Zero to Eight: Children’s Media Use in America 2013
Should we be worried? Click the headline to see the infographic.
See on www.commonsensemedia.org
Distributed citizen groups and nimble hackers once had the edge. Now governments and corporations are catching up. Who will dominate in the decades ahead?
If internet security expert Brice Schneir is correct, our internet is increasingly resembling a feudal system. To avoid spiraling deeper into this abyss, he makes several practical suggestions, including the obvious point that we need more transparency, oversight and decentralization. And guess where it’s going to come from. Not the NSA or AT&T. It’s going to be a tough fight.
See on m.theatlantic.com
Our brains evolved to keep us happy and healthy, then along came electronics.
Media scholars Richard Maxwell and Toby Miller have a frank discussion about cellphones and brain waves. The uncomfortable truth is that phones and brains don’t vibe.
See on www.psychologytoday.com
In Ambient Commons, Malcolm McCullough explores the workings of attention though a rediscovery of surroundings. Not all that informs has been written and sent; not all attention involves deliberate thought. The intrinsic structure of space–the layout of a studio, for example, or a plaza–becomes part of any mental engagement with it. Without claiming how neuroscience proves “we” think this way or that, this book may help you understand embodied cognition. McCullough describes what he calls the Ambient: an increasing tendency to perceive information superabundance whole, where individual signals matter less, and at least some mediation assumes inhabitable form. He explores how the fixed forms of architecture and the city play a cognitive role in the the flow of ambient information. As a persistently inhabited world, can the Ambient be understood as a shared cultural resource, to be socially curated, voluntarily limited, and self-governed as if a commons? Ambient Commons invites you to look past current obsessions with smart phones to rethink attention itself, to care for more situated, often inescapable forms of information.
Malcolm McCullough’s Digital Ground is one of the best books on contemporary computing–he is quite literally one of the most grounded writers of the digital era. I haven’t yet finished his most recent, Ambient Commons, but I’m already digging his idea of information environmentalism.
See on ambientcommons.org
The rise of complex TV series and vast novels shows we still prefer commitment to a quick fix, writes Stuart Jeffries
The flipside of the "Google is making us stupid" polemic is the increased complexity of storytelling in the media. A lot of media literacy folks really hated Steven Johnson’s "TV is making us smarter" argument, but when you look at the way books, TV, film, comix and video games are being made these days, we should think critically about the "dumbing down" argument.
See on www.theguardian.com
Can learning the meaning of a single term actually help change the food system? David Evans and Alexis Koefoed think so. These poultry farmers explain the re…
A good lesson on how framing with language influences the way we think of food.
See on www.youtube.com
“A new book of essays on the meaning of Avatar, is a down-in-the-dirt wrestling match between those who resonate with it and those who hate a film that’s been labeled pro-civilization and anti-civilization, pro-science and anti-science, un-American…”
The book’s editor, Bron Taylor, writes: "In my own wrap up to the book I argue that, despite the many disagreements about the film, there are important truths in the film’s central themes, namely, that the spread of what we call civilization (first agricultural, later agro-industrial) has inexorably led to the destruction of both biological and cultural diversity. This is a reality that is seldom expressed in any nation today, for they are all wrapped up in pursuing economic growth with little concern for the damage this entails for peoples at the social margins let alone other species and environmental systems." I agree that the film plays an important role in a broader philosophical discussion and that some of the knee-jerk responses to its style and content have ignored how audiences actually responded to the film.
See on www.religiondispatches.org