Thursday, September 2, 2010

Of Capernicus, the Format, and Andrew Breitbart


I was fascinated by today's lecture and readings. During the lecture, I felt as if there was a deluge of knowledge and insight and that I was trying to catch it all with a cup! Something tells me that this is not going to be unique. And for that, I am excited. There were a few points brought up in class today that I found very interesting. Therefore, I thought I should comment on them in this blog.
For one, the concept that our society is recapitulating a renaissance and reformation-esque movement is fascinating, and is in many ways—true. As I thought about the specific point made that the paradigm shift from a Ptolemaic to a Copernican worldview was far more than a matter of astronomy but an issue that stuck at the very center of epistemology and the source/authority of knowledge i.e. the traditional source of knowledge (the Catholic church) was challenged which eventually lead to knowledge coming from individuals, science, and discovery, I realized that there are many aspects of society that are going through an analogous transformation. For the purpose of this blog, I will briefly discuss only two:
The Music Industry
Since the origins of recorded music, record labels and radio stations have largely dictated what music was available to the general public. However, the digital revolution has completely shattered the control and influence these institutions have over society’s sound-scape. Now, any emerging band can essentially reach a fan base and become successful without the traditional help of a record Label. A pretty good example of this (though they are everywhere) is a personal favorite of mine, called the Format.
Read about their story here
Here is a fascinating movie on the subject:


News Media
Another example is news. For most of recent history, news consumed by the general public has come from major news corporations and conglomerates. However, the internet revolution has allowed independent and semi-independent journalists to reach thousands with significant influence via online blogs and webpages. Examples: Matt Drudge (www.drudgereport.com/) and Andrew Brietbart (http://www.breitbart.com/).