The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
The Forum - On Line Opinion's article discussion area



Syndicate
RSS/XML


RSS 2.0

Main Articles General

Sign In      Register

The Forum > Article Comments > The ignorant teaching the unenlightened > Comments

The ignorant teaching the unenlightened : Comments

By Donald Richardson, published 25/6/2007

The concept of 'creative industries' sells itself for its ability to generate and market entertainment - the knowledge equivalent of the junk-food diet.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. All
Oh dear.

One long harrumph constructed from a series of non-sequiters.

The self-contradictory sentiments are wond'rous to behold:

1. It is apparently "a scandal" that schools can't afford the technology that this author insists is "ephemeral" and " just marketers taking advantage of an existing demand". If the technology is so unimportant, why is it "a scandal" that schools can't afford it?

Oh, by the way, I was in a public school today in which students are able to use podcasts, blogs and satellite television to learn the 11 different languages that the school offers. All using free open-source software that the schools in-house language staff set up without additional funding.

So the author's claim is both self-contradictory and not factual. That takes some doing.

2. Consider these tortuous claims: Teenagers are apparently both conservative because they like to imitate their mates, and yet they are also "driven to individuate themselves from the crowd as much as they seek refuge in the popular."

Well, I guess that covered all the bases, didn't it?

3. If the medium "has no content worthy of the name" then presumably it should not matter whether Hamlet's soliloquy is rendered as a play, a cold read, a haiku, an anime, a text message or a manga? Fortunately Shakespeare understood that the medium matters, even if Mr Richardson doesn't.

4. The QUT faculty that you deride as being in cahoots with all this popular entertainment chicanery happens to boast amongst its foremost staff a medal-winning Shakespeare scholar. Poetic, isnít it?
Posted by Mercurius, Monday, 25 June 2007 9:08:53 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
5. Strange claim that SMS and YouTube are "just marketers taking advantage of an existing demand". I don't recall, circa 1996, anybody wandering about saying 'gee, I wish there I could text my friends to tell them: on da tr8in, c u in 10 ;-P' .

Nor do I recall anybody enthusiastically using telegrams and the telegraph or carrying portable fax machines on their belts in 1996, and saying "gee, there must be an easier way".

In fact, SMS was a diagnostic protocol invented to allow GSM network engineers to test the 2G network when it was under construction. It was never designed to be a consumer product (which is why the first GSM mobiles didn't have it), and it was a hidden "feature" of the GSM network for several years and it was assumed by many to be unmarketable because of the fantastically high data transmission costs. Byte-for-byte, SMS is the most expensive and one of the least reliable ways to transmit information (25 cents to transmit 160 characters? What a rip off! But that's the cost because the network terminations make it expensive).

SMS took off in part because mobile internet protocols (remember WAP?) failed to develop at anything like the rate many analysts and designers had predicted. Guess those evil marketers really designed the perfect fiendish product, yeah? Or maybe it was just the usual technology clusterfrock.

6. The author concludes with a triumphant ďWhy has print persisted, we wonder?Ē

I donít know, Mr Richardson. I guess Iíll have to wait until the print version of your column is published...somewhere.

Was this article intentionally self-satirising, we wonder?

---
Your criticisms betray a failure to understand that which you criticise, thus they fail to be compelling.
Posted by Mercurius, Monday, 25 June 2007 9:14:31 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
This article probably deserved more comment than it got.

As a former curriculum writer in the 'creative industries' I know for a fact that universities and TAFEs are simply mashing together curriculums such as writing, photography and multimedia right across the credential spectrum, NOT because they believe there will be wildly inventive new art forms (there are some) but because it's all they've got to offer.

In most cases, at the School level, they haven't got the resources to invent new programs. So employers will say, what can you offer my business that will improve it's profitability? A. A pot pourri of half learnt skills across a number of disciplines. Next.

The author is right about content. A lack of good scripts has been the bane of the Australian film industry for more than 20 years. Last year a collection of our most senior publishers (Penguin, Pan Mac, etc) knocked back a chapter of Patrick White's Eye of the Storm saying it was unpublishable.

Recently I worked at a South Australian educational provider and the person (24 years of age) managing the MBA program didn't know and hadn't heard of the Enlightenment. See ya later Voltaire, Diderot et al. And she was not alone.

We should give the writer some points for aligning his argument on fairly strong lingusitic foundations ala Postman, Blumer and the American communication theorists. It's far too easy to use terms such as 'elitist' when one is fighting for meaningful content over say "Hogans Heroes' and repeats of repeats of MASH.

Malcolm KIng
Posted by Cheryl, Thursday, 28 June 2007 12:11:45 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Thanks to Malcolm King for his support and calling for serious diescussion of the issues.
But 'Mercurius' would serve us all better if he answered some of my points rationally - and did not hide behind a pseudonym! (or is it an avatar?)
Donald Richardson
Posted by donaldart, Wednesday, 4 July 2007 11:54:42 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. All

About Us :: Search :: Discuss :: Feedback :: Legals :: Privacy