Our Github, including a link to our contract in the ReadMe
Just a few things that popped into my head as I was reading the documents on fair use for tomorrows class:
I had previously only heard the phrase "low fi" used in relation to fuzzy sounding indie music. As I continued to read the manifesto I gained a great deal of respect for the points Stolley was trying to make. We must first understand the parts of a whole before we can really know what is going on. We have essentially skipped learning the language of the programs that have become so ubiquitous in our lives. His Powerpoint example is especially telling as the phrase "slideshow" as been phased out in favor of the Microsoft Branded "PowerPoint". He argues that it is essential to learn the parts of the system before we can feel like we confidently understand the most popular programs used today. It makes a good deal of sense that using the most low-fi programs and avenues we will be able to be more adaptable and reach a wider audience with our original content. As far as the Git videos, they seem helpful despite how scary coding can seem. The program seems to have fairly user friendly interface. Overall, I'm pretty much sold on wanting to learn more about low-fi programs and how we can break down the programs we have become so unconsciously used to.
Although I was a bit confused when first reading Stolley’s piece (I’m not experienced at all in coding and related technology development), going through each item on the Manifesto and reading about it cleared things up. It was interesting to hear about the various types of software that exist already as well as the reality that there will always be more kinds being created. This idea was mentioned in different ways throughout the Manifesto so it stuck out to me. Another part that I paused to think more about was about designing a project “for the most constrained users and devices.” The goal is to please even those without access to the bells and whistles that more advanced technology and platforms can offer. It’s important for users to still be able to experience the digital artifact with ease and clarity. After watching ad videos on GitHub and joining it myself, I noticed how collaborative-friendly the software is. This is something I can really appreciate and look forward to. Stolley’s Manifesto highlighted an idea also mentioned and demonstrated in GitHub and that was the tracking of history so that any change made throughout the process of the project can be referred to and accessed.
At first, even with a little coding experience, I was very confused reading Stolley's article. However, by the end of all of the GitHub videos, it started to make a little sense. From what I'm understanding, lo-fi production technologies are the preferred method of coding (and such) if practicality is the goal. If aesthetics are the goal, then hi-fi technologies are probably the way to go. I have to agree with Stolley's fifth major point, as she says, "If a hi-fi element seems necessary, keep researching until you conclude that it isn't." In my opinion, people mainly use the web as a way to share things, whether it's with themselves (such as documents via Google Drive or via email), or with others (such as social media). If that is the goal, then why would anyone not want their content to be consistent across all devices/platforms?
I’m rather conflicted. On the one hand, the technical magic and tricks Stolley presents are snazzy and useful. But on the other, much of the material so far rings of ancient things I’ve learned. My thoughts about art and production get to me.
As someone who, at this point, is quite unfamiliar with coding and this type of digital media speak, I think that one of the main points that I took from Stolley's Manifesto is that lo-fi production technologies are built to be changed. They are "modular and swappable" but also seem to be ever improving. Many of the manifestos touched on a point that there will always be another program or software out there that is better or more appropriate, proving that change is inevitable. This requires constant learning and seeking of knowledge by the individual to stay abreast with the changes in the technological world. Learning about Git, GitHub, and other version control systems helped to solidify that thought due to the level of importance of tracking the changes that are made by an individual or a team to a particular project.
After reading Stolley’s manifesto, I wasn’t entirely convinced of his argument. As someone who has taken a handful of coding classes, I know that it helps to familiarize yourself with the process and software that creates the content you intend to put out there. Keeping that in mind, I didn’t think having a deep understanding of the software is essential as he makes it seem. For instance, we use various platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc., that are user-friendly enough to allow people to post written content with ease. I think this all works similarly to driving a car- you don’t need to need the intricacies of the vehicle itself to understand how to operate it. However, after watching the GitHub tutorials, I think have a better understanding of what he means. Having a level of proficiency in these tools is becoming an essential part of how we represent media, and the nature of version control/revision makes it an ever-changing platform that requires a base understanding of how it works. Logic, structure, and revision are as essential to coding as they are to writing.
Stolley's manifesto is fair, but harsh, and insightful, but limits the human ability. Just like we did not learn to be good, or even half decent writers, in a day, we cannot be expected to learn all of the ins and outs of digital, in a day, or even a lifetime. However, I believe Stolley limits the potential of human ability. The thing with writing, and even more so, digital media, is that it can in my opinion never be perfected. With the changing and growing human intellect writing can continue to become more poetic, more engaging, and is variable as time goes along. The same goes for digital. No one has yet to crack all of the boundaries of this medium, so for Stolley to talk about limitation, version control, and that individuals need to command lo-fi before exploring hi-fi is robbing ourselves of exploration. Because digital is so variable, the ways in which we learn it should be also. After viewing the GitHub tutorials, I think the platform will be a good means in which to explore revision safely, but also provide the opportunity for risk (and reward).
As a writer, I am very familiar with the idea of revision. Over the years I have learned the absolute necessity of revision in the writing process. I now know that I would not be the writer I am today if I hadn't sat through many workshops of my work. But when I was younger, I thought that revision meant the same thing as editing. I thought it was changing some commas and deleting or adding a sentence or two. It wasn't until I started taking writing classes that I learned that revision is a lot more than just making a few changes; it is challenging yourself to push your work to greater heights. Revision is accepting the fact that everything we create can become better and better with more time, effort, and an open-mind to suggestions/criticism. Of course, part of the revision process may also lead to some failures and wrong choices along the way, so that is why it is very important to keep records of all drafts and changes that you (or someone else) makes to a piece of creative work.
In the main part of Stolley's introduction, he points out how writing, regardless of the form, requires more revision than any other form of media. After countless English classes, and a few coding classes in college, I have to agree with that. GitHub only confirmed that this is in fact true. I am excited to use GitHub since it gives you many ways to revise, without losing your original work. It allows you to compare past work with new work, and allows for a lot of collaboration and advice from fellow classmates on projects. It gives you plenty of room and comfort to revise, without worrying that what you had before was possibly better.
Stolley's manifesto was interesting to me as I had heard the term "lo-fi" used before but never in the sense that he described it. I found the flexibility paragraph to be the most interesting as Stolley states that while the production of lofi is "inherently limited." However, there is flexibility in terms of how it is used. The github tutorials paralleled many of the points made in the manifesto and I was able to see physical representations of the concepts of lofi in the manifesto. Github seems like an interesting tool and I'm excited to use it more in the coming future.
For my blog post today, I would like to focus on one specific section of Stolley's manifesto--
I found the videos on Git Hub to be extremely helpful. They fully explained the purpose of the website and all of its functions. To be honest, though, I did struggle with some points on the website while going through the guide. I feel like I am more of a visual person so I have to see someone show me an example of a certain step before I can complete it. I think the platform will be easier to use, though, as I continue to work with it throughout the next week.