fidgetr added

i’ve been searching for a widget that will put a random assortment of my flickr fotos in the sidebar, and this seems to do the job pretty well for first impressions. i will twiddle with it further later, but it looks to be fairly streamlined and simple to use.

this search was in part occasioned by receipt of new early christmas toy – to be played with on our forthcoming trip across to adelaide… a new canon EOS 7D… already noting better shots without even trying, and also despite it having more doo-dads and gizmos, the whole thing is much easier to work, much more intuitive to wrangle than the seemingly simpler canon EOS 400D which i was using previously. oh my, and that’s not all. a canon 70-200mm ‘ultrasonic’ lens with image stabiliser… getting OK shots in low light in the same room with that thing. perched on my knee.
[of course, we are now even further in debt to the credit card company than before – but it’s not often that the australian dollar will buy things a bit cheaper than before. also, P has been stood down for standing up for his principles, and thus we should be scrimping – but that’s another matter]

so looking forward to our three or 4 day hike across to broken hill and then down to menindee lakes before heading south west to adelaide. the thing is, it has been raining. in fact, there are 11 flood declared areas west of the ranges. even before that, the rains had come for the first time in years, so there had been talk of all the dried out lakes filling up, birds coming from goodness knows where to breed and feed, and filming of a new mad max movie out around broken hill being suspended due to the whole place looking too green. i got to see this, i say – specially since the last time we went via broken hill as i’d never been there, and indeed the countryside all over the plains was reddish and dry.

menindee lakes about 70Ks or so SE of broken hill – we have to go into BH first because all the other roads into the lakes are unsealed and after all this rain, we wouldn’t make it far on an unsealed road. unless we were driving maybe a front-end loader. last time we were in BH, we thought about making a day trip there and back, but this time with lakes being filled and the tales of bird-life, i am fairly determined we should go. sortov a once in a lifetime thing to have the time to go across that way when it’s green…

Ustream experiment from SFL congress

this will only work on thursday afternoon i suspect, between 1.30 and 2.50pm vancouver time, but thought i’d try embedding it here anyway as a test.
the URL and blurb is pasted underneath the embed as well. the link takes you to the vid page and from there you can link back to the congress site and abstracts of the plenary speakers as well.
usually we try to go to the annual SFL gabfest and cult meeting, but pecuniary disadvantage prevented us this year.

Live streaming video by Ustream

Greetings from ISFC 37!

I’m writing to let you know that on Thursday afternoon 22nd July, 1.30 – 2.55, Vancouver time, the discussion in the interactive session at the Congress will be audiostreamed through the web. The session will involve the plenary speakers (except for Terrence Deacon, who has to return to Berkeley early after giving a brilliant plenary this morning).

The link to access the streaming is:

We have also arranged 5 digital, multilingual chat rooms, in which people at the congress will comment on the interaction for listeners in Brazil (Português), India (English), India (Hindi) and China (Chinese). People participating in the chat rooms will also be able to feed questions into the UBC-based interaction.

greetings netdynamians!

On being asked to join the drift of voices irregularly heard through the auspices of this Netdynam2.0 web-log I was warned – ah, but the term I am wont to use would be threatened for its entailment of a notional accuracy (‘valeur’ as I believe some might say) in relation to the alternative; however, it became obvious as I toyed with its insertion that the grammar of the two terms is completely different and thus I was diverted down a path of contemplation regarding the very meaning of the term threaten as appropriate for what I was hoping to explain. It is a matter of projection it seems, which alerts us to the nuances of meanings here, rather than a mere casual glance at the lexicon, and the convention which allows us to threaten something (or someone, I admit), but not to warn something directly… which takes us into much too abstract a territory. 
At this point, much more appropriate should I return to the example provided by the invitation I received to offer observations through the medium of this web-log –  in addition to my other internet presences I hasten to add. To wit, in tandem with my invitation to contribute, I was warned that I should announce my connections at the outset. As you can no doubt see, although I felt that my interlocutor’s intent was more to threaten me not to fail to reveal my connections with her on pain of later upheaval and accusatory rumblings, I could not express this apperception on my part as “I was threatened that I should divulge my interests at the outset”. No – although I felt that her manner of description and explanation were in the way of a threat, the rider here can only be rendered as I was warned that I should divulge my relationship to one of the administrators at the outset lest dire consequences should ensue. As a matter of fact (to be precise it would be better to say, as a matter of conjecture) I am not sure as to the exact nature of these consequences and to whom they might apply. Nonetheless, I am bound by the code of guest-ship, and hence I needs must reveal at this juncture and before indulging in any further contributions in the forum that I have known eldon for some several years past.
It is a matter of record that she earlier invited me to subscribe to this web-log, to which I acquiesced in my usual fashion. Indeed it seems (I cannot remember) that I made an earlier appearance on the virtual stage of the previous incarnation of this discussion space when it was purveyed in electronic discussion list form, at the time we both lived in Japan (I was about to say “inhabited” Japan, but even I was never so large). My peripatetic lifestyle means that I can occasionally still cross paths with eldon, if we manage to time it correctly, and in this instance it is to my own good fortune that eldon now inhabits (along with two cats and a large P) a terrace with 4 bedrooms in Sydney, to which location I regularly return (Sydney that is, not the terrace, since this is the first time i have been in Sydney while eldon has also lived here) to recharge my batteries as the quaint expression goes, and to make sure the country hasn’t gone to the dogs in my absence. And also to make sure they will continue to let me in for the foreseeable future – successive Australian governments evincing populist paranoia making it sometimes extremely difficult for refugees to enter its hallowed grounds having once being invaded by Europeans, this too after being inhabited for hundreds of thousands of years by the now disinherited original owners. I just wrote owners but in fact that is not the best term to use – unfortunately a more apt term like belongers is not part of the English language lexicon.
In any case, the issue attending my regular visits rests on my having been raised in Australian climes, but not having been born here. I have triple citizenship in fact, with the sub-continent being my favourite, perhaps due to its also having been the place of my bursting forth into the light so to speak. During this particular visit to Australian soil I intend to perform some research-induced agenda, and it may even eventuate, attendant on its success or no, that my own permanent removal from the land of infinite pleasure relating to anthropological curiosities may occur as a result.
I am reliably informed by eldon, then, that this web-log needs the services – or at least the contributions – of an anthropologist. In point of actual fact, I like to see myself as an anthro-apologist, but this is a minor aberration which I hope readers will either ignore or celebrate depending on their point of view. As far as the necessity for my services goes, she vouchsafes that the four administrators have occupied several disciplinary niches that should auger well for balance of both opinion and duties, but has observed to me that often-times instead, disciplinary boundaries tend to arise between members and their negotiations over the nature of reality. While I am not in the business of defining reality for anyone else, I am drawn to inspecting and relating in new lights the various representations that different groups attempt to define for themselves in delineating what sections of the cosmos and its knowledge-making facilities they themselves call into being. My own concerns then are outside myself so to speak, and located in groups rather than individuals. Indubitably this definition of my trajectory is simplistic, and yet it will do for the moment as a line along which to align my big toe as I relate (in other words) what eldon wants me to observe, and which in fact I have been desultorily observing since my subscriberhood began.
She (the L-person) has told me that each of the gang of four attached to this particular web-log occupies role and perspective niches in their outlooks, and their approaches to the world, and that they bring this to the discussion after applying their own filters to interpretative ends. My informant has always taken a participant-observer status with respect to the groups she studies, and I respect this stance on her part, and even applaud the work she has done with it, but I am more inclined to stand apart from the cultural practices on which I am interested to comment – not completely, but in the manner of having one foot fully outside the practices of that group whilst I am in any way ‘studying’ it, and at the same time, I endeavour to maintain another foot (or even feet) within that group, under its superstructure, in the bedrock of the community perhaps. In Japan, this has only been achieved by not studying the Japanese themselves, but rather the antics of expats living there. But this is another story.
To return to the matter at hand via this rather circumlocutionary route, eldon claims that her mien is in the way of a sociologist when approaching phenomenon of human behaviour, while hoon takes the role of psychologist. In the case of mike, he is the scientist, while frank occupies a tech-engineer-like persona. All four administrators, eldon believes, are also imbued with artist, and thus there are emotional outbursts (so to speak) and squabbles over aesthetic matters, even when the surface discussion is ostensibly otherwise. The aesthetic, as it will be remembered and no doubt agreed, is not altogether the province of the visual or even the plastic arts, but includes notions regarding beauty and truth (however conceived) relating to sound and music, words and their sequencing, and the sequencing of other elements of experience apart from the usual words, sounds, smells, tastes and graphics – sensations. Although simplification is not my forte, I am willing to extend my head or expose further my neck by saying that aesthetics can be boiled down to (hoping here that no anti-essentialists are reading along to curse me and follow me spitefully on twitter) relationships. Beauty, via this definition, is a not a part of the single act or object, or even a static composition of objects or elements but is imminent in the intricacies of the relationships that obtain between acts and objects, or elements thereof, extending as well to sequences in human interaction and the parts out of which they are composed. Readers jumping ahead will connect this with my anthropological leanings and intuit that they rest on a basis of examining what specific sequences and juxtapositionings constitute a group’s favoured practices, mores and so on, repeated instances, and legitimised, allowed, ratified and lauded sequences of acts or apperceptions of them which in turn realise that group’s “culture”..with, she apologises and accentuates at the same time, scare quotes.
Herein has lain my self introduction. May it please your honours to accept my humble postings from this day forward – although I cannot promise their regularity or appropriate content.
 People call me Penelope, Penny for short, in case someone enjoys that sort of information.

new book announcement plus related blog

Title: The Discourse of Blogs and Wikis
Series Title: Continuum Discourse Series
Publication Year: 2009
Publisher: Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd
Book URL:
Editor: Greg Myers
Hardback: ISBN:  9781847064134 Pages: 192 Price: U.S. $ 150.00
Hardback: ISBN:  9781847064134 Pages: 192 Price: U.K. £ 75.00
Paperback: ISBN:  9781847064141 Pages: 192 Price: U.K. £ 24.99
Paperback: ISBN:  9781847064141 Pages: 192 Price: U.S. $ 44.99

Blogs and Wikis have not been with us for long, but have made a huge impact
on society.  Wikipedia is the best known exemplar of the wiki, a
collaborative site that leads to a single text claimed by no-one; blogs, or
web-logs, have exploded into the mainstream through novelisations, film
adaptations and have gathered huge followings. Blogs and wikis also serve
to provide a coherent basis for a discourse analysis of specific web
What makes these forms distinctive as genres, and what ramifications does
the technology have on the language?  Myers looks at how blogs and wikis:
*allow for easier than ever publication
*can claim to challenge institutional hierarchies
*provide alternate perspectives on events
*exemplify globalization
*challenge demarcations between the personal and the public
*construct new communities and more
Drawing on a wide range of popular blogs and wikis, the book works
alongside an author blog – – that
contains regularly updated links, references and a glossary.  An essential
textbook for upper level undergraduates on linguistics and language studies
courses, it elucidates, informs and offers insights into a major new type
of discourse. This coursebook includes a companion website for student and
lecturer use.

it’s the blog on “the language of blogs” which appears to be a very good resource, with a lot of links to recent work on blog research, other blogs related to online research, and posts of relevance to our own interest. i think i might need to comment on some of those posts….

Tweet, tweet, twitter…

Myspace and Facebook are collecting participants on huge scales that various mediums before them took a lot longer to accomplish.

I’ve just stumbledupon, my new favorite hobby by the way, a reference which is niggling in the back of my mind making me feel this is part of the answer to what Twittering is going to evolve into.

I’m looking at the word clouds and this sort of fits in sideways. Maybe I should have done a word cloud myself but I wanted people to look at it, think about it and perhaps extrapolate a bit on tools of the future.

Okay, I’ll share my creative vision of this example such as it is:

theme trials (and errors) begin

i am intending to try changing the theme – like going into a dress shop and trying on some new (or in this case, 2nd hand) clothes, and parading them around in front of a mirror…and some people who may care to comment. i will not stop (trying to) chang(ing) my outfits until i get tired.

in RL i like to wear a different outfit everyday, after all.

i don’t mean to imply i’ll try out a different theme every day though…

Proposed Role and Capability Matrix

Proposed modifications to the Role and Capability matrix to align current list and blog subscriber privileges: Read the rest of this entry »

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