There and Back Again

Notes from Stallings, Uncategorized

June 24th, 2009

Themes: , , , ,

How’s summer going? I had planned on updating throughout, but things have been busy. If any of you are still checking, drop me a comment below. Might give me motivation to share the coolness I come across.
So, I’ve been working on the syllabus for the Great Stories class I’ll be teaching in the fall, and thought I’d ask for your input. What stories from religious texts, fairy tales, myths, fables, and such should we read? What were the stories you loved as a child, or only recently discovered? Basically, what stories should every person know?
This will be a chance for us to increase our cultural capital, and better understand Western life.
My list:

Reading Notes: The Pirate’s Dilemma Ch 5

AP Language

May 25th, 2009

Themes: , , , , ,

[T]he parties were a blueprint for a way for things to work or function without a hierarchy as much as possible” (Mason 141).


Software creators’ response to open collaboration include Linux, the open-source operating system; Firefox, created by Mozilla (they have also created open-source email box and calendar programs); Google Code allows developers to play with Google’s software to support new uses…. The list is massive.  [Skip to the next paragraph if you aren’t interested in this stuff.] SourceForge is a great place to start looking, and Open Source as Alternative allows you to find, well, open-source (free) alternatives to the most popular software out there. I found Inkscape (a vector graphics creator/editor) and GIMP (a bitmap graphics creator/editor) through this website.


The bottom line is that things (software, albums, radio broadcasting, ideas, lectures, information, education, storefronts) that were once too expensive or proprietary are now open to the public. We can all try to imagine what this will mean in the future, but by looking back (as Mason is doing brilliantly in his book), we can get a more precise vision of trends.


Here’s the Rolling Stone article mentioned on page 144: “SPACEWAR: Fanatic Life and Symbolic Death Among the Computer Bums” by Stewart Brand. By hugely wonderful synthesis of history, Brand was one of the founders of the Whole Earth Catalogue. This is how the publication is described on the website:


With a seemingly haphazard arrangement of information within its categories, the CATALOG was the desktop-published equivalent [of] an early search engine that invited readers to learn something new on every page—and to connect unrelated ideas and concepts. It was read by nearly every segment of American society; even disparate groups could find common ground within the pages of the WHOLE EARTH CATALOG. (Whole Earth)

{Synthesis goosebumps}

Reading Notes: The Pirate’s Dilemma Ch 4

AP Language, Notes from Stallings

May 21st, 2009

Themes: , ,

Article on the fashion industry I mentioned yesterday.


Great (if short) discussion today. If you didn’t catch it the first time around, check out pages 81-3 for a great explanation of how to write a paper:


A good remix is defined by its signature original elements. . . . You may decide the originality is already there; an original process or take on sampled material counts. Or you may end up with one tiny piece of the original mixed with an entirely new score of your own. Either way, your originality should outshine the borrowed elements, or at the very least, present them in a new light.


Marc Ecko Tagging Air Force One


You should also check out Ecko’s explanation. He’s a great apologist for the DIY ethos and free speech. He also makes money from this ethos (his products represent rebellion and free speech, therefore those wearing them are as well). Think back to our discussions on cliques and the high school hierarchy and see where this leads you.


The Wooster Collective is a fantastic blog that showcases street art from around the world. Worth taking a look. And another. And another. And an article on TAKI 183.


It’s worth noting that graffiti is illegal; it wouldn’t be a message of change and rebellion if it wasn’t. Gladwell mentions the other side of the argument in his book The Tipping Point, and his point is summed up well here, in an article where gangs and graffiti always go hand-in-hand.


In sync with Marc Ecko’s use of graffiti in advertising, the opposite:


The authorities raised the stakes once again with harsher vandalism laws and sentences, so artists . . . worked faster and smarter, using techniques borrowed from the advertising industry and the high art galleries that had adopted graffiti. (Mason 119)


Mark Jenkins’s website. With pictures!


Have fun, see you tomorrow.

Reading Notes: The Pirate’s Dilemma Ch 3

AP Language

May 20th, 2009

Themes: , ,

I present to you: THE REMIX



Radiohead is a (leit)motif of this unit…

Create your own Shepard Fairey-style Obama poster

Remixing youTube (NPR story)

Pirate Author Video Interlude

AP Language

May 19th, 2009

Themes: , ,

Poptech video from The Pirate’s Dilemma author Matt Mason.


And, The Principality of Sealand=awesome.


Stay tuned for chapter notes.