Monday, March 22, 2010

Knowing and Being Known

The overarching imperative of communications is to know and to be known.

But mass media's paradigm was to control and manipulate, which is something else entirely, and so the device of "anonymity" is obviously not to be known, and to let another to know all the information and to maintain that advantage.

So in the world and wave of personal computers and personal communications, mass media will obviously be the big loser, because its whole machinery is designed to make people anonymous -- except for the editors, columnists and reporters -- who then become "famous," and powerful, often for no good reason. That is the cult of "celebrity," which the mass media machinery used to control, but now obviously, there is something beyond mass media to control.

That's problematical for the people of that old mass media mentality whose purpose is designed to create those tollgates and hierarchies -- of people who then "speak for the people," but now, people can speak for themselves, and so we have a very different picture of humanity than when a self-designated few spoke for everyone, so they could remain anonymous, and told them what they should think as the socially and politically correct -- even if only by editorial manipulations.

When the World Wide Web was first getting started, a few recognized that the power of the Internet was that everybody could now become as famous as they were capable of being -- but not, as always, that everybody would be or become equally famous. Being known, is not enough, if one doesn't have the talent worthy of that publicity, otherwise, one is just known as a fool or a mediocrity -- and people feeling that, obviously would prefer not to be known for it, but will choose to adopt avatars or advertising images as the "MagnificentOne, or the "AllKnowingOne," along with "SexyBabe."

It is really the old mass media that derives its power in promoting anonymity, or keeping everyone but themselves unknown, while they promote themselves and their "anointed" ones as the proof and exercise of that power.

Every legitimate, talented and honest person would of course prefer to be known for precisely those reasons -- as who they really are.


At March 22, 2010 6:15 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

Unfortunately, some of the great abusers of anonymity were initially famous, self-promoting people of the mass media, proclaiming their own greatness in the disguise of other aliases.

But it's hard to fake authenticity. It just looks like authentic fakery.


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