Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hanging Out, For Free

Good deal! I just discovered that a book I have on hold at the library, Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with New Media
is available as a free downloadable PDF from the MIT press.

It's by danah boyd and other members of the Digital Youth Project.

It integrates "twenty-three different case studies-which include Harry Potter podcasting, video-game playing, music-sharing, and online romantic breakups," with "in-depth description of specific group dynamics with conceptual analysis."

I want to read it as part of my summer-long project exploring the history of communication. I decided I can't start writing a history until I have a better overview, so I can create some through-lines.
(Like, vampires?)

It makes me so happy that that exploration is my WORK this summer. I mean, I get paid!
Not much, but it's better than paying for the privilege, like I used to as a student.

Sitting around reading, hanging out talking, staring into space thinking.
It's a grand life.


Clowncar said...

Grand indeed.

And since that last project seemed to have messed with your head a bit (and not in the good way), it's nice to see you working on such a positive project. Communication!

In Lives of a Cell (and I'll paraphrase this badly) he is talking about ants, and their compulsive building of tunnels, and how they are seemingly unaware of any grander structure they may be building. He tries to come up with something analogous that humans do compulsively. We communicate. And build something grand in doing so, without even realizing it.

Yes. Badly paraphrased. Read the book.

Fresca said...

CLOWN: Gollee, I read that book when I was a youngster! Might be time to look at it again, as a reviewer at Amazon concurs with you:
"it seems to me that one common theme of several of the chapters has to do with communication -- oral, chemical, behavioral, and genetic."


Margaret said...


hanging out for free is The Life!
I'm still shocked that it's going to cost me to live; you grow up free of charge, (free to the kid, not the parents, o' course), and then all at once you're expensive!

Paid to explore . . . well, if that isn't grand, I don't even know.
And that's a good summer topic.

To channel Micawber: "in short": you need an Explorer Hat.
Splease make it sew.

Fresca said...

The nice thing, I think, is YOU are free when you pay for your own life, even if your expenses are not.

I have a Jayne hat, from Firefly (did you ever watch that), which might double as an explorer's hat, until I can get an official one.

momo said...

I am drooling over your reading list! I have my own, but I am not yet inspired by it. I need to correct that situation.