Category Archives: student blogs

Brainstrips: a three-part philosophy series)

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The author claims that Brainstrips is a “three-part knowledge series”. The word “brainstrips” is divided into three parts, hyperlinked to other web pages. 

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You can only start with the “strip” part. When the mouse move to this part, it turns red. 

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There are six questions on the left corner. Click each of these questions and they will be answered. 

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What is art? On this page, you can hear mechanical sounds and see the background moving. Can AIs replace artist? We don’t know, really. It was a question asked in my philosophy class. 

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Are men more sensitive then women? The traditional answer is obviously “no”. The background music is strange, applause blended with bell sounds. The last strip is creepy. The women are smiling but they are talking about changing men’s gene to make them sensitive. The difference in feelings between men and women has been a hot topic since a long time ago. Men and women cannot truly understand each other because their brains are structured differently. But altering human genes is illegal, which may cause serious moral issues. 

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If you listen carefully, you’ll notice that the gunshot actually has rhythm and correspond to the animation. I don’t understand this one. What will happen if God exists? What will happen if God doesn’t exist? 

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The BGM is chaotic siren and futuristic gunshot. How do we know we are human? It seems that we don’t have a clue. The aliens think that human is a lower life form. But this comic doesn’t present humans’ view point towards aliens. Maybe humans think that aliens are lower life forms, savages, barbarians? What made us human? Strength, weakness, evilness, kindness… We cannot give exact answers. Humans are too complex to be defined. 

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This strip reminds me of a funny picture. 

QQ图片20181009000607

Retrieved from http://joyreactor.com/post/676306

Research show that vegetables do have senses. They can feel pain but they cannot speak or bark like animals do. Sure trees have rights, but not any more when humans want them. Sure women have rights, but not any more when men want them. 

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This one is really interesting. The fisherman “senses a blackness around them”, in fact, the background color is black. “Your hand is breaking the frame”, “never seeing outside the box” are puns. True, they are comic characters, and always live inside the little box. This makes me think: are we virtual characters too? 

The second stop is “brain”. There are a few scientific topics displayed. Among them, the most astonishing one in “nuclear fission”. This section answers five commonly asked questions about nuclear bombs. After viewing all the answers, I know that it is impossible to escape from a nuclear explosion. But how do they know the answer? I only hope humans will not ruin the whole civilization. 

After viewing all the explanation of the questions, the reader is asked to do a test, which is composed of multiple choices. After finishing the quiz, you will be scolded by the author of being dumb. 

The third part is “s”. This part is all about math. 

This piece evokes philosophical thoughts, but it is actually quite realistic. Many thoughts are evolved, including feminism, anti-warism, surrealism… The more you read, the more you think. We know very little about the world and ourselves. 

Comment on Bone Girl by Degenerates Gallery~ – *Ba Dada-Dum Tiss*

[…] Bone Girl… I wrote this story a little over a year ago as well. It was inspired by a random twitter bot prompt but really became something unique unto itself. I have created several other works that are heavily influenced by this piece. I’ve also narrated the story myself (with sound effects) as well as created a slide-show display of sorts for the piece (complete with images). It’s a dark twist of a tale, about a mother and daughter and the rituals they share. […]

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Hobo Lobo of Hamelin

Never knew the excitement you can receive with reading electronic literature until I entered this class. Hobo Lobo was one of my favorite readings I read thus far and the graphics and movements of the pictures/pages gave me more of an interests. I felt as though this specific literature made it easy to follow and made it more enjoyable for me to read. The images moved long with a text which gave it more of a movie feel for me almost like an illusion, as if everything goes together.  Navigating through the pages were simple, however, I didn’t notice that they were other options as far as navigating. As normal I was just pressing the ‘right arrow’ so I can move along in the story and it took me from page to page. However, I did have to catch myself a few times paying  attention more to the graphics rather than the actual words.

The color schemes were my favorite part of Hobo Lobo, especially the red one on the 3rd page. The way that some pages didn’t have words made it more appealing as I felt as though I was watching a movie and sort of going along with the pictures rather than the words.  Which gave you a chance to appreciate the graphics more than not.

The story itself was interested, the power that Hobo lobo endured reminded me of the big bad wolf, not only because he resembles a wolf but because of how he over used his power once he started getting rid of all the rats. The fact that the town and the mayor loved him I felt as though it made him feel more valuable than anyone else around him in town.

 

http://hobolobo.net/tale/3

On ScareMail Generator (Analysis)

Justin George

ScareMail Generator: Analysis

In the spirit of Halloween, I’ve decided to cover the ScareMail Generator: A word generator that processes various words and phrases into an incoherent horror story that tends to be slightly more stupid than scary, likely to be shared by hundreds of clueless aunts and uncles as something genuinely frightening for the sheer horror that such words could be chained together in such a way. But the intent of the ScareMail Generator, is to address a horror that is not just limited to Halloween, but even all year-round.

In recent years, the NSA has taken to identifying certain “keywords” that are supposedly used to detect terrorist communication and behavior. Words like “plot”, “facility”, even “packages” have become no longer considered acceptable in normal written text, but taboo as the name “Voldemort” in the Harry Potter series.

While in theory this is a precautionary measure that can be said to be done for the greater good of protecting the free world in a post 9/11 society, the author describes it as closer to “a governmental surveillance machine run amok, algorithmically collecting and searching our digital communications”. In a present time where our constitutional rights (and more than often the rights themselves) are challenged daily, ScareMail Generator presents itself as a bot with a very important message behind its nonsensical English text: “words do not equal intent”.

 

 

The source text for all of the stories is Fahrenheit 451, a personal favorite and a cautionary tale about the degradation of society via modern conveniences and vanity, but also about censorship. This is likely to be intentional, as most other blocks of text could perhaps accomplish the same task; the selected text in this case is done either for a symbolic effect or for the purpose of having a format that resembles a narrative more than anything. The protagonist “Montag” or side character “Clarisse” show up from time to time in with my generated text, a reminder of the source material.

The author, Benjamin Grosser, has a history presenting at events related to countering projects like the NSA’s programs, indeed ScareMail itself had been first revealed at PRISM Breakup in 2013.  The fact that the source code and inner workings of ScareMail are freely available to the public further enforce the idea that just like the thing it is working to counter, ScareMail has nothing to hide.

The purpose behind ScareMail is part obstruction, part demonstration, and wholly to ensure that NSA programs like PRISM and XKeyscore don’t really have a clue when it comes to looking up “trigger” words. These programs work off of finding these blacklisted words through loads of read (typically without your permission) emails and building a record off of it. But if the programs are overloaded with junk examples of those words being used, like the types of narratives that ScareMail produces, the programs and their databases become inherently  worthless. Freedom of speech has been often contested in the name of preventing terrorism, but ScareMail doesn’t try to convince you that NSA surveillance is in the wrong here; just that their programs are poor implementations in the name of that security.

Hobo Lobo of Hamelin/ Blog #3

It seems that Hobo Lobo of Hamelin is the one that I was able to understand the best and the easiest among all the E-lit works we have learned up to now. When comparing with other E-lit that we read or played, Hobo Lobo of Hamelin has a more simple and clear form, which is a webcomic, at least from my perspective. It is talking about and sticking to one story line, which is easy to follow for me.

The story starts with a typical beginning of fairy tale “Once upon a time…”, which makes me feel really familiar and curious soon. The first page of pictures is colored in black, gray, cool-toned yellow and pink, under a gloomy and somber atmosphere. As I clicking on the rest parts of Page 1, all the pictures are colored in the same pattern with the first one, indicating the thread and the mood of the story, which is a dark fairy tale.

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Screenshot of Hobo Lobo of Hamelin, Page1, 1

Then the main color changes to green as the story turned into Page 2, in which the story is describing the free life of Hobo Lobo. I really enjoyed the slides here, which were so fun and interesting.

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Screenshot of Hobo Lobo of Hamelin, Page2, 5

Next, the color turned into blue at the first half part of Page3. And the story started to be told in sounds rather than words here.

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Screenshot of Hobo Lobo of Hamelin, Page3, 9

Followed by the red color in the second half part of Page 3.

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Screenshot of Hobo Lobo of Hamelin, Page3, 11

I really loved that the color tone of the pictures parallel with the development of story, which helps the readers to understand the story and experience the emotions better and deeper.

Blog#3 Hobo Lobo of Hamelin

Hobo Lobo of Hamelin is an Elit that mixtures several forms. The combination of texts, images, and sounds facilitates its effect on readers. The natigation design is quite understandable for me. There are totally seven pages. Every page has several sections. When read it, you can just go over page by page. Below the texts are animations. The animations are like long stroll painting. You can look through the painting from the left side to the right side when you go over the sections inside pages. Almost all the pages have texts except for two of them. The page three has sound insteand of texts. Listening to the sound, I heard some sharp screams in the silent night. The page seven also has the sound. There was a piece of music played in the background. The tempo was lively but it seems inronic for me.

The webcomic brings me into that situation further. I felt like I fell in to a movie world. I believe that it can give the readers that illusion. The town of Hamelin was once peaceful and picturesque. However, currently it was occupied with turbulent rats, which threaten the election of Mayor of the Fascist-Calvinist coalition government. A talented vagrant – Hobo Lobo, entered the town. He was hired by the mayor to help Hamelin with its rat infestation.

image

Screenshot of Hobo Lobo of Hamelin (Page1, 4)

The reading experience of Hobo Lobo of Hamelin reminds me of a childhood memory of reading cartoon books. More dynamic, Hobo Lobo of Hamelin is a webcomic Elit that includes digital sound, animation, and texts. The story itself is contexualized in a small town, which is a common background setting for most of the fairy tales and fables that I read in early years. When read it, readers will devote their sensory immersion from both auditory and visual perspectives to the story. It was definately a delightful and enjoyable reading experience.

 

Works Cited:

STEVAN ŽIVADINOVIĆ. http://hobolobo.net/

 

 

Blog#3 Hobo Lobo of Hamelin

Hobo Lobo of Hamelin is an Elit that mixtures several forms. The combination of texts, images, and sounds facilitates its effect on readers. The natigation design is quite understandable for me. There are totally seven pages. Every page has several sections. When read it, you can just go over page by page. Below the texts are animations. The animations are like long stroll painting. You can look through the painting from the left side to the right side when you go over the sections inside pages. Almost all the pages have texts except for two of them. The page three has sound insteand of texts. Listening to the sound, I heard some sharp screams in the silent night. The page seven also has the sound. There was a piece of music played in the background. The tempo was lively but it seems inronic for me.

The webcomic brings me into that situation further. I felt like I fell in to a movie world. I believe that it can give the readers that illusion. The town of Hamelin was once peaceful and picturesque. However, currently it was occupied with turbulent rats, which threaten the election of Mayor of the Fascist-Calvinist coalition government. A talented vagrant – Hobo Lobo, entered the town. He was hired by the mayor to help Hamelin with its rat infestation.

image

Screenshot of Hobo Lobo of Hamelin (Page1, 4)

The reading experience of Hobo Lobo of Hamelin reminds me of a childhood memory of reading cartoon books. More dynamic, Hobo Lobo of Hamelin is a webcomic Elit that includes digital sound, animation, and texts. The story itself is contexualized in a small town, which is a common background setting for most of the fairy tales and fables that I read in early years. When read it, readers will devote their sensory immersion from both auditory and visual perspectives to the story. It was definately a delightful and enjoyable reading experience.

 

Works Cited:

STEVAN ŽIVADINOVIĆ. http://hobolobo.net/