For this week’s observations, I decided to record how long different parts of this week’s class took and how often students added to the conversation versus their shirt color. The results and observations are below

Data Set #1: Breakdown of times on topics for Hon 221 on Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Note: Times are in (minutes:seconds) format

1:30 Attendance

1:30 Out of class assignments/explanation

3:05 Going over Reader Blog posts (General)

7:35 Discussing Manovich reading

1:40 Discussing Hayles reading

9:00 Open-ended discussion on narratives versus databases

1:30 Explanation that the novel is not purely a critique of technology and dehumanization

8:00 Book/Reading assignment discussion (Overview)

6:05 Discussion of specific Reader blog posts

8:55 Explanation of/Writing for 6-minute writing prompt (the inclusion of code within The Bug)

7:00 Discussion based on 6-minute writing prompt

4:20 Discussion of ambivalence of technology and how it might be neither good nor evil

12:40 Discussion of Venture capitalists and the physical effects of virtual startups

Data Set #2: In-Class Responses by Students versus Shirt Color for Hon 221 on Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Shirt Color Number of People Wearing Color Number of Times Responding Average Responses per Person
Red 2 4 2
Blue 4 9 2.25
Black 6 21 3.5
Orange 1 2 2
White/Cream 3 14 4.66

Note: Only multiple word responses are counted for this purpose.


Despite how simple these two topics may sound, they were surprisingly difficult to record. Even something that sounds as simple as “shirt color” does not break down easily in the real world without making every single person into an independent category, and so I had to make judgment calls even in just determining shirt colors. In addition, when counting responses, it was necessary to add the requirement for multi-word responses, excluding single-word answers. This both simplified down recording when a question was asked that required a one-word answer and also ensured that the responses recorded were meaningful and that totals were not swayed by trivial instances. In the recording of time spent in different areas of discussion, another problem arose. In Hayles’s piece, she referenced The Journalist: A Novel and explained that the protagonist’s attempt to classify everything he did quickly became interpolation ad infinitum (182). Within my classification, I tried to avoid this by using broad categories of discussion, but this once again came down to judgment calls in determining what is a large enough change in topic to classify a new discussion category. Even in recording timestamps and shirt colors, it is difficult to classify the analog world into discrete data sets.