I found the first chapter of Bolter and Grusin’s book Remediation: Understanding New Media very interesting even though it was somewhat difficult to understand at the first time, but as I kept reading I understood the main idea the authors are discussing due to the examples and explanations they gave to define the terms immediacy, hypermediacy and remediation.
In order to clarify what remediation is, the authors first explained the characteristics of immediacy and hypermediacy and how they relate to each other. On the one hand, immediacy is more concerned about the content than its mode of representation, while hypermediacy can be described as a new kind of media experience, which draws more attention to its medium. Therefore, immediacy is considered as transparent and hypermediacy as opaque, as its goal is for the user to interact with the interface through a mediating channel. Furthermore, the relationship between these two logics can create a simulated feeling of presence. In the process of remediation, the relationship of immediacy and hypermediacy plays an important role. On the other hand, the authors refer to remediation as the process of creating new meaning in a new item by applying a module of another medium to it. It attempts to “refashion the older medium or media entirely, while still marking the presence of the older media and therefore maintaining a sense of multiplicity or, as we have called it, hypermediacy”. Additionally, when remediating a digital media it is important to preserve the original medium so it does not lose its essence, thus it can be said that transparency is the goal.
Moreover, hypermediacy is centered more on performance and interactivity rather than the content. “Its raw ingredients are images, sound, text, animation and video, which can be brought together in any combination”. Some examples of hypermediacy are laptops, tablets, smartphones, and iPods, among others. Hypermediacy is when people can use different types of media at the same time by making this interaction constantly mediated. For example, when one uses the computer and the cellphone simultaneously, which makes it interactive rather than transparent as users are making contact with different interfaces.
In the essay “Writing on the Bias,” Linda Brodkey portrays her evolution as a writer. At the beginning, she indicates how she followed rules when she was a kid as it can be seen in the following quote. “I was a child who lived by rules because I loved the idea of controlling events.” I can relate to this because when I was in primary I used to follow guidelines and do exactly what my teachers demanded instead of using my own imagination and create my own pieces of writing, since I feared taking risks and getting out of the box.
Moreover, as I grew older I realized that is not too important to follow the rules strictly since you can go beyond that limit established by those rules, which will lead you to create incredible pieces of writing. Additionally, I have always think that it is important to use creativity and imagination in every aspect of life, as it makes you see things in an extraordinary way by giving color to the world somehow, on the contrary, we would all see the world exactly the same way and everything would be dull and rigid.
Furthermore, at the end of the essay, Brodkey says “I wish everyone were taught to write on the bias, for finding and following a bias is critical to writing as it is to sewing.” I agree with this because I think it is important to write on the bias, as I prefer to write subjective pieces of writing about my own experiences or ideologies by using my creativity and imagination, as I think this is a way of giving sense to the world. Plus, I think it is more interesting to read a subjective writing with meaning and “color”, than a piece of writing which was written by the same guidelines everyone uses.
In the text “Authority and American Usage”, Wallace points out many concepts about the usage of English language. The one the stood out to me the most was the issue in where lexicographers get to decide if a word is written correctly or not. The author mentions two different concepts, Prescriptivism and Descriptivism, the first one, which is followed by SNOOTS, states that there should be fixed norms that declares what is correct and incorrect when it comes to the usage of English language, while the second one, discard this idea by stating that everyone can use a certain grammatical rule and that it would not be incorrect as the usage will be proper depending on the dialect used.
Throughout the text, Wallace criticize both concepts and gets to the point that Prescriptivism is the way to go, as it is important to know the right usage of the language by knowing what is grammatically correct and what is incorrect. I agree with this completely because as a non-native English speaker, I think it is important to follow an authoritative set of guidelines as to how to use the language properly in order of being able to learn it correctly. Therefore, I agree with the fact that everyone needs guidance, either through a SNOOT correcting your mistake or by checking the dictionary to make sure how to use the words properly, as it is necessary to know what is the right way of using the language.
A phrase that caught my attention was “English usage is so challenging that even experienced writers need guidance now and then.” Personally, I don’t mind when someone corrects me if I make a grammatical mistake because I am still learning day by day, plus I want to improve my writing and speaking skills. Likewise, I tend to use the dictionary when I don’t know the meaning of a word or also to check if certain word is well written. Moreover, having standard grammatical rules for everyone is beneficial so we can talk under the same meaning and use the language the same way, on the contrary, anything won’t make sense and communication between us would be an issue.
A phrase that really caught my attention while reading “Shitty First Drafts” was “Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. (…) the first draft is the down draft- you just get it down. The second draft is the up draft – you fix it up. And the third draft is the dental draft, where you check every detail”, as I typically tend to do this when writing a written task. Before starting my first draft, I usually write all the ideas that come up to my mind on a blank paper; once I write them all, I organize them by giving shape to them in order to be able to start with my writing. Generally I do not like the first outcome, which is why I tend to fix it up several times until coming up with a good result by improving every single detail; usually after the third draft. Moreover, the most difficult part of my writing process is getting started as I use to take a long time to think about my ideas and try to organize them in my mind before writing them on a blank paper.
In this course I hope to learn many techniques that will help me enhance my writing skills and broad my mind in order to become more creative and able to come up with any ideas easily at the moment of staring to write. Moreover, I want to learn to organize my ideas and shape them in a better way in order to have good outcomes. Additionally, I want to improve my analytic and interpreting skills as I generally have a hard time reading between the lines, especially in rhetorical texts.
What excites me the most about this course is learning the way meaning is made not just in writing, but across media as I think that the use of media, such as videos, audios and websites, will be a more entertaining way of learning than just reading and writing at all times.