By Mr R E Stewart

The essays during this publication research where of electronic communications or "rhetoric" in sleek tradition. They recommend that, just like the printing revolution ahead of it, the web is shaping tectonic cultural circulate, yet is at the moment stuck among conventional technocratic methods of pondering, and the extra unpredictable terrain of human behaviour.

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Extra info for A new rhetoric: Essays on using the internet to communicate

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All content needs a means or an instrument of some kind. A simple example might be speech. Words and thoughts are the content or substance of speech. The voice brokers these words and thoughts into being: the activity of the lungs, the larynx and the mouth. The means, where we can’t restrain the urge to speak, is very much taken for granted, if not considered at all. But this should not disguise its relative complexity, sophistication and elegance. We could say that speech might be considered a paragon of the form good communication should take: a body seamlessly, with no self-consciousness, delivers substance in a way that other bodies broadly understand.

The Hobbesian Leviathan would crumble on its own insecure foundations. Ends and means These fairly wild speculations about the future, and the moderately more grounded examinations of the past, suggest that technology is at its most mercurial and significant when it serves something of substance. It finds a role and purpose, and has the potential to bring about powerful and dramatic changes, when it is yoked to particular objectives, insights, and ambitions. It is, in short, at its most provocative and intriguing when it mimics the human body: when it becomes the “voice” with which to articulate something that would otherwise remain abstract and without form.

It will try to work out what your interests are and what content is relevant to you. It is already filtering the data, or accepting the extent to which the volume of data is transcending the ability of those with an interest in it to make sense of it. Information is the blood in the veins of the internet, but the most precious form of information has form: it is carefully selected for a specific purpose or need, and delivered in a digestible way. There are some potential paradoxes here. The “objective” way of looking at the world broadly and loosely fostered in the course of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, turned on the notion of facts, figures, observations, and knowledge that were true independently of any given perspective.

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