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We are now in Wissink Hall while our offices are renovated. Overall, Langlois encourages readers to find new ways to make sense of existence and critically reflect on what constitutes meaningfulness and meaninglessness. Particularly interesting is the notion of testing new modes of experience on Facebook which, in effect, involves playing with data. So, in response to Langlois it can be argued that a solution to the problems of Facebook is really to do what we are already doing, only more often and self-consciously as a practice.
This is in order to see what happens as a result. What are users already doing on Facebook? Both academic literature e. Manjoo states that:. Speed-reading is a way of dealing with the amount of content online — how else could a user get through stories a day?
But think also about how users flick through their Facebook News Feed between other tasks; for example, work assignments, or getting on or off the train, or writing paragraphs in an essay. What happens is immanence. In these reading events, meaning emerges from the space-time singular to the event of reading itself see Massumi, In other words, all a user can do is think something from the materiality of what is before them.
While this is a problem for theorists like Carr, it is a bonus for anyone taking a more Deleuzian perspective on thinking, knowledge and immanence. Braidotti explains in another context: Of course this kind of thinking does not always happen [ 43 ], but important is the realization that valuable reading practices do not necessarily involve long periods of time focusing on a single text an idea about reading so ingrained that it informs the design of some major networked reading systems aimed at developing the literacy of elementary school children [Meyers, et al.
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It is accepted that speed-reading content — which equally applies to skim-listening music on platforms such as Spotify and Pandora Ellis-Petersen, — is the norm online. It is reasonable to claim this as the typical way we engage with an abundance of content. But what are we skim-reading? Yet skim-reading complicates an earlier critical argument: Given that we speed-read online, feeling the pressure of more content and the pressure of other parallel activities, it is possible to argue against the governing effect of our persuasion profiles.
Due to the ways in which we speed-read content, all opportunities afforded by personalization, as well as their commercialization, have collapsed. There is simply not enough time for users to stand back and transcend their current material and mental states. Of course it is not being suggested that the role of commercial interests in the organization of social media content be ignored. It is worth, however, reconsidering the level of influence possible given how users engage with content online.
That is, it is a method of talking about ideas without talking and thinking being burdened by what participants already know — in other words, knowledge. Too much emphasis on what people already know causes participants to approach a topic from positions of comparison and critique. Here the participant typically asks how the text compares with what they already know and where they are coming from [ 49 ].
With this emphasis on the newness of thought comes an idea of thinking as mobile, dynamic, non-linear and not orientated towards conclusions. Here is a structure of Conceptual Speed Dating for participants in large groups, with techniques outlined by Massumi [ 54 ]:. Crucial in Conceptual Speed Dating is the following: What is not noted in the above technique are two additional considerations: The default relationship of text and outside is where a reader adds meaning to a text from a transcendent position [ 58 ], a binary process.
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A generative text, on the other hand, is always unfinished. It calls for meaning, allows for it, but is never filled and complete. In such a generative text, meaning is not added from the outside, but meaning is produced in the space of relation of text and outside, emerging from the space-time singular to each event of reading [ 59 ]. In philosophical terms, text and reader are in immanence.
Generative text can create the conditions for this to happen, but other factors also need to play a role and actively assist. Important is the close reading technique prescribed in Conceptual Speed Dating. The roots of this technique lie, arguably, in literary pedagogy and the historical practice of close reading, referred to in this paper as Close Textual Reading CTR.
In CSD, a similar close reading occurs — that is, a close analysis of sections of a text. Massumi explains that a concept is chosen, and a certain paragraph or paragraphs containing a concept are assigned to readers.
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According to the practice, it must be a minor concept, meaning a lesser known concept that a reader is less likely to think they already grasp and understand, a concept not typically focused on in the dominant literature on the topic and less likely to carry with it the heavy baggage of pre-existent knowledge. Second, readers are instructed to analyze the passage containing the minor concept. Third, they are to ask themselves text-based questions. If the latter, where are those other trajectories leading?
In CSD, text-based questions are designed to focus attention on the text itself, not the knowledge one may already have about the text being analyzed. In CSD, the influence of background knowledge is guarded against. In CTR it is accepted that some background knowledge is necessary, and debate continues about how much is enough, and how to incorporate this knowledge — sometimes using modelling — into the practice in a way that is equitable for all students Fang, ; Neumann, et al.
Given that knowledge is guarded against in CSD, other techniques, in addition to close reading, are incorporated in order to maintain an immanent practice. An enabling constraint apparent from the CSD schema outlined above is the speed dating format, where half of the participants the flows move around the room every five minutes, from post to post. The argument is that this particular constraint forces a continual dissemination and mutation of ideas [ 67 ].
An example of an enabling constraint from the workshop was the following instruction: Massumi recalls his own experience [ 77 ]:. What is important are two things: Is the idea reaffirming some idea we already have of ourselves, compounding our individualism, or is it — could it — be something that grows and develops along a path it creates with every twist and turn of its evolution, charting a completely new terrain?
Second, what is also important is that the structure only of the event is sketched. Here, CSD involves the following structure: If the reader desires to create their own practice — perhaps in the classroom, or using Facebook, or even architecturally in a built environment Ednie-Brown, — it is up to them to create it from the structure provided.
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Such an approach is an inflection that avoids the replication of CSD, according to which any potential of the event leading to a significantly different product would be lost in the overlay of what already is. The intended outcome of CRF is to engage participants in a productive discussion of complex text. Such a discussion is one that does not depend on what the participant already knows — for students, their level of preparation in advance of a given class. With the addition of a close reading practice and guidance encouraging rhizoanalysis, a creative, stimulating and enjoyable research event can be created.
Facebook is a place where billions already are, and are comfortable being there, and — for students specifically — the use of digital technology enables remote access, asynchronous participation, and of course, an element of novelty that also increases engagement. Finally, Facebook retains an archive of the structure of a discussion, for future reactivation. Generative texts, a level playing field, flying concepts, leaky experience and immanence. As with CSD and Close Textual Reading CTR , the text chosen needs to be rich in conceptual discussion and development, but with CRF the potential of the discussion will not be stymied if the text ostensibly presupposes a certain level of conceptual knowledge.
In CRF, text-based questions encourage participants to develop their conceptual understanding from the text itself. Should participants choose to transcend the text itself, perhaps seeking additional content to assist with their investigation of text-based questions, this is not guarded against. Presumably a participant may decide to search Facebook or the overlapping environment of the Internet more broadly , but this can be a productive technique, rather than an action necessarily limiting the practice to knowledge applied from whatever additional content is located.
The reason lies with how users search and read content on Facebook. Any additional research will occur quickly: Within the environment of Facebook and the Internet, knowledge is equalized, the playing field is levelled and research and reading is immanent. The same searchable nature of the context Facebook and the Internet enables the transversal exploration of minor concepts along n lines of flight.
Add to this the leakage of experience so characteristic of Facebook. On Facebook, personal space, work, entertainment and politics, converge. CRF was implemented on two occasions, in and , with two cohorts of students.