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Fifth Information Revolution - continued

The first part is here .

The beginning of the 20th century revealed the fourth information revolution.

mass media

In the 90s of the 19th century, independently of each other, Popov, Marconi and Tesla invented a means of transmitting information over a distance - radio. In 1916, regular broadcasting of the first radio station began - 9XM in the USA. In the mid-20s, the first convenient and affordable radios appeared. Then began the first experiments on the transmission of video.

TV and radio broadcasting provide a number of opportunities that fundamentally distinguish them from print publications:

a) the possibility of instant delivery of information;
b) the ability to transmit live speech (and the image in the case of television);
c) the ability to deliver information for free to the consumer;
d) the ability to surround the consumer with information 24 hours a day.

It is impossible to even invent a more perfect political tool. The politician is in direct (but one-sided!) Contact with the audience; a lively voice convinces much better than a printed word, and besides, the interlocutor is deprived of the opportunity to object; Finally, the television or radio channel broadcasts to the whole country, and even to the whole world.

The distribution of cinema, radio and television falls on the interwar period - a period of crises, the collapse of the established social structure (including the collapse of a large family). The spread of the media multiplied by the emotional hunger turns the people into a mass .

The phenomenon of the formation of the masses and mass movements (fascism, first of all) is considered in detail in many works of historians and philosophers; I will note the “Sources of totalitarianism” by Hannah Arendt and Ortega i Gasset’s Rising of the Masses. The issues of manipulation of the mind through the media are excellently set out in the book of the same name by SGKara-Murza (which, among other things, is itself an excellent practical guide on the manipulation of consciousness). In addition, I would recommend the book “Ears Waving a Donkey” here by a team of Russian authors and a lecture on the promotion of Pavel Danilin.

The formation of the masses, of mass consciousness, had the most direct influence on the history of mankind of the mid-20th century - alas, far from positive. However, the sobering up after the end of the Second World War came pretty quickly. The person of the information society has successfully adapted to attempts to influence him and, in general, is much less prone to large-scale informational effects, although long-term isolation quite quickly reduces the immunity to nothing, as the experience of Perestroika shows.

Note here also some other consequences of the appearance of the media. First of all, it is the formation of mass culture.

It is considered that mass culture has always been; Of course, it is not. Mass culture is unthinkable without a mass listener (the viewer) and simply cannot exist in the absence of mass means of information delivery. In addition, radio and television have completely changed the format of a work of art. If earlier, in order to listen to some work, a person had to clearly express this desire (to come to a concert or at least to a street square where artists performed), then the invention of radio and television surrounded a person with information literally from all sides. Modern man, on the contrary, has to turn on the incoming audiovisual information filters and learn to ignore it. Accordingly, a successful work of mass art should successfully overcome these filters, which led to radical changes in the format of works of art - suffice it to say that of all the diversity of musical genres, only one song is represented in popular culture.

Another significant feature of the media was the new format of monetization - through advertising. Since no “instance” of a radio or television program has ever existed and no centralized accounting was possible, radio stations and television channels initially lived only through advertising (commercial or political). The lack of feedback between the media and the consumer only contributed to this, and the lack of consumer recording equipment prevented conflicts between the two ways to monetize art (individual copies in the case of books and records, advertising in the case of radio and television). However, the idyll did not last long - until the beginning of the 21st century, when

the Internet

We are all now experiencing another, fifth, information revolution, although we do not notice this. The Internet has equally upset both traditional media and traditional publishing houses.

The concept of "instance" is no more. The concept of "feedback" is now.

The cost of disseminating information has become zero. Although modern legislation continues to operate with some mythical "instances", their absurdity is obvious to anyone: when you transfer a file over the network, hundreds or more unrecorded "instances" are created and destroyed. By and large, the fifth information revolution has destroyed all imaginable barriers to the dissemination of information and has eliminated all the shortcomings of analog carriers.

On the other hand, the connection “person - information space” from simplex became full duplex. Anyone can both get information from the Internet (besides the one he wants, without any reference to the same TV program for all), and deliver it. If earlier a disagreeable opinion could simply not be put on radio / television - now it is impossible. Any interesting message to the Internet community can instantly climb to the top, and absolutely any user can become a thousand-blogger. Of course, the traditional methods of propaganda are excellently transferred to the Internet, but they work much worse - there is no longer a one-way contact, you have to answer uncomfortable questions. Monetization of the media through advertising is significantly worse.

All this gives rise to active resistance on the part of both classical media and label publishers, as well as politicians; which, on the whole, is not surprising. As a result, we see active attempts to regulate the Internet using pseudo-legal methods, both under the pretext of fighting “extremism” and under the pretext of observing mythical “intellectual rights”.

It seems that the Internet as a medium for disseminating information represents a giant breakthrough, the significance of which for humanity has not yet been fully understood. The Internet is able to offer each individual inexhaustible intellectual wealth. Unfortunately, due to the antisocial position of the so-called. “Holders of rights”, the Internet is not yet able to provide feedback - an adequate reward for replenishing these riches. I want to believe that this problem will be overcome.

The Internet as a media is already a unique and unexplored phenomenon. Although it is often spoken of, ostensibly, permissiveness, the Internet clearly demonstrates the excellent ability to self-organization and self-moderation; The Internet shows that human society truly considers unacceptable and what does not. For example, the notorious child porn is almost impossible to meet on the Internet - and this is clearly not because of its illegality, because the illegality of torrents doesn’t bother anyone. Representation of the most diverse spectra of opinions on the Internet, right down to frankly extremist, I personally consider the Internet to be a giant plus as media (and the marginality of these opinions is a clear indicator of their persuasiveness). As Voltaire said, “I do not agree with one word that you speak, but I am ready to die for your right to say it.”

The Internet as a policy tool also has great potential, precisely because of that notorious feedback. Fail policy, ignoring uncomfortable questions, is obvious to everyone on the Internet, and it is much more difficult to pass it off as a wine than on TV. But after all, the significance of the Internet as a political mechanism is far from being exhausted; Internet significantly expands citizen involvement in politics - a more or less informed opinion on any issue can be made in just a few seconds. The Internet provides far more convenient opportunities for citizen participation in public discussion of political issues than traditional offline methods, up to and including the introduction of the most genuine direct democracy.

Finally, the Internet is once again revolutionizing the cultural space. The Internet is not a radio, the listener is again not fighting off the annoying content, but purposefully looking for what he needs. It is difficult to say whether the influence of mass culture on the listener's tastes is reversible, but I want to believe that it is reversible.

Thank you all for your attention.

I hereby convey the above text to the public domain.

Source: https://habr.com/ru/post/107047/

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