Thursday, Feb 26
Today’s class will focus on the differences between reading and visualizing narratives/data (Or data/narratives? Or narrata? Darratives? Or however else we might want to describe whatever Only Revolutions is…). Some questions to think about for class:
- What is “the plot” of Only Revolutions? Why is it significant that this is a difficult question? Novels generally have plots. Is Only Revolutions a novel?
- Do we read Only Revolutions? Or, what does reading mean in relation to Only Revolutions?
- Only Revolutions has been frequently visualized (for a novel). Some examples: http://davidryanandersson.tumblr.com/post/35796336978/visualizing-patterns-in-the-book-only-revolutions; http://howwethink.nkhayles.com/onlyrev/poster/; http://howwethink.nkhayles.com/onlyrev/text/location/map/. What do these visualizations of the novel capture? What purposes do they serve? What do these visualizations make available that reading the novel perhaps does not? Or vice versa? Is the novel itself already a data visualization (or “infovis,” in industry shorthand)? How?
- Infovis is defined as “the use of computer-supported, interactive, visual representations of abstract data to amplify cognition.” As two different modes of capturing and processing information, how do reading and visualizing differ, for both the “reader” and the “author”? What degree of facticity attends to each form, and why?
- Why does this matter? What is the significance of learning to “read” data visualizations and/or learning to “visualize” narratives?