04 September 2015

from Lawrence, SATURDAY (SEPT) PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: New ways of communication

Dear friends,

This Saturday we return to our tertulia. I hope you had a good summer
whilst we were away on holidays. You will remember that for September we
meet on Saturdays at the Centro Segoviano at 6:30pm.

Our topic is "New ways of communication" which might suppose physical
means of communications such as the internet, mobile phones, 24/7 news
bulletins, radio and so on. And then we have the social media itself
such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. These social media have two
things in common: ordinary people share their experiences and knowledge,
and secondly this information once diffused is difficult to hide.
Compare this with the distant past when a handful of editors and media
owners controlled the content of what we read and the government was
basically a closed boxed when it came to truthful information.

But in my opinion there is a third aspect to new ways of communications
and that is the language we use. We are more direct with our
information, we are also to the point and today we certainly don't mind
expressing our beliefs in their raw form; politeness can easily be
excluded in favour of emotional impact. And most important of all today
we share a huge amount of information with the rest of the world through
images such as platforms like YouTube, Instagram and Flickr.

Today we don't want to be told that a leading company has a new mobile
phone, today we want to see a picture of the phone; today we don't just
want to be told that a storm destroyed a village we want to see an image
of the damage. Today we want evidence, proof and the most important
thing of all, we want to be there to see for ourselves. Hence, a new
form of communication are the cheap flights (low costs) that actually
make it possible to be "there". Of course cheap is not necessarily
better or good, cheap (cheaper) means crude and impersonal!

The downside of all this is that not only do we have information
overload but also a huge amount of white noise and misinformation. Just
because we have access to more information it does not mean that we now
live in a utopia. The predator-prey game is still there, and those who
do not have access to real time information are certainly exposing

The event horizon, i.e. the time it takes for information about an event
to reach us, of many world events has been shortened to minutes if not
seconds. Compare this with the state of affairs when our main source of
information was the nine o'clock news and the morning dailies. However,
there is a catch with today's plethora of information: all this
information we have access to is written in different languages. And
although English is by far the most used language on the internet (see
wikipedia) some of this information originates in a different language
other than English. And we cannot always ignore this information
especially the more we travel to places where they speak a different
language from us. The question for us is whether this rapid and fast
acting technology means that we are also converging into a single
dominant language?

Hopefully next week I'll try and write a more detailed essay.

Best Lawrence

tel: 606081813
philomadrid@gmail.com <mailto:philomadrid@gmail.com>
Blog: http://philomadrid.blogspot.com.es/
PhiloMadrid Meeting
Meet 6:30pm
Centro Segoviano
Alburquerque, 14
28010 Madrid
Metro: Bilbao
Open Tertulia in English every
Thursdays at Triskel in c/San Vicente Ferrer 3.
Time: from 19:30 to 21h

from Lawrence, SATURDAY (SEPT) PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: New ways
of communication

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