Archive for January, 2010

The Latino Blogosphere

By js, 28 January, 2010, No Comment

Long list of Latin@ bloggers

BlogWorld 2009 had the innovative idea of hosting a multicultural panel.  A clear sign of vision and pulse of the current situation in the U.S.A.  I had the honor to be invited by Jose Villa from Sensis to represent the fastest growing group both online and offline: The Latino(a)s!  During the session, I was often asked about the Latino blogosphere.  What do we blog about? Which language do we use? Where are we? And so forth.  This post is an attempt to answer  these questions.

Sandoval and Technology

By js, 27 January, 2010, No Comment

Dialogues between Paul Virilio and Chela Sandoval.

“This quest for subversion through situated and embodied utopian and imaginative rhetoric devices is then, in my opinion, exactly at work in Sandoval’s Methodology of the Oppressed. Her use of an imaginative and utopian discourse on new technologies and her conflation of the techniques-for-moving-energy of the oppressed with certain new technologies should therefore best be understood as originating from an attempt to re-appropriate these technologies and discourses for the female US third world subaltern. This puts a creative hybrid feminist/anti-racist subject at the centre of the technological debate. Similarly, she creates a situated utopian vision of love in a postmodern world, where she reclaims the traditionally hetero-romantic concept of love for anti-racist feminist purposes. Where Kendrick’s text still remained within the register of European subjectivities, and Deleuze and Guattari are not clear about what the re-centring on a non-Eurocentric subject might look like, Sandoval thus vitally rewrites and re-imagines in “New Sciences”, “US Third World Feminism” and in  Methodology both feminist history and the history of new technologies. She does this in order to validate US third world feminist knowledges, so as to make this feminism an integral part of (previously white, Western) hegemonic feminism and of discourses on globalisation and new technologies. This appropriation of (new) technologies invokes new subjectivities that are hybrid in superseding previous modernist and humanist dichotomies of first versus third world, human versus machine, real versus virtual, culture versus nature and male versus female. Interestingly, Sandoval creates this double de- and reconstructive move, in which we can again recognise many arguments of Haraway’s “A Manifesto for Cyborgs”, through partially taking on board Fredric Jameson’s analyses on the postmodern late-capitalist condition, but vigorously rejecting his modernist Eurocentric nostalgia. Her biggest objection to Jameson is indeed the “limits of [his] imaginary” (19) which result eventually in a “Jamesonian eulogy” that merely seeks to reinstall certain modern hegemonic conditions, similar to Virilio’s lament. In this case then, only a taking on board of the astute analyses of present-day connections, combined with a situated imaginative rejection of this subject of modernism from the point of view of the marginalised, can provide us with the tools to overcome the structural power relations under attack. Such a strategy of technology coincides with Deleuze and Guattari’s notion of technology as both conveying representational contents in line with its dominant choices and developments. It also contributes to, as they coin it, “new assemblages of enunciation” (Soft Subversions 133) through the desires of the oppressed.”

Reliability and Validity in Research

By js, 27 January, 2010, No Comment

We suggest that by focusing on strategies to establish trustworthiness (Guba and Lincoln’s 1981 term for rigor1) at the end of the study, rather than focusing on processes verification during the study, the investigator runs the risk of missing serious threats to the reliability and validity until it is too late to correct them. (3-4)

The purpose of this article is to reestablish reliability and validity as appropriate to qualitative inquiry; to identify the problems created by post hoc assessments of qualitative research; to review general verification strategies in relation to qualitative research, and to discuss the implications of returning the responsibility for the attainment of reliability and validity to the investigator. (4)

Presentation on Blogs as Knowledge Logs

By js, 27 January, 2010, No Comment

New Research Summit: “A study of online citizen reviews”

Keynote by Lisa Ede. On May 12, 2006 a group of featured speakers interactively explored the new media as teaching tool and object of study for writing teachers, including: online discourse communities, online publication, literacy, and the ethical dimension of this collaborative medium.

Thanks to Jaime M. for pointing me to this.

Latinos “Making the Next Generation”

By js, 20 January, 2010, No Comment

Sarita E. Brown “Making the Next Generation Our Greatest Resource” pgs 83-100

I first came across Brown’s name when I saw an Excellencia presentation and realized that some of the programs which have been implemented at this campus could qualify for the recognition which Excellencia gives annually.

I also remember watching a recording of a panel presentation in which she participated. The activities which she is involved in demonstrate the conviction of the words in this essay.

Her focus is on education. She says

“Decisive action, guided by clear goals, and sustained commitment, is required to capture the promise of tomorrow offered America by the sheer size and thriving raw talent of the Latino community” (Brown, 84).

Brown cites Steve Murdoch, Texas demographer, to provide evidence of what she terms the “sheer size”

Texas will become less than one-half Ango in the next few eyars and is likely to have a Hispanic majority . . . .This pattern suggests that the State’s future will be increasingly tied to its non-Anglo populations and that the way non-Anglo populations grow and change will largely determine the future of Texas (87)

Evgeny Morozov on Slacktivism

By js, 20 January, 2010, No Comment

Evgeny Morozov studies online activism and its effect.

These notes are taken from his TED talk which I found at

He cites a study which showed that people join facebook groups without verifying information and usually do so as a way to define their own identity.

Blending of narcissism and activism= slactivism, blending of feel good activities which make us feel important  but have little practical impact and social significance

This may keep us from participating in more effective ways.

Critique of Lanier

By js, 20 January, 2010, No Comment

Michael Agger writes a critique of Lanier.

His argues that though Lanier remains cautious, this caution is a result of “snobbery” and a romantic memory of when an elite controlled the web.

See full critique

The Geek Freaks: Why Jaron Lanier rants against what the Web has become.

Critiquing the critique of the web

By js, 20 January, 2010, No Comment

Can real time web bring real world change?

In this post, Saxberg analyzes social media as a way to provide a benefit to the individual who in turn helps to improve the collective (back to Lanier).

She mentions the needs which individuals have and how those are supported by social media.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs can also reflect the evolvement of the Internet, from focus on basic infrastructure and security to the services we use today that support our need for social belonging and esteem. This thesis indicates, that the future of web will move towards supporting our need for self-actualization.

Latinos and the Nation’s Future

By js, 17 January, 2010, No Comment

I can’t decide yet what to think about this book.

In some sections, I thought I was the audience of the book, while in others I thought I was NOT the intended audience.

The arguments weave back and forth using the term “American” and “Latino.”

I think it would be fascinating to do a study to see how different readers react to this book. Who considers herself “American” and who considers herself “Latino” and what happens when a reader identifies with both labels.

That schizophrenia was exactly my dilemma as I read it. At what point was I being addressed and urged to “shift” my efforts and when was I urged to “understand.”

Collectivism vs. Individualism Online

By js, 16 January, 2010, No Comment

Response to:

DIGITAL MAOISM: The Hazards of the New Online Collectivism [5.30.06]
By Jaron Lanier

I have been struggling with the benefits and the dangers/constraints of the internet.

I know several people whom I respect immensely who are very weary of the internet. They put forth the same arguments which I have heard before regarding safety, worth and authenticity of ideas, and surveillance. These concerns are legitimate and many scholars are debating these issues.

What concerns me is that we may not be taking advantage of its strengths because we are so guarded by its dangers. There has to be balance between the two. Lanier takes up the discussion of this balance between the power and danger of the collective and the individual. He argues for both collectivism and individualism.

Lanier argues that the strength of the internet is the people behind it. The danger, he argues, comes in elevating the technology above the human, that is, elevating the internet and giving it power which it ultimately does not have and behind which individuals (especially those doing despicable things) can hide.