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[Xmca-l] Re: Hyper-text

OK I will drop a thought into the mix to see what happens, in the hope that a few sparks here might ignite volatile minds elsewhere. For while I'm as much a partisan of paperbacks as anyone, I don't think the paperback novel is the dominant instrument today of social dialectic. 

Vygotsky in The Psychology of Art focuses on the shared worlds of experience created through literature, and shared among readers; he defines fables and poetry and literature as the core means of mediating experience. But isn't it really the shared aspect of an object to think with that is important? It is the fact of a shared external object that enables the coordination of experience, the shaping of beliefs and perceptions, and ultimately the creation of behavior. It is the interaction around shared objects that make them the instruments of oppression and consensus, and the revolutionary things that they are. 
Is the word the only means of shared experience? The object as a symbolic representation of the real world, subject to manipulation, to retelling, to reinterpreting, and especially to reusing, is as common to cinematic and artistic media as it is to word-based media. These may even be more powerful mediums of coordination initially (though less subject to capture through reuse), in that they appeal to the imagistic core of memory and behavioral regulation that we share with all mammals. The appeal of images and narrative, whether through illustrations mixed among the words in Alison in Wonderland, or through the cinematic popular media narratives of our era, are a link between the ritual world whose bones we see in the Lascaux cave paintings, and the games that politicians play today, with their multimedia narratives of identity-formation and symbolic evocation. These things often make little sense on the page, in part because they capture, like the Lascaux paintings, only part of the performance. The past is never dead, as Faulkner so accurately observed. It's not even past. It's showing on Sunday night on AMC, or in the theater around the corner. 

And what is one to make of music? The first audience of George Anthiel's "Ballet Mécanique" in minutes divided into two violently antagonistic parties, even as the music played, and rioted in the street outside the theater when it ended. Surely they shared something as an object of conflict, beyond words (but capable of being captured in them) that was uniquely human, cultural, and for them, worth fighting for (or against). 

Anyway, there it is, and I'll go away now. 


      From: mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu>
 To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu> 
 Sent: Friday, February 27, 2015 4:53 PM
 Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Hyper-text
Fascinating, Henry. thanks. Its difficult for us to remember that reading,
even after the printing press,was not an individual, isolatable, activity.
Interesting that we use reading aloud as a gateway activity for  reading
silently "for oneself" almost as if the ontogeny is recapitulating history.

On Thu, Feb 26, 2015 at 8:38 AM, HENRY SHONERD <hshonerd@gmail.com> wrote:

> People,
> I found this in the NY Times this morning:
> http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/27/arts/design/a-grolier-club-tribute-to-the-printer-aldus-manutius.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=photo-spot-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0#
> <
> http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/27/arts/design/a-grolier-club-tribute-to-the-printer-aldus-manutius.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=photo-spot-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0#
> >
> Also, this week we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the publication of
> Alice in Wonderland.
> Henry

It is the dilemma of psychology to deal as a natural science with an object
that creates history. Ernst Boesch.