Monday, April 28, 2014

Amanda Hill
Daniel Powell
Joshua Roney
Nathan Snow

University of Central Florida

The Paradox of Progress: Reconciling Expansion through the Lens of the Mystory


Gregory Ulmer’s Internet Invention: From Literacy to Electracy proposes a process of electrate composition that suggests the possible formation of a “‘fifth estate,’ whose purpose is to witness and testify, to give a voice to a part of the public left out of community decision making, especially from policy formation” (1). His novel approach, which harnesses the power of collective knowledge through the curation of digital images, text, and artifacts, represents an important tool for thinking about the foundational underpinnings of many of our important societal issues. These core ideologies take the form of “aporias,” and they represent the unsolvable riddle at the heart of philosophical exploration.

Our research collective used Ulmer’s investigative techniques to explore a paradox at the center of the human condition--our existence is hastening our extinction. Expansion, embodied by the motto of “expand or die,” is the dominant logic of capitalism; it is deeply ingrained in our cultural ethos. As we explored our mystories, an important commonality emerged—the presence, both figurative and literal, of mankind’s myriad complex connections to water. As a precious natural resource, a vital source of sustenance for life on Earth, and a potentially dangerous element within our environment, water possesses the power to stimulate a powerful array of moods and emotional responses.

Water, and its scarcity, plenitude, and degradation, is a crucial consideration in humanity’s expansion into natural environments. The theme of man’s stewardship of this resource was common among our narratives and we adopted the readymade image below as our collective emblem.

ulmer emblem all.jpg
Through completing the explorations of our individual wide images, we were able to reconcile the general aporia of America’s westward expansion with the consultancy on our own personal and community problems. What follows is a critical analysis and justification for each individual mystory.

To explore the narratives themselves further, please click on the links in the menu to the right.

I. Are any mes ours?: Hilla Beings and the Otter

~ Amanda Hill

Problem Statement

Oil spills in the past half century have had a catastrophic effect on the environment and its inhabitants. This year marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill off the coast of Alaska. The spill “resulted in one of the shipping’s worst environmental disasters and triggered sweeping U.S. and international marine pollution prevention rules” (Russell). After twenty-five years, the otter population in this area is recovering (Russell, MarineLog). When an otter’s fur is matted in oil, it loses the ability to create insulation for the otter’s body. In cold waters, otters rely on this insulation to survive. Oil infused water also heightens the level of toxicity in the water, which can make otters sick, and it damages the ecosystem in which the otters live, limiting their chances of finding viable food sources (“Threats”). While the population of otters in the area of the Exxon Valdez oil spill is recovering, it is no where near the population level a few centuries ago, and the threat of future oil spills is ever-present as humans continue to look for sources of oil to use as fuel.

Otters after the Exxon oil spill

In the early 18th century it is estimated there were hundreds of thousands of otters alive in our oceans. Yet by the mid-18th century, humans began trafficking otter fur, and by the early 20th century, the otter population had dwindled. In the 1970s, the Endangered Species Act put otters on their list, creating a growing concern for otter conservation, which increased after the Exxon oil spill. Since it is no longer legal to hunt otters, otters don’t face as many direct human threats today. Today, toxic pollutants and parasites threaten otters’ habitats on a daily basis (“Threats”, Cannon). According to, “In California, parasites and infectious disease cause more than 40% of sea otter deaths.” Some of these toxins are naturally-occurring, though several are manufactured by humans. Even though otter populations have replenished since the Exxon oil spill, they are a far cry from where they once were, before humans hunted them. It is perhaps not practical to imagine the population of otters will ever return to the numbers they once held, but it is imperative that they do not decrease any farther.


To help prevent against a decline in otter population, I will gather a team of Hilla Beings interested in creating works to disseminate into the community about the life of and threats to otters. Works will take whatever shape the creator chooses. As a team, the Hilla Beings will produce work in a variety of fields and apparatuses such as print, performance, visuals, audio, and the internet. The works will be displayed across as many platforms as possible, in the hopes of reaching the most people and informing them about the struggles of otters and encouraging them to speak for the otters when threats, such as oil spills, loom. 

To create works, the Hilla Beings team will conduct research with marine biologists and ecologists in otter-populated environments. In this way we hope to capture an authentic display of otter life that will influence the Hilla Beings’ creations. All research conducted with and about otters will be recorded by the Hilla Beings team and placed in a virtual platform which allows access to the audio and visual likeness of otters, provides information and updates about the Hilla Beings team and our progress, and streams any live and recorded performances of Hilla Beings works to a general public in order to generate more dialogue. The Hilla Beings’ creations will have a basis in research, yet will be driven by the mystory process, ensuring each work is unique and personal. When possible, performances and exhibit showcases will be held in otter-populated areas such as along the coasts of California and Alaska. Additional performances and showcases will be held at public places that house otters like Zoo Atlanta and Sea World.  

The virtual archive of research and Hilla Beings’ output will be invaluable for dissemination of information to an audience who might not be physically present for research, performances, and/or exhibits. The numerous perspectives of the Hilla Beings will help a broad audience invest in the problem of otter conservation, by giving multiple in routes to thinking about how this problem affects and/or is affected by humans. With luck, the variety of Hilla Beings’ works will encourage viewers to reflect on their habits and how they relate to the plight of the otters. By bringing together the electronic renderings of all the Hilla Beings’ research and output in one location, it will be possible to reach the broadest possible audience through a variety of apparatuses.  

Additionally, the Hilla Beings team will provide study guides and educational materials about otters in electronic formats in the archive. In this way, we hope to encourage educators to continue the conversation about otter conservation with their classrooms without the presence of one of the Hilla Being team members. However, should an educator request it, the Hilla Beings team will also produce and implement 45 minute presentations for elementary, middle, and high school audiences that discusses the plight of otters in lecture, games, and art activities. The goal of educational outreach is to encourage younger generations to take interest in otter conservation and think about how they can help. All of the aforementioned segments of the Hilla Beings otter project will work to connect the larger public with the trials and successes of otter conservation as well as create strategies to prepare for future catastrophes. 

Using Gregory Ulmer’s book, Internet Invention: From Literacy to Electracy, as a definition for his concept of mystory, I engaged in a process of reflexivity in which I investigated memories, events, and personal assumptions in order to answer the below questions:
        1) How am I connected to other beings in the world?
        2) What can be done to stop the extinction of the otter from oil spills?
Although I began my process without generating any specific problems or research questions, I soon discovered a throughline of extinction, which encouraged the formation of my research questions. What follows is my mystory and a philosophical analysis of my conclusions.  

The mystory, as designed by Ulmer, explores four institutional discourses which make up a “popcycle,” which he defines as “the ensemble of discourses into which members of a society are ‘interpellated’” (24).  They are: career (discipline), family (personal), entertainment (pop culture), and community (history, school). These disciplines interconnect in identity construction, and by aligning memories and images, specifically those that reoccur and create a wide image, it is possible to dissect and understand patterns that take place in each discourse and how they shape identity. In cultivating memories and images, it becomes possible to reflect on how these four discourses shape one’s current perspectives and one’s process of formulating answers.

It was only through a comparison of the memories and images I cultivated in writing my mystory that I found I common a common thread between many of them: extinction. As I examined forms that have gone extinct in my life, I began to question how I am connected to these forms. In the process I discovered a new type of being present within myself, the Hilla Being. Together Hilla Beings create a formless presence that encompasses all varieties of any mes, making it a malleable entity.

Connection is key to Hilla Beings. Their ability to relate to and communicate with each other helps ensure formlessness. One point of the formless Hilla Beings can connect with any other part, making them a part of what Deleuze and Guattari call an assemblage. In assemblages, Deleuze and Guattari find rhizomatic structures in which it is possible for “the rhizome [to connect] any point to any other point, and its traits are not necessarily linked to traits of the same nature; it brings into play very different regimes of signs, and even nonsign states" (409). That is, it connects infinite beings of every form in one formless assemblage. 

In order for Hilla Beings to teach people about threats to otters, they must connect with them through multiple platforms using as many apparatuses as are available to them. Deleuze and Guattari write of books as being assemblages in themselves, noting, “a book is neither object nor subject; it is made of variously formed matters, and very different dates and speeds” (407). They additionally attribute similar qualities to literature as a whole. Ted Nelson uses this rhizomatic quality of literature, calling it an “ongoing system of interconnecting documents” (445) in his exploration of literature and linkage in the web. The rhizome structure is not hierarchical. It grows from the center of the assemblage. Because Hilla Beings exist in an assemblage, they are equipped to create content and make meaning within other similar assemblages such as literature and the web. To ensure there are ways of reaching the most people, the Hilla Beings team needs to target audiences of varied assemblages. By creating a source of connectedness through various assemblages and over different apparatuses, there is a greater chance of reaching a broader population and raising awareness of the plight of otters. For this reason, the Hilla Beings team will create works of theatre, music, and art that are accessible live, in print, and electronically. 

Hilla Beings have a responsibility to honor and respect other beings in the world in order to secure their sense of significance and help others achieve a sense of significance. Philosopher Mircea Eliade suggests, “Neither the objects of the external world nor human acts, properly speaking, have any autonomous intrinsic value. Objects or acts acquire a value, and in so doing become real, because they participate, after one fashion or another, in a reality that transcends them” (Myth 3-4). Eliade suggests the value can be found when one tries to find the “center” of her being, what he says is “pre-eminiently the zone of the sacred, the zone of absolute reality” (Myth 17). Because Hilla Beings are formless, the “center” then should not be seen as a fixed point, but rather an intangible space that exists within the Hilla Being. For the Hilla Being, individual significance comes from an understanding of communal significance and the ability to create change. Hilla Beings will find this significance when they search for the “center.” In determining to search for the center, I answer my initial, personal questions: How am I connected to other beings in the world?

In his book The Myth of the Eternal Return, Eliade relays the Babylonian creation story of Marduk battling the sea monster Tiamat, which is re-enacted each year during the New Year’s celebration. Eliade suggests in enacting this story, “Man participates directly… [in the] cosmogonic work [and] this participation… projects him into mythical time, making him contemporary with the cosmogony” (58). In creating theatrical performances that give voice to the otters, I hope to engage more Hilla Beings in this connection to the cosmogony and hopefully help other Hilla Beings find their center. Eliade suggests the road to the center is dangerous and taxing because it is “a rite of the passage from the profane to the sacred, from the ephemeral and illusory to reality and eternity, from death to life, from man to the divinity” (18). The ideas of reaching “eternity” and moving from “death to life” are especially important when faced with the tasks of understanding and fighting extinction. For Eliade death is necessary for rebirth, and his writings complicate my understanding of extinction. He writes:

In the ‘lunar perspective' the death of the individual and the periodic death of humanity are necessary, even as the three days of darkness preceding the "rebirth" of the moon are necessary. The death of the individual and the death of humanity are alike necessary for their regeneration. Any form whatever, by the mere fact that it exists as such and endures, necessarily loses vigor and becomes worn; to recover vigor, it must be reabsorbed into the formless if only for an instant; it must be restored to the primordial unity from which it issued; in other words, it must return to "chaos" (on the cosmic plane), to "orgy" (on the social plane), to "darkness" (for seed), to "water" (baptism on the human plane, Atlantis on the plane of history, and so on). (88)

To be reborn, one must first become formless. It is only from the perspective of the formless, that it is possible to consult on the problem of extinction, because you are no longer a being that is threatened by extinction. Because of their formlessness, Hilla Beings become perfect consultants on the matter of the extinction of otters.

“Hilla Beings” are formless in the sense that they are made of any mes and become one with Others. Eliade suggests “Baptism is equivalent to the ritual death of the old man followed by a new birth. On the cosmic level, it is equivalent to the deluge: abolition of contours, fusion of all forms, return to the formless” (59). He further links this baptism to the idea of regeneration and rebirth suggesting in this process there is an “expulsion of sins, diseases, and demons [that] is basically an attempt to restore if only momentarily mythical and primordial time, ‘pure’ time, the time of the ‘instant’ of the Creation” (Myth 54). That water is linked with the creation process is not a new idea. Many cultures offer flood stories that illustrate the rebirth of a culture or people. In Eliade, a being must return to “chaos,” “orgy,” “darkness,” and “water” before it is reborn. That Eliade chose to finish this cycle is not accidental. It seems water remains a final chapter for many beings. He writes, “the victory over the waters can only signify the establishment of ‘stable forms,’ i.e., the Creation” (Myth 60). Water holds the key not only to death, as I originally imagined, but also to new life. Therefore, the forms that disappear into bodies of water, such as the Bermuda Triangle, have the potential to be rediscovered and reborn. Likewise, forms that vanish in my blue lines can be reborn as well, although they will most likely take a different form upon re-emerging from the “formless.”  

If Eliade is to be believed, and destruction and rebirth are cyclical, the dinosaurs, my mother, and eventually the otters will be (or perhaps, have been) reborn. Yet neither the dinosaurs nor my mother were reborn, and when the time comes, it is hard to imagine otters will be reborn, at least not in the physical forms with which I am familiar. In contemplating Eliade’s cycle, I am reminded by the First Law of Thermodynamics, which says matter and energy are neither created nor destroyed. Ashes become ashes. Dust becomes dust. “From dust you came, and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19). Matter and energy in this sense are also cyclical. If rebirth is eventual, how does it complicate the idea of extinction? If matter and energy is not created or destroyed, then as dust turns to dust, matter and energy take other forms. Following this logic, it is possible that the dinosaur born recently to British scientists might take the shape of a kangaroo. Perhaps when beings are “reabsorbed into the formless,” as Eliade writes, they additionally erase all previous signifiers and indicators to their former forms, freeing them to return as new forms.

The energy and matter that currently exist in forms which capture the likeness of The Sinclair Family (Audio, Video, Image, Memory, Toys, etc.), my mother (Audio, Video, Image, Memory), and Neutral Milk Hotel (Audio, Video, Images) in all of their storage formats are not extinct and therefore still exist even if the original form has gone extinct. Their existence also produces a sense of resurrection, as does Neutral Milk Hotel’s reunion tour. By this same logic, the creation of a virtual space, print products, and physical performances that collect and share research and works of art about otters gives otters presence in other assemblages. By taking them out of the water, the site of destruction and resurrection, these new otter forms have a chance at a new life. 

II. Novus Auctus

~ Daniel Powell

Problem Statement

A student recently lingered after our literature class had finished for the day. She was timid in approaching me, which was surprising because she had passionately contributed to our discussion of a short story by Willa Cather. She confided that the piece resonated with her, and that she had experienced an epiphany somewhere in the course of our talk. The revelation was that, despite raising a family and working hard to provide a good life for her husband and children, she had only a vague recollection of the details of the last two decades of her life. The period she described had been filled with what one would normally consider memorable events—the maturation of her children, the successes and failures of their school experiences, the vagaries of her husband’s work—but she felt as though she had somehow completely missed out on it all. Her sense of alienation was palpable, and she posed a pair of questions at the core of my consultancy in the mystory “Novus Auctus”: Can I ever really make up for lost time in a meaningful way, and how do I memorialize my life in the present?

These were challenging questions, and I could offer her nothing more profound than discussing a mapping exercise that many of us first completed back in grade school—the creation of a personal timeline. Just as the mystory operates as a metaphorical map of the crossroads between personal identity and our place within society, the timeline can be a useful tool for memorializing the past and informing our future. When we combine it with the creative, resonant potential of digital heuretics, the timeline becomes something else altogether—a dynamic monument capable of allowing its creator to “shape and be shaped by a number of perspectives, narratives, and artefacts” (Mauer 2).

In considering the collective aporia of our project, I also noted the useful nature of the timeline in mapping a community’s history. By mapping the history of a community onto a timeline, one can better understand the choragraphical power embedded in geography, history, and culture. A useful example of a problem that might be addressed through the formal collection of a community history is evident in the contentious debate over changing the zoning laws and city planning guidelines to allow the full-scale development of Jacksonville’s environmentally sensitive Black Hammock Island:

The waterfront land in the northeast corner of Jacksonville offers spectacular views of adjoining Pumpkin Hill Creek marshes and the scenic property of the Timucuan Ecological and Historical Preserve. The Timucuan surrounds Black Hammock Island with some of Florida's most sensitive and prized public preservation and parks land.

The project alarms the National Park Service and various environmental groups. They fear allowing the homes—no matter how pricey or attractive they might be—would disrupt or threaten pristine surroundings secured by millions in tax dollars for the public's benefit. (“Black Hammock…”)

The expansion of 140 homes into land abutting managed wildlife areas—including properties operated by the National Park Service, the City of Jacksonville, and the State of Florida—would have adverse effects on public recreation and local wildlife, which rely on the wetlands of the region for their very existence. It would also be an affront to a way of life, to a place where multi-generational families have lived together for decades in a bucolic agricultural community (Soergel).

These problems—one personal and one collective—can be at least partially addressed through the activity of constructing remembrance. Reconciling the past with an eye toward managing the future is why I directed the community discourse in my exploration of the mystory at least in part towards the Sierra Club of Northeast Florida.


Temporality, or the perception of time passing, is difficult to measure. We experience life through our senses; for instance, we “see colours, hear sounds, and feel textures,” but how do we perceive the passage of time (Le Poidevin)?

Resonant memories remain locked in our long-term recall because they are instilled with a sense of differentiation. They stay with us because they offer unique insights into personal consciousness. Would my student be capable of understanding, in the moment, which memories might become resonant for her? This is another difficult philosophical question. In attempting to define the duration in which we are generally conscious of time in the present, William James notes that “We are constantly aware of a certain duration—the specious present—varying from a few seconds to probably not more than a minute, and this duration (with its content perceived as having one part earlier and another part later) is the original intuition of time” (Le Poidevin). It’s difficult, then, to consciously elevate our moment-to-moment experience from the mundane into the realm of the resonant because time only moves forward and the duration of the present is short. James’s specious present, then, gives us the sensation that time is moving forward rapidly as we age:

James, in his 1890 text Principles of Psychology, wrote that as we age, time seems to speed up because adulthood is accompanied by fewer and fewer memorable events. When the passage of time is measured by “firsts” (first kiss, first day of school, first family vacation), the lack of new experiences in adulthood, James morosely argues, causes “the days and weeks [to] smooth themselves out…and the years grow hollow and collapse.” (Lewis)

These “firsts” inform our conception of the rites of passage. In Internet Invention, these rites are explored at length through the variety of exercises and assignments that help writers locate and describe the wide image.

My rationale for addressing the aporia of our collective exploration represents an extension of Ulmer’s mystorical composition process. In keeping with his vernacular, I am proposing a mapping exercise of “firsts.” This exercise yields a myline, which is a personal timeline of resonant moments of initiation: a writer’s first memory, first kiss, and first job, for instance. The mystorian would create a visual timeline of these events, yielding focused insights into the periods of one’s lifecycle that had the largest clusters of resonant memories.

The creation of a myline can yield a number of insights for the writer. It can become another useful tool in contributing to the process of helping the writer locate the wide emblem, or it can become a larger component of the project itself, as a series of accompanying micro-narratives might provide extended context on the resonant memories plotted on the timeline.

The second step in the process would then be to consult the completed myline and map it onto the mystorian’s wideline. Regardless of one’s age at the time of completion, the mystorian would create a theoretical timeline consisting of three lifecycle segments. Everything that had occurred in the mystorian’s life up to the origin point of the myline would constitute the first third of the wideline. The mystorian would then, drawing upon the insights revealed through the myline, compose a narrative on the goals, wishes, and desires of what life’s next two phases might bring. For instance, my student might construct a timeline mapping her life up to her entry into the college. She would then be able to divine insights into which months and seasons in her life were filled with the most important events. This “wisdom tradition” of understanding which months are filled with important events shares a kinship with the use of astrological birth charts (Ulmer, Electronic Monuments 255). As Kathy Biehl notes in her discussion of charting time through the lens of astrology:

One of the most conscious uses of astrology is choosing a time to take an action. This works for anything, from buying a house or signing a lease to starting a business, starting a PR campaign or getting married. This is an often backwards process of ruling out the worst times and settling on the best of the possible times that remain. The process boils down to selecting a birth chart for the event or action. The goal is finding a combination of energies that express and support what you want to achieve.

In the example of my student, she would be able to take make sense of the items on her myline through the composition of a narrative forecasting her goals for her post-educational career and her life moving into retirement.

In keeping with the ethos of Internet Invention, these assignments would be “stated simply in a sentence or two” (Ulmer 6).

·         Make a website displaying a timeline of some of the important rites of passage in your life to this point (myline).
·         Map your myline onto the first third of your wideline and compose a short explanation of how you think this knowledge might benefit you moving into the future (wideline).


The creation of the myline and wideline assignments represents an expansion of Ulmer’s guidelines for the electrate creator. As such, they would provide useful scaffolding for the project through the creation of personal monuments that would augment the writer’s emerging wide emblem. For the individual writer, composing with these methods would not be difficult. There are a variety of programs that simplify the process of creating a visually appealing timeline.

In addressing the community discourse of the popcycle, these practices in collecting and documenting a larger public history create compelling agency for understanding the power of place (chora). An organization such as the Sierra Club of Northeast Florida, for example, could send volunteers onto Black Hammock Island to interview residents or create documentary films. These materials can then be refashioned into a coherent argument that both speaks as a monument to place while serving as a reminder of what might be lost in the future. Such a project might provide compelling ethical proof that could inform public-policy decisions that might impact the island’s use and development.

The timeline has proven an efficient tool over the long centuries. There is evidence of early humans marking important events in the cave paintings of Lascaux:

In the painted caves of Western Europe, namely in France and Spain, we witness the earliest unequivocal evidence of the human capacity to interpret and give meaning to our surroundings. Through these early achievements in representation and abstraction, we see a newfound mastery of the environment and a revolutionary accomplishment in the intellectual development of humankind. (Tedesco)

Interpretation and giving meaning to the important events that have shaped our lives is the process of constructing memory. By identifying and memorializing these foundational experiences—and then reconciling them within the frameworks of personal and collective memory—we are better equipped to move forward with a mechanism for understanding personal identity and gleaning the character of a community.

III. Chords, Chorus, and Chronos

~ Joshua Roney

Problem Statement
While assembling my widesite (mystory), threads of context moved through my experience and understanding of the popcycle institutions, contributing to my wide image: a guitar.  More specifically, the guitar is the hour hand of a clock face, captured in a falling drop of water.  These aspects constitute points which struck me in an uncanny way - familiar, repeating, transforming as they went.  The presence of music is where my attention is drawn, and it plays a part in the way I would consult for a larger problem.  The combination of the music or chords with the voice continually presented itself: the background instruments and harmony for the sing-talk performer; the tuning instructions from my father; the singing chorus in theatre scene; the five canons of rhetoric strengthening the speech for effective judgment.  These examples and others can serve to combine aesthetic with information, performance with learning, and link threads of the past into ‘chords’ that can be played to help gain greater understanding of the present. With history, music, and rhetoric as guiding tools, I explored areas where water contributed to a continual, complicated issue. It was here that I encountered a situation of potential consultancy where aspects of my mystory could be useful to addressing a community problem.


The Crystal River Energy Complex, 2007. Picture available on Creative Commons.

The Crystal River Energy Complex is a group of power plants owned by Duke Energy and located in Crystal River, Florida. There are two coal power plants and one nuclear power plant in this complex. In 2009, an incident occurred which resulted in the permanent shutdown of the nuclear reactor. The New York Times reported on this issue, pointing out that aging reactor required maintenance to its steam generators – originally installed with the assumption that they would last for the lifetime of the reactor (Wald 2009). As a result, there was no simple way to replace the necessary generators other than by cutting into the dome for access. The maintenance attempt resulted in an unforeseeable accident: a crack in the dome that could not be repaired.

Several complex problems related to power emerged as a result of this incident. The remaining power plants, coal burning, continued to be used despite being an unclean source of power because of the need by the surrounding cities. Environmentalist groups were concerned with the environmental damage from both the nuclear reactor as well as the coal plants. They continued exerting pressure on Duke Energy regarding the need for green power alternatives like solar and wind power (Penn 2013). At the same time, tax payer dollars were being used in the reactor repair efforts and it drew ire when the project was ultimately switched to permanent shutdown (Amrhein 2013). Simultaneously, while the reactor is being made safe permanently, the required staff at the reactor is steadily decreasing, putting many in the surrounding communities out of work.

Duke Energy determined that the Coal Plants would also become too expensive to run in the future, and released an announcement in 2014 that they would be shut down by 2020, to be potentially replaced by a doubly ‘green’ power plant to be built (Penn 2013). The competing interests, economic, social, and environmental, have made this issue a polarizing one, and the impact of closures casts very different lights on the surrounding community and environment. The variety of documents on this issue, produced by different avenues, makes it difficult to see the whole story, gain understanding of all its aspects, and inform citizens from all areas in a personal, authentic way. This is the issue and problem I can consult on as a mystorian, and the question s I intend to answer are the following: what can be learned through this complex issue, and how can that learning take place for the widest possible group of citizens? To put it in the phraseology of my mystory, how can the strings of this issue be found and tuned, and how can people be enabled to play the chords?


Developing Tools and Approach

In order to learn the strings, tuning, and potential chords of the Crystal River Energy Complex problem (to see how my emblem can apply to this problem), I first overlay the details of this situation with the tangle of my mystory. The emerging pattern parallels show potential links to follow, ultimately leading to an Electrate approach to the problem. Some aspects in the situation which connect with the contents of my popcycle institutions include the following observations. I recall an uncanny, threatening tower, and this interacts with the anxiety felt by those considering the nuclear plant cooling towers worried about radiation, pollution, or the eventual shutdown and joblessness it represents to so many. The shutdown and disruption occurring at my school, due to an unforeseen and devastating error, connects with the sudden finality of the tower accident and shutdown, and both impacted thousands of people who relied on its functioning. I see the potential application of theories of rhetoric to enhance the sharing of information to foster proper judgment of the situation. I also encountered speech strengthened and enhanced through music, partnering through backup singers, instruments, or a Greek theatrical chorus. This discrepancy rings for me as an area to clearly explore: music interfacing with Greek methods (rhetoric and chorus) to enhance and improve understanding. This approach aligns well with my personal problem as well as my discipline problem:

·         What can I learn from the past to prepare for the future?
·         How can aspects of ancient oral discourse be made useful in the present?

In determining the next steps, I look further into what other aspects of Greek methods could assist in designing the project. Aristotle discussed the three main forms of rhetoric as ethos, pathos, and logos. In Rhetoric, Part 2, he describes these methods in the following way:
There are, then, these three means of effecting persuasion. The man who is to be in command of them must, it is clear, be able (1) to reason logically, (2) to understand human character and goodness in their various forms, and (3) to understand the emotions-that is, to name them and describe them, to know their causes and the way in which they are excited.

In a culture of Electracy, these images can be perhaps written on top of and strengthening one another through various mediums. With articles detailing the sides of the issue, the issue may be limited perspective in the context of other sides and aspects that are important to recall simultaneously. The chorus, existing outside the scene and describing it, can be applied to the articles as well. In searching for a way to mediate the visual restrictiveness of the text article and find proper application of a chorus sound, the answer presents itself through Greek music. In Politics, Book Eight, Part 5, Aristotle describes the rhetorical power and importance of music, that “music has a power of forming the character, and should therefore be introduced into the education of the young.” He continues with the observation that “there seems to be in us a sort of affinity to musical modes and rhythms, which makes some philosophers say that the soul is a tuning, others, that it possesses tuning.” This tuning, this character formation that Aristotle describes, leads to an exploration of the music of his day and the key to the project: Greek Scales.

Aristoxenus of Tarentum, in his Elements of Harmony, describes seven important Greek musical scales. The names of these scales are Mixolydian, Lydian, Phrygian, Dorian, Hypolydian, Hypophrygian, and Hypodorian. These scales were associated with a characters as Aristotle suggests, and one set of meanings was suggested in 1025 A.D. by respected theorist Guido of Arezzo in Micrologus, (Babb and Palisca 1978). These character associations with the specific scales will factor into this project. The names of the seven scales also correspond to modern western scales. The western namesakes of the musical scales will adopted for this project, as the audience and location is more modern/western than ancient/Greek. With the character and scale notes determined, the rhythm will also be selected according to Aristotle’s suggestion in the previous quote. Rhythm can be defined as “the controlled movement of music in time” (OnMusic 2014), and rhythms will be selected in connection to their application in western music characterized by a particular character or atmosphere that matches a particular Greek Scale. Similarly, the musical concept of articulation will also be factored into this process. Articulation is defined as aspects in a musical score related to “the attack, duration, and decay (or envelope) of a given note” (OnMusic 2014). The articulation will also link to the character being conveyed in the Greek scale, modern scale, and rhythm, providing direction as to how the rhythm will be ‘pronounced’. This combination of ancient and modern aspects I will term as a neo-classical chord. These chords, along with the Greek chorus, will feature as complements to article texts describing aspects of the Crystal River Energy Complex issue. With these aspects fully articulated, the full plan for the project can be effectively developed.

Chronicling the Crystal River Energy Complex

My advice consulting on this difficult issue is to suggest building a web-based series of videos that chronicles this complicated issue through multiple, coordinated methods. The chronicle will combine aspects of information, music, theatre, rhetoric, and instruction in formats that coordinate text, images, video, and actors together. The digital environment will be instrumental in the design, acquisition, interface, and dissemination of the chronicle. The combination would incorporate and enhance the text-based information contained in available publications relating to this issue. This chronicle would be useful for helping visitors to personally engage with all sides of the issue and to grow their awareness and multifaceted understanding for use in future activities. The chronicle will be web-based to interact with and serve the widest possible community, and the public will be involved in its production from beginning stages to final products. The archive and process will also be built in such a way that it can continue to grow beyond my current consultation and potentially become an adaptable model for other situations elsewhere.

For the first stage, termed acquisition, it is important to collect all press releases and articles that had been published online by major invested parties or news sources. This would include the following: announcements from Duke Energy; news articles from local periodicals (e.g. Tampa Bay Times, Orlando Sentinel); news articles published by larger news periodicals (e.g. NBC News, New York Times); and publications by Environmentalist groups (e.g. The Sierra Club, FCAN). Independent editors not affiliated with the publications can perform this collection process (e.g. editors living across the company). All publications collected will be collected into a database for use in the next stage.

For the second stage, termed description, the alpha version of the website can notify the public with an invitation to visitors read individual publications and then select a vote on the primary character perceived in the collected publication. The options will include the seven character types according to the Greek scales, and the option to flag the piece as inappropriate for inclusion. Any flagged items will undergo further scrutiny for applicability and either removed from the collection as a ‘false-positive’ or reintroduced as applicable to the issue. After a predetermined deadline (or after receiving a large set number of review/rankings from visitors) the third stage of enhancing the particular article with its popularly voted and perceived character.
For the third stage, termed enhancement, the articles successfully given a character by popular vote will be enhanced by a neo-classical chorus, singing a particular neo-classical chord as the article is read aloud. The neo-classical chorus will each dress as a representative of one of four major perspective areas in this issue. For example, the Duke representative could wear an expensive suit, the plant worker representative could wear a jumpsuit and hard hat, the family/community representative could wear a nondescript ‘average’ outfit, and the environmentalist representative could wear sandals and a shirt that features an iconic environmentalist logo. For greater variety, multiple duplicates of each representative type can be recruited from different genders and ethnicities as more articles receive a popularly voted character. The four singers will sing the neo-classical scale corresponding with the popularly determined character, and will sing an arrangement that keeps their voices in unison and within the musical scale, rhythm, and articulation prescribed. The following chart is an example of several characters mapped across the different musical features:

Scale (Greek/West)
Quarter notes
Half notes
Eighth notes
Quarter-Half rhythm
Tunoto Staccato

While the music is being prepared, the article will be reviewed by independent editors to determine which of the four voices would be in agreement with the article content, or in other words, which representative voices are part of the character of the article. For those represented, they will sing as described above. For those not represented in the article, they will simply stand with a blank face for the duration of the video. The neo-classical chorus will appear on the screen rather than the text of the article. Instead, each line of text will appear on the bottom of the screen in a manner similar to subtitles. The text will also be read aloud by a non-chorus member not visible on the screen. This bridges the intent of linking performances simultaneously – speech, music, and visuals – presenting a powerful experience of character through coordinated features.

The welcome page of the chronicle is arranged in a way that resists traditional navigation but allows for personalization and discovery. Four members of the neo-classical chorus would be pictured as singing, on the main page. There would be a brief description mentioning that the project is an ongoing archive of the Crystal River Energy Complex issue, and that the site fosters understanding and experiencing the perspectives involved in the problem. There would be a timeline along the bottom of the page, and selecting the left end of the bar would begin an arrangement of videos in chronological order. Similarly, selecting the right end of the bar would bring up the most recent chronological addition to the site. Visitors can also select any of the four chorus members. Selecting one would switch their image to a stoic, non-singing version. When visitors select the “Go” button on the side of the screen, the chronicle will determine which chorus members were ‘voiced’ and which were stoic. The subsequent video arrangement would only feature videos with the same constructions. These variations of experience allow visitors to explore the issue in a variety of potential ways, from timeline or time sensitive, to looking for points of coordination between ‘voiced’ chorus members or alternately, points where others are not coordinating. Visitors can register a profile to track their progress, receive notifications of future updates, and become a participant on the voting activities for future potential videos.


The Electrate background works in accordance with the suggestions of Ulmer for approaching complex, persistent problems as a consultant to can speak to the larger values at play. Regarding the artifacts that are most relevant to this work, the designing of the consultation aligned with the my personal and professional problems, and it actively utilized many important aspects of my mystory. Some examples include the valuing of ancient Greek methods and the need to apply them in a modern context, the finding, tuning, and coordinating threads into playable chords, the existence of water as the location of a threat, the presence of music and theatre, and the urgent need to understand multiple perspectives and to learn from the past in order to make wise, informed decisions about the future. Energy issues are certainly tied to the past (Coal Power Plants in this instance, specifically) and the need to learn from mistakes and develop a plan for the future by considering the competing values (environmental, capitalistic, social, moral).

The complexity of the issue is inherent on the various perspectives vying for potentially mutually exclusive goals. To utilize the digital resources for acquiring the tools and disseminate the results simply makes sense in our modern society. The multiple layers of construction separate the article into a form that can be simultaneously strengthened by effective evoking of ‘character’ while being collectively articulated through popular opinion. These processes serve to resist limited or persuasive distortion and instead foster empathy, understanding, and personal experience by visitors. The draw toward incorporating music into the process is one with an ancient basis and grounded in both historical justification and modern practicality; it captured the attention of Aristotle, and it captures my attention as a mystorian attempting to find the best course and resources available to foster understanding and appropriate judgment. 

Traditional consultation cannot effectively address the issue of the Crystal River Energy Complex because there are too many variables and limitations to effectively and completely approach in that way. Designing and creating a space where all voices throughout the issue can be shared and understood alongside one another, one which participates with the public and empowers them to personalize and empathize, is an improvement that proves the worth of the consultation overall.

IV: Transplants

~ Nathan Snow

Problem Statement

The associations surrounding the word ‘desert’ have always been something of a contradiction to me. For most the word conjures up images of dry, arid, lifeless landscapes. My experience of desert, however, was much different. Growing up in Tucson, Arizona I was surrounded by the Sonoran desert and, far from being the lifeless alien landscape of popular media, the place I remember was teeming with life. The city of Tucson itself was even in a state of constant boom, growing exponentially every year in spite of a recent survey of the world’s deserts which placed the Arizona sonoran desert as "the most arid of the North American deserts" (Mare 1999) in terms of rainfall and available groundwater.

However, in 2010 the Natural Resource Defense Council released a report of the top 10 American cities that could realistically run out of water based on the following criteria: projected water demand, precipitation, groundwater use, susceptibility to drought, projected increase in freshwater withdrawals and projected increase in summer water deficit (Stauckdale et al). According to the study, 10th on the list is Orlando, Fl. and 8th is Tucson (3rd is Phoenix, just 45 minutes north of Tucson and 1st is Los Angeles). The study states that "the Tucson region uses about 350,000 acre-feet of water per year. At this rate, Tucson’s groundwater supply, which now provides the majority of the city's water, has a very limited life span" (Stauckdale). The article takes into account the fact that the city has grown and continues to grow 20% more each year since the year 2000, meaning that the problem has only compound since then. Such facts bring stark new light to the carefree place where I had lived, it was in the throes of an ever-worsening crisis.

While the facts surrounding Tucson's water shortage are alarming, what is perhaps the most worrying aspect of this problem is its root; it appears the city of Tucson’s government is aware the community is barreling towards a disaster largely of its own making. According to the city’s website:

Global warming will affect our climate and our water needs. Increased demand for electricity in a warming climate increases water demand for both electric power plant cooling and for irrigation to landscaping that will become increasingly stressed as temperatures rise. Increasing growth projections raise concerns over water availability as we enter another year of drought (City of Tucson 2013).
Here we essentially find the city’s government admitting that traditional consulting has failed to solve the city’s water problem as the calamity continues to worsen despite mitigation efforts. The quote identifies global warming and an expanding population as the two main causes of the city’s dilemma though without explicitly acknowledging that the one leads to the other. Yet rather than try a new form of consultation the city has found a temporary answer in (a momentary band aid on an ever-growing wound) by drawing water from three main sources: groundwater, CAP water and effluent (treated) wastewater.

The Central Arizona Project Canal

According to a recent article in The Arizona Daily Star, “Back in 1980, the Legislature finally responded to the rapid drop in groundwater levels caused by population growth and farming. It set a goal for the Phoenix, Tucson and Prescott areas to balance our groundwater withdrawals with natural and artificial recharge by 2025” (AZ Star 2014). However, the article goes on to state that important referendums on this water conservation measure continually go unheeded, seen in the article’s assertion that Arizona is ‘overdue’ for a discussion of its main problem, indicative of the alarmingly laissez-faire attitude most Arizonans seem to possess. This is particularly troubling because in the years since 1980 natural recharge has not been sufficient to sustain Tucson’s growing population (averaging only 12 inches of rainfall a year). On the other hand, the artificial recharge mentioned in the article refers to the nearly 144,000 acre feet of water that is irrigated 336 miles from the Colorado river to central Arizona where it replenishes the water in both Phoenix and Tucson when it is allowed to mix with the natural groundwater in the ‘Sweetwater Wetlands’ site just outside of Tucson.

While this CAP project has become Arizona’s main source of hope for any future, this solution is also riddled with problems. For example, the Colorado River is in its 15th straight year of drought, which if it does not let up soon “by a legal agreement we struck long ago, in times of great shortage Central Arizona Project deliveries are cut before California loses any water” (AZ Star 2014), meaning essentially that Arizona and its inhabitants have been deemed the marginal population in the equation. Also, “the river water [delivered by the CAP] ha[s] a different mineral mixture and flow pattern from the aquifer water, stirring up and dislodging rust in city water mains and house pipes” (Pettis 1993). This causes the city to add more chemicals to the pipes to prevent rust from entering the drinking water, though the harmful chemicals now exist in the natural ‘blended’ (the term for the current blend of natural and CAP water) aquifer, prompting the city to add water purifiers to homes in the area at great cost.

This is the heart of Tucson’s water crisis, a city constantly expanding while the solutions for its water supply are short sighted at best and reliant on sources which themselves are strained to the breaking point such as the Colorado River, currently supplying water to both Arizona and California (the city with the number one water crisis according to the 2010 NRDC report). Thus the city of Tucson continues to expand, seemingly oblivious to this growing calamity wherein the groundwater underneath it is both shrinking and becoming increasingly poisoned, with the largest source of replenishment in the 15th straight year of drought caused (by the city’s own admission) at least in part by global warming, itself a strain on the city’s water resources in the form of increased energy put towards air conditioning. In this way the people of Arizona, by ‘going with the flow’ of unchecked expansion are essentially the instruments of their own destruction, their existence bringing about their eventual demise and placing the population in an unsolvable riddle.


Into this aporia I bring my consultancy to the City of Tucson’s “Citizens’ Water Advisory Committee” or CWAC, whose role it is to advise Mayor Rothschild and the city council on “water system and resource planning” (City of Tucson 2014) as well as provide conservation education to the city at large. I go to this government agency precisely because it is a consulting body itself, thus is the primary source of failure and the first place where a new remedy must be applied to essentially stop the bleeding.

I will propose to this consulting body that they organize the creation of what I have termed ‘Transplants’ (origin of the term described later). These transplants will be chosen from among students at the University of Arizona, the city’s single largest public employer with over 10,800 workers as well as Raytheon Missile Systems with 10,300 employees, the city’s largest private employer (Tucson Regional 2013). As such, these two organizations represent the city’s largest water consumers since they employ most of the town and 93% of the metered water use in Tucson is residential (City of Tucson 2013). By creating the transplant groups in these key organizations their work’s effects will spread through the city’s largest public and private organizations, hopefully prompting other smaller businesses to follow suit in a ripple effect.

Creating these Transplants consists of having a certain number of individuals (around 300, or enough to generate positive word of mouth) at these organizations undertake Ulmer’s Mystory project, briefing them first on the theory and secondly assigning each of them certain exercises from Ulmer’s Internet Invention: From Literacy to Electracy text, namely the assignments focused around synthesis and content collection. In Ulmer’s own words the ultimate goal of this is for each member of the experiment to create a heuretics, or “the use of theory to invent forms and practices” (4). The forms and practices born from these personal heuretics “suggests that electrate peoples who experience thought as virtual image will organize collectively in some new way that as yet has not come fully into view” (8). In essence Ulmer has provided a way for individuals to become more cognizant of the way in which their environments interpellate them. Once the Transplants have achieved a level of cognizance regarding their environment they will create a heuretics for adapting to it, in other words they will organize themselves in new ways born from their observations about their relationship to their family, community, entertainment and career. This new organization is precisely the sort of agency that could approach the water crisis in a new way.

In this sense, the Transplants are the first wave in a revolutionary movement born of common experience. The method is constructed in such a way that all of these individuals, who share a common work and physical environment, will construct mystories and bring them together and when that happens they will discover a common thread, the aporia of water consumption in Tucson. I am confident in this outcome because, as stated earlier, Tucson’s water aporia is one of such far-reaching consequence that it is bound to raise its head in at least one (if not all) portion of each participant’s popcycle. Thus it is safe to assume that the heuretics born of such an activity will have at its center new forms, practices and communities born of an awareness of the person’s involvement in their own destruction, traditional consulting’s inability to solve the problem with old methods and a desire to bring more people into the new consulting agency.

Finally, why call the experimental groups Transplants? We call these participants Transplants based largely upon my experiment upon myself, being the prototype Transplant (my experiment can be seen by following the links on the right). The vast majority of those living in the Tucson area moved in from other places, whether recently or historically, and definitely from places where water was more plentiful given the Sonoran Desert’s designation as North America’s most arid. This makes most of Arizona’s population transplants whose water practices were not conducive to desert living and were passed through generations. Through exploring one’s history within a popcycle your own nature as a Transplant into the harsh desert environment is realized and with it a concordant shift in thinking. When you stop seeing the desert as your home that you rightfully own but rather see yourself as the alien in a fragile and rapidly crumbling ecosystem that will eventually lead to either your forcible expulsion or destruction you begin to see just how this environment has shaped who you are as a person. The hope is that these Transplants will arrive at the realization that their values (namely go with the flow expansion, which is how each of them got to Arizona one way or another) are calling for their destruction. With the realization that their values call for them to sacrifice certain things the Transplants can approach not only the public aporia but personal ones as well (for example my difficulty in reconciling my fetish and career approaches found on my widesite) armed with the newfound knowledge that they are foreign bodies out of time and place. As such they will make every necessary sacrifice to cap the expansion and grow where they are planted as a responsible part of the ecology rather than what they currently are, an invasive foreign species choking the life out of the very soil it needs for sustenance.


The entire Transplant methodology for solving Tucson’s water aporia described above rests mainly on the assumption that once individuals create a heuretics born from Transplant ideology they will form new communities with equally fresh forms and practices to consult on the problem. While this supposition is taken directly from Ulmer and his goal for creating the mystory project in the first place the larger concept of starting a grassroots revolution using new scientific methods (for that is really what the mystory is, a new science that combines magic and logic to produce anticipated results) to create Transplants gains more credence when Ulmer’s thoughts are mapped onto another theorist specializing in the way one form of thought moves to another, Thomas Kuhn.

Before the conflagration of Kuhn and Ulmer can begin in earnest we should securely lay the foundation. When discussing the motivating hypotheses of the mystory project Ulmer states that “disciplines are organized around paradigmatic problems and their solutions; that the solutions to these problems are important to the society to which the disciplines contribute as a mode of intelligence” (5). Here Ulmer is primarily speaking of academic/scientific disciplines, just as Kuhn did, and the same holds true for the sort of paradigms that surround Arizona’s current water crisis, essentially providing the basis for folding these three together. When old ideas are used to describe new phenomena the answer will be flawed and limited from the beginning. What is needed is a new way of thinking, which is precisely what Ulmer and Kuhn call for and when taken together the value of the Transplant approach becomes apparent.

Using Ulmer as a basis for creating new paradigms, Kuhn supports the position by explicitly stating the sort of environment needed for the Transplant approach to take root. He writes “discovery commences with the awareness of an anomaly, i.e., with the recognition that nature has somehow violated the paradigm-induced expectations that govern normal science” (56). This precisely describes the aporia outlined above, but paints it in a new light not as the moment not when all hope is lost but rather an opportunity of decision and a chance for a new paradigm to arise. Mapping Kuhn onto Ulmer, we discover that the water aporia/anomaly has violated the paradigms of ‘normal science/consultancy’ in its unsolvable nature. New modes of thinking and organizations to structure those thoughts around is needed to answer that question, hence the desired outcome of the Transplant experiment.
Like Ulmer, Kuhn supports his views with historic moments of paradigm shift, identifying the underlying groundwork necessary for these movements as one wherein “the perception of anomaly--of a phenomenon, that is, for which [the] paradigm had not readied the investigator--played an essential role in preparing the way for perception of novelty” (58). The Transplant experiment allows the participants to perceive the anomaly that was hidden in plain sight among the quadrants of their popcycle. Once the anomaly has been perceived the way has simultaneously been paved for a new approach to it.

However, that is not to say that the Transplants will have an easy time enacting this paradigm shift from ‘carefree owner’ to ‘cautious transplant’. To clarify this point, Kuhn writes that the categories necessary for a new paradigm to arise are as follows: “the previous awareness of anomaly, the gradual and simultaneous emergence of both observational and conceptual recognition and the consequent change of paradigm categories and procedures often accompanied by resistance” (59). In other words, even though the theoretical soil is fertile and receptive to paradigmatic shift by way of the previous organization’s inability to effectively grasp the anomaly the new mindset does meet with some resistance based on prejudices and deeply-ingrained ontologies--the old guard simply cannot adjust to the new (in this sense, cannot release its grasp on expansionist mentality). However, that is precisely why the Transplant experiment was designed to use a select group of participants from larger organizations, effectively attempting to destroy the ‘old guard’ from the inside with a ripple effect.

Finally, using the Ulmer-Kuhn hybrid as a justification for the Transplant experiment sheds light on the fact that the old paradigm, in this case narrowed consultations and a ‘go with the flow’ mindset  carries with it the seeds of its own destruction. According to Kuhn, previous paradigms give rise to the anomalies that birth new modes of thinking because the instruments of their ‘science’ have been honed to such a precise point that they are able to identify even the smallest variation in the expected results, that variation being the anomaly. In the case of the Arizona water project the consulting agencies had been focused on their specific areas of expertise with such precision that the aporia readily presented itself when, even with precise measurements and plans the anomaly remains unsolved and the public so totally focused on their own lives that they fail to see the larger more disturbing picture that the Transplant process will demonstrate.

In the end, Kuhn writes that the “failure of existing rules is the prelude to a search for new ones”, and that “after the discovery [new paradigm] had been assimilated, scientists were able to account for a wider range of natural phenomena or to account with greater precision for some of those previously known. But that gain was achieved only by discarding some previously standard beliefs or procedures and, simultaneously, by replacing those components of the previous paradigm with others” (62). This is an adequate summation of the ‘ripple effect’ that the Transplants are meant to provide. Implemented by CWAC at Tucson’s largest and most influential businesses the Transplant process will have the benefits of a ground-up and trickle-down revolutionary movement. Beginning with their friends and colleagues the initial Transplants will use their newfound heuretics to lead more responsible lives and rally others to prevent the desert’s destruction and their own extinction. Yet this is only the beginning. Just as in my own wide image of a dinosaur stepping in the mud and the cracks radiate from the center so too will the seeds of change begin with a single Transplant group in Tucson and, thanks to its success in being able to successfully navigate seemingly unsolvable personal and community crises the same methods will be applied in other cities where similar problems exist. This is the beginning of a ripple of positive change which must occur before the desert dries up and all that is left are the fossils of the past.


The research collected in “The Paradox of Progress” harnesses Gregory L. Ulmer’s mystory as an apparatus to investigate the paradox of human existence in relationship to our extinction. Each chapter explores facets of how human life complicates themes of extinction within our world. Our presence is clearly linked with our own extinction, as well as the extinction of other beings. Each chapter additionally speaks to humanity’s reliance on water as a natural resource for the sustenance of life, but also acknowledges that water is a force which holds the potential for danger or distress.

In myriad ways, each mystory addresses a problem within our world and consults on potential solutions. Our unique identities reflect specific relationships to different problems, which they revealed through the process of completing a mystory as outlined in Ulmer’s Internet Invention: From Literacy to Electracy. In the process, we each identified personal values which encouraged a new vantage point for consulting problems. In doing so, we discovered a sense of the personal within our chosen investigations that goes beyond the scientific approach to problem solving. While scientific research is still present, the connection of this research to the personal mystories helped produce the specific consultations found in the chapters on this Web site. Ulmer writes:

The goal of the mystory map is to foreground the very frame through which we experience and understand the world and ourselves. The frame is out of sight and out of mind, taken for granted. Literature critique approaches the self-awareness through conceptual analysis itemizing the identity categories of ideology. Electrate imaging supplements this analysis with emotional and aesthetic production (Internet Invention 296-97).

By working with the mystory apparatus and investigating our individual wide images and resonant memories, we considered the general aporia of America’s westward expansion as it impacts extinction and relates specifically to the accessibility of useable water. In so doing, we consulted on both personal and community problems.

Works Cited

“25 years after Exxon Valdez spill, otter population recovers.” MaringLog. n.d. 26 Apr. 2014. Web. 26 Apr. 2014.
Aristotle. Politics. Translated by Benjamin Jowett. The Internet Classics Archive. Web Atomic and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 2009. 57-83. Web. 21 Apr. 2014.
“Arizona is Overdue to Discuss its #1 Problem: Water.” The Arizona Daily Star. Arizona Daily Star. 19 Jan 2014. Web. 20 Apr. 2014.
Amrhein, Saundra. “Florida City Hopes Manatees Fill Economic Void Left By Retired Nuclear Plant.” NBC News. 14 Feb. 2013. Web. 18 Apr. 2014.
Babb, Warren and Claude V. Palisca. Hucbald, Guido, And John On Music: Three Medieval Treatises. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1978. Print.
Biehl, Kathy. “Using Astrology Consciously Part 4: Planning & Decision-Making.” Empowerment Unlimited, 2011. Web. 15 Apr. 2014.
“Black Hammock Island: Some Red Flags.” The Florida Times-Union, 15 Jan. 2006. Web. 12 Apr. 2014.
Cannon, John C. “The Legacy of the Fur Trade.”, 24 Mar 2012. Web. 2 Apr 2014.
“City of Tucson Water Website.” City of Tucson Water. City of Tucson. 2013. Web. 20 Apr. 2014.
Deleuze, Gilles and FĂ©lix Guattari. “From A Thousand Plateaus.” New Media Reader. Eds. Noah Waldrip-Fruin and Nick Montfort. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2003. 405-409. Print.
Eliade, Mircea. The Myth of the Eternal Return. New York: Bollingen Foundation Inc., 1954. Print.
“Hill of Beans.” n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2014.
Kuhn, Thomas S. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970. Print.
“Largest Employers”. Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities. Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities, Inc. 2013. Web. 24 April 2014.
Le Poidevin, Robin. “The Experience and Perception of Time.” The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 17 Nov. 2009. Web. 10 Apr. 2014.
Lewis, Jordan Gaines. “Why Does Time Fly as We Get Older?” Scientific American, 18 Dec. 2013. Web. 10 Apr. 2014.
Mauer, Barry Jason. “Oracles and Divinations: A Monument to Biocultural Diversity Loss.” Excursions 3.1 (2011): 1-17. 16 Apr. 2014. PDF File.
Mares, Michael A., and Okla.) Oklahoma Museum of Natural History (Norman. Encyclopedia of Deserts). Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1999. Print.
Nelson, Ted. “From Literary Machines: Proposal for a Universal Electronic Publishing System and Archive.” New Media Reader. Eds. Noah Waldrip-Fruin and Nick Montfort. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2003. 441-461. Print.
“OnMusic Dictionary.” Connect For Education Inc. 2014. Web. 23 Apr. 2014.
Penn, Ivan. “Crowd Protests Duke Energy Coal plants, Touts Solar.” Tampa Bay Times. 13 Nov. 2013. Web. 20 Apr. 2014.
Pettis, Marj. “Panel Judges CAP Water Harmless, Despite Controversy.” The Arizona Daily Star. 28 Dec. 1993. Web. 20 Apr. 2014.
Russell, Lesley. “Living with the Legacy of Catastrophic Oil Spills.” Canberra Times. 27 Mar. 2014. Web. 26 Apr. 2014.
Stuackdale, Charles., Michael Sauter and Douglas McItnyre. “The Ten Biggest American Cities that are Running out of Water”. Yahoo! Finance. Nov. 1, 2010. Web. 19 April 2014.
Soergel, Matt. “It’s a different kind of life on Jacksonville’s Black Hammock Island.” The Florida Times-Union, 3 Dec. 2012. Web. 12 Apr. 2014.
Tedesco, Laura Anne. “Lascaux (ca. 15,000 B.C.).” The Metropolitan Museum of Art, n.d. Web. 12 Apr. 2014.
“Threats to Sea Otters.” Defenders of Wildlife. n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2014.
“Today Marks the 25-Year Anniversary of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill.” 24 Mar. 2014. Web. 26 Apr. 2014.
Ulmer, Gregory L. Electronic Monuments. Univ. of Minnesota Press, 2005. Print.
Ulmer, Gregory L. Internet Invention: From Literacy to Electracy. New York: Pearson, 2003. Print.
Wald, Matthew L. “A Nuclear Reactor Shows Its Age.” The New York Times. 23 November 2009. Web. 18 Apr. 2014.