January 30, 2006

Grass Green Again

Things should be working again for the herd. Please let me know if you experience any further technical difficulties.

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January 29, 2006

DOS Attack; Herd Currently Not Grazing

The server that hosts many of herders is currently experiencing a DOS attack. Some services may be down (including comments), but we hope to see the storm passing soon.


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January 20, 2006

Media Bytes

Washington Post hosted a chat with Ted Castronova, author of Synthetic Worlds.

Steven Johnson talked about Everything Bad is Good for You on Charlie Rose (jump to the 41 minute mark or so). [via SJ's blog]

And some advice for PhD students on Inside HigherEd, including:

"Don’t feel that you need to create the greatest work that Western Civilization has ever seen. Five years from now the only thing that will matter is whether you finished."

[via Anne of PLSJ, thanks!]

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January 11, 2006

CFP: Reading Code

The Media & Literature discussion group is arranging the following session for the MLA meeting in Philadelphia, December 2006:

“Reading Code”

Papers on the aesthetics, politics, and poetics of code; machine translation; relations between natural languages & programming languages; codework; protocols; genetic code and biomedia; operational text.

Abstracts and brief CVs by March 17 to Rita Raley, raley at english DOT ucsb DOT edu

[via Matt K]

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January 6, 2006

What the Editors Want

At MLA, Chuck told me about the following article at Inside Higher Ed :: What the Press Editors Want:

"We're looking for interdisciplinary work that will go beyond the MLA/cultural studies audience," Armato said. That means hot areas include media studies, research on video games, and analysis of graphic novels.

Emphasis mine. In both senses.

The trend towards theory-informed, but not theory-heavy (putting aside, for the moment, the problems that might come with such a distinction) certainly appeared prevalent:

Using language that in various forms was suggested by editors from numerous presses, Catapano said that she was looking for books that were “informed with theory,” but “not the heavy theory of a decade ago.”

Others talked about the theory issue in different ways, but many spoke of a renewed sense of caring whether people outside a narrow theory specialty could understand a work. “We want work that is as accessible as possible,” said John Easterly, executive editor of Louisiana State University Press. “We want literary theory with less jargon, that is comprehensible,” said Charlotte Wright, managing editor of the University of Iowa Press.

I'm sure I'll have future thoughts on this, but for now I'm mostly posting a ninja-link and heading back to writing. You know, my manuscript on video games (to all those editors out there).

[Thanks Chuck for the article reference.]

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January 5, 2006


Excitebike t-shirt, limited edition, based on Sean Clarity's art in the I am 8-bit collection. So cool.

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This world is shutting down NOW! Log out!

A few years back, L and I were sharing a train ride back to DC with Neil F. after the ACH/ALLC conference in New York. I recall Neil ruminating on the nature of ruin, and we were bouncing around different ideas as to what constituted the ruins of virtual worlds, the WWW, and cyberspace in general – broken links and 404s, WWW pages with image tags gaping open, walking through the empty halls of MOOs and MUSHs abandoned long ago. December 31st not only brought 2005 to a close, but also the online world Asheron’s Call 2, the unsuccessful sequel to Turbine’s franchise. Warcry’s Crossroads of Dereth has one set of screenshots and a script of dialogue during a server’s final moments – the remaining ruins of a world that no longer exists.

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