The current fashion is for valuing ‘speed’, the assumption being that slowness is not just boring, but wasteful because inefficient. The first question in communication as in other social practices might have to be ‘What is a humane pace’ or even ‘ What is human pace, under present social conditions?’, ‘Under what conditions is slowness of pace essential?’. The pace of technological change cannot possibly be mirrored by social institutions, even though that seems intended in calls to accommodate to every innovation as a means of furthering efficiencies: the ceaseless restructurings of organizations are one such symptom, as it the requirements of individuals constantly to adapt.
The more urgent question is to reflect what the relation between technological, institutional, social and human pace should be. Society cannot hope to mimic the pace inherent in every technological innovation, nor should it attempt to do so. In a healthy sociality, social, human aims and purposes must take precedence.
Gunther Kress, “Multimodality: A social semiotic approach to contemporary communication”. London: Routledge, 2010, p. 29-30.
Mover-se é viver, dizer-se é sobreviver. Não há nada de real na vida que o não seja porque se descreveu bem. Os críticos da casa pequena soem apontar que tal poema, longamente ritmado, não quer, afinal, dizer senão que o dia está bom. Mas dizer que o dia está bom é difícil, e o dia bom, ele mesmo, passa. Temos pois que conservar o dia bom em uma memória florida e prolixa, e assim constelar de novas flores ou de novos astros os campos ou os céus da exterioridade vazia e passageira.
After all the flames
In the morning
Quiet ashes fell
For hours and hours
And in the morning rise
We planted our skin
Like a seed in the ground
So we dug ourselves a hole
And planted all our skin
Like a seed in the ground
To grow again
Where the fireweeds grow
Patrick Watson, In “Fireweed”, “Wooden Arms”, 2009.
It is worth emphasizing that there is no single or ‘correct’ answer to this question, ‘What does this image mean?’ or ‘What is this ad saying?’ Since there is no law which can guarantee that things will have ‘one, true meaning’, or that meanings won’t change over time, work in thi area is bound to be interpretative – a debate between, not who is ‘right’ and who is ‘wrong’, but between equally plausible, though sometimes competing and contesting, meanings and interpretations. The best way to ‘settle’ such contested readings is to look again at the concrete example and try to justify one’s ‘reading’ in detail in relation to the actual practices and forms of signification used, and what meanings they seem to you to be producing.
Stuart Hall, “Introduction”. In S. Hall (ed.), “Representation: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices. London: SAGE Publishing, p. 9.
We need to incorporate intellectual humility — what John Dewey called the “scientific attitude” — as a cultural norm. “Merely legal guarantees of the civil liberties of free belief, free expression, free assembly are of little avail,” Dewey noted, “if in daily life freedom of communication, the give and take of ideas, facts, experiences, is choked by mutual suspicion, by abuse, by fear and hatred.”
Dewey knew that democracies can’t function if their citizens don’t have conviction — an apathetic electorate is no electorate at all. But our democracy also can’t function if we don’t seek, at least some of the time, to inhabit a common space where we can listen to each other and trade reasons back and forth. And that’s one reason that teaching our students the value of empathy, of reasons and dialogue, and the value and nature of evidence itself, is crucial — in fact, now more than ever. Encouraging evidential epistemologies helps combat intellectual arrogance.
Overcoming toxic arrogance is not easy, and our present political moment is not making it any easier. But if we want to live in a tolerant society where we are not only open-minded but willing to learn from others, we need to balance humility and conviction. We can start by looking past ourselves — and admitting that we don’t know it all.
Michael Patrick Lynch, “Teaching Humility in an Age of Arrogance”. In The Chronicle Review: http://www.chronicle.com/article/Teaching-Humility-in-an-Age-of/240266?utm_content=bufferd866d&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer
Is it because we saw something already that we think we don’t need to see it any longer? On the contrary, when we show something everyone has seen, it is perhaps at that point we see if for the first time. The woman, her back to us, pulls out potatoes, Delphine, my mother, yourself. A woman, yes, but a corridor for a minute? A tree?
Chantal Akerman. In https://www.instagram.com/criterioncollection/