Connectivism · COP (Community of Practice) · Digital fluency · Media · PLD · Technology · video

“The Machine is Us/ing Us” [Transcription]

I became aware of the following transcription of The Machine is Us/ing Us, by Tanya Witherspoon (Wichita State University). A further development can be found at justaddwater complete with video-time markup.

The original video has given me a number of pauses for thought in recent days since TUANZ, however it’s application to my immediate community of practice is harder to judge. How do we define the web and ourselves as users of it, or do we both thinking about it at all? At conference in front of a body of like-minded-peers (?) it was presented to a gallery of oohs, and ahhs… in the staffroom a smattering of distracted looks and stifled yawns. An acknowledgement that the video was interesting enough, but what had to do with teachers, teaching or how do I expect it is going to help us with our professional learning?

I guess really the message itself didn’t really surprise me too much, and suspect that rather it was the production values of the video itself the dazzled.

Text is linear

Text is unlinear

Text is said to be unlinear

Text is often said to be unlinear

Text is unlinear when written on paper

Digital text is different.

Digital text is more flexible.

Digital text is moveable.

Digital text is above all…hyper.

Digital hypertext is above all…

hypertext is above all…

hypertext can link

hypertext can link



or here…

virtually anywhere

anywhere virtually

anywhere virtual

The WayBack Machine

Take Me Back

Oct 17, 1996


View Source

Most early websites were written in HTML


HTML was designed to define the structure of a web document.

p is a structural element referring to “paragraph”


LI is also a structural element referring to “List Item”

As HTML expanded, more elements were added.

Including stylistic elements like B for bold and I for italics

Suck elements defined how content would be formatted.

In other words, form and content became inseparable in HTML

Digital Text can do better.

Form and content can be separated.


View Source

XML was designed to do just that.

same with


and virtually all other elements in this document.

They describe the content, not the form.

So the data can be exported,

free of formatting constraints.

Latest News

Anthro Blogs (124)

Savage Minds

8apps: Social Networking for Productive People


Antrho Journals (124)

University of California Press

Journals Digital Publishing

Current Anthropology


With form separated from content, users did not need to know complicated code to upload content to the web,

I’m Feeling Lucky

Create Blog

Name Your Blog

Beyond Etext

Choose a template

Your blog has been created!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Hello World!


There’s a blog born every half second

and it’s not just text…Search


Broadcast Yourself

This is a video response to The Beauty of Being Human


Ahoy mwesch!

Upload Photos

Anthropology club

Created by you.

KSU Anthropology club

Club Photos


XML facilitates automated data exchange

two sites can “mash” data together

flickr maps

I’m Feeling Lucky


Fluffy and white

Brushy Creek

Tokyo Delve’s Sushi B..

Who will organize all of this data?


digital ethnography hypermedia anthropology


Who will organize all of this data?

We will.

You will.


XML + U & Me create a database-backed web

a database-backed web is different

the web is different

the web

we are the web

I’m Feeling Lucky


We Are the Web

by Kevin Kelly

“When we post and then tag pictures

teaching the Machine to give names,

we are teaching the Machine.

Each time we forge a link,

we teach it an idea.

Think of the 100 billion times per day humans click on a Web page

teaching the Machine”

the Machine



Highlight and Sticky note

Mwesch’s private note

the machine is us

Digital text is no longer just linking information…

Hypertext is no longer just linking information…

The Web is no longer just linking information…

The Web is linking people…

Web 2.0 is linking people…

…people sharing, tracing, and collaborating…


Web 2.0

edit this page

We’ll need to rethink a few things…

We’ll need to rethink copyright

We’ll need to rethink authorship

We’ll need to rethink identity

We’ll need to rethink ethics

We’ll need to rethink aesthetics

We’ll need to rethink rhetorics

We’ll need to rethink governance

We’ll need to rethink privacy

We’ll need to rethink commerce

We’ll need to rethink love

We’ll need to rethink family

We’ll need to rethink ourselves.

by Michael Wesch
Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology
Kansas State University


music by DEUS “There’s Nothing impossible”



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