Monthly Archives: February 2012

P. 5-15

•2001: A space Odyssey was directed by Stanley Kubrick

•Kids who grew up with the web are sometimes called “Generation Net”

•Tim Berners-Lee wrote the code for the world wide web

•Star Wars came out in 1977

•Apple Computer Company was incorporated in 1977

P. 16-26

•The Prussian Army fielded mounted artillery units

•The type writer invigorated writers across the world

•Sigmund Freud worked out of Vienna, Austria

•William James was an American psychologist whose signature work was Principles of Psychology

•Dualism is a theory pioneered by Rene Descartes

P. 27-37

•An Aplysia is a type of sea slug

•”Tabula Rasa” is a term used to describe the state of mid we are born with, a blank slate

•Plasticity is the normal ongoing state of the nervous system throughout the life span

•David Buller argues that natural selection has left us with a brain that can adapt to our surroundings but not have prefabricated adaptions

•The hippocampus is a part of the brain that stores information

P. 38-48

•Mental maturation can be traced through simple things we do as children like drawing pictures, and how we get better at drawing

•Civilization’s developments in many areas parallel the developments in individuals like how we have gotten better at map making

•Through the middle ages, the keeping of time was regarded as an honor that humans possessed as stewards of the earth.

•Cities in Europe vied with one another as to who had the best clock tower

•The technology debate has two sides, determinists and instrumentalists

P. 49-59

•H.G. Wells author of the book World Brain, notes how mankind has undergone grave change in his social life and habits
•Learning how to read shapes the brain more than almost any other skill development

•As long ago as 8000 BC people used tools to keep track of quantities of things

•The Phoenicians invented the alphabet

•Plato wrote Phaedrus a dialogue about love beauty and rhetoric

P. 60-70

•In most early writing words were not separated by spaces and instead ran as a continuous script

•In ancient society a reader’s value was measured by how thoroughly he could read, not necessarily how fast he could read

•Scriptura continua was how continuous script was referred to as, and it was a pain to write

•The monk Guibert of Nogent was monk who wrote some of the most unorthodox stuff of his time

•Johannes Gutenberg changed the world with his 1445 invention the wordpress

P. 71-81

•The audion was inventede by De Forest

•Books were instrumental in the exchange of ideas that has ocurred over time

•Lope de Vega felt that there was too much print in this world to be sure of anything

•Gibbon was a scholar who wrote extensively on the fall of the Roman Empire

•The audion helped connect the country through communication

P. 82-92

•Computers speak a language of ones and zeroes called binary code

•A turing test is a test performed to determine the aptitude of artificial intelligence

•The web is different from other media in that it is bidirectional, information constantly travels both ways

•The Chinese waste more of their time on the computer than anyone else, they spend 44% of their leisure time on the internet

•The internet has not stopped people from watching tv, we watch as much tv as we ever have

P. 93-103

•The oldest newspaper in Colorado is the Rocky Mountain News

•The Guardian is a popular news magazine commonly found in the UK

•Television shows, namely Late Night with Jimmy Fallon are aimed to attract web surfers as much as TV viewers

•Of all media, the most resistant to the web is the book

•This is largely true because there is not too much difference between a computer monitor an a TV screen

P. 104-114

•In Japan something called cellphone novels are very popular

•The most popular cellphone author is a guy called simply Rin

•Nowadays there’s all sorts of ways to write books, you can write a book on Microsoft Powerpoint

•The French poet and politician Alphonse de Lamartine  declared that thought spread across the world faster than anything else

•A digital media scholar named Clay Shirky does not mourn the death of high reading, he thinks it sucked all along

P. 115-125

•The internet leaves us with what one could call a juggler’s brain

•The internet is such a fluid chain of distractions that one never stays in one spot too long

•Of all media the net commands our attention the most intensely

•Michael Merzenich believes that the extensive use of the internet has neurological consequences

•The use of the internet for learning develops skills but deteriorates others

P. 126-136

•Schools first heavily invested in computers during the 1980s

•In a 2001 study Canadian students made people read a book on the internet and other people read a book conventionally

•The study found that people better understand what they read when they read it in a book and not off the computer

•The web uses a combination of technology to make something called hypermedia

•Studies show that things you learn on the internet, you forget quickly

P. 137-147

•People who play video games intensely have the ability to identify more things in their vision than people who do not

•The type of thinking you do on the internet does increase the capacity of your working memory

•The net is making us smarter but only if we define intelligence by the net’s standards

•It has been speculated that the web is destroying our deep thinking abilities

•People have steadily got smarter over time, by IQ score

P. 148-158

•Frederick Taylor carried out some historic experiments that boosted the efficiency of factory efficiency

•Frederick Taylor’s masterpiece was the book The Principles of Scientific Management

•The Google headquarters are called the Googleplex

•On the web design is more a science than an art

•Neil Postman reworked much of Taylor’s ideas for the internet in a book called Technopoly

P. 159-169

•The New York Public Library is a huge library and one of the most prestigious libraries in the world

•The library is famous for the lions that guard the entrances

•It is the fate of all art and literature to be digitalized and stored away on some computer

•Leo Marx examined technology’s impact upon American culture in his book The Machine in the Garden

•Franklin Delano Roosevelt had advisers who he consulted on matters about technology in culture during World War II

P. 170-180

P. 181-191

P. 192-202

P. 203-213

P. 214-225

In his book, The Shallows, Nicholas Carr examines various affects the internet has had upon society, particularly how we as individuals engage literature. He makes the argument that the internet has shortened our attention span and made us a generally more distracted people. He argues that its convenience comes with a price. On the internet, people can meander through a great deal of information, that would take focus and intelligence to delve from books. He states that this level of convenience we experience on the web has made us a generally lazier people. While information on the internet is revolutionary, just like the first appearance of writing thousands of years ago, he stresses that it lacks real depth, hence the title, The Shallows.

Watch a clip of Renoir’s The River, and then one from 2008’s Slumdog Millionaire, and you’ll see what Carr’s talking about. The piece from Renoir’s movie consists of a traditional dance accompanied by some exotic sounding music in some unfamiliar Indian tongue. It makes you sit still and watch, without knowing what to think. It’s a piece of a cultural tapestry that the viewer is meant to be unfamiliar with. It doesn’t really leave you with a better knowledge of what India is like, but it shows you something that is for some reason important to India, and that’s what one might call deep knowledge. The clip from Slumdog Millionaire is more a piece of entertainment. There’s little dialogue, we just watch some Indian kids hustle while a catchy song from MIA plays. Granted that it may be a really accurate depiction of how life is like over there, it’s just how it was delivered.

The NFL’s Carolina Panthers have introduced a refined logo and a new font. This is the first logo change the team has instituted since their inception in 1995. In a team issued statement, Panthers President Danny Morrison speaks on the logo saying, “We have one of the finest and most recognizable logos in the NFL and wanted to make it as modern as possible without losing the dramatic essence of the mark”. The changes to the old logo are subtle, but noticeable. Gone is the blue trim, and the whiskers are now a more subtle Carolina blue. The panthers face however, is noticeably more defined, with a fiercer more muscular look. The font, or logotype, has undergone more dramatic change, it’s no longer that intense nineties style, it’s a more clean cut look, reminiscent of a comic book cover.

The old Panthers logo on top, with the refined one on bottom.

I like the new logo, it looks sleeker and meaner. Now that they’ve lost that trim, they need to look into getting black helmets, because this new logo would look savage on a black helmet. I’ve never seen the Panthers wear an all black uniform, but now’s a good time to bring one out. As much as I like the new logo, I’m not really crazy about the new logotype, it’s just too bland for me. The old font does look dated, it’s got that nineties style, but it’s intense and instantly recognizable. I don’t even see what’s wrong with the logotype looking nineties style anyway, this team was in fact, founded in the nineties, so why not let people know with that unmistakable font?

This logo and logotype were designed by something called the NFL creative department, which isn’t as cool as if the Panthers had gone to a local graphic design firm and contracted their own new logo. But as the NFL has grown more corporate and centralized, team’s visual presence has become more uniform and a little dull. Nike takes over equipment duties from Reebok next year, and hopefully they’ll bring a little more individuality when it comes to graphic design.