The Convergence Of Technology

In his “The Black Box Fallacy” section, Jenkins distinguished two concepts:

Delivery technologies: the tools we use to access media content (13).

Media: the medium to carrying the content and the “protocols” or “social and cultural practices” associated with the media content (14).

Jenkins claims that “old media are not being displaced. Rather, their functions and status are shifted by the introduction of new technologies”(14). Thus, all media content is going to flow through a single black boxes we carry around with us everywhere we go. The black box will reign supreme; however, Part of what makes the black box concept a fallacy is that it reduces media change to technological change and stripe aside the cultural levels we are considering here(15). I can’t anticipate the black box fallacy is right or wrong, but I think the process of convergence does influence human’s writing and reading process.

Do we experience the convergence of culture, media and technology? The new products from the high technological company seem to illustrate this process.

“What we are now seeing is the hardware diverging while the content converges”(Jenkins, Convergence Culture, 15).” We can say, the contents are still there, but the delivery technologies are converging.

On October16, Apple released its new operational system Yosemite. This software is free in apple store and my computer upgraded the software as soon as it is available in the app store. The most obvious changes I noticed first are the visual changes: the icon is flatter, more modern emphasizes translucency. The 3D effect disappears and the icons are flattened on the screen. Somebody said that the flatter icons were designed for consisting with the operational system of other devices (iphone, ipad.) I think the first level of the interface convergence will be the consistence among different devices, such as OS X and iOS8, Windows and Windows Phone, Android and Chrome. The second level of interface convergence is reflected in the abstraction of the desktop. As Jenkins said, the old media are not being displaced. All the items on the desk are not dead, in contrast, they reborn on the computer desktop. The evolution of the icons well illustrates this process. The designers want to make the icon as real as possible in the previous operational systems, but with the progress of convergence, the icons now are highly abstract.

Even though convergence is in progress, so what? Jenkins calls for a media literacy, which facilitate people to cope with the convergence of the media and to get used to this new technology as well.


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