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Lum: Notes Towards an Intellectual History ... (2006)
- Studying Media as Environments
- media: (according to postman)
- complex message systems
- media ecology:
- attempt to unveil their implicit structures & impact on human perception, understanding and feelings
- McLuhan points out symbolic change that occurs when society's dominant medium for communication changes
- (i.e. from oral to visual)
- Side note: So would the internet be a change from visual to interactive visuals?
- Media as Sensorial Environments
- physiological perception
- 3 main factors that form the basis of our perception:
- physiology, need, and past experience
- every medium embodies a set of sensory characteristics
- "reality" is re/constructed & filtered through the medium's sensory characteristics
- Media as Symbolic Environments
- as we master a medium (such as writing or filmaking) we are also acculturated into the symbolic environment that is the medium itself
- to the writer life "reads" like a book, to the filmaker it "looks" like a movie
- ppl do not always consciously separate the sensorial from the symbolic when they use the media (for gather info or communicating)
- Single-Medium or Multiple-Media Environments
- Internet language is not just images with text, its more complicated than that and it still needs to be deciphered.
- Understanding Environments as Media
- Social environments define human interaction in/on the media
- Two conceptions of human interaction with the media
- 1st: We use media to communicate
- 2nd: We are located in the "symbolic structure" of media and we "engage" the media for communication
- Media Ecology's Underlying Theoretical Propositions
- Theoretical Proposition 1
- Commucation media are not neutral or value free conduits of information
- change with the charactristics of the code and ways symbols are structuraly put together
- example: the same story expressed as a novel and as a movie = different result
- Theoretical Proposition 2
- Biases of media including intellectual, emotional, temporal, spatial, sensory, accessablity, social, metaphysical, content, and epistemological biases
- Placed in larger context: behind every communication media is the human idea for addressing perceieved communication issues; or the conception behind the media
- Theoretical Propostion 3
- Media facilitates various consequences, particularly the relationship between technology and culture and how technology impacts culture
The Theoretical Continuum: the range of human agency in media/cultural change
- Soft Determanism: human agency plays a determinant role int eh consequences of media's development, diffusion and use
- Hard Determanism: technology is the prime determinant of unavoidable social change
- Technology/Cultrue Symbiosis: ongoing interdependent, mutually influential interation btw people and their technology or media
Epochal Historiography of Media:
- Orality: Culture that do not know writing exists = primary oral cultures, all words do not have a visual or written component or association, based on pure sound
- Literacy: learn more at a faster rate; often had the social impact of displacing the knowlege and importance of elders
- Typography: massive quantity of identical information from only one original, democratizing information, instrumental inf creating fundemental change in culture
- Electronic Media: the rate and nature of change has been changed as well as media, content and the ways peopel know and talk about world changed
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|bookerblue||more lum notes from booker||0||Feb 28 2008, 12:48 PM EST by bookerblue|
Thread started: Feb 28 2008, 12:48 PM EST Watch
-It is the structure of mediums that define the information they carry-- obviously a television carries more visual information than a radio, and a radio relates more aural information than a television in as much as your brain over-compensates for a lack of visual stimulus, much as a blind person's sense of hearing tends to develop more acutely than that of a person who is not visually impaired. Therefore, different mediums relate different information-- it is difficult to even compare the information related by different mediums because we are unable to perceive the world outside of our specific senses (e.g. How do you compare the way something smells to the way it sounds?).
-No medium structure originates in an unstructured vacuum-- the only way we perceive the world is through structures that in of themselves were produced by earlier structures.
-The big, broad question then becomes how does technology affect culture and vice-versa? When, where, how and why, and how much does one become a product of the other?
Maybe we shouldn't separate culture from technology and should instead view them as a continuum...
The mediums that have dominated throughout differing eras in history have also served to define the cultural structures of that era.
|bookerblue||lum notes from bookeeeerrrr (part 2)||0||Feb 28 2008, 12:47 PM EST by bookerblue|
Thread started: Feb 28 2008, 12:47 PM EST Watch
-The symbolic structure of environments (Lum uses the example of a social environment, but almost any environment particular symbolic structure- think of the structure of structures at a job interview, at a restaurant, etc.). These environments in turn, as well as the symbol structures within them, may in part define the way in which we think and therefore, the way in which we construct culture (often though these environments are partially/mostly cultural constructs in of themselves-- so it becomes cultural structures producing cultural structures).
***My own note*** So is it even possible for us to perceive our current mediums outside of the context of pre-existing mediums that have already structured the symbolic-sensorial system through which we communicate? An example would be how difficult it has been for us to (re)visualize the web in a new way- even the idea of there being a “physical” web has so shaped our thoughts that it's become nearly impossible for us to not think of the web as an entity that simply links people, places and things in a multi-linear (but linear nevertheless) manner.
-We engage in differing media environments for communication purposes. (***my note*** so is this similar to code-switching when we change our social environment? If so, we should look at linguistic studies of this.)
something smells to the way it sounds?).
|bookerblue||Lum notes from BOOOOOKKKEEEERRR!!! (part one)||0||Feb 28 2008, 12:45 PM EST by bookerblue|
Thread started: Feb 28 2008, 12:45 PM EST Watch
-Not only form but the structure of symbolic systems mold the way in which we interact with the world around us.
-Fundamental changes occur when there is a change in a society's dominant medium for communication.
-Media ecology must be understood as the study of (man-made) environments on two levels.
-psychological perceptual level: we perceive our environment based upon our senses. Communication mediums are a sensory extension so they are thus biased towards the sense which they most emphasize (ex. Television is biased towards visual and, to a lesser degree, aural senses).
-On the symbolic level, all mediums are constituted by a particular symbolic system. In other words, some things that have symbolic meaning are more emphasized in some mediums than in others. This symbolic system in turn structures the thought of those who utilize the medium.
-an important note is that people do not always separate sensorial form from symbolic structure when the interact with a medium. This means that both the symbolic and sensorial form of a medium interact to shape the perceptions of those who interact with them.
We live in a multimedia society. This greatly complicates matters in as much as we must examine multiple sensorial-symbolic systems interactions in order to understand the way in which such systems influence the means by which people construct their perception of their environment.
-This of course means that we must also examine the interaction between different mediums differing sensorial-symbolic systems as well. As an amalgamation of multiple mediums (and therefore, multiple sensorial-symbolic systems) the internet must be studied not as such, and not as a single medium. An understanding of the dynamics between the multiple mediums that are utilized by the internet therefore becomes critical.
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