Book Review

Laird, Thomas.  The story of Tibet: Conversations with the Dalai Lama.  New York: Grove Press, 2006.  Print.  
More on this to come!

Annotated Sources
Ameen, Kanwal and G.E. Gorman. "Information and digital literacy: a stumbling block to development? A Pakistan perspective." Library Management 30.1/2 (2009): 99-112. Web. 16 Oct 2010.

A study on information and digital literacy in a developing nation, Ameen and Gorman found that digital literacy is both crucial to development and lacking in developing nations.  Just as my research will take place in a school, this study was the result of surveys of university students and faculty in Pakistan.  The authors extend their findings to the overall status of information and digital literacy in developing countries, using Pakistan as an example.  The paper proposes that information and digital literacy become part of all levels of education.
Goody, Jack and Ian Watt. "Literate Culture: Some General Considerations." The Future of Literacy. Ed. Robert Disch. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1973. Print.
This article explores literacy in general and its function in culture.  Goody and Watt name literacy as a unifying element of a nation, a tool that has historically and significantly been linked with a united culture.  Their arguments are related to digital literacy in that digital literacy certainly requires basic literacy, as one must read the words on a screen and communicate in writing, and in that digital literacy is quickly become a central characteristic of modern society as basic literacy is already.  Goody and Watt's is somewhat of a counter argument to Gere (below) in the question of digital literacy preserving or disseminating cultural heritage.
Levinson, Paul. The Soft Edge: A Natural History and Future of the Information Revolution. New York: Routledge, 1997. Print.
Relying heavily on Marshall McLuhan's writings on media, Levinson was an early observer of the progress of the digital revolution.  He noted the integration of communication and transportation as one evidence of the life changes resulting from technology.  Levinson's observations and predictions concerning digital literacy are useful even fourteen years after they were written, first because the processes he observed are still in effect and second because technology in developing nations has yet to evolve as much as that of developed nations.
Levinson, Paul.  New New Media.  Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 2009.  Print.
Levinson defines and explores the attributes of "new new media," media that is newer than the "new" media of email and the basic world wide web.  Examples of new new media include blogs, YouTube, Wikipedia, Facebook, and Twitter.  His research is not in published books and journals but on the web itself, the source of the most current information, which is the most relevant information available on such a topic.  His detailed descriptions of elements of new new media lend themselves to indicators of digital literacy, such as the possibility of the consumer to become a creator and the central notion of connectivity.
Levinson, Paul.  Cell Phone: The Story of the World's Most Mobile Medium and how it has Transformed Everything.  New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004.  Print.
This is essentially a summary of mobile media.  Mobility is an important aspect of modern digital literacy (and, therefore, an source of indicators of digital literacy) for several reasons.  Developing countries advance more quickly in the realm of mobile technology than developed nations, though the trend for technology in general is moving to mobility.  Levinson's works are good sources of indicators of digital literacy, and he also assesses the impact of technology on Western culture, which may aid in understanding the impact on Tibetan culture.
Freire, Paulo. Education for Critical Consciousness. New York: The Seabury Press, 1973. Print.
Paulo's works examine the impact of education and literacy on humans as political beings.  His is especially useful when assessing the impact of digital literacy on the Tibetan political situation, which are goals under the umbrella of cultural preservation.  In Freire's arguments, digital literacy will be an effective element of preservation as well as necessarily an agent of change.
"NETS for Students: Digital-Age Learning." International Society for Technology in Education. ISTE, 2010.
This is a short manifesto on a website listing indicators of digital literacy.  It is perfect because it is written for students, the main part of the population I will be studying, and it is international. This organization has essentially set a standard for learning in the digital age, and their assessment will be a crucial aid in evaluating digital literacy in the TCV.
Eckel, Malcolm David,  Buddhism: origins, beliefs, practices, holy texts, sacred places, published in 2002 by the Oxford University Press.
This is a concise, excellent, and brief overview of Buddhism.  I especially appreciated that I read about the origins and then the different branches of this religion, so as to have a global perspective rather than just a Tibetan Buddhism perspective.  I am interested in exploring, in part, the relationship between Tibetan religion and digital literacy, so it is important to have a basic understanding of the belief system. 
Freedom in Exile: The autobiography of the Dalai Lama, published in 1990 by HarperCollins
Useful for understanding the Dalai Lama's perspective regarding his people and circumstances, especially his non-violent approach to conflicts.  One chapter, entitled "Initiatives for Peace," and others explain his political stance regarding Tibetan relations with China.  Since the Dalai Lama is both the spiritual and government leader, and since his ideas are highly prominent in the community, it is important when considering cultural preservation to take the Dalai Lama's ideas into account.
 Knaus, John Kenneth, Orphans of the Cold War: America and the Tibetan Struggle for Survival, published in 1999 by the Perseus Books Group
A recent account of American and Tibetan relations, this text provides a thorough understanding of the current Tibetan political situation in relation to the Western world.  Though not directly relevant, this gives solid footing for the Tibetans' exiled status and may suggest Western influence on Tibetans in the form of technology, which is highly used by the military.  
French, Patrick, Tibet, Tibet, published in 2003 by Random House
This author tells from his firsthand experience the "culture's struggle for survival."  He muses on the history in relation to his own observations in modern Dharamsala.  This book is prime for my topic of culture preservation.  Though French addresses the subject in more general terms and I will be addressing digital literacy specifically, the ideas necessarily overlap.  His book is also a travel narrative, providing insight into the reality of a Westerner (French is from England) in Dharamsala.
Farrer-Halls, Gill, The World of the Dalai Lama: An Inside Look at His Life, His People, and His Vision, published in 1998 by Godsfield Press
I mainly love this book because it has all the pictures that the other books are lacking.  It travels from Tibet pre-invasion to the exiled community, gives an autobiographical sketch of the Dalai Lama (including an interview), and overviews Tibetan Buddhism all in full color photos and brief text.  Sometimes, it isn't real until I have seen it, as with the historical photos and artistic Tibetan landscapes.  Looking through the book helps me connect images to the ideas I have about Tibetan culture.

The Tibetan book of the Dead.  Ed. Graham Coleman with Thupten Jinpa.  New York: Penguin Group, 2005.  Print.
Craig, Mary.  Kundun: A Biography of the family of the Dalai Lama.  Washington D.C.: Publishers Group West, 1997.  Print.
Thurman, Robert A. F.  Essential Tibetan Buddhism.  San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1995.  Print.
Robinson, Jay L.. "The Social Context of Literacy." Perspectives on Literacy. Ed. Eugene R. Kintgen, Barry M. Kroll, and Mike Rose. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois Univ Pr, 1988. Print.
Millenbah, Kelly, and Bjorn H. K. Wolter.  “The Changing Face of Natural Resources Students, Education, and the Profession.”  Journal of Wildlife Management 73.4 (2009): 573-579.  Web.  15 Sep 2010.
Freire, Paulo. "The Adult Literacy Process as Cultural Action for Freedom and Education and Conscientizacao." Perspectives on Literacy. Ed. Eugene R. Kintgen, Barry M. Kroll, and Mike Rose. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois Univ Pr, 1988. Print.
Westlake, E.J.  “Friend Me if You Facebook: Generation Y and Performance Surveillance.”  TDR: The Drama Review  52.4 (2008): 21-40. Web. 15 Sep 2010.

Here Comes Everybody by Clay Shirkey

Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortensen

Source Document Analysis
Fink, Carsten and Charles J. Kenny, W(h)ither the digital divide?, published in 2003 by Info volume 5.6 pages 15-24

What is the source's stated purpose?
The authors challenges the long-held assumption that developing countries suffer from an irrevocable digital divide from the developed countries, causing various problems without hope of improvement.  Fink and Kenny show that developing countries are in fact "digitally leapfrogging" the developed world with superior advanced mobile technology.  They disagree that the world's digital status quo will negatively impact poor countries, as is the prediction of "digital divide" thinkers.
What evidence does the author provide to support his or her main argument?  How is the author attempting to logically prove his or her thesis and how does this affect the organization of the document?
The authors essentially reanalyze and reinterpret data concerning technology use in developing countries in order to show that the statistics have been misinterpreted.  They juxtapose historical data with current data to show trends contrary to the general public's understanding of said technology, as evidenced in the common term "digital divide."  The document begins by stating the history of the term and the development of technology worldwide, and then they highlight the mistake by explaining the relatively rapid growth of digital literacy in developing countries.  The authors conclude by discouraging concern for the digital divide, explaining the negative effects of digital divide motivated policies.
Who is the audience?  What does the author assume the audience already knows about the topic?
Fink and Kenny write for an educated audience with significant interest in world events.  They assume that their audience understands the poverty prevalent in developing countries and the general difference between the resources of the wealthy and poor countries.  They also partly assume that the audience is familiar with or subscribes to the notion of the digital divide, which indeed seems the logical conclusion when considering developing countries in light of the digital age.
Describe the author's methods.  In your opinion were they appropriate?  Why or why not?
The authors primarily reanalyzed current statistics in comparison with historical ones.  They proceeded to analyze public policies based on the digital divide that produce negative effects on citizens of developing nations.  I believe this is perfectly appropriate because data is often misinterpreted, and the misconceptions can become startlingly evident when one can see the bigger picture.
To what other sources (theorist, researchers, artists) does the author refer?
Africa Internet Forum, Economic Internet Toolkit for African Policy Makers
International Telecommunications Union
Kenny, C. "Should we try to bridge the global digital divide?"
Negroponte, N. "One room schools"
World Bank The Networking Revolution

What are the connections between this source and your project?  How useful or applicable is this source's approach to your own project?  How is yours new and different?
I first used this document when I applied for the ORCA, citing the new idea of the "digital leapfrog" referenced in this article as the new paradigm of technology in developing countries, one which leaves gaping holes in research concerning countries participating in said technological development.  This was my justification for my research.  I argued that my research in India was important because there is a hole in our knowledge about digital literacy there.  I now think about this article a bit differently, though I think it is still useful.  The ideas provide a context (India, a country that strongly encourages technological development and is developing rapidly in that area) for my study of the unique Tibetan culture and also may prove applicable to the Tibetans themselves.

Source Document Analysis
Gere, Charlie, Digital Culture, published in 2002 by Reaktion Books in London

What is the source's stated purpose?
In his introduction, Gere first defines digital culture and suggests that the culture is "neither as new as it might appear, nor is its development ultimately determined by technological advances" (13).  He argues instead that the existing culture demanded the fluidity of digital technology and that the technology was developed to meet the need.  He does not intend to write a history of digital culture but to "'blast a specific era out of the homogenous course of history' and to 'grasp the constellation which this era has formed with a definite earlier one'" (14-15).  In other words, he intends to explain digital culture in terms of the years preceding it and establish the digital era as unique.
What evidence does the author provide to support his or her main argument?  How is the author attempting to logically prove his or her thesis and how does this affect the organization of the document?
Well, I haven't read enough of the book yet to say, but I believe that Gere provides specific instances in Western history, especially the events and emotions of the Cold War, to reveal the underpinnings of modern culture.  The organization of the book is chronological, starting with Turing's 1930s computing machine, continuing with focus on capitalism and warfare, and concluding with an analysis of contemporary society including video games and punk.  In each instance he notes specific historical events and trends that resulted in digital culture.
Who is the audience?  What does the author assume the audience already knows about the topic?
I found this book on the used textbook shelf at the back of the bookstore, so I assume that the book is used as a text for class.  Gere expects a Western audience, or an audience familiar with Western history, and a relatively privileged one, since he assumes the reader to be one intimately familiar with modern technology.  He assumes that his audience is involved in and aware of the modern digital landscape.
Describe the author's methods.  In your opinion were they appropriate?  Why or why not?
Gere's research involved heavy analysis of historical sources and documents as well as observations, casual and formal, of the digital world around him.  His references include enormously influential works and writers, like The Wealth of Nations and Karl Marx, many works from the media specialist Marshall McLuhan, and articles published in 200.  I think his research methods were appropriate since he acknowledged the critical works of the historical movements he discusses, those in his area of interest, and those relevant and timely.
To what other sources (theorist, researchers, artists) does the author refer?
Alan Turing "On Computable Numbers with Application to the Entscheidungsproblem"
Karl Marx Capital, Grundrisse
Adam Smith The Wealth of Nations
Michel Foucault Discipline and Punish
Walter Benjamin Illuminations
Erwin Schrodinger What is Life?
Marshall McLuhan, The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man, The Medium is the Message, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man
Nicholas Negroponte Being Digital
Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, The Anti-Oedipus and A Thousand Plateaus
What are the connections between this source and your project?  How useful or applicable is this source's approach to your own project?  How is yours new and different?
This book is golden for my research!  I had just decided to go in the direction of studying digital culture without the technology regularly present (as is likely the case for many Tibetan students), and I was quite worried that I would not be studying digital literacy at all but project my ideas onto their culture instead.  Gere solved this problem, however, when he presented his introductory argument that "digital technology is a product of digital culture, rather than vice versa . . . . '[T]he machine is always social before it is technical.  There is always a social machine which selects or assigns the technical elements" (13).  How, I first thought, could this be?  Didn't our culture change *because* we got computers?  Then I realized that it is perfectly logical for humans to develop technology to meet existing social needs.  Yes, the computer changed the culture, but the computer's existence and functionality exist because of the social demand for it.  Could the Tibetan need and desire to preserve their culture have affected their adaptation of digital culture?  Might their needs for world support have directly shaped the tools they use to obtain it?

My idea is new and different because I am not, as Gere has done, establishing a connection between Western history and digital culture.  I am instead exploring the way digital literacy is a component of cultural preservation in the Tibetan exiled community.  My focus on history will be upon the crusade to keep traditions alive and on the roots of digital culture within the Tibetan community, one vastly different from mine and Gere's.