Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Tops of the Pops

My Dad is out of the country right now, in another time zone, but I wanted to post something for Father's Day in his honor. After all, it's from Samuel Losh that I first learned much of what I know about digital parenting.

Thanks to the World Wide Web, I can also see what he was really up to as an MIT undergraduate or appreciate the fact that his name is going out into space on the Stardust mission.

Anyway, thanks Dad, for that Xerox 820 computer with the eight-inch disk drives that started it all and for teaching me about FORTRAN and punch card programming way back when. I never learned to use a slide rule, although not for lack of trying, but perhaps some time we can get matching father-daughter pocket protectors.

Update: This much-watched YouTube video on The Evolution of Dad is an interesting document from the holiday. It's extraordinary to see how comfortable people are saying "I love you" into a camera for posting on the Internet, perhaps because it is also becoming a norm in reality TV shows-within-the-show. Note also the perspective on globalization that the informants "most memorable" reminiscences play upon and the number of fathers associated with transnationality and transnational experiences.

Of course, I see my Dad all the time, but clearly the segment on "reconnecting" is designed for disenchanted family members to e-mail to each other in the interest of reuniting after long periods apart or serious family feuds. As a way of channel-checking or facilitating Internet sharing practices, it urges online users to make a daring rhetorical move. The section on "forgiveness" is also remarkable, particularly for the videos framed by the trope of apostrophe because the parent being addressed is no longer alive.

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