Monday, March 31, 2008

Cyberspace is King

In Chapter three Beniger describes cyberspace as the ultimate form of communicating. He goes as far as to say that " it might be be seen as th single greatest reversal in human history of the trend to centralized social control" even though it has only been around for the past twenty years. The chapter is centered around the question, who shall control cyberspace, and the answer is everyone. Cyberspace consists of three components: material, relational, and cognitive. These three components make cyberspace its own culture in a way. It consists of tangible artifacts which fulfills its material culture. It posses widely shared information which make it a symbolic or relational culture. Lastly the cognitive culture can be seen in its ability to display less widely shared meanings that influence the behavior of a particular individual by being able to display information in all languages.
Although this way of communicating has exceeded all other forms, it also presents an immediate setback. While the radio and newspapers were able to reach out to millions of people at once, computers have the same ability but to a much greater degree. Although this form of communicating makes these older forms such as facsimile as well as the postal service obsolete to some extent, it doesn't make it more effective. Cyberspace is limitless and this makes it control decentralized. Our behavior is most affected by those we care most about or see most often. However, we can not see everyone through the internet because of it vast multitude. This means that although cyberspace has the greatest range but not the greatest effectiveness because of its target audience. If you were to publish a story it would be better to start of small with perhaps a local newspaper instead of a site online because the chance of anyone caring about who wrote the article or what it's about is very slim. Cyberspace is the best for mass communication because it branches out to the most individuals, but two way communication is more personal because any question can be monitored and responded to, and this form of communication is much better than one-way in controlling human behavior

1 comment:

Lance Strate said...

on the other hand, cyberspace allows an artist to find his or her audience, because you are not limited by geography to a small population, out of whom only a very small minority may be interested in what you're doing. With a global reach, you might find the scattered small audience that would elude you otherwise. There's also the long tail phenomenon, that you can continue to reach people over a prolonged period of time, whereas print media goes out of print, for example.