VIC163 Study Session 2012.pdf

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University of Toronto St. George
Victoria College Courses
Anne Urbancic

VIC163 Study Session Jacques Derrida - Differance - differance has three meanings: to differ, to defer, and to deferre (scatter) - differance needs writing and phonetics--> they are always connected - differance is the deconstruction of meaning - speech is more "real" because it comes straight from thoughts, but differance depends on speech and writing - speech and written word--> one is necessary for the other - always already there--> nothing is totally empty. It leaves traces (trace) - always absent present--> there is no outside text (it is present in its absence)--> h'ors texte - violent hierarchy--> when something is split into two distinct groups, they are privileged (e.g. if you are not man, you are woman)--> the danger of thinking in binary opposites The Deconstruction of Actuality - Derrida - outlines similar concepts as in Differance - differance brings individual context into play - actuality is made when we aren't present - it's a projection of what is actually happen, but because the moment is always changing, the "text of time" is always changing, we can never be absolutely present in one sense - virtual and actual reality are no longer contrasted - narrowing separation between real life and virtual life - e.g. a news cast - even though we aren't actually at the event, it is live feed, so it's like we're there - what does it mean to be present in the moment? - this is virtual reality - it is constructed, but it is still real, and involves decisions (e.g. panning away, shots, etc.) - can't ever fully predict or divine the future - always changing - differance - future and present are "the other" - we can never define them because they are so contingent upon what is happening now - birth and death are the only two absolutes in life (origin and dying) - have to be open to the unknowable but you can't adhere absolute characteristics to the Messiah because it encumbers and narrows the future - dualism? - also a matter of "if you aren't this, then you must be that" Free-Play, Fair-Play - responsibility of choice away from binary oppositions - binary privileging - future can be oppressed if you try to govern it from the present Pandora's Box - how to send a message into the future and make sure that it will still be interpretable - conventional messages vs. natural messages - conventional: depends upon a primary agreement, written, spoken, understood by at least one group of people - natural: something that signifies the same thing in all places and times - this is the kind that would be needed to send information into the future - multi-messages: messages that depend on context (e.g. "O.K." hand symbol) - how an organism will take environment into account - feed process - flow of systems - feedback = bring back information, feed-forward = avoid mistakes...must anticipate where the receiver is going to be - projecting a message forward - message that is sent is not the same as the message that is later received (e.g. broken telephone) - kinds of messages: iconic, indexical, and symbolic - iconic: agent of the real world to which it refers - only understood if you are informed by the code (e.g. American flag) - indexical - points to an object - and meaning of object changes depending on where or when it is seen ("today" changes from day to day) - symbolic: relationship to that which it represents is arbitrary (word "dig" can mean many different things depending on context, and only understood by people who know the "code" i.e. language) - pictorial messages must be used carefully and in conjunction with other types of messages (we might get a different interpretation depending on context) - many different channels for conveying information - can't always count on one specific channel - a good way to make sure it gets there is to send the same message through different channels - entropy - the decay of information over time - it becomes irrelevant or physically wears away - this is why redundancy is important Beware of Truth! - defending Derrida - people who criticize Derrida do it on a misunderstood idea of what his thoughts were - post-modernism - you can't really absolutely define post-modern philosophy because it's so broad - truth has to always hold the possibility of failure, or the lie - there is no absolute truth McLuhan in Space - Cavell - McLuhan had a large impact on our questioning of the media The Medium is the Message - McLuhan - the message of the medium is the change it poses to human affairs - electronic age has compressed space and time - all-at-once-ness - mechanization - technology changes the way we communicate and interact - e.g. Facebook - projecting an idea of yourself into this virtual world - it sort of refers to you, but it is fragmented - it differs meaning - we learn new patterns of thought limit and change the way that we think Ecstasy of Communication - disappearance of material or tangible - people don't shape their identities around the objects that surround them - we're concerned with interaction with the object, but the object itself and interaction with it don't matter as much - rules that go with objects - if you deviate from them, it's bad - not everyone is familiar with the same contexts and languages - hyperreality - e.g. celebrity culture - they're more real than real - representing an impossible ideal, that not even they are able to live up to - Facebook profile is hyperreality - more real than real - line between public and private space is becoming blurred - e.g. you can be lying in bed at midnight and get a text - mic
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