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How Schools Create Inequality in the Tech Era
A Manual for Research and Writing with Library and Internet Materials

58 Several definitions have been offered for the term digital; authors have drawn on information theory, semiotics, or the conceptual history of the term, often contrast- ing it with analog (e.g., Goodman 1968; Seitter 2002; Schröter 2004). In the context of information theory, the digital is defined by segmentation, discretization, and coding, while the analog is regarded as continuous and dense. This division grew out of the history of media and technology and includes a history of technical images. It assumes that digital processing involves a semiotic

4 Digitalization E. M. Forster’s 1909 story “The Machine Stops” tells of Vashti, a woman who lives in a room with the world at her fingertips thanks to The Machine, a device that makes available at a button’s push music, communication with friends, food— almost anything one might want. This room “is lighted nei- ther by window nor by lamp, yet it is filled with a soft radiance. There are no apertures for ventilation, yet the air is fresh. There are no musical instru- ments, and yet, at the moment that my meditation opens, this room is throb- bing with

. 29 Cart and horse began to change places. I came to think that the most interest- ing thingabout digital "text" was how directly itfUlfilled the expressive agenda ofthe strand ofartistic thinking andpractice we nowadays callpostmodern. So here I was committed to argue that electronic text expressed both the postmodern spirit and the classical rhetorical one better than print! And so I argue that at least one strand ofpostmodern visual art, the one that starts with Italian Futurism and Dada, represents yet another instance ofthe gener- al revival ofrhetorical

3 Polaroid and Digital In the summer of 1993, when Polaroid released the Captiva camera in the United States, Polaroid Chairman Mac Booth announced that it was the last such camera the company would develop. He meant by this that Polaroid would never again dedicate a huge research budget and unlimited laboratory time to a single photographic project that took many years to complete.1 Captiva, which had been in the works at Polaroid since the late 1980s under the code name Joshua, was the last in the line. Its development followed the pattern that had been

8 Digital Institutions Twitter’s institutional character My investigation of Twitter’s Status Function Declarations (SFDs) has given us a classifi cation in which some of the SFDs are basic and are carried out by the members: joining, following, and tweeting being the prime examples. Along with these basic SFDs, I noted that there are systemic SFDs that belong to the institution as a whole, and this commits us to the view that there are things that institutions can do as institutions, not simply through the opera- tions of their members. Th e example of

9 Digital Language Is it obvious that digital language will construct digital institutions? You agree that this license includes the right for Twitter to provide, promote, and improve the Services and to make Content submitted to or through the Services available to other companies, organizations or individuals who part- ner with Twitter for the syndication, broadcast, distribution or publication of such Content on other media and services, subject to our terms and condi- tions for such Content use.1 Twitter is a digital institution largely constructed by