From The Book ReportThe author of the The Book Report:
There is a delightful moment in Goethe’s The Man of 50 where the man of fifty enters into the beautiful widow’s salon and she tells him she was just having a debate with a friend about whether anyone can make a work of art without some audience in mind. Josefowicz’s point, I think, is a continuation of Goethe’s thought experiment.
. . . Andrew Piper, is an assistant professor of German studies and an associate member of art history and communication studies at McGill University. His research interests focus on the intersections of literary creativity and bibliographic communication from the eighteenth century to the present. His book, Dreaming in Books: The Making of the Bibliographic Imagination in the Romantic Age, will be appearing soon with the University of Chicago Press.I've been looking and thinking about the problem from the point of view of the print industry, the print object and how that print object fits into an evolving communication ecology. From what I infer from Andrew Piper's blog, he is looking at the problem from the point of view of the author and the challenges/opportunities in an evolving media landscape. My sense is that it is a potentially productive intersections of world views.
In his discussion he says "It (printernet meme) puts an emphasis on audience- and time-specific writing within a more universal template."
"Time-specific writing" is a nice way to describe it. In my native language I would say the just the right information in just the right format at just the right time. Time-specific writing is a more elegant way to look at it. If it were also space specific or perhaps space/time specific we are pointing to the same reality and I could say that communication, marketing, educational, or artistic will tend to succeed if it is space/time specific for a specific receiver/customer/reader.
In a communication ecology thought model, the reader is the receiver. The author is the sender.The writing is a signal. The receiver is surrounded by an information membrane. To the extent that the signal has something of interest, the outside membrane becomes permeable. To the extent that the signal is wrapped in a story that fits into the resident stories in the receiver's library, it will pass through the membrane surrounding receiver's internal library.
To the extent that the new story undergoes the process of compare and contrast with stories resident in the receiver's library, new stories may be formed. The production of new stories resident in the receiver's library is an operational definition of what we call "learning."
In the terms of the printernet focused on the ecology of print production, the appropriate terms are OEM - the original equipment manufacturer, the OPM - the original product manufacturer, the VAR - who combines product and software in the service of the client, and the UNF - the user network facilitator who manages the growth of a self organizing network.
Perhaps there is a useful correspondence to clarify the communication process. The OEM can be seen as the biological base of living individuals. The OPM may be seen as the author. The VAR is the process of crafting words and pictures into stories that pass the membrane of the customer. The UNF may turn out be a useful way to think about the process that creates what we are trying to point to with "consciousness."
The issue is to clarify how does a meme spread? Why is some writing successful at small scale? Why is some writing successful at mass scales? What does it mean that learning has occurred? And most importantly, what are the forms of the most successful interventions to increase learning.
In communication ecology language the notion is that changes in the receiver's space/time has some kind of definable relationships to the semi-permeability of the membrane that surrounds both the reader and the reader's library. When focus occurs, the membrane is relatively more permeable. When the reader is under condition of fear, certain signals can pass through, other signals cannot.
Stories that pass the outside membrane have to travel through the second to fit into the library. The more easily it fits into the resident stories, the faster it is integrated. But if it integrated too easily, it merely leads to a more resilient common wisdom. But when it does not fit easily, a decision process occurs. The new story is judged either wrong, interesting or surprising. If a new story is judged true and suprising it may present as a joke or a paradox.
It if presents as a paradox, compare and contrast occurs. Signals have to be embedded in a new story and thus change the complex structure of resident stories and learning is said to occur.
Anything come to mind? more to come . . .