Six Pixels of Separation - The Podcast
October 4, 2009 6:23 AM

SPOS #174 - Media Hacks #18

Welcome to episode #174 of Six Pixels Of Separation - The Twist Image Podcast. This is also episode #18 of Media Hacks. If you felt like the conversation went a little kooky when we tried to discuss, "what is a book?" on the last episode of Media Hacks, you'll be pleased to know we get just as lost trying to figure out "what is literacy?" If that wasn't enough the four of us attempt to discuss the value of Google Wave (only C.C. has actually used it). There's some discussion about school books, magazines and newspapers as well. Enjoy...

Here it is: Six Pixels Of Separation - The Twist Image Podcast - Episode #174 - Host: Mitch Joel.

Please join the conversation by sending in questions, feedback and ways to improve Six Pixels Of Separation. Please let me know what you think or leave an audio comment at: +1 206-666-6056.

Download the Podcast here: Six Pixels Of Separation - The Twist Image Podcast - Episode #174 - Host: Mitch Joel.

By Mitch Joel

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  • Posted by matt Searles
    Mitch Joel

    For some reason I keep wanting to leave this comment.. for various media hack episodes..

    This question of what is the definition of something keeps coming up, wether it's literacy or something else. It seems to me that language is a system of compartmentalizing reality, a kind of grid system we over lay it with.. and has everything to do with how we compartmentalize and understand stuff. (check out the paintings of Chuck Close for a pretty good visualization of this, to say nothing of Picasso in a sense)

    But the real key thing behind the definition is.. well language evolves to meet our needs, so as our needs change.. how we break up reality changes to meet those needs.

    One of the things that I think is remarkable about our times is how fast things are changing.. how fast our needs are changing.. how much we feel the speed of this shift, I don't think it's evenly distributed across our civilization.. so the effect on language.. well it'll reflect how this stuff is distributed.

    I sympathize with the.. importance of precession when working with language.. But I think, because of the rate of change, we are living in a time when it makes a lot of sense to be more flexible with our definitions. While the stretching of language may feel too stretched.. for a variety of reasons.. I think it does make sense in terms of our process of evolving the language.. That is finding our selves in a situation where we have a less then ideal kinda definition.. or stretch of a definition sorta, onto its self, pushes things forward.

    To put it in Jungian terms, psychosis is the first step to mental health.

    I think David Weinberger is probably the best guy on the subject.. even bringing in the issues posed by Heidegger!

    To this I would add Foucault, a french philosopher who went deep into the issues of power relationships in society. Basically, as we know from politics, power is largely about the power frame the debate, to frame the box.. and one of the big things with our social web, and what's going on in the economy.. and all of this, it seems to me, is power diffusion.. the internet changes power relationships.. which again, I think, leads to a faster evolving language... and a language more in keeping with our needs.

    So, there's all that

    The other thing I sorta wanted to comment on was education

    I dropped out of art school in the late 90s feeling like school was getting in the way of my education. At the time everyone I knew thought I was nuts... I still feel a little crazy. But you know Benjamin Franklin, a key figure in starting libraries, had this idea that a library card gives you the possibility of a free graduate level education. And of course with the internet.. my gosh!

    For the last 9 years I've been jobless.. well I'm an artist trying to make all that happen.. but a super huge part of that has been self education.. so whatever I'm interested in.. I just go ahead and learn about it.. So if I'm interested in Marketing.. there's a 6 pixels podcast I can go listen to for free.. dig that, ha?

    So it's nice to hear people having these kinds of conversations about education.. about what's really important..

    As a side note I started taking a graduate class in the Dynamic Media Institute at Mass Art (the only state art school in the us) It's a bit like the MIT media lab, but for designers. Taking this class, I've been blown away that it is the first time I've ever been in a class where I didn't feel like the class was getting in the way of my education.. It's proven to be a real mind blowing kind of class.. working with like augmented reality, physical computing.. whatever.

    I guess what its like is.. being a part of a community that's obsessed a kind of self actualization / betterment / learning / etc.. The social learning aspects of it.. and its the only program I've ever been a part of where they are always talking about how important going to the bar after class is!

    So I guess when I think about the future of education, as much as I'd love to just nuke the whole system.. I do think greatness is possible.

    Oh, and it looks like I'm auditing the class so its not actually costing me anything :)

    Reply
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