Another (better) Outline | MEmorial

In MEmorial on 14 February 2011 at 2:29 pm

Thesis Statement: As a new technology, the Internet should not be solely recognized for its innovation, but as a medium within post-literate culture. 

  1. The Internet is a new medium that is producing a new expression of human communication. 
    1. With the Internet, stories are no longer one-way, but have greater depth, and are embedded in a system of values.
    2. For example, after the Gulf Oil Spill, the reaction to the event on the Internet was characterized differently. (Cite specific example from “MEmorial” project.)
  2. With the Internet, humans are learning a new mode of expression.
    1. People communicate differently with the Internet as a medium.
      1. People are connecting more rapidly over the Internet.
      2. People are able to interact more freely with one another using the Internet.
      3. People communicate within the sphere of their interest, rather than their local region.
    2. People react differently with the Internet as a medium.
      1. Because of the Internet’s instantaneous communication, people react more quickly to news items, eliciting a more dramatic response.
      2. People are able to respond without having to show their face, and are generally able to hide behind their words.
      3. For example, the Gulf Oil Spill showed how much hype is created with news items.
    3. People remember differently with the Internet as a medium.
      1. With the overload of information, it seems that important events have less permanence in people’s minds.
      2. For example, despite the immense attention given to the Gulf Oil Spill, when the oil rig was finally sealed, the media attention changed instantly. The coverage of the aftermath has not matched the attention that was given while the spill was occurring.
  3. Today’s new mode of expression is a part of the natural shifts in communication across time. 
    1. Orality was the first “era” of communication.
      1. Orality was emphasized the spoken word, and was based on the local community.
      2. Orality relied on collective culture, relying on sound and imagery for communication.
    2. Literacy followed Orality.
      1. With the invention of the printing press, communication became more visual, relying on the written word.
      2. With the distribution of the printed word, communication and learning became an isolated, individual experience.  
    3. Post-Literacy is the current communicative state.
      1. Post-literacy is a merger between the collective and the individual, as the Internet has created a space for people to build on one another’s knowledge.
      2. Post-literacy increasingly relies on imagery, as credibility is aided by how something looks or feels.
      3. Technology enables post-literacy to rely on context.
        1. Hyperlink technology allows text to be connected.
        2. Information is also more accessible, because of the Internet. Therefore, the written word is occurring less frequently in isolation.
  4. There is a symbiotic relationship between technology and post-literacy. 
    1. Post-literacy is not simply a product of the Internet technology, but is instead a product of the human need for expression.
    2. However, post-literacy is largely characterized by the technology of the Internet.
    3. Therefore, the relationship between a post-literate era and technology is co-dependent.
  5. Gregory Ulmer’s work explicates several elements of communication that are embedded in post-literacy.
    1. Ulmer is specifically interested in how we should change teaching to reflect the change in technology.
    2. Ulmer identifies several elements that have emerged in post-literate communication.
      1. Chora is one element of post-literacy, dealing with the relation of ‘place’ in relation to memory.
      2. Imagery is increasingly important, as humans associate with icons and visual representations as a primary mode of communication.
      3. The element of community is re-introduced in post-literacy, as people interact in the sphere of the Internet.
    3. Ulmer is specifically interested in how the Internet has impacted the human reaction to tragedy.  
      1. Ulmer has designed the “MEmorial” project as a tool for students to practice using the Internet as a tool.
      2. The Internet relies on aesthetic elements, including imagery and the poetic, as primary modes of communication.
      3. The Internet introduces the y-condition, the overlapping of forms.
        1. The y-condition happens when two unrelated things have an impact on one another.
        2. During the Gulf Oil Spill, the y-condition occurred when the loss of oil was associated with the loss of personal wealth (due to the state of the American economy).
      4. The Internet creates a community for citizens to have a voice in, termed “netizens.”
  6. Therefore, because of the Internet, several things are changed.
    1. The Internet is a useful medium that should be explored further.
      1. The Internet is not solely a technological innovation.
      2. The Internet is a useful part of current communication.
    2. Because the Internet relies heavily on the aesthetic, learning how to teach the aesthetic elements in relation to the Web is important.
    3. The Internet has created a realm that is largely influenced by the thoughts of the individual, and is distinct from the former unbiased approach.

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