Saturday, June 24, 2006

The core question is:What makes this form of "journalism " different from what came before? how does the new medium we are swimming around in change or affect the results we achieve? Is it a matter of scale? Speed? Multiplicity?Is interactivity a real difference, or just a rewiring of Letters to the Editor?

Did Mass Media really begin with the Printing Press? Did Cyberspace begin with the Internet?
And in regard to purposes: are the unintended consequences of our activities more significant than the conscious objective?

The first printed book was the Bible; the unintended consequence of the printing press was to destroy the hegemony of the Bible.

The objective of the Aztec power elite was to keep the masses ignorant and supersitious. The unintended consequence of that was to render the social fabric so weak that it was destroyed in an instant by a handful of determined individuals who exploited just those weaknesses. Compare Saddam's Iraq. Contrast England in WWII.

My inclination is to believe that there is nothing new under the sun, so it will take a lot to convince me that the core elemants of our communication technology are any different from those of the Sumerians who produced writing as an accounting medium and unleashed consequences that are playing out to this day.

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