Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Reflection: Chapters 4-6

The author states, "Like the printed book, film, and television before it, the computer is not a neutral space for conveying information. It shapes the information it conveys and is shaped in turn by the physical and cultural worlds in which it functions." This quote in the beginning of Chapter 4 again goes back to McLuhan's "The medium is the message." The computer has had an enormous impact on our society, and the functions it can perform have created a different way we interact with one another-- through new media.

Chapter 4 was one in which I sincerely enjoyed reading, mainly because I found the concept of the Magic Book experiment truly interesting. Of course it is an experiment of remediation-- making of new media forms out of older ones, but I think it is more than that. It shows us that we adults have lost our own imaginations, resulting in us treating books as transparent.

I also found the "Borrowing Reality" section intriguing, mainly because it concentrated on television broadcasts, which is a field I wish to work in one day. The author states, "Most broadcasts show us events that we will never experience if we are lucky. We generally compare television news to other television broadcasts and to other media forms, such as newspapers and Web sites. Sometimes television news even acknowledges that it is covering itself covering the news" (pg. 85).

As humans, we evaluate media in terms of their ability to show us what the world is really like. However, that is exactly what the media forms' jobs are. There will forever be rivalries between different media, enabling us to decide if we would like to obtain our information from the tv, radio, newspaper, or website. With that, we all have our own criteria in judging which media form we prefer to engage with.


  1. As a metamedium, the computer offers us the opportunity to gain critical distance from other media (although not necessarily from itself).

  2. I think the rivalries between print and online media is lessoning though.