Sunday, June 13, 2010

Everything You Know, You Learned From the Mass Media

"1984" is a very significant period in literature and history -- as depicted by George Orwell in his novel of that name. That year also signals the introduction of the (Apple) personal computer memorialized in the commercial that ran in that year's televised Super Bowl, of a woman throwing a hammer at a screen in which society and information is controlled by Big Brother, as represented by IBM and its centralized data processing monopolies. 1984 is also the year in which newspaper subscriptions peaked -- and have been in an irreversible decline since then.

At its peak though, the information in the "news," was sacrosanct -- as most information was popularized by that means, as though they were a official pipeline from the information priests, to the people awaiting the official word on what they should know. And in fact, the schools completed the triad by testing one on their "knowledge," of what they should have seen and retained in the mass media, as what every person needed to know -- as though that was absolute truth.

On a side note, for those who check into my blog on conditioning, that was also the year that the vaunted running guru was found dead on a roadside from a heart attack, which didn't seem to have a negative impact on the notion that the heart couldn't be overstressed from such conditioning. Many others would die subsequently, and their activity also not be implicated as a direct cause. One can see, only what one wants to see.

Up to that point, university professors were still going around proclaiming that everything that could be discovered, has already been discovered, and it was the work of the university professors now to perpetuate that information -- and graduate students were too late, in thinking that anything new could be discovered. Their task was simply to pass on the known (knowledge), to succeeding generations, and play their part in the endless repetition that was history.

In that way, 1984 signals a turning point -- when everything that used to be true, no longer was the monolithic truth, but cracks and challenges appeared everywhere that are still being resolved today. And in fact, the truth and truism of these times, is that nobody owns the truth exclusively, but everyone has the tools to find out for themselves now -- if they want to. That eliminates the convenient middleman that the press once played -- as popularizer of esoteric knowledge that only those with their credentials, had access to.

So that was the height of mass media, when that flow of information, was limited by the understanding of those who sought to spread that information more broadly -- as a public service. But seeing that, there were those who then sought to spread information, for their own exclusive benefit and advantage, which marketers have traditionally done, but also came to be blurred by those claiming that their own self-promotion and self-aggrandizement was the public good (interest), because what would the world be like, if they were not permanently awarded a position on top, as their own entitlement?

That's what the media has come to mean for those who have not learned the responsibilities of power, and its misuses and abuses, and so think that anything possible, is allowed -- until they are caught and expressly forbidden to continue. This is the missing element in those with a professional education rather than a traditional grounding in the foundaments of civilization and civilized behavior.

That is when a little learning becomes a dangerous thing -- to be used as a weapon against all the others, rather than as a tool for the common good. Such terms are not even mentioned very often anymore, as it is expected that everyone must be acting and thinking only for their partisan dominance over every other, and that one is simply a fool if they aren't grabbing for more than their fair share, understandably at the expense of everybody else. That is what is to understood by "professional," as partisan, and self-serving, and not, abiding by higher universal standards of conduct that apply to all under all conditions.


Post a Comment

<< Home