9.357 radio & media

Humanist (mccarty@phoenix.Princeton.EDU)
Tue, 5 Dec 1995 19:15:03 -0500 (EST)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 9, No. 357.
Center for Electronic Texts in the Humanities (Princeton/Rutgers)

[1] From: Jascha Kessler <JKessler@ucla.edu> (21)
Subject: Re: 9.354 digital radio

[2] From: flannagan@ouvaxa.cats.ohiou.edu (50)
Subject: thoughts on media

Date: Mon, 4 Dec 1995 23:02:30 +0000
From: Jascha Kessler <JKessler@ucla.edu>
Subject: Re: 9.354 digital radio

I suppose I presumed that a superior (esthetically superior) medium would
automatically replace an inferior one, which is why I drew the analogy
between AM and FM, since FM made listening to anything, sans static,
superior. It did not replace AM, as anyone driving the Continent knows, I
mean the North American Continent, for various reasons having to do with
the limitations of FM over great distances and around mountains, etc. But
digital radio, one presumes, will cable sent or beamed down from above. It
will offer various superiorities, again, esthetically, and practically
(storage, etc., manipulation from storage) that will enlarge possibilities,
for ill or good. The question of analog versus digital recording is still
open, and the effort of audiophiles to combine today is ongoing, and
expensive! I myself am still on Black and White portrait monitor, since
the color monitors, per se and ipso facto, are blurry in comparison, which
is a matter of physics, irradiation of pixels, etc., I am told. I am not
sure one can imagine what new forms of old media will offer us. Technology
moves by increments. The axe is still with us, and the knife, etc. I
suppose I was replying to the question mainly by referring to my perception
of superiority of the digital radio as sound. As for control of the bits
and bytes, well the money men are raging now over that, and I have put
something down in the form of a bet myself, some hardearned savings. Here
is not the place to discuss tipster lore and technogambling. Jascha

Date: Tue, 5 Dec 1995 08:54:15 -0500
From: flannagan@ouvaxa.cats.ohiou.edu
Subject: thoughts on media

When we switch our loyalty from one medium to another, as we did from
silent to sound movies, from radio to television, or from black and
white movies to color, we always adapt the old language to the new
medium. Interviews on television are "talk shows."

It was a great thing when various programmers, in quest for a graphic
interface better than control-alt-m began looking to pictographs as
simple as the man-walking sign available all over the world at
intersections. I can look up from within Windows and see an open or
closed file picture and decide easily what to do. *That's* an
improvement based on imitations of pictures as old as humankind's first
drawings in the sand or on cave walls--"Here be buffalo," or "This is
how to spear a buffalo."

As much as I might dislike the fat trash can in the Mac, it does tell
me something directly, and it is based on a visual concept that anyone
can understand.

Willard, I don't think imitative thinking is stupid, and it can lead
almost immediately to creative thinking. If I write a book about
toads, I can draw a toad icon to allow me to open the file of that book
quickly and easily.

Email technology is now beginning to give us the means to communicate
with voices and faces and body language in real time, which is great,
while not losing the capability to talk in words on the screen
(imitative of paper) with shorter time delays than those of snailmail.
I could send a lover messages with music or the scent of flowers
attached, or send interactive messages for which I might construct an
imaginary world. All this would be imitative but creative, possibly,
at the same time.

We do learn by imitation, and, for the new media of the computer, it's
the best game in town.

Roy Flannagan