Firstly let me say i had to define resonance to really be able to connect these pieces. Resonance is defined as : the quality of a sound that stays loud, clear, and deep for a long time. Or : a quality that makes something personnally meaningful or important to someone. Postman uses three key examples of stories written that have long standing resonance with our culture. Athens which resonates with us as a symbol of knowledge and power, Hamlet with brooding, indecisiveness or uncertainty and Alice from “Alice in Wonderland” as searching for order in the chaos of the world. These are all written accounts that have been passed down, translated and used in many contexts for various purposes. They’re well relied on and manipulated for different purposes but theyre considered valid because theyre written.
Postman makes the arugment that new mediums can lessen the validity or create noise around the meaning. He states how the use of proverbs and “sayings” are never ending and nonstop but that they dont hold the power of written law or procedure. For instance when a lawyer or judge makes a ruling they do it from a book of laws and rules not based on the application of proverbs and their possible meaning to the situation.Print based culture has for a long time stood for knowledge, understanding and wisdom the ability to do so was highly regarded and there was no mockery or fuss made of the works. So with the introduction of TV has the shift of knowledge and it’s interpertation shifted?Have we left behind the importantance the printed word has? Postman says the best part of TV is its junk which is in part true, do we watch the news for enjoyment or do we watch it because we want to know something. We watch shows like the Kardashians, The real world and the bachlorette for enjoyment, years ago however you might have picked up a book to read. The ability to turn on the tv or scroll our newsfeed for information has made us lazy and unappriciative of the power of the printed word. Later in the text Postman says books demanded things of us, they demanded our being immobile for long periods of time, you have to devote your mind to understanding the words and not just their shape or the page they appear on. A book requires more of you than one ear or eye for a moment, you have nobody telling you what the author meant or why they said it in a book as you would while watching the evening news or a talk show. The written word commands more of our time and attention, so have we become lazy with the induction of TV and media into our influx of information.
Think about how much we dont have to do to gain knowledge, we can get briefed on an entire subject without leaving the house. It seems as though we’ve lost the respect or feel for signifigance in books and even oral discussion of those books. Mcluhan uses Russian culture as an example, how they prefer to call not text email or facebook. They still respect the signifgance of the spoken word which Postman fears we’re loosing with the introduction of tv media. Postman closes with saying that every new technoloy or media comes with a trade, sometimes even sometimes not. However when you think of the loss of the signifigance of the written word you can on the other hand think of the Zapatistas and their rise with the use of online campaigns. Though they werent writing endless pages of ideas and knowledge they were sharing their ideas, mission and purpose at a rapid pace, something never available before.
So yes Postman is 100% correct when he says that there is always a trade off but while our previous readings suggest that its a bad thing or is leading us down a path of destruction the Zapatistas and the occupy movement remind us that media platforms the instant exchange of ideas and information is revolutionary and amazing to the growth of a society.