A brief history of our brains and screens

Originally published in Media Magazine.

A screen is defined as a surface where pictures can be projected for viewing. This term is not just related to media, it defines it; the screen is the membrane that “mediates” or stands between, an image and the individual viewing it. What happens without a literal screen? That image simply pipes directly into our mind’s eye so that we can “see” it in the same way we “see” a dream.

Before we discuss the future of the brain, let’s look at the history of screens. Plato talked about “The Cave,” a thought experiment about ancient people projecting flickering shadows on the wall of a subterranean dwelling – although we should focus more on the past 100 years. At the beginning of the 20th century, cinema, in the form of nickelodeons began to replace live theater. By 1950, television screens had become predominant, ushering in the golden age of broadcasting yet still connecting many brains to a single story. Continue reading “A brief history of our brains and screens”

Glimmer of hope for newspapers

High Contrast Newspaper Just as things are looking grim for employers, workers, and the retail sector, new data reveals that newspaper websites are experiencing a 16% growth from a year ago in unique visitors.

Nielsen Online also shows that repeat visits are on the rise: Overall traffic to news websites is up 27% growing 199.6 million in December 2007 to 252.7 million in December 2008. What do the numbers reveal?

Aside from an obvious, if slight, comfort to the online news media, it illustrates that increasing numbers of people are turning to the Web for their news sources, and they’re not just visiting once or twice a day, but several times a day, and dozens of times a week. Continue reading “Glimmer of hope for newspapers”