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Ultra
04-25-2018, 05:32 AM
https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51F1J5QRFFL._SX305_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

I'm about halfway through this book and so far very much enjoying it. The author's main argument is that the transition from a print based epistemology up until the 20th century to faster and visual forms of communication have, basically, dumbed us down. This book was written in the 1980's largely concerned with television and its effect on our culture and intelligence but the insights are still very relevant, if not more so today.

Ultra
04-25-2018, 04:11 PM
11 members read this mothafuckin thread and not a single post :pepper

pizzadust
04-25-2018, 04:35 PM
Print isn't visual now, what do you read with, your nose? :thisguy

Ultra
04-25-2018, 07:58 PM
Print isn't visual now, what do you read with, your nose? :thisguy

You know what I mean smartass. Are you transfixed by the shape and look of a sentence as you read it? No. It's a little dishonest to call print a visual medium even though, yes, you are seeing it with your eyes.

D
04-25-2018, 08:09 PM
Well it's definitely making people numb to the external world. In some cases people spend the bulk of their time using their phone or playing video games. I find myself wanting to escape this matrix at times, but it is such an integral part of society now.

pizzadust
04-25-2018, 08:40 PM
You know what I mean smartass. Are you transfixed by the shape and look of a sentence as you read it? No. It's a little dishonest to call print a visual medium even though, yes, you are seeing it with your eyes.

I can guarantee you that the shape of the letters and words effect the meaning. Yes, I am messing with you, though visual is a poor choice of words. The real poor word choice is throwing in epistemology though, it doesn't mean learning you know. Honestly though, I'm really not sure of why you decided to respond seriously to a blatantly non serious comment :khaled

On topic though, I think it's more so that technology is changing how we think as opposed to dumbing us down. For all the positives and negatives this might have, I think its revealing a powerful truth, digital revolution in general(not specifically what the book references), which is that the natural world is not inherently preferable over the artificial or the virtual. A good example of this is that how many cognitive scientist and psychologist view the mind as not being limited to human biology, but also something realizable by other materials given the right functional arrangement(ie. strong ai.). It just kind of shows how powerful information is to the world in very basic ways. I think largely backlash against the tv as well as the internet is just being reactionary to change. Granted there are some downsides to how we consume information now, like a shorter attention span. On the other hand, we have access to way more knowledge and information, almost infinitely more, than we would without the very things that lower our attention spans such as the internet. I know the book isn't about this specifically, but I feel like this is the natural consequence of the line of thinking I believe you're getting at.

Tifa
04-25-2018, 08:45 PM
I detest the term "dumbing down" in this context.

Generation after Generation have stated that the newest form of technology dumbs the human race down, when in fact, we've advanced further. Monks were pissed off at younger Monks who wanted to scribe on tablet instead of using full memorization skills. Old people were pissed off the Printing Press existed. Radio was pissed off TV came to be, and called it the "Idiot Box"

Its a shortsighted view.

Ultra
04-25-2018, 08:55 PM
I can guarantee you that the shape of the letters and words effect the meaning. Yes, I am messing with you, though visual is a poor choice of words. The real poor word choice is throwing in epistemology though, it doesn't mean learning you know. Honestly though, I'm really not sure of why you decided to respond seriously to a blatantly non serious comment :khaled

On topic though, I think it's more so that technology is changing how we think as opposed to dumbing us down. For all the positives and negatives this might have, I think its revealing a powerful truth, digital revolution in general(not specifically what the book references), which is that the natural world is not inherently preferable over the artificial or the virtual. A good example of this is that how many cognitive scientist and psychologist view the mind as not being limited to human biology, but also something realizable by other materials given the right functional arrangement(ie. strong ai.). It just kind of shows how powerful information is to the world in very basic ways. I think largely backlash against the tv as well as the internet is just being reactionary to change. Granted there are some downsides to how we consume information now, like a shorter attention span. On the other hand, we have access to way more knowledge and information, almost infinitely more, than we would without the very things that lower our attention spans such as the internet. I know the book isn't about this specifically, but I feel like this is the natural consequence of the line of thinking I believe you're getting at.

It's your fault, you're such a contrarian it's hard to tell when you're being sincere :giogio

His argument basically is that more accessible information leads to decontextuslization of that information and basically results in shorter attention spans and less critical thinking. The author can be a little bit of an academic bootr too, because there's obvious value in fast and efficient communication, but I think it's quite obvious how a short attention span and cast easy access to information can be detrimental to the thinking mind, it's no wonder ADHD diagnosis is soaring.

Anyway the book is a pleasant read too, the author weaves in a lot of historical examples and literary references (he brings up aldus Huxley a lot)

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I detest the term "dumbing down" in this context.

Generation after Generation have stated that the newest form of technology dumbs the human race down, when in fact, we've advanced further. Monks were pissed off at younger Monks who wanted to scribe on tablet instead of using full memorization skills. Old people were pissed off the Printing Press existed. Radio was pissed off TV came to be, and called it the "Idiot Box"

Its a shortsighted view.

This is just a strawman argument. This isn't an anti technology book. He's concerned with how information and how we communicate and receive it shapes our culture. Think trump or raegan could be president without TV?

Tifa
04-25-2018, 09:03 PM
This is just a strawman argument. This isn't an anti technology book. He's concerned with how information and how we communicate and receive it shapes our culture. Think trump or raegan could be president without TV?

I meant the term itself, not the book as a whole. Plus the fact that the cover of the book eludes to mindlessness.

With that said, For instance, if you *watched* the debate between Nixon and JFK, you'd say JFK would have won, but listening on the radio you would have said that Nixon won. Technology played a massive part in presidencies, you're right. However, who is to say that if TV didn't exist, JFK had no chance of winning? It's a bunch of "what if's", basically.

Ultra
04-25-2018, 09:16 PM
I meant the term itself, not the book as a whole. Plus the fact that the cover of the book eludes to mindlessness.

With that said, For instance, if you *watched* the debate between Nixon and JFK, you'd say JFK would have won, but listening on the radio you would have said that Nixon won. Technology played a massive part in presidencies, you're right. However, who is to say that if TV didn't exist, JFK had no chance of winning? It's a bunch of "what if's", basically.

So you're acknowledging the power of the medium of information on what people think, so why does the conclusion that the way which we receive information could have a negative impact be so disagreeable? (At that time the book was written it was television, now it's the television AND the internet - youtube, news websites, aggregate content sites like facebook, reddit, etc)

Tifa
04-25-2018, 09:34 PM
So you're acknowledging the power of the medium of information on what people think, so why does the conclusion that the way which we receive information could have a negative impact be so disagreeable? (At that time the book was written it was television, now it's the television AND the internet - youtube, news websites, aggregate content sites like facebook, reddit, etc)

Not the fact that negative impact is something that doesn't exist, but its a constant trope at this point. Almost a stereotype. The way in which we consume media now is always seen as a negative versus a positive.

I have not read the book, so I'm not putting words in the authors mouth, but I will say observing what I see on the front cover, it would tell me it was a lecture about how media is scary, mindless and brainwashing. He wouldn't be incorrect in a sense, but its more of a fear factor than anything. George Gerbner also wrote about Cultivtion Theory. Which is a real thing, and rampant all over social media.

I guess the point I'm making here is that it doesn't seem like its a book that views both sides, and instead propigates another. Again, this is only from a viewing point.

Tendou
04-25-2018, 09:55 PM
im not sure how visual communications rise to prominence has anything to do with this "dumbing down", outside of maybe a loss of meaning which isnt really much of an argument in the first place. care to fill me in ultra?

Ultra
04-25-2018, 10:44 PM
Not the fact that negative impact is something that doesn't exist, but its a constant trope at this point. Almost a stereotype. The way in which we consume media now is always seen as a negative versus a positive.

I have not read the book, so I'm not putting words in the authors mouth, but I will say observing what I see on the front cover, it would tell me it was a lecture about how media is scary, mindless and brainwashing. He wouldn't be incorrect in a sense, but its more of a fear factor than anything. George Gerbner also wrote about Cultivtion Theory. Which is a real thing, and rampant all over social media.

I guess the point I'm making here is that it doesn't seem like its a book that views both sides, and instead propigates another. Again, this is only from a viewing point.

Just read teh book fgt

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im not sure how visual communications rise to prominence has anything to do with this "dumbing down", outside of maybe a loss of meaning which isnt really much of an argument in the first place. care to fill me in ultra?

Yeah I'll make a summary post later