Which relates, somehow, to an upcoming discussion of social media, or at least: That makes me think of…
One of the things that we’re likely to hear is that, “Social Media is not new, or perhaps News; humans, being mammals, have always been ‘social beings.” Which is certainly true and probably a good antidote for the bandwagon virus. It does, however, leave out the factors of time and scale. Radio and telegraph are, in the same sense, only shouting, and the internet only television writ generally producible. If the fact that you can send a message from Europe to America in seconds rather than months seems to you not to matter, then saying that there’s no news to social media is no doubt profound. Profound or not, it’s undoubtedly important, because when you do factor in scale and immediacy you get sea-change.
In the late ’90s you heard a lot of ed-tech conversations about whether instructional technology improved learning. Nowadays there doesn’t seem to be much point to that discussion; technology educational and otherwise is water. It’s not good or bad; neither useful nor a waste of time. It’s what we do, and you do or don’t participate at your own risk. Either way you’re making the culture, the world; you always have been, nothing new there. But if you think about it, it gets confusing:
“Today abstraction is no longer that of the map, the double, the mirror, or the concept. Simulation is no longer that of a territory, a referential being or substance. It is the generation by models of a real without origin or reality: A hyperreal. The territory no longer precedes the map, nor does it survive it. It is nevertheless the map that precedes the territory – precession of simulacra – that engenders the territory.” (Baudrillard, 1994, p. 1)
Neil Gaiman makes it a little more human:
One describes a tale best by telling the tale. You see? The way one describes a story, to oneself or the world, is by telling the story. It is a balancing act and it is a dream. The more accurate the map, the more it resembles the territory. The most accurate map possible would be the territory, and thus would be perfectly accurate and perfectly useless. The tale is the map that is the territory.