Category Archives: Responding

Games as Gateways to the Adjacent Possible


Wise words from wise fellows.  Much of my work during Games Week on #CLMOOC has been trying to make sense of the kinds of games I like to play.  Not board games, not online games, but idea games.  I love idea machines.

I think I created a game that is a machine for seeing.  Here are the breadcrumbs:

#CLMOOC Make Cycle Three newsletter –>Diigo highlighting and extraction–> transfer to Hackpad–>transformation in Hackpad–>game rules devised–>game played (and playing) by applying rules to Susan Watson’s cooler than cool Obscure Sorrows and Joys Museum Game

So…to sum up.  The folks at GlassLab Games who are facilitating this Make Cycle asked us to do an awful lot of stuff for a week.  I tried to make sense of it by creating a game called “The Thoreau Game: Simplify” where I tried to translate their 36 verbal imperatives into a manageble number of commands. I got it down to twelve.  I then did what they asked, “For this Make Cycle, “We invite you to use game design to analyze, remediate, and reflect on complex systems.”

That is what I did.  I did the same thing in the last make cycle, I remediated the cycle newsletter to define remediation.  I think this process can be considered to be an idea machine because you can start with any text as source for game rules and you can make them your own by simplifying and translating.  And then you can play the game by applying them.

In the end, the game functions as a key to open up doors to the adjacent possible.  For me this is ongoing because I keep coming back to Susan’s museum game and applying the principles I cadged and remade from the newsletter.

Like I said, I love idea games and ideation machines and playing the games they can generate.  I am not any good at all coding in any language except this written one.  It is the oldest and I think best code of all.  Flexible, enduring, and sustainable.  That’s more than can be said for the stuff that dies when the electrons stop flowing, but I am super happy that GlassLabs is here to help.

Re’media’atate’: Why?

I found myself on Kevin’s website this morning at a loss to comment.  All I could say was, “I am feeling stuck in this week’s make: everything I do is remediation. Everything.”

Let’s take the original newsletter and its translation into a youtube video

Now let’s remediate that with Vialogues just in case someone wants to annotate our happy crew from Uof I Writing Project.

Or perhaps you are trying to close a blindspot about accessibility and tech equity especially for the visually impaired so you translate into audio


Then you think you might want to make this sound file annotatable so you upload it to Soundcloud.


Perhaps you decide that you want to use a multimodal tool to share your take on matters.  That would be PopcornMaker which is being (as the software folk delicately refer to) ‘deprecated’.  Since it is dying a slow death the YouTube mashup part of PopcornMaker no longer works so you have to use Soundcloud for your musical soundtrack. Roll with it, but save often.

Or maybe a gallery of animated gifs of the UIWP team

Or perhaps you want others to collaborate in your remediation with a Hackpad.

View Re’media’tion on Hackpad.

Or perhaps a Diigo annotation page full of remediation itself.

There are limits to this because it already looks like I am just gilding the lily here, but there are also some observations I can bear witness to.

Why remediate?

Remediation is a way to translate for yourself and to even internalize a learning object that speaks true to you.
Remediation is a way to give heavy duty reciprocation to someone who has made a difference. Likes, plusses and such are not remediation. They are kinda pusillanimous pussyfooting that I do too often instead of remediating.
Remediation is a way to understand an idea in a different way through a different medium or multimodal ways. The remediation here is not so much to create a product as it is to undergo a process. Even reading something outloud is a way to remediate a text’s power through the animating genius of your own breath.
Close reading of text is remediation.

I just call this ‘translation’. Do we need any more jargon? Is the term just a plea for attention when a simpler word would do? And is the new slant on the word just confusing? Does it get in the way? Perhaps it should more aptly be spelled re-media-ate. Yeah, that’s not going to work.


Convince me, UIWP. If you do, I will add it as a category in my blog here. That is quite a prize, a pearl without price.incredibledancehappy






I might even do a happy dance.





What follows is actually a third draft of a collaborative poem compelled by the Charleston murders at Emanuel AME Church. We drafted the text here. We will have a collection of sound files here soon if you feel the need to remix it your own way and add to it.

The principles involved in writing:

Susan Watson: @EatcherVeggies
Fred Mindlin: @fmindlin
Aldon Hynes: @ahynes1
Kevin Hodgson: @dogtrax
Autumm Caines: @Autumm
Sarah Honeychurch: @NomadWarMachine

Sound files provided by Susan, Kevin, Autumm, Sarah and myself.

Garageband loop provided by Kevin.

Editing by myself using iPad app Bossjock and saved to Soundcloud.

Here it is. I think collaboration is going to be the theme of this summer’s MOOC for me. I hope we can get together.


Slow Viewing




No, Charlie B, I will not shut up. In fact Charlie, if you don’t like it, turn around. It’s an experiment, only I am not going to use you for some vague research agenda. What I have found out over the last year is that asking people to give a damn is asking a lot. So this amounts to working out loud, for my purposes. If you get something out of it, well…I’d be surprised.

I am obsessed now and over the last few years about slowness. My last post was about slow living and slow learning. I live on a farm where it’s all about slow learning (unless a hawk is after a chicken and in that case the learning had better already be there for cluck’s sake).

The purpose of this post is to think and work out loud considering the concept of slow viewing. I take as my context Ze Frank’s recent talk about his work on Buzzfeed as president of their Motion Pictures division. I started watching the video on FORA (you may need to join to access the vid, not sure, but free) and I knew immediately that this was not something I could scrub through.  It reminded me of the awesome John Cleese video a few years ago on creativity where I did some very intent viewing. I needed to do a slow viewing.

Typically, I do slow viewing with the cloud  annotation tool, Vialogues.  Of late I have also been drawn to Thinglink’s relatively new video annotation tool.  For some reason I started annotating with neither one. I used les pense-bete, Post-It notes.

As I viewed Ze Frank’s talk, I started tacking them around the outer edges of my screen, but they weren’t the ultra sticky kind so the overhead fan kept blowing them off.  Plus, Frank’s presentation had lots of cool charts and I needed something more. I decided on grabbing screenshots and then put callouts on those shots in Snag-It.  That would fit my workflow quite nicely.

The best part of using a screencapture tool like SnagIt is that it forces me to slow down. I pause the video, grab the image, save it.    Folks like Charlie B are lightning fast and probably don’t need to slow down, to slow view, but I do need that pause to consider.

Videos resist slow viewing because they have continuity, a loop and flow that I am used to watching from start to finish.  I also tend to be a passive viewer of moving media. All of these characteristics militate against ‘reading’ video slowly.

At first I thought that others might be interested, perhaps Charlie B, but then I remembered–it is hard for folks to care and attend and read because they are going too fast. This is fussy, stop-and-go work unpacking video content, but the good stuff like Ze Frank’s presentation practically demands that treatment. It is rich and deep and complex and begs  to be explored, translated and annotated, even to be remixed and transformed.

And that is what I did below





But Charlie D says this makes no sense if I haven’t viewed the video.

buzzfeed approach to reach and impact

Exactly so, the purpose of annotation and slow viewing is idiosyncratic and personal. It might have value for you, but I know it has value for me. It slows me down to reconsider.


This post has been influenced quite a bit by Ze Frank but also by my recent work annotating Nick Sousanis’ graphic dissertation, Unflattening. In the former, I champion the idea Frank presents at the beginning of his talk: we are using images and video much as we used text in the Guttenberg Pause. And we have to acknowledge this in whatever discipline we happen to be working, learning in my instance. Actually, we’re all in the learning business. It is the parallel discipline for every practice. Frank’s talk is full of amazing resonance for learners and is worth slow viewing for that alone.

Sousanis’ influence is very similar. His book is an embodiment of Ze Frank’s idea above. Unflattening is an acknowledgement that the disseration as we know it may be insufficient for audiences post-Guttenberg Pause. And my slow viewing is also a recognition that we must do something more with video than passively take it in through the funnels of our eyes.

The real fun of slow viewing is that you begin to internalize some of the disciplinary habits of those you are walking with.  For example, in my SnagIt annotations I began to experiment with how I used the ‘callout’ boxes on the page by adopting some of the design principles I learned about in Sousanis’ work.  And I am looking at the “Sad Cat Diary” exemplar that Frank presents as a way to begin to look at how I “sell” folks on the CLMOOC “brand”.

So Charlie B, if you made it this far, it’s a miracle.  Here’s hoping you got something out of it, but in the end it doesn’t matter.  I wrote this in part for you, but  really this is just slow writing for me.  It is a form of intellectual and emotional occupation.  Like the Norman one, its likely effect is permanent, an inner tattoo on the mind.  What do you think of that, Charlie B?  Really? Damn you’re such a troll, but I love ya anyway.



Case Studies in Rhizomatic Practice

I have been working at trying to identify what #rhizopractice might or might not look like.  I kept expecting some kind of look at rhizomatic practice (and we may yet get that), but this week seemed like a free for all so I decided to learn rhizomatically, medially, marginally, and disruptively as much as I could.  I have created a resource for trying to figure out what rhizomatic practice looks like both in and out of the #rhizo15 community.

My next step is to set up Case Problems where I ask #rhizo15 members to help determine through observation and discussion whether an example is or is not rhizomatic.  It is a crowdsourcing project.  Maybe I should put it on Kickstarter?

View Confessions on Hackpad.