net.readings: What is Western Tradition?
tzvetan todorovMartin and Ned and Mike recommended this guy.I took six pages of notes, they won't all hit the net, but these technology gems -
Formerly a structuralist, who came around to postmodernism;
more cultural theory. The intro cited his impact on each of the language departments at swat.
two days after mark taylor, I was in scribe mode.
sitting next to Jesse Dancey, she said I made her nervous
from the time he opened his mouth, I didn't stop scribbling.
(put on your bulgarian french accents)what is characteristic of current stage in history of culturestechnology parenthesis:
acceleration in contact between cultures,
observe within industrialized countries,
changing job, resident status as a means to effect social status
and with common media (TV) - same lifestyle everywhere.
between countries, goods ignore frontiers
not human beings so much
but ever more - witness charter flights.
large scale cultural tendency towards homogenization
jesse - scary generalizations
changes our perception of difference
first half of this century,
we could still say we don't know enough how it is
an average adult can no longer be surprised by anything
through travel and TV - exotic places, peoples, cultures.
superficial familiarity deminishes capacity for understanding difference.
forms of preservation influence modes of social life
day when press invented changed manner of perception
so modern day?
there are different opinions on this subject -
the end of civilization
scattering of clips of information as rapid as they are superficial.
age of direct democracy
universal peace not a utopia
nature and place of info impossible to reduce language to transmission
function of formation
dialogical partners are shaped into what they are personal identity.
beyond the present exchange,
palimcest, past exchanges, similarly formative.
two functions always present
son, don't cross the street without me
information repeated, mostly useless
but protector context for dad.
the huge quantity of information available on the internet
means we have little energy left for formative exchange.
net formative exchange is close to zero
unless we know partners well, from preceeding exchanges.
otherwise, correspondence interchangable
producers of information.
these extended networks break solitude of individual in network but more alone in a sea of information
quantity of exchanges leave no time for formation.
very humanity -
nothing can replace hearing/sight/smell of encounter
these play an important role in identity formation,
information saturation allows us to ignore information
human events do not by themselves reveal meaning. individual gives meaning in interpretation.
the quality of distribution of modeems
not speed, breadth important
human interpretation not computer replaceable.
he can only absorb so much in 8 hours
so sort info heirarchies
pre-computers information sorting was [explicitly] diverse
librarian, friend, family, book, magazine.
now software chooses resources for him
dependent on software designer's choice
We care to live in disorganized efforts of many
as opposed to structure by one.
not intended as dark picture
he can't hide preference for e-mail, word processing but limitations not raising formativity.
Not to avoid tech, but estimate the problem, move on.
Jesse Dancy's renderingJesse and Ben teased me about asking an Internet question, but I knew - it's gotten to the point where other people ask them instead of me, and I prefer less loaded dialogue afterwards.
Seeing that he hadn't spent much time on the web (his remarks re: software determining information heirarchy), I approached him and explained a bit of my experience relating lifestories online, and didn't that constitute somewhat a formative experience?
I'd already heard body odour argument, together we agreed that net experiences can be formative, even invaluable; there needs to be balance.
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