Re: media violence report in Science

From: Wade T.Smith (
Date: Tue Apr 16 2002 - 14:58:39 BST

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    Subject: Re: media violence report in Science
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    On Tuesday, April 16, 2002, at 05:27 , Vincent Campbell wrote:

    > I'm
    > predisposed to thinking the media are inherently benign,

    No idea is benign, in any sense of the word, but the messenger often is.
    The problem with media studies is precisely the reason McLuhan said the
    medium is the message- there _may_ be something inherently 'memetic' in
    the very form of the carrier.

    And he was talking about the 'form' more than the content. TV and films
    montage (although, IMHO, the real power of TV is in its ability to show
    us unprocessed realtime images from other vantages- as we now know,
    there _is_ processing technology that puts the lie to everything seen on
    TV, although, saying the mantra 'if it's an ad, it's a lie' will work in
    almost all cases) present the viewer with a time-and-space-modified
    narrative- and Eisenstein worked specifically with montage in the early
    cinema years to elicit precise reactions.

    But montage and point of view and all the rest are methods of presenting
    the 'idea' (in the strong aristotelian definition) of a work, and, if
    the idea is dangerous (like Riefenstahl's work), then there may be
    followers of the idea. The idea finds a way. That's a basic memetic
    premise, and the form it takes is evolution's crap shoot.

    - Wade

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