the end of one kind of literary transcription, orange poppies wallpaper, the shrinking idea marketplace

Dictating a Masterpiece – The end of literary transcription.

More and more writers are using voice recognition software, which is constantly improving and even has an app for the iPhone. The novelist Richard Powers has explained his process of dictating novels to his PC tablet as a return to “writing by voice” as done by authors through history.

But earlier writers, such as Milton, Dostoevsky and Henry James used the first form of voice recognition software—women.

[   ]…We think of writing as an author’s cognitive output, but it has a corporeal dimension—writing is an embodied practice, the outcome is itself shaped by the medium through which it is produced, involving both the materiality and the senses (that Remington click), immeasurable dimensions of artistic production. Even if the traces of the process on the final product we can never grasp.

Milton, Dostoevsky and James all outsourced aesthetic production because of human frailty, limitations on their bodies. Today, the process has been mechanized and writers turn to voice recognition for different reasons. Some choose it because of repetitive stress but others cite the ease and convenience. Perhaps the new medium will again transform artistic production.

A typewriter sounds romantic – and in some cases such as Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s marriage to his transcriptionist Anna Grigorievna – it was. There seems to be a gulf between our misty romantic imaginings of Henry James and other pre-computer writers and how we respond. I have a great aunt’s old electric Remington in the closet, but I have no desire to drag it out to write anything – much less anything that would require a lot of research. It’s much easier to project, to see oneself enveloped in the evening light by the window, the thin drapes waving with a cool breeze. To actually write, stop writing, save, look up a word, a date , a name or place – all involves less disruption on a laptop. Though I might be fooling myself. I’m not a professional writer obviously, but I do write a lot and I have to take a break and look outside or walk around after 45 minutes or so. I wasn’t a big Sex and the City fan, but I liked the scenes where Carrie would be typing on her MAC and doing a voice over of her thoughts. Carrie’s routine is probably too recent to be enveloped in our wistful ideas of what it means to be a writer, but maybe someday. Transcription software is great at home, sore throats aside, but I cannot get used to using transcription software around other people.

William Gibson used a Hermes 2000 model manual typewriter to write Neuromancer.

orange poppies wallpaper

How the Fox-Comcast Machine Crushed a Journalist Who Spoke Out Against Bill O’Reilly
By Terry Ann Knopf, Columbia Journalism Review

Barry Nolan’s demise is not without larger significance. Notes Josh Silver, president and CEO of Free Press, a nonprofit media reform group based in Washington, D.C. “All Barry did was use the words of Bill O’Reilly and distribute them. He spoke truth to power, but the truth was outside the range of Comcast’s acceptable discourse.”

Truth, of course, is harder to define than raw corporate power. What’s clear is that over the past twenty years or so, thanks in part to government deregulation, the number of companies owning or having a dominant influence over our news and information outlets has dwindled from about thirty to just a few—Walt Disney, News Corp., Time Warner, Viacom—and, if the FCC approves, Comcast-NBC Universal. Such media consolidation means reduced competition and greater shareholder pressures and, possibly, attention to profits over the pubic interest. Indeed, some critics argue that such concentration of power is dangerous to our democracy, leading to a less vigilant news media and what one business journalist has called “a more muted marketplace for ideas.”

Because we don’t have any national right to work laws it is probably not especially newsworthy that one guy got the boot by his employer. That his employer seems to have done so because of not so subtle threats by News Corp. is abhorrent. Imagine the story worked the other way around and Nolan was the one with a media conglomerate behind him and O’Reilly was forced out. The space station could probably hear the whining from the Right.

News Corp and Fox do not blur the line between news and politics – they are political organizations – Fox News’ corporate parent gave Republican Governors Association $1 million

the blue vase by paul cezanne. c. 1885-87. Oil on canvas

Troops: Skipping Christian concert got us punished

Smith said a staff sergeant told 200 men in their barracks they could either attend or remain in their barracks. Eighty to 100 decided not to attend, he said.

“Instead of being released to our personal time, we were locked down,” Smith said. “It seemed very much like a punishment.”

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation first reported on the Christian concert. The foundation said it was approached by soldiers who were punished for not attending or offended by the religious theme of the event.

The Christian rock group BarlowGirl espouse such themes in their songs as the only true love one will ever know is through their deity. Relying on human judgment and reason  gives one a false impression of existence. An opinion that could only be arrived at via human judgment. They believe their religion is not merely a system of beliefs but a form of physical being. You do not fully exist outside their belief system.

Dude, like what is going on when I experience like déjà vu?

All theories of memory acknowledge that remembering requires two cooperating processes: familiarity and recollection. Familiarity occurs quickly, before the brain can recall the source of the feeling. Conscious recollection depends on the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, whereas familiarity depends on regions of the medial temporal cortex.

Not set in stone yet, but it appears as though we get those moments when our familiarity process gets out of sync with our recollection processes.