reply to post by ZeuZZ
I didn't watch the McKenna video, but I disagree that the cure for TV is the internet. Or rather it is, but only in the way that heroin is a cure for
addiction to raw opium. I'm sure there are people here who are as glued to their computer chairs as TV addicts to their proverbial couches. In fact,
the internet has far greater suck-you-in potential, precisely because it is interactive.
What electronic culture permits is incredible diversity, and what the print created world demanded and created was tremendous depression of
Actually, the divide is not between print and TV but between, on the one hand, mass media such as large-circulation newspapers and broadcast
television, which target very large, broadly-defined audiences, and the kind of highly segmented media we have today, like cable TV and the internet,
on which demographics can be more narrowly defined (the internet is the paradigm of this, actually, though advertisers and marketers are only
beginning to learn how to use it).
What has happened since the end of the 1970s is that the increased viability of narrowcast media, together with advances in technology and improved
marketing techniques, have made niche marketing profitable. This is true not just of advertising but of content; your Fifties-rockabilly-only radio
station (or internet radio site) is just as much a beneficiary of the trend as the brands advertised on it.
Print created concepts like the citizen, that is a print created notion. It created notions like the public, there was no public before print,
that idea didn't even exist.
While it isn't central to your argument, I have to take issue with this. The word 'citizen' goes back to at least the fourteenth century – there
were no printing presses in Europe then – and the idea of citizenship rights goes back to Classical Athens. The word 'public', too, is very old,
deriving originally from the Latin publicus
, meaning 'people'. I agree that the invention of the printing press made it
easier to circulate news and calls to action among citizens (or members of the public). But printing has to be done in large quantities to make it
economical (or profitable), hence its inherent 'massiness' as a medium.
TV is... the first of the electronic drugs.
Here I agree with you. The first, indeed, of many. Video games and the internet are among its successors.