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Academic Post 02

Socrates Was Right, Plus Suttle Media Ecology
Written by Julie Metni, September 10, 2008

First and foremost, my apologies if this post runs longer than the typical 200-250 word limit.

Ever since the cave, the human creature has known only one solid, concrete and never-changing state of being: the state of development, change, and most importantly, discovery. The one thing that has changed, inconsistently, is the reason for man’s need to discover or create.

…A quote within a quote? You bet your bottom dollar it is.

“ ‘The unexamined life is not worth living.’ –Socrates” –I. Reilly

You sir, are a mind-reader.

Take everything that you have ever been taught. Take it, and throw it all into a blender. Plug in the blender; let the things that you threw into the mechanism tear into a million pieces while you listen to the hum of a 1998 Sears kitchen appliance. Add some fruits for taste, if you like. When you are done blending it, pour it into a cup, thermos, mug, shoe, whatever your heart fancies, and feed it to the squirrels in your backyard.

Why are you doing all this to begin with, you may ask? (Why not?)

Well, why does anyone do anything? Why do the birds fly south for the winter, and why do babies cry? Simply because of their pressing natural needs to. Things like this are natural. Chucking the sum of your grade-school education out the window, however, is solely your choice.

I’m trying to say: Make your own decisions. Do not follow the leader. (Of course, if it gets you into jail for rebellion, I’d say I’d rather take care in following the law.) Do not account for all of the people who fall into the same spiral of silence(1). Society tells you or leaves you with the impression that what there is to be examined already has been examined; that what they are presenting to you is current and precise, modern and unique. This has been going on forever. However, gaps are created between what you think has been done, and what you have not done.

Step away from the noise and static, close your eyes, and be your own medium. Be the medium for those who haven’t the strength or guts to stand up for what they believe in or for those who simply choose to abide by rules on account of arrogance or laziness. That’s right: YOU are the medium for YOUR message. Explore yourself, be what you want and not what common society creates for us.

I have lost myself in this; I have lost my place. I forgot that the personal pronoun is how this river flows, however I cannot help but get carried away. Can you blame me? Blogging is exciting!

Yes, I just said that. Anyways, earlier I mentioned the spiral of silence(2), which simply is the lack of a backbone and therefore the ability to speak up when one believes that something is not right. When the minority disagrees with the majority, with little to none possible ways to make a difference or create change, they end up silenced by the “Man” and regress into a cycle of regret and lack of communication. The internet, however, has made it possible for countless of angry or unheard citizens of common society to stir change in the online community, and in occasional cases, further into reality.

What I want to conclude in all this is this: Do not let the products of mass communication like silencing or originality get you down. I definitely feed off of it, if anything, and only use the cliché misconceptions as a fuel for my fire to create a better, more rounded society.

Northrop Frye states in The Educated Imagination that all experiences or decisions are based upon or stem from previously made decisions or stories of the past(3). While I agree with him and his use of writing as a medium, I also believe that humans should not abide by what has already been done. It is a difficult process, but creating something for your own – even something that the world doesn’t need to know about, like your own individual thought or decisions – is truly what humans strive for. So go ahead and reach for the mouse or remote control, watch the mindless, scripted sit-coms and Wheel-of-Fortune… but I personally believe that fortune comes from the guts within yourself, and your ability to pull them out and use them.

I therefore will use my education to further my imagination and expand my ideas to the world. The World Wide Web is only step one!

 

Again, I apologize for the length of this post. In future I will try to condense.

(1) Produced by Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann, quoted by Marshall McLuhan in an interview with Playboy (1994).

(2) Ibid

(3) Frye, Northrop. The Educated Imagination. (2002 Edition). Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Toronto.


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