Fannin's Place

MMC6612, Fall 2010

Online Context

with 4 comments

The massive internet information flow is de-contextualized the meaning of discourse online.

The technology boom makes the internet produce more and more information in front of the users. Under such pressure, the way how we interpret the information, the texts, and the discourses becomes a tough challenge. According to Sandbote,

“Our reading is changing, hermeneutic sensitivity is being intensified, our reception of texts is becoming more intertextual.” (Mike Sandbote)

Meaning is being discussed and being interactively created, it’s changeable, and it might be interpreted as different point of view.

Though it creates the “chaos” in the information market, but

“When text is free to flow and combine, new forms of value are created, and the overall productively of the system increases.” (Steve Johnson)

Indeed, take Wikipedia for example, the value of texts is gaining by the adding and revising actions between users, pushing it to the summit of the ultimate “truth.” But how do we evaluate it? How do we know “this” description is better than others?

“In Wikipedia, no such objective signal of quality is available.” (Michael Nielsen)

Texts, discourses, they are not mathematical problems. They can’t be solved by a single answer. Furthermore, internet provides the forum of collecting dispersed information easily, through the “copy and paste” to form a new concept. Thus, we can only grab the scattered meaning in the texts on the internet, decontextualizing the paragraphs, developing discourses combine with our own point of view, sometimes constructing a totally new idea, different from the original one. The interaction of the creation of new meanings between online users also puts influences on the exchangeable internet content.

“information must be conceived as discrete bundles, physically decontextualized and fluidly moving. For ultimately, the control processes of complex systems are a matter of regulated feedback which requires that processes of communication be conceived of as exchanges.” (David Sholle)

The decontexualization on the internet makes everyone has the chance to deliberate their discourses, though might be broken. However, the internet provides a free platform for us to express our opinion, basically without consequences. There is no such ultimate principle to define the texts, which are fallen into pieces.

“In the networking activity the scientific institutions lose their interpretative and ruler positions and everybody has to relate to the pieces of the knowledge directly and personally, without any mediating and interpreting by the official experts of that piece of knowledge. This freedom to reach all the human knowledge seems to be a constraint, we are thrown into the freedom and nobody can save us. “ (László Ropolyi)


Written by fanninchen

October 31, 2010 at 3:02 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

4 Responses

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  1. Your discussion of decontextualization is really useful, I think. This concept can be both positve and negative. Removing text from orignal context and repurposing it can alter meaning drastically, potentially leading to deliberate misrepresentation or unintentional misinterpretation by new viewers of the recontextualized text not familiar with the original text, depending on which text becomes the dominant text. At the same time, there’s a power deterritorialization of knowledge that happens, where everyone can derive their own meaning from a text and use it for their own purposes, encouraging a free flow of intellectual capital rather than intellectual elitism, perhaps; no one has a monopoly on knowledge.

    Kayley Thomas

    November 5, 2010 at 2:22 pm

  2. I like the way you talk about the decontextualization and recontextualization. Sometime “stealing” idea of others seems lack of moral sense. But is “stealing” can yield much more sophisticated outcome, the open free source like internet era is expecting. I have heard a saying that “Two heads are better than one.
    “. The remixing is doing that job for us.


    November 5, 2010 at 3:34 pm

  3. The last link is to a Word document — that’s a poor choice, because readers on the Web do not want to open a Word document when they click a link; they want to go to a new Web page or a video! The other links are good ones, and I liked your argument too.

    This sounds like poetry: “There is no such ultimate principle to define the texts, which are fallen into pieces.”

    Mindy McAdams

    November 11, 2010 at 6:40 pm

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