Sustaining narratives for the news age

The planets seemed to align lately with a few converging themes in relation to boredom thresholds and the atomisation of information. Harry Lewis voice at Googalization of Everything– ‘The factoids are not just instant; they are atomic. We keep e-mails short because people have to process so many of them. Instant messages and “tweets” are rarely more than a few words. They arrive without provenance, historical context or the other side of the story. When we pass them on to our friends, they explode into a cloud of information particles, as identical as hydrogen atoms and as pervasive as nuclear fallout’. And Google is deeply researching and cutting direction to accommodate for this trend. Lisa Pryor’s article also gives an interesting insight as to why the climate change debate is a hard message to sell (in an age where every message needs an instant hook). ‘It is a test god has sent to remind us we’re idiots- because its a problem of modern society which is uniquely unsuited to fixing : the worst consequences are a long way off and we don’t care about a long way off, and the solutions are dull and we don’t care about dull.’ The inability to understand/embrace such a distant and slow narrative such as climate change is maybe also reflected in our teaching practise. In order to instil attention to knowledge we shroud it in assessment activities, which punctuate the points of contact with short periods of knowledge collection. Again the view of knowledge as commodity is an underlying trait. If we are as James Thornton suggests on the eve of a new era of human evolution- the Anthropocene-then we need a collective narrative to underpin our endeavours. Perhaps the advent of tools such as blogs can be used to develop, sustain and embellish such narratives. The narrative is a way in which individuals represent and organize experience in order to learn from it and make it shareable with other. Use of blogs/wikis helps social construction of knowledge by participate meaningfully in the exchange of experiences and ideas.


About thand

I'm a currently working at NSW Departrment of Education & Training, Connected Classrooms Program, Sydney.
This entry was posted in blogging, Blogs, Commentries, Communities, digital natives, information organising, knowledge, literacies, Net Gen, predictions, Social networking, Web2, Wikis. Bookmark the permalink.

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