But when we skim read do we all skim the same way?

2010/03/26 § Leave a comment

Imagine there were input devices which could allow text to know if and how it is being read – how would this change the reading experience?  Text 2.0.

What I find interesting is the last bit where the eye-tracking software notices the reader starting to skim reading and fades the less pertinent wordage ( a la instant bullet points).

Considering how our eyes saccade around, I wonder, if the width of my acuity is wider than average, will the software presume I’m skimming text when I’m not? Conversely, I sometimes claim I never skim read, but perhaps that a moot point if my acuity is wider and I can chunk that effectively, maybe I am skim reading and only think I don’t.

Interactive Geographies – poetryetc

2010/03/11 § 1 Comment

A dozen years ago I was an active contributor to the poetryetc mailing list. This was its second or third incarnation and was back when mailing lists were still, if just, the main way people interacted on the web. Initiated by John Kinsella. One of the list projects was Interactive Geographies.

Interactive Geographies perhaps is representative of Kinsella’s vision for the list: he saw in listserv the possibility of creating a collaborative space where “internationalism becomes more than the mixing together of names from diverse parts of the planet, more than hybridising poets with different attitudes to form and language, with different ethical and political views; it becomes a voice in itself.” As he recognised, this was an idea often at odds with the
stubborn individualism of poets, and this tension, often fruitful, sometimes destructive, was the central dynamic that drove the list through its various incarnations. (Alison Croggon, August 2008pdf)

A couple of days ago I had an email from someone searching for a copy of the project’s PDF. This was the spur to putting it up in the cloud, or at least on my site (Interactive Geographies).

I doubt if much I contributed there on poetryetc was memorable poetry or comment. Mostly I remember re-writing other people’s work. I called each piece ‘reading whateverthenameofthepiecewasIwasrewriting’.

What I was interested in doing was providing a reading/writing much in the spirit of a jazz riff. I wanted, and still want to some extent, writing to be more like improvisational sharing in music. More free, less full or ego pomp and territory.

It probably annoyed people, rarely received much reaction, and no one joined in.

Although why anyone would want to look at someone else’s writing (egopomp) through my apperceptive reportage (or filtering egopomp), I had not worked out. (Nor why they should do it other than through the acceptable genre of a critlit prose piece.)

Writing is still tied to the notion of the ‘writer’ though, and will be for some time, transparent egos or not.

In this world, evidence of the “writer’s ego’ is seen as an unwanted ‘mark of the maker’, a bit like pencil marks on fine cabinetry, ruining the illusion of perfection, or epiphany.

Writer as brand of course is perfectible acceptable.

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