2007 News Stories About Digital Texts as Literature and Search Engines as Archivists

        In English 241's first semester, the news continued to race ahead of the course's ability to predict the next stage in the digital revolution of text.  Did we consider video games as competitors for the novel in the Birkerts vs. Stephenson or Schneider vs. Bolter debates about the effects of digital media on literature?  See the 9/16/07 Washington Post, in paper (at the Library periodical section) or online at  for Mike Musgrove's column, "Monster Fun.  But is it Art?": http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/15/AR2007091500132.html

"On a recent Saturday morning, I headed over to the house of Pulitzer Prize-winning Post book columnist Michael Dirda with an Xbox 360 under my arm. I plugged the device into his TV, showed him how to turn on the console and vanished. My assignment for Dirda was to try a new game called BioShock."

        The promise of "democratic expertise" offered by Wikipedia is threatened by irresponsible and ignorant people posting nonsense or pernicious falsehoods on the site.  What if the site could protect itself from this, automatically, without having to wait for the beleaguered Wiki-content-experts to discover the trash?: CNN: "New Tool Mines Wikipedia Trustworthiness" (9/6/07) 

        "Through the Looking Glass: The Post-9/11 Era Has Caught Up With William Gibson's Vision," By Joel Garreau, Washington Post Staff Writer, Thursday, September 6, 2007; C01

(Gibson, author of Neuromancer, says that Ebay is the "curator" of the archive of modern human culture.  Read the last two sections on page 3 if you want to cut to the chase.)