The Second Eclectic

Technology changes how we relate to God and each other

Media Ecology: What others are talking about.

A number of noteworthy items on media ecology have shown up around the Internet in recent weeks. Here are a few that have caught my interest.

In 2007, Nicholas Carr asked, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” This year he has released a book on the same topic—The Shallows—and wrote an article for the Washington Post this week. Adam Thierer has reservations but still recommends the book. Jonah Lehrer disagrees with Carr’s claims in the book. And Alan Jacobs wishes he could.

Connected to Carr’s new book, John Dyer at Don’t Eat the Fruit asked “Are Chapter and Verse Numbers Making Us Stupid?”

Fast Company says that the human eye can detect resolutions up 300 pixels per inch. Meanwhile, the new iPhone 4’s resolution equals 326 pixels per inch, making it easier on the eye. I wonder, Does this nullfiy McLuhan’s discussion of TV as a cool medium in which the brain connects the dots to establish closure and create the image. In other words, what does this resolution mean for our brains and how we think and process the visual data?

Goodbye Gamer—Hello Blog recounts a story I had not heard about Conan O'Brien after he got ousted by NBC. Then he compares O’Brien's use of Twitter to O’Brien’s native television language, providing some interesting insights.

PowerPoint also provides for some interesting analysis. J. Michel Metz discusses how presenters misuse PowerPoint—trying to force a hot medium (PowerPoint) in to a cool context (oral presentations). Meanwhile, the New York Times recently reported a story of how PowerPoint has started reshaping military communication by "bulletizing" complex problems and oversimplifying them. This is a classic case of how the medium tends to shape the message.

Finally, two videos from the media ecology world.

Your mom taught you well