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Utilizing the Library Makerspace for Critical Invention in Intro to Science, Technology, and Society

Web-Based
J.J. Sylvia IV
Digital Rhetoric Collaborative: March 21.
Publication year: 2016

Introduction

How can I make the theoretical critique at the heart of the Introduction to Science, Technology, and Society course more tangible to my students? This was my driving question as I began developing the syllabus for my STS 214 course at North Carolina State University. One of the assignments previously used in the course was an activity based around inventing a new technology. With this assignment, students worked together in groups to compose a simplified patent application. In 2013, NCSU libraries launched a new Makerspace with the opening of the Hunt Librarybranch. I had been brainstorming ways to integrate makerspace tools into my research and teaching; when I connected the availability of these tools with the possibilities of expanding the ‘inventing a technology’ assignment, the spark of excitement was immediate. The assignment was expanded so that students would invent new technologies using critical making tools such as micro-controllers, 3D printing, and augmented reality.

The Future of Critique: Mark Andrejevic on Power/Knowledge and the Big Data-Driven Decline of Symbolic Efficiency

Journal Article
J.J. Sylvia IV, Mark Andrejevic
International Journal of Communication. Vol. 10.
Publication year: 2016

Abstract

Mark Andrejevic, associate professor at Pomona College, and J. J. Sylvia IV, PhD student in the Communication Rhetoric and Digital Media Program at North Carolina State University, discuss the impact of the neo-materialist turn for media studies and the importance of critiquing surveillance through the theoretical framework of power in addition to that of privacy. Although the decline of symbolic efficiency, brought on at least in part by the rise of big data, seems to disrupt the link that Michel Foucault draws between power and knowledge, Andrejevic considers possibilities for reimagining the knowledge structures associated with big data’s infrastructure.

Little Brother: How Big Data Necessitates an Ethical Shift from Privacy to Power

Book Chapter
J.J. Sylvia IV
In Booth, P. and Davisson, A. (Eds.), Controversies in Digital Ethics (pp. 13-28). New York, NY: Bloomsbury.
Publication year: 2016

Abstract

The ability of both people and organizations to leverage big data in new ways has rendered the traditional ethical frameworks for dealing with issues of privacy and commodification ineffective and archaic. The leveraging of such data raises new questions related to the power generated for businesses through the big data divide—the gap separating those who have access to big data and those who do not. Although the ethical issues related to big data have historical roots in commodification, we have the opportunity to embrace a new ethical framework for this age. Rather than focusing on privacy issues, big data can be better understood through the issue of power discrepancies created by the big data gap. One ethical aspect of this shift is seeking more emancipatory and affirmative uses of big data.

Visualizing My Interdisciplinary Field (Part 2)

Web-Based
J.J. Sylvia IV
HASTAC blog: January 19.
Publication year: 2015
This time I'd like to share some visualizations based on publication years and citations of the scholars working in my area.

Visualizing My Interdisciplinary Field (Part 1)

Web-Based
J.J. Sylvia IV
HASTAC blog: January 18
Publication year: 2015
I've recently been researching and attempting to visualize my field. I'll share a little background about my program and then the first part of what this visualization process looks like. My Ph.D. Program--Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media--is an interdisciplinary program between the Communication and English departments at North Carolina State University. One of the final courses that we take, before moving on to comprehensive exams and the dissertation process, is aimed at helping us develop a sense of the field in which we'll be working. This process has taught me that it's particularly important to do this for those of us who will be working in an interdisciplinary field.

Techno Teaching Philosophy with the MaKey MaKey

Web-Based
J.J. Sylvia IV
HASTAC blog: January 17
Publication year: 2015
During the recent discussions about new models, methods, and media for the dissertation, I was also taking part in a course on Technologies and Pedagogies in the Communication Arts. During the course, taught by Dr. Deanna Dannels, we were challenged to re-interpret our teaching philosophy through the MaKey MaKey.

See Me Like I Do: A Forum on Selfies

Web-Based
Jenae Cohn, J.J. Sylvia IV, Lauren Rae Hall, Bridget Sweet, Annie Fee, Stephen Groening, Magdalena Olszanowski, Lev Manovich, Jill Rettberg, and Theresa Senft
HASTAC forum: February 19.
Publication year: 2015

The “selfie,” a photograph taken of and by the same person, is a surprisingly malleable genre. Selfies can be taken of one person or of groups, at different angles, in different environments. The photographer-subject can be clothed, intending to showcase their OOTD (“outfit of the day”) or nude, aiming to entice romantic partners. The filters offered by popular platforms like Instagram can make a selfie appear as if it was taken forty years ago. The image geotagging feature of most cell phone cameras even allow users and viewers to use selfies to track the subjects’ daily whereabouts. There are also “selfie” offshoots: “belfies” are of photographer-subjects’ derrieres and the primary subject of “lelfies” are legs. In recent years, the selfie has become something more than a means to capture a look or moment; selfies, in all their forms, have been deployed for a variety of creative and critical purposes.

This forum takes up the hows and whys of selfie creation and circulation, paying special attention to the ways selfies act as a means of asserting agency in a variety of different contexts. Our hope is to combine perspectives on gender, sexuality, and surveillance as well as historical selfie precursors and the use of selfies in the classroom into one concentrated, scholarly forum. In our minds, the benefit of this forum over a scholarly article is that it can showcase the many ways the purposes and functions of selfies clash and create new configurations of creativity and power.

Quantified Self and the Politics of Self-Tracking

Web-Based
Meena Natarajan, Neal Swisher, J.J. Sylvia IV, Jason Tham, Gary Wolf, Dawn Nafus, Ernesto Ramirez, Deborah Lupton, and Natasha Dow Schüll
HASTAC forum: April 24.
Publication year: 2015
The Quantified Self (QS) has been the topic of much discussion recently in tandem with the development of consumer tracking applications and services. QS is a global network of individuals who voluntarily track various aspects of their bodies and lives, most often with digital and wearable technologies. If an aspect of the self can be counted, it's probably been tracked by a member of the QS community. The motivation is self knowledge and the means is numerical data. QS technologies include smartphone lifelogging apps, health and fitness trackers like Fitbit and Apple Healthkit, EEG devices, home biomarker testing kits and quite often, spreadsheets, among other things. Typical QS projects track steps, nutrition, mood and sleep. However, a rare project will surface now and then that interrogates such things like how often a self tracker's values were exercised on a daily basis, the extent of a person's material consumption, or even conversations and things heard over a decade, in the form of a searchable database! In this HASTAC forum, we explore a community at the intersection of posthuman and transhumanist futures, as well as contemporary debates around digital health, surveillance and self governance. Through the forum, we hope to tackle some of the tough questions and challenges facing the quantified self community, including the politics of self-surveillance, the notions of data, identity, and agency inherent in QS practices, and its efforts towards subverting institutionalized knowledge production and reforming institutionalized medicine.

Meeting Up with Yourself

General Audience
J.J. Sylvia IV, Heath Stevens
In Lewis, C. and Smithka, P. (Eds.), More Doctor Who and Philosophy. (pp. 291-300) Chicago and La Salle, IL: Open Court.
Publication year: 2015

Abstract

In this chapter we explore the possibility of meeting one’s self through time travel as a metaphor of the digital footprint one leaves through his or her use of social media. Nietzsche says that one is always a different person. Whether or not we accept that in a literal, ontological sense, we can all agree that we as adults tend to think about the world differently than we did when we were children. Now, thanks to sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Blogger, many of the thoughts and feelings of our former selves are easily captured and stored indefinitely on the Internet, which allows us to go back and glimpse versions of our former selves. Do these resources allow me to go back and experience myself, not as myself but as Other?

For philosopher Gilles Deleuze, the experience of the Other is an expression of a virtual possible world which allows one to see another side to the events that she lives. Learning, for Deleuze, requires a shock, and our encounters with Others can potentially offer just such a shock. In order to truly learn, though, we must not imitate the Other, but instead enter an assemblage with Other, bringing together two possible ways of expressing the world. Along with Deleuze, we explore the concept of Other through several existentialist philosophers.  

In addition to examples of the Doctor meeting other versions of himself, this type of assemblage and learning is demonstrated by The Girl Who Waited. The Girl meets Amy, an earlier version of herself. In her own past she refused to help herself be rescued by the Doctor and Rory, but through the creation of an assemblage of Amy and The Girl and the shock of this meeting, The Girl becomes worthy of the events happening and makes the ethical decision to help rescue Amy.

Though we often think that we each become wiser as we age, a Deleuzian perspective on the Self as Other allows us to ask the question: what might we learn through confronting our younger selves as Other, either through time travel or social media?

Mastering Prezi for Business Presentations (2nd ed.)

General Audience
J.J. Sylvia IV, R.A. Williams
Packt Publishing.
Publication year: 2015
Engage your audience visually with stunning Prezi presentation designs and be the envy of your colleagues who use PowerPoint with this book and ebook

About This Book

  • Turns anyone already using Prezi into a master of both design and delivery
  • Illustrated throughout with easy-to-follow screenshots and some live Prezi examples to view online
  • Transform your standard PowerPoint presentations into an engaging and memorable Prezi

Who This Book Is For

If you use Prezi in business and want to take your presentations to the next level, or if you want to become the office Prezi master, this book is for you.

What You Will Learn

  • Insert sounds into your Prezis for narration or for use in online delivery
  • Differentiate between Raster and Vector imagery to optimize your Prezi design
  • Develop consistent branding in your Prezi
  • Design Prezis for use online without a presenter guiding the audience
  • Collaborate with colleagues overseas using Prezi
  • Turn company slides into non-linear Prezi presentations
  • Create custom menus for embedded Prezis

In Detail

Prezi is a tool for delivering presentations in a linear or non-linear format. This cloud-based software enables users to structure presentations on an infinite canvas in a way that is more engaging and visually stimulating to the audience. This book covers all of the technical elements of the software, whilst also looking at the practicalities of using Prezi in a business environment. It teaches the reader how to think for Prezi, and approach their design in the best way. This is an essential resource for people who want to use Prezi seriously. Apart from covering best practices for inserting images, sound, and video, this book also covers topics for business users such as collaborating and sharing Prezis online, using Prezi at a meeting to brainstorm with overseas colleagues, and how to “Prezify” PowerPoint or Keynote slides. This book will escalate you from Prezi user to Prezi master with ease.