Friday, 7 January 2011


Things I've learned while marking essays today:
1. The internet is the most influential communications medium in history. (Never mind that the majority of people alive today have never used a phone, let alone a computer. My money, across the history of human communications, is still on speech, with writing coming second).

2. Comic books and magazines allowed society to appreciate both images and texts. Heavens, I wonder how people managed before them.

3. Media will continually consider the medium. Eh?

4. Mass media empowered the world in ways which were deemed impossible. No, me neither. It's just words.

5. The only form of communication prior to the creation of television, would have been the radio.

6. In hospital settings both the medium and the content are important as without either communication would break and miscommunication could result. (This is an entire paragraph with no further context).

There are some excellent pieces of work, but I seem to have hit a patch of plagiarists and fantasists. It's very depressing. Especially when they do nothing but recycle my lecture material with just enough distortion to reverse what I'm actually saying. Sigh…


Ewarwoowar said...

Regarding point 1), it's clearly some form of sign language or hand gestures?

If I liked a plate of food a Chinese man had given me, nothing I could say would tell him I liked it, or nothing I wrote, but if I put my thumbs up he would probably understand.

Thinking out loud there so probably overlooked something which I'm sure you'll point out.

The Plashing Vole said...

We'll never know about what came first but you could be right.

How is a Chinese man meant to know that a thumb up is positive? It's a completely arbitrary sign and only in our culture and cultures we've influenced does it mean approval. Head-shaking means yes in some places, and no in others. There's nothing intrinsic about any gesture (word/image/sound) that means anything: it's a collective (limited and temporary) agreement within a culture that gives it meaning.

neal said...

I'd give that Chinese man a cheeky smile and maybe pat my belly.

I think facial expressions are pretty universal.