Saturday, April 18, 2009

Teresa's qs on postmodernism and new media

1-Baudrillard criticizes the Watergate case by saying that rather than a scandal, it was a normal outcome of the monstrous enterprise of contemporary politics. He also asserts that the CIA and the Washington Post journalists created this scandal to regenerate, or simulate, morality. When I think about Watergate, I think about the press and its watchdog role, I also think about investigative journalism. Therefore, does this idea ultimately suggest that the press will be always working in a logic of simulation for someone or something?

2-Poster suggests that the new modes of information “indicates communication practices that constitute subjects as unstable, multiple and diffuse” (p. 540). Isn’t it more positive to think that new communication technologies, rather than instability, allow a constant rearticulation of the self. Using Baudrillard's ideas, does the emergence of new applications (e.g., Second life and then Facebook) give people new opportunities to simulate who we are, to situate the self in a new social context?

3-In Poster’s article, there is this idea that the success of virtual communities may be an indication that real communities are in decline. He asserts that the opposition “real” and “virtual” contains difficulties. Similarly, I wonder if, nowadays, it is still worth it to distinguish between offline and online world.

4-One of Cammaerts’ critiques to blogs is censorship by governments. Not surprisingly, those governments are already repressive (e.g., Iran). Therefore, that critique seems off-base. Do these blogs represent at least a voice of expression that would not exist otherwise?

5-Cammaerts also talk about how the privacy and intimacy boundaries are blurring in the Web 2.0. Indeed, the definition of privacy and its boundaries have changed, especially for younger generations. What once was considered private, now it is not so much. At this moment, these new definitions or boundaries of what constitutes private life are consequential, as Cammaerts points out (e.g., in the labor market, employers use information found in the Web against their employees). I wonder whether this is part of a life cycle (when younger people grow, they would be more concerned about their privacy and they would move back those boundaries) or this new technologies will change forever our once–called private lives. I also wonder what are the consequences of these changes for journalism and reporting methods?

6-The blogosphere is sometimes regarded as the new public sphere in Habermassian terms. Would these new technologies and Internet applications allow us to talk about a global public sphere?

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