Headline, August 14 2022/ ''' '' MESSAGE WORLD MEDIUMS '' '''


 MEDIUMS '' '''

FREE -HAPPY- HONOUR : THE STUDENTS OF THIS GREAT NATION, The United States of America just so lead. !WOW! belongs to every student of America, just as it belongs to every student in the world. Welcome All!.

THE WORLD STUDENTS SOCIETY RISES - to give the students of the world, especially the students of this great and free nation, the United States of America, a standing ovation.

I didn't want it to be true, but the medium really is the message. We've been taught that mediums are neutral and content is king. But maybe it's the common rules that govern all creation and consumption across a medium that changes people and society.

In 2020, I read a book I'd been ignoring for 10 years, Nicholas Carr's '' The Shallows : What the Internet is Doing to our Brains. '' It was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in 2011 and much loved among people who seemed to hate the Internet.

But in 2011, I loved the Internet. I am of the generation old enough to remember a time before cyberspace but young enough to have grown up a digital native.

And I adored my new land. The endless expanses of information, the people you met as avatars but cared for as humans, the sense that that the mind's reach could be limitless.

My life, my career and my identity were digital constructs as much as they were physical ones. I pitied those who came before me, fettered by a physical world I was among the first to escape.

A decade passed, and my certitude faded. Online life got faster, quicker, harsher, louder. '' A little bit of everything all of the time,'' as the comedian Bo Burnham put it. Smartphones brought the Internet everywhere, colonizing moments I never imagined I'd fill.

Many times I've walked into a public bathroom and everyone is simultaneously using a urinal and staring at a screen.

The collective consequences were worse. The Internet had been my escape from the schoolyard, but now it felt like it had turned the world into a schoolyard.

Watching Donald Trump tweet his way to the presidency felt like some sinister apotheosis, like we'd rubbed the monkey's paw and gotten our horrible wish. We didn't want to be bored, and now we never would be.

So when I came across Carr's book in 2020, I was ready to read it. And what I found in it was a key -not just to a theory but to whole map of 20th century media theorists - Marshall McLuhan, Walter Ong and Neil Postman, to name a few - who saw what was coming and tried to warn us.

Carr's argument began with an observation, one that felt familiar :

''The very way the brain worked seemed to be changing. It was then that I began worrying about my inability to pay attention to one thing for more than a couple of minutes.

At first I'd figured that the problem was a symptom of middle-age mind rot. But my brain, I realized, wasn't just drifting. It was hungry. It was demanding to be fed the way Net fed it - and the more it was fed, the hungrier it became. 

" Even when I was away from my computer, I yearned to check email, click links, do some Googling. I wanted to be connected. ''

Hungry. That was the word that hooked me. That's how my brain felt to me, too. Hungry. Needy. Itchy. Once it wanted information. But then it was distraction. And then with social media validation. A drumbeat of : You exist. You are seen.

Carr's investigation led him to the work of McLuhan, who lives on today in repeat viewings of ''Annie Hall'' and in his gnomic adage '' The medium is the message.'' That one's has never done much for me. It's another McLuhan quote, from early in his 1964 classic, ''Understanding Media : The Extensions of Man,'' that lodged in my mind.

''Our conventional response to all media, namely that it is how they are used that counts, is the numb stance of the technological idiot.

For the 'content' of a medium is like the juicy piece of meat carried by the burglar to distract the watchdog of the mind.''

We've been told - and taught - that mediums are neutral and content is king. You can't say anything about ''television.'' The question is whether you're watching ''The Kardashians'' or ''The Sopranos,'' ''The Sesame Street'' or ''Paw patrol.''

To say you read ''books'' is to say nothing at all : Are you imbibing potboilers or histories of 18th-century Europe? Twitter is just a new town square; if your feed is a hellscape of infighting and outrage, it's on you to curate your experience more tightly.

The Honour and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on The-State-Of-The-World and great observations and writings, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Ezra Klein for his brilliant analysis and opinion.

With respectful dedication to Mankind, Leaders, Grandparents, Parents, and then Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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