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[Xmca-l] Re: Why Computers Make So Little Difference


These examples of tape recorders in language labs verses automated recordings on buses seem to say a lot about contexts to me. Specifically environments (which include subject-objects, object-subjects, subjects, and objects). 

But ALSO not just environments and others: Affects and feelings and motivations, *too*. 

That all of these are exceptionally important to take into consideration when reading, listening, judging, and comparing, and then writing. Sometimes we skip steps, not intentionally, but also, not all the time.

(I am learning about affects lately, thanks to a book Paul Mocombe recommended, BTW) 

Apparently an affect is like a wordless feeling; Something coming from the environment (which can be from another person or people, though I wonder if it's possible just from the environment without people, as well). Affect seems to be something unconscious. Feeling, however is more concrete, and therefore more conscious, and thus seated within our embodied experience in a different way than affect is embodied, whereby for a feeling, the affect has been transformed into a thought, but not a thought in the sense of a cerebral-thought, but a feeling-thought. Unfortunately my vocabulary fails me here. 

Hence: Affect + Transformation into thought = Feeling

Trouble arises when affect isn't transformed. Perhaps tool use (such as when speaking or writing or reading, or baking lasagna, running, raking leaves, playing the saxophone) assists in this transformation. 

I can't help but include in this concept in this thread about the impact of computers. That much of the profile of computer usage, just like other tools, is how they transmit emotion to us, and how do we know (with certainty) what is authentic emotion in something like an email or a list serve post?

Posts on listservs are not just words.

Something does convey even if the sense is a shattered or muffled sense. What is lacking in the profile of this tool called a computer, is the means of repair that is usually done in the world without computers in the middle. Likely because there is not a stable context or environment in which to do that. Particularly where people are in different timezones. 

This feature is absent from the printing press and distribution of books, because the feedback loop was entirely different with many gatekeepers. Computers attached to a network has little friction (compared to 1400 transmissions of words in books). 

Even we see something similar in the cameras as apparatus (apparati?) A large format camera takes an entirely different photograph from a 35mm camera from a 2-¼ format camera. This has to do with lenses, f-stops, film speed, whether a tripod is required or not. One really understands this concept after using different cameras. The comparison can be made for those of us who used Instamatics and now use an iPhone to take pictures, so I don't mean to privilege this to only committed photogs. 

Since computers and the manner that they transmit affect and feeling can have such an impact on so many people, I'm not sure how that doesn't make a difference. 

Certainly, television has made a difference to us. It fired all the babysitters for example. Now the televisions are being fired in favor of video games, youTube, and other various preoccupations on the digital wave. 

Some researchers are saying that kids brains are being rewired from this ubiquitous use of computers. I'm not sure how I feel about that, but it does seem that kids take to playing with them in an easier fashion than their parents. 

I don't think we can therefore isolate words from our experience, but as you point out David, they that must be contextualized in the wider world. I am reading that as what you are saying. 

Of course I may have misunderstood your affect, feelings, and motivations, or you may also misunderstand mine. 

And so we cast ourselves into the void and hope for the best, giving the other the benefit of the doubt. 

We hope. 

Kind regards,