Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Rise of the Planet of the Frapes

Is it cool to make light of rape? Obviously not.  Is there any way in which non consensual sexual intercourse, most often violent and incredibly traumatising, is at all humorous? I cannot, therefore, understand why the term ‘Facebook rape’ as a flippant description of modifying another party’s Facebook profile to amusing ends has entered uncontested into the vernacular.

If it’s done well, meddling with some poor, trusting fool’s information can be very funny; most of the time, however, false declarations of homosexuality and poor genital hygiene get old very quickly. Whatever. It’s not the act that I have a problem with, but the entirely inappropriate name that it has been given. Ask someone why this is so, and most of the time they will tell you that it falls under the jurisdiction of ‘banter.’ Banter is a word that is used, mostly by the congenitally ignorant, to justify saying and doing completely unacceptable and unjustifiable things. Racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, sexism, physical and emotional bullying; all of these and more are constantly dismissed as mere ‘banter’ by the perpetrators, and often by bystanders or witnesses, unwilling to get involved.

Messing around with someone else’s online information is, on the whole, fairly harmless, and any problems or misunderstandings that arise from such an endeavour are easily explained as such, such is their frequency. So why does it have to equate to rape? You pull a prank on someone – you don’t ‘trick sodomise’ them. I wonder how actual victims of sexual assault feel when they skim down their Facebook newsfeed...

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Hacking the Book Portfolios

Hacking the Book is assessed by portfolio and group project.  The reason for this is that the course is about applied knowledge so we want to assess how what is learned is put into practice.  As the first half of the course is mostly conceptual, the portfolios give students a chance to reflect on what they have learned and consider how this material might apply more widely.  The second half of the course is much more practical and so the group projects allow students to demonstrate what they know through the production of some sort of digital resource.  Writing an essay is one type of practice, but on this course, we want students to do much more.

For those of you taking the course, remember that your portfolios are due in next week, week eleven.  Full details about the portfolios can be found via the link on the course schedule.