Newmedia on Tue, 22 Feb 2011 23:13:04 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> Twitter does not cause revolution, people do

Of course new MEDIA *cause* new behaviors.  This type of causality is  
called FORMAL CAUSE and it has been understood since (at least) Aristotle.
If you "re-structure" your life, then you will behave differently.   
Behavior under the condition of Egyptian "soap-operas" is different from the  
behavior under Twitter etc.
The "Why NOW?" question and the "What NEXT?" questions cannot be answered  
without understanding how MEDIA change our behavior and attitudes.
Current events should get us all to (re-)read "Understanding Media"  
(1964).  I am told that it is about to be re-printed in Chinese, how about  Arabic?
A good follow up would be "The Laws of Media" (1988) -- there are many  
fundamental lessons to be learned!
Then, for the more advanced student, you might try the just published  
"Media and Formal Cause" (Neopoesis Press, 2011).
Mark Stahlman
Brooklyn NY

In a message dated 2/22/2011 1:37:09 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,  web@roo writes:

OK, this  is getting annoying. No one's arguing that Twitter "causes"
revolution.  There's useful, intelligent debate to be had around how social
media might or  might not affect revolution, or how it alters the approaches
people take in  organizing (either positively or negatively), or whether it
limits the goals  of the revolution.

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