/Sigh Whatever happened to free will of the indiv…

/Sigh

Whatever happened to free will of the individual? and taking responsibility for your actions and choices? Although some will see this as a victory – i see it as shifting responsibility… much like blaming children’s consumption of violent video games on the game companies and not the parents who actually raise the kids….

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Old Technology – New Owner I am the proud new own…

Old Technology – New Owner
I am the proud new owner of a NEC MobilePro 790 PocketPC. Although this puppy is from 2001, and therefore considered quite dated technology-wise – i am very happy with my ebay purchase. At only 1.7 lbs and a whopping 1.1″ thick, I can throw this in my bag with my books and my new thermos (thank you again sashay!) and off i go. Small as it is, the keyboard is 85% the size of a standard laptop keyboard, the screen is 8″ x 3″ so i can see the full width of my documents and is quite easy to use. I am sad that i cannot change the color of my background in Word docs (but maybe i just havent figured out how yet) and have no clue how to get on the internet (but it is possible)

For note taking and agenda – it is well worth the $200.00 i paid (well, i won the auction at $107USD but shipping and duty and blah blah blah later….) I still use my toshiba laptop for more complex portable duties, but for now, i have a new toy – yipee!

More on Simmel, Space So, after finally finishin…

More on Simmel, Space

So, after finally finishing Simmel’s piece on Spatial and Urban Culture (well worth the read), I am – amazed might be a strong word – but appropriately awed, that Simmel dealt with such abstract concepts of space in the early 1900’s – yet people today still have a hard time dealing with the concept of the ‘virtual’ as being a ‘real’ space. According to Simmel (in my interpretation of course) organizations, institutions and religion are parts of society that exist largely in their abstraction. In their concepts. Many of these spaces do not exist in any physical or geographic location – membership and belonging to these things are abstractions that occupy a form of intellectual space.

have so much more to say on this – but i keep running out of time …

The Concept of Space & MMOG’s Reading Simmel’s ar…

The Concept of Space & MMOG’s

Reading Simmel‘s article on Spatial and Urban Culture for my Sociology of Culture class, and it got me thinking about how we preceive space in the digital context, and even more specifically in the context of mmog’s. When looking over my play experience in EverQuest, Dark Age of Camelot and World of Warcraft, the space experienced, although visual, is still an abstraction of space. Yes, boundaries and ‘zone walls’ are created by design, but this is usually for design limitation and technical issues. Simmel’s article focuses on the three predominant qualities of space for social formations and interactions. In many cases then, there is no difference between Simmel’s 19th century concept of space and today’s virtual space found in mmog’s. Both are conceptual spaces that exist within the physical realm that concerns itself with localization (cities, states etc / servers, shards etc.)

More on this later …

Living Avatars A colleague of mine has often said…

Living Avatars

A colleague of mine has often said that I remind her of an avatar. This post if for her.

Although I did not attend the Tokyo Game Show 2005, Lisa Galarneau, over at SocialStudyGames did.

I thank her for the links of the booth babes and living avatars (or cos players) that were at the show. I was awestruck by the beauty of many of the costumes and got into a little game of ‘name that avatar’.

Conforming to Simplistic Thought After much deli…

Conforming to Simplistic Thought

After much deliberation, reading and converstation, I created my genealogical tree of classical sociology represented by theorists.
Although I stand by my earlier post, my common sense tells me that I should stay somewhat into the ‘typical’ concept of classical social theory. So, when i think of “dead white guys” who forged the way of social theory, these are some of the names that come to mind.
My goal was to not give any hierachy to any one theorist or clustered concept, but to demonstrate that they bear equal importance in terms of creating a foundation regardless of linear time. I must admit, this assignment was alot harder then I had expected. Not that I have no concept of classical sociology, but to work within normal boundaries when thinking it through. (thanks you guys for talking me through it)

The Geneology of Social Theory What started out a…

The Geneology of Social Theory

What started out as a relatively simple assignment, has taken on a life of its own this evening. Our assignment was simple. Create a geneological tree consisting of social theorists that we feel represent classical social theory. The point was, or what I understand the point to be, is that everyone will have a different idea of what classical sociology is and who best represents it.

It was agreed upon in the seminar, that the arborious design was problematic, as it implied certain hierarchies and ‘branches’, and it also became skewed because it was laid out in a relative time sequence, not a theoretical sequence.

So, my problem stems from my typical knack for a) overanalysing even the simplest tasks (that were probably meant to be fun and b) thinking too far from the box that deep down in my heart, i know i should be sitting in…

that said

I have a theory that classical social theory can be seen as, as sashay put it to me this evening, emphasizing the concept of cannonical instead of classical as denoting a particular period of time.
What I find peculiar about the debate of time within attempting to define the boundaries of classical social theory, is that most people have very fixed ideas of when it ended, but seem quite flexible when determining when it began even though sociology as a formal discipline was introduced rather late in terms of intellectual thinking.

So, since we allowed people such as Plato and Aristotle, Rousseau, Kant and Locke to be included in the definiton of Classical Sociology, I have come to my own reasoning in pushing the boundaries in the other direction as well. If I am to think about classical social theory as being cannonical, then people not commonly thought as classical can definitly be included. Contemporary feminist theory should be included as part of the classical literature in the sense that it should be included as part of a foundation of knowledge that is necessary in order to understand other volumes of work. With each new (and i mean box-shatteringly innovative) nuggets of theory, we should consider it to be part of the classical body of work. Or perhaps the problem is not with the dates and time frame, but with the terminology. Perhaps we should abandon the idea of classical social theory for a very strict modern/post-modern … or maybe before and after Marx =)

The other option is to very clearly state the meaning of classical and find theorists that fall ONLY under those categories….who’s definition would be the most homogenous to create a very definitive list of thost that qualify as “classical social theory”.

I learned classical social theory in a very progressive way. What I mean is, all old theory was paired with contemporary theory (as current as 1996 articles found in popular culture magazines such as Wired) to show us the progression of theoretical threads. Although I attribute the way I think through theory to this method (currently working on Parsons and VideoGames), it skewed any definitional lines of classical social theory for me.