Course:Recurring Questions of Technology/Keywords/G H

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G

Game

Game from Old English gamen means “game, fun, joy amusement”. Used in Old Frisian (gaman) means “joy, glee”. In Gothic gaman refers to “participation, communion”. (Online Etymology Dictionary). In the 14th century game differed from play or fun in that it referred to a contest that had rules. In Half-real: Video games between real rules and fictional worlds (2005), Jasper Juul investigates how video games are both an elaboration of and departure from traditional non-electronic games. According to Juul there are six qualifiers for games including: “1. A game is a rule based system. 2. It has variable and quantifiable outcomes. 3. Different outcomes are assigned different values. 4. The player exerts effort in order to influence the outcome. 5. The player feels emotionally attached to the outcome. 6. The consequences of the activity are optional and negotioable” (Juul, 2005, p. 7). James Paul Gee states that video games are virtual experiences centered on problem solving that also provide “recruit learning and mastery” as a form of pleasure (Learning and Games, 2008). He distinguishes between “a game” (software) versus “The Game” (social system within which the game is embedded). It is through "The Game" that collaboration is enforced, intelligence is distributed, emotion and cognition are married and cross-functional teams exist. In his recent keynote, Gee elaborates on the need to teach electronic game players to not only consume but to read, write, play and produce. In Games of Empire: Global Capitalism and Video Games (2009) Nick Dyer-Witheford and Greig de Peuter argue that through interaction of virtual games and actual power neoliberalism perpetuates. Existing powers such as military and corporation are using virtual games to influence our politics, markets, private life and citizenship. However, Dyer-Witheford and Peuter share that the proficiencies players gain while engaging in and contributing to virtual games are the exact skills required to create a new politic and as discontent increases, this is beginning to happen. (Jen Erickson)


Geschichte

According to the definition in the German Wikipedia, Geschichte is the German word for “everything that has happened.” Furthermore, it is used to formulate other words that describe different histories. For example, the word for history of humankind or mankind in German is “Menschheitsgeschichte,” which connects the word, “Menschheit” which means mankind or humankind, and the word “geschichte,” which formulates the meaning, history of mankind. The word “Geschichte” is often synonymous with the term “the past.” Furthermore it is also the title of the school topic that means, “history.” It is also used in the way that the word “story” is used in English, for example, in the context of telling a story. When entered into an online translator, the two translations that result are, history] and/or story, (Wiktionary). “Geschichte” is often combined with many other words, to specify which kind of history. For example, you can combine, Welt (world), Politik (political) or Kultur (culture) with “geshichte” and create a highly specific meaning of history (Wikipedia). As described by George Grant in Time as History, the meaning of the word “history” is often misused, due to barriers of the English language. Grant explains “the Germans are coming to make this distinction more clearly in their language by use of two separate words: Geschichte for that particular realm of being, historical existence, and Historie for the scientific study of the past” (Grant, p. 9). He highlights the limitations of English and suggests that perhaps “the word history should be kept for the systematic study of the past, while we should find some other word to denote the course of human existence in time,” (Grant). (Eva Ziemsen)


Gestell

Gestell is not included in the Oxford English Dictionary. It is a German word conceptualized by the philosopher Martin Heidegger as en-framing. It is an “all-encompassing view of technology” as en-framing human existence (Wikipedia). Grant warns that we are en-framed, or engulfed, in a cult of efficiency and progress rather than the morality of the past, of tradition: “[. . .] modern thinking is always a kind of willing, " (Time as History, 63), but ”the language of desire is always the language of dependence" (23). Or as Godzinski Jr. (2005) argues, “a world stamped by technology is also a world characterized by a forgetfulness of being.” The "Gestell" of our society is technology, and as such, we often delude ourselves into imagining that all is knowable (and conquerable), and that all is answerable through technology. Google is now a ubiquitous verb. We “Google” the answer to every inkling of an inquiry, without considering other modes of being and seeking, slave to our expectation of immediacy and to our presumption that information exchange is knowing; our existence through our habituated processes has been en-framed/constrained by the totalizing technological world we are. This “Gestell” is how we order and codify our world, and essentially, how we value and embed our world. We assume that we have freedom, that we have agency, as it is a seemingly infinite space into which we may put our “outterances,” ourselves, yet we are not simply functioning within this framework, we are inextricably, irrevocably threaded into the spaces, the codes. There is no “opt out.” Subsumed in this "technicity" is all, humans, species, objects, ideas, and yet if there are habits, knowledges, species or spaces that do not fit the digitized "Gestell" then they are left behind. In Crang and Graham's "Sentient Cities: Ambient intelligences and the politics of urban space" (2007) they note that technological tools such as "ThingLink" give any object a digital reference to an on-line database that would make the information visible to Google and other networks (798). As such, "things which are not coded start to become literally dumb. And among these those uncoded things may well be people" (798). In this "Gestell," this existence en-framed by our technology and the cult of progress, we may well render that which cannot code as "mute" and "invisible" (798). Therefore we need to seek what is left behind, what is lost, as individuals as well as collectives. (Michelle Bertrand)


Glom

Glom (v). Also glahm and glaum. Originated from Gaelic (glam) “to handle awkwardly, grab voraciously, devour” (Online Etymology Dictionary), was appropriated into American slang. First seen in Jack London’s 1907 “Road,” glom implied theft or improper acquisition of property (OED). The OED defines glom as “to steal; to grab, snatch,” but also recognizes its intransitive usage with “on to”. Glom did not take on a social connotation until the 1960s, where we see Armstrong in Seven Seats to Moon refer to a character as “glom[ming] on to a customer.” This usage of social foisting, where one gloms on to another for a variety of reasons, has maintained its currency, with even Google reportedly using the term to describe those who would latch on to their brand cache without any mutually agreed-upon relationship. Jack Balkin reclaims glom to describe what might be termed as “remix culture”. Cited in Benkler’s “The Wealth of Networks”, Benkler describes this culture as “tugging and pulling at the cultural creations of others … and making the culture they occupy more their own than was possible with mass-media culture” (10). In the Sydney Law Review, Balkin says that “to glom on is to appropriate or take something from mass media and and make use of it … [a] non-exclusive appropriation of content (7). In this sense, we can look at current youth mash-up culture of remixes, recuts, and mash-ups as a new, mestizo identity, as opposed to the pirate culture often portrayed by the mass-media. (Robin Ryan)


H

History

The term history sees its genesis as far back as the Proto-Indo-European period, where it was formulated as wid-tor, from the root weid, to know, and tor, to see (Online Etymology Dictionary). It has been used in English as far back as Old English (OED). Whether its introduction to English came directly from Latin as stær or Old Irish stoir, the word developed in a similar vein as its Latinate cousins and came to signify representations of the past, through story (from which the word was indistinguishable) and written narrative. Early understandings of history recognized it as subjective and problematic. In 1688, Shadwell critiqued the idea of a true history: "How can there be a true History, when we see no man living is able to write truly the History of the last week?" (The Squire of Alsatia). Karl Marx disputed this in his 1845 The German Ideology, where he takes for granted the ability of a written history to be true or false: "We will have to examine the history of men," Marx wrote, "since almost the whole ideology amounts either to a distorted conception of this history or to a complete abstraction from it." Marx's articulation of history has taken hold, as attested to in Pinar's "The First Task of Thought in Our Time": the contemporary conception of history was very different from the ancient one, wherein time had been regarded as the “moving image of eternity.” Now history had become a totalizing process within which all events are subsumed (Pinar 2012). No longer can history be viewed as subjective to narrator, time and context: it is totalizing and its veracity, if such a thing could exist, is taken for granted. It is important to understand the definition of ‘history’ in order to comprehend George Grant’s concept of time as history in our modern society. In the earliest definitions, ‘history’ as a noun is to chronicle or investigate past events. As a verb, ‘history’ is defined to write or record past events. Both of these definitions are very general, how we might define them today. But, needs to be dissected further in order to begin to appreciate ‘time as history’. One tie that Grant makes with ‘history’ is with reality, the present time of humankind, in a ‘modern technical society’. Grant notes the division of ‘history’, the first being of the traditional sense of history, the second being that of ‘reality’, or human existence, “the whole of which, whether in the past, present or future, we call ‘history’,” and it is ‘the present history’ that was created by those who had a vision that provides the notion of ‘time as history’. This idea is central to Grant’s thoughts and, as he connects ‘history’ to language, perhaps the English definition of the word should be kept as the study of past events, and that a new word is needed “to denote the course of human existence in time.” It is through this ‘whole definition’ Grant connects ‘history’ to the ‘will of man’ and grounds his discussion on the philosophies of Nietzsche. What stands out, especially in today’s society, is the necessity to understand time as history to understand what will happen in the future, especially at a time when the world is advancing at a faster pace with more complicated aspects of technology. (Claire Ahn & R. Ryan)


Hypertext

Hyper is derived from Greek (ὑπέρ: over, beyond); text is derived from Old French (texte). This keyword is primarily used in computing. Its first use is credited to Ted Nelson in 1965; in the Proceedings of the 20th National Conference Association on Computing machinery, Nelson was quoted, “... let me introduce the word ‘hypertext’ to mean a body of written or pictorial material interconnected in such a complex way that it could not conveniently be presented or represented on paper...” (OED) The idea of hypertext being associated with interconnected material continued in 1990, where Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, stated, “HyperText is a way to link and access information of various kinds as a web of nodes in which the user can browse at will.” 1 In 1992, the first Internet browser, Lynx, helped to launch the creation of the web, as it contained hypertext links within documents that could reach into other documents anywhere on the Internet. Thus, this use of hypertext on the Internet introduced non-linearity in written text. Hypertext systems eventually allowed for different types of objects beyond text (i.e. pictures, music, programs, webpages, etc.) to be linked to each other on the Internet. Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), was first recognized in CD-ROM Professional, (1990) where it claimed, “...the implementation of Hypertext markup language enhancements can be costly...” (OED). HTML became the standard system of tagging text files for formatting, graphics, when they are stored as web pages, and it was recently updated to HTML 4.0. In Interactive Visualizations of Plot in Fiction, Dobson et al (2011) noted that forms of digital narratology, including “hypertext fiction”, helps to “...produce not only multiple readings of the same story, but multiple stories entirely...” In other words, hypertext development software has enabled authors to convey narratives through spatiality and a viewpoint unique to digital environments, where the reader can participate and interact with the text. (Alexis Mauricio)