Media Revolutions.

Continued from A1...

Most historians will label the advancements in human civilization as:

  1. Roaming tribes->settled tribes
  2. Hunter gather->agriculture
  3. Agriculture->Industrial
  4. Industrial->Digital

     We would view this as misclassification. The true revolution for human civilization lies within the media and communication. The first advancement in human civilization took place with the pictorial depictions (cave art, hieroglyphics). This first media invention allowed the communication of ideas and concepts in the most basic of abstract forms. A simple drawing of an animal or tree allowed one human to communicate a concept to another human. The next revolution came with the advent of the phonetic and written alphabet. The invention of the alphabet allowed humans to communicate complex ideas between each other. Take the word “bridge” for example, just by speaking or reading the word “bridge” and your mind can conjure up an idea of the most simplistic form of a log placed across a stream to a wide spanning cable bridge, such as the Golden Gate Bridge. But an image of a bridge, say such as the Golden Gate, grounds your imagination to that bridge alone. Not only did this root the figure to the ground and create a connected thought, it also allowed our brains to develop logical thoughts and concepts. The third revolution to take place was the invention of the printing press. The printing press allowed the written word to spread concepts and logical thoughts far and wide to anyone who could get a copy of a book or drawing in their hands. This also allowed the mass production of Blue Print and design plans for complex manufacturing tools and machines. This revolution spanned from Martin Luthers 95 thesis to the mass distribution of scientific studies and concepts for satellites, computers and political manifestos such as the Communist Manifesto, religious texts, Mein Kampf and Atlas Shrugged. The fourth media revolution came in the form of communication satellites in the late 60s through the 80s. The radio wave revolution has led to the birth of the Internet, Social Media, the Arab spring, Trumpism, Brexit, the rise of Alt-Right, BLM, cyber warfare, mass produced moments of culture shock and terror; 9/11 being the first of those moments. The radio wave is transforming every aspect of our lives. From the way we work (app based service industry), the way we process and exchange value for goods (digital payments, crypto), the way we communicate (social media, texting, face time, emojis) to each of us having a micro-computer within our palms or pockets at all times. This revolution is also contributing to our awaking in thought and a move back to abstract thought as we move away form text/written word to emoji, gifs, emoticons and memes.

     In order to re-establish our society and to move back to connected thought, we must establish a balance between visual and text based learning. We need to restore education, restore knowledge, restore the written word, restore literacy and create a balance between abstract and logical thought. We must balance screen time and book time. Outdoor time and indoor time. Face to face and FaceTime. Text and emojis. Street smarts and book smart.

     When driving down a highway if you drift too far left you crash. If you drift too far right you crash. The safe spot and best place to travel is right in the center.