Time and The Void: Week VII Summary

All of us are time travelers. We travel forward through time at a speed of one minute per minute, one hour per hour, or any unit of time per that unit of time that is equal to or lesser in duration than that of our lives, the largest being one life per life, though a life is not a fixed unit of time, it is a unit nonetheless.

However, as with all rules, there are exceptions. While it is not possible to travel backward in time (and to this rule, as far as we know, there are no exceptions), it is possible to travel forward at different speeds. When in a waiting room, we crawl through time at a snail’s pace, spending several minutes on each actual minute. We are capable of traveling through time at two, three, or even more times the normal speed of time travel by doing activities such as having fun. Another way to race through time is to procrastinate.

Variable speeds of time travel are often attributed to how much we are enjoying ourselves, which directly affects how much we pay attention to the forward march of time. In a waiting room, we are bored bordering on miserable, watching the clock. When time is watched, it will slow. When having fun, we are far too engaged in our activity to be bothered with what time it is, allowing it to sneak by at an incredible rate.

Procrastination offers an interesting hybrid of the two, specifically when counting down the final hours and minutes to a deadline. As we work, desperately hoping for more time to do so, it mercilessly advances right in our faces, as if saying “Yes, you moron, it has been another ten minutes. I don’t give a shit if you haven’t done anything, which I can see you haven’t.”

You’re probably thinking “This stupid idiot pulled his usual crap, procrastinated to the Nth degree, and put himself right back in his usual position.” But you’re wrong! Ha! This was a planned endeavor. I did sit down to this work a little too late. Because of this, I have to write this summary before doing the wiki editing. However, the fact that I have not yet done the wiki editing is a calculated gamble. Morgan intended for us to do editing on Thursday and Friday, then again on Saturday and Sunday. There are two days in each bracket to allow for time to pass during which other people edit the material before we jump back in to rework what has been reworked after we worked it.

However, I will be coming in to work my magic on the tail end of this process for a number of reasons. The first, a challenge for myself- In the early stages, content may be messy and what needs to be done may be obvious- reorganizing, mainly. On a large scale. “Let’s at least separate this stuff into a few categories.” The editing still required after that stage is on a finer level of detail. It’s also a gamble. Will the content be basically complete, requiring very little further editing and little work for me to do? Or will it be organized by unrefined? Or clean but incomplete? That may require generation of further content (which would merit research), or vast cross-linking to deepen the connected knowledge.

Lastly, it measures the dedication of the others involved to see if they revisit the content between my two sessions (Sunday night and Tuesday night). Will they return to see whether their content or revisions have changed, or have they simply done a sort of “driveby edit,” and left for other endeavors, never to return? We will see.

Other than that, this week has been a void. Nothing- In my strategic hold I have been inactive. Being that my Week VI were not done at that time, they can be done whenever- hopefully tomorrow. Like, for real. But I don’t know where the time went. It is as if the week is simply a vaccuum, and with nothing to see, I traveled through time at a rate faster than my own senses or comprehension. Other weeks have seen me watching the clock day after day, with the work I was to do sitting in the back of my head, like a dumb kid in the back seat repeating “are we there yet are we there yet are we there yet are we there yet” until you give him the one-handed chauffeur reach around. (*Disclaimer: This blog does not necessarily reflect the views of Maddox.) But this week, it all just disappeared. Perhaps I have reached a new level of procrastination nirvana. I mean strategically waiting nirvana.

Oh, I made a 4 of the Best article titled “At the end of Victory Road: The Elite Four.” Lorelle VanFossen liked it! I’m not a complete chump, I promise.

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Week VI Summ: Mental Comeback, just not on paper

My summaries tend to primarily include two elements: What I Did and What I Learned from the week leading up. Let’s now begin with What I Learned.

What I Learned

I learned a lot this week, many things not relevant to the class and few things that were. I will not list them here but rather focus on a single thing I learned and the sole reason I’m not wallowing in my own idiocy and laziness like I was last week, despite being in an arguably worse position. That one thing is:

AN ALARM CLOCK CANNOT SAVE YOU. Or more specifically, me. I’ve had a really screwed up sleep schedule lately. It goes something like this: Stay up until 5 AM (average). Sleep until just before class. Go to class (on a good day). Return home, nap until late evening. Repeat. The problems arose when I would wake up after my class was over because either my unconscious self would cheekily turn off the alarm or I would simply sleep right through it. I have fixed this vicious cycle and now get up in the morning like a normal person. So while I missed class this week (unfortunate due the “change of pace” I heard about), I am hopeful for the future and ready to bolster my grade on our big project I imagine is coming up soon. And Professor Morgan: I apologize for missing class. I didn’t email you because I figured you could read it here, and the only other contents of the email would be asking you what went down in class, which I know you would prefer me to ask another student, so I will. Moving on.

What I Did

This is where it gets tricky because my ass is behind. I didn’t actually do much this week- I had to regroup and prepare the counterattack on this growing mountain (OK, maybe more like a hill, but consider me an ant) of work. That might sound like a load of crap, but I believe it, so there. Instead dropping links into my prose as usual, I will lay this shit out, both for my benefit and Morgan’s. And hopefully this will be resolved anyway tomorrow- right after I get up in the morning like a normal person. No, not hopefully. It WILL be.

State of the Blog Address: The Shit that Is Done

Week V Writing Tasks 1 and 2. Assuming these got looked at, but if not- there they are.

Week V Comments on Matt’s boots, Devan’s lies, and Jack’s genders.

Week V Digifact: Artistic Blogging. This is only a beginning, but at least it exists.

State of the Blog Address: The Shit that Aint Done

Week VI Writing Tasks

Week VI Comments

Week VI Digifact

So (heh) pretty much all of Week VI. These things will be hammered out throughout the majority of tomorrow, and Week VII will be done so on Tuesday, so as to put me at the state of Caught Up. Now that’s what I call a workflow. I hope this outlining of plans and progress is a suitable summary. See you on Wednesday with my ducks in a row.

Organized according to species, gender, color, and size.

An All-Time Low: Week V Summary

A look back on the week, we see- Oh, Jesus. This the worst. This is the worst it has ever been. This summary, as of now, is a place-holder. If it is not finished at midnight, it will be posted and then immediately continued. After that will come my content- yes, my content. The content that was for Wednesday.

My procrastination has become legendary. While I am somewhat proud of this (in a sick way, it’s sick), I am also extremely tired of it. This content-after-summary, bang-my-head-against-the-keyboard, completely bullshit “workflow” is simply not worth my leisurely slacking throughout the rest of the week.

Part of the problem is that our writing tasks are supposedly “due Wednesday” but not enforced as such. They are actually due the moment Sunday turns into Monday, as is everything. Or, are they due at some point, being that our summaries are the only thing truly due, ever, at least until the end? This contradiction is probably Morgan experimenting on us, because that is how Morgan do. But even if it is diabolical psychological/sociological science, Professor, I apologize. For last week and especially for this week. My weekly posts will probably be published before you read this and the weekly project soon after, but I’m sure it’s a hassle for you to have to get around to student work in the next week’s summary. In that sense, the fact that I am not finished with this week’s project and that last week’s was late as well means there is still only one to look at here, now. So please, if you haven’t yet, check out my Digifact from Week IV, The Lurker. I also updated that summary with my comments from last week as well.

The posts to come in short order will be reactions to the readings, as I actually took notes on them (!) and have a few things to say. My project will not be fiction this time around, so no one expect it to fall out of my ass head. I plan to write an article on the Artful uses of blogs, since we covered scholars, professional scholars, politicians and politically-minded individuals, and women, but not artists. Which is what I am. So I can talk about it!

What did I learn? Same thing as usual. Whether I really learned it or not will be determined by my performance next week. I do finally, seriously plan on snuffing out this habit of mine, and the arrival of a laptop AC adapter in the mail, I feel, will herald this necessary change.

UPDATE: Posts on the readings up now here and here. Hopefully nobody else is up at this hour, for your sakes. Not that I need to be worried about… This is pretty normal for me. Week V Digifact coming soon.

UPDATE2: Checked out (and commented on) Matt’s boots, Devan’s lies, and Jack’s genders. I’ll include these in next week’s summary so they aren’t missed. WVD still coming soon.

Summary: Week IV

The work I did this week began with a hole filling with a student’s perspective on the subject of blogging and academia. As there was an obvious hole in the rhetoric of Farmer and Burgess, in that nothing was covered from a student’s perspective, I filled what needed to be filled. Personally, the idea of having a unified blog for an entire college career is very appealing. It shows progress and provides a platform on which to build with continuing written work.

The other post at gunpoint was a breakdown of the added benefits of such a format, in which students gain increased familiarity with technology, making school easier, making work easier, and making life better. With a higher percentage of the population able to utilize computers and the internet more fully, the very human race will function in a more streamlined manner. Let’s try to avoid a world of mandatory blogging, though, please.

My as-yet unfinished digifact is another short story, highlighting the dark side of the coin that is the hypothetical world of blog-infused education. Despite all the benefits of this format, student work is made public in this scenario, and some people’s egos might not be able to handle the criticism or, worse, the flaming, insults, and spam. The main character, Tyler, is one such person, and is unable to handle that otherwise-great format. Despite being about him and his struggle with criticism, I personally don’t have a ton of sympathy for that kind of person. I understand people’s difficulties with it, but I think it’s a thing one has to get over as well as being low on a list of challenges sorted by difficulty.

This story will also address the issue of quality assessment- in (my experience) workshop classes never tell student’s other people’s opinions on the quality of their written work- whether it’s good or bad. The internet definitely provides that, however. So much so that it becomes an exercise in deciding which commentary to heed.

I learned that procrastinating makes life unnecessarily difficult. Whether I will ever actually put this into practice is doubtful, but I would like to overcome those odds and start being happy most of the time instead of having a nagged mind. I also learned that getting to work is hard if you don’t give a shit about the topic. I’m not sayin, I’m just sayin. Story goes up before noon tomorrow. In other words, EARLY- ended up being late. HA! sorry.

I also commented on the work of Dennis Staples’ Dredfol, Jack Tuthill’s Don’t Stop Blogging, Jordan Malm’s Journalism, Bloggers, and Digital Artifacts and Leah Flemings’ Week III Summary.

Summary: Week III

This week was a nice change of pace. I was initially unsure of what sort of project to do (obvious from my intention to work with the article on publishing and instead shifting to articles 2 and 3), but after see Prof Morgan’s suggestion of a short story, I latched on immediately. My only other class is Creative Nonfiction, and while I’m enjoying that as well, nonfiction is not my bag. So to me, writing some fiction felt like a return to form. As I mention in my introduction, my story Flame Wars a bit short on scene setting, but I feel it covers the necessary topics well and acts as a solid, relevant digital artifact as assigned. It addresses the topics covered in class by sculpting a world in which those topics literally dominate the world.

I learned that aggregating is a lot of work (that I don’t particularly like to do) but I also believe that in some cases, trying to summarize is a bit redundant when very complete and concise summaries can often be found online. (Yes, more in-depth info can be obviously be found, but the only thing worth including in a summarizing blog post are particularly interesting details found during very extensive research- this would have to be on a topic of significant interest to a person to warrant the time.) I also learned that life is better when things, work, are completed as soon as possible.

Other works from this week include initial reactions to the readings– a writeup that definitely helped me get started thinking about the topics. I can not get past the copyright date of our book- anyone have any answers to that hangup? That post also helped established my negative opinion of the book, but call me a pessimist.

The other was a writeup of Axel Bruns (not to be confused with Alex Brunze, Nobel Prize Winner of 2X14, although you could be forgiven) and Joanne Jacobs. This helped me construct a present-day image of the writers of our seven-year-old book. I can only imagine that, as adults, they haven’t changed since then and are exactly the same, probably.

What’s next? Maybe that “rejected titles” post I’ve been promising. Maybe a glimpse of a world in which all analytical text about the internet, especially the present state of the internet, is only on the internet, not printed.

Summary: Weeks I & II

It was a tough start having my laptop’s AC adapter die right as the semester starts. I still have not resolved this problem as my financial aid check is out to sea in the mail, but we soldier on. I have yet to post on the John Cage business, but I will definitely get there after some research. I also did not post anything on RSS because I have been using Google Reader as my homepage (for some time now) to tell me everything my favorite sites have posted instead of visiting them one by one. And I’ll happily stay there. I could post on RSS in general, but that seems redundant at this point. So what have I done?

The post on Creative Commons and Intellectual Property. Creative Commons is basically the shit and I’m thankful to Prof Morgan and this class for forcing me to look up what it actually is. As far as Intellectual Property is concerned, I see the point of it. But at the end of the day, it appears to be a roadblock to collaboration. It seems many others in the class were of similar opinions.

The John Cage business was odd- why is that “inspirational” list of rules attributed to Cage when it was clearly written by Corita Kent? It just doesn’t make sense. I feel I said what needed to be said though- nuns can be evil. Kent sounds like a nice lady though, based on nothing.

I learned how great CC is and that Intellectual Property is a somewhat-outdated concept that doesn’t necessarily apply to the world of the internet. I also learned that I had a skewed concept of the ideal length of a blog post, which ended up being a distinct challenge. However, I would like to think that I was able to offer an alternative opinion on the concepts we covered in the first two weeks.

I also came up with a new title for my blog this week. The original title “Could It Be? Cutting a new top notch” was a forced out during the constipation of writer’s block. My new title is far more clever and fitting.

Moving forward, I plan on posting outside of class assignments, such as a list of rejected titles for this blog and why. I also need to “develop my workflow,” post daily and quit deadlining things. It should be easier once I have my own machine to work on and don’t have to share one with my girlfriend who only does online classes.

Listening to: VA- Chillstep Dreams Vol. 03

Drinking: DRY Lavender Soda

Edit: Gave Google Reader and Google Play some Lip Service. There was also an About Me page.