One or More?

In a recent talk, Stuart Moulthrop (University of Wisconsin/Milwaukee) explores new media and hypertextuality in light of the global financial disaster.

This might appear to be just another expression of vaguely Marxist sentimentality so common in criticism that’s intended to impress without meaning much, but (as usual) Moulthrop’s doing real work here.

The central argument calls for a shift from simple transmission(writing) toward a literacy of potentiality (programming), and for grasping the difference between content (which Moulthrop assumes to require witholding) and data (which becomes itself by being given out to your colleagues). Perhaps for content we might instead read “melodrama” – the canned narratives of Hollywood that keep us amused, contrasted to the things we create ourselves.