Wednesday, October 24, 2007
what's bad for you?
we started a book club of sorts. picking a book and then discussing it here through comments and posts. this is the first one; "everything bad is good for you" by steven johnson. basically, he makes the point that pop culture is not dumbing us down, in some ways it is making people smarter. i found it ironic that johnson quotes a 2004 study from the national endowment for the arts; "...reading for pleasure had declined steadily among all major american demographic groups. the writer andrew solomon analyzed the consequences of this shift: 'people who read for pleasure are many times more likely than those who don't to visit museums and attend musical performances, almost three times as likely to perform volunteer and charity work and almost twice as likely to attend sporting events. readers, in other words are active while non readers- more than half the population- have settled into apathy." might be true but reminds me of the warnings and fears about magazines displacing and destroying newspaper and radio displacing magazines and books and television sounding the death knell of radio and the internet hastening the demise of all other media. it looks more like time spent with the internet and games etc changes things but ends nothing. still only so much time in a day; either fit more in or let something go. seems to be mostly fit more in. thus the multitasking.
but there is some reason why people often say the book was better than the movie. because they helped co author the book. hard to co author a movie when someone tells you what the character looks and sounds like. but maybe there is an element of co authoring games or is it all about the reward system of getting to the next level and sending dopamine through the circuitry of the brain? and are we co authoring at all when we get into games and have to figure out how it works as we go?
at any rate, is there a mass culture or a herd culture or both? does it make any difference when you are trying to develop and media neutral plan and strategy?
more to come(?)