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Ghost whisperings

I found the digital repository “Recorded Sound Research Center” hosted by the Library of Congress fascinating. You can evaluate it for yourself here:  Historical Recordings.

The site offers historical recordings spanning back to the civil war. There are narratives by Holocaust victims and World War I & II veterans. Its a preservation of spoken history that without the diligent service of the historians who gathered these recordings, we would only have text versions of these amazing accounts of history. As my title references, to me, it was like listening to ghosts whispering about the lives they lived and getting to experience the voice of people long gone. The design is easy to use and if you are looking for specific topics you can search just as you would most library databases. The only troubling thing is that doesn’t comprise the full archive of historical recordings. This would be nice to have access to if one really wanted to delve into a particular topic and listen to everything there was to hear. I particularly enjoyed exploring the slave narratives because the tone and context of those personal accounts can be completely lost if simply transcribed. The level of emotion contained in the tone and vernacular of an individual can be lost if an interview is simply conducted and written down with pen and ink. I am happy to know that this repository exists as, before this assignment, it never occurred to me that beyond watching a documentary, I would be able to access this kind of history on my own.

Silent_Pool,_Albury,_Surrey_(1888)_by_Lewis_Pinhorn_Wood

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How to create a successful blog, or not….

I found an article http://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/the-12-dos-and-donts-of-writing-a-blog

“[Don’t] Avoid trying new things.

It’s important to let your blog evolve over time, and the only way this can happen is if you take risks every once in awhile. Whether it’s adding infographs or personal stories or guest bloggers, never be afraid to try something new. If you feel it can add something special to your blog, try it.”

(The author Brian A. Klems this wrote in 2012)

I think overall the article was a no brainer. He went over topics such as including photographs, including helpful information and avoiding typos. However, the above quote stood out to me as one helpful tidbit that we should all strive for. If blogs are ever evolving, so then too should the blog writers. I myself enjoy posting on Facebook about topics that evoke discussion. I have over 2,000 “friends” on Facebook. I’ve accumulated so many because I enjoy and welcome comments from people who I don’t personally know and welcome the inevitable discourses when I post something inflammatory. I’ll admit, my opinions are strong and my Facebook being my medium. My personal profile and the decider of all opinions posted. I’ll openly voice unpopular opinions and sometimes it’s in the vain of an antagonist. Therefore, I post the above quote to encourage evocative and opinionated blogs. Outside of this course, I intend on using my brand of blog as a free place for discussion and a platform for myself to air opinions that are impolite in mixed company. I’m not pandering to a conservative vanilla base or confining myself to a box (read: blog) of acceptability to the masses. I see my mission as that of stirring the pot. Putting out opinions that make people think. Make people question the the status quo. That will be my aim going forward. Of course, college courses are mixed company and good manners dictate that this shouldn’t be the case presently. But, I have a vision for my blog. It will be an usual think tank of ideas where I can welcome and include various opinions on social issues allow my readers to become enlightened by what their respective viewpoints deem “the other side of the coin”. The best part of s blog like this as opposed to Facebook is that I won’t have to worry about upsetting my poor grandmother or my far removed Quaker aunt. I can just be myself at one with my voice and ideas.

“Fake Plastic Trees” AKA Facebook Profiles

My digital life is mostly comprised of Facebook posts, selfies, check-ins and other such autobiographical dribble. My intent is not so much as to garner attention from the outside world, but for posterity and reflection later.  When I was a child I kept a diary, and today I use social media as such. It’s a digital diary. Although I am a member of 3 social media sites, I only use Facebook consistently.  I see others use it as a platform of self promotion often bringing to mind the the song “Fake Plastic Trees” by Radiohead. Otherwise, I use websites such as Google or Wikipedia to search for irrelevant trivia or random inquiries that pop into my head. Questions like “why do males have nipples” or “symptoms of the plague”. My searches have made me into a person who knows a little about everything a lot about nothing. I have always been a seeker of knowledge and so I would say my most appreciated website is Google for that reason. I can instant quench any random curiosities. I am online often but I would say around 2 hours a day. I don’t use the internet much other than a database of knowledge but when I do, I use it completely. I’m a digital sleuth, if anything. This brings me to how worried I am about the security of my online accounts. I am very worried. Thus, I guard my posts with ferocity. In by being a digital sleuth, I have noticed how leaky some people are with their identifying information and I take great measures not to do the same. Our digital presence in this day and age can make or break us. I use Facebook mostly as a documentary of my life. Of which I can someday I can look back on and enjoy. I avoid self promotion but also sometimes share my little life accomplishments. Also there is the important researching of things I am interested in or for anything that strikes my curiosity. My digital life is well established but I use it more sparingly than others.

A green plastic watering can
For a fake Chinese rubber plant
In the fake plastic earth
That she bought from a rubber man
In a town full of rubber plans
To get rid of itself
-Radiohead

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