David Weinberger’s comments on this new book from Steve Johnson. It appears to agree with some of Dan Pink’s comments in A Whole New Mind regarding the positive impact of certain aspects of pop culture (like video games. Yikes!).
The bulk of the book argues that pop culture is more complex than it used to be and more than we usually give it credit for. Look past the content of video games and TV, Steve says, and you’ll see that their structures are far more complicated and demanding than ever before.
We’ve gotten far better at parsing interwoven plot lines and making sense of plots that aren’t laid out for us like mackerels. Likewise, video games, he says, have gotten a bad rap because of their content, while once again their structure has been ignored. They teach us how to make decisions in complex environments, he says. Steve’s quite wonderful at analyzing precisely the ways in which games, TV shows, and, to a lesser degree, movies demand more from us than before — his examples of "multiple threading, flashing arrows, and social networks," for example, are so insightful that they’re funny.
It comes out on May 5th. And yes, I did order it.