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Thursday, February 11

February 11, 2016
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WWTWWT: Quiz on the Pre-Socratic philosophers. Then we discussed Socrates and his Socratic method, which was an early form of inductive reasoning — reasoning from the specific to the general.

For Tuesday: please read the sections in your textbook on Socrates and his pupil, Plato.

History: The weirdness continued today as we talked more about papyrus and scrolls. Several new terms were added to your notes: scroll, quire, codex, and manuscript. Here’s a picture of the board, since we wrote down quite a lot:

Before this, we wrote out some pros and cons of papyrus as a writing surface. Some pros: it’s pretty sturdy, holds the ink well, has a strong grain pattern, and naturally wants to curl into the scroll shape. Some cons: the strong grain pattern leads to fragility, as it cannot be folded without breaking; the grain also sometimes leads the pen/ink to stray or pool; the natural curl of the papyrus can be frustrating if you do not want a scroll structure; it does not hold up well to moisture; the ink and surface general tends to flake off in time. At the end of the day, papyrus was totally awesome in the absence of paper – it was cheaper than parchment, easily made, and very versatile. Unfortunately, it was pretty location specific – the reeds only grew around Egypt, and other climates were not well suited to it’s longevity (humid air, of course, would be an enemy of papyrus, given the properties we discussed).

So, as it turns out, we still use the scroll structure quite a bit, and as you look at new forms of media, the history of the written word aligns interestingly with the history of other kinds of recorded expression (music and film, specifically). Wax tablets (and associated materials, such as stone and ivory) share some similarities with records, and following in step, scrolls are still used (in a way) for tapes (cassette and VHS, etc), films, toys, and – interestingly – pages on the internet.

In class you made a scroll out of a new reading assignment. Keep these around – they need not be read till the week after next, but make sure to pay attention to the pros and cons of the scroll structure once you do start reading.

Schedule:

For Tuesday, 2/16 – no homework, but start reading for Thursday!

For Thursday, 2/18 – read “Manuscript” chapter (handed out this past Tuesday)

For Tuesday, 2/23 – read “The Book as a Physical Object” (the scroll you made today)

I mentioned this before, but the “Manuscript” chapter is pretty dry – BUT, if anything we talked about today interested you in the least, you’re going to want to read it closely anyway because it will answer tons of questions about what manuscripts were, how they were produced, who had access to them, etc, pre-Gutenberg.

Siren: Working to finish February edition. Feb. 23 deadline for March copy!

Daily Prompt: Today you were initiated into the wonderful world of Chalvine. Your cards have been added to the big deck, and if you should ever want to play again, just let me know.

Survey: CNF: I gave you a sample “five paragraph essay” (no, not one of THOSE five-paragraph essay) as a template for how we’re going to write the first essay: moment/riff/moment/riff/moment.

You turned in your cards/outlines for your first essays, and I reviewed what makes a good moment. (Hint: avoid exposition. Just get to it — in medias res.)

These essays are due Tuesday.

Survey: Screenwriting: 

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