Posts Tagged ‘IFI7101 IMKE’

The comments on essays

Argo says that after the discovery of electricity and technology development: Media isn’t charity project – it must have something to tell and someone to listen. After the media has become a part of everyday life it has also a important side as part of economy. It means the media is not free anymore.

I think that media never were free and actually now they reached probably one of the cheapest levels. As Argo mentions in previous parts of his essay the history of media from ancient through medieval ages till XV century (Gutenberg) we may rethink how much did the books or inscriptions on stones cost back then. They definitely must have cost more than the amount that we pay today for the internet, for example…

I really like the following sentence: Looks like, we are part of one big computer, which uses us as little interacts. I think Argo has a good point here!

Kerstin is trying to answer to the question  is new media – a technology or culture? In the first part of the essay she defines new media and it’s relation to the technology. It is interesting as both Argo and Kerstin to define new media used McLuhan’s books but for the former new media is a message and for the latter it’s an extension of human capacities.

In the second part she quotes some definitions of culture and comments on them. It seems that it’s acrually hard to define the culture – the phenomena so close to us.

In the end she states that it is impossible to answer the main question as new media have elements of both, technology and culture…

The essay is easy to follow and very clear. It was nice to read it 🙂


The last essay is talking about ecosystems.

This essay tries to first make a distinguish between the above mentioned notions, secondly analyze the concepts and finally answer the question stated in the heading. — but the heading says only essay 🙂

Kersti is trying to define the words found in the topic: “metaphor”, “digital”, “ecosystem” and “new media” and it takes her almost all the essay.


There is an interesting description of NM: In the context of this essay, I would use new media as the dealer for the digital opportunities waiting to be used. Quite different as the before ones.

In the end we get the theme of the essay: Digital ecosystem – is it then a fertile metaphor or the new type of ecosystem that uses ecological principles? and a short reasoning why Kersti prefers the first option.

In general it was interesting to read other essays. All of them had good points and some nice thoughts. 🙂


The essay: Does new media narrative change our identity?

Does new media narrative change our identity?
(Will new media lead us back to the global tribe?)
What are new standards for writing narratives with new media?

Internet:  absolute communication, absolute isolation.

~Paul Carvel


In this essay I will try to mention the changes that have been occurring in our identities due to the impact of new media narrative. I would like to start with the previous identity change or even maybe a continuous change that was noticed by Plato in the Ancient Greece. By that I mean the change from oral to written culture.

Speech is inherently an oral event, based on human relationships, unlike texts. Plato in his book “Phaedrus” shows strong resistance to literate technologies, which he calls pharmacon – the word has two meanings: medicine or drug but also, a poison. Writing, Socrates argues, is inhuman. It attempts to turn living thoughts dwelling in the human mind into mere objects in the physical world. By causing people to rely on what is written rather than what they are able to think, it weakens the powers of the mind and of memory. True knowledge can only emerge from a relationship between active human minds. And unlike a person, a text can’t respond to a question; it will just keep saying the same thing over and over again, no matter how often it is refuted.[1]

According to the following the change in how humans perceive the world started to change and evaluate. The world became divided into sentences, words, and letters. Now any text is constructed as a mosaic of quotations; any text is the absorption and transformation of another.[2] With the passing ages we became so habituated to written words that we no longer imagine our lives without them. It’s enough to look at Ray Bradbury’s novel Fahrenheit 451 where the books are burned for the good of humanity. According to Plato maybe it would be a good solution but for our culture it’s something completely unimaginable.

The exact evaluation might be understood better thanks to McLuhan (The Gutenberg Galaxy) analysis of the history of communication – from the invention of speech, to pictograms, to the phonetic alphabet, to typography, to the electronic communications of today. It is how human consciousness was restructured, profoundly changed not only the frontiers of human possibility, but even the frontiers it was possible for humans to imagine.

Thanks to the new imagination we no longer face the world as its underlings – as subjects – but we now possess the faculty to calculate it as a field of virtualities, and to compute some of those virtualities into simulations of realities according to our own program. This is the new imagination. The consequence is that we no longer seize and handle the world in order to change the real, but that we do so in order to realize virtualities. We are no longer sub-jects, but pro-jects. Our head turns if we try to execute such an existential revolution. […] And this explains the curious creative dizziness which takes hold of those who program synthetic pictures, who possess the new imagination. With each key they press they dive into a field of virtualities, and entire worlds emerge which they themselves had not expected. A new level of existence is opening up, with new experiences, sentiments, emotions; concepts and values proper to it. Homo sapiens is about to bring a faculty into play which so far has been dormant.[3]

Now, McLuhan and Ong also document the re-emergence, in the electronic age, of a kind of ‘secondary orality’ that displaces written words with audio/visual technologies like radio, TV and telephones. Unlike primary oral modes of communication, these technologies depend on print for their existence. Mass internet collaborations like Wikipedia rely primarily on writing, but re-introduce relationships and responsiveness into the text. Even though from this point of view the orality might be coming back into power there are plenty of medias based on new narratives which have a huge impact on our identities.

Prior computer image of the era – in which the virtual reality user travels through the virtual space, is replaced by the new – in which a man who is at the airport, on the street, in the car or anywhere else, checks his emails or makes his phone calls using a phone connected to the PDA.

You see your first fragments of Implementation on stickers posted on signposts on your way to work and find the rest online when you google a remembered sentence. Surrender Control sends you text messages regardless of where you are or what you’re doing. You read Online Caroline and Blue Company in a series of emails arriving in your inbox amid spam and work mail. A character in a fictional weblog sends you instant messages and appears in the comments of a political weblog you also happen to read.[4]

Also video surveillance is becoming ubiquitous, and not only activated by governments, military, or enterprises, but also by private individuals – low-cost, wireless camera, with connection to the Net, can currently be placed almost anywhere.

In the popular media, there is currently no common discussion on the different types of technology – mainly due to the fact that they belong to different industries and different markets – but the future is a combination of both – all of them will change our physical space in the information space – by drawing from the information (surveillance, observation), or fitting it into information (mobile space, computer displays). This close relationship between surveillance and the accompaniment is one of the key elements characteristic for highly developed technological societies. The concept of enriched reality means computer strengthening of the human intellect. The world of tomorrow will know that it does not need to be made in the immobile office. This raises the new paradigm in which computing and telecommunications will be delivered to the mobile user. For this purpose, new technologies are being created, hence the discussion about information outlet and tide is being held.

The contemporary world is guided by the idea of individualism, and places the individual and autonomous actions in the center. The man has no longer simply to be in the world; he has to affect the world. Even abstention from action becomes a decision, and thus in some sense the action. What’s more, the human individual’s impact on reality is not debatable; it only has to become conscious. This way Michael Heim (The Metaphysics of Virtual Reality[5]) is right analysing the term of interactivity in the contexts of virtual reality. Heim notes that many people see virtual reality as every form of electronic representation, which implies their action. While deleting files from our desktop we use the icon representing the trash can where we put the unnecessary files. Text documents, although they do not exist on paper – still are documents. Our computer desktop may be identified with a wooden desktop from our room. Each of these entities is a virtual entity – not existing physically, but still existing, with which we enter into active interaction. They differ from the representations of similar items on the television by that that we treat them as real objects. Image does not need to deceive the eye, to become virtual. The reality of computer trash comes from your true commitment to interact with it.

It seems that, consequently, a unit of a modern audience, tele-viewer and observer, a passive consumer of meanings, learns about live from mediated reality presented in the medium. His emotionality is a secondary emotionality which indeed is rooted in its original ancestor, but then it has been processed, reconfigured and directed as authentic. While television and film have a tendency to raise awareness that death on the screen is not really happening, the computer goes a step further and suggests that even the protagonist is not true. Already a large extent can be observed that the behaviors and scenes that are not in approval among the hard-core viewers of television, they do not affect computer viewers. In the context of apathetic society, reaching the peaks of hypocrisy and moral relativism, indignation presented only on the outside is not outlived at all. Baudrillard watching the events at Heysel, noted (J. Baudrillard “Heysel Syndrome”[6]):

rather than complain about the revival of atavistic violence should be understood that what produces this form of violence, these special effects, which also include terrorism […] is  our modernity, our hyper-modernity. Traditional violence we know from Third World countries comes from enthusiasm and sacrifice, is ritual, yet spontaneous. Our violence, on the contrary, is simulated, it doesn’t come from passion or instinct, but from the screen […] The media go ahead of it and cause it.

The obscene and the absurd no longer have limits. In a world that you create, there are no other rules but those that you have created. There is no ethics; it’s not necessary any more. While creating, sometimes you get the status of a god (as in the game Black & White[7]) – what a tribute paid to human vanity. The sense of power takes the place of responsibility, to mistakenly perceived ability to create worlds and beings.
This type of virtuality is transferred to many areas of our lives on the Web – to the interpersonal contacts, the authenticity of a politician that uses this medium to disseminate his views, the online studies and the social gatherings.
In each of these situations we are more than passive observers, we have more abilities than just giving a meaning to a message, we are the actors of interaction in the same way as its audience.

The modern world creates various forms of tele-presence – from talking on the phone, Internet, through internet bots (which can be substitutes for real users), by sharing our body and mind we go toward creating agile models not just of the collective intelligence, but maybe in the future also of a collective body. Deleuze proposes that all the elements of a machinic assemblage, including human bodies and technological devices, are part of a collective machine. For him the organic body and the inorganic tool are nothing without the machinic assemblage which gives them a certain relationship of vicinity with each other, animals, and other elements.[8]

Ones that improve (psychologically: deepen) the human-machine communication are avatars – graphical representations of the person/character, otherwise: virtual corporeality. Interestingly, the avatar does not necessarily take the form of a human. Depending on the type of contact, the world in which one participates, the forms that we deal with are anthropomorphic, drawn from animal world or myths. With an image is intended to fill a space of non-verbal communication – which is the basic for the interpersonal communication – the avatar can smile, cry, be happy, sad or ashamed instead of you. Temporarily range of emotions possible to present through the avatar is narrowed to the easiest and most versatile. However, these representations exist – and move naturally in the physical level of nonverbal communication phenomena produced artificially, with a large bit of effort invested in it. It can be argued that avatar’s emotions are hyper real – they constitute of (Baudrillard’s) simulacrum both of emotions and their images.

To sum up I would like to present the table based on Eriksen’s book Tyranny of the Moment: Fast and Slow Time in the Information Age:

Industrial society[9] Information society 


Bulding of nation Globalization
Book Internet
One-chanel TV Multi-chanel TV
CD and LP MP3
Life-long monogamy Serial monogamy
Depth Breadth
Linear time Fragmented time
Too little information Too little freedom from information

Probably there is no need to add anything but just realize what those changes do with us. Even though we are chatting with 3 persons through skype or facebook in reality we are alone, we don’t speak, we barely move, we don’t have any eye contact. We stick to this one thing that is just a thing but for us it is everything. There is a big danger and temptation in just staying at home instead of going out and meeting real people. With absolute communication we become absolutely isolated and forget that all actual life is encounter…[10]

[1] Walter J. Ong, Orality and Literacy, pp. 78-79.

[2] Kristeva, „Word, Dialogue, and Novel“, In Desire in Language: A Semiotic Approach to Literature and Art, edited by L. S. Roudiez. New York: Columbia UP, pp.66

[3] Vilém Flusser’s view on art – Session 1: A NEW IMAGINATION, pp. 4.

[4] Jill Walker, Distributed Narrative: Telling Stories Across Networks, pp. 1.

[6] Jean Baudrillard, „Syndrom Heysel“// Andrzej Gwóźdź, Media, eros, przemoc – Sport w czasach popkultury, Kraków 2003, pp. 57.

[8]Deleuze, G. & Parnet, C. Dialogues II. London: Continuum, 2006, pp. 76-77.

[9] Eriksen T., Tyranny of the Moment: Fast and Slow Time in the Information Age, 2001.

[10] Buber M., I and Thou, 1937.


the values that are being forgotten…

The final concept map


I was trying to have as wide scope as possible that’s why the map may be a little bit confusing. To make the reading easier for every concept I used a different color.

Looking at the map the conclusion comes up that the new media are in all the fields of our lives and that the definition changes dependently the point we are looking at them from. I must admit that the study was very interesting for me as I didn’t even imagine that the new media might have so many meanings and that it is connected with so many things. I never actually thought about the definition but thanks to this exercise it has become much more clear for me.

Concept map #2

In this content map you can see that all social interactions belong to New Media. It is an environment for them. Users are able to do all of these operations and for sure much more that I have not mentioned. It may look quite confusing, but in the internet everything is connected. That’s the point – it’s a big net [of social interactions, one could say].

the 1st concept map

Finally I managed to make my first concept map (I’m really sick [strange Estonian whether] and it’s hard to think 🙂 )

Anyway, I’m not sure if I made it right. I suppose I need more experience. Hope with time it will get better.

I prefer to look at New Media more from (maybe) philosophical or historical view (at home university I study Media Philosophy 🙂 ) that is why I used some citations from Manovich and McLuhan. I suppose it’s allowed 🙂

On the other hand, it is quite difficult do define NEW Media, because the definition of it changes all the time (because of the development of technology, of course). But, ascethical and ideological implications of “new media” are not new (what I’m trying to show with the origin of NM: tv, photography, ect.). I think it would be better do identify the new media as a democratic media (they are available/reachable nearly for everybody).

I have participated in the first lecture on Thursday, but I couldn’t find the ppt, that’s why I almost don’t use concepts mentioned in that class (we went through them very quickly and I didn’t catch too much…)

For now that’s it… 🙂