The Rise of the Image, the Fall of the Word

Oxford University Press
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For decades educators and cultural critics have deplored the corrosive effects of electronic media on the national consciousness. The average American reads less often, writes less well. And, numbed by the frenetic image-bombardment of music videos, commercials and sound bites, we may also, it is argued, think less profoundly. But wait. Is it just possible that some good might arise from the ashes of the printed word? Most emphatically yes, argues Mitchell Stephens, who asserts that the moving image is likely to make our thoughts not more feeble but more robust. Through a fascinating overview of previous communications revolutions, Stephens demonstrates that the charges that have been leveled against television have been faced by most new media, including writing and print. Centuries elapsed before most of these new forms of communication would be used to produce works of art and intellect of sufficient stature to overcome this inevitable mistrust and nostalgia. Using examples taken from the history of photography and film, as well as MTV, experimental films, and Pepsi commercials, the author considers the kinds of work that might unleash, in time, the full power of moving images. And he argues that these works--an emerging computer-edited and -distributed "new video"--have the potential to inspire transformations in thought on a level with those inspired by the products of writing and print. Stephens sees in video's complexities, simultaneities, and juxtapositions, new ways of understanding and perhaps even surmounting the tumult and confusions of contemporary life. Sure to spark lively--even heated--debate, The Rise of the Image, the Fall of the Word belongs in the library of millennium-watchers everywhere.
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About the author

Mitchell Stevens is Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication, New York University. His books include A History of the News, and Broadcast News. He has written on media and contemporary thought for The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Washington Post. He lives in New York City.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Oxford University Press
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Published on
Oct 8, 1998
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Pages
272
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ISBN
9780199874460
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Language
English
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Genres
Language Arts & Disciplines / Journalism
Performing Arts / Television / History & Criticism
Social Science / Future Studies
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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The past two decades witnessed the rise of television entertainment in China. Although television networks are still state-owned and Party-controlled in China, the ideological landscape of television programs has become increasingly diverse and even paradoxical, simultaneously subservient and defiant, nationalistic and cosmopolitan, moralistic and fun-loving, extravagant and mundane. Studying Chinese television as a key node in the network of power relationships, therefore, provides us with a unique opportunity to understand the tension-fraught and , paradox-permeated conditions of Chinese post-socialism.

This book argues for a serious engagement with television entertainment. rethinking, It addresses the following questions. How is entertainment television politically and culturally significant in the Chinese context? How have political, industrial, and technological changes in the 2000s affected the way Chinese television relates to the state and society? How can we think of media regulation and censorship without perpetuating the myth of a self-serving authoritarian regime vs. a subdued cultural workforce? What do popular televisual texts tell us about the unsettled and reconfigured relations between commercial television and the state? The book presents a number of studies of popular television programs that are sensitive to the changing production and regulatory contexts for Chinese television in the twenty-first century.

As an interdisciplinary study of the television industry, this book covers a number of important issues in China today, such as censorship, nationalism, consumerism, social justice, and the central and local authorities. As such, it will appeal to a broad audience including students and scholars of Chinese culture and society, media studies, television studies, and cultural studies.

Multimodal Composing provides strategies for writing center directors and consultants working with writers whose texts are visual, technological, creative, and performative—texts they may be unaccustomed to reading, producing, or tutoring. This book is a focused conversation on how rhetorical, design, and multimodal principles inform consultation strategies, especially when working with genres that are less familiar or traditional.

Multimodal Composing explores the relationship between rhetorical choices, design thinking, accessibility, and technological awareness in the writing center. Each chapter deepens consultants’ understanding of multimodal composing by introducing them to important features and practices in a variety of multimodal texts. The chapters’ activities provide consultants with an experience that familiarizes them with design thinking and multimodal projects, and a companion website (www.multimodalwritingcenter.org) offers access to additional resources that are difficult to reproduce in print (and includes updated links to resources and tools).

Multimodal projects are becoming the norm across disciplines, and writers expect consultants to have a working knowledge of how to answer their questions. Multimodal Composing introduces consultants to key elements in design, technology, audio, and visual media and explains how these elements relate to the rhetorical and expressive nature of written, visual, and spoken communication. Peer, graduate student, professional tutors and writing center directors will benefit from the activities and strategies presented in this guide.


Contributors:
Patrick Anderson, Shawn Apostel, Jarrod Barben, Brandy Ball Blake, Sarah Blazer, Brenta Blevins, Russell Carpenter, Florence Davies, Kate Flom Derrick, Lauri Dietz, Clint Gardner, Karen J. Head, Alyse Knorr, Jarret Krone, Sohui Lee, Joe McCormick, Courtnie Morin, Alice Johnston Myatt, Molly Schoen, James C. W. Truman

Image Studies offers an engaging introduction to visual and image studies.

In order to better understand images and visual culture the book seeks to bridge between theory and practice; asking the reader to think critically about images and image practices, but also simultaneously to make images and engage with image-makers and image-making processes. Looking across a range of domains and disciplines, we find the image is never a single, static thing. Rather, the image can be a concept, an object, a picture, or medium – and all these things combined. At the heart of this book is the idea of an ‘ecology of images’, through which we can examine the full ‘life’ of an image – to understand how an image resonates within a complex set of contexts, processes and uses.

Part 1 covers theoretical perspectives on the image, supplemented with practical entries on making, researching and writing with images. Part 2 explores specific image practices and cultures, with chapters on drawing and painting; photography; visual culture; scientific imaging; and informational images.

A wide range of illustrations complement the text throughout and each chapter includes creative tasks, keywords (linked to an online resource), summaries and suggested further reading. In addition, each of the main chapters include selected readings by notable authors across a range of subject areas, including: Art History, Business, Cognitive Science, Communication Studies, Infographics, Neuroscience, Photography, Physics, Science Studies, Social Semiotics, Statistics, and Visual Culture.

The human brain has some capabilities that the brains of other animals lack. It is to these distinctive capabilities that our species owes its dominant position. Other animals have stronger muscles or sharper claws, but we have cleverer brains. If machine brains one day come to surpass human brains in general intelligence, then this new superintelligence could become very powerful. As the fate of the gorillas now depends more on us humans than on the gorillas themselves, so the fate of our species then would come to depend on the actions of the machine superintelligence. But we have one advantage: we get to make the first move. Will it be possible to construct a seed AI or otherwise to engineer initial conditions so as to make an intelligence explosion survivable? How could one achieve a controlled detonation? To get closer to an answer to this question, we must make our way through a fascinating landscape of topics and considerations. Read the book and learn about oracles, genies, singletons; about boxing methods, tripwires, and mind crime; about humanity's cosmic endowment and differential technological development; indirect normativity, instrumental convergence, whole brain emulation and technology couplings; Malthusian economics and dystopian evolution; artificial intelligence, and biological cognitive enhancement, and collective intelligence. This profoundly ambitious and original book picks its way carefully through a vast tract of forbiddingly difficult intellectual terrain. Yet the writing is so lucid that it somehow makes it all seem easy. After an utterly engrossing journey that takes us to the frontiers of thinking about the human condition and the future of intelligent life, we find in Nick Bostrom's work nothing less than a reconceptualization of the essential task of our time.
Official U.S. edition with full color illustrations throughout.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Yuval Noah Harari, author of the critically-acclaimed New York Times bestseller and international phenomenon Sapiens, returns with an equally original, compelling, and provocative book, turning his focus toward humanity’s future, and our quest to upgrade humans into gods.

Over the past century humankind has managed to do the impossible and rein in famine, plague, and war. This may seem hard to accept, but, as Harari explains in his trademark style—thorough, yet riveting—famine, plague and war have been transformed from incomprehensible and uncontrollable forces of nature into manageable challenges. For the first time ever, more people die from eating too much than from eating too little; more people die from old age than from infectious diseases; and more people commit suicide than are killed by soldiers, terrorists and criminals put together. The average American is a thousand times more likely to die from binging at McDonalds than from being blown up by Al Qaeda.

What then will replace famine, plague, and war at the top of the human agenda? As the self-made gods of planet earth, what destinies will we set ourselves, and which quests will we undertake? Homo Deus explores the projects, dreams and nightmares that will shape the twenty-first century—from overcoming death to creating artificial life. It asks the fundamental questions: Where do we go from here? And how will we protect this fragile world from our own destructive powers? This is the next stage of evolution. This is Homo Deus.

With the same insight and clarity that made Sapiens an international hit and a New York Times bestseller, Harari maps out our future.

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