Immediacy, Hypermediacy and Remediacy

The most literal example of striving for immediacy that I can think of off the top of my head is the BumpTop computer user interface that we discussed last class.  This is also an interesting example because it demonstrates how hypermediacy (more commonly used computer user interfaces) has really replaced immediacy to the point where our idea of “natural” or “normal” is shifted and that which is more aligned with what was once inherent becomes strange and unnatural.  However, on some level this does seem to make more sense.  Why should a computer desktop be disguised as its predecessor when it is in fact, a completely new and different medium?  It only makes sense for the norm to change as well.  It is the hiding of remediacy (which exists in all new media) and the striving to make new media look and feel like old media that becomes unnatural.

As Dewey states, “…there are things outside the body that belong to it de jure, if not de facto; that must, that is, be taken possession of if life is to continue” (58-59).  We cannot continue to rely on the old to create our sense of normal.  We must adapt and change as technology progresses and media transform.  “The self, whether it succeed or fail, does not merely restore itself to its former state” (Dewey 59).  Technology is evolution.  Evolution moves only forward.  It takes what it needs from existing media and leaves the rest to become the eventual past.

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