Dark matter, storytelling, crystals and political science; all the interesting stuff is at MOOCs. So the FotB question is what is the paratext of this panoply? It may be no more than the arrays at municipal book arts centers where the diorama of courses is just what the city wants, and whatever. Or there may be an element of deception at work repackaging standard goods.
So the paratext, or the mechanism of the allure to participation, may be a marketing strategy to present packaged diversity of flavors so attractive that the commodity chips are of less interest. There is also the typographic partition of all MOOC content into “little boxes”. Such commoditized content is near to monetized content… Another paratext at work is quickness and ease of certification. Such is needed in instruction but elides the diligence needed to achieve ease and convenience.
I enjoy using the word; elide. It reminds me of heuristic (or heura?) . It just drops in almost anywhere. I have no idea what such words mean.
constructs 2 and 3
Cognitive sciences provide a crucial construct for understanding codex mechanisms and the mysterious efficiencies of reading. Brain lateralization, engagement of dexterity and haptic response, and pattern recognition capacity are all embedded features of the bionic reader. It remains to be clarified if a profile of bionic perception can be mimed into database construct and machine reading. Google engineers are “not scanning books for human readers”.
A suspect feature of Hominid evolution is lateralization of the brain essentially doubling mental capacity and characterized in our own specie by our unique handedness. Left and right, sinister and dexter are legacies of brain lateralization. Care to entertain a theory of binary conceptions?
A great story in cognitive science is origin of brain lateralization. The Hominid behavior of projectile predation, or one arm throwing of rocks, is especially suggestive. Bipedal primates living on the dangerous African savanna used a novel defense of practiced one arm rock throwing. (This behavior cannot be confirmed archeologically although the lithic evidence may be copious.) Projectile predation is a theory of evolutionary lateralization of the brain, but also consider relevance to the book. The book is a projectile thrown across time and cultures carefully calculated in trajectory and released with intention to stun its target.
The term haptic is commandeered for our purposes from fields of robotic engineering and perceptual psychology. Haptics is the study of touch as a channel of communication. The science intrudes into codex functionality where dexterity and handed manipulations are in play. Haptics factor into readability studies including evaluation of comparative affordances of paper and screen display. This component of cognitive science also laps into keyboard prompting and touch screen navigation.
Pattern recognition is an eerie feature of human conceptualization. The anatomic structures and neurologic locations of these conceptual operations are intensely studied within attempts to explain consciousness. As with all relevance to reading pattern recognition of words is accomplished by commandeered capacities that were evolved for other purposes. We know this due to the fully universal efficiency of humans to learn to recognize words as visual patterns and story elided constructions. The brain did not evolve to read text and pictures, but with training, it can.
Suggested Study Paths
Cultural evolution has taken over in the short term as it further accentuates learning reading methods within their social contexts. Cognitive sciences can also assist here to advance understanding of books in their transmission across formats of paper, screen and audio display and reception.
Cognitive science is a fundamental player in the study of resilience of book transmission. This discipline evinces classic traits of resilience; of ambiguity, stealth, good humor and weird relevance. Behaviors of bionic reading contrast with machine database ingestion, processing and extraction but advantages or coherencies of their interplay are ambiguous. The relation of cognitive affordance as used in book design is unclear or under defined. The cognitive sciences are happy to advance in their enclaves and have stealthy explanations that can be exploited. The application of cognitive science to resilience of book transmission is fun. This stuff is weirdly relevant.
Cascades of concern are applied to linguistic determinism. One evident mechanism of how we think is simple, wily word selection and an anatomic fit of their assembly. For both writers and readers, communication is a design craft.
This small determinism is at work in “Changing Our Textual Minds” by Adriaan van der Weel. Another feature of this work is a book-centric focus; a book that is a book about book transmission. Van der Weel adventures in many disciplines of eerie relevance. Look too for other traits of resilience such as ambivalence, stealth, and good humor.