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Week 12 – Media Studies Notes

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Media Studies
Michael Petit

Week 12 – Media Studies Notes Who discovered water?  Fish did not discover water Ecological Analysis  We live invested in an electric information environment that is quite as imperceptible to us as water is to fish  Same thing is happening to us through media  We cannot see it for what it is because we are too close to it  Biological metaphor and applying it ot media Ecology  Branch of biology that deals with the relationships between living organisms and their environment Neil Postman  Media critic who was NYU, books on pedagogy and education and technology  Introduced the term media ecology in 1968 in an address he gave at the annual meeting at National Council of teachers of English  Teaching as a subversive activity  His address was later published under the title: the reformed English curriculum  He is not inventing Media Ecology, he is only NAMING IT  Media ecology looks into the matter of how media of communication affect human perception, understanding, feeling and value; and how our interaction with media facilitates or impedes our chances of survival  Ecology implies the study of ENVIRONMENTS* o An environment is a complex message system which imposes on human beings certain ways of thinking, feeling and behaving  Media controls the way we think o It structures what we can see and say and therefore do o It assigns roles to us and insists on our playing them o It specifies what we are permitted to do and what we are not, sometimes as in the case of a courtroom or classroom, or business office, the specifications are explicit and formal  Highly controlled environment  He’s before the internet  In the case of media environments, the specifications are more often implicit and informal, half concealed by our assumption that what we are dealing with o This environment is a machine o The idea that media technology are neutral outlets o Benign tools, no implications whatsoever  Media Ecology: WAIT A SECOND, we live in relationship with the media  Media MOULDS THE WAY WE THINK* Media Ecology wants to make the specifications explicit, so we are aware Media Ecology Reading List  Great Resource What is a major implication of media Ecology?  Our lived reality cannot be experienced separately from or outside of media  I cannot exist in my life without media being attached  You cannot separate yourself from media  Media is so deeply rooted in our lives, we cannot see things outside of media  Example o The Truman Show o It speaks to us powerfully in a cultural way o It is a 1988 Satirical sci fi film o He has been on media his whole life, and he does not know it o Truman was the first child legally adopted by a corporation o Everyone was pretending around you o World was make believe o Truman is real, his surroundings are fake  It provides interesting sorts of ideas Media Life  It is important to note the implication of this narrative  Truman Show is another version of the real. One that is carefully staged and completely mediated  The ending of the movie, Truman escapes the studio  It is unrealistic because escape is impossible  It lies to us at the same time because we can’t escape the media/media ecology  We are now all living inside our very own Truman Show: a world characterized by pervasive and ubiquitous media that we are constantly and concurrently deeply immersed in, that we are the stars of and that dominate and shape all aspects of our everyday life  You are making yourself the star of your own universe  Webcam image o Media cannot be conceived as separate to us, to the extent that we live in media, rather than with media o There are extensive social and cultural repercussions occurring, primarily due to the way media are becoming invisible Truman Show  Psychological phenomenon  The way that paranoid view of the world, why is it this view they latch on to?  These ideas are pervasive over society o The Truman show delusion o It is not a real town, it is a movie set o The patients that he treated, they feel like their family and friends are actors they are not real o It is a delusion of control, you are being controlled by directors o He saw the movie/he was online too much and became psychotic o There are many more factors o What is technology doing to our brains? We do
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