Thursday, August 30, 2007

64 Trouble in paradise? Let's make blogs!

Message no. 64[Branch from no. 61]

Posted by Thomas Culhane (1311520071) on Wednesday, January 24, 2007 3:05am

Subject: Trouble in paradise? Let's make blogs!

Hey gang,

I am delighted to see the effort and excitement you are all putting into this first foray into mapping our environments. When we get to Chapters 2 and 3 of the text and see how important cognitive maps are to the study of psychology all the effort will make sense!

I also really appreciate the way you guys are already beginning to interact with and support one another, helping out with everything. This is as it should be! It appears that we are spontaneously creating a "cooperative environment" instead of a "competitive environment" and I think that is good. Really good. Most classrooms in the past have devolved into competitive spaces where people's basest instincts surface, usually because the "authority figure" or "teacher" restricts access to coveted resources, such as "time for self-expression" (by choosing who to call on, when and for how long and about what) and those blood diamonds of the academic world -- points and grades.

In this class our technological environment makes us question the very notion of restricted access. Time and space are dilated, distorted, stretched, twisted. The industrial age school system that functioned to create competitive workers (Marx's famous "reserve army of labor") is now giving way to computer age school systems that function to create cooperative players who can cocreate our new knowledge based society.

We will explore in this class how "real goods", "capital goods" and other forms of "hardware" interface in the new economic environment with "virtual goods", "software" and "wetware", but suffice it to say that there is no longer any reason to restrict access to any goods, at least not in the unlimited reaches of cyberspace. This new environment is affecting all of our behaviors.

Our brains have unlimited imaginations that are now being wetwired into the boundless infinity of cyberspace. For this reason, the president of Sun Computers calls what we are living in now "The Participation Age" (read about it here: sunflash/2006-10/sunflash.20061010.2.xml)

Of course, Hardware is still a problem -- as are the communication protocols that use it. Thus, many of you are still experiencing problems participating -- i.e., sharing your web pages and pictures and whatnot.

I have a potential solution, simply because I find it to be MUCH EASIER.

Now don't get scared -- it sounds new and frightening, but it will actually, I believe, make life more tranquil and save you time and effort. I think it is time you all tried to create a BLOG. Yes, you heard me right -- a blog.

A blog is nothing more than a free web page where the hosting company has made it ridiculously easy to post pictures and text. It is MUCH MUCH EASIER THAN WHAT YOU ARE CURRENTLY TRYING TO DO!!

The fact that you already know how to try and attach pictures to this Mercy site means you are OVERQUALIFIED for making a blog.

Here is all you do: Go to On the screen you will see instructions for making a blog in 3 EASY STEPS. Follow the directions and see if you can post a picture and write some text. Then just give us the URL (the address at the top of your browser) of your blog.

This should solve many of our problems. Then, in our discussion list, you can simply put in the address of the blog post where you put your pictures.

When you get to the stage of wanting to put up videos, you can get a free account with and post videos there. Then we can really start sharing.

Frankly, this WebCT interface, which is great for discussions and chat and email for the class, really falls apart when it comes to posting pictures and multimedia stuff. The web has evolved way beyond it. (To be fair, WebCT is undergoing revision, and a new more powerful and better interface will be available next year! I can't wait. But till then -- blogs and youtube are the way to go! Trust me!)

By the way, many of you had problems attaching the files or opening them because your pictures were in .gif or .bmp formats instead of .jpg. The best thing to do is to always "save as" as a JPEG (.jpg) file. JPEG (which stands for "joint photographic experts group" is a format made by, well, photography experts, who wanted to share pictures easily all over the world. BMPs, which Microsoft PCs use, means "bitmap" and they are huge and hard to open. GIF, which means "Graphic Interchange Format" is good, but may cause problems for some browsers. TIFFs (Tagged Image File Format) are HUGE and will take forever to download. PNGs are okay, but JPEGs are the best!

Well, that's enough on that for now. Try creating a blog and tell me how you do. I think you will be pleased with the results!

Mine are at,, and They are very unfinished and ugly, but I put them up for fun so I can quickly get to pictures and videos and writings I do in a hurry and share them with friends.

Welcome to the blogosphere. Happy blogging!


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