The deep reading of books and the information-driven reading we do on the web are very different, both in the experience they produce and in the capacities they develop. Recent research has demonstrated that deep reading—slow, immersive, rich in sensory detail and emotional and moral complexity—is a distinctive experience, different in kind from the mere decoding of words.
Neil Gaiman is a hugely important figure for comic-book fans in their 20s and 30s. For many of us, he represented a shift from the traditional superheroes we had been raised on -- the caped crusade...
You nominated the contenders – now reader Matthew Spencer pits Nabokov's Pale Fire against Vonnegut's Breakfast of Champions • Refresh yourself on the first half of the opening round • Check out the final 32 novelists in the tournament (Who is the...
Why not keep paper and evolve screen-based reading into something else entirely? Screens obviously offer readers experiences that paper cannot. Scrolling may not be the ideal way to navigate a text as long and dense as Moby Dick, but the New York Times, Washington Post, ESPN and other media outlets have created beautiful, highly visual articles that depend entirely on scrolling and could not appear in print in the same way.
"One of the members of a children’s literature listserv send a query to the group. She explained that she was writing historical fiction and that the setting of her book was the South during the Great Depression. One of her characters was a teenage boy who was poor, athletic and used reading as his escape. ' What kinds of books would that kind of a boy read?' she asked the group."
Via Heather Stapleton
Your students might appreciate the bit about how reading is dangerous in many ways, but we think the story coaster below is an excellent visualization of the different parts of a plot and storytelling.
I’ve recently been reading the work of interactive fiction writer Emily Short and discovered her story Galatea. I was happy to find that the story was powered by a chatbot engine and I wondered if this was a whole genre within interactive fiction. To my initial surprise, I discovered that there seem to be very few stories that rely on the use of chatbot technology. But once I thought about it, I decided that given the volatility of a lot of chatbot responses, it isn’t surprising that they haven’t been more widely used in interactive storytelling.
Before Siri, chatbots weren’t widely known. And Apple don’t call Siri a chatbot, so the term might still be unfamiliar. But Siri does what chatbots do. She understands questions and remarks put to her on a pre-defined range of topics and can respond with appropriate information. When she’s asked something outside what she’s been programmed to know about, she can give an intelligent response though it’s also generally going to be one that doesn’t answer the question.
Siri is a tightly controlled chatbot. Apple don’t want her to give unpredictable responses. But there are other chatbots that can speak to a much wider range of subjects. They do this by learning from what people say to them. While this improves their subject knowledge, it can also make them quite random in what they say and how they respond. An example of this type of bot is Cleverbot.
While I’ve been in Sydney, I’ve done a lot of work for a company that makes chatbots. And the types I’ve worked on are mostly the tightly controlled ones. It is possible to make these bots have a very large knowledge area but it requires copious amounts of time and effort. And then plenty of ongoing maintenance.
The company I’ve been working for has a proprietary platform and I’m not familiar with all the options available for people looking to create their own chatbots. I can understand that the looser types of bots would destroy anything that a creator might be trying to do within an interactive fiction.
So I’m unsure what the programming is behind Emily Short’s Galatea. But it’s sophisticated and given that she wrote this interactive fiction back in 2000, I think she was far ahead of her time.
In a speech given to the Youth Libraries Group, The Dark Is Rising author recalls the events that fired her creative instincts as a child, and the importance of books and libraries in building a rich inner life for children (Susan Cooper: libraries...
“Keith Stuart: From Lord of the Rings to Akira, these are the books that have influenced the world's greatest game designers (10 #books every #gamer should read http://t.co/4kULYoHMR5 via @guardian...”
"Today I was asked how I get my boys reading, and while I am not an expert, and some of them still don’t read as much I would love them to, I do have a few ideas. (And yes, many of these apply to the girls as well)."
Via Heather Stapleton
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