Quotable (#181)

This is basically right:

The television era was about globalism, international cooperation, and the open society. TV let people see for the first time what was happening in other places, often live, as it happened. We watched the Olympics, together, by satellite. Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. Even 9-11 was a simultaneously experienced, global event.

Television connected us all and broke down national boundaries. Whether it was the British Beatles playing on The Ed Sullivan Show in New York or the California beach bodies of Baywatch broadcast in Pakistan, television images penetrated national divisions. I interviewed Nelson Mandela in 1994, and he told me that MTV and CNN had more to do with ending the divisions of apartheid than any other force.

But today’s digital media environment is different. …

12 thoughts on “Quotable (#181)

  1. interesting. i still have this undeveloped pet theory that social systems evolve after communication systems. the press brought the possibility of national democratic government, radio-fusion brought the possibility of highly centralized “global government”, the Internet brought the possibility of the Patchwork. (there is some things about production schemes to it as well).

    • “press brought the possibility of national democratic government” where/how did this occur?
      as for “global” govt here on Earth?

      • well, democracy was heavily dependent on public education to come into being, which of course could not happen without the press. also, political thinking of the enlightenment came via pamphlets and books, as well as newspapers and magazines, etc.

        I believe the connection here is even more clear then the other “stages” of communication technology.

  2. sounds overly optimistic/Romantic about how powerful TV was and how connected/unified we’ve ever been or could be, the medias we have just amplify that we there is less in the way of centralized (even at local levels) governmental control possible and largely b/c the technologies we have made have effects beyond what we can grasp, things are too complicated and too vast to be understood let alone managed.

    • yes, the internet is indeed large and complex to be managed (and hence promotes different kinds of organizations to deal with it).

      I said “radio fusion”, not specifically TV, to include everything from radio to phones, which are very centralized and long range systems based on a huge central hub and many receivers.

      • those aren’t centralized in any particularly organized/controlling manner and certainly haven’t led to anything like a strong centralized govt, this is part of the doom-casting in relation to the dawning of the internet-of-things as people fear that there actually will finally be an actually unified/connected system,tho again there isn’t actually one thing/system that is the internet, pays to pay attention to the actual and varied engineered-systems/actors at work so one doesn’t get pulled into seeing Geists in the machines

        • well, I only meant that they are global organizations which have military influence on all the globe.

          yes, the Internet is a multitude of (computer) systems, but beyond that, it’s abstractly a model of communications. being uncontrollable (or, more precisely, being a distributor of power over the network), doesn’t mean there isn’t surveillance, it means that (almost) every node is capable of surveillance

          • I see that didn’t come thru in yer references which made it seem like they are governing not just capable of influencing here and there, you may wax poetic about it as an abstraction but without the actual machines/actors it’s just science fiction, just look at the NSA now they can’t possibly sort thru all that they are catching up in their current efforts in ways that are more than amplifications of the same old same old spying calculations, none of which translates into top down command and control, just fear and loathing…

          • lots of work to do in that area and badly need, sadly we don’t really have a sense of what is or isn’t happening or how we might respond to it and godz know we can’t leave it in the hands of the engineers and bean-counters…

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