Blogging als reading practice

“The blog provides a means of processing and selecting from an overwhelming abundance of written matter, and of publishing that record, with commentary, for anyone who cares to read it. In some cases, these “readings” become influential in themselves, and multiple readers engage in conversations across blogs. But treating blogging first as a reading practice, and second as its own genre of writing, political or otherwise, is useful in forming a more complete picture of this new/old phenomenon.”

“Perhaps, instead, blogging is the literate person’s new outlet for an old need. In Wright’s [a 19th century diary-writer] words, it is the need “to see more of what is going on around me.” And in print cultures where there is more to see, it takes reading, writing, and association in order to see more.”

Caleb McDaniel at:
http://www.futureofthebook.org/2005/08/the_blog_as_a_record_of_readin.html

(I refered that article in the earlier post on commonplace books. Now I finally read it).

blogging,en,quotations,ubiscribe,writing | July 25, 2006 | 10:08 | comments (0) |

66 / 3.00

Zomers, hier en daar een wolkje en al (te) warm als ik om kwart voor negen wegrijd. Leuk tochtje om de benen te laten herstellen. Volg voorbij Hermee de grote roze pijlen en vind daardoor een erg mooi glooiend landbouwwweggetje naar Glons.

Kanne – Eben – Halembaye – Froidmont – Houtain St Simeon – Heure L’ Romaine – Grand Aaz – Petit Aaz – Hermee – Fexhe – Glons – Paifve – Wihogne – Xhendremael – Othee – (pik de fietsknooppunten op) – Sluizen – Glons – Bassenge – Wonck – Eben – Kanne

cycling,nl | July 24, 2006 | 18:53 | comments (0) |

158 / 6.48

Prachtig zomerweer. Opnieuw om 7 uur opgestaan, om kwart over 8 weggereden. Ik denk dat Huy te ver zal zijn, zeker omdat het warm zal zijn. Ik rij eerst netjes via de fietsknooppuntenroute tot Herstappe (en vraag me af hoe ik er gisteren in slaagde zo volledig verkeerd te rijden — deze route is bijna perfect), volg dan de Jeker tot in Geer, mijn omkeerpunt. Daarna hou ik een zuidelijke koers aan, maar ga meest richting westen dan gepland, zet Huy al uit mijn hoofd als ik, net voor 12 uur, met 68 kilometer op de teller ‘Huy 12’ zie staan. Toch naar Huy. Per ongeluk kom ik op de vierbaansweg terecht, en die volg ik tot in het dal. (Het is allemaal in dalende lijn, en het is rustig, maar het is altijd een vreemd gevoel om op de racefiets op een weg te rijden die weliswaar niet als autoweg is geklasseerd, maar er verder in alles op lijkt). (Natuurlijk had ik de ‘Route Jolie’ moeten volgen). In Huy rij ik de lekker steile St. Leonard op en vraag me af of dat nou de Muur van Hoei is (in mijn wielrenherinnering lopen de Muur van Geraardsbergen, de Citadel van Namen en de Muur van Hoei door elkaar). Ik daal die ook weer af — genoeg kilometers op de teller en ik wil niet helemaal door het dal terug. Via de prachtige klim door het bos van Tihange, de steile klim van Stockay en Les Cahottes terug naar bekend terrein. Het laatste uur is er een beetje teveel aan (warm). In Kanne kijk ik de laatste touretappe en lees vervolgens Frances Wheen’s boekje over Das Kapital (leuk, helder en formuleert kort de actuele aantrekkingskracht en het actuele belang van Marx, wel veel herhaling van de biografie, en een veel te kort boekje voor de prijs), en hoofdstuk 1 van zowel Gissing’s New Grub Street (vermakelijk, erg goed gedaan realisme) als Huxley’s Brave New World (wat stroef…). Wat een zondag maakt van 158 kilometer en evenzoveel boekbladzijden.

Kanne – Eben – Wonck – Bassenge – Boirs – Glons – Rutten – Herstappe – van Eben t/m Herstappe via de knooppunten – Lauw – Otrange – Oreye – Granville – Bergilers – Malpa – Oleye – Waremme – Grande Axhe – Hollonge sur Geer – Geer – Ligney – Tourinne – Les Waleffes – Vaux et Borset – Chapon Seraing – grote weg op – Ampsin – Huy – St. Leonard v.v. – Huy – Tihange – Bois de Tihange – Rawsa – Ombret – Pont de Hermalle – Stockay – Tincelle – Awirs – Les Cahottes – Lexhy – Roloux – Fexhe le Haut Clocher – Fooz – Villers L’Eveque – Xhendremael – Juprelle – Slins – Houtain st. Simeon – Bassenge – Wonck – Eben – Kanne

cycling,nl | July 24, 2006 | 18:48 | comments (0) |

138 / 5.56

Om zeven uur opgestaan, om acht uur weggereden. Weersverwachting: warm, benauwd, in de loop van de middag bewolkt en een kans op buien en onweer. Plan: rondje naar Les Cahottes, wellicht wat verder (met in het achterhoofd de hoop dat het weer het zal toelaten om tot bij Huy te rijden. Weinig kans). Om half negen is het bewolkt. Om tien uur begint het te regenen. Ik ben dan juist Les Cahottes opgereden. In de richting van Huy zit het dicht en onweert het licht. Ik besluit dan maar richting noorden te rijden. Vanaf tien uur rij ik vrijwel onafgebroken in de buien, soms hoost het behoorlijk (op weg naar Donceel), soms zijn het sputters. Geen zon te zien. Het is niet koud. Eigenlijk is het heel lekker, die regen. (Al ben ik blij dat ik wel mn regenjack heb meegenomen). Als ik tegen drie uur Kanne binnenrijdt, is toch zon glorieus doorgebroken. (Het heeft daar een uurtje geregend). Het is onmiddellijk warm en benauwd. Om vier uur kan ik me niet voorstellen dat ik diezelfde dag meer dan vier uur in de regen heb gereden.

Omdat ik vanaf Limont geen duidelijk plan heb over een te volgen route, stap ik erg vaak (te vaak) af om op de kaart te kijken, rij verkeerd, keer om, soms volg ik de op de weg geschilderde pijlen (vooral fw en jjc), afgewisseld met de ‘fietsrouteknooppuntborden’. Dat pakt soms goed uit, soms rij ik rare ‘lusjes’.

Kanne – Eben – Wonck – Bassenge – Houtain St Simeon – Fexhe – Juprelle – Xhendremael – Hougnol – Fooz – Foroux-Goreux – Velroux – Lexhy – Awirs – Les Cahottes – Lexhy – Haneffe – Donceel – Limont – Remicourt – Granville – Oreye – Horpmaal – Gutschoven – Voort – Borgloon – Kerniel – Groot Loon – Heks – Vechmaal – Lauw – Herstappe – Rutten – (langs de Heksenbeek, mooi) – Diets-Heur – Nerem – Mal – (fietspad door het natuurgebied = verkeerde richting) – Mal – Sluizen – Glons – Boirs – Roclenge – Bassenge – Wonck – Eben – Kanne

cycling,nl | July 22, 2006 | 19:19 | comments (0) |

Notebooks & commonplace books

Lately I’ve been doing a tiny bit of research in the use of commonplace books. There is a close resemblance between the function of commonplace books (in for instance the Seventeenth century) and how some people use blogs. Some bloggers see, or call their blogs commonplace books. It’s a pretty well-known comparision, but I never really explored it until now.

Here’s some quick info, with links, and links to some pictures:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commonplace_book
http://www.library.yale.edu/beinecke/compb.htm
http://www.metafilter.com/mefi/46800

Here’s a danish blog that uses ‘commonplace book’ as a category — seems to have nice quotations… http://www.bookish.dk/index.php?cat=23. And a blog that calls itself a commonpace book: http://www.constantreader.org/v2/commonplace.html.

Some more relevant stuff:
http://www.futureofthebook.org/2005/08/the_blog_as_a_record_of_readin.html
http://cut-and-paste.de/
http://www.diyplanner.com/

There’s much more, but my dear reader, you can google as well as me.

In Making Things Public Anke te Heesen has a very nice short article about notebooks. I copied quite a few paragraphs from it; waht follows here is a digest of her article. I love the way she sees the notebook as a paper machine, as a technology that is an actor in how we write, store and process thoughts.

“The notebook as a paper-machine consists of the function noting and storing notes. ‘To note’ means first and foremost ‘to write down’, from the Latin notare, with the connotations sign, mark and writing, or from noscere, which means ‘to get to know’. ‘Note’, from notitia refers to this, namely, ‘to be known’. (…) Therefore apart from the actual act of wrigin, noting also describes a particular kind of perception: taking notice of something. Etymologically, here writing and taking notice are contained in one procedure, which at the same time implies habitual forming of a person and results in a praxis with paper that requires certain gestures, performed acts, rituals and tools.” p. 584

“From the sixteenth century on, bits of knowledge have been noted down in books with blank pages, stored in special boxes or placed in pigeonholes or compartments on bookshelves. In that era, the notes and small pieces of paper were the smallest material text-units of intellectual work. Organized note-taking was understood as a writing technique that could be learned, and it was one of the essential skills in the learned world.” p. 585

“Already in 1605, Francis Bacon recommends in Advancement of Learning the use of ‘commonplace books for entering the fruits of reading, quotations and references: ‘I hold that the diligence, and pains in collecting common Places, is of great use in certainty and studying.'” p. 586

“The philosopher John Locke, who influenced entire generations of English gentlemen with his instructions of how to make commonplace books, rendered the procedure methodical. In one of his texts, published in 1706, he described how to keep such a notebook. The ‘Memory is the treaurey or Storehouse,’ he said, but one must provide memory with an orderly basis. ‘It would be just for all the World as serviceable as a great deal of Household Stuff, when if we wanted any particular Thing we could not tell were to find it.’ This organization begins with reading. One should first read a book but not write anything in the notebook. ‘The places we design to extract from are to be marked on a piece of Paper, that we may do it after we have read the Book out.’ So after putting in all the bookmarks, one should read the book a second time and decide what is relevant enough to be written down in the notebook. ‘I take a White Paper Book and what Size I think fit. I divide the two first pages, which face another, by parallel lines,’ and make an index. In so doing, one froms one’s own keywords. A commonplace book thus refers a quotation noted down to its original context (its origin, the book) and, a the same time, is a stock to draw on for the memory, the speech to be given or the text to be written.” p. 586

“Entire generations of intellectuals and young gentlemen were educated to practice this technique. The notebook was a technique in service of discipline.” p. 587

“Notebooks were a place for collecting things, a technique for discipline, chronological recording and evidence. Such a book with its blank or gradually filling pages was a paper-machine which took in what one fed it but at the same time directed the entries.” p. 588

“From the beginning, this paper technology adhered to certain rules: The entries had to be written in a straight line , and no blots or spots should mar the paper. A margin, which in the earliest years was often signalized by a fold in the paper, provided space for notes and commentaries and played a significant role in administrative forms of writing (files).” p. 588

Anke te Heesen, ‘The Notebook, A Paper Technology’, in Latour & Weibel (eds.) Making Things Public. Atmospheres of Democracy, ZKM / MIT, Cambridge Ma, 2005, p. 582-589

So now on my desk:
John Locke, A New Method of a Common-Place Book: http://oll.libertyfund.org/Home3/HTML.php?recordID=0326.
Francis Bacon, The Advancement of Learning: http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~rbear/adv1.htm.

58,5 / 2.20

9.30 – 12.00. Zon en warm, opnieuw, geen regen, geen onweer, wel iets minder benauwd, 30 graden. Heerlijk gereden. Nu het koren geel op de heuvels staat is het gebied boven Luik prachtig. En eindelijk tot in het centrum van Tongeren gereden. Kanne – Eben – Wonck – Bassenge – Houtain St. Simeon – Slins – Villers St. Simeon – Juprelle – Xhendremael – Othee – Hamal – Tongeren – Sluizen – Elst – Val-Meer – Zussen – Kanne.

cycling,nl | July 21, 2006 | 14:40 | comments (0) |

52 / 2.05

Vanochtend, toen het nog niet zo warm was. 9.45 – 11.55. Heerlijk om weer op de fiets te zitten. Volop genieten. Kanne – sas – St. Pierre – Eben – Halembaye – Hauts de Froidmont – Houtain St. Simeon – Fixhe – Glons (plus de afdaling opnieuw omhoog gereden) – Roclenge – Val-Meer – Herderen – Riemst – Zussen – Zusserdel – Kanne

cycling,nl | July 20, 2006 | 20:30 | comments (0) |

Making Things Public I

Ok, I’ll not try to summarize how Latour outlines his idea of Dingpolitik — (that we do not have hard facts, but matters of concern & that it’s about how publics gather around an issue, how an issue is a ‘thing’, not a fact but a gathering together). He uses of course etymology and refers to the Icelandic Thing — the parliament — to describe what a thing is; I’ll not go into the important role of mediation, of deliberation and yes, rhetoric; I’ll just say that I find this redefinition of politics very exciting and very clear. It also makes me pick up the texts that he refers to, specifically Dewey’s The Public and its Problems — Dewey being a favorite of mine ever since I read Art as Experience.

I’ve spent lots of hours in the shady garden in Kanne, going through every page of what N. calls ‘the brick’ (the catalogue). No I did not read every word, but at least I’ve seen every page and I’ve read a good deal of the articles. Sometimes I put a post-it on a page, sometimes with a few words scribbled on it. I’ll go through those ‘bookmarks’, harvesting the quotes…

‘Gathering’ (coming together, collecting): how — I thought — is that connected to the current technology around blogs…. rss (our own, personalized collection), gathering of different bits of content through keywords, using folksonomy; how Technorati (etc.) aggregates content; how even search engines do this. A blog collects bits of writing (and images, and links, and keywords) and people (readers) and other blogs. But the content is also collected, harvested, gathered.

I’m not stating anything new here — I’m trying out the words, and try to think (or visualize even) the different layers of mediation.

When I do this, I’m actually also going back full circle to what is probalby one of Latours many starting points for Making Things Public: the issue network-research of Noortje Marres and Richard Rogers, that lead, in any case for N., also to the rediscovery of Dewey’s ideas about the public, and how publics gather (form) around an issue.

I somehow like to tie that in to current webtechnologies and current practices of online writing too. (Speaking as a blogger, blogs as partial conversations, blogging for oneself, publishing without a public, yet one’s texts are gathered, and most importantly maybe — bringing in rhetorics — the ‘ethos’ of the blogger).

Well, maybe it’s also sort of tying it (‘my thoughts on blogging’) into the politico-philosophical discourse.

Just thinking aloud. // Some quotes then…

“The cognitive deficiency of participants has been hidden for a long time because of the mental architecture of the dome in which the Body Politik was supposed to assemble. We were told that all of us — on entering this dome, this public sphere — had to leave aside in the cloakroom our own attachments, passions and weaknesses. Taking our seat under the transparant crystal of the common good, through action of some mysterious machinery, we woudl then collectively endowed with more acute vision and higher virtue.

(…)

Unfortunately, much like the Tower of Babel, those ‘palaces of reason’ (…) are no longer able to house the isssues they were supposed to gather.”

Remember how ‘messy’ is the world of blogs…

Bruno Latour, ‘From Realpolitik to Dingpolitik’, in Latour & Weibel (eds.) Making Things Public. Atmospheres of Democracy, ZKM / MIT, Cambridge Ma, 2005, p. 30

blogging,en,quotations,research,ubiscribe | July 20, 2006 | 20:20 | comments (0) |

Oorbeek, jew’s harp & Koichi Makigami?

Oorbeek — the band in which I play the guitar — will be performing here: http://www.muziekgebouw.nl/voorstelling.asp?PageID=2&EventID=17411. That’s next week sunday.

Rumour: there’s a chance that Koichi Makigami will do a guest performance with us.

en,free publicity,music | July 20, 2006 | 18:44 | comments (0) |

Lakoff: Whose Freedom

George “metaphors we live by” Lakoff has a new book, in which — judging from blurbs &c — he analyzes how the Bush-neocons are hijacking the word freedom. Dangerous, because: (quoting now): “Cognitive science has produced a number of dramatic and important results—results that bear centrally on contemporary politics, though in a way that is not immediately obvious. We think with our brains. The concepts we think with are physically instantiated in the synapses and neural circuitry of our brains. Thought is physical. And neural circuits, once established, do not change quickly or easily. Repetition of language has the power to change brains.” Now this might sound ‘too easy’, but it becomes more complex, and this is a book that has to reach out to a large public…

http://www.whosefreedom.com/browse-book/introduction-to-whose-freedom/.

Btw, over here Square vzw — artist organization — has put up a webpage with messages from Libanon — concerning the current Israel – Hezbollah war in Libanon: http://www.squarevzw.be/war/. FYI.

en,free publicity,reading matter | July 20, 2006 | 17:33 | comments (0) |
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