TED Conversations

Mitch SMith


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Media and the divide of harm

That which goes between us is our media.

Colin Stokes asks us: Are we served by our media? He asks us: Are the movies we watch skewing the functions of our roles?

Here is Anne Summers aproaching the question from a broader outlook, but a narrower focus of intention:

But can we draw back further and discern broader implications?

If this is all true and that which is between us "media" is skewd from our benefit - what is the gap? What is it we are missing? We percieve harm, but what exactly is this harm?

I will lay down 2 ways to approach these questions:

1. Our world views consist of personal experience, and the report of the experience of others. That which we accept in report is assumption - untested, and yet we accept it as if seen by our own eyes. Here is one gap - can we truly separate our own experience from false artifacts in our media? If we can - are we training ourselves and our children to make thesse distinctions?

2. The deficit between Broadcast and Transactional media. In all broadcast media, there is only one active participant - the broadcaster. The reciever is entirely passive - In theatre we call this the "suspension of disbelief" - the material of the broadcast is taken as reality, and yet it is rarely tested. In transactional media, each participant mediates passivity by questioning - are we losing the art of the question?

I argue that the underlying principle goes before modern forms such as movies and internet. I argue that the absurdity of our broadcast-propagandised diet has its seeds well into the past - that it arises from an far older harm which is perpetuated in our media.

I name that harm violence. And I place it squarely at the door of the alpha male - and his ultimate form: the psychopath.

Here is Sapolski revealing the violent patriarchal culture of baboons, and the alternative matriarchal culture of baboons:

Can we learn from this?


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    Jan 22 2013: Thanks for posting, Mitch. Speaking for myself, I seem to respond better to conversations that present the question very simply and directly, and don't require me to watch videos to understand the question. Can you tell me your question really simply and directly?
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      Jan 22 2013: Hi Greg,

      I can. But there is a balance between simplicity and complexity - those things which are most simple in utility are the most complex in analysis. Keeping that in mind:

      What is the absolute nature of falsehood?
      Is there a way to compreshensively avoid false witness?

      These questions are at the root of my inquiry. These are old questions and I have tried to avoid the common generalities - which have garnered their own set of falsity over the years. It is very difficult to penetrate the errors of the millenia.

      My research into the "error of report" isolates a number of components - they are all related to personal advantage in the social context. In this discussion, I'm interested in seeing the observations of others.

      It is the tension between the self as an individual and the self as a community which requires reliable methods of ballance. To date, the job has been left to the soft arts of philosophy and politics - it's about time it became science.

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