[MUD-Dev] Content authorship

Ola Fosheim Grøstad <olag@ifi.uio.no> Ola Fosheim Grøstad <olag@ifi.uio.no>
Mon Oct 15 12:30:50 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001

Adam Martin wrote:
> From: "Ola Fosheim Grøstad" <olag at ifi.uio.no>

>> The authorship clearly matters, a lot.
> No, that's a sweeping generalization that isn't necessarily
> true. I've noticed that a lot of scientists and/or highly logical
> people tend to say the authorship doesn't matter, whereas many
> literary people say it does.

Maybe they just don't have a clue?  They read peer-reviewed journals
for a reason, right?  Agency matters in many ways.  Up front
expectations do matter for instance.

Granted, many texts/movies etc try to immerse you into a world where
the author isn't present at all... Still, even when you watch a
movie you sometimes suspect that the "author" is playing tricks on
you: "hmm.. he is trying to make me believe that that guy did it,
that means he probably did not do it", "oh that guy looks so
innocent and couldn't possibly have done it, so he probably did it"

So, even if you may say that the above example was about genres and
not authorship, I'd say that genres are implied by the agency of the
object.  Procedurally generated stuff belong to one genre, and stuff
by a human to another. So it is clear to me that one would expect
and look for other things in a what is recognized as a procedurally
generated object.  (even more so if you can assume some familiarity
with the genre)

> Personally, to me there is no difference between 1 and 2 - I would
> (and in similar situations have done) say that I think its rubbish
> either way (if thats what I thought based purely on an evaluation
> of the text).

Well, the fact that you think this particular text is rubbish does
not challenge the argument. If you think that ALL sequences of
symbols or sensory input are the same kind of rubbish then you might
have a case. Now, if you were madly in love with this girl, and she
had broken up with you with no warning or explanation. How could you
avoid making an interpretation of the note passed to you? Anyway,
even if you still think it is rubbish, it would probably be a
different kind of rubbish.

> It strikes me as being similar to the great question about whether
> a landscape can actively cause feelings and thoughts in people, or
> whether people merely react and respond to their perceptions and
> generate their own feelings and thoughts as a reaction. The
> Romantic poets believed the former; I still find it hard to agree,
> although after studying them I could at least appreciate their
> viewpoint. Just as I can appreciate your viewpoint - but I still
> think the authorship doesn't matter!

The assumed agency matters, what you assume to be the
powers/intention/reality/source behind it.  Gaia-followers,
evolution-biologists and farmers will see different things in a
flower in a field. Whether that is divine energy and perfect
balance, the genetic encoding and growth or spreading of genes, or
the fertility of the soil. All, but the most shallow, will assign
something to the existance of an object, subconcious or not.  It is
related to one of our core survival skills, and allows us to make a
lot of assumptions which we can act upon in our everyday life.

Ola  -  http://folk.uio.no/olag/

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