This was posted Jan 30 I swear, just in the wrong place


Jessica Westermeier Media Ecology response

Posted on January 30, 2012


Postmen speech focuses on how media ecology, and technological advancements can either help or hinder the morality of its users. While he recognizes the usefulness of the printed word, and the efficiency of the internet he points out that men who have helped form the modern world like Aristotle, have warned us of technologies dangers, and advantages. The key is to discover how media balances our lives. ”Human beings live in two differ- ent kinds of environments. One is the natural environment and consists of things like air, trees, rivers, and caterpillars. The other is the media environment, which consists of language, numbers, images, holograms, and all of the other symbols, techniques, and machinery that make us what we are” ( Postmen, 2000, pg.11).


Post takes the time to speak on what media ecology is and what is means, saying “We put the word “media” in the front of the word “ecology” to suggest that we were not simply interested in media, but in the ways in which the interaction between media and human beings give a culture its character and, one might say, help a culture to maintain symbolic balance”( Postmen, 2000, pg.11).  Postmen’s concern with the morality of technology and its users is not necessary grounded in humanistic theory, though he recognizes that we (as humans) choose to interpret any technological advancement in terms of drawing meaning and value from it, while disagreeing on what an advantage and disadvantage is, although Postmen notes that time changes perspectives, ”not all people agree on what is an advantage or a disadvantage, and that time might alter our judgment of the effects of a me- dium, one can still take a definite view about whether or not a medium contributes to or under- mines humane concepts” ( Postmen, 2000, pg. 13). Finally, Postmen notes that the duality of media, both for good and evil is the result of the user, and their perspectives and use.

The most difficult concept in this weeks reading, at least for me, was the general disagreement on the notion of “media ecology,” as the right term for the congruence between media and its environment, and the overall effect one has on the other. Understanding Media Ecology with Brian Cogan (only the first half of the video) helped further explain what “media ecology” is and how media really mixes with its surrounding to create a new reality.

Discussion Questions:

“is there really a moral question when talking about technology, or is it the users choice?”

“Does media ecology really sum up all of the interactions that media has with the environment in which is exists?”

“How do we follow the evolution of the medias ecosystem and how it affects humans?”


About westermeiej

I am a Comm 563 student
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