Response 4

Neil Postman in “Media as Epistemology” claims that every medium of communication has resonance. Resonance is, according to Northrop Fryes, created once “a particular statement in a particular context acquires a universal significance” (Postman 17). However as Postman claims, resonance goes far beyond simple statements as it is also in characters, objects, history, and even countries. Postman states that resonance has “the power to become implicated in our concepts of piety, or goodness, or beauty”. For example, fictional characters such as Alice and Hamlet have created metaphors for “brooding indecisiveness” and “search for order in a world of semantic nonsense” through resonance respectively. On the other hand, something like “Athens becomes a metaphor of intellectual excellence”. This mindset of what is “intellectual excellence” shows how every medium of communication has “implicated in the ways we define and regulate our ideas of truth”(18).

Technology changing our ideas of truth is also seen in Marshall McLuhan’s chapter entitled “Reversal of The Overheated medium”. W.B Yeats supports this claim as he states that “[t]he visible world is no longer a reality and the unseen world is no longer a dream” (McLuhan 20). This means that what we imagined years ago has now become real. McLuhan describes this as breaking boundaries. He explains how our expectations of what can be created are set higher as we become more technologically advanced. For example, roads have turned into highways, and towns have become cities.

At the same time,  corporations have also changed our ideas of truth as explained in the documentary The Corporation. Corporations are described as psychopathic, they are deceitful and have no concern for the safety of others. This deceitfulness causes change in our ideas of truth because, naturally, telling a certain amount of lies causes anyone to become skeptical. For example, Investigative reporters Steve Wilson and Jane Akre were told to lie and speak lightly of Monsanto’s dangerous growth hormones that were proven to have caused cancer in cows. According to Steve Wilson, the manager stated that the “news” will be what the corporation, Fox News, wants it to be.

Finally, Thomas Nail’s article entitled “Zapatismo and The Global Origins of Occupy” discusses the influences that the Zaptatistas had on various political parties and ideals. These influences mostly contained various strategies that have helped create global resistances such as the occupy movement. One strategy in particular that has changed our ideas of truth is the political use of masks. These masks, now usually Guy Fawkes mask, have not only concealed the identity of those wearing them, but have created an image or “feeling of solidarity and equality” (36). One significant use of the Guy Fawkes mask was in a hacking group called “Anonymous”. Anonymous become known in 2008 when they hacked various church of scientology centers. They would commit similar acts of revolt later on such as in 2011. As a result, the Guy Fawkes mask has become a metaphor for a rebellious attitude.

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1 Response to Response 4

  1. Remember, remember the 5th of November!

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