Austin, Tricia, and Richard Doust. New Media Design. London: Laurence King Pub., 2007. Print.

Montfort, Nick, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. The New Media Reader. Cambridge, Mass. [u.a.: MIT, 2003. Print.

Open copy of New Media Reader with highlighting.

The New Media Reader - Image credit: Flickr user cogdogblog

NMR: I used the New Media Reader for a class last semester, so I’m familiar with the set up and structure of the book.  While I understand the intention of the hyperlinked pages, it’s still a little difficult for me to grasp, possibly because I’m not accustomed to books linking within themselves like a webpage might.  Without clickable links, only page-flipping links, I find that I’m less likely to follow the path directed by the page number.

I’m a big fan of the content of the NMR, however, and I loved reading about the origins of modern computers in the pieces by Turing and Bush, especially.  I also really liked Jorge Luis Borges and his short story,  The Garden of Forking Paths.  It makes you consider the internet in a different light, and really gives you a new appreciation for search engines.  I’m excited to read and discuss further!

NMD: In New Media Design, I particularly liked the discussion of Sherry Turkle’s argument on multiple personalities online.  Much of my study so far has been on identities created and displayed through online gaming and social media avatars, so I like Sherry Turkle a lot.

The book asks, “Do people build their own websites to construct or reconstruct an identity, to confess, to self-publish, position themselves as experts in a field, or just to have fun? Are they using the computer to reflect on and shape their own identities?  Psychologist Sherry Turkle argues that all of these factors play a role: multiple gaming identities, in other words the multiple personalities players can take on in games, are as important to people in constituting their sense of themselves as are their face-to-face relationships.  Turkle has studied  how children relate to computers as ‘sort of alive’ and she claims that as a result the Internet can operate as an intimate and self-reflexive medium. She predicts that we will develop further sorts of relationships, including nurturing ones, with computers, as they take the form of toys, robot animals, and companions in the future.”

This is a hugely interesting topic for me, especially that we will develop nurturing relationships with computers in the future.  In a way, this is already true of many of us.  How much do we cherish our smart phones and laptops?  My DroidPro is usually cradled in a case, kept close to my person, and charged daily so I’ll never have to be without it.  I have literally cried over hard drive failure and the loss of all my information.  I think we’re already at that point of nurturing our devices, whether or not we consider them alive.