erica cheng

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Reading summary: Technologies of the Third Mediamorphosis

What are the effects of applying computing power to communication?

In Technologies of the Third Mediamorphosis, Roger Fidler describes the computing process as “using a set of rules (programs) for breaking down a problem into many small pieces that could be easily and quickly solved, and then reassembling the individual pieces to yield the solution.” Though the process is so circuitous that makes the procedure seem more complicated, the computing process actually simplify the problem and increase the efficiency on solving a problem.

As far as I’m concerned, efficiency is the most important effect of applying computing power to communication. Computing power provides faster methods for producing and transporting information, which increase speed and volume of information exchange (information moves at electric speed). Furthermore, computing power can help select the “useful” information (e.g., search function) and organize the information, increasing the speed for users to get the right or preferred information as well as making the information easier to be absorbed.

In addition, computing power applied on Mosaic browser technology and WWW, has attributed to instantaneous communication, feedback across distance, and synchronicity. The Mosaic technology simplifies the way of accessing into internet and browsing online, and the Web simplifies the managing and displaying of mixed media content and opens the door to online publishing via the Net. As McLuhan perceived, when information moves at electric speed, the world of trends and rumors becomes the "real" world, which is located in the virtual environment through internet. The computing power provides the capability for two-way exchange of information, as well as creates the growing sense of closeness and interdependence among people around the world, empowering users to maintain relationships and to control activities at a distance. Globalization of communication is realized in this way.

At last, computing power may accelerate the cross impacts of emerging technologies and the development of new media, helping create or discover new methods that can be applied to communication.

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