Para: Archive

Sumario / Table of contents

  • In light of numerous scientific studies, and also as a result of the challenges faced in the area of artificial intelligence, today it is possible to understand and describe in great detail how our brains work. 

According to some current ideological trends, we create our image of reality. However, it is not an unreal, intentionally skewed vision imposed from without, but rather one that has been validated and consolidated by our experiences, created by combining an infinite number of schemas, facts and perceptions that together constitute our mental “puzzle” of the world we live in  –an image filled with distortions, gaps and flaws, true; but even more so with accurate assessments, since otherwise it would be impossible for us to survive–. 

Our brains, furthermore, work in modules, using specific mechanisms,  transforming our perceptions into symbols, and in turn into behaviours. 
This explains why human languages are the way the are, and why literature builds stories the way it does;  as well as why both language and literature really influence us, and we them, with all the advantages and dangers this entails. 

The inevitability of both good and bad uses of human expression and their impact on us, explains why we have a specific mental module, innate, having the mission of detecting lies, traps and falsehoods, since they  threaten making efficient decisions regarding survival.  
Since we have this module, people who lie end up having no credibility, as tends to happen in the media, institutions, civil and cultural authorities, and individuals in a cyclical manner throughout history. 

Later in this article we will discuss in greater detail the fascinating characteristics of brain function which are relevant to linguistic and literary studies; and the clear advantages studying Humanities and Neuroscience (non-ideologically speaking)  provide for our survival.

    THE WAY OUR BRAIN WORKS, AND HUMAN EXPRESSION. Implications for Literature, Media and research

    In light of numerous scientific studies, and also as a result of the challenges faced in the area of artificial intelligence, today it is possible to understand and describe in great detail how our brains work. According to some current ideological trends, we create our image of reality. However, it is not an unreal, intentionally skewed vision imposed from without, but rather one that has been validated and consolidated by our experiences, created by combining an infinite number of schemas, facts and perceptions that together constitute our mental “puzzle” of the world we live in –an image filled with distortions, gaps and flaws, true; but even more so with accurate assessments, since otherwise it would be impossible for us to survive–. Our brains, furthermore, work in modules, using specific mechanisms, transforming our perceptions into symbols, and in turn into behaviours. This explains why human languages are the way the are, and why literature builds stories the way it does; as well as why both language and literature really influence us, and we them, with all the advantages and dangers this entails. The inevitability of both good and bad uses of human expression and their impact on us, explains why we have a specific mental module, innate, having the mission of detecting lies, traps and falsehoods, since they threaten making efficient decisions regarding survival. Since we have this module, people who lie end up having no credibility, as tends to happen in the media, institutions, civil and cultural authorities, and individuals in a cyclical manner throughout history. Later in this article we will discuss in greater detail the fascinating characteristics of brain function which are relevant to linguistic and literary studies; and the clear advantages studying Humanities and Neuroscience (non-ideologically speaking) provide for our survival.

    Continue Reading...

  • When we invest our money, we logically expect the best possible return. And particularly on the long run, as we don't want to keep moving our assets from one place to another. 

Investing in media is no different to investing in other fields:
First we must look for companies geared to serve their customers' needs (perceived by their consumers as customer-oriented).
Secondly, we need to make sure that company-dynamics are healthy-enough; and that its operations, costs, prices, and revenues are sustainable.
Only then should we opt for a media company, no matter how many articles we've read in regards to media investments as "recession-proof"...

This letter explains why...

    In reply to a reader’s letter: TVyNovelas’ print-runs, and when to invest in media companies

    When we invest our money, we logically expect the best possible return. And particularly on the long run, as we don't want to keep moving our assets from one place to another. Investing in media is no different to investing in other fields: First we must look for companies geared to serve their customers' needs (perceived by their consumers as customer-oriented). Secondly, we need to make sure that company-dynamics are healthy-enough; and that its operations, costs, prices, and revenues are sustainable. Only then should we opt for a media company, no matter how many articles we've read in regards to media investments as "recession-proof"... This letter explains why...

    Continue Reading...

  • 17 years ago, an international conference analyzed how the Government arisen from the Mexican Revolution, remodelled its people's culture to secure its permanence in the power. That's where I presented this paper.

The Mexican authorities's success was such, that they still preside over the country, and manage to keep a democratical image, despite the close-to-war-like period the country is navigating through.

Back home after presenting this paper, a woman --with a stocking distorting her face, followed me during several days, and threatened me. And because of what she said (amongst other things: she knew that my parents were from Spain), I could tell they had investigated me.

I've been living in Spain for 14 years, during which my country has broken into pieces. As I go over this text, I wonder where I got the courage to read it back then, considering the reprisals I have had to deal with.

I now publish it in my web, because Spain's historical evolution faces a critical dilemma, that this text can help understand and solve:

The current economic crisis forces authorities to eliminate or reduce subsidies, sponsorships, official appointments and employment, and other State-granted privileges to cultural agents and industries.  If you take them away, however, you can no longer expect to receive the ideological privileges that you received in exchange for them.

If you pay the musicians, then you can make them play the tunes you like, the way you like them, even if this makes them betray their social function or their personal aspirations.  What doesn't make sense, is to expect them to play it your way –precisely the way the general audience dislikes and won't pay for–, in exchange for nothing.

It is not that they lack loyalty towards the Governmental agenda. In our modern society –in which only money can be used to exchange goods and pay taxes, everything's got a price. Even mere survival, happens to be too expensive for anyone with no currency in his/her pocket; and sadly enough, musicians –like every other cultural agent and live citizen, need to eat.

    ANGELS WITHOUT WINGS: CONTENT POLICIES IN MEXICAN TELENOVELAS, 1957-1997

    17 years ago, an international conference analyzed how the Government arisen from the Mexican Revolution, remodelled its people's culture to secure its permanence in the power. That's where I presented this paper. The Mexican authorities's success was such, that they still preside over the country, and manage to keep a democratical image, despite the close-to-war-like period the country is navigating through. Back home after presenting this paper, a woman --with a stocking distorting her face, followed me during several days, and threatened me. And because of what she said (amongst other things: she knew that my parents were from Spain), I could tell they had investigated me. I've been living in Spain for 14 years, during which my country has broken into pieces. As I go over this text, I wonder where I got the courage to read it back then, considering the reprisals I have had to deal with. I now publish it in my web, because Spain's historical evolution faces a critical dilemma, that this text can help understand and solve: The current economic crisis forces authorities to eliminate or reduce subsidies, sponsorships, official appointments and employment, and other State-granted privileges to cultural agents and industries. If you take them away, however, you can no longer expect to receive the ideological privileges that you received in exchange for them. If you pay the musicians, then you can make them play the tunes you like, the way you like them, even if this makes them betray their social function or their personal aspirations. What doesn't make sense, is to expect them to play it your way –precisely the way the general audience dislikes and won't pay for–, in exchange for nothing. It is not that they lack loyalty towards the Governmental agenda. In our modern society –in which only money can be used to exchange goods and pay taxes, everything's got a price. Even mere survival, happens to be too expensive for anyone with no currency in his/her pocket; and sadly enough, musicians –like every other cultural agent and live citizen, need to eat.

    Continue Reading...

  • When we first published this article (1995), internet had only been in existence for 2 years, and was just starting to make its presence felt at Mexican universities [the UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico)  was the first to have its own network node].  In spite of this, newspaper and magazine sales had already been dropping for years.
Our “newsstands” are more and more appealing ─including María Elena's, the newspaper seller we interviewed for this article, and whose son still assists customers today (2013)─. But a nice looking newsstand cannot protect its owners from products that are less and less appealing to consumers.
And that isn't the only problem: Men comprise an increasing number of newsstand customers, and there are fewer of them all the time, because  ─as she says─ the general public has drifted away from these retailers… Logically, this has affected sales, since obviously a specific part of the public, will always be less numerous than the majority  ─families, those with general interests...─. 
Therefore: Each product must have its own distribution channel, and not all can coexist in the same space…

    The media and their many problems: KIOSKS SLOW DEATH

    When we first published this article (1995), internet had only been in existence for 2 years, and was just starting to make its presence felt at Mexican universities [the UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico) was the first to have its own network node]. In spite of this, newspaper and magazine sales had already been dropping for years. Our “newsstands” are more and more appealing ─including María Elena's, the newspaper seller we interviewed for this article, and whose son still assists customers today (2013)─. But a nice looking newsstand cannot protect its owners from products that are less and less appealing to consumers. And that isn't the only problem: Men comprise an increasing number of newsstand customers, and there are fewer of them all the time, because ─as she says─ the general public has drifted away from these retailers… Logically, this has affected sales, since obviously a specific part of the public, will always be less numerous than the majority ─families, those with general interests...─. Therefore: Each product must have its own distribution channel, and not all can coexist in the same space…

    Continue Reading...

  • A quick review of recent news from around the world, confirms the 2012 Edelman Barometer's conclusions (25 countries, 30,000 persons surveyed), in regards to the remarkable loss of trust, respect and credibility, experienced by major institutions in the last few years –a crisis deep enough to negatively affect their maneuverability, and to obstruct their proper and efficient operation. 
Let's consider the case of communications media:  A 40% credibility rating in countries like the USA and Europe, where people traditionally <strong>trusted</strong> their primary media companies, amounts to nothing, regardless of whether other institutions are faring worse.

In this article, including both the Edelman Barometer video and the above-mentioned information corroborating its claims, we present our analysis of how trust was lost and can be recovered. …As long as the stakeholders allow the establishment of some limits to agendas --...for their own benefit!
Not doing this would kill the Digital Society in which we have invested so much, before it can even operate to its full potential.

    No transaction without TRUST; no trust without evidence of VALUES –But WHOSE values…?

    A quick review of recent news from around the world, confirms the 2012 Edelman Barometer's conclusions (25 countries, 30,000 persons surveyed), in regards to the remarkable loss of trust, respect and credibility, experienced by major institutions in the last few years –a crisis deep enough to negatively affect their maneuverability, and to obstruct their proper and efficient operation. Let's consider the case of communications media: A 40% credibility rating in countries like the USA and Europe, where people traditionally trusted their primary media companies, amounts to nothing, regardless of whether other institutions are faring worse. In this article, including both the Edelman Barometer video and the above-mentioned information corroborating its claims, we present our analysis of how trust was lost and can be recovered. …As long as the stakeholders allow the establishment of some limits to agendas --...for their own benefit! Not doing this would kill the Digital Society in which we have invested so much, before it can even operate to its full potential.

    Continue Reading...

  • During the last decades, literary and media studies have merged, and enriched themselves with tools originally belonging to other disciplines: Anthropology, Sociology, Psychology, Political Sciences, Musicology, and many others...  
Out of their colaboration, in fact, a new discipline was born ─that of Cultural Studies, which builds upon the seminal idea, * that every cultural product and element, responds to a certain social need, and reflects ─in a certain way, too, our social reality.*

Under this multidisciplinarian umbrella, the careful and experienced analysis of popular fiction ─like that of Pedro Infante's movies in Mexico,  offers us a privileged channel to unveiling and understanding our deeper reality ─our "true reality", as Carlos Bousoño would say.
.
       The present paper illustrates the point, better than a thick volume of theoretical frameworks.

    WHEN EVEN THE MOST COURAGEOUS CRY…

    During the last decades, literary and media studies have merged, and enriched themselves with tools originally belonging to other disciplines: Anthropology, Sociology, Psychology, Political Sciences, Musicology, and many others... Out of their colaboration, in fact, a new discipline was born ─that of Cultural Studies, which builds upon the seminal idea, * that every cultural product and element, responds to a certain social need, and reflects ─in a certain way, too, our social reality.* Under this multidisciplinarian umbrella, the careful and experienced analysis of popular fiction ─like that of Pedro Infante's movies in Mexico, offers us a privileged channel to unveiling and understanding our deeper reality ─our "true reality", as Carlos Bousoño would say. . The present paper illustrates the point, better than a thick volume of theoretical frameworks.

    Continue Reading...

  • In the same way that “no action is without an equal and opposite reaction”, there are no sounds that produce no effects.  
And precisely because they generate things inside of us  –they change us–, sounds are powerful: Just as they make us happy or well, they make us uncomfortable or ill.
That said, what do we know about them?; what are their effects? 
Do we know how to use them, both in our professional lives (for example: as a brand for our product), as well as in our private lives?
Julian Treasure is a professional who creates sounds for marketing and for communications media. And today's talk (the video) –the first of three–, simply and brilliantly introduces us to the world of sounds. Because “hearing better”, is living better...

    THE POWER OF SOUND –…by its effects you shall know it; talk by Julian Treasure

    In the same way that “no action is without an equal and opposite reaction”, there are no sounds that produce no effects. And precisely because they generate things inside of us –they change us–, sounds are powerful: Just as they make us happy or well, they make us uncomfortable or ill. That said, what do we know about them?; what are their effects? Do we know how to use them, both in our professional lives (for example: as a brand for our product), as well as in our private lives? Julian Treasure is a professional who creates sounds for marketing and for communications media. And today's talk (the video) –the first of three–, simply and brilliantly introduces us to the world of sounds. Because “hearing better”, is living better...

    Continue Reading...

  • An analysis of morbid content as a narrative device with a boomerang effect, since even when it generates an audience, it tends to kill the media source that resorted to using it (updated version).

    Have you ever wondered WHAT “MORBID” CONTENTS ARE?

    An analysis of morbid content as a narrative device with a boomerang effect, since even when it generates an audience, it tends to kill the media source that resorted to using it (updated version).

    Continue Reading...

  • A story where "nothing happens", may hardly prove interesting.  Another one that produces in us a brutal level of anxiety, by accumulating destructive events, cannot sustain itself as the most enjoyable one --as a "long runner" product, either.  In mass media, like everywhere else, the "right" seasoning is difficult to obtain, as different types of contents must be balanced and integrated to produce an enjoyable and memorable "dish", so that it will be able to fulfill its social function without harming society.  This is what this article talks about.

    Little by little, you can grow ACCUSTOMED TO (ALMOST) EVERYTHING!

    A story where "nothing happens", may hardly prove interesting. Another one that produces in us a brutal level of anxiety, by accumulating destructive events, cannot sustain itself as the most enjoyable one --as a "long runner" product, either. In mass media, like everywhere else, the "right" seasoning is difficult to obtain, as different types of contents must be balanced and integrated to produce an enjoyable and memorable "dish", so that it will be able to fulfill its social function without harming society. This is what this article talks about.

    Continue Reading...

  • This article was our first project on literary theory (or “poetics”), regarding works produced for popular, mass consumption. It explains how they are characterized by the repetitive and codified use of certain narrative schemas with which the audience is already familiar, and provides examples taken primarily from the telenovela industry. 

It was published long before Hawkin's "memes" (contagious, imitated ideas) became habitual amongst Communications people, and it does not only refer to them, but to the many various elements Literary scholars have analyzed as narrative building blocks in cultures all around the world, for centuries without end.

    MARGINALIZED LITERATURE, a new vision of an everlasting cultural issue

    This article was our first project on literary theory (or “poetics”), regarding works produced for popular, mass consumption. It explains how they are characterized by the repetitive and codified use of certain narrative schemas with which the audience is already familiar, and provides examples taken primarily from the telenovela industry. It was published long before Hawkin's "memes" (contagious, imitated ideas) became habitual amongst Communications people, and it does not only refer to them, but to the many various elements Literary scholars have analyzed as narrative building blocks in cultures all around the world, for centuries without end.

    Continue Reading...

  • An intense, vertiginous, hallucinating,  ...and absolutely partial video about social networks.
After reviewing what the digital age is bringing to our lives, the authors conclude triumphantly that the modelling force behind this revolution is people.  They call it: Socialnomics (TM). 
However, and through their own acceptance, it is not the people but consumption of those who are "connected", which is presently modeling the digital society.
If consumption drives the internet, then, agendas model internet contents -not people. That is: If we keep in mind that people who do not buy or who choose not to buy, who are not connected or who choose not to be connected, are citizens, too, and worthy of  their civil rights and our respect, as well.
In other words: People are not in command in the internet (and therefore in the new society that is being built upon it), any more -or any less, than in other media in our days.
Furthermore: We dare to conclude that presently, Socialnomics (TM) implies the substitution of ideals and ideologies we had grown to take into account, for the raw mercantilization of every aspect of our lives.
Only if we realize that this is going on, will we be able to really create a digital society that is good for every human being, that takes everyone --connected or not, into account.

But this video permits us to exercise our reading abilities, in order to go deeper and further than where its authors took us. And this is its true virtue.

    SOCIALNOMICS ™, the social-media revolution -an exercise for TUNING UP OUR ABILITIES AS EXPERT READERS

    An intense, vertiginous, hallucinating, ...and absolutely partial video about social networks. After reviewing what the digital age is bringing to our lives, the authors conclude triumphantly that the modelling force behind this revolution is people. They call it: Socialnomics (TM). However, and through their own acceptance, it is not the people but consumption of those who are "connected", which is presently modeling the digital society. If consumption drives the internet, then, agendas model internet contents -not people. That is: If we keep in mind that people who do not buy or who choose not to buy, who are not connected or who choose not to be connected, are citizens, too, and worthy of their civil rights and our respect, as well. In other words: People are not in command in the internet (and therefore in the new society that is being built upon it), any more -or any less, than in other media in our days. Furthermore: We dare to conclude that presently, Socialnomics (TM) implies the substitution of ideals and ideologies we had grown to take into account, for the raw mercantilization of every aspect of our lives. Only if we realize that this is going on, will we be able to really create a digital society that is good for every human being, that takes everyone --connected or not, into account. But this video permits us to exercise our reading abilities, in order to go deeper and further than where its authors took us. And this is its true virtue.

    Continue Reading...

  • The Digital Revolution (i.e.: the proliferation of the internet, personal computers, mobile/portable devices, etc.) is currently being blamed for the dramatic sales fall that traditional and electronic media are experiencing.  This article, originally published in 1994, witnesses to the unfairness of this myth:  The Internet was officially born in 1993, only one year before this article was written, and its reach in Mexico was still scarce at that time; yet media had already been losing sales and audiences steadily –for years in some cases, and for decades in others.

The fact is so evident that few –if any, of the media products' sales recorded here (including a couple of national newspapers), ever recuperated their previous audiences, and many have disappeared altogether:

Contrary to professionally-generated mainstream-media contents, those internet's contents that have been generated by the general audience (think of FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, e-mail chains and attachments, and the like), are majoritarianly "clean" (amiable in regards to the general audiences' values, ideas and beliefs).  And people are consuming them massively, close to the verge of addiction.

Society cannot possibly deliver mass media a more conclusive message, or put its case in a stronger way.
What are they waiting for to react accordingly...?

    THE MYSTERIOUS CASE OF THE MISSING SPECTATOR has little to do with the Digital Revolution

    The Digital Revolution (i.e.: the proliferation of the internet, personal computers, mobile/portable devices, etc.) is currently being blamed for the dramatic sales fall that traditional and electronic media are experiencing. This article, originally published in 1994, witnesses to the unfairness of this myth: The Internet was officially born in 1993, only one year before this article was written, and its reach in Mexico was still scarce at that time; yet media had already been losing sales and audiences steadily –for years in some cases, and for decades in others. The fact is so evident that few –if any, of the media products' sales recorded here (including a couple of national newspapers), ever recuperated their previous audiences, and many have disappeared altogether: Contrary to professionally-generated mainstream-media contents, those internet's contents that have been generated by the general audience (think of FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, e-mail chains and attachments, and the like), are majoritarianly "clean" (amiable in regards to the general audiences' values, ideas and beliefs). And people are consuming them massively, close to the verge of addiction. Society cannot possibly deliver mass media a more conclusive message, or put its case in a stronger way. What are they waiting for to react accordingly...?

    Continue Reading...

Página 1 de 3123