Apr 28, 2010

Found on Facebook

Found this as a comment on a photo in the album Wall Photos from Facebook's official Facebook page.

Arte Solino HOLA, SOY GABRIEL SOLINO, Y QUISIERA SABER POR QUÉ ME CERRARON MI CUENTA SI YO NO LA UTILICÉ DE MANERA INDEBIDA.
AL CONTRARIO, LA UTILICÉ SOLO PARA TENER CONTACTOS CON AMIGOS Y CONOCIDOS Y MANTUVE SIEMPRE LOS TERMINOS QUE
LA EMPRESA REQUIERE. DESEARÍA QUE ME RESPONDAN Y TAMBIÉN SABER SI ESPOSIBLE RECUPERAR MI CUENTA, DADO QUE REITERO
NO VEO QUE YO LA HAYA UTILIZADO INDEBIDAMENTE. Y SI ES UN PROBLEMA DE SUPLANTACIÓN DE IDENTIDAD, VIRUS O ALGO SIMILAR,
VER SI SE PUEDE SOLUCIONAR. MUCHAS GRACIAS... GABRIEL SOLINO

HELLO, I AM GABRIEL SOLINO, AND IT(HE,SHE) WANTED TO KNOW WHY THEY CLOSED MY ACCOUNT(BILL) IF I DID NOT USE IT IN AN UNDUE WAY.
ON THE CONTRARY, I USED IT ONLY TO HAVE CONTACTS WITH FRIENDS AND ACQUAINTANCES AND SUPPORTED ALWAYS THE TERMS(ENDS) THAT
THE COMPANY NEEDS. HE(SHE) WOULD WISH TO ANSWER ME AND ALSO TO KNOW IF ESPOSIBLE TO RECOVER MY ACCOUNT(BILL), PROVIDED THAT I REPEAT
I DO NOT SEE THAT I HAVE USED UNDULY. And IF IT IS A PROBLEM OF SUPPLANTING IDENTITY, VIRUS OR SOMETHING SIMILAR,
TO SEE IF IT IS POSSIBLE TO SOLVE. THANK YOU VERY MUCH... GABRIEL SOLINO


Hmm. What are your digital rights? (I'm not just for your right handed digits.) Who are the Facebook police? The MySpace Police? The Google Police? Where are their courts? Who is the judge?

Apr 27, 2010

While Researching Violence for Portuguese Class...

Article here: http://www.jstor.org.ezproxy.lib.utexas.edu/stable/pdfplus/3791797.pdf?cookieSet=1 (might require UTEID).

While understanding the violence-sex/gender-power construct is important, I would say that most readers would find the explanation self evident (although it is nice to have it spelled out so clearly. And with empirical evidence to boot!). For me, the most novel information is the call for a multi-disciplinary investigation of these power dynamics:

"Along with breadth of experience, we need breadth of method. ... content analysis of archival documents, personality research surveys, theoretical models of international relations, laboratory studies, and literary scholarship."

To paraphrase: Knowledge silos and useless hypothesizing, begone! Let's be proactive and find some real interesting solutions to these power constructs!

Also interesting: Maturity and Wisdom as the solution to the Power Complex. Yet again, Siddhartha's lessons surface at another juncture. All we need to know we is already contained within our cultural lore - why did we ever stop believing fairy tales?

Apr 25, 2010

Cars Don't Sleep

Strange but true. Cars don't sleep. Cars don't have beds. There is no place that a car can go at night. They sit wherever we leave them, waiting until we have slept, we have rested, we have need of them again.

Obviously self evident, I merely find it remarkable in that cars are our representation of our selves in the world. Twenty-four seven. HOWEVER, I am usually only consciously aware of my car when I am in it, when I am using it. Even then, I cannot see myself in my car, I rarely to never ride in my car as a passenger: my car is my representative to the world of travel, to all the anonymous others that I come in contact with during my commutes, my car is what I AM on the road, how I am judged, how I interact with others.

Thus I find it strange that this BEING, this OTHER SELF exists, and continues to exist even when I am not consciously aware of its existence.

In contrast to the un-conscious existence of the self-representation of a car, consider the conscious self-representation of a Facebook profile: you are aware of other beings coming into contact with your Facebook representation at any moment of the day. You are aware that your digital self can be seen and accessed by a (depending on privacy settings (or where you parked!)) varying groups of anonymous others. This is not disconcerting.

We know that Facebook is sleepless. We are concerned with it on a more perpetual basis. Cars, cars however are usually within our consciousness when we are using them.

But they don't sleep. They always exist. Now admittedly, they aren't as linkable to ourselves when we're not in them as digital selves are. But it's still weird to think that I've got a piece of myself that is so physically available and tangible on such a constant basis.

I think that this blog post is tangible proof of my need to stop reading critical feminist & literary theory and head to sleep myself. Night Self. Night Car. Night Digital Self-Representations. Until waking. :)

Apr 20, 2010

Response to Habermas (via Fish)

Sadly, I could not comment on this article via the NYT website because I read it too late. Thank goodness for blogs though!

Reading through reader's responses to Habermas' arguments, it appears that a wide variety of readers would argue against Habermas' proposition that reason alone does not give adequate substance for motivations and goals.

I would merely like to remark that I believe Habermas is speaking from a larger, societal based ideal of goals and motivations, and that on a whole the readership's response has been from a merely personal perspective.

There is no greater uniter of human drive than religion and faith. Reason alone can rarely drive us to unite to a single cause. The idea that each of us having individual motivation and goals derived from reason is not invalid, however it has been demonstrated that the leap from the individual to the collective is very vast and difficult. Especially in an environment (aka the US current sociopolitical discourse) where tolerance and political correctness and apparent equity remain as the reigning modus operandi. In such an 'environment' (or culture, I suppose) to accept a single goal or motivation for an entire population would require the acknowledgement of possible negation of others' goals: something that would not be acceptable. Even if every single member in the 'room', so to speak, were to privately be motivated by, for example, the desire to fully understand other people, the reluctance of individuals to impose a personal thought or belief onto the common 'tolerant' understanding would keep these individuals from revealing or attempting to persuade the collective of the rationality or validity of their position. Even if admitted and agreed upon in corners of the room, the prevailing mindset would prevent anyone from putting forth such a 'radical' idea. Minorities have a way of silencing themselves.

I'm not explaining this as well as my communication text book does. The point is that Habermas' conclusion that reason lacks the ability to unite nations of people under collective goals and motivations is valid. Reader comments to the contrary merely demonstrate that you cannot necessarily refute generalized generalizations from personal experience alone.

Rationalists - 1; Empiricists - 0

Apr 18, 2010

Ruby Slippers

I can't stop thinking about the shoes I wore on my tour of a Brazilian meat packing plant. Black flats, woven black leather that was slowly giving up, releasing its weave. You could make an argument that, perhaps, the blue plastic booties, showercaps for your feet, were more important in this instance than shoes, in the sense that they kept the actual blood and slime of death from soiling my shoes. But it was the shoes themselves and their cardboard-thin soles that I remember, fondly. Hiding my feet from the horrors through which they trod, not quite thick enough to quite block out sensation entirely. The tiles were uneven. And freezing, like the walls where blood and bone particulates crystallized, the same gruesome texture beneath my feet.

A few weeks later the weaving gave out entirely. They refused the bronzed-staples half-measure and the last ditch superglue attempt. Enough, they said.

I imagine them in a Brazilian trash-heap, waiting patiently in their ignorance (volto? sei lá), casting off a reddish-gold hue in the summer heat. There is no place like home.

Apr 10, 2010

Solitário de Amor: Reflexiones sobre la critica de Gossy

Escrito en respuesta de una discussión de classe sobre el libro de Cristina Peri Rossi, Solitario de Amor:

Tenía un pensamiento después de la classe de jueves. Tengo una otra respuesta a la sugestión de Sra. Gossy, specificamente a la idéa que el narrador es un "butch-femme".

Las pruebas de Sra. Gossy son la falta de una erección, de un orgasmo (del narrador), de un eyeculación, y de un bigote, rasgos de un sere masculino. Admito que Sra. Gossy tiene razón: el cuento le falta estas pruebas de masculinidad. Pero ella está equivocada con su conclusión.

La falta de rasgos de masculinidad, en mi opinión, son un aspecto de ser una obra erótica escrita por un mujer. Como mujer, ella no tenía experiencia con estes aspectos de ser hombre, entonces los dejó fuera del cuento. Ella, como lésbica, entendería el aspecto de eroticismo por la mujer, y entonce lo representó con una claridad que resuena con sus lectores masculinos.

Además, en la escena donde el narrador se presentó al ex-marido de Aída, el narrador provoca a Hugo responder para defender su identidad masculina: "Me gusta de mujeres". Es decir, Hugo, tener no entendido bien el propósito del narrador en presentarse a él, quería que el narrador supiera que Hugo no es gay, ni interessado por hombres. Esta reacción de Hugo nos mostra que el narrador, en la mente de la autora, era un hombre.

Observación: La crítica de una obra literária ha passado de las formas y símbolos de la obra al análisis psicológico del autor (ou autora). Es decir, para mejor entender la obra, tenemos que entender también la vida y las experiencias del escritor. En este sentido, la obra de Rossi - una mujer escribiendo de la perspectiva de un hombre - es una mirada interesante al eroticismo desde la perspectiva, a pesar de que seja lésbica, feminina.

blank canvas

this canvas is blank. does that mean it's time for me to start afresh? that's one of the side effects of blank canvas -- it brings...