Ems - Summer I ’11 - T101 Lecture 23: the Truman Show
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Ems - Summer I ’11 - T101 Lecture 23: the Truman Show

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  • Play Intro to Truman Show movie.
  • What you can do with your life in media depends entirely on what you think reality is.
  • Do we think of reality as something we can just reach out and touch but is established by someone or something else? Is it something that we can change? Is it what we as a society agree upon? Or is it something that only we experience in our own minds and bodies? These are four very different ways to think about what reality is. Each of these is derived from our media lives themselves.Reality has changed due to the fact that we live so much in media today. Our understanding and perception of reality is different today than it was 20 years ago.
  • Panopticon reality. This is the dominant way we look at reality
  • Self help gurus tell us we are the masters of our own destiny. These two are totally different ways of looking at reality.
  • Jeremy Bentham. Designed a prison. It was also a design for management. How do organize people to make sure a port works right? Boss yelling is not going to get everyone on the same page. He put a whole slew of middle managers in place. They act as representatives of the boss. It was about people watching them. Cells don’t have doors. Prisoners assume they are being watched by the guards all the time. It’s the perfect prison because at some point they don’t even need guards any more.
  • All roads lead to the slaughter house. We all buy into the system. Democracy in US. Obama said he would create change. He doesn’t. Every president does something then it gets turned back by the next president. They are like neo. They can’t really change anything. The matrix is a reality we all have to plug into but can’t change. In Google reality, we can change reality. It’s like matrix but we can change it. We agree it’s reality so it becomes reality.
  • Google/wikiality
  • Truman show
  • People are on their laptops while I talk. I operate under the illusion that I teach. You operate under the illusion that you learn. Silent disco is reality. It represents life in media life. What can we do in a silent disco today?
  • Narcism is not being in love with yourself. A narcisist has no idea who he or she is. He or she can only see his or her image and that image is beautiful. On social networks (most popular thing to do in new technological world). We maintain our image. This is the way we spend most of our time in media. We are in love with images of our self. We manicure our images on line meticulously. There is no such thing as privacy any more. This makes us paranoid. Paranoia is part of feeling like you are in the Truman Show. You’ll see a marked difference in who you are when you wake up in the morning, how you act in class, how you are with your best friends the ways you act at church. When you also look at how you use new comm techs, you see that life is a performance. I am performing the Lindsay that pretends to be a teacher. I wear certain clothes here to teach you. The world is a stage. This is an important way of seeing the world if we’re looking at it from the Truman Show perspective. Reality, in this perspective is also only a reality that exists in your own mind. The combination of these things are what are required to see reality as a truman show reality.
  • Media are everywhere. There are pervasive and remixed. We’re saturated in media images. Through omniopticsurvellience we monitor each other all the time. And we are immersed in mediated worlds that are individualized.
  • Cameras are everywhere. We can’t do anything without taking a picture of it.
  • Renny Gleeson on antisocial phone tricks video.The notion of living life like we’re on a stage making a performance is not new. People started doing this in the 50s. Now we just have more of these to juggle because of new communication technologies. We try and have one performance going on with the person next to us as we’re walking in the mall and another when we’re on the phone w/ someone else at the same time. We bring ghosts into the room with us. We are absently present. Students are texting w/ someone in another class. You are absently present here in class. The story you tell about the class or your experience is the one that’s most important than the experience. The boundaries between the two are fluid and there’s no difference any more. This is the definition of living in media.
  • What the hell is real about any of this? We engage in watching each other perform all the time for entertainment.
  • We perform that we have friends. We live in an overflow of fake bullshit today. How do we know if our friends on Facebook are real? When so much of our relationships are sustained, started and/or ended on media. How do we know if the friends are real or if the stories we can tell about the friends we have is real. These are programs that automatically add thousands of friends to your facebook page.
  • These videos also show the love people have for themselves. Interesting that we post videos of ourselves. The world that we create when we turn the cameras onto our selves instead of the world around us is one that can actually be quite beautiful as we see in the best of youtube video. Even if it is a little narscisistic.
  • We create a reality for ourselves that only we have in our own minds. We have multiple realities going on at the same time and they collide which brings us stress. They mix and only we experience all of them mixing and colliding. Someone asks you where you are while you’re on the phone. Girl sitting next to Mark’s old professor. She talks about what went wrong on her date the night before on public transport. The guy intervenes and tells her how to do it better next time. It’s better if you reach around… She just made him part of her conversation by having a private conversation in public.
  • Play media interview with ChristoffThis leads us to the reality of the truman show. True man. Christoff is god. He decides when it rains when it is a clear sky. Burbank is name where the studio where the show was shot. Only one not aware that he was on camera all the time. Halfway through the movie, christoff is interviewed. He says, “see slide.” This comes back in the matrix. The architect tells neo this in the matrix. My guess is that most of us think we can change reality. We don’t believe that reality is just put out there for us. Christoff is wrong. We want to change it. We see reality through media. This means we can change it. Christoff is wrong
  • We could see our lives as Truman’s life. Everyone’s lives are recorded and stored in media. Check. Everybody in our lives is an actor. Check. We are performing constantly. The world we live in is a stage or is a movie set. This place is made to look like a campus. Why does it look the way it does. It could look totally differently afterall. All we need is a patch of ground outside and our minds to do what we do here. All campuses look the same. It is the performance of a campus. This is not less or more real because it is a décor. Like people who are married who met on line. Their mairrages are not less real than those who didn’t.
  • Truman show final sailing scene of the movie. The movie shows us that a media life is something that we can get away from. We know however, from the media life perspective that this view is flawed.
  • Play scene where Christoff talks to Truman at the end.
  • We still use the Truman Show in T101 anyway though because of the phenomenon called the Truman Show Delusion. It was discovered by two psychiatrists joel and iangould one working in new york and one in toronto. They don’t just teach and do research they also have patients.

Ems - Summer I ’11 - T101 Lecture 23: the Truman Show Ems - Summer I ’11 - T101 Lecture 23: the Truman Show Presentation Transcript

  • Welcome to Summer
    T101 Day 25!
  • Today:
    Midterm review tomorrow. Come with questions!
    Professor Mark Deuze will be joining us tomorrow!
    We’ll quickly recap the 3 ways of viewing reality in a media life we’ve already talked about.
    Then talk about the Truman Show way of viewing reality.
  • Media Life: The point of it all
    Pick your reality
  • Ok. We think about media differently now.
    What can we do with this new understanding?
  • Before we can answer that we have to know two things:
    1. What is it that we can do something to? Or, what is reality?
    2. What is our role in that reality?
  • Is reality ours?
  • Or is reality just mine?
  • Wikiality
  • The fourth way to view reality in a media life: The Truman Show
  • In a media life we are together alone.
  • Best of Youtube – the stories we tell become more important than the actual events.
  • narcissism
  • Truman Show Delusion – (TSD)
  • In an interview with WebMD, Joel Gold says, “The Truman Show delusion encompasses a patient’s entire life. They believe their family, friends, and co-workers are all reading from scripts and their home, workplace, and hospital are all sets. They believe they are being filmed for the whole world to see.”
  • “The TSD is a pathological product of our insatiable appetite for self-exposure. Delusions are often related to the larger cultural and political climate:
    during the cold war some people thought they were being monitored by the KGB. Today, some might think Al Qaeda is after them.
    When all it takes is a webcam and the click of a mouse to be seen and heard by millions, and with hundreds of surveillance cameras capturing our movements each day, it's not necessary to go on "Big Brother"
    to feel like you're in the public eye.”
  • The thing is. Unlike Truman, we can’t leave. So, what will you do?
  • Reading Comprehension Exercise
    1. So we now have learned about 4 different ways to view reality in a media life. Which one strikes you as best describing the way we live in the world today? Why do you feel that way?
    2. Are there elements from each that help to build out our understanding of our role in the world and what we are capable of doing? What are those elements? What can we do?