Thinking through moving media

Mitchell Stephens

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    That we are in the midst of a major communications revolution is hard to miss nowadays. But what exactly is perpetrating this revolution? There are many candidates for the "invention" of our time - the one that seems to have pressed the "refresh" button on a significant stretch of human culture. Was it the computer, the personal computer, the Internet, the World Wide Web, Google, the smart phone or perhaps even Facebook? Or was it the digital coding of information, in general, that has been leading us into a new era? This paper will employ a historical perspective in an attempt to sort out some of these contributions, and it will propose that the truly revolutionary invention of our time may turn out to be none of the above. Instead it may prove to be an invention with older roots: the moving image and its younger companion, the moving word. My thesis is that this communications revolution, like those led by writing and print, will have a more profound effect, a more thoroughly revolutionary effect than merely facilitating our access to wisdom, diversions or each other. This paper will argue that this communications revolution in its most radical manifestations will help us develop new ways of thinking.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1133-1154
    Number of pages22
    JournalSocial Research
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - Dec 2011

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Sociology and Political Science
    • General Social Sciences


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