the value of narrative

Something of what I was trying to say at the end of class today didn't quite get through, probably because I didn't say it. Once we have recognized the fact that new media have (already!) changed the way we structure the world outside of our computer screens, I think we have to ask ourselves whether that development is an improvement.

Al Gore and technological determinism

So I was making the ol' bookmark bar rounds and came across this review of Al Gore's new book. The 3rd and 4th sections of the article (they start with a giant "T" and "I", respectively) concern Gore's commentary on television and the internet. Basically, Gore sees television as having ruined the national discourse by transforming the American citizen into a passive couch potato (actually a hypnotized chicken here) who only recieves information and does not engage in any sort of feedback.

cool jazz

I pointed out in class today the way too obvious contradiction in McLuhan's distinction of hot and cold content within a single medium (cool jazz and hot jazz). Now that I've had time to think about it, I realize that McLuhan does deal with this. In the middle of page 27, he writes:

"The jazz of the period of the hot new media of movie and radio was hot jazz... Cool jazz came in quite naturally after the first impact of radio and movie had been absorbed."

The New Interface?

Thought of this video after watching the photosynth demo and amateur in Stumpy's Blog.

The Great Conversation

I've been thinking on Ong's writing on immutability of writing. More specifically how the internet is both complicating and destroying what he sees as the classical objection to text. This is, as I read it, that speech always came from a speaker and that, that speaker could be questioned and challenged. Print even when challenged remains immutable and aloof.

the role of the artist

I'm a little bit confused about McLuhan's idea of the role of the artist. He seems to be saying that the artist must make people aware of the profound cultural changes brought about shifts in the types of media we use. The artist does so (I'm led to believe) by drawing attention to the media as important: it's not what's on television that matters, but the television itself.

Selection on YouTube

When we were talking about Manovich's idea that one of the principles of new media is that it involves selection, meaning that one can choose from images, text, and pieces that have already been made to make something new. The first thing I thought of was this YouTube video called Amateur , in which the author videotapes himself making sounds on a drumset and a piano and then edits them together to make a song.

even fools like new technology!

Hokay, so: I was just in the middle of posting a comment to gnugnu's last entry, but my internet decided to do what internet does best and mysteriously refreshed itself, thus deleting my comment. So I decided to post it as a blog entry instead, because it does in fact relate to the reading.

Some Thoughts on the Reading

Before class tomorrow, I want to write out in (virtual) print some of my thoughts on the reading, as much so that I can get them straight in my head as anything else. I won't bother trying to organize them into a coherent bundle now.

On Manovich

FYI -- for tomorrow's class, I'm going to want to focus on the introduction and first two chapters ("What Is New Media?" and "The Interface") of The Language of New Media. Come with specific aspects of the text in mind that you'd like to discuss. (In fact, you might begin your discussion of them here...)

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