28 JAN 2021 by ideonexus

 Computing is Pop Culture without History

Binstock: You seem fastidious about always giving people credit for their work. Kay: Well, I'm an old-fashioned guy. And I also happen to believe in history. The lack of interest, the disdain for history is what makes computing not-quite-a-field. Binstock: You once referred to computing as pop culture. Kay: It is. Complete pop culture. I'm not against pop culture. Developed music, for instance, needs a pop culture. There's a tendency to over-develop. Brahms and Dvorak needed gypsy music ba...
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01 AUG 2013 by ideonexus

 Legal Perspective of "Semiotic Democracy"

"Cultural populists," . . . generally view popular culture as contested terrain in which individuals and groups (racial, ethnic, gender, class, etc.) struggle, albeit on unequal terms, to make and establish their own meanings and identities. As the populists see things, the consumers of cultural commodities (movies, songs, fashions, television programs, etc.) neither uniformly receive nor uncritically accept the "preferred meanings" that are generated and circulated by the culture industry. T...
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Also a way of saying "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder," in that entertainers have no control over how the viewer reinterprets their work.

29 JUN 2011 by ideonexus

 No Such Thing as "Universal Culture"

As the pop pundits keep reminding us, we are becoming a global culture. We share the same TV shows and movies, drink the same Coca-Cola, and shoot the same Kodak film. But this "global culture" is highly superficial—^it is only the gloss of popular culture, apparent only in what people over the world would like to buy. I am guessing that those boasting of an electronic superhighway where "anybody" can be connected to "anybody" have not traveled much in the third world; they are blinded by t...
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Pundits keep reminding us that culture is becoming homogenized, but tell that to the third world inhabitant living without electricity or internet.

06 APR 2011 by ideonexus

 Middlebrow Culture of Effort

The distinctive feature of American middlebrow culture was its embodiment of the old civic credo that anyone willing to invest time and energy in self-education might better himself. Many uneducated lowbrows, particularly immigrants, cherished middlebrow values: the millions of sets of encyclopedias sold door to door from the twenties through the fifties were often purchased on the installment plan by parents who had never owned a book but were willing to sacrifice to provide their children w...
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The post-WWII people who bought encyclopedias and literature were trying to better themselves and believed in self-improvement through self-education. When that culture was lost in favor of pop-culture, America lost its middle-class intellectualism.