Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Project Proposal

1. Bibliography

-Danielewski, Mark Z. House of Leaves. New York: Pantheon, 2000.

I plan on demonstrating the trustworthiness of technology through examples from Danielewski's work.

-Marcuse, Herbert. One-Dimensional Man. New York: Beason, 1991.

I plan to connect societal issues that Marcuse discusses in One-Dimensional Man to Danielewski's questioning of truth and technology.


I want to use Heidegger to connect Danielewski and Marcuse more specifically. Although I'm aware of some of his ideas, I'm unsure exactly what text to use. What text do you mean when you say Heidegger?

-DeGaine, Jacqueline J. "Digital evidence." Army Lawyer May 2013: 7+. LegalTrac. Web. 9 Apr. 2014.

This article discusses digital evidence in terms of crime and legal issues. I want to use it to emphasize discrepancies between truth and digital mediums in real life to show why the reader should care about my argument. Also, there is a specific part in House of Leaves, which I think connects well to this piece - when Reston gives the police a copy of the tape from his Hi 8 for evidence of Holloway shooting Wax and Jeb (pg. 318).

2. Proposed argument

For my Final Project, I am going to revise/expand my last blog post (Blog #7). In this post, I illustrated Danielewski's questioning of the truthfulness of digital technology, and connected it to Marcuse's ideas about technology and truths/untruths. My discussion was broadly centered around the trustworthiness of digital medias, so to narrow it down for my Final Project my proposed argument is:

Truth unlike fact is flexible. It, and therefore the truthfulness of technology, is intrinsically tied to individual perspective. Therefore, we need to first be aware of our own and other's individual perspectives before we can answer the question: "Can we trust technology?" Marcuse identified society's one-dimensional thought tendency. In House of Leaves truth is questioned on multiple levels, which serves to exemplify Marcuse's belief that in order to remedy society we must be able to think multi-dimensionally. Although The Navidson Record is fake, its story illustrates the importance of perspective in realizing the trustworthiness of technology.

To counter this argument, one might refer to Marcuse's belief that it is very difficult to "think outside the box" from within that box (i.e. be aware of multiple perspectives). However though being aware is sometimes difficult, it is not impossible. 

Technology is integrated into our society. It is something we take for granted. I cannot think of the last time I went a day without my phone, computer, or TV. Therefore, it is important for us to be aware of role that technology plays in our lives. My argument is relevant and important to the reader because he or she can relate it to his or her own interactions with technology.

3. Marcuse's role

I've already discussed a little about what Marcuse's role will be in my essay. He will play an important part in my essay because his ideas tie Danielewski's to the real world.

4. What I plan to keep, to change, and why…

I think my Blog #7 is a good foundation for my Final Project, and I plan on using a bit of it in my revision/expansion. However, there are several aspects that I specifically want to edit and add. I only briefly mention Johnny's perspective in my blog entry, so I want to add examples from his narrative to flesh out my argument about House of Leaves overall. I think this will help clarify some of the points I discussed about The Navidson Record as well as show examples of multi-dimensional thinking. Also, I want to specify that The Navidson Record is fake (which might partially be done through Johnny). This is important because it changes the meaning of Danielewski's discussion from if it were real. Furthermore, my two additional sources will add depth to my essay, I'll try to address potential counterarguments, and connect my ideas more to the reader.

1 comment:

Adam said...

First, before I forget. If you're interested in exploring Heidegger, I'd read "The Question Concerning Technology," which is even readily available online. It's tough, but you might find reading it through 2-3 times to be useful, and I'd be happy to discuss it with you.

My reading of your proposal is that you are running with the idea (borrowed partially from Marcuse) that truth and facts aren't the same thing, and that whether or not technology gives us facts, it can still help us find our way to the truth. The concept is good, and addressing it through Marcuse and Danielewski is also good. The difficulties, obviously, are in the details - what to focus on, and what specific parts of Danielewksi's text to work with. I guess I'll just say the obvious thing: this is a topic which probably has a great deal to do with Zampano. That isn't to say that you need to ignore other levels of the narrative, but Zampano is the one who is really interested in questions along your line.

Questions which may or may not help you:
1) How does the minotaur relate to technology? What is the relationship between repression and technology? Between technology and ontology (that is a Marcuse/Heidegger sort of question).
2) What is the relationship between Danielewski's specific uses of technology (to create exotic page layouts not easily accessible much before the 1990s) and truth? What about between Navidson's use of technology and truth?
3) A lot of interesting technical bits pop up in Karen's chapter - "What Some Have Thought" - for instance, Steve Wozniak makes an appearance. Do you have any interest in this material.

Anyway, I think this is a good topic. A proper level of focus will be the key.