This semester I continue to reflect on my paper on the Death of the Introduction to The Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. This semester it seems clearer to me that a profoundly new, that is new media approach is required for the pedagogy of the introduction. The project of writing a new type of introduction to Hebrew Bible/ Old Testament that embraces the move from Gutenbergâ€™s print to a interactive e-book will requires a new media literacy.
This seminar has also been an introduction to an interesting network of scholars. Sherry Turkle is an academic profiled by the N.Y. Times in a Home & Garden piece â€œReally Thing About Things.â€ She has been teaching at MIT since 1976. She is the founder and director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self. Sherry Turkle provides an apt follow up to the rubrics created by Brenda Laurel. Rob reminds us in his post Lost in Space the shift from philosophical reflection to a more narrative reflection that there are differences in the tone and texture of the readings. Â When Turkle observes â€œthe games as a window onto the culture of computationâ€ she makes a new contribution to the previous readings. What Turkle does so effectively is attend to the way that the culture of computation acts as an environment with its own sort of gravity.
The now defunct television network TechTV created a documentary (in three segments eight, six and eight minute long Â segments on Sherry Turkle in their series Big Thinkers.â€ It is now available through YouTube.com. The first video she discusses Â objectsÂ andÂ the self.Â Big Thinkers – Sherry Turkle part 1 The second segment has her describe the computer as a Â ”mind machine”and virtual reality. Â Big Thinkers – Sherry Turkle part 2. The concluding segment Â one of the interesting ideas she explores here is the way that nurutring prompts intimacy, even with objects such as a doll Big Thinkers – Sherry Turkle part 3
Sherry Turkle and the post Teach His/Her Own reminds us that video games or running are all expressions of identity and the formation of our selves. So some of what is in play in our various posts is the questions of how our identity choices are shaped in a new media world. James Kendrick in What We Talk About When We Talk explores with Turkle how the discussion of video games in some ways a meta-conversation on other topics. He challenges us that it may be a fear of a technological shift that marks the level of anxiety. He implies that the technological shift intimates a political that is power shift. The resistance may have more to do with the political/power status quo more than the technology itself. He and Turkle point to the possible advantages this technology may hold for intellectual development.
When Engelbart and Nelson talk about books embedded in the Memex or Dynabook they do not seem to understand the profound change that the computational culture will make on the very nature of this new type of book. The book is an object. Sherry Turkle has spent a caeer examining our relationships with objects and the formation of the self.Â Her work challenges writers to build in a network context an object that forms a self. What if this new appliance/book would work like a video game. â€œThe emotional power of video games draws heavily on the computer power within that supports a simulated world and a meditative environment, the David called a place of for â€œrecentering.â€â€ (NMR 511)
A major limitation of the print introduction is the fact that it ends like the pinball game that Turkle describes. The reader comes to the end of the page and must wait until the next edition. The new introduction functions in a new digital world. â€œAs a computational object, the video game holds out two promises. The first is a touch of infinityâ€”the promise of a game that never stops. â€¦ The games hold out a related promise, also tied to the computerâ€™s presence within them. This is the promise of perfection.â€ (NMR 511) The challenge for the writer of the digital author is to provide an experience that can be relived and deepened with recurring traffic. This may not be the perfection that Turkle holds out but it is the incremental improvement and the move to excellence for the learner.
It would be interesting to return to Turkle after a session of Second Life or playing Halo.