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Posts Tagged ‘Pop Culture’

Mining Emotions: What Makes Us So Invincible?

In 21st Century Culture, Millennial Generation on November 17, 2014 at 1:30 AM

This article was posted exactly 4 years ago, October 2010. It’s worth revisiting….

Originally posted by Remittance Girl here , we are asking what is happening to us today due to a mass media and technological revolution.

Why is it disturbing to see the wife of a trapped miner waiting for her husband to come up in the rescue pod? Because instead of being able to privately experience the horror and emotion, she must experience it publicly. Worse, she is under a microscope with reporters commenting on whether or not her reaction is appropriate. Filming her every move, we then, as an audience, consume it and the effective desensitization remains arguably indicative of a serious shift in our cultural and social AND personal interactions.

Noticing how social interactions and boundaries are not just erased, but realizing how they are being re-shaped as I write this blog post, is the subject of what will be an ongoing discussion. Think about the massive changes that have happened in how we live our day to day lives. How we share information and experience being human has undergone a dramatic shift. We, as individuals and as communities, are expected and encouraged to bare our souls over the internet, on reality television, thru social networks, and more, in a manner that may be unprecedented in human evolution. There is no respect for privacy anymore but at the same time, we sit in front of a screen in private viewing another person’s public exposure.

This emotional voyeurism has taken the place of experiencing emotions, further distancing us from the most natural element of humanity. With so many platforms for distribution and easy-to-use devices for user-generated content, it’s like a virus has infected all of us to such a degree that many of us find it disturbing. But it is hard to identify WHY or WHAT it is that disturbs us, so we do not know how to communicate it and thus, many remain silent.

Is it the fault of the media for producing it or the fault of the public for consuming it?

Very few people recognize how the law of unintended consequences works across the course of human history and most importantly, how we are NOT immune. Often, our technology far advances our tactical ability and as a result, it takes years for cultures to either catch up or recover from the profound effects. Compare today with the age following Gutenberg’s printing press and the introduction of moveable type to Europeans in the 15th and 16th Centuries. Think about all of the changes that occurred due to the spread of information: The Christian Reformation, Scientific Revolution…

Now consider the Information Age of Media and Technology, for all its good but unintended consequences. It is a valid hypothesis to argue that we DO underestimate how our own brain functions are being effected: http://www.sfn.org/index.aspx?pagename=brainBriefings_MirrorNeurons

Discovered in the early 1990s, Mirror Neurons are revolutionizing the way Neuroscientists understand human neurophysiology and brain function. This could do for Neuropsychology what DNA did for Biology. It also explains why Remittance Girl poses a valid argument towards how this dynamic in media technology today may be damaging us. Most certainly, we spend more time in front of a screen than in a social setting or among a group of people. We experience human emotion more frequently via television, photographs, social networks, mobile devices and the internet as opposed to being physically present.

CONTINUED

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From The Archives: Media Eating Its Head

In 21st Century Culture on August 4, 2011 at 2:55 AM

Media Eating Its Head.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: POST ONE

Thursday, August 4, 2011

This article remains as relevant today as it was when I published it, October 31, 2009.

The motif of 21st Century news media and information technology affecting our culture demonstrates an unintentional theme manifest throughout this blog. Originally, GidgetWidget 2.0  began as an experiment. I never imagined myself still here and blogging two years later. Most of all, realizing many of my published articles explore and question the affects of media on the social and political theaters. Our ability to distinguish propaganda and how technology affects our understanding, these represent motifs emerging from the Archives. “The Media Eating Its Head,” may be the first, building up to articles like MINING EMOTIONS: WHAT MAKES US SO INVINCIBLE?   or 21st CENTURY STORY TELLING AND ART: PART ONE 

My Twitter bio states that I read the Western Canon for fun. The truth is, I continue reading and learning the Classics not because it is fun, but because of its relevance. Its value, dear reader, diminishes with every ad hominem tweet.

We are very much the same as our Ancestors. Whether we follow the pattern of mistakes, or whether learning from these mistakes we avoid the horrific consequences, remains to be unseen.

Now in many ways it was natural to our ancestors, moved by a single resolve, to fight the battles of justice: for the very beginning of their life was just. They had not been collected, like most nations, from every quarter, and had not settled in a foreign land after driving out its people: they were born of the soil, and possessed in one and the same country their mother and their fatherland. [18] They were the first and the only people in that time to drive out the ruling classes of their state and to establish a democracy, believing the liberty of all to be the strongest bond of agreement; by sharing with each other the hopes born of their perils they had freedom of soul in, their civic life, [19] and used law for honoring the good and punishing the evil. For they deemed that it was the way of wild beasts to be held subject to one another by force, but the duty of men to delimit justice by law, to convince by reason, and to serve these two in act by submitting to the sovereignty of law and the instruction of reason.

— LYSIAS, FUNERAL ORATION [17 – 19] from Perseus

In what manner has the use of reason and logic changed over time? Enough so that in the 21st Century, with access to infinite resources and information, its application is falling into a state of entropy.

If you see the ignorance manifest in our media and in the digital landscape, then how can you not ask your readers to look more closely and notice it? We have intelligence, enormous potential; but will we throw it all away so easily? Our Ancestors have. They chose the Bread and Circuses, and the consequences which followed stand out as the Dark Ages.

We are hardly invincible but yet, why do we presume we are?


*

COPYRIGHT 2011 BY KIMBERLY COX

~ GIDGETWIDGET™

Telephone Games: Today’s News Media Without Journalism

In 21st Century Culture, FOR YOUR CONSIDERSTION, NEW!, NEWS AND COMMENTARY on April 6, 2011 at 6:48 PM

PROPAGANDA: Control The Media - The Media Controls Us

CAN YOU TELL THE DIFFERENCE?

April 6, 2011 — New York City

So, I’m adding some new links on my Blog Roll and went to the ArtsJournal: Theatre Daily News site for its http address, when an article from a few days ago caught my attention. “The Tangled Web of Broadway’s Spiderman,” read the headline. And like an idiot, I clicked on it, hoping to find something valuable. Of course, what I found and read was exactly the opposite. As 88% of all music has the same chord progressions, 99% of all news media, today, has the same “Opinion Progressions.”

Yes, the Idealist in me proves powerfully stubborn because of a personal faith in our culture’s positive aspects. Especially when it comes to seeking Journalism in an era when News Media has been absolving itself of whatever moral and ethical structure journalists hold as unspoken and sacred. The Newshounds and journalists out there, risking their lives in the field and/or battling to maintain a standard for the moral and ethical guidelines of their profession, DO EXIST. But can we, the readers and consumers, tell the difference between Op/Ed Conjecture and Op/Ed Journalism? Specifically, are we aware of how to differentiate between an article forming its conclusions based on incomplete information and one that forms its opinion from a complete analysis of evidence and source material?

Remember playing “The Telephone Game” or “Operator” when you were a kid? I do. I think my first memory was from around 1984…. The teachers instructing us how to play, as we, little fidgeting students, sit in a circle on our classroom floor….

“Now, I am going to whisper something in Ada’s ear,” the teacher said, “then Ada’s going to whisper it into Nat’s ear, and so on. Now, after you have passed the message along, try to remember what you heard and what you whispered to the person next to you. Once it goes all the way around the circle, I will ask Ada to tell the class what I whispered in her ear. Then, I will ask Tommy, who will be the last person to hear the message, to tell the class what he heard. Let’s see what happens!”

Everyone erupted into astonished giggles when we heard Ada’s answer and then, all began laughing uncontrollably when Tommy answered. I forget exactly what the little messages were, now that I’ve grown up, but I remember how much they were changed as they passed from one person to another. For kids, discovering how easily misinformation occurs and how silly it is that words can be misunderstood or changed, makes for a fun game. We all were shocked and excited by what occurred, eager to play again. All talking at once, telling each other about “what I heard and passed along,” because it all differed from the original message and then, even differed from the final message. For children, this is a wonder to learn and a big deal when first confronted with this kind of inexplicable chain of reaction. I’ll never forget the experience and the lessons of this little childhood exercise in communication.

After a few rounds of playing “Telephone,” eventually someone realized it would be even funnier to deliberately change the message. After the results caused mass hysteria among the 18 pint-sized rugrats, they quieted everyone down and turned the game into a lesson. Suddenly, it was no longer about playing a game and we listened solemnly to our stern teacher. “See what happens when we gossip? When we whisper secrets to each other? How easy it is for us to either misunderstand or, ON PURPOSE, change the story, even by just a little bit?  This is why we do not tell secrets and why you cannot trust gossip to be real. Because even if we are honest and do not mean to, we all can easily miscommunicate and easily misunderstand.”

CONTINUE READING

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Ring-Around-A-Rosie, Lay Me Down To Sleep

In Daily Musings, FOR YOUR CONSIDERSTION, HAUNTED, poetry on February 16, 2011 at 10:02 PM

#FLASHVERSE 02:26

Ring a-round a-rosie

Pocket full of posies

Ashes

Ashes

We all

fall

DOWN

Now I lay me down to sleep

I pray the Lord my soul to keep

If I should die before I wake

I pray the Lord my soul to take

God Bless Mommy, and Daddy, Grama and Grampa….

There was a turtle by the name of Bert

Bert the turtle was very alert;
When danger threatened, he never got hurt
He knew just what to do…

He’d duck!

[gasp]

And cover!

Duck!

[gasp]

AND COVER!

He did what we all must learn to do

You

And You

And You

A N D   Y O U !

[bang, gasp]

Duck, and cover!


Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o’clock in the morning.

This is the way the world ends

This is the way the world ends

This is the way the world ends

Not with a bang but a…

~

~

So is the equal poise of this fell war.

Compilation by Kimberly Cox, © 2011

GidgetWidget™ All Rights Reserved for content posted via Twitter and Tumblr Platforms

THE MICHAEL BAY ALGORITHM

In 21st Century Culture on November 11, 2010 at 3:03 PM

Watching TRANSFORMERS.

Suddenly, the Michael Bay “FORMULA” becomes clear!

THE M-BAY BANG HYPOTHESIS ™


If the value of

X = [ (VFX/Action Sequence) ª ]

~

and

~
( ª ) = “Awesomeness” Exponent ≥  ( 100 ª ) for total Sum of 100 pages


{ *Note: Page #s must hold a value exclusive and free from all unitities of time, place and action. Unlimited Action/SFX sequences }


(Exposition)

+

(Comedic Sequence + Suspenseful Build thru Irrelevant Dialogue + Light Action)

+

X (2ª )

+

ƒ = (X)(Slow-Mo)


[ (X) 6 ª ≤  + ( X ) 32 ª  ]

{ Execute and repeat every 3 pages. }


X ≥  [  ƒ = 32 ª ]

+

( Insert comedic reference/action by small child.)

+

[ (Insert relevant moral message) 42 ª ]

X <   [ ( ƒ= ∫  (100 ª) ]

∏ = (Insert relevant moral message) ª

+

(Insert death of minor character) 60 ª

÷

.25 (Ingratiate emotion)

+

(Jump Cut) + (X) 61 ª

[ REPEAT ]

X

ƒ = SUM (100ª)

=

¹ Sincerest apologies for any mathematical errors but do believe that the overall gist works with any Michael Bay film.

THE MICHAEL BAY ALGORITHM ™

Copyright 2008 Kimberly Cox, All Rights Reserved

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