Thursday, January 28, 2010

simulation precedes reality

-- Post From My iPhone


I don't remember learning how to read exactly, but one thing that I do remember about reading as a young girl had more to do with other people reading.
As a young girl, whenever writing and especially when working at a computer, I would leave one or two words out of a sentence. My mother told me "your mind is thinking that you've already put the word there." Whenever I'd read what I'd written, I'd never notice that any words were missing, I guess because my mind was also thinking that I was reading what I thought I'd already written. My teachers were always concerned with these errors, even though what it was that I was trying to say was still obvious, even with the words missing. I remember being out with my mom and seeing a book on a shelf. The title was in big red letters, and the author's name sat directly underneath it in tiny letters, but I couldn't read it due to its loopy and consolidated typeface. I don't know why, but I wrote about the fact that I couldn't read the author's name in my English class. I wrote something like "to the naked eye, it was illegible" but I left out the word "eye". My teacher actually asked me if what I was trying to say was that only naked people were unable to read the author's name. If I wanted to say that, I would've said "naked people couldn't read the author's name." She didn't really think that that's what I was trying to say, but she wanted me to learn a lesson and recognize my error. I didn't think there really was a lesson to learn; my mind will do what it does, so what else was there to do? My errors started worrying me too, so I asked one of the school counselors about it. I doubt I'll ever forget what she said to me, something like this; "That sounds like a mild form of dyslexia. Maybe you're dyslexic." I should not have trusted this woman's diagnosis, she was not a doctor so she shouldn't have been telling anyone that they might be dyslexic. I didn't know any better, I thought adults knew everything, and if they didn't know something exactly they at least had a pretty good idea. I later learned that this was not dyslexia. In fact, I guess it's pretty common. After being misdiagnosed I decided that I would only ask people who were qualified to answer my question. Yahoo Answers told me that it had to do with a lack of concentration, or that my mind is moving faster than my hands. Maybe it's both, but I never asked an actual person about it again. I haven't been bothered by it since, and it hasn't bothered anyone else. If I left any words out, please let me know.

One more thing that I remember has more to do with me reading. As a young girl, I was never comfortable with the rules of correct comma usage. The rules were never explained to me in a way that I understood, not by my teachers, nor by my parents. My father would tell me "when in doubt, leave it out" while my mother would be saying "when in doubt, use at least 5". Nevertheless, I was able to get by. It wasn't until my second year of High School that the importance of commas was presented to me in a way that worked. I remember in my 10th grade English class, my teacher asked us to read various comma errors made in medical journals. For example;

Patient experiences difficulty swallowing tires easily.
Patient experiences difficulty swallowing, tires easily.


She moves her bowels roughly, three times a day.
She moves her bowels roughly three times a day.


Patient has difficulty walking on diazepam.
Patient has difficulty walking, on diazepam.

I understood that the omission of a comma meant the difference between someone swallowing a tire and tiring easily or a person roughly moving their bowels and moving their bowels three times a day.

I also remember being in the car with my twin brother, we passed a street sign that read "Slow Children Crossing". My brother said something like "I don't see any dim children, so I guess we're good to go."

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Before, I learned how to read English, I learned how to read Hebrew, even though I couldn't speak it. Before that, I knew how to speak Russian, even though I couldn't read it.

In 1st grade, I learned how to read (English). I don't remember this at all. I have one vague memory of being in a hallway, reading simple sentences. I think I quickly loved reading/writing. In 2nd grade I started keeping a diary. I've read it a few times since then and in every entry I would detail which books I checked out from the library and what I thought about them. I would constantly write stories that I never finished. I was really proud of reading my first "chapter book" (Bernstein Bears, I think).

I was a very avid reader. I read all day long, and would get many books from the library at once, and read all of them. In 4th grade, I checked out Gone With the Wind because I think I knew it was an extremely long book. I never finished it but got probably 600 pages in. I remember it was the first book I read where the text was in columns and the font was extremely small. I would read Stephen King and John Grisham books, remembering that "Misery" was my favorite King book, and all Grisham books seemed essentially the same.

I was, in fact, a fanatical child hood reader of books. I would lock myself in the bathroom and read so no one would bother me. I frequently read at least 2-3 books a day during the summer (young adult).

As I grew older and became forced to read in school, this early love for reading faded. Reading began to seem like a time trade off with other tasks. Strangely enough, I am now seriously considering a career in accounting. I don't even know what I like to do anymore.


as far as ican'timaginelifewithoutmyiphone and hands merging with iphones to become a new kind of hand, I am sure Donna Haraway would be proud. I wish her Cyborg Manifesto was available free online...if it is, please let us know, because that would make s-e-n-s-e!

Limited Fork Theory Remix Culturists: this still semi-concealed Apple Tablet is for us!

Tablet? As in take one or two and call me in the morning?
Two tablets from Dr. Moses (see image below from TUAW
How about at 1:00 pm EST?

We sit in our pursuit on interfaces between Humanities and Technology, looking to identify more and more connections, and to exploit the possibilities of these connections,

biased, so it would seem, toward helping connections to emerge that transform the Humanities, extend the Humanities, that build exceptional configurations that invite occupancies impossible without these flexible structures that solve more problems than they create, helping humanity reach more of our shifting and flexible potential

(for whatever happens is possible; only what is possible happens, what is possible varying, updating itself as necessary so that any any given time, the possible is in effect)

Be on the alert, and report here on what possibilities you think the new Apple Tablet (still semi-officially a phantom —the clock ticks) offers for those interfaces on which we sit!

Want to take part in the TUAW live chat before the TUAW liveblog during the announcement at 1:00 PM EST? Then click on TUAW live chat
This image just in from the TUAW live chat
where the image was reported as just seen (relatively speaking, as usual) at the Yerba Buena Center:

Limited Fork Theory Remix Culturists, I eagerly await your comments about the tablet, whether or not it descends from the top of the Apple Mountain to reach the masses beyond a dream.

A. MacFanatic

in dog years, i was already an adult

my sister was about to be born; i was three. her (well, not quite hers yet) room shared the upstairs bottom right corner with mine. they were almost the same, but i had two windows. my father had bought garfield ceiling mount light fixtures for all three rooms (i wish i could find an image of the imposition of his orange and white striped face on a watch glass fixture, complete with pink knob conveniently disguised as his nose). i always thought garfield was stupid, the whole premise of the comic strip, i mean, but i didn't know that yet.

i sat on the floor next to the little bookshelf in her room. michael was almost two, but he had a toybox instead of a bookshelf in his room, so all the books were in emily's future room. my parents read to me a lot, i suppose, and so my mother was not surprised when i trotted over, GO DOG GO, in hand. it just freaked her out a little when i sat down in her lap (she was sitting on the floor), opened the book, and instead of waiting for her, began reading the story of dogs in cars, in trees, in beds.

the book is quite boring, actually, although these people have transcribed it into a play (

i've thought a lot about that night as a sort of cleaving point, mainly because as much as i'd like to, i have never, ever been able to recreate the visual and mental processing that occurred during encounters with text prior to being able to read. it's not as simple as "ican'timaginelifewithoutmyiphone," but moreso what i'd imagine a blind believer would feel after a touch of the hand restored his sight. it's not like being in the witness protection program either, because at least there remains the possibility that if you really, really wanted to, you could return in some form to your old life.

by the way, i've decided to start posting on a blog i started and sortof wrote on this summer. i just have a lot to say, always, about a lot of things, and i figure it'd be polite to offer you the option to check out what i'm working on without filling browser frame upon browser frame with half-finished, but needing to be expressed somehow, ideas. oh, and excuse anything already on there that you feel needs excusing (it would be easier not to elaborate). you can even follow it, if you want. i'll probably update it every couple of days or so, but that's not a promise.

county zero

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

support SITA SINGS THE BLUES! (and Creative Commons and join Limited Fork Theory in celebrating the Collaborative Nature of all things)

(poster from
Nina Paley generously gives her beautiful film Sita Sings the Blues to us, all of us, noting that as part of culture (made of components of culture, which includes dreams), it belongs to us already, is an assemblage, an extension of parts of human experience and human interactions with all things human and all things not human. Idea itself is in part response to that which spawns it; some existing information in some form is at part of idea's heart (as it is in this clever heart umbrella from my design

How wonderful it is for the human community to link in inspiration and response; negatively or positively we connect, configure, and reconfigure, making a map of human experience that exposes what is marvelous about us and what is not (at times, according to principles of some temporary configurations, interchangeable).

No matter how brief the configuration in which connections succeeds, I am grateful that it occurs, and I accept that for the possibility of sublime connection the possibility of brutal connections must be risked. Indeed; perception itself is configurable, winners and losers in
the same situation. If there is connection, then all possible forms of connections will manifest on some scale in some location for some duration of time. Forms that are not possible will not manifest. Once a form manifests, that form is possible. Forms not possible in this configuration of now many become possible in the now of other circumstances. And what is not possible in a now of other circumstances will not manifest.

The seeking of interaction, a form of connection, that must occur in Limited Fork Theory, the study of interacting systems on any scale in any location for any duration of time; and the participation in interactions found are the context and focus of my ambition. Perhaps study and participation in some as yet undetermined number (so much falls between the tines of the limited fork, so I cannot be sure of anything, even that there is slippage —an incredible probability of slippage, but I have no proof of exactly what flips between the tines, for to know what slips is to have information that slippage denies; to know what falls through tines would be a form of catching what slips. I assume slippage, but what might disprove slippage I believe has slipped through the tines that themselves sponsor my adherence to slippage probability). Therefore: share, share, share!
This post (and forkergirl's other posts in this blog) joins Nina Paley in being made available for re/continued use with a creative commons share alike license:
Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

As most of us (to whom Sita Sings the Blues belongs) still exist in circumstances that require us to have a source or sources of income, Nina Paley is not prospering from free distribution of her wonderful film, so please consider supporting the ethics of sharing and collaborative building (the collaborative is a prevailing nature of things, it would seem, according to Limited Fork Theory, among other tools of perception/understanding) by making a donation at the Sita Sings the Blues site and/or by purchasing some of the products at Question Perhaps a Copyleft Tee shirt or a Valmiki Violin Shirt or jewelry, stickers, etc.

Nothing but praises for Sita Sings the Blues and Nina Paley!

No better example of Limited Fork Theory in action!

from wiki, scribular, brain, grab

In Room with a View (2003), Calle spent the night in a bed installed at the top of the Eiffel Tower. She invited people to come to her and read her bedtime stories in order to keep her awake through the night.

what do you know about tweetle beetles? well...

I just emailed my mom

because I couldn't remember learning to read. She said that Bob Books--now available for a limited time at Costco--did the teaching. Here is a montage of Bob Book's pages that I found on a defunked blog about one woman's childrearing experience.

taught by these fellas

Obama Remixes Teddy Roosevelt/How I Learned to Read

I walked into McDonald's with my mother & I could no longer read the menu: I needed glasses. The first thing I remember reading against my will was a billboard on the highway. Reading was new to me & I remember not wanting to be able to read every word I could see. I felt bombarded by sense-making & I felt like a sponge in a dirty sink.

Reading Envy

'That's how it is, Alice,' said Frances. 'Your birthday is always the one that is not now.'

I cannot yet remember how I learned to read. I know that by the time I was in first grade, I could read. I could read better than any of the other students in my class.

In our class, there were three levels of books that you could read -1st being easiest, 3rd being the most difficult. At home, I was reading a series of books which were great works of literature chopped down into manageable lengths (50 -100 or so pages.) I remember very clearly having read the version of the three musketeers and liking it very much. In school, however, Mrs. Kelley did not want to other children to feel discouraged by my reading ability, so she made me read second level books.

There was another girl, named Maria, who was also very good at reading and read in the third level. Mrs. Kelley would praise her in front of the other students and I got jealous because I read better than Maria. One day I got so mad I bit Maria.Even now, I have an extremely vivid memory of being furious and biting this girl. We were on the bus, and I can remember how she smelled and tasted. But I can not remember what provoked it, why after months and months of being forced to read level 2 books I finally snapped. I also don't understand why I chose to take it out on Maria. She, as far as I remember, never bragged about reading. I hated Mrs. Kelley and like Maria. I suppose I knew I would have been in a lot more trouble if I bit a teacher. But why was it so important to me to be recognized as the best reader?

Maria's parents thought they knew. Apparently, she was biracial (which I did not know until 12 years later) and her mother called mine spewing accusations of racism. I had played at this girl's house many times and we had been best friends the previous school year. After this incident, we were never put in the same class again and her mother resigned from Junior League so she did not have to socialize with my mother.

At this time, I went to University of Liggett School, where children do not bite each other. My parents were called in for multiple meetings, culminating in my being sent to a child psychologist. After a battery of tests, it was determined that I was not unwell, but gifted and frustrated. I was dismissed from first grade for the rest of the year - there was only a month left and I spent it in the gifted school first grade program in the public school, to see if it suited me better. It might have, but my parents were yuppies and preferred my being in private school. The next fall Mrs. Kelley was reassigned to the fourth grade.

The funny thing is, I really liked the level 2 books I was reading. They were a series of books about a badger named Francis. I still like them and relate to Francis. Their author, Russell Hoban, also wrote books for adults, and upon rereading them I can see many literary topoi that eluded my first grade self. They were amusing and relevant to my life, especially A Birthday for Francis, in which Francis is jealous of her little sister for getting attention and presents because on her birthday. I made my mother buy them for to have at home. Reading these books was a positive experience I would not have otherwise had.

I suppose it all comes down to the fact that I was the best reader and wanted to be recognized as such. Reading was something adults valued highly. We spent a lot of practicing read, were told that reading was important to our futures, that we could not become adults until we could read. And here I was! A good reader! And Mrs. Kelley didn't care. She praised Maria, who stumbled over words I knew and never asked me to read aloud in class. I was frustrated because I was doing what was important better than anyone else and no one cared. The idea that reading was important was imparted so heavily into me that I was willing to bite a girl over being the best reader in class.


Leather Raglan

The Pet Goat

The Pet Goat

(how can technology assist) EDUCATIONAL REFORM a la Race to the Top Initiative

Race to the Top (a federal educational initiative)

details of the Race to the Top program from (US Depeartment of Education):
Program Office: Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE)
CFDA Number: 84.395
Program Type: Discretionary/Competitive Grants

Through Race to the Top, we are asking States to advance reforms around four specific areas:

Adopting standards and assessments that prepare students to succeed in college and the workplace and to compete in the global economy;
Building data systems that measure student growth and success, and inform teachers and principals about how they can improve instruction;
Recruiting, developing, rewarding, and retaining effective teachers and principals, especially where they are needed most; and
Turning around our lowest-achieving schools.
Awards in Race to the Top will go to States that are leading the way with ambitious yet achievable plans for implementing coherent, compelling, and comprehensive education reform. Race to the Top winners will help trail-blaze effective reforms and provide examples for States and local school districts throughout the country to follow as they too are hard at work on reforms that can transform our schools for decades to come.

President Obama discusses Race to the Top:

Here’s the list of states that submitted applications to compete in Phase 1 of Race to the Top:

New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
West Virginia

Please post your comments about how you read the reform goals of Race to the Top and also comment on ways that you can imagine existing or future (go ahead and dream) technologies taking education where it hasn't been and where it could go, pointing out possible benefits to arriving at these locations.

Reading the Road: a component of the cursive guidance of Bonisteel

The Cursive Guidance of Bonisteel
1. Resurrection of the Balancing Act
(a road map of the elongated shadow puppet
of carrying and caring)

Noticing markings and patterns, and reading into them; looking for opportunities to read into things, to catalog and assemble (impose) flexible meanings; the ability sets to do that; remixing efforts to patch what use and wear and environmental forces made of a human-made road system near the Art and Architecture Building.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License