November 2003 Archives

Your finger points to the moon, But the finger is blind until the moon appears.

What connection has moon and finger?
Are they separate objects or bound?

This is a question for beginners
Wrapped in seas of ignorance.

Yet one who looks beyond metaphor
Knows there is no finger; there is no moon.

• Ryokan (1758-1831)


Part.1.Introduction. Old Neos.

Electronic media, and the effects it has on the way we experience reality, are under intensive scrutiny by postmodern thinkers - the bigger the part it (or IT) plays in our lives, the more dramatic the announcements regarding its possible effects become.

Theories about reality's distortion, duplication, alienation and even sheer elimination abound, and often make one forget that while these theories, and the thinkers who bear them, are contemporary, the notions in question are far from it. As will be shown later in this essay, the problematic nature of mediated reality has been the concern of ancient human cultures for thousands of years.

This does not mean that nothing has changed. Electronic media still play a significant part in the way our reality is produced and, more importantly, perceived. By juxtaposing old issues and new ones, I am hoping to shed light on one of electronic media's most unique effects.

To sum it in a trendy postmodern phrase - I will use technology as a metaphor in order to contemplate the use of metaphor as a technology.

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