EJM Designs Limited Blog

Friday, March 13, 2009

Luddites ISO Copulation with New Media

What fantastic timing. I just wrote a post on how Twitter can be quite useful in the real world, if you take the time to learn and appreciate its nuances.

And then Columbia Journalism School professor Ari Goldman, on the first day teaching Research and Writing 1 says "Fuck new media." (please note: not a huge fan of profanity, but not afraid of it when appropriate):
"F*ck new media," the coordinator of the RW1 program, Ari Goldman, said to his RW1 students on their first day of class, according to one student. Goldman, a former Times reporter and sixteen-year veteran RW1 professor, described new-media training as “playing with toys,” according to another student, and characterized the digital movement as “an experimentation in gadgetry.”
This would be the technology equivalent of an SEO Expert saying that Twitter is stupid and not worth the time. Why would someone say that? Because they never took the time to understand it.

At our core, while many of us embrace it, many more of us fear change. Change is something different, is something new and foreign and if we don't understand it at a glance, it is something to be feared.

Ari's problem is his perception of media as a whole. He does not want to acknowledge that the internet is changing the way we look at media even though the unemployment and ad dollars and circulation figures of industries like newspapers are staring him in the face. Why? Ari's a media expert - or was. He's got a good bead on things - or did. People get complacent and when something shifts, they grumble. If it gets pulled out from under them, they become fearful. In order to protect their psyche, they do not show fear but exhibit anger, puffing and beating on their chest. And they scream "Fuck new media!" while shaking their fist at God.

But everything changes. You can shake your fist at written language, at the printing press, at radio, at television, at recorded music, at internet...everything, but it'll keep on coming, faster and faster. Everybody knows this Ari. Even you, at some level.

Especially in media and technology, especially in our ever-accelerating present, embracing change is necessity, and cursing it only exposes you as a fool. Get a foothold, take the time, and take it in. Otherwise, perhaps in ten years, someone will dust you off, point, and say "That's how NOT to relate to reality."

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