01 Introduction.docx

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Communication, Culture and Technology
Neil Narine

01 Introduction Syllabus  First assignment – 1000 words (4 pages of double-spaced text)  Second assignment – 2000 words (8 pages of double-spaced text)  Paper topics are divided by the weekly topics that we look at Reality vs. Representation  Key Question in the Course o What is real and what is a representation? (And how do we know the difference?)  Shakespeare’s plays are full of men impersonating women, and women impersonating men. There is always a question of who is who and everyone is hiding their identity  In our time (living so much online), we have to know what is real and what is a representation. I.e. Sometimes, images taken at a specific time can seem as though something is unnatural, but it is selective and cultural Representation: What does philosopher Plato teach us?  Cave analogy/allegory o Plato (429-347BC) says… image prisoners chained in a cave, they never seen sunlight o They are convinced that the shadows on the cave walls are reality (but they are only poor representations of reality)  When there is smoke, there has to be fire. If there are shadows, there must be some sort of form. However, shadows are only form and not the reality.  We as people may look at the media and see it as reality; however, it is actually just a representation of reality. Thus, we are like cavemen who believe that representations are real. In fact, these are actually distortions of reality o VIDEO: The Cave: an adaptation of Plato’s  After sometime adjusting to the light, the prisoner will experience the life outside. This is nothing that he could imagine  The prisoner shares his perception of the world, but the prisoner cannot recognize their old friends. The old prisoner is a grotesque shadow, and to the prisoners they cannot image what it is like outside  Are we only seeing “shadows” in place of reality? o Poses the fundamental question – how do we signify our experiences with others?  It is hard to tell people what happened, and we have a challenge of imagining and excitement about the experience  We do not want our own ideologies to be shaken up  Television is invested in selling commercials and entertaining us. Therefore, everything is very much exaggerated. We, then, believe this as reality and take the assessment  As prisoners, they do not even see the origin of the form  We accept it as transparent o Post Modern Culture  Show the real world of Hollywood, showing the backstage of what is going on behind the screen  Adaptation with Nicholas Cage  Comments on the mechanism of these cultures  What does Keanu Reeves teach us? o Matrix – is this reality? o VIDEO: The Matrix – What is real extended Clip  What is
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