…Well Now What

November 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

(via here)

It feels weird to be done. Of course I’m not exactly done, I’m not even close to being done, though tomorrow will mark the beginning of a new chapter of FREEDOM, just like the discontinued sex robots are uncanny valleying about above. It’s like the marathon runner who finds herself weirdly droopy the day after her race, until she finds a new race to train for. In my case, come Saturday I’m going to hop back on board the 4chan train — need to reframe some things, make the Jenkem shit nice and digestible for my imagined audience, which ideally will include people who don’t know anything, or all that much, about trolls (prepare your anus, is all I’ll say). Then I travel to Spokane for the 4 day summer vacation I never got, then it’ll be all prospectus all the time. I can’t wait for that shit (no really, I seriously can’t). My god! And I’ll also get back onto a normal trolling schedule! Since of late –barring major news stories, which require immediate and unbroken archival attentions– I’ve been conducting research via appointment, which sucks. Ok, yes, I’m starting to feel much better now. THERE WILL ALWAYS BE MORE WORK TO DO TOMORROW.

10 minutes of clicking later, somehow I ended up here.

But I digress. In preparation for tomorrow’s exams I figured I’d sketch out a list of questions I hope I’m asked claims I hope to defend. What do I want to talk about? What are the important issues? I doubt very highly that my examiners (save for my advisor, who luckily is chair) will approach this material from the same perspective, and therefore doubt very highly that the following list will line up with the questions I’m actually asked arguments I get to make. But a girl can dream.

Questions Claims about the general list

  • The shift from text-based to graphical interface(s) has significantly impacted discussions/performances of online identity.
  • There are two basic levels at which the raced, classed and gendered body is (en)coded online.
  • The internet is still pretty fucking white.
  • Facebook is the worst, especially this shit about the authentic online self.
  • Persistent online identity has serious and not always pleasant implications. (see above)
  • Web 2.0 is a study in cultural and economic hybridity.
  • Digital natives’ assumptions about online culture differ greatly from the oldz, who in most cases need to stfu & get over themselves.
  • The relationship between humans and digital technologies is co-evolutionary; people grow to fit the tool, and the tool adjusts to fit the hand.
  • Wikipedia is an important pedagogical tool.
  • “Because they can” and/or “because they want to” are legitimate (partial) answers to questions about why people do such wacky shit online.
  • People should not make general statements about internet users.
  • “Communications tools don’t get socially interesting until they get technologically boring” (Shirky 2008).
  • Anti-fans and the internet were made for each other.
  • Lockdown –within technical and content layers– only makes whatever problem worse. (also applies to trollshit)
  • Online, speech is behavior; in order to decode what has been said one must take the context into account. (also applies to trollshit)
Questions Claims about the dissertation-related project
  • Trolling, “cyberbullying” and harassment are not interchangeable terms; legally this is very important.
  • One does not simply walk into Anonymous.
  • Equating trolling with hate speech (as “just” racist, sexist, homophobic) is counter-productive.
  • Trolling culture is intertwined with internet culture.
  • “Modern” trolling has ample historical precedent.

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