Week 11: Where is the line between the physical and the virtual? Does the distinction still matter?

Your conversations during our workshop today were fantastic — I was so impressed with your early work on the Interrogating the Interface assignment, and I can’t wait to read your finished essays. I hope you received some helpful feedback from your classmates, because we are now at the point when you should begin drafting your essay. You can write using whatever method works best for you, but I would encourage you to give Medium a try — I think you’ll find that it has a lot of nice features. If you haven’t created your account and sent me your Medium username, please do so ASAP, and don’t forget to edit your profile, upload (or update) your profile picture, add links to your other social media accounts, etc., sometime this weekend.

During Week 11, we’ll enjoy another lively discussion and make some additional progress on your Unit #3 projects. Here’s a brief overview of what’s ahead:

  • On Tuesday, we’ll explore the blurry boundary between the physical world and the virtual world. Before you come to class, please read Chapter 7 in Program or Be Programmed, “The Battle of Freedom and Control in a Networked World,” by Lee Rainie and Barry Wellman, and “Stop Pretending Cyberspace Exists,” by Michael Lind. If time allows, we’ll spend the last part of class in a Medium workshop to make sure that everyone is comfortable with that platform.
  • On Thursday, we’ll devote the entire class period to a peer critique workshop for Unit #3. In order to participate, please have a full draft of your Interrogating the Interface essay posted to Medium before you come to class. (At this point, the “visibility” for your essay should be set to “unlisted.”)

As always, if you need another opinion about the approach you’re taking to this project, or if you’d like to discuss an early draft of your essay, please stop by during my office hours next week. I’m always happy to have visitors!