Mapping Contenders: A More Writable Space

Over at The Map
Room
, Jonathan Crowe posted a

few

notes about MSN
Virtual Earth
that tipped me on to a few ideas and the
Virtual Earth weblog
where MSN is inviting input.  In light of the clamor raised over two
notable features at Virtual Earth–the
absence of Apple headquarters and the
presence of the World Trade Center in Manhattan, Crowe verifies (if there was
any doubt) that VE uses "very old imagery."  As I see it, the age
of the satellite images concerns me less than their superior resolution. 
Right, already
been over this
.

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A Comp-landia Itinerary

Encouraged by

C.’s comment at cgbvb
and entries by
Jeff and

Donna
, I’m in on the carnival; flipped through Fulkerson’s essay in the
latest CCC (56.4) this afternoon.  My general impression is that it’s an
interesting overview of the discipline–engaging for the divisions he suggests
and for the grim note that caps the essay.  Good carnival entries
(jus’ sharpening the axiology), I think, keep it to a few points, raise
questions or pull on knots, puzzles and so on. Right?  So, on:

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Genre Sirc-umvention

We have evolved a very limited notion of academic writing (or any genre,
really).  Our texts are conventional in every sense of the word; they write
themselves. They are almost wholly determined by the texts that have gone
before; a radical break from the conventions of a form or genre (and I’m not
speaking here about the academic convention of the smug, sanctioned
transgression, e.g. Jane Tompkins) would perplex–how is that history writing? 
what community group would need that for its newsletter?  how is that going
to help you get a job? A Happenings spirit would begin at the point of Elbow’s
"life is long and college is short" queasiness with academic writing
("Reflections on Academic Discourse" 136). (10)

A-la Geoff Sirc’s English Composition as a Happening.

One Blog, Two Blog

[Thinking about the trackback feature.]

Got the second blog working. It was, as the interface told me, a permissions error. Once I reset the permissions to the second blog’s folder, it all came together swimmingly. The other blog will be used this spring for a freshman course on technology and writing centered on Neil Postman’s Technopoly. His doomsday-ish tome will send us on our ever-digitized way.

The course is described as a research writing course. I’ve taught it a time or two; even developed an online format for accelerated delivery in just eight weeks. So I’m comfortable with the pace and workload. Just eleven students have enrolled so far, and the new semester starts happening Monday.

I’m having lunch today with my friend and colleague Andy who does a fine job keeping rhetorica.net in masterful form. He promised (well, er, suggested) a brief MT tutorial. Maybe he knows how I can craft a new CSS for this blog. After all, this design is dreadful. We’re jetting along on content, kid.

Oh, and about content. I still don’t have a deliberate schema. The category feature imposes a kind of coherence to this space, and I already feel a deep, quiet wariness that I’m chasing abstraction and glossing conceptual at the expense of attracting any passing readers.

I’m still working out the features, scratching my head about how to do this and that. The time stamp on yesterday’s post was off, for example. Like this witchy-cold weather we’re having in the heartland, it’ll get better.