Sunday, December 2, 2007

Sifting Through the Information Deluge

In an age of an information deluge, we graze over most of what we see, hear, observe, in what was dubbed (and what Tom Keenan cited in his paper) as the "CNN Effect". Brown is a perfect example of the global (the CNN effect) intersecting with the local (activism fueled by what we absorb through the deluge). We apply world problems within the context of Brown, whether this means raising awareness through demonstrations (i.e. Jake's observation of t-shirt days), or applying larger scale issues (education reform) on a local level through volunteering in Providence schools, Brown activists serve as the translating outlets/centers. I plan to look at how this translation acts as a centralizing means of control. Moreover, I plan to examine the way friction works as a means of activist fuel on campus. "Friction is not a synonym for resistance." (6) The second universalist dream that Tsing proposes is knowledge, which in itself is fueled by friction. "knowledge claims emerge in relation to concrete problems and possibilities for dialogue—the productive features of friction.” Brown is a place dedicated to the perpetuation of knowledge. I plan to demonstrate how Brown's activism follows Tsing's concept of allegoric traveling packages gather local meaning at Brown, how they are translated to become interventions, and how this essentially controls and uncontrollable flow of information.

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