Saturday, February 28, 2004

Back at Anna:

Your last points are very well taken, especially about Miles Davis. I've always been fascinated by what a difference it makes to hear music live. Some music I genuinely dislike hearing through speakers, but then when I hear it in person I'm able to enjoy it because of the immediacy of the experience. (Never noticed this before, but the word 'immediacy' looks like it pretty much suggests live as opposed to conveyed via media like TV, radio, books, computers... that's either interesting or a simple-minded observation, and my brain's so fatigued I can't tell which.)

The only lingering thought I have is that we're still left with the other example, a written copy of a Shakespeare sonnet. It is purely mediated yet potentially greatly affecting. I guess you can read it out loud or hear somebody read it to you, and that improves the experience. We can make the example tougher by considering instead one of his plays. With those the purpose is more to see and hear the play performed, but I must admit that I am often more affected by reading them because I can take them at my own pace, and I have time to reflect on the meaning and the artistry of the language.

Due to aforementioned fatigue I can't quite spell out how that ties back to monitors, keyboards and wires, but I guess its that I don't see how you can dis computer-mediated interaction without indirectly criticizing books to an even greater extent. Nobody can deny that both are worthless unless they are enjoyed within the context of an otherwise rich and fulfulling, and unmediated, life, but nevertheless they both have astounding potential to enrich life as well.

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