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Goodbye to the Graphosphere | Online Only | n+1

  via Goodbye to the Graphosphere | Online Only | n+1.   To the logosphere corresponds the dominance of the spoken and heard; to the graphosphere, that of the written and read; and to the videosphere, that of mass-produced audiovisuals received electronically. And Debray aligns other changes with the “mediological” ones. Time itself, once experienced as a circle of eternal repetition, becomes, in the graphosphere, a line of progress charging into the future, before lapsing, in our era, into a series of discrete “presents” distributed around current events. So does the logosphere’s central myth of the saint turn into that of the hero—the hero of novels as well as biographies and history books—which myth of significant action then gives way, with the videosphere, to a celebrity myth predicated on the apprehension of glamorous being. Likewise, the “basis of symbolic authority” is transferred from the invisible (God), to the legible (History), and then to the visible (the Spectacle). The “status of the individual” shifts from subject (“to be commanded”) to citizen (“to be persuaded”) to consumer (“to be seduced”). History is never as neat as the schemas laid across it, but most people will recognize that Debray’s three-act drama has accurately captured its drift.
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