Tangential Tuesday #31
Media, Cities, Ambitions, Consulting, The elegance of nothing, Sleep
|Apr 23, 2019|
This newsletter is going to be a bit different than usual. Why? Because I’m just starting it at 10:06 on Monday night and my typical bedtime is 10:30 😊.
Let’s get on with it 🚀
I’m not even done with the book yet - and I can already say that Understanding Media is the best book I’ve read this year. It’s one of those books that changes how you see the world. I’m hoping to write a blog post in the nearish future - but here’s a few VERY raw thoughts mixed in with some quotes:
He feels that the entire travel experience has become “diluted, contrived, prefabricated.” He is not concerned to find out why the photograph has done this to us. But in the same way intelligent people in the past always deplored the way in which the book had become a substitute for inquiry, conversation, and reflection, and never troubled to reflect on the nature of the printed book.
New forms of media will always be criticized. And in some ways - rightly so. Every new form of media radically changes the human experience. Every new form of media has tradeoffs.
It’s worth understanding these tradeoffs rather than rejecting them outright. The invention of new forms of media is not new.
Photography changed the way we travel, the way artists work, the way we interact with all other forms of media. It gave rise to “conspicuous consumption”.
TV caused an increase in popularity of Newspapers. The alphabet changed the way we think and talk to each other. All new media change the way we interact with all other media.
“The painter could no longer depict a world that had been much photographed. Likewise, the novelist could no longer describe objects or happenings for readers who already knew what was happening by photo, press, film, and radio. The poet and novelist turned to those inward gestures of the mind by which we achieve insight and by which we make ourselves and our world. Thus art moved from outer matching to inner making.”
In the past, it was always the artists that were the first to understand and be aware of the ways new forms of media. But since the TV, it’s become so obvious that it’s impossible for the mainstream population to be oblivious.
In many ways social media is not a new form of media, but rather an accelerant for all types of existing media.
Many people credit Instagram for the rise of comparing ourselves to others, for the rise of travel, and for making us live a life more through the lens of our phone.
In reality, all these things have been happening since the invention of the camera. Instagram and Facebook just sped up what was already inevitable.
“For the untrained awareness, all reading and all movies, like all travel are equally banal and unnourishing as experience. Difficulty of access does not confer adequacy of perception”
Final mind blowing quotes:
Our conventional response to all media, namely that it is how they are used that counts, is the numb stance of the technological idiot. For the “content” of a medium is like the juicy piece of meat carried by the burglar to distract the watchdog of the mind. The effect of the medium is made strong and intense just because it is given another medium as “content.”
Art as radar acts as “an early alarm system,”
Movies in America have not developed advertising intervals simply because the movie itself is the greatest of all forms of advertisement for consumer goods.
Thanks for hanging on for that rant
Articles you should read 🕶️
- Going up to Tahoe this weekend to squeeze in one more day of boarding ❄️
- Happy Easter & Earth Day! 🌎
- I’m going to be mentoring an intern this summer @ Thumbtack! If you have suggestions for making his experience great - let me know.
That’s all for this week. I’ll be back with a more regular format next week.