Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Understanding New Media: Chapters 8-15

One of the most notable things about this book is it's structure. Each chapter is introduced with a description of the chapter topic's "Content and Extension, Cascade, and Laws of Media". This background information provided at the beginning of each chapter contributes to our enhanced understanding of New Media. A unique feature of this book is its emphasis on how different elements of communication are interrelated and some how converge into the realm of new media. Chapters 8-14 involve the spoken word, the written word, roads and paper routes, numbers, clothing, housing, and money. In Chapter 8, a concern was brought up about the possibility that New Media would make English a dominating language and cause the depletion of other spoken languages. However, the author counters this concern by stating that although New Media will increase the use of English, it will not eliminate other languages. The New Media in fact contributes to the expansion of abstract terminology used in spoken language. Furthermore, programs have been created so that more websites will be available in a variety of different languages. Another matter was brought up in Chapter 9 that entailed the New Media's effect on the written word. Although most would expect that New Media would bring about the deterioration of written word, it actually encourages it. New Media constantly involves written word through activities such as e-mailing, texting, and blogging. Another interesting topic in this reading is Chapter 11 concerning numbers. The use of 1s and 0s has created a digital revolution that form the foundations  of computers. Digitization involves "the use of numbers in binary form in which any number can be expressed in terms of ones and zeros (111)". This technological advancement gave rise to the codes used for audio and video information that is present in the New Media technologies of today.

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