Ron Scollon  

Time and the Media: Notes on Public Discourse in the Electronic Age


With special reference to: 

The Iliad, Homer

The Adventures of Don Quixote, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Elements of a Post-Liberal Theory of Education, C. A. Bowers

Amusing Ourselves to Death, Neil Postman

Strong Man, Frank Johnson

 A Short History of the Title

First the title was to be: The Image of the Hero from Achilles to Max Headroom. But there were too many anachronisms. The idea of the hero may be as old as Ancient Greece but to speak of images is modern talk. So then it seemed that maybe the idea of the essay could be better expressed by a title like:

From the Idea of the Hero to the Image of the Hero: Achilles to Max Headroom

 That title would have been more accurate but still not a title that would bring a lot of people into the discussion. For that a title like this seemed to work better:

Where did you get THAT idea? Talk, type, or tube in public discourse

 That came closer to the main problem which is to try to understand how people form their ideas in a world that is being rapidly changed by the electronic media. The idea of time got into the title just because there is no way of keeping it out when you are writing about differences among speaking, writing, and television.

 Finally, the whole essay raises the question: Is public discourse really public at all? It all depends on definitions, of course, but there is good reason that much of the worry about the degradation of public discourse comes from a vague feeling that there really isn't much that is 'public' about what is coming into our homes from the electronic media. It may be the difference between the culture that comes from the people and the culture that is mass produced for the people. 


the full text may be downloaded here.....



the academy

the curriculum


life of the land

comparative culture studies

responsive communication