philosophy politics psychology

Meedya is the muddle

Pondering the following quote which I saw on Facebook today. The irony of that sentence isn’t lost on me 🙂

“All media exist to invest our lives with artificial perceptions and arbitrary values.” – Marshall McLuhan.

It puzzles me that many otherwise intelligent people argue that the Internet has democratised media and so the above could not be true in the current age.  In reality, media companies are aggregated and conglomerated like never before – they are owned by rich media czars. It’s certainly true that the mechanisms for news distribution have been democratised and are now much more affordable thanks to social media and web publishing software. However, what people talk about is determined by mainstream media. We retweet, repost, add colour to and debate the topics that we’re encouraged to believe are important. Whether’s it’s “shirt gate” or Adele not singing on Bandaid30, it’s all such rubbish. Often mesmerisingly trivial banalities dressed up with complicated ideological arguments to suggest it’s something more important.

psychology science Uncategorized

Einstein wasn’t dyslexic – the cult of ‘Genius by Association’

A.A. Gill has written a great article in the Sunday Times magazine about his hidden dyslexia and the effect it has had upon his life. It’s undoubtedly a very brave act for someone who earns their crust solely (I believe) from writing and he makes many thought provoking points about the the UK Dept of Education’s attitude to dealing with this and other learning disabilities, regardless of their official position.

It’s a brave article but contains 2 points that really irked me. The first is the assertion that dyslexia doesn’t afflict those speaking the Chinese language. It does and a bit of research would have yielded this Scientific American article explaining the differences between Chinese and latin alphabet dyslexia which are possibly 2 different learning disabilities with a similar outcome.


Channel 4 docus about jesus freaks

I’m really hopeful Channel 4 will stop showing programmes about Christian fundamentalists in the US. There are so many of them, they’re so friggin nuts and they’re making me depressed. I’m hopeful this crazy ass thinking will be slightly less popular when George Jihad Bush leaves the White House. Hopefully a democrat will end up there. I’d prefer Obama but that may not happen as there’s at least one state that can’t get over the “Hussein” in his name as John Stewart illustrated to hilarious and poignant effect.
A recent show called Jesus Camp showed kids being told by a grown if completely insane woman that “Warlocks are evil” and that “in the old testament Harry Potter would have been put to death”. The tears started to flow as the kids realised that Harry Potter was incompatible with life as a god-fearing, war-mongering, zealot nutjob their mammy and daddy want them to be. Happy kids? Not likely, they spent the time they weren’t being indoctrinated being terrified with the thoughts of final judgement. Still, they were told god was attending the camp so there was a point to all this. The organiser seemed breathlessly unstable. Imagine the kind of sick parents who send their kids to these camps. Disturbing stuff.
On a lighter note, can anybody figure out where LOST is actually going?


brimming with possibility

Much of modern media seems like background noise
An endless drone of marketing static. Selling me burgers, cars, movies
One catchy jingle mingles with another. I can’t tell the difference anymore.
I often feel media saturated, my brain soaked through with an incoherence of thoughts, images, sounds, pleas, intentions, subversions and inversions.
The words and images like an old friend, warm and inviting.
But they’re just passing by
& All I hear is static.
They’ve oversold.