CMNS 221 Lecture Notes - Consumerism, George Lipsitz, Noise Music

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Published on 17 Jun 2011
Simon Fraser University
CMNS 221
CMNS 221 Readings
The Culture of Consumerism:
Rosalind Williams The Dream World of Mass Consumption
-Expo -> introducing the modern marketplace (mass consumption)
- Attempts to be a microcosm of the world (albeit inaccurately)
- in turn breeding a new population of consumers
- exhibitions were originally to show off science, technology and now for
entertainment, extravagant, etc.
- real-world counterpart -> first physical example of mass consumption
-Department stores -> fantasy world that functions purely as a way of selling products
(through a dream-like environment) -> lecture example: malls are no longer a part of
one’s day to day reality but tries to suck the consumer into another world of encouraged
-Technological Innovation -> technology is consistently exploited by corporations for
commercial means
- use value vs. exchange value
-Exploitation of dreams -> mass commercialization of one’s ideals (dreams)
-eg. Kids today are shaped by the ideals sold to them in media (eg. Barbie
influence lives of children: “I want to be like Barbie when I grow up”)
-introduction of cinema helped people go on extravagant voyages without having to
physicallyvisit” them -> can be used for educational purposes but you cannot make it
educational without falsifying it, “lying
Promises, Promises: Technology, techno hype, and the Public Sphere:
Ursela Franklin The Real World of Technology
-public sphere -> geographical space where every individual within it is a participant in the
trade of values, beliefs, opinions, etc. (where public opinion is formed without outside
-A-synchronization -> turn-based communications (public sphere cannot exist in A-
synchronization because of the limited nature of a-synchronization) (eg. Ping and pong,
emails but check later/reply later)
-Synchronization -> simultaneous communications (eg. Conversational back and forth,
Landon Winner Three Paradoxes of the Information Age
-Paradox of intelligence
- technology ideally should help us be smarter individuals
- unfortunately, as technology has become smarter, we have become
dumber due to dependence
-Paradox of Life Space
- the more connected we via technology the more it infringes on our social and
private space
- the problem with the opportunity cost way of life
- technology is suppose to make live easier (eg. Instead of walking, driving so
that there is more time to accomplish more, etc.)
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