_Structuring Destructions: (the) Will to Order the Computer Classroom_

Technology is merely a tool in our fetish game of order. We fantasize to be god, to bring order from chaos, and technology is our vehicle to the status of deity. Others try to order us, verbally, physically, mathematically; and we in turn try to order other things. We are sick with a will to order. Without disorder, composition is ultimately futile. For what would we do with no chaos, with nothing left to order? Compositionists try so hard to order the world with their/our topoi, our outlines, our graphs and charts. Shouldn't we also focus on disordering? Yes, we analyze, break into parts, but isn't that still a form of ordering? Of the order of the will to order? This fetish for order infects the computer classroom as well. "It should be ordered this way." "It should be ordered that way." The ironic thing is-- isn't it just so much order? Circle, square. Circle, square. Network, line. Network, line. We think its such a great thing to think non-linearly, that the web and its network of relations breaks up the disciplinary order of things. But it's just another discipline. We tell them how to sit, how to think, how to order, how to click, how to drag. We give them the ABCs or the MJZs, and they repeat them back. Let's all do battle over how things SHOULD be ordered. I want to put computers in rooms with absolutely no rhyme or reason. Total chaos. But really, what is the point in that? The point is that putting them in rows creates a conflict between contexts. There is a clash of conceptual metaphors. If contexts influence texts, we should expect our students texts to be schizophrenic. Therefore we have to teach the breach-- the break between different facialities... spacialities.

Presenter: Byron Hawk


Target Audience: Advanced

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