Decisions Last night I couldn't work out what to do. There was a MA presentation on at RMIT and there was the rally at The State Library. I decided I'd go to the rally, got half way there, changed my mind and headed off to RMIT. I was half expecting the class to be cancelled. I'm not sure if it was the right decision to make. The student doing the presentation was American and the thing that finally swayed me was thinking "Imagine if nobody turned up at all. You might end up thinking you'd be boycotted." So I went. I suspect that there will be many more rallies in days to come.
Fake Blog, Real Blog It's interesting, but not surprising, the way two bloggers- Salem Pax and Kevin Sites have been so heavily discussed this week. We seem to have such a desire for first hand news, something other than in the mainstream newspapers. Interesting also that there is a certain amount of suspicion as to whether Dear Raed is actually genuine blog. Jill had a post about this issue earlier this week and there are some good comments attached. Liz points out that the way blog circles work at the moment, you may not have met all the people whose blogs you read, but you either know people who have- those "friend of a friend" connections. From what I've read, this was the catalyst for the Kaycee Nicole hoax coming unstuck- people realised that no one had actually met her.
I think it's also true what Liz says about it being difficult to maintain a fake blog existence would be difficult, particularly if it is in any detail. But not impossible, especially for a short period.
There is also a link on Boing Boing today to further discussions on this topic.
Not Knowing What Else to do, Woman Sends Email
So I woke up with that sick feeling in my stomach. Why? It took me a moment to work it out. Did I have a meeting at work? No, that was yesterday. Had I had an argument with someone? No. Oh yeah. That. Never mind that 70% of Australians don't want our troops committed. I think I might start calling myself a New Zealander.
Ironically, it is only because Iraq's military forces are so weak that we can even contemplate its invasion. Some advocates of conflict claim that Saddam's forces are so weak, so demoralised and so badly equipped that the war will be over in a few days.
We cannot base our military strategy on the assumption that Saddam is weak and at the same time justify pre-emptive action on the claim that he is a threat.
Iraq probably has no weapons of mass destruction in the commonly understood sense of the term - namely a credible device capable of being delivered against a strategic city target.
It probably still has biological toxins and battlefield chemical munitions, but it has had them since the 1980s when US companies sold Saddam anthrax agents and the then British Government approved chemical and munitions factories. Why is it now so urgent that we should take military action to disarm a military capacity that has been there for 20 years, and which we helped to create?
Why is it necessary to resort to war this week, while Saddam's ambition to complete his weapons programme is blocked by the presence of UN inspectors?
It looks like quite a good starting point for students who are unfamiliar with search strategies for both the RMIT data-base and the Internet as a whole. However, as with many online tutorials whether people actually ever use them is another matter altogether.
Jill posted recently about teaching critical blogging and links also to a post by Adrian on Google Literacy- that is, developing successful strategies for using this seach engine. The Frontier Librarian would daresay that the students problem with Google literacy would come down to not understanding Information Literacy and if they had paid more attention in their Library Ed. tutorial they would be a lot better off.
I very much like Jill's idea off setting her students the task of defining "usability". Such a bad word. I'd be interested to see what they come up with. One thing I'd do if I had students would be to tell them that anyone describing anything at all to do with the Internet as "sexy" would automatically drop a grade on their final mark and would be sent for councelling. There is nothing sexy about the Internet and it's rather creepy to refer to it this way.
It's interesting that some of Jill's students seem to have taken to blogging very quickly, where as others are reluctant. I wonder if this will change? I have a feeling that blogging is one of those things that really captures the imagination of some people where as others find it leaves them completely cold and a chore rather than something they take pleasure in.
Petite and I are talking about a guy cast to be an "Everyman" in a commercial. A sort of beer and footie type, but one who would own a Morcheeba album, too. Someone that women want to go out with, but men don't want to hurt.
Petite says "He's really too good-looking to be an Everyman."
"Can't you accessorise him down?" I ask.
Nearby, a rookie policeman is hovering; waiting for jay-walkers, so he can make his first arrest. Behind him, a more senior copper watches proudly, the mother lion overseeing the cub's first kill.
"No, I don't think so," says Petite. "He has those chiselled cheekbones. They are practically impossible to downplay."
So true, so true.
Online Comics Sbs' Cornerfold initiative has some interesting things- some of the short flash animations are good. My favourites are the two by Allison Colpoys and Donald Brooker called Modes of Formidable Engagement. (actually, the one that follows Modes of Formidable Engagement is my favourite.)
Then there is Nathan J's Scary Girl which Looby Lu blogged last week. I love his stuff- saw his contribution to GAME ON last week. I've even downloaded the Scarygirl wallpaper. Excellent stuff.
Got to do some animation. Even just 30 second pieces.