Ong, Lanham, and Predicting Culture

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3 thoughts on “Ong, Lanham, and Predicting Culture

  1. I’m glad you chose to engage this “culture shift” element of Tuesday’s reading and discussion. You make a good point about mobility being inherent in the electronic/Internet culture shift, even if it was less than surface-level. Now maybe I’m too easily swayed by any semi-convincing argument, but I think Justin’s suggestion of a mobile age could be valid but perhaps more agreeable under a new name. Maybe it’s more a matter of applicability or universality as opposed to mobility. We might say that our technology and media are “everywhere” implying that it’s able to go everywhere (portable), but perhaps what we mean is that the media we are engaging have evolved to touch more areas of human existence and to transcend geographical boundaries (ubiquity). Not that this suggestion would help “define” the culture forming around us, because, as you and Justin both said, a culture is harder to define from within than in retrospect. Just thought I might take a stab at the label in question.

  2. I also was curious about the relationship of mobile technologies to previous “shifts” (orality to writing, etc.) I was wondering if perhaps the “mobility” of the mobile (also related to what you were saying about “today’s” mobile not necessarily being fundamentally different from previous electronic technologies) indicates some sort of return to orality, esp. in its modular constraints & behaviors (the 140 characters of twitter, for instance).

  3. Well, I just typed out this long response and then apparently I wasn’t logged in and it got deleted. So, in the interest of time I’m going to summarize what I said:

    Here’s a question to consider: in today’s age is cultural change happening as rapidly with the effects of mass communication and globalization as it did during the 15th century when new technology led to the literal discovery of a “new world?” Or has the pace of cultural change slowed in spite of the fact that new technologies are being invented more rapidly than ever?

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