Iris Murdoch on Storytelling, Why Art Is Essential for Democracy, and the Key to Good Writing
“A good society contains many different artists doing many different things. A bad society coerces artists because it knows that they can reveal all kinds of truths.”
BY MARIA POPOVA
“Storytelling is a tool for knowing who we are and what we want.” Ursula K. Le Guin
philosopher and novelist Iris Murdoch (July 15, 1919–February 8, 1999) — one of the most lucid and luminous minds of the twentieth century — explored in a long, deep, immensely insightful 1977 conversation with the British broadcaster and philosopher Bryan McGee, which aired on McGee’s television series Men of Ideas.
There is always more bad art around than good art, and more people like bad art than like good art.
James Baldwin wielded the double-edged sword of the artist’s duty to society, Murdoch insists on this largeness: The artist’s duty is to art, to truth-telling in his own medium, the writer’s duty is to produce the best literary work of which he is capable, and he must find out how this can be done.
Many librarians have shied away from ICT literacy, concerned that they may be asked how to format a digital document or show students how to create a formula in a spreadsheet. These technical skills focus more on a specific tool than on the underlying nature of information.
librarians have begun to use an embedded model as a way to deepen their connection with instructors and offer more systematic collection development and instruction. That is, librarians focus more on their partnerships with course instructors than on a separate library entity.
If TPACK is applied to instruction within a course, theoretically several people could be contributing this knowledge to the course. A good exercise is for librarians to map their knowledge onto TPACK.
ICT reflects the learner side of a course. However, ICT literacy can be difficult to integrate because it does not constitute a core element of any academic domain. Whereas many academic disciplines deal with key resources in their field, such as vocabulary, critical thinking, and research methodologies, they tend not to address issues of information seeking or collaboration strategies, let alone technological tools for organizing and managing information.
Instructional design for online education provides an optimal opportunity for librarians to fully collaborate with instructors.
The outcomes can include identifying the level of ICT literacy needed to achieve those learning outcomes, a task that typically requires collaboration between the librarian and the program’s faculty member. Librarians can also help faculty identify appropriate resources that students need to build their knowledge and skills. As education administrators encourage faculty to use open educational resources (OERs) to save students money, librarians can facilitate locating and evaluating relevant resources. These OERs not only include digital textbooks but also learning objects such as simulations, case studies, tutorials, and videos.
Reading online text differs from reading print both physically and cognitively. For example, students scroll down rather than turn online pages. And online text often includes hyperlinks, which can lead to deeper coverage—as well as distraction or loss of continuity of thought. Also, most online text does not allow for marginalia that can help students reflect on the content. Teachers and students often do not realize that these differences can impact learning and retention. To address this issue, librarians can suggest resources to include in the course that provide guidance on reading online.
My note – why specialist like Tom Hergert and the entire IMS is crucial for the SCSU library and librarians and how neglecting the IMS role hurts the SCSU library –
Similarly, other types of media need to be evaluated, comprehended, and interpreted in light of their critical features or “grammar.” For example, camera angles can suggest a person’s status (as in looking up to someone), music can set the metaphorical tone of a movie, and color choices can be associated with specific genres (e.g., pastels for romances or children’s literature, dark hues for thrillers). Librarians can explain these media literacy concepts to students (and even faculty) or at least suggest including resources that describe these features
My note – on years-long repetition of the disconnect between SCSU ATT, SCSU library and IMS –
instructors need to make sure that students have the technical skills to produce these products. Although librarians might understand how media impacts the representation of knowledge, they aren’t necessarily technology specialists. However, instructors and librarians can collaborate with technology specialists to provide that expertise. While librarians can locate online resources—general ones such as Lynda.com or tool-specific guidance—technology specialists can quickly identify digital resources that teach technical skills (my note: in this case IMS). My note: we do not have IDs, another years-long reminder to middle and upper management. Many instructors and librarians have not had formal courses on instructional design, so collaborations can provide an authentic means to gain competency in this process.
My note: Tom and I for years have tried to make aware SCSU about this combo –
Instructors likely have high content knowledge (CK) and satisfactory technological content knowledge (TCK) and technological knowledge (TK) for personal use. But even though newer instructors acquire pedagogical knowledge (PK), pedagogical content knowledge (PCK), and technological pedagogical knowledge (TPK) early in their careers, veteran instructors may not have received this training. The same limitations can apply to librarians, but technology has become more central in their professional lives. Librarians usually have strong one-to-one instruction skills (an aspect of PK), but until recently they were less likely to have instructional design knowledge. ICT literacy constitutes part of their CK, at least for newly minted professionals. Instructional designers are strong in TK, PK, and TPK, and the level of their CK (and TCK and TPK) will depend on their academic background. And technology specialists have the corner on TK and TCK (and hopefully TPK if they are working in educational settings), but they may not have deep knowledge about ICT literacy.
Therefore, an ideal team for ICT literacy integration consists of the instructor, the librarian, the instructional designer, and the technology specialist. Each member can contribute expertise and cross-train the teammates. Eventually, the instructor can carry the load of ICT literacy, with the benefit of specific just-in-time support from the librarian and instructional designer.
Can the same photograph be used as propaganda and as ‘pure’ reporting? (Can they cite other examples?)
What was the mission of the FSA photographers? Did they adhere to the mission or stray from it?
Did the photographers themselves believe they were on a “propaganda” mission or something else?
Did President Roosevelt see the images as helping get political support for “The New Deal”?
Did the FSA photographs result in “social change”? (What was Lange’s conclusion?)
In what ways is photography being used today to document people and conditions we might not be aware of? Locate examples.
Image literacy is important
Today’s students are part of an increasingly visual world. Images in textbooks, in the news, and elsewhere are perfect teachable texts that can be engaging and thought-provoking for tweens and teens. They also have potential as part of lessons that emphasize social-emotional learning and empathy.
When teachers take the time to introduce students to historical images, and the photographers who captured them, we are once again satisfying many of the goals of American education.
Anchor allows users to record and edit podcast episodes, all through an app on their cellphones. The service distributes and uploads episodes to streaming services, such as Spotify and Apple Podcasts, and provides analytics following publication.
“Traditionally, it’s write, write, write, write, write, and if you’re not a strong writer, you may start to think you’re not good at an English class in general.”
Podcasts that require scripts similarly encourage students to explore writing formats that stray from the traditional essay.
“When it’s just my eyes seeing it, it’s one-on-one and I’m the safety net,” Stevens said. “Even when you open it up to their classmates, they realize ‘OK, I’m going to be judged by them,’ and then you open it up to the internet. It’s a big deal.”
Last spring, cinematic arts and broadcast journalism teacher Michael Hernandez introduced his 11th and 12th graders to podcasting to teach them speaking skills that could be necessary for upcoming college or job interview.
Social media is the best friend disinformation ever had, and the cure is far from obvious.
Anya Schiffrin is an adjunct faculty member at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. She worked in Hanoi from 1997 to 1999 as the bureau chief of Dow Jones Newswires.
Network Propaganda: Manipulation, Disinformation, and Radicalization in American Politics By Yochai Benkler, Robert Faris, & Hal Roberts
Oxford University Press
A Harvard law professor who is a well-known theorist of the digital age, Benkler and colleagues have produced an authoritative tome that includes multiple taxonomies and literature reviews as well as visualizations of the flow of disinformation.
white supremacist and alt-right trolls
a history of the scholarship on propaganda, reminding the reader that much of the discussion began in the 1930s.
Benkler’s optimistic 2007 book, The Wealth of Networks, predicted that the Internet would bring people together and transform the way information is created and spread. Today, Benkler is far less sanguine and has become one of the foremost researchers of disinformation networks.
Fox News, Breitbart, The Daily Caller, InfoWars, and Zero Hedge
As a result, mainstream journalists repeat and amplify the falsehoods even as they debunk them.
There is no clear line, they argue, between Russian propaganda, Breitbart lies, and the Trump victory. They add that Fox News is probably more influential than Facebook.
after George Soros gave a speech in January 2018 calling for regulation of the social media platforms, Facebook hired a Republican opposition research firm to shovel dirt at George Soros.
The European Union has not yet tried to regulate disinformation (although they do have codes of practice for the platforms), instead focusing on taxation, competition regulation, and protection of privacy. But Germany has strengthened its regulations regarding online hate speech, including the liability of the social media platforms.
disclosure of the sources of online political advertising.It’s a bit toothless because, just as with offshore bank accounts, it may be possible to register which U.S. entity is paying for online political advertising, but it’s impossible to know whether that entity is getting its funds from overseas. Even the Honest Ads bill was too much for Facebook to take.
digital humanities is born f the encounter between traditional humanities and computational methods.
p. 5. From Humanism to Humanities
While the foundations of of humanistic inquiry and the liberal arts can be traced back in the west to the medieval trivium and quadrivium, the modern and human sciences are rooted in the Renaissance shift from a medieval, church dominated, theocratic world view to be human centered one period the gradual transformation of early humanism into the disciplines that make up the humanities today Was profoundly shaped by the editorial practices involved in the recovery of the corpus of works from classical antiquity
P. 6. The shift from humanism to the institution only sanctioned disciplinary practices and protocols that we associate with the humanities today is best described as a gradual process of subdivision and specialization.
P. 7. Text-based disciplines in studies (classics, literature, philosophy, the history of ideas) make up, from the very start, the core of both the humanities and the great books curricular instituted in the 1920s and 1930s.
P. 10. Transmedia modes of argumentation
In the 21st-century, we communicate in media significantly more varied, extensible, and multiplicative then linear text. From scalable databases to information visualizations, from video lectures to multi-user virtual platforms serious content and rigorous argumentation take shape across multiple platforms in media. The best digital humanities pedagogy and research projects train students both in “reading “and “writing “this emergent rhetoric and in understanding how the reshape and three model humanistic knowledge. This means developing critically informed literacy expensive enough to include graphic design visual narrative time based media, and the development of interfaces (Rather then the rote acceptance of them as off-the-shelf products).
P. 11. The visual becomes ever more fundamental to the digital humanities, in ways that compliment, enhance, and sometimes are in pension with the textual.
There is no either/or, no simple interchangeability between language and the visual, no strict sub ordination of the one to the other. Words are themselves visual but other kinds of visual constructs do different things. The question is how to use each to its best effect into device meaningful interpret wing links, to use Theodor Nelson’s ludic neologism.
P. 11. The suite of expressive forms now encompasses the use of sound, motion graphics, animation, screen capture, video, audio, and the appropriation and into remix sink of code it underlines game engines. This expanded range of communicative tools requires those who are engaged in digital humanities world to familiarize themselves with issues, discussions, and debates in design fields, especially communication and interaction design. Like their print predecessors, form at the convention center screen environments can become naturalized all too quickly, with the results that the thinking that informed they were designed goes unperceived.
For digital humanists, design is a creative practice harnessing cultural, social, economic, and technological constraints in order to bring systems and objects into the world. Design in dialogue with research is simply a picnic, but when used to pose in frame questions about knowledge, design becomes an intellectual method. Digital humanities is a production based in Denver in which theoretical issues get tested in the design of implementations and implementations or loci after your radical reflection and elaboration.
Did you thaw humanists have much to learn from communication and media design about how to juxtapose and integrate words and images create hire he is of reading, Forge pathways of understanding, deployed grades in templates to best effect, and develop navigational schemata that guide in produce meaningful interactions.
P. 15. The field of digital digital humanities me see the emergence of polymaths who can “ do it all” : Who can research, write, shoot, edit, code, model, design, network, and dialogue with users. But there is also ample room for specialization and, particularly, for collaboration.
P. 16. Computational activities in digital humanities.
The foundational layer, computation, relies on principles that are, on the surface, at odds with humanistic methods.
P. 17. The second level involves processing in a way that conform to computational capacities, and this were explored in the first generation of digital scholarship and stylometrics, concordance development, and indexing.
Duration, analysis, editing, modeling.
Duration, analysis, editing, and modeling comprise fundamental activities at the core of digital humanities. Involving archives, collections, repositories, and other aggregations of materials, duration is the selection and organization of materials in an interpretive framework, argument, or exhibit.
P. 18. Analysis refers to the processing of text or data: statistical and quantitative methods of analysis have brought close readings of texts (stylometrics and genre analysis, correlation, comparisons of versions for alter attribution or usage patterns ) into dialogue with distant reading (The crunching cuff large quantities of information across the corpus of textual data or its metadata).
Edit think has been revived with the advent of digital media and the web and to continue to be an integral activity in textual as well as time based formats.
P. 18. Model link highlights the notion of content models- shapes of argument expressed in information structures in their design he digital project is always an expression of assumptions about knowledge: usually domain specific knowledge given an explicit form by the model in which it is designed.
P. 19. Each of these areas of activity- cure ration, analysis, editing, and modeling is supported by the basic building blocks of digital activity. But they also depend upon networks and infrastructure that are cultural and institutional as well as technical. Servers, software, and systems administration are key elements of any project design.
P. 30. Digital media are not more “evolved” have them print media nor are books obsolete; but the multiplicity of media in the very processes of mediation entry mediation in the formation of cultural knowledge and humanistic inquiry required close attention. Tug link between distant and clothes, macro and micro, and surface in depth becomes the norm. Here, we focus on the importance of visualization to the digital humanities before moving on to other, though often related, genre and methods such as Locative investigation, thick mapping, animated archives, database documentaries, platform studies, and emerging practices like cultural analytics, data mining and humanities gaming.
P. 35. Fluid texture out what he refers to the mutability of texts in the variants and versions Whether these are produced through Authorial changes, anything, transcription, translation, or print production
Cultural Analytics, aggregation, and data mining.
The field of cultural Analytics has emerged over the past few years, utilizing tools of high-end computational analysis and data visualization today sect large-scale coach data sets. Cultural Analytic does Not analyze cultural artifacts, but operates on the level of digital models of this materials in aggregate. Again, the point is not to pit “close” hermeneutic reading against “distant” data mapping, but rather to appreciate the synergistic possibilities and tensions that exist between a hyper localized, deep analysis and a microcosmic view
Data mining is a term that covers a host of picnics for analyzing digital material by “parameterizing” some feature of information and extract in it. This means that any element of a file or collection of files that can be given explicit specifications, or parameters, can be extracted from those files for analysis.
Understanding the rehtoric of graphics is another essential skill, therefore, in working at a skill where individual objects are lost in the mass of processed information and data. To date, much humanities data mining has merely involved counting. Much more sophisticated statistical methods and use of probability will be needed for humanists to absorb the lessons of the social sciences into their methods
P. 42. Visualization and data design
Currently, visualization in the humanities uses techniques drawn largely from the social sciences, Business applications, and the natural sciences, all of which require self-conscious criticality in their adoption. Such visual displays including graphs and charts, may present themselves is subjective or even unmediated views of reality, rather then is rhetorical constructs.
Warwick, C., Terras, M., & Nyhan, J. (2012). Digital humanities in practice . London: Facet Publishing in association with UCL Centre for Digital Humanities.