Really poor liveblog from 10-2-07

Usual disclaimers apply: This was typed very quickly and hasn’t been edited for style, content, layout, completeness, for non-aaron comprehension.  If it’s not helpful for me to post these, please let me know.

    Scientific VisualizationsTM


    Time axis, we started in the rocks and then our awareness of theory has increased and concommitantly our stress level has gone up, until it reaches an apex at which point we start being able to use it and arrive at geniushood.

    The course is recursive, we’ve done the whole course in a nutshell, now we’ll do the whole thing again, but slower.

    It’s like jpg that hasn’t downloaded yet, it’s fuzzy, but we have an overall idea of it.


    For the nexst 3 weeks we going to talk about phenomenology.

    We’ll talk about it concretely and do phenomenological interpretations.

    Jeff will be gone Thursday, but we’ll have an in-class activity.


    A Fresh start w/Phenomenology

    The Tab can in itself—>wall—>sensory phenomenon (taste, smell, feel)—>various mental processes—> us having an idea of a tab can.  Kant said that there are certain mechanisms in the way we perceive that help us have similar ideas.  And phenomenologists add in lifeworld horizons etc.  Certain groups of people have enough intersubjectivity so that there they have an understanding of that idea.

    The god’s must be crazy example, the tribesmen don’t share the same idea of it as us.

    There is no Truth with a capital T.


    On the p Smith piece:

    Macro & micro theories of symbolic interaction

    Macro -Marxism -so a marxist interpretation of a novel sees it more as a the product of an authors position in society.

    So let’s stop looking at this in macro, let’s look at micro.  Let’s talk about real people, it’s very concrete, and these people behave in ways and we can look at what they do.

    Can we have a general theory of micro stuff?  Yes, but they have a hard time doing that.  This is what ethnographers do, they study a small group of people and then they say this is what we need to do, but then people ask, “yeah but does this apply at a larger scale?” and we have to defend this.

    See bullet list on first page:

  1. We interact with each other, this is central
  2. People are creative
  3. Social order arises and is understandable
  4. To study society we need interpretive methodologies which capture THE AUTHOR’S definition of the situation

    Marxist idea of false conciouness “We are products of our environment”  The mass media give us an diea of what we want, but that media is controlled by the wealthy. Ex: Marriage/romantic notion is what holds society together.


    So this was a reaction to both Marxism and Structuralism that shows culture as a system and then we are cogs in a system.


    Unit of analysis

    When studying a complex phenomenon, one way to scope what you are studying is by having a unit of analysis.  In a Marxist study it would be a systematic view of films (a large number) and then judging what is good and bad. But in this micro theory we talk about actors acting in concrete situations.

    So contextual inquiry is an example of this kind of methodology.


    Goffman: symbolic Interactionism

    He wrote a very famous book called ” “

    He said that we are all actors and we play roles.

    Once we have taken on those roles, that implies certain rules of participation, and the context in which this occurs has a frontstage and a backstage, and they use props.  This is a drama metaphor to explain social situations.

    Jeff is “a blading fashionite with bright red hair” in his own words.

    And various other roles, Kristen a visitor, Christian the guy who relates everything to buisiness.

    Jeff has a prop, his notes, and it came from 10 hours of preparation that happened backstage.

    Role Distance, there is the idea that we differentiate ourselves from the other people, but this doesn’t have to do with your “true identity”, which in this view doesn’t actually exist.

    Roedle’s question about props being fake or contrived, but this isn’t the sense that Goffman is using prop here, it’s part of an ecosystem of objects and it influences the way we act, but doesn’t have this idea of being fake or contrived.


    Jeff thinks that conversation about ideology is suppresses somewhat in HCI.



    Social situations are complex, we need something that will help us make sense.  Garfinkel uses the idea of “common sense” which is much like sesibility, intersubjectivity, habitus.


    The group, not the analyst, creates a frame, an account, a narrative, or an explanation of things.  This is all we have, we never get to the thing in itself.


    Example of politics that both sides frame the issue differently and say they have the truth, but as analysts we clearly see that neither one does, nor does that really idea really exist.


    EX: Jose Padilla, using the same fact of his conviction to support two completely opposed narratives and framings.


    Stepping back:

    Our unit of analysis: individual actors in concrete situations “people you can poke”. 

    We play roles

    The analyst never claims that an actor is right, but in engineering they think that there is a right way to use a system.  It’s just not relevant to say someone is wrong, more relevant is understanding their frames and intersubjectivity and using that to improve the product.


    We are trying to understand these things, the analyst makes this explicit by studying actors in particular contexts.  People don’t have signs that display their common sense, habitus etc.


    We are framing someone else’s world from within our own frame.


    No matter what strategy one takes (either trying to suppress ones own lifeworld, or trying to exploit it and put it into a dilectic) they are both phenomenological in nature, i.e. they never ever get to the thing in itself.  By being there, you are affecting the thing in itself.


    So hopefully the jpg is getting clearer.


    Now on to Metz

    He compares several kinds of media

    Photography v cinema

    Theatre v cinema

    Figure painting <–> film <–> theatre


    How does medium X reveal reality to our perceptions?

    And thus, how are we given a position with regard to reality?


    Barthes was Metz’ teacher.


    “here & then”

    In a photograph we are here, we are presented with something that is now, and we can see it, but we know that it happened previously,

    —liveblog breaking down—

    Because cinema captures motion it is more real, because it’s not a “then” it’s more “here” we feel more of a participant.

    (not metz, but others say) that film is great for propaganda because we tend to suspend our critical sense.


    REALLY REALLY read the krakauer and Prince articles for Thurs


    A                                                                               B

    Vocab for the two                                                 Melies

    Lumiere                                                                    formative/formalism

    Realism                                                                    expressionism

    Camera catpures                                                   special effects

    Reality                                                           director’s imagination

    Veiwer Contemplates                                           viewer in dreamland




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