Re: Robert Aunger essay

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Sat 15 Apr 2006 - 15:05:17 GMT

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    >From: Kate Distin <>
    >Subject: Re: Robert Aunger essay
    >Date: Sat, 15 Apr 2006 10:38:47 +0100
    >Robin Faichney wrote:
    >>Friday, April 14, 2006, 9:47:52 PM, Scott wrote:
    >>>Do the provcesses of reading versus listening have any
    >>>effects on the way content is apprehended by the receiver? Are the
    >>>substrates truly neutral?
    >>Not sure what you have in mind there, but I'd insist that the book and
    >>the (unedited) tape or CD of someone reading it contain the same
    >>information, even though the medium might have various effects on the
    >>memetic propagation. I suppose it's a matter of degree, though, when
    >>the total packages -- content plus medium effects -- are compared.
    >>Maybe book and CD are 98% the same? Also, I think it's important to
    >>distinguish between effects on the individuals encountering the
    >>packages on one hand from distribution differentials on the other. I'd
    >>guess medium has more effect on the latter than the former.
    >The substrate is not neutral. It has an impact in all sorts of ways - some
    >media are not as good as others at long-term preservation, some cannot hold
    >information with the same accuracy as others (CD vs. vinyl) and some as you
    >say have a different impact on individuals encountering the information -
    >but as you emphasise this doesn't mean that [almost] the same information
    >cannot be preserved in each.
    My book versus movie comparison might not be too good, because movies tend to differ from books quite a bit in my experience, not only because the medium itself is different, but because the scriptwriter(s) and director take some license with the story and characters.

    I think in Dominick's text _The Dynamics of Mass Communication_ somewhere he disinguishes news media between say a newspaper or a TV neews show. Anyway if a big story breaks is there a difference in the way people apprehend it given they get their news from television vs. newspapers (or weekly news magazines even)? Someone might take in all three media formats, but maybe someone exclusively relies on only one type.

    Maybe TV news is more visual. You see live action shots of a given newsmaker or event, but perhaps you would get a more thorough treatment of the facts behind the story in a newspaper. Plus you can re-read the paper, but unless you videotape the news you can't review it. Yet some cable news outlets have a loop that repeats itself every so often.

    I wonder how sports coverage differs comparing a bland paper with minimal photo content versus a sports magazine with glossy photo outlays. Anyway there are aspects of the media themselves that might result in a difference in how info is apprehended by individuals.

    If you read something from a book or newspaper aren't you processing differently than if you listen to a radio program? If you watch TV you are seeing and hearing. If you are at the site of the newsworthy event itself you are taking in things like temperature, smells etc. A sporting event covered on the news lacks the smell of beer and food and the feel of the hot or rainy weather experienced by those actually at the event. Watching it on TV would differ from listening to a radio presentation.

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