Saturday, January 04, 2003

Hostile technology: Jennifer writes, "Note: neither Al's latest post nor mine is showing up on the web page."

Remember you have to click one of the buttons with "publish" in it to get posts transferred to the web page. It is a Blogger UI idiosyncracy I don't like. Instead of Blogger's "post" and "publish," other blogging systems use the terminology "preview" and "post," which makes more sense.

By the way, y'all are invited to one of the social email lists I'm on. Greg thought it might be particularly appropriate because it's chartered to be about language, and indeed, many of the participants are professorial types. It's really more of a social list of a hundred or so friends, though, and in what might be a little tricky, it's a high-volume list -- usually over 100 posts per day. Many people get overwhelmed just by that.

Anyway, I blogged a description of the list incidentally to some musings about adding a blog as a friendly "front porch" to the list. Check it out, feel free to subscribe if it sounds interesting (and manageable :-).

Friday, January 03, 2003

I just want to say hi and tell you that it's great fun reading your blogs. I particularily enjoyed reading
of Jennifer's encounter with the passenger who shared her experiences of cyber-romance, or lack
there of.
Al, I loved your piece on elitism. I'll be checking in every once in a while.
Recent posts on poetry are really interesting to me since one of my mentors calls poets who
use others' work and change it (don't we all?), "maggots".
He says they are feeding off other poet's work and not developing their own voice.
Happy New Year!
Ellen Thompson

Thursday, January 02, 2003

One salutory effect of WiFi -- if you fail to engage the buggers, they'll vote with their browsers. On the one hand, the idea makes my skin crawl; on the other, I realize that this simply means that we'll have to accept that our audience is no longer captive -- and indeed never was -- and plan accordingly.
Uh-oh. It is starting. Slashdot has a post called Professors v. WiFi.

Wednesday, January 01, 2003

A quick note, though I am crippled by a headache and a cold. Somewhere down there in the archives I bitched that Peter's and Greg's references were easily linked, whereas mine are all in books, books, books. Turns out that's not necessarily the case. As an experiment, I linked the hell out of an entry in my own blog, Revolt and Resignation, and discovered that every blessed thing I mentioned was available online in some form or another. A salutory lesson.

Incidentally, Al, in my blog I'm in the process of recasting my poetics. As you might expect, my starting point is a deeply Wildean refusal of poetry as expression.

Note: neither Al's latest post nor mine is showing up on the web page. And suddenly all of my hostility towards technology comes rushing back.

Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Happy New Year from the Elitist Allosaurus

Actually, I think elitism might be a good part of the cultural mix today -- rather like dandyism in mid-to-late Victorian England (Dickens' fancy suits and Wilde's green carnation in the lapel), for instance. Not a bad idea to have a few elitists around for the sake of variety, I think... I suppose I played this role on the way home, 35,000 feet up in the blue yonder. Airplanes are like levitating bathrooms -- everybody reads in them. So the bloke to the left of me was reading something about what rich people tell their kids to make them successful (poor parents just tell them that whatever they do, they shouldn't do it in the street and frighten the 'orses, apparently), while the guy to right of me was reading some kind of simplified and abridged version of essays about history. Well, there I was, with a copy of Hardy's Jude the Obscure in my lap, firmly upholding duty and right like a good Englishman. Cheerio, and all that sort of thing....

Anyhow, I enjoyed meeting you, Greg, in NYC, and it was as always a delight to see you, Jennifer. That first MLA session was excellent, I must say -- Alan Liu of Voice of the Shuttle at UC Santa Barbara (Voice of the Shuttle) did a great job in encompassing the whole phenomenon of digital media in education with his comments about Taylorization and data extraction. Greg, might I ask your email address so I can send you a draft of the essay I am writing about electronic archiving?

One final quotation on the poetry comments by Jennifer, whose poetry web I will soon fix: "Sincere emotion is the origin of all bad poetry." Have always liked that gem from the inevitable Oscar Wilde.

Best, Al