Saturday, September 22, 2007

Midterm help... please

I need some major help on this midterm project. I thought of two ideas, but I think they're pretty underdeveloped.

1. I am a bioengineeering major. In class last Monday we were talking about man as a machine. I was thinking I could relate those passages by Twain and Hobbes to my major/research in the biomechanics field. I don't know how I would go about the narrative part but I would definately have the technology part down.

2. I was thinking I could do sort-of a chain letter story. I would start off by writing one sentence and then email it to someone on a premade list to write the next sentence and so on and so on until it reached back to me. I think this would be really awesome. I could be able to see how technology limits how people show their expressions and I would be able to anaylze how people interpret the sentences before hand and how their personality changes the story.

**Please let me know what you guys think. I really need all the help I can get, lol.


Josh P. said...

For your first idea I think it is something that could be done, but I don't know how much narrative you can get from bioengineering.

As for your second idea, it sounds like an excellent project. It creates a narrative through technology which can be done quickly instead of years before the internet was created. Not only is it a unique concept, it could be very entertaining. There are endless possibilities for the narrative.

One question I have is, would you just send it to one person at a time and have them forward it through the list, or would you send it to 2 or more people and have them send it to 2 or more people and then be able to compare the different versions of the story that started out the same.

Emily said...


I think it would be hard to keep track of all the different list going around though if I keep asking everyone to send it to 2 or more people. There would be to many variables espically if they get to decide which people they send it to. I would like to have a premade list that way I know who has the story at anypoint in time. Moreover I think if I had a premade list I can comment of how/why that person said the sentence they said depending on their personality or how they think.

What if I just have two different list going and then compare those two stories? It might be easier to keep track that way. Plus I really like your idea of comparing stories! It would make the project more intresting and funnier!

Let me know if anyone wants to be apart of my midterm project! I'm excited!

Jessica S. said...

Hi, I am writing in response to your second idea.

I think you should shoot for this, it seems like it could be really creative. I'd say it'd be cool if you maybe wrote a paragraph completing an ending the story, then have 4-6 "in between" paragraphs with 4-6 people on a list of people to fill in the blanks.

Mostly, I would try to keep some direction so that it doesn't get to be self-perpetuating. I have seen similar ideas done on internet forums where there is generally one moderator. Also, writing one sentence at a time might make the story take much longer to finish since you would have to wait on feedback.

Also, the "waiting for it to get back to me" idea might not be so hot if you don't get an e-mail/feedback for each piece added. It would suck for the chain to never get completed and never reach you again.

Also... Maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea to start a blog on blogger like this one and use it... People could post their contribution separate from comments and etc. and you could get some people to join the blog rather than do it over a medium like e-mail.

These are all just suggestions. I check this blog often enough, so you can let me know if you want my help contributing.

Mike K said...

Don't limit yourself to using people in class or around campus. Try your grandmother and a small child. See how they differ. I'd write paragraphs 1,3,5,7, etc and have several people from all walks of life fill in the even ones. Whether they ended similarly or different, it'd be cool. You couldn't go wrong in the "interesting enough?" field.

Adam Johns said...

You're getting some great ideas on #2, and I'm not sure I can do much better -- you're getting good advice.

For #1, there is lots of good material out there to provide a starting point (for an essay, presumably). Most major philosophers have a take on the nature of human life, of course -- as do serious biologists.

To me, I think the best starting point for you would be to do a little reading in the Philosophy of Biology.

Myself, I am a huge admirer of Richard Lewontin's short book _Biology as Ideology_, but an even better starting point might be the following text:

The Philosophy of Biology. The link will take you to the libraries website, with the call number & table of contents.