MIT 1200 Lecture 10: Jacques Derrida

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Western University
Media, Information and Technoculture
Media, Information and Technoculture 3214F/G
Sharon Sliwinski

MIT 1200 Lecture “ Why Study Media in University?” March 30, 2011 Jacques Derrida + Why Study Media in University? Jacques Derrida - renowned French philosopher, died in 2004 - Arendt and Derrida were public intellectuals. They tried to speak about things that were going on around them. - Derrida is a professional philosopher about technology. - Derrida’s paper broken down into 5 points, him describing what an intellectual is to him. -1. Expressing his dislike in the way in which he was asked a question. He says that the format of the survey mimics the medias authorities which he is being asked to take a stand on. We often just submit to the way that we are being asked a question. He doesn’t want to deal with these “rules”. Derrida’s model is a response. Think about the ways in which you are asked for pre- shaped questions and answer, and you have to speak in easily definable, short space provided definitions. Derrida wants to revolt against representing ourselves in this way. The Status Update, the language of Facebook, is exactly this. Forcing ourselves into a pre-shaped form of reply. Sound biting is another form of this; clipping interviews into 20 second clips. Politicians know that the media does this. They know this and they are writing speeches that contain sound bites. Derrida is drawing our attention to the fact that this way of speaking (status updates, sound bites) has infiltrated more than political speaking. Politicians used to speak for a long time, Hitler didn’t speak in sound bites. The rise of mass media has changed the way we speak politically. When Derrida doesn’t want to answer this survey in this way, he is suggesting that the compression and impoverishment of language has infiltrated our day to day communication. He might have talked about Facebook and the way in which our speech amongst friends has changed through this new technology. Status updates are derivatives of sound bites. - We study media in university to gain some purchase on this change. You might study media is to think about the ways in which political speech has changed as part of the rise of mass media. We have much more access to speak these days with Internet. Paradox here though in the way in which we might not be saying anything of great importance. The more opportunities we have to speak, the less we are saying to each other
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