Reflections and Connections

I would like to echo Everton’s sentiment that this course has indeed been an epic journey. I would also like to express my gratitude to colleagues who have enriched this learning experience. Today, a friend of mine posted her first ever post on Facebook. She said she wanted her first post to be meaningful and so she selected Louie Schwartzberg’s ten minute presentation on ‘Gratitude’ . Her post reflects the sentiment I feel for having had the opportunity to learn with such a diverse and insightful group.
As I read through the final Bolter chapters I stopped at his reminiscence of MacIntyre’s analogy of moral philosophy in comparison to humanistic fields “… each is an incomplete and disorganized hypertext that no one knows how to read in its entirety.” (p.207). He goes on to clarify that this is not to say unity is possible or desirable. This embodies my experience of this course and in particular working through my final project. This course made me better understand the complexity of reading the Internet and all of its embedded subtexts.

I think that creating my final project reified literacy for me. I am not sure that reify is the right word but it seems to be the closest that I can get to describing my experience. In going back through our postings in this weblog I stopped at Norris’ Traumatic Remediations where she challenges the following quote

Digital technology is turning out to be one of the more traumatic remediations in the history of Western writing.

J. David Bolter, 2001, p.24

This concept of traumatic remediation and contemplations about the history of text, brings me to the concept of reification which according to the sociologist Berger (1988), is a forgetting of the origins of the social world. “This “forgetfulness” is explained, in turn, as a defensive reaction by which the individual seeks to establish psychic stability in the face of “some fundamental terrors of human existence, notably the terror of chaos” (Berger and Pullberg, 1966:68) cited by Burris, 1988, p. 3.

At some point during my final project I felt I embodied this quote as I struggled to find some order to the seeming chaos of the stories of literacy that I was trying to relate together through text found across the Internet. I was trying to get back to the origins of literacy and find a logical way to progress to where we are today. In the end I came to a categorization scheme that felt orderly and adequate making me reflect on Ong’s argument that this type of abstract categorization was not possibly with early orality. I appreciate the importance of this final task to review our community weblog and connect our works together.

Bolter, J.D. (2001). Writing space: Computers, hypertext, and the remediation of print. Mahway, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Burris, Val. (1988). Reification: a marxist perspective. California Sociologist. 10(1). Retrieved online at

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Reflections and Connections

  1. The theme of chaos and how we seek to overcome it seems at the heart of both the beauty of the Internet, and the fear many people exhibit when presented with the idea of allowing it to play a central role in the education of our students. I think this is the beauty of social media – that once culture fully gives in to the “chaos” of allowing everyone to have a say, everyone to produce, publish, share, and read content, folksonomies emerge, whereby organization emerges from the chaos, and things begin to make sense. Very cool stuff – but it doesn’t mean we don’t feel overwhelmed at times. I think activities such as this final synthesis/reflection are helpful too, giving us a chance to take a step back and see the whole picture before forging ahead.

  2. Julie S says:

    Well said David. I feel on some levels that the Internet is maturing through the advent of social media. Reflection and going through the process of connecting is so helpful.

Leave a Reply