new technologies

New Technologies

NewScientist special report on social networking

The British general interest science weekly, NewScientist, has a special report in the September 18 edition on social networking. In several feature articles, an interview with MIT's Sherry Turkle, and a short fiction by sci-fi star Bruce Sterling, the magazine looks at the implications of not only social networking, but also cell phones and other new media.

According to American science writer Amanda Gefter in an opinion piece for the report:


Please distribute this electronic CFP widely as appropriate.  Distribute
attached PDF in print.


200 word proposals due: October 15, 2006.  Conference date: Wednesday,
March 21, 2007, 8:30 a.m.
In conjunction with the 2007 CCCC Annual Convention, March 21-24, New
York City, New York

We take the City of New York as our example and model for re-building
and re-imagining the University as a site of resilient action. As we
make pilgrimage to Ground Zero, we see a city renewed, its citizens
united and defiant, economy and culture both booming and blooming.
Families are moving into the city center. Neighborhoods thrive. And New
York is a shining example of resilience in the face of challenge.
Following 9/11, the city was wounded, and significant economic change
rippled across the nation, challenging our sense of purpose as the
economy shifted to accommodate both business adjustment and physical
assault. This year in New York, we gather to consider the progress and
purpose of a city triumphantly renewed with purpose and vigor, to
consider the University as a city of knowledge challenged by political,
economic, and cultural forces. Therefore the Association of Teachers of
Technical Writing issues this Call for Papers and Posters for its 10th
annual conference to be held March 21, 2007 in New York City, New York.
The ATTW seeks 15-minute individual papers, 3-person panels, and posters
that report new research, theory and pedagogy that address:

* Emerging opportunities for technical communication in its most broad
definition: Nanotechnology, informatics, biotechnology, new media, and
other promising partners for research, teaching and pedagogy.

* Emplacement of technical writing in the University:  On the 10th
anniversary of the publication of Readings' The University in Ruins, how
have programs and departments prepared to rebuild, renew, and reimagine
institutional roles?  How do we articulate strengths and focus limited

* Discourses for knowledge building:  What discourses-ecology,
architecture, community, rhetoric, policy, design, metaphors, etc.-frame
our discussion of technical communication? How can we take New York,
Gotham, as inspiration for rethinking programs, diversity, and
engagement? Can New Yorkers offer us an example of unity of purpose and
perseverance in moments of crisis?

* Diversity and diversification: How can the field expand, improve, and
maintain effective relationships with traditional institutional partners
in computer science, business, medicine, and engineering as these fields
find themselves challenged by globalization and a culture actively
questioning science?  How do we participate, support, and lead change
among our established partners as we seek to innovate?

* How do urban centers interact with agricultural, sub- and ex- urban
areas? How can rural and urban Universities collaborate?  Consider
issues of insourcing, outsourcing, and globalization. Articulate our
participation in rebuilding and re-envisioning local and global
communities and economies.  These roles redefine technical communication
and technical rhetors as partners in resilient, innovative communities.

* What historical lessons inform our current attempts to engage and
overcome the challenges we face? Is this current moment without
precedent, or are there examples, histories, narratives, and experiences
that effectively inform, contextualize, and help us analyze current
questions? What precedents exist within rhetorical and related field(s)
of research for engaging and participating in our communities?

* Building and rebuilding technical communication as a research
discipline: Empirical research supports resilient inquiry: describe
research projects using new and proven methods to make knowledge.

200 word proposals are due October 15, 2006.  Proposals can be made in
one of three formats: (1) Individual, 15 minute paper presentation; (2)
Three-person, 45-minute panel proposal, or (3) Poster presentation,
day-long publicly displayed.  Submit proposals via the ATTW website [ ].  Information and updates will be posted to [ ATTW-L ]
email discussion forum. For additional information, contact Michael J.
Salvo at Purdue University [ ] or Carol Johnson at The
New Jersey Institute of Technology [ cjohnson@ADM.NJIT.EDU ].  New
teachers of technical and professional writing are particularly invited
to attend the conference, as are CCCC attendees interested in technical

Romper Room goes Mainstream: Fat Kids Get Fit Fidgeting; Learning be Darned

Let me tell ya' something. Back in my day, we had a think called Discipline. It did NOT involve a prescription from a licensed dope dealer. "Being sent to the office" didn't mean the psychiatrist's office for a few pills and a bill; it meant the Principal's Office. Sittin' in that office was a big fat bald man with a purple face and a paddle. If you didn't behave, you'd discover the business end of his perforated "Attitude Adjuster" connecting with the soft tissue of your tender and soon-to-be repentant backside. Back then, "Sit down and shut up" meant something. Of course, that kind of thing is now as ancient history as Coca-Cola with real sugar, and kids are being told to let their ADHD run rampant for the sake of fighting flab. That's right--no need to sit still and listen; heck, let's jump around while listening to iPods instead of this multiplication and spelling crap.

But, Daddy, those mp3s are stolen candy bars! I hit you with my KidTough MP3 player!

Well, thank the FSM, here's an mp3 player for the rest of us. These things are built to withstand the assaults of a fully functional 3 year old. For those who don't know what havoc a 3 year old can wreak on a humble piece of electronic equipment--well, I suppose you'll just have to ask Mr. Richter. (Anybody ever get a cheeseburger shoved in their VCR?) Anyway, what question being asked at Boing Boing about this player is whether it'll come with Digital Restriction Management included. Wouldn't it suck if you bought this for your kid and then ended up having to actually pay some jackass for "Frere Jacques"? But who am I kidding--they'll hack the thing and be listening to Mobb Deep a few days later. It's just a matter of chewing.


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