Personally I thought I was lost on the whole notion of haptic visuality but the analogy with the coin really made me understand it quite well. The blogger writes “The normal way of seeing, optical visuality, and haptic visuality are two sides of a coin in a sense that haptic visuality moves over the surface of images and optical illusions views an identifiable three dimensional space.” It was made clearer to me in an easy way to understand this concept and really experience it, which in turn is what haptic visuality is, to see beyond the scope and see the wholesome understanding of both sides which are “seeing and experiencing.”

 

Although now that I understand the concept this does not mean that it is one that is easily achieved. She draws parallels to Latour’s article on the subject of iconoclash because it too “requires deep reflection and meditation about an action.” This allows myself to understand that seeing is not just on the surface but that it is something deeper something  stricken with meanings and representations of all sorts, and that these can be never ending thoughts and notions of the truth.

 

Through this she segwayed into optical illusions and discussed what they mean and how they too affect how we see. I wholeheartedly agree with her statement that defined who a person is based on their past and how it has moulded them through different patterns within their life. I too believe this to be fact because it is true that we are who we are based on past experiences because they change us whether we like it or not they do, and because of them we grow to be someone new and mould into this new person we did not expect to become. She brought forth these concepts with ease and addressed them in an easy to follow style.

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The opening paragraph catches my eye on the severity of internet addiction. We are becoming a society dominated by the internet and what it has to offer. We take advantage of it. The author then continues to say “The purpose of the technology, in this case the Internet, was to bring convenience to people and make their lives easier, was it not?” I completely agree it was something that was seen to make everything more convenient for us but we are becoming addicted to what it has to offer us. We make a huge deal out of the fact that we cannot access the internet for a given moment in our lives. We constantly want it to be readily available to us and the fact that it is available to us through our smart phones now is just making matters worse. We can’t see ourselves living without the internet because it is so readily available to us.

 

This blog makes some great points about internet addiction and the patterns as a society we have fallen victim to due to the internet. We are constantly craving more and more. Even our relationships are being severely punished by the internet and what it is offering us. The blogger then raises an interesting question “How bad can reality be that we have to resort to virtuality?” How bad can reality truly be, we are becoming lifeless and more diseases and disorders are going hand in hand with the new developments of internet addiction. It has become the sole source of entertainment, she continues to write and I do agree with this statement, we are being dehumanized by what we see and therefore even accept it. For example violent games give a rise to accommodating violence in our daily lives and becoming immune to it. Is this really a good thing? 

The idea that the suburban lifestyle can be turned into a game is one that the “Sims” explores, or rather exploits through its efforts to try and create an ideal life based on just this. (Flanagan: 52). The game is centred around the idea that you can create a life inside this seemingly utopian world and in a sense escape your own life to play with the one you have created, that is ideally the life you wish for yourself. You can choose your character, the house they live in you can basically design everything to your exact liking. In addition in the recent years there have even been addition packs you can buy to your game to allow you to travel, or to even have a house of vampires, thanks Twilight for that one, but if you want it you can have it. This escape from reality is just what people want and treat as a second home, a second life. Even so far as to say that the roads are “too American” as the French put it (Flanagan: 53). This life takes us away to a different place to allow us to play other characters and live different lives, ones that we would never dream of having. You have all control, and if you get bored of playing with one family you can quickly move onto one that you want to play with. The idea for this suburban landscape was one that emerged post war, one that forced city dwellers out into the suburbs to establish a new life. People like to escape into a world in which they have all control over. Even to the point that people become addicted to the false life they are living. We watched a short movie from BBC that addressed young adults and their addictions to the games. Even shockingly how adults were neglecting their children to be able to play these games. I have my phone games that I find addicting sure, but I do get bored and move on to another game sometimes I don’t play one at all. I do not have a gaming console at home because my parents didn’t and still don’t believe in video games, I guess this allows for me not to have this itch to play them. However as a gift from a family member we got the “Sims” for PC. My sisters quickly became addicted, I however didn’t, for some reason I still think to this day that running someone else’s life is not fun but work. Why would you want to do work in a virtual world that you do not like doing in the real world. That is simply the approach I took to this game and played it a few times but never got hooked on it, I just did not find it fun like my sisters did and still to this day do. It is not a serious addiction on their part, but I do have friends that cannot go one day without playing FIFA and this just shocks me, I just do not understand video game addictions.

The world is changing, our communications are constantly changing. Once upon a time ago we would send letters, now its emails or texts and all just to get and receive information sooner, faster, more efficiently. Anna Gibbs defines this kind of rapid shifting communication available to consumers as “mimetic communication”. This is defined as “The corporeally based forms of imitation, both voluntary and involuntary” (Gibbs: 186). Thus meaning that this can occur on purpose or we simply do not acknowledge the fact that it is even happening. These can even go on to include “synchrony of facial expressions, vocalizations, postures and movements with those of another person” (Gibbs: 186). We mimic what we see and may not even be aware that it may be happening in our everyday lives. This allows for people to understand one another on an emotional level (Gibbs: 186). The thought of feelings being mimicked is something that I find very interesting, you may be watching something and assume that what you are seeing is directly linked to how you should feel about it, and since everyone else around you might be doing it or feeling that emotion you mimic it yourself as well. Why? Is this a subconscious thought, do we do it on purpose, what provokes us to act in this way. At times it is true we may be unaware that it is happening, however when we are aware why do we allow it to happen anyway. It is an interesting thought to think that what we may be doing at any given moment may be the direct result of what we saw someone else doing and we are now doing the same. I personally have picked up a few habits from this. Twirling my pen in a specific way, or hanging out with someone who bites their lip which then provokes me to do the same and pick up the habit. I have never paid attention to it before. It is indeed quite an interesting thought to think that who I am right now may be a direct result to someone I had seen someone else doing. Mimesis is a tricky thought and theory to consume, but the more you become aware of it the more you realize that what you may be doing may not even be coming from you but by something that you saw someone else doing. I had this one teacher that I really looked up to as a child and she would wipe the chalkboard in a specific way. When I had the opportunity I would mimic exactly as she would do it. Later on it became like second nature to wipe the board like this, to the point that it just became part of who I was and I did not even realize I was still continuing to wipe the board in this way. The motion took over me and forced itself into my life and never left. Mimesis is truly an interesting thought.

“There is no reality outside of representation, and that ‘beauty’ is an ideological term and not to be used” (Marks 2004: 79). This bold statement stuck out to me. How is it possible to perceive anything that is not apparent when you simply look at it? Why do these kinds of restrictions exist? If to see is to be all knowing then how is it possible to be fooled by an optical illusion? We use sight as a direct reflection of truth and power, to take this away would mean to move away from what we know and focus on something that we feel unknown to. With this being said haptic visuality comes into play. Haptic Visuality means “a smooth space that must be moved through by constant reference to the immediate environment, as when navigating an expanse of snow or sand” (Marks 2004: 80). I understand this to mean that we rely heavily on what we see however our eyes sometimes may play tricks on us and therefore mix up what we may see to be truth. By tricks I mean that we may see something that seems one way but is completely taken out of context. Optical illusions are direct examples of this. We see one thing but it could be something entirely different. Our vision is being confused by what it is seeing and is desperately seeking the truth, however because it is being tricked it is hard to see past what we know to be truth. In class on this day we were shown many optical illusions that tested our ability to see past the illusion but it became troubling because although we want to see one thing another appeared. For example those illusions that tell you to stare at a particular space for a duration of time and then look somewhere else and the image completely changes. How can we trust something that is seemingly flawed in these ways? Vision is a tricky thing considering it is held above all else as truth, as power and we do not question it unless there is evidence to suggest something different. Therefore when experimenting with optical illusions you can easily see something that is not really there, and why is this? Simply because it is an illusion. To go back to that quote at the beginning that suggests that beauty cannot exist without it being seen and the term should not be used gives rise to notions of vision to be flawed. Just as we are all flawed our vision is flawed too. Optical illusions are a direct example of this, an amazing example, because we may see something that is seemingly truthful but could change in an instant. Therefore we cannot take it for granted or use it on its own as being the most true, because the others senses need to come into play, otherwise we will stay flawed and not learn anything new from what we see. We would be stuck, and no one wants that.

My mind runs a mile a minute whenever I am presented with this question, for it is not the first time I have thought about this. Immediately I want to choose something that is seemingly less important than the others. When putting it in a real life scenario it turns out to be harder than one can think. Giving up a sense is too hard a concept or idea to process. I am selfish and want them all. However for the purpose of this reflection if I really had to I would probably give up the sense of touch.

 

To me this sense is not as important as taste, smell, hearing, or seeing. Personally I feel this would be the easiest to give up. The sense of touch or feeling in relation to the other senses is different and not as connected as the others seem to be. First of all the other four main senses are all located in the same basic region whereas the sense of touch is mainly through your hands however technically you can touch with any part of your body.

 

The main reason I feel I would give up the sense of touch/feeling is because I am afraid to feel pain or suffering which I admit is probably one of the harder parts of life. If it was possible to omit this from my life I would do it gladly. But again this would affect everything even feeling happy, would be a sacrifice I would be willing to make just as to not be able to feel pain?

 

This question is too hard to answer and running the scenarios over and over in my head is really toying with my emotions. I cannot settle on a single sense that I would give up, I simply cannot do it. If I had never had the sense then it would be different, but to have them all and then to lose one is too hard to process.

 

The sense of touch is ideally my choice, because I could never justify give up a different sense in my mind. This is the one sense that I feel would not be that hard to lose. When I asked my sister the same question she was struck at my response, and could not justify it in her mind. Therefore I feel that the scenarios we have in our minds about which sense we were to give up take over our thought process and engulf us into this ultimate thinking of what in our lives wouldn’t hurt to lose.

Cooking shows often end up being my kryptonite. I always have the urge and a sort of craving for cooking or baking once I watch one. Whether I cook something I saw or I think up something on my own, the shows release this for me. I frequently watch the Marilyn Dennis show and although it is not only centered on cooking it usually does have a cooking segment. During the week before Thanksgiving she did a whole segment once an episode on easy things to make for a perfect Thanksgiving meal without using an oven. The desserts portion resonated with me the most. She had given a recipe on how to make a smores pie. It was a thing of beauty. While watching this show I become, for the duration, an extension of what I am seeing and can almost taste or smell what I am seeing through the monitor. Sutton expresses a relationship of “intimacy and distance” that I find relevant when watching any cooking show. Although far when it comes to the actual distance of me versus the people on television, the intimacy that is shared is one worth mentioning. Due to the fact that most of the elements used to make the pie I have tasted I can gather a sort of made up taste in my mind and therefore create that taste in my mouth or at least imagine it. In the article written by Sutton there is a similar notion of this described “to develop an analysis of the relationship of the senses to memory” thus bringing us to the idea that our memory is linked to our senses and we expect certain outcomes, as I did when thinking about the pie, I’ve tasted most of the ingredients and can link the tastes with my memory to create a somewhat accurate idea of what I am seeing would taste like. Food is a way of life Sutton writes “it is central to cosmologies, worldviews, and ways of life” this is very true. We take food for granted but when exposed to it for example through a cooking show we are face to face with it. My immediate and first response is to share what I have seen as a sort of conversation piece if you will. Not only do I want to share my discovery I want to converse about it and let my friends/family know what I now know. Cooking shows allow for this kind of discovery even if the cooking is linked to only a segment or two.