Pioneers of the world wide web envisioned an all inclusive Internet where everyone can become their own media as unified senders and receivers with a historical wink to Brecht’s radio theory.
Our beloved, indie powered, decentralized, civil web emerged after military orders to invent a communication system that could circumvent a nuclear attack; it’s core has a much deeper element of control and surveillance than we’d like to admit.
At the same time, it’s never been eaiser to waste time on shiny looking interfaces. Whether it’s contact list grabbing apps or centralized plattforms with data sucking vacuum cleaners, convienient distractions that grab us by the ego can be our biggest enemy.
When everyone becomes their own media and can potentially reach the entire world, whether it’s firearm sales propaganda from the NRA or private banalities from Joe Shmo, everyone adds their own account of the truth rather than a closer account towards a common truth.
At the dawn of broadcast audio in 1927, Brecht argued in his radio theory that now anyone could say anything to everyone, which is a fundamental democratic empowerment, yet some producers and recipients might get lost in their own matrix. He noted further that a producer who has something to say without listeners is in a tight spot, whereas recipients who can’t find producers who have something to say might even be worse off.
Brecht thought that radio as a medium didn’t produce anything new, but rather imitates and amplifies what already exists. He might still have a point in our amplified attention economy of 2018. Rather than giving a voice to the voiceless as an idealistic view of recipient producer harmony, digital content, still or moving, is mostly market conform coupled with eye catching banalities, neatly packaged as shopping advice.
What gets amplified, repackaged and potentially monetized is in constant negotiation, whether it means having something to say or simply saying something is pretty much up to producer recipient plattforms and those who support and finance them.
via The Guardian