Response 4

Media as Epistemology, a chapter from Neil Postman’s book which discusses the significance in every medium of communication and our shift over the centuries from finding truth orally to written to published to television. Zapatismo And The Global Origins OF Occupy, an essay by Thomas Nail meant to enlighten us on the origins of the Occupy Wallstreet movement and trace its origins to the Zapatistas, a revolutionary and movement in Chiapas Mexico meant to question and challenge the current Mexican state. Reversal of the Overheated Medium by Marshall McLuhan shows how any medium can go through what he calls “break boundaries” in which the system reaches a point of no return and that some point during development, a process may go too far and reverse in the opposite. The Corporation, a documentary which looks at the concept of corporation through history and examines the modern day corporation. You may be wondering what any of these may have in common? Well in “Media as Epistemology” Postman speaks of resonance, finding “universal significance”. There are two ideas that I find resonate in each of these works and link them together, communication and change. In postman’s chapter he goes down the changes of “truth” in cultures. How we have moved from a society that uses spoken language as the bearer of truth to one where the written word becomes the dominant matter on facts and oral language has become on par to rumors. He then reflects on our move towards television and how though television’s “junk” is meant to entertain that perhaps society is beginning to focus to much on television as its prime source of information. Our cultures become adapt to the change of how we communicate with each other and the world. This resonates in the points McLuhan makes in Reversal of the Overheated Medium in that we have broken boundaries and reached a point in communication where we can not return to the days before cell phones, before social media or even before typography and return to a society of strictly oral communication. Yes technology, wether for better or worse, has changed our culture to a point we did not think could come to be. As put in the chapter, “the visible world is no longer a reality and the unseen world is no longer a dream.” We have changed from a world where one would wait days or weeks to receive a message to one where it only takes seconds. This significance of using communication to bring about change is also seen in the Zapatismo. Where the Zapatistas used The Encuentro (the encounter) as a way to gather all minorities of the world to communicate on the global struggles of the world. The Zapatistas used “alternative media networks of concrete words and actions” as a means of bringing about change in the Mexican state and stood for the people governing the people rather than a hierarchical system. These ideas of change and communication probably resonate best in the corporation. We see how the idea of incorporating has manifested the idea of business as its own person, responsible for its own actions and lead to the growth of the corporation. Suddenly everyone began to incorporate and “brands” where given birth throughout the nation. These corporations prey on the weakness and psychologies of the human mind and nature to advertise to us their products and almost brainwash us into believing we must purchase what they are selling in order to function.

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1 Response to Response 4

  1. Thaer, break up your text to make it readable. Don’t give us these walls.

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