Download e-book for kindle: New Media: The Key Concepts by Nicholas Gane, David Beer

By Nicholas Gane, David Beer

Electronic media are speedily altering the realm during which we are living. international communications, cellular interfaces and web cultures are re-configuring our daily lives and reports.  To comprehend those adjustments, a brand new theoretical mind's eye is required, one who is trained by way of a conceptual vocabulary that's capable of deal with the daunting complexity of the area this day. This booklet attracts on writings by way of prime social and cultural theorists to collect this vocabulary.  It addresses six key recommendations which are pivotal for realizing the influence of latest media on modern society and tradition: info, community, interface, interactivity, archive and simulation. every one proposal is taken into account via a number of concrete examples to demonstrate how they could be built and used as study instruments. An inter-disciplinary process is taken that spans a few fields, together with sociology, cultural reviews, media stories and laptop technological know-how.

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To again use the example of the mobile phone: in order for a text message to be composed and sent, the system handling the message must be able to recognize and code the characters the user selects, even if the precise text of the message typed is not known in advance. For such a system to work, it must be designed to process combinations of variables from a given set, and this is made easier because the probability of a user choosing certain characters to form a particular message can be calculated as a statistical measure.

A parallel is thus drawn between computer networks and social networks on the grounds that they share a similar infrastructure defined by the connections of which it is made up rather than by a bounded territorial whole (such as a network society). The task of social network analysis is to plot and interpret these connections by using the concept of network as a representational tool rather than as a theoretical metaphor. This approach is thus quite different to that forwarded by Castells. What is striking about this position is that little attention is paid in this account to the ways in which technology might shape the social relations to which it gives rise, or of how networks are made up not simply of humans but of complex relations between a range of human and non-human entities.

This reference to Tarde returns us to the writings of Deleuze and Guattari, in particular A Thousand Plateaus (1987) where Deleuze and Guattari pay homage to Tarde (1843–1904) for giving attention to ‘the world of detail, or of the infinitesimal: the little imitations, oppositions, and inventions constituting an entire realm of subrepresentative matter’ (1987: 218–19). What is important here is the marking out of different types of flow (of ‘belief and desire’): ‘Imitation is the propagation of a flow; opposition is binarization, the making binary of flows; invention is a conjugation or connection of different flows’ (Deleuze and Guattari 1987: 219).

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