Friday, 2 March 2007

A Response

Dean Lockwood posted the following comment below which I think is worth reposting for discussion:

'Now you see this one-eyed midgetshouting the word "NOW"’

It’s not that smug to complain about students’ historical and cultural ignorance. I agree that Media and Cultural Studies has a pretty appalling record on the question of technology, but it’s clued-up at least in its emphasis on contextuality and articulation. The problem with a lot of new media critique, hyperbole and upgrade culture is that, like the cyclops, it lacks parallax. It looks monocularly just at the now and is prepared to junk genealogy, archaeology, etc. etc. When it does look for the patterns, tracing and mapping genealogies, the notion of revolution looks less and less appropriate. I agree with an awful lot of what you say, though. I’ve experienced the same things with students. They’re busy all night on World of Warcraft while I’m still trying to get to grips with Grand Theft Auto on my console (There’s obvious relief sometimes when they discover they’re talking to a lecturer who has at least played computer games in some form). They’re busy Myspacing and MSNing while I’m trying to find time to trawl through emails and update my research profile for the faculty website. And, yes, they’re passing on mobile phone porn when I’m struggling with just my tepid imagination. On the other hand, it’s always ugly when dads dance. A different (networked) experience of time is partly what it’s about. And unfortunately – I think it is unfortunate - it seems to mean students haven’t got time any more for books. I do worry about this - that they’re missing out on something valuable in so fully embracing the time of the network and refusing to do the slow time that books and critical reading require. Wikipedia is fabulous for all sorts of things, but sometimes it just doesn't cut it. Sometimes you just need to sit down with a few pages of Baudrillard or whoever and agonize a while about just what does this mean... Thinking just takes time. It still, as you know, demands blowing the dust off old tomes occasionally.