A new rhetoric: Essays on using the internet to communicate by Mr R E Stewart

By Mr R E Stewart

The essays during this ebook study where of electronic communications or "rhetoric" in smooth tradition. They recommend that, just like the printing revolution sooner than it, the net is shaping tectonic cultural flow, yet is at present stuck among conventional technocratic methods of considering, and the extra unpredictable terrain of human behaviour.

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Extra resources for A new rhetoric: Essays on using the internet to communicate

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Suddenly the flood of information and knowledge made the wider world considerably more intelligible, controllable and predictable. Human beings, armed with technology, such as precisely printed and standardised maps, could literally conquer the world. The data that the internet has generated, and is generating, might be thought to only reinforce the trend established at the height of modernity. But the sheer volume of this data doesn’t always bring with it the same sense of confidence; if anything, it is now almost overwhelming, exhausting and confounding.

Are our internal organs on display? Like the printing press, the internet is more than just a technological innovation. It too provides a way of mining for data at deeper levels and on a scale previously unimaginable. It too has already changed the ways human beings go about their lives and certain aspects of modern culture. Like the early days – or decades, if not centuries – of the printing press, the web itself and its myriad technologies have managed to capture a lot of attention. This attention is a limpet on the back of the new possibilities which abound.

In any televised debate between politicians and the public, the public almost always assumes (by default) a cynical attitude towards the politicians in general and the incumbent administration in particular, regardless of their political colours. This suggests, paradoxically, that the voice of the public, even carried by the electoral register, thinks of itself as partly alienated from the exercise of power, and therefore either angry, disillusioned or perhaps simply indifferent. It’s almost a simple arithmetical argument to suggest that the internet might help this predicament.

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