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January 2019    Dennis R. DuBe'     742/3886

1. The Displacement of Meaning (Because "Downfall" Sounds So Harsh)
          Dennis DuBe' #3886   Created 05/05/2017   Updated 02/06/2018

You'd pay to know.

Or maybe not. Maybe you'd pay to just "be there."

Marshal McLuhan once theorized* that one cannot fully understand a medium until it is no longer the dominant one; that we can more fully appreciate the old medium's fall from dominance through the lens of the new medium. Once fallen, the old media's patterns and effects more easily discernible by comparison to the new, "and it is only on those terms, standing aside from any structure or medium, that its principles and lines of force can be discerned.”*

The changes in the business models of media are cast through that same lens, highlighting the displacement of meaning as the operative component in the media business model. Like Chauncey the Gardner**, the vault of media wealth hangs on the thread of "being there."

There is still meaning in media. And it still comes as the handmaiden of Consumption, but the value is extracted long before the consumer's media experience by the structures of communication.

It's all pretty simple, at the end. You've already spent your money just to be there (cell phone, computer, cellular account, accessories), and now there you are there, and that's the reason you're there. In the Attention Field, suspended, searching, looking hither and yon for this and that, and running into happenstance along the way.

Doesn't really matter what you do. Well, except to you, of course. But to the "system", your presence satisfies the first and most important requirement.

Your attention.

That's what brought you to this word. Or these words. Here's some more words.

Thank you, dear user. You are us.

* Understanding Media, 1964 ** Being There, 1979, Peter Sellers, Shirley MacLaine, Melvyn Douglas.


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