the wisdom of the holodeck

It is always interesting to mash up and remix the bits and bytes around us.  The captured response to our last two books in Emergent Landscapes is both a collaborative effort and mash-up review of both books.  How’s that for an emergent media book review?

Being a big nerd girl, I really enjoyed reading Hamlet on the Holodeck by Janet Murray.  It starts out on the Star Trek holodeck, drop’s references to Adous Huxley and Ray Bradbury’s “feelies” and explores storytelling in the digital/cyber realm.

Can digital mediums provide human narratives? Murray argues yes, attesting that the bards of the future will have more tools than ever to weave stories of the human condition.  Furthermore, the digital narrative is an interactive narrative, one in with the author and their readers can interact and inform each other.  A seminal book, Hamlet on the Holodeck was written in 1998 and already feels dated.  Murray must be pleasantly surprised to know that her future-casting has already started to come into fruition.

And then of course the 2.0 Classic Wisdom of the Crowds by James Surowieki.  Through a series of colorful examples and stories Surowieki reveals that under the right circumstances, information can be aggregated by tapping into well, the wisdom of the crowds.  He points out that when circumstances are right crowds can be more intelligent than even the smartest among them.

This “disorganized decision making” has three main components:

  • coordination
  • cognition
  • cooperation

Cora, Robin and I decided to each explore one of those through a collaborative video project (above).  Here is another example of digital storytelling that would make Murray (hopefully) proud.  In this example we read a book, conducted online research, watching videos of lectures and reading articles about him after it was written) and then we decided to work together to make a piece that explores disorganized decision making.  We used found footage to weave together a stream of conscious triptych laying them over Philip Glass’ 100,000 people.  The results capture our response to both books.   And here, on the digital reading rainbow, “That’s One To Grow On.”


About rmhooper

I am a student in Champlain College's MFA in Emergent Media Program.
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