will's journal

Photopia (Journal 10.2)

After trying my hand at Photopia, I realized what exactly the different elements and thoughts that it combines. It combines a mixture of video games, narratives, and story telling. Photopia is certainly a unique piece, along with a lot of interactive fiction. I was making my way through it, and the thing I liked about it the most was that the user seemed to control their own destiny. With each direction leading to something different and there being no true "wrong" way to go, I felt that I was dominating the game. When I first was going on to play the game, I was a bit skeptical about a game with just words. I thought it might be a little boring and monotonous, but after going further into it, the changing of scenes and themes kept me really interested. Although I kind of had a hard time in some places going forth, I eventually was able to make the best of it and continue onwards. I either waited or kept trying different directions to find an end to the short story or level. This brings up an interesting point about each story being a level going through the game. Once you find a solution, you move to the next story or level until you eventually work your way to the end. That is why this piece is unlike any other. It is because there are short stories buried beneath this video game aspect. The steps and building blocks taken to go through Photopia make it very different and enjoyable. It is almost like a little maze or Labryinth like in "The Garden of Forking Paths", but in the virtual world of video games.

Pattern Recognition 248-288 (Journal 9.1)

This section was filled with many exciting events as Cayce travels to Russia to meet the person who made the footage. She ends up telling Parkaboy about meeting this person, and at the very end of the reading, he decides to come join her to meet the maker as well. Cayce revealed to him how she was working for Bigend and was able to go everywhere she has gone. This shows how important this footage is to Cayce and to everyone else. She has been on this wild goose chase all over in order to get where she is now: a position to meet the creator of this footage. This footage is, "the cleverest example of marketing the century's seen so far" (288). Cayce has suddenly reached her goal, and everything seems to be pointing in a positive direction. It seems too cliche to get a happy ending right here and now, so I'm going to predict that Cayce may run into some trouble along the way in Russia. Some underlying connections between the footage, the maker, the people Cayce has been communicating with, and the unclear aspects in the book have to eventually be revealed. All of these could play a big factor in Cayce's journey through Russia. It should be a great finish for the latter part of the book.

Pattern Recognition 167-207 (Journal 8.1)

Cayce starts explaining her story to Boone; everything with Dorotea, the apartment, her phobias, and the code are all revealed. She travels to Tokyo with Boone to find the watermark code. There she is followed by two Italian men. Boone eventually reveals this to Bigend, and they are wondering why she is being followed. Everything has to be connected to the whole situation in the beginning in the apartment. Cayce is realizing that Dorotea is involved and is the central figure for these schemes and plots against her. Their plan is not working up to par at this point in time. I feel like Cayce thinks she needs to reasses everything and get her thoughts and be a little more organized. When it was revealed that one of the Italian men was the driver of Dorotea's car, my first thought was that Cayce was going to have a good start to this new plan. I figured it might help her get organized as she had moved in a positive step forward. This was all diminished at the end of the reading when Cayce went to the Blue Ant company and found out she was to meet with Dorotea. I feel like this was purposefully done by the author to keep the reader engaged and wondering what will happen next. My hunch is that Dorotea will try another one of her tactics to get more inside Cayce's head. Hopefully she will be prepared for this and make the best of the situation.

Pattern Recognition 42-83 (Journal 6.2)

Throughout the beginning of the novel, we discover a character named Cayce. She is very interesting person and has many unique qualities about her. The fact that she deals with logos and works for this Blue Ant company, shows that she deals with some sort of an advertising business. She has phobias of certain logos which makes her great in her field, because she is able to determine which logos can and can't work in society. She wants to bring this sense of originality into the company. Since Cayce wants to bring this originality, she dresses very differently. In this section of the book F:F:F (Fetish:Footage:Forum), is mentioned alot. When explaining this Gibson says, "The world, really. Nice. Off Topic" (48). This phrase is brought up and Cayce has much to think and feel about all of this. Later on in this section, Cayce receives two e-mails: one from Damien, and one from Parkaboy. Both of these e-mails provide some insight and are very thought provoking for Cayce. These e-mails confused me at first, along with some of the rest of the reading, but I felt as if Cayce gained a lot from reading them. Gibson paints this image in Cayce's mind, "Heaps of bone. that initial seventeen stories of twisted, impacted girder. Funeral ash. That taste in the back of the throat" (79). Then the the image as Cayce goes to sleep is, "Eyes closed, she finds herself imagining a symbol, something watermarking the lower right-hand corner of her existence" (80). These e-mails were a little hard to follow for the reader, but the thoughts that were presented in Cayce's head may benefit her throughout the rest of the novel. We will have to see.

Blue Velvet (Journal 5.2)

The Blue Velvet website was a very interesting piece of work. It grabbed my attention from the very beginning, and I really enjoyed exploring the site. Each of the numbered catagories at the top provided one word that was able to be viewed. After clicking this word, a section of reading opened up based on the word and how it pertained to the city of New Orleans. I think this website was designed to show how unique the city is to America and provide the reader certain aspects that allow them to witness this. The numbered words at the top almost seemed to define New Orleans. The words listed beneath the catagory seemed to give a reason why the numbered word was a definition of the city. The one thing I noticed as I made my way through the list was the numerous occassions segregation or racial issues were involved. The city has always been known for its cajun influence and different cultures. The Black population has contributed significantly to diversity and influence. The segregational issues expanded all over the south, and this website provided the reader with the struggles in New Orleans.

As the website progressed, it began to talk about the aspects of the floods, wetlands, emergency states, and catastrophes that go along with New Orleans. Since it is below sea level, it is very prone to flooding. If the levies don't hold, the city essentially will become under water. The website provides pictures and documents to depict what happened in the floods and what went on in the city. These extra images provided the reader a visual and, in some cases, an auditory about issues concerning New Orleans. I have been to the city twice, once before Hurricane Katrina and once after. The before and after really shocked me. I went back just last year, and the amount of damage that still remained blew my mind. This website can only depict what the city has experienced on the surface. In order to fully gain exposure, I feel as if you need to visit it. Blue Velvet was a different style of writing, but it proved very effective. It kept me intrigued the whole time I looked at it. I kept wanting to read further and further along.

The Cookie Monster (Journal 4.2)

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There once was a young boy named Billy. He was a caring guy who loved to play sports and spend time with his family. Billy loved his family but especially his grandmother. Billy's grandmother was a short lady who had a knack for baking. She baked all types of things: cakes, brownies, and Billy's favorite, chocolate-chip cookies. Billy liked those cookies so much, he would do nearly anything to get his hands on them. So one calm evening in the winter, Billy had a serious craving for cookies. He called his grandmother to bake him some, and when she agreeed, he was overjoyed. Billy was going to her house to get a batch of cookies and bring them back to his house. As Billy began to walk to his grandmother's house, which was about a mile away, he noticed a severe chill in the air. The calm winter day turned into a drury, cold winter day. Clouds filled the sky and the sharp, penetrating cold wind began to blow. Billy didn't mind this, because his cookies were not far away.

Billy arrived at his grandmother's house and picked up the cookies. He left after a big thank you and goodbye hug. As Billy was walking back, he noticed the daylight running out. Wanting to get home before dark, Billy began to pick up his pace. When he was nearly home, Billy saw this big creature step out in front of him. Billy was frightened and dropped his batch of cookies. Before he could even realize what was going on, Billy noticed this creature picking up all the cookies. At first the creature seemed harmless. Billy asked him for his cookies back and when he wouldn't give them back, Billy realized that this creature was the dreaded cookie monster. Billy became really worried that he was never going to get his cookies back. He couldn't think of anything that would make the cookie monster give them back. Acting as quickly as he could, Billy confronted him about stealing his cookies. The cookie monster gave him an evil glare and replied that the cookies were his now. Billy had no idea what else to do, so he began to ponder.

Billy quickly jumped to a conclusion. He was going to tell the cookie monster how it was against the law to steal, and the cookie monster would be put away in jail forever if the cookies weren't given back. To Billy's surprise, his plan worked. The cookie monster began to question his morality of stealing little kid's cookies. All this time of stealing cookies, and no one thought to bring up the fact that it was wrong and against the law. That was quick thinking on Billy's part! The cookie monster gave the cookies back and apologized. Billy recognized how hard it was for the cookie monster to give them back, so Billy decided to make both sides happy and spare a cookie to the cookie monster. The monster was so thankful and appreciated his generosity. As Billy went on his way, he waved goodbye to the cookie monster and arrived at his home to find a cold glass of milk waiting on him. This complemented the chocolate-chip cookies very well.

Garden of Forking Paths (Journal 3.2)

The Garden of Forking Paths is a very complicated piece of reading. Borges has many little references dealing with a big picture that he wants the reader to try and figure out. Throughout the story, he jumps all over the place. He leaves the reader confused and wondering what just happened. I got lost in what point in time the story was at, which character did what, and guessing what might happen next. Borges has these Labyrinths that he uses as this big picture, and it is up to the reader to decide and toy with the thoughts that surround the Labyrinths. Each one can go on a different "forking path". The Labyrinth produces a wide range of imaginitive thoughts and conclusions. The reader must decide what path his or her's thoughts will take them on.

The reason why it is so easy to get lost with this story is because there are Labyrinths within other Labyrinths. The whole story is a maze in itself, and within the maze, are these other little mazes to help get you lost. I should point out, the article does a great job in doing this. Each Labyrinth and each thought from the reader deals with some barrier created by Borges. The story ends up revealing a deeper meaning than what appears on the surface.

The online version parallels the story in being a Labyrinth on it's own. Wherever, you click a new thought or description opens up for the reader. It kind of is a never ending path just like the original version. However, Borges wrote The Garden of Forking Paths as a storyline. He wanted the reader to read it like they would a book. The no sense of time definitely helps create this atmosphere. The online version seems to botch this concept by allowing the reader to navigate all over the place. Instead of reading it straight through, I found myself jumping around from place to place. This got very confusing and led me off track.

Pandora Radio (journal 2.1)

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Pandora Radio has become the new way to listen to music online. Ever since I discovered Pandora, I cannot stop listening to it. Whether it be on my computer or on the "App" that it has for the iPhone, Pandora has seemingly brought me a new satisfaction. This internet radio is designed so that a person can pick an artist or a song, and music of that same genre will be played. If you type in an artist, you will find that the first song will probably be from that specific artist, but after that, it's hit or miss at who or what comes on the radio next. For example, one of my playlists is Dave Matthews Band and the first song was from one of their live albums, the second song was from one of their other CD's, the third song was by the Goo Goo Dolls, the fourth song was by John Mayer, and the list keeps going on an on. Pandora is a really neat way to hear a variety of music, without actually having to download it. In turn, it has been argued that it may cheat the system of illegal downloading by letting people listen to whatever they want. The only thing that keeps this from happening is that Pandora only allows a person to skip to the next song 6 times in an hour. So if a song came on that you didn't like or didn't want to hear, then you can skip to the next one, but a person is only allotted 6. This keeps people from abusing the free internet radio privileges. The only thing you have to do in order to sign up for Pandora is a valid email address and password. After that, you are able to listen to all the different types of music you want. Pandora is a great way to discover some new artists of the same genres you like. I found many new songs and artists thanks to Pandora. Although it pushes the limits of the internet and illegal downloading issue, Pandora is considered legal and is a great source for music entertainment.

#129 Pushing the Law (journal 1.2)

Ever since the TV shows like Dragnet, Cops, Law and Order, CSI, and more, white people have been fondly obsessed by pushing their limits with the law. These shows give some fakes, gimmics, and surprisingly, some truth about people and their notions of running into trouble. Whether it be the drunk driver on Cops or the rich businessman on CSI, people naturally have a way of finding themselves at the wrong place at the wrong time. I can't say from experience that I've actually had to deal with the police, but I have had some friends who have. They always are doing something to promote themselves and might as well be asking to get talked to or arrested by the police. They tend to do the little petty things such as shooting off fireworks in public areas, drinking under age at a party, and pulling minor pranks at night. All of these seem to be labeled as teenage things, which they are. I see more teenagers pushing their limits with the law than I do adults, and it is because teenagers have this arrogance to them that allows them to want to tempt fate. If they can establish themself as "that guy/girl who almost got arrested", then people automatically have something to identify the person with. This person will then feel like he or she has gained something by having that reputation. Adults, on the other hand, seem to push their limits with the law in cases such as DUI and public disturbance. So many adults have problems with DUI. It is all over the news with celeberties, husbands, wives, and other wealthy people. These are certainly not the perceived stereotype of people running into the law, but it happens in everyday "white" America. People forget the standards they have set for them and lose sight of what it is important. Some of the stories are sad with the results and outcome of how it can damage a person or a family, but also, some of them are funny because of how stupid some people are. Time and time again, people always seem to have a knack of pushing their luck with the law.

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