Monday, December 12, 2005

Beyond Mass Media

While the Internet enables individuals to become indistinguishable from a massive organization and cultural institutions of long standing, it’s not a good idea to do that. Actually, the reverse is a better idea -- for a large, impersonal organization, to seem as personal, personable, and as individualized as possible. That is the adaptation that many are missing in the present evolution to better information and communication standards.

The strategy of the past -- to make one seem as impressive, formidable, authoritative and intimidating as possible -- which is the epitome of mass media and mass communications, is not the ultimate of effective and productive media and communication possibilities -- and those that proceed along that path, become totally irrelevant and out of touch, which are the criticisms of mass media that those in it, seem powerless to recognize. Their adaptation was of another era -- in which being impressive, formidable, intimidating and controlling, was the ideal and objective, but the new intellectual and cultural environment favors the quick, skillful and resourceful -- rather than seemingly unlimited resources and the power and authority of venerable institutions.

In a world of bluster, more bluster is not more impressive -- as the absence of it would be -- and distinguish one from the rest. When everyone thinks the objective of the group is to push their way to the head of the class, the only one who does not succumb to that strategy, obviously is the exception, the one who stands out. Meanwhile, doing what everybody else is doing unthinkingly, is the surest road to mediocrity, obscurity and frustration, ensuring one’s extinction, or at least, lack of distinction, while craving it all the more because those objectives grow more elusive.

That is the competitive advantage of misinforming one’s competition -- thinking one is in the know rather than an outsider looking in, thinking he knows. Inevitably in such gamesmanship, there is one who comes along and sees through the fallacy of those efforts, and re-envisions the game so that all those losing efforts are transformed into capital assets for the next level of success -- and thus they go beyond, where there was only self-canceling, mutually destructive efforts before.

By and large, the strategy of mass media, which many individuals also adopted, was to create the co-dependency of the information and communication relationship, disempowering the individual while aggrandizing the nameless, faceless mass media entity. But it was not a trade-off of value for value; it was a one-way street of power flowing from the individual to the organization -- while the revolution of these times, is the ending of the need for that disempowerment.

That is, that the individual, and not the collective, is the supreme power -- of their own lives! That is the remarkable transformation in consciousness in these times -- that others, individually or collectively, are not necessarily more powerful and effective than we can be as individuals. In fact, the individual can be far more powerful and effective because they are not cancelled out by others who may have different purposes and agendas. The purity of intent and purpose, can be actualized without all the extraneous considerations of others to undermine one’s effectiveness -- reinforcing the notion that individuals are powerless and only the collective, mass organization can be powerful.

In such times and circumstances, an individual speaking for themselves, does not defer to any higher authority. That is the meaning and fulfillment of the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America.


At December 12, 2005 9:51 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

One of the best illustrations of the misunderstanding and misuse of mass media technologies, is seen at these anti-war rallies in which a small group may be gathered and because there is no microphone, the speaker shouts at the top of his voice. So a thoughtful person comes along and brings a microphone and speaker system, whereupon the speaker continues to shout at the top of his voice, so that even those who have no interest in what they are saying, are forced to listen to what he has to say.

He doesn't realize that a far different dialogue and forum has now been made possible.

At December 12, 2005 9:59 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

Next, he will demand that everyone within the sound of his voice, must agree with him -- becuse he has the microphone.

At December 13, 2005 8:51 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

The newspapers like to give the impression that the First Amendment creates special rights and privileges granted only to professional journalists -- with oversight and supreme authority in any matters of controversy and dispute.

No, it establishes and protects the rights of all citizens to have their say. It is not, as many demagogues think, the right to impose their ideas on everybody else -- while suppressing and intimidating everybody else’s right to their own expression.

The unfortunate culture of the mass media, is that it became the tyranny of the mass media, for the mass media, by the mass media -- as every special interest group tends to become when entrusted with power. The skill to manage power responsibly is not something taught in most schools, and some “teachers” may even be the most authoritarian and despotic -- and so when people finally get any or a position of power themselves, the only thing many can think to do, is to use that power to put and keep everybody else down and in “their place“ -- which is what we’ve known as the political scene in Hawaii that has discouraged many people from wanting any involvement.

So obviously, mass media and the tyranny of the majority -- is not really “democracy,” no matter what people label themselves. Know them by their actions -- and not what they demand that you believe about them.

As we become used to free discourse -- the manipulations, deceptions, biases, coercions and partisanship become more obvious and apparent. The answer for the mass media is not to try harder at these ploys but to abandon them altogether. Undoubtedly a few blogger types will fill in the void but even in the mass medi, one doesn’t have to be doing what everybody else is doing. One can be the leader in the field.


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