Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Implicate Order

There is at any time, a lot more going on than is reported going on -- and in fact, most of what is actually going on in the world, is not being reported by the mass media, or are they even aware that it is happening -- because the filters of their perception, are the familiar, which is usually not very contemporary, but is the old reported as the new.

The really new is always unprecedented -- for which there is no training to perceive, because well-known knowledge is always of the old and familiar. The truly new, which is happening all the time, cannot be seen -- until it has long passed into the old and familiar, which is what traditional knowledge and education has been about. In a rapidly changing world, that kind of education becomes more and more irrelevant -- learning the problems and the solutions of the past, which is not productive in solving the problems of the present -- which would be the useful education of these times.

Rather than learning the information of the past, it would be much more useful to learn the information of this actual present -- since that is what we all wish to know, and know very little about. We don’t have to know how a problem was solved in the past in order to learn how it can be solved in the present. The former is just wasteful -- a continuation of a tradition of knowledge that is obsolete, while ignoring the important lessons we need to solve in the present, which is to be aware of the present like no other.

One doesn’t need to learn the history of computing, in order to compute. One doesn’t need to learn the literature of the past to know how to communicate in the present. The great writers of the present have all surpassed the legends of the past -- not just because they know the works of the past, but because they begin with that heritage as their base -- as the standard for ordinary communications.

It’s not that the old icons need to be worshiped into perpetuity as an end in itself. Truly great people are not concerned that their legacy be remembered -- over paying attention to the actual living -- no matter how great their ideas. They just don’t think that way; the many mediocrities who follow and idolize, regard that as their meaning and purpose in life -- to acknowledge and celebrate the dead, while undermining and abusing those actually living. And then when those die, they will praise them greatly and endlessly -- as though that is the only affection allowed -- for the dead, and never the living.

It is a culture of the dead -- of memories, traditions, legacies and knowledge -- of the past. Living in the present, is not allowed; there is no language, no protocols for it -- in the old culture. But what is increasingly emerging is the culture of the present -- for which the traditional media has no abilities to perceive, and so it reported by the most perceptive almost exclusively in the new media (blogs) and other powerful new communications, that most are not aware of yet. It is all the communications of the past summarized and integrated into an overpowering effectiveness in these new times.

It is recognizable as the living language and culture of our times -- while the old is still living and not fully buried, kicking and screaming alive. But the writing is on the wall, and we see increasing defections from the old media now claiming they have always been the leaders and the pioneers of the new.


At June 23, 2006 9:15 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

The New Media is Starting to Look Old
June 23rd, 2006

There are many observers of the New Media who believe that blogs or other on-line communities will one day replace the mainstream media as the best way to transmit news and information to the American public. The rationale behind this revolution is that collectively speaking, bloggers are wiser, less prone to error, and when that error is discovered, ruthless in correcting the mistake.

The key, as new media herald Jeff Jarvis preaches, is content. With millions of on-line participants in the process, content will cease to be of paramount importance and instead, the community itself will emerge as both arbiter and disseminator of what we now consider “news.” No more gatekeepers. No more “reporters.”

In this brave new world, the act of sharing information itself through “linking” and other technological innovations will supplant the old paradigm of a small elite who writes, edits, and prints (or broadcasts) the news.

I have tremendous respect for Jarvis and others of his ilk who have devoted considerable thought to the new media and where it might be headed. And in the end, he may be proved a true prophet of the new age, a voice in the wilderness who pointed the way toward a bright future of citizen participation in the political conversation of the nation as we’ve never seen before.


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