Survivor Journals

Bob of If I Die Before I Wake has invited nine journallers to participate in a Cyber Survivor Adventure.

Every couple of weeks, the group will be issued a "challenge entry". The site will post a excerpt from the challenge entries, as well as the link to the complete entry found on the journaller's own journal site.

After the challenge entry is posted, the nine journallers will vote one of the writers off the site.

The "ousted" journaller will actually remain on the site, but rather than posting further challenge entries, they will act as a judge and commentator.

The first challenge entry has been issued, and can be found at the Survivor Journal website. The actual entries should be completed by
October 1, 2000.

Please take the time to visit, especially once the challenge entries are posted. There is a message board to post your thoughts/comments and also a instant poll where visitors can vote for who they would want to see kicked off the site.

The reasons behind Survivor Journals are simple.

1. To try something new.
2. Increase the interaction of the journal community.
3. The challenge.
4. Increased exposure to all journals involved.

So take a look around, explore all the journals involved.

If you would like to take part in Survivor Journals, Year Two (around Nov/Dec 2000), let Bob know!


November 5, 2000

I remember walking around San Francisco years and years ago with Gilbert. Gilbert had the most eclectic set of interests of anybody I’d ever known. He could dazzle you with facts and figures about the Titanic, the history of animation, or Wagner's Ring Cycle, among so many other things. He was fascinated by anything and everything.

We happened to be walking out in the Richmond District of San Francisco, which has its own unique, bland type of architecture. I grew up in San Francisco and am very familiar with the buildings, but I rarely look UP. When you look UP in San Francisco, you see amazing things-- decorative frou frou on the facade, interesting windows, odd angles, ironwork, etc., etc. I remember remarking to Gilbert that I always wanted to know something about architecture but realized that I never would. There were too many other things that took priority and I just didn’t have the time left in my life to learn everything that fascinated me.

There are a lot of things which fascinate me and about which I know very, very little. The development of language is one of those things that I enjoy thinking about, seeing an occasional TV special about, reading about (oh do read Bill Bryson’s “The Mother Tongue” please!), but in actuality know very little about. But I’m fascinated by how words develop and how language develops.

I guess I’m thinking about this today because of IM chats. Chatting on the Internet is a whole new language unto itself. On the surface it seems fairly simple. I type “hello” and you answer “hello. How are you?” and the conversation progresses. But we humans rely a lot on body language to convey our meaning and so as IM chats progress, we find the need to project our body language or facial expression to go along with our message. A funny comment may end in a smiley face. A sad comment in a sad smiley (we’ve even developed a whole alphabet of emotions in smilies...and “smiley” no longer necessarily means a happy face). But it doesn’t end there. If your chat buddy says something really funny, you have to let him/her know you’re appreciating it: LOL...ROFL...ROFLPIMP (come one now, when was the last time you REALLY peed in your pants at a joke?) If there is sad news to pass along, or if the conversation turns sad, we don’t just sit at our computer screens and feel sad. We type “(I’m crying now)” or something similar to let the other person know what our body language is. The other person may then feel compelled to pass along a {hug}, or if it’s a bad hurt a really big {{{{{{{hug}}}}}}}}.

I find it fascinating that this whole method of communication has just evolved out of our need to express our emotions with body language, which isn’t possible during a chat without all the accompanying explanations. Can you just imagine sitting in your living room with a friend, talking with her about something very sad, finding tears rolling down your cheeks and stopping to say “I’m crying now.” Yet there is something within us that figures we need to share this with a chat buddy.

It makes me think of some Discovery specials or something that dealt with children and language. I remember being struck by the fact that all cultures seem to have a “mama” sound (or something akin to it) for “mother” and also that in so many different cultures children use the sing song nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah to taunt one another. It’s kind of like we’re all part of one huge “groupthink” and when we break off little pieces of it and separate it from the rest, there is enough of a foundation that we continue to develop as we would have if we had remained with the main group.

My friend Georgia has been blind from birth. She’s never seen anyone smile, and yet she smiles all the time. How does she know that it’s appropriate to smile? I don’t really have a point here (especially not at 2 a.m.), but the whole subject just fascinates me. And is one of those things I’d love to know more about, but probably will never have the time to explore.

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created 11/5/00 by Bev Sykes