on javascript tonight became way more frustrating then I originally thought. I was drawn in by Modius' link to add buttons and images and the such to our wiki's, but I kept trying to copy/past it as directed, but to no effect. Anyways, after this I decided to roam the wonderous path of the internet to search for more javascript codes. I only found one that actually came up... it was a stop watch. YAY! So not exciting whatsoever, but I'll deal. I forgot how consuming web development can be for me. While I took a class in high school and a designed a few for organizations back in the day, I seem to have forgotten alot. It all seems much more complicated thenit needs to be and I think it's quite distrubing that we don't have more advanced forms for development in our society by now. I was hoping eventually someone would develop a browser and page designer that works like Photoshop. Where you can drag and morph as you wish. This reminds me of the devious Microsoft Word double spacer. I'm not the only one who had this problem, but sometimes one tries to single space, but Word refuses to single space and stays in double space. That sounded more confusing that it is, but whatever. So _Ubik_ was awesome in my point of view. I know not everyone has finished and I felt my last post might be a sort of spoiler so I'll wait for more Philip discussions to start up to get back into it. Enjoy the weekend Wikidees.



Feb. 12, 2007 (Scrambling Ubiquity)

Well I didn't have a chance to long on yesterday, but I was quite impressed with Mr. Dick's novel __Ubik__. My father had recommended that I read a few of his other books, but I never really had the time to squeeze them in over the past year. Anyways, it was a really fast read and once I got to a certain part, there was no puting the book down. Trying to think back to which point it was, I believe that once they got to their business destination to meet Mr. Mink, I was hooked. Not sure I've done a full mental interpretation fo how we are directly relating this to our society, as in, I haven't made the connections between society and aspects of the novel. I was definitely intrigued by the actions of the book and how, from the beginning, it set up this idea of never knowing who is in your head or who might be controling. At one part, Runciter's organization suggests that whoever thinks someone else is following them or controling them should come to the Prudence organization. I was thinking who doesn't feel that way? They must of got an overload of customers. I might be wrong, but was the movie Minority Report based off this novel, or is it another. (So when i looked for that link, I saw that it's based off of a Philip K. Dick short story.) There are a lot of major aspects present in both and I really feel knowing that moview helped me jump into the novel. That prexisting novel let me get past gripping what a precog did and the idea of half-life.


I suppose Ubik brought up one major line of questioning... Did we, as the reader, ever experience the reality of Runiciter's world? I was studying the aspect of the Ubik commercials and it seems that Ubik commercials signify that the individual is in half-life. Thinking along this line, I believe that the first Ubik Ad is the first thing we read. That starts two large ideas. As previously stated, the first is that the entire novel follows the half-life of Runciter, which is further backed by the ending of the novel with Runciter experiencing Joe Chip's face on currency. The next is that we are is a tad more complicated. As readers, we interact with the novel and the idea of half-life is experiences through mental cognition/perception/action. Because the first thing we interact with in the novel is a Ubik commercial, it may be possible that the author suggests we are all living the half-life. Somewhat along the lines of the Matrix maybe? That we are born into a reality that is not physical, but rather of a mental or maybe even cyberspace nature. That's a bit on the more wacked out side of viewing it, but for me, that kind of interpretation adds more layers of interpretation and interaction with this text.



Interesting, yes - are we just living half our lives? How determined are we? Who's in our head? PKD makes me think of these things and I agree the reader is engaged because similarities can easily be drawn in our own lives. Maybe not as extreme as is presented, or perhaps in 1984 - but still its scary when noticing trends emerge. Oh and I believe Minority Report and Ubik are different short stories - I think there is just a lot of re-occurring themes. The idea of half-life is just that we are actually "participating" in only half of what is lived and the rest determined/controlled - or how is this thought of by you guys/gals? I found a funny video edited from a Honda commercial I think presenting the human 'cog' wheel in action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTZhIiO0yuI Also found this cool drawing - pay respect to the artist, but I believe it represents PKD's concept of an android dreaming of electric sheep (a separate short story):


Interesting reading. I haven't finished Ubik yet, but having gotten past the halfway point, it looks like Ishmael's interpretation will bear out. RE: s.claus: We're already in the world of Ubik. To me, the book is less speculative fiction than a kind of surreal memoir, or case study of consumption, in a society of control. So many things in the book are already happening. Ex - Did you guys read the collegian today? In the tech section there's an article that talks about Toyota's plan for new type of steering wheel which detects whether the driver is drunk/sober enough to drive the car. When I read the headline I immediately thought about the coin-operated talking door in Joe Chip's apartment. Description of said wheel:

The system, consisting of sensors located on car steering wheels, would use the driver's sweat to detect the level of alcohol in the bloodsteam. The system would then prohibit the car's ignition from starting if the sensors detected high levels of alcohol[...]These systems, also known as ignition interlock devices, read the driver's blood alcohol content and disable the car if the driver has consumed too much alcohol.

Looks like the line between fact and (science) fiction continues to be blurred... P.S. The android artwork posted above is way cool (reminds me of Battle Angel Alita) but its body seems too exotic/sexualized and synthetic to be a representation of the replicants in PKD's novel, since they were supposed to resemble everyday people, if I remember correctly. -Houdini




Feb. 9, 2007 (To be or not)

While in class, our discussion reminded me of Hamlet. Obviously, I'm talking about the post awesome quiz given in class. I've been trying to drum up what exactly pushed me to think specifically of Hamlet from our discussion and perhaps someone else who sees the connection could elaborate. I think it had something to do with internal struggle. Maybe perhaps Hamelts soliloquy...


To be, or not to be--that is the question:

Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune

Or to take arms against a sea of troubles

And by opposing end them. To die, to sleep--

No more--and by a sleep to say we end

The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks

That flesh is heir to. 'Tis a consummation

Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep--

To sleep--perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub,

For in that sleep of death what dreams may come

When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,

Must give us pause. There's the respect

That makes calamity of so long life.

For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,

Th' oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely

The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,

The insolence of office, and the spurns

That patient merit of th' unworthy takes,

When he himself might his quietus make

With a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bear,

To grunt and sweat under a weary life,

But that the dread of something after death,

The undiscovered country, from whose bourn

No traveller returns, puzzles the will,

And makes us rather bear those ills we have

Than fly to others that we know not of?

Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,

And thus the native hue of resolution

Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,

And enterprise of great pitch and moment

With this regard their currents turn awry

And lose the name of action. -- Soft you now,

The fair Ophelia! -- Nymph, in thy orisons

Be all my sins remembered.

-William Shakespeare



For some reason, it reminds me of this overall discussion of metaprogramming and its molding of society. Can we really fight it or as Hamlet suggests, will it cause us "to die, to sleep." I understand the inner turmoil to resist the progression of programming, but I've the aching of nostalgia somewhere inside that wants me to return to past. I know it's not sensible and realistic, but I'm aware of it nonetheless.


IS Resistance Futile?


Or Can One Fight!


Feb. 6, 2007 (Sammy Davis and the Mobs? Nooooo.)

I'm reading over Sammy Davis Jr.s FBI file and it's sort of interesting. I never realized that he was kidnapped by Chicago mobsters and told not to marry a movie actress. Hmmm. Couldn't they have asked nicely? The FBI, instead of giving a full typed recount of the story, photocopied a newspaper clipping and to quote Sammy, "I love her." Awww. Poor Guy. Ha, Ok this got kind of funny. The first report said something for action taken: interview Sammy Davis Jr. before his public announcement and see if Federal laws were broken. The next paper says, "We should not interview..." "Because Sammy Mr. Davis Jr. had a responsibility for reporting it."

A few papers later, it has a request for information concerning Sammy Davis Jr. The name of the person requesting is blacked out and even better all of the paragraphs that have the requested information are blacked out. Freedom of Information my ass.

I remember my father telling me, way back when he first introduced me to the Rat Pack, about how Frank and Dean would stand up for Sammy all the time. It was a high point for hate/race crimes and Sammy faced a lot of problems because of this. Maybe we should make Frank and Dean honorary FBI agents?


Since BigYellowPeep and I have an ongoing discussion of teens and current news...No more fun at all. Haven't we all felt used at one point? So is the next article going to say... Researchers find it harmful for teens to leave the house. Current researchers in some stupid place discover that teens should not be allowed to leave their house until the world is deemed safe and they will be old enough to actually make mistakes.


An intereting article, one that I am not all together sure how I feel about. Remember Erin's HDFS class last semester, when we talked briefly about teenager's sexual habits? I believe that she felt like sex and sexual experimentation was a positive things in a teen's life, and I really feel like I agree in many regards. Our bodies are ready and willing biologically at an early age, and a lot of teen development involves coming to terms with these feelings. However, emotionally, a teenager is rarely ready, and many people (even today) disregard the context of a situation and end up using a person. Is this ok if both parties are aware they are simply being used to satisfy a carnal hunger? I don't know. But, the emotional hurt (and the article cites females reporting more the feeling of being used) of a teenager engaging in sexual activity probably comes from a feeling of (what he or she may think) is real affection for the partner, which leads to the emotional disturbance of rejection or even a broken heart, something I feel is a positive (although painful) experience for any person. ~BigYellowPeep


Feb. 5, 2007 (RFID Gun of Death)

I've been putting a lot of thought into the RFID situation we have been running over in class. I couldn't really decide where I fall on this issue, mostly because I had paranoid grandfather who used to tell me about the government putting chips into your hands at somepoint in the future (I was like 5 or 6). He was a big conspiracy nut, cool guy, but paranoid in the, I'm gonna kick your ass if you dat stuff to me. So I suppose I'm still not completely into RFID implementation, because if we decide its OK to put them in one or two instances, organization and the government will use their ways of making everyone in the public realm start with one. I suppose yea, we could cut them out, but I bet they could make a way to put it some where harmful if you try surgically remove it. Such as intestines or attached to a major bone. As much as I love what the future has to offer us, I'm usually one of those sentimental nostalgic types. Maybe I was accidentally born in the wrong time period, who knows. If I HAD to choose whogot the RFID chips, it would probably be criminals at a certain level. Probably not for stealing a candybar or getting into one barfight, but the ones that have shown a large threat to society I guess, especially the ones in prison. Then if they escape, which isn't as likely as we think considering how many people are in prison, then we could track them.


During the Superbowl I saw this commercial and thought immediately of our RFID Shaman Dart Gun

--- I totally thought the same thing while I was watching the game! --- RoBoCop



Here's a link to the BodyMedia stuff I mention in class.



Did you see this article about high schools testing to see if students were drinking over the weekened? ~BigYellowPeep


Jan. 30, 2007 (Cyberwhat?)

Well at what point does this document make sense? The National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace, while it sounds pretty cool and to those who don't even know what a computer is or have ever seen one, might be scared and then relieved by Mister Bush. To those of us who grew up on the web, understand the dangers of using, but really few of us do that much on the internet that could be of us to the protection of the country. While I will admit, I've checked out some normally censured material on the web for research purposes (information on suicides, drug use, etc.), I would be afraid of having some tall bulky guy in a suit, tie, and sun glasses show up. I've yet to develop the ability to dodge bullets, so that agent might be tricky (Morpheus says that when I'm ready I won't have to, but whoever knows what the F he is deducing in his own rhetorical realm). Will I have to explain that I was merely curious or provide proof of educational use of the material? Let's just hypothetical say they can create something that sees ALL the information that EVERYBODY is looking at, how much money will it take to maintain that kind of cyperstructure? I hardly see any of the such as efficient. Our last discussion brought out a cool point... When something new is upgraded to maintain control, the opposite side creates something to elude the control. There can be no positivies with the negatives. Not that I'm huge on number, but it's a interesting way to view the world and its events... Your opposite; your negative. The result of the equation trying to balance itself out.


I have yet to see the Scanner Darkly, but I remember the previews and almost rented it once over break. The girl on the date wasn't up for it...needless to say she wasn't kept around much longer. Anyways, I'd love to watch it.



I saw this link on Yahoo's main page: Ways to Avoid Big Brother at Work







Jan. 26, 2007 (Education Etc.)

I spoke with Mobius after class on Thursday concerning my educational technology tool I've been thinking up since the beginning of last semester. Some of you have already heard my wheel and deal on the subject, so I'm not going to give the whole speech and such. Anyways, I pretty have the ideas down for the technology, but it needs a developer...someone to write/work with programming it so school districts would feel secure using it.

Ishmael: I can't wait to look these over. Why don't you give the pitch to the class live as well? Find a spot on the wiki and drop yourself in to the TemporarilyAutonomousSyllabus. Now, I am also in contact with the devlopers at pbwiki, and they may be able to help you right off the shelf. metaprorgamming is always about finding existing tools and using them. -mobius/flobius



Jan. 25, 2007 (The Phantom of Pennsylvania)

Well, first off, it seems quite compelling how much literature exists about survelliance and programming. Although unusual, I figured the Phantom of the Opera (the musical) fit both forms. The Phantom used numerous tactics for survelliance, such as the mirror which he could hid behind and watch Christine.

*Not exactly the broadway version, but it works.


The numerous canals and secret pathways allowed me different access points to watch over the employees and Christine. Perhaps, the strange happenings began to allow the minds of those in the theatre to become wary of when the Phantom was watching. During the major love song, "All I Ask of You," the lovers' scene is set outside, where they thought the Phantom could not find them. Perhaps this relates to the experience of aliens we briefly discussed in class. Christine heard the voices of the Phantom, who indeed was a vocal (and everything else possible) genius, and believed that he was the Angel that her father promised to send her to guide/protect her. Maybe this relates to how the government or institutions use the fear/cover of aliens to perform tasks. Who knows. I enjoyed how this class opened up a new viewing of the musical for me and especially added a new layer of symbolism.


The hole only gets deeper.


The Skype phone could stir up a lot of problems for the communication networks. I don't know if they will one day pick up or not, but I doubt seeing anything of the communication realm moving completely into the free zone. Corporatins and businesses will plot against them and the such. No such thing as a free lunch and that good bullshit. If there is a product or service that people will pay for, most likely, they will have to pay for it one way or another. On the link to the social engineering, I think it's kinda funny to me. I could understand how people may think this is cool or maybe even useful, but its just a better way of saying manipulation, which in itself brings negative ideas. This is because whatever this is, is not right. It is these sites, information, and people that make people trust absolutely no one, in a society where we need to learn to be more trusting as individuals.


I don't know.

Call me Idealistic or Wrong.

But Call me Ishmael...







Jan. 22, 2007 (Dark Side of Wiki)

Pink Floyd, always the best in my book, seems somewhat appropriate background for the Wiki writing in this course. Especially the Dark Side of the Moon album which always manipulates and bends my consciousness as this sometimes does with the discussions and Wiki ramblings.


The Proposal

While I think that the wiki should be incorporated into English 15, I remain skeptical on placing it as the sole medium in a freshmen course. I completely agree that reading has become more difficult for our society and increasing problems for teachers to find ways to help students become active readers. The Wiki has much to offer for students, such as the use of technology may spark more interest into writing, more writing practice usually mean more writing expertise, and a sense of dialogue with the remaining class. Maybe the world is headed for the Wiki, but I hope it doesn't. Students who only learn composition in the form of Wiki during the English 15 course will pick up further problems down the road. For those of us who write large papers and reports in our future professional lives know you don't always have the option of further explanation. You submit an article about the distribution of funds in the educational system to NCTE and a WIki based student mentally thinks that they will get some response or a chance to further the conversation. I'm not sure I've yet to compeletely grasp how or why I feel the way I do about further implementation of the Wiki, but I'm afraid of the psychological and sociological metamorphosis that it may prompt. We discussed the used of the Forum in an education/literature course last semester and none of us could ever grasp why we HAD to hold conversations about books online when we live five minutes from eachother. During our lunch break, it's an all day class, we would discuss the books and teaching methods. Doesn't make sense I would respond to a comment about a post they made online if I could just tell them the next day in class or over AIM. Are we limiting real time contact between the other members of the class by using the Wiki? Who knows.


"There is no dark side of the moon really. Matter of fact, it's all dark."




Jan. 20, 2007 (Wiki's, Our Links, and maybe various others)

Rant 1

During our last class meeting this week, I searched to see how I really felt about the Wiki as a medium. From previous courses, I read several research articles dealing with the mediums of the world and whether it is the medium that is good/bad or how it is used. Anything that scrambles the eggs in our head is always good. While I am working towards creating a new educational tool for use in networking high schools across our nation (and maybe one day the globe), I deal with theoretical issues of positivies and minuses of the digital realm, concerning creativity and informational space, and the printed space. As a writer and lover of literature, I am always pulled towards the printed word and what it does. While I love the Wiki, I struggle with it. More on the level of theory than of skills. While I see the Wiki aligning itself with historical theorists' and philosophers' work on the creating the Utopian society, I feel that it can be more problematic than harmful. The Utopian society is always the ideal, but from my experience, society is beyond help to get anywhere near thinking of reaching that point. Keep that in mind... Now, print word allows one thing. A place of permanent authorial perspective. With this, we can look at Bram Stoker's _Dracula_ and see how the text represents certain views of the time period, of the class structure, of how our societies are alike in different. It may be that in my mind I see the blog and the Wiki being different. The blog can not be changed, except for deletion, once its put in by date and more importantly only can be changed by that specific user. With the Wiki, because of the removal of reliable authorship, we cannot study or understand the text as much as print, because we do not know when it originated, who originated it, how many times it was changed, where the adders and subtracters of the information are located. The text cannot be stud with relation to how the author relates with/to the world. Maybe in the end, for me, the Wiki takes away multiple perspectives. Whether that is a good or bad thing, is really really too long for this one.


Rant 2

I found the link about the USB keys quite disturbing. Not only because of how easy it was for the sneaky bastards to infilitrate without much interaction, but how much of my life depends on digital information in the hands of others. How much of our information is at the hands of minimum wage or slightly higher employees. Telemarketing firms, educational sites, bank information, Yahoo, etc. The majority of people we call when we need help with a bank statement are college students or fresh graduates. Do we think they won't plug in a random USB key found on the floor by their desk? All scary stuff. But I guess with the efficiency our country strives for you, you have risks. Personally, I think the tin can under the bed provides more security than any business.



Jan. 16, 2007 (Call Me Ishmael)

After reading a great anthropological novel, titled Ishmael, I decided it was quite appropriate. If you have never heard of it or maybe have, here is a link to the novel... http://www.amazon.com/Ishmael-Adventure-Spirit-Daniel-Quinn/dp/0553375407/sr=1-1/qid=1169080686/ref=pd_bbs_1/002-5824401-7909645?ie=UTF8&s=books


Here is the description and I would suggest this to anyone who has questions about the world and how it works.


From Publishers Weekly

Quinn ( Dreamer ) won the Turner Tomorrow Award's half-million-dollar first prize for this fascinating and odd book--not a novel by any conventional definition--which was written 13 years ago but could not find a publisher. The unnamed narrator is a disillusioned modern writer who answers a personal ad ("Teacher seeks pupil. . . . Apply in person.") and thereby meets a wise, learned gorilla named Ishmael that can communicate telepathically. The bulk of the book consists entirely of philosophical dialogues between gorilla and man, on the model of Plato's Republic. Through Ishmael, Quinn offers a wide-ranging if highly general examination of the history of our civilization, illuminating the assumptions and philosophies at the heart of many global problems. Despite some gross oversimplifications, Quinn's ideas are fairly convincing; it's hard not to agree that unrestrained population growth and an obsession with conquest and control of the environment are among the key issues of our times. Quinn also traces these problems back to the agricultural revolution and offers a provocative rereading of the biblical stories of Genesis. Though hardly any plot to speak of lies behind this long dialogue, Quinn's smooth style and his intriguing proposals should hold the attention of readers interested in the daunting dilemmas that beset our planet. 50,000 first printing.



Call me Ishamel

Comments (3)

Anonymous said

at 1:33 am on Jan 22, 2007

you may want to read what I just wrote (I'm "Ceridwen) on my wiki (with regards to authorship, writing, etc.) Its not directly related, but maybe you'd have some opinions about it. As far as what you wrote (about printed word), I too am a lover of literature, and place incredible importance on our ability to study a work almost as an artifact of the author, the time it was produced, etc. All this is to say that I don't have any answers, but I do have the same concerns. I guess I'm personally (and uselessly) dealing with it by copying everything I write on my page here into my blog on myspace, as well as saving it on my computer...

Anonymous said

at 4:04 pm on Apr 9, 2007

Hey Call Me Ishamel...!! I read your Ubik remix! It was a great way to approach the assignment. From what I hear that movie is a big success in the box office! I love how you remixed it because it was an unique way to do so. The story line was changed and I think that is the best remix there is. I would have to give you an A. It was a clear and unique approach the remix assignment! Awesome job!

Anonymous said

at 10:30 pm on Apr 9, 2007

Ishmael, I just read your rrrrremix for the second time. This time though, I also read your explanation which was helpful in understanding your choice of the TMNT to be juxtaposed with Jory's perspective. Nice job A-/A -Princesspizza
ps. thanks for helping me post mine!

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