“In World War II Hitler confounded U.S. intelligence” [doesn’t take much] “by making himself appear to be in more than one place at a time. Hitler’s technicians” [distant relatives of Lucifer] “it turned out, had developed magnetic recording tape – an innovation the allied forces could not even imagine yet.” [Witchcraft is a beautiful thing] “In this very direct way, Hitler used exclusive media technology to create an image of the world that was untrue” [we learned from the best]
I know my takeaway from this quote may seem a bit facetious but can you blame me?
I just think it’s so funny to know that Hitler’s reign of terror over Americans and the European population was backed by the advent of media technology. Granted that statement is a huge oversight given the fact that he was behind millions and millions of deaths in the 1900s. Now I know the purpose of the article is to further dissect viral memes and Rushkoff delves into the origins of viral media dating back to conquest of the early frontiers and the end result being nothing left to conquer, but I can’t help but to linger on the thought that the U.S. Intelligence could be “confounded” by what seems to be camera magic! At any rate the title of this blog post is completely irrelevant to the discussion, I just wanted to use it!
However, I digress.
Rushkoff’s description of the interworking of the datasphere definitely clashes with Dawkins notion of the meme being a selfish replicator! I believe viral memes play a significant role within mediaspace whether they are for self expression or to be utilized within viral marketing. At the end of the day there will always be some kind of hidden agenda placed into the meme “protein shell” as denoted by Rushkoff.
That’s why I’m not surprised by Rushkoff’s statement on how businesses jumped on the bandwagon of using media campaigns to market their own interests. Capitalization of personal interest has only spawned an even bigger monster: the datasphere.
Which leads me to my next favorite quote:
“Television advertisements, programs, and even movies came to promote a world-view in which happiness can be purchased” [so it can’t?]
I know happiness cannot be purchased but then I wonder what a world without advertisements would be like? Would we all drive Kia’s, be married with 1.5 kids and have a white picket fence that encased Lassie, or would we all naturally just gravitate to our own personal interests and be satisfied with that? (I lean towards the latter argument)
I almost question my purpose for existence with this reading(not really). If I’m brainwashed to believe what I like and how I understand the world around me then am I but a mere drone on this place called earth?
Rushkoff brings his dissection full circle by stating that viral memes have inadvertently (thanks to the evolution of the datasphere) combatted the ploys of public relations in media by giving voice to the people. We no longer have to be placed into a box of what is acceptable to say, think, eat, wear or purchase as “feedback media keeps dissident individuals from feeling that they are alone”.
Now we can assert our opinions freely and take control of our thoughts and opinions. The power does rest in the hands of the consumer and potentially the hacker as well, but we must be careful in doing this as there is potential to leave a legacy that could negatively effect us for generations to come.