Thursday, April 10, 2008

Dealing with convergence

Jenkins writes in his introduction, "Convergence occurs within the brains of individual consumers and through their social interactions with others. Each of us constructs our own personal mythology from bits and fragments of information extracted from the media flow and transformed into resources through which we make sense of our everyday lives." (3-4) Is this basically the same idea as Jameson's cognitive mapping, in that people place themselves within their own minds? And if, as Ithiel de Sola Pool noted, convergence has elements of both fragmentation and consolidation, does it help or hinder peoples' ability to "find themselves"?

Also, though Jenkins notes that convergence is a process and not an endpoint, he seems to treat it, in the introduction at least, as the latter. He seems to say that it's something that happens every few years. But as many futurists are telling us and a little observation can show us as well, the rate of technological change and other forms of change is increasing, and progress is exponential (leading to the Coming Singularity). With that in mind, if people are having such a hard time dealing with convergence now, how will we deal with it as things happen faster and faster?

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