Setting the Scene: Chapter 1

Analysis/ Point of the Chapter

In class, the point of this chapter was called into question, but I think it was a good way to start off this particular book. Technology and the culture surrounding it is very complex and not a lot of people understand it (as discussed in Chpt. 1). Most people are content not knowing how the magic box in front of them connects them to the rest of the world. The point of this chapter was to get everyone on the same page as the author no matter their level of technological understanding, regarding terms and biases. He states that, “I’ll make my own position explicit when I have a strong point of view and trust that readers will factor my position into their responses”.  I saw this as a call for readers to employ rhetorical listening because bias will be involved and an open mind is necessary when reading this text.

A few of the phrases he uses to clarify what he will be referencing in the rest of the book:

“My focus will be on…”

“So in the context of this book, I will use the term…”

“For the purposes of this book , I will mostly use the term…”

“I hope you will recognize that…”

These all tell me that this chapter was necessary because there was a lot of clarification needed to bring everyone on the same page before continuing on.


Relating to Personal Experience/Thoughts

“the new becomes ordinary, becomes taken for granted” (pg 22).

I remember when I got a smartphone and making that transition from the flip phone . They were so much better than flip phones, and now we take them for granted. I don’t  think my twelve year old sister has held a flip phone or seen one in person. The technology we have now has become ordinary and we are constantly creating new versions to make it better and feel new again. There is a reason people keep buying new iPhones.

“To a very large degree, the online world is a reflection of the offline world” (pg 21).

I agree with this statement to some extent, but I also think that people are not accurately reflected in the online world.  People become more bold and say things they usually wouldn’t behind the facelessness of the internet. A lot of times people are freer with their comments and criticisms when they don’t have to look anyone in the eye while they are saying it. Instead of a reflection of the offline world it seems more like a magnifying glass looking deeply at how people really act and how they think. The online world is definitely different than the offline world when it comes to people and how they act.


“old media have undergone remediation into new media” (pg 25).

Streaming things online now has become very popular instead of watching shows on the television or renting a DVD.  Shows and movies are now accessible through sites like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu Plus. Personally, I just watch everything on my iPad with Xfinity, Netflix, abc, abc family, NBC, FOX, and CW11 apps. I don’t think I have watched a single episode of anything on a TV this past year. Technologies not only affect us, but they affect other tech as well. On laptops there isn’t even a way to play DVD’s/CD’s anymore. Everything is becoming available to stream so why add it onto laptops? Kindles and tablets have also encroached on books now that you can read on your devices. Even when buying textbooks for classes some are available in digital format making buying the physical book pointless.


3 thoughts on “Setting the Scene: Chapter 1

  1. Lisa, I have to agree when you say that people get used to new technologies and fail to see the technologies they are using as new and exciting, but instead they become everyday – just normal. I think that this key concept is one of the largest contributions to the fact that humans never stop creating new technologies. As I commented in my blog post, humans want something faster, better, and more efficient all the time. This incessant need for “newer” and “better” is used as a driving force in marketing, which I would attribute in part to the success of the every present new iPhone model. Marketing in these industries relies on the fact that humans seek the most efficient path to their goals ~ even in seemingly simple tasks like phone calling, texting, or web browsing on a new cell model. I would also like to say that I appreciate your analysis of the chapter in the beginning of your post, your perspective on the necessity of this chapter gives legitimacy to the author and challenges the opinions of the book that have already briefly been discussed in class. I can agree that adding interpretations of the topics and terms used in the first chapter was a smart start for Reed in that sense.


  2. Lisa, in response to your blog post about the point of the chapter, I believe you are correct when you say, “the point of this chapter was to get everyone on the same page as the author no matter their level of technological understanding, regarding terms and biases”. A point to carry this conversation on would be, if he didn’t clarify what key terms he will be talking about were, he would have been assuming the reader would automatically know what he meant. Clarification on a complicated broad subject is vital and works as a base to build upon.

    When you discuss the quote, “the new becomes the ordinary, becomes taken for granted” you say “there is a reason people keep buying new iPhones”. The iPhone and even smart phones are becoming so ordinarily common in our generation that the phone is working as an extension of someone and who they are. For wanting the newest iPhone now it is more about wanting the newest designs of the outer shell because the features between the 5 and the 6 are so similar.


    1. I really like the fact that you commented on the outer shell of the phone, because I hadn’t looked at it that way before. It is very true though that most people don’t even pay attention to the changes going on in their phones because they don’t understand it or there really isn’t that much of a difference. Having the newest phone is more of a status symbol now, and a way to show that you aren’t falling behind in today’s technologically driven world, because if you do you get left behind. The same can be said for certain jobs. If you don’t know how to use the internet or don’t know anything about technology and adapt, you get pushed out for someone that does. It’s like when our professor was talking about the men released from prison who have no idea about new technologies that are being put back into the real world with no real world experience. They aren’t going to easily be able to keep up.


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