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Paying Fancy Prices to Pretend that I Have A Fancy Life

2005/05/03

Weather, Color TV & ANT

Kingston's recent weather embodies Actor-Network Theory (ANT) I am reading lately. It is sunny in the morning, "buggy" in the afternoon, then rainy, and fianlly clear in the evening. It is similar to ANT in that there is no default condition. I (and most people) used to assume that the weather in May be sunny and warm. But it is not the case. A letter from New Zealand this morning informed me that it was cold and snowing there in Wellington.

After reading the site of the color television revolution, I could imagine how excited people were at the presentation of color on TV set then. In the 1950s, broadcasters in NBC must be very proud when they annouced that "The following program is brought to you in Living Color on NBC! (need Quicktime to view the video) " It was a time with surprise and happiness. However, we are now living in a world with too many default situations, a world where most people pretend to know something. We assume that TV should be in color, that telephone be easily accessible, that human being dominates the world, and so on. Looking back into the history of society, one would find that these assumptions are faulse, or not 100% true.

We are actually living in a world without certainties. The first lesson I taught my students was to describe what they saw, rather than what they thought. When they meet a person with short hair and beards, it does not necessarily mean this person is man. When they see people put something in their mouths, they cannot assume there people are having a meal. We should break away from 'default' situations, which are all man-made.

(Appendix: Color TV Bibliography)

3 Comments:

Anonymous peabody said...

Very true words. Another thought in a similar tangent: movies and most tv are shot at 30 frames a second. When we see video shot with a personal video camera, it looks awkward, however it is truer to real life than what we generally see on TV and in movies. We are conditioned that movies and tv shot at 30 frames a second are more "natural." Anyway, i just thought i'd rant about that since my girlfriend and I are currently watching a movie that as shot on video.. it just doesn't "feel" right for that very reason..

Something similar happend when CDs first appeared on the market. People were conditioned to enjoy old vinyl records and claimed that they souded better even though CD's are clearly better reproductions of sound. Ah well..

Anyway, about your comment on my blog-- those expressions aren't common. They are from an American TV show. i would say 10, 9 and 2 might be good but the rest are just dumb. I've been planning on blogging about odd expressions for a while now and just need to find a good resource.

5/03/2005 10:30 p.m.  
Anonymous peabody said...

Here's one that just came to mind. Feeling "randy" means that your are feeling sexually aroused.

5/03/2005 10:35 p.m.  
Blogger Pat Sajak said...

Just remember it's almost winter in the southern hemisphere... hence the cold weather in New Zealand. They must think our seasons are weird.

5/11/2005 12:26 p.m.  

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