Friday, March 5, 2010

Getting Over the Edge, or already there?


Taking another look at Communication and Cyberspace drew me to the essay, "Getting Over the Edge"by Stuart Moulthrop. It is an older piece. dating back to the 1990s but it raises important questions regarding the rise of new media that still translate to today. 

Not to mention, his writing style is distinct from other scholarly writings on these issues. ""Cyberculture may just be the last holiday orgy of the yuppies, replete with silicon sugar plums for all" (256).

Moulthrop questions the implications of the soon to be fiber optic data routes, suggesting this will bring enormous change to culture. But the main idea of his article lies in the issues of communication over the web/cyberspace/net and how it is routed in text. He talks about those who are innovating and a major part of the web culture are those routed in old print media, and people who often are highly literate and and "staunch defenders of high literacy and even the canon" (258). 

He also says that the text in cyberspace will not replace that of the print. I agree with him in a way because he discusses a great deal about Hypertext, something that is almost defunct today. On the other hand, I do think that the abilities we now have well smart phones and laptops has effected the print medium, especially in terms of news moving onto the internet, and the growth of online libraries with scanned texts. It's the convenience today, that I believe, is making the "cyberspace text" take the lead.

But I have to agree with the statement, "Even after we have fully given up on print, the majority of "really electronic" text will be hopelessly contaminated with the old ways of knowing" (261). 

-Jessica Vanacore

1 comment:

  1. It's a good point. On the whole, we have built our new electronic, digital culture on top of our older literate, typographic culture, and that's reflected in the ubiquity of electronic writing, and keyboards. Neil Postman often liked to point out that the main electronic media, such as television and computers, were invented by individuals steeped in print culture. But we're also seeing much of the publishing industry imploding these days, especially newspapers, the process exacerbated by the financial meltdown.