Saturday, January 20, 2007

Welcome to the Blog

Welcome to the Blog.

Here's a brief idea of what this is all about:

The post 9/11 condition in America has added a frightening realism, even if only subconsciously, to an everyday fear for safety and fear against attack. It is this condition that has been perpetuated by continued foreign policy and other international incidents.

The addition of current technology which has created instantaneous communication, not just to the privileged but to a mass market, also complicates and makes this condition different than previous historical precedents (i.e. the cold war).

What are the current architectural implications of a fearful society combined with instantaneous communication and connectivity? How does the architecture of survival and fear manifest itself in the context we find ourselves in now? How might lessons learned from this study be applied in a positive real world application?

Over the course of the Spring 2007 semester I will be posting responses to readings and I with any luck I will begin to construct my own theories and connections between them. I welcome your insight and criticism.


beeporto said...

beef up that reading list young man

Randall said...

I hope this study doesn't get too scary, I can't sit through a horror film without covering my eyes and ears.

I'm looking forward to what you come up with.

Possibly related: don't you think the tactics used in local nightly news broadcasts create fear in the viewers? If so, then that fear most likely influences peoples use of architecture. For example, the suburban couple's increased fear inadvertantly causes them to intereact less with their neighbors, travel to the city core less or never, and use their suburban "castle" as a defensive post, peering through the blinds, monitoring the neighborhood: media - fear - architecture - behavior...

William said...

Fear is the mechanism whereby you can dehumanize "the other", and therefore destroy said other, all the while perhaps thinking that one is justified in doing so. This is one way that government and armies work in getting their citizens to support a war, or holocaust.

Fear is also control, the way Stalinist Russia, Maoist China, Pol Pot, Rwanda, (you name it) got citizens to massacre other citizens. May I suggest "Humanity: A Moral History of the Twentieth Century" by Jonathan Glover. A devastating book I read a few years ago. I'll quote from the back cover: "This book confronts the brutal history of the 20th Century to unravel the psychological mystery of why so many atrocities occurred..."

Psychology is key. Also key is how warfare has come to involve the non-combatant more and more. Both as innocent bystander, and as undercover soldier. It used to be wars were fought in fields with everybody wearing red for pete's sake...

Fear sells as much as sex sells, and you are right to be targeting media.

See you in studio!

g+a said...

The list has been updates.

I think you're right. It becomes a vicious downward cycle. One of the things I noticed in Mike Davis' book was his combination of natural disasters with the social "man made" disasters, specifically the Rodney King Riot. To him they all contribute to an end situation. He made reference to the media's portrayal of the riots where most of the coverage was dedicated to the stereotypically black neighborhoods in South Central when in actual fact, the rioting was FAR worse in several other locations. In the end the worst part is that possibly as a result of that, a lot of the rebuilding funding went to other areas and passed over south central as a lost cause, another case of the media bending reality and shaping behavior.

Psychology is indeed the science of fear. The name of the game in our time it seems is definitely about the covert. In the current age of information, misinformation is a critical weapon and misinformation translates to confusion. Fear is as primal as sex and its no surprise that it is as powerful a motivator whether to sell or manipulate in other ways. I'm looking forward to getting onto the subject of misinformation and the covert in the future.

Thanks for your posts.

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It is very interesting for me to read this blog. Thanks for it. I like such themes and anything connected to this matter. I would like to read a bit more soon.

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