For media people 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.

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  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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).

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  • 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...

  • Once in a while we run across the words "colective aesthetics", but few can explain to us what they mean in terms anyone can understand.  This brief article achieves this seemingly unsurmountable task, through exposing us to a fun and short test no-one "flunks", no-one fails to answer.  Not only does it make us laugh, it also makes us think why in the world we all know these things.  If our brains strive innately to learn and retain them, then --somehow, they are necessary for our survival both as individuals and as societies. It naturally follows that those literatures that feed on these elements and keep them alive, constitute a premier social institution, even if our society frequently fails to appreciate it.

    A test about media, YOU JUST WILL LOVE TO ANSWER!

    Once in a while we run across the words "colective aesthetics", but few can explain to us what they mean in terms anyone can understand. This brief article achieves this seemingly unsurmountable task, through exposing us to a fun and short test no-one "flunks", no-one fails to answer. Not only does it make us laugh, it also makes us think why in the world we all know these things. If our brains strive innately to learn and retain them, then --somehow, they are necessary for our survival both as individuals and as societies. It naturally follows that those literatures that feed on these elements and keep them alive, constitute a premier social institution, even if our society frequently fails to appreciate it.

    Continue Reading...

  • Steven Pinker, in his book "The blank slate; the modern denial of human nature", gathers scientific evidence in regards to the fact that all humans are born equal in terms of those traits which are innate to our species. 
This renown neurolinguist talks here about what has been discovered to be essentially human, and why this knowledge has irated so many people, despite the fact that it can save arts, media, and the humanities in general.

    Steven Pinker: THE PRESENT FAILURE OF ELITE ART TO ATTRACT US is linked to the blank slate theory.

    Steven Pinker, in his book "The blank slate; the modern denial of human nature", gathers scientific evidence in regards to the fact that all humans are born equal in terms of those traits which are innate to our species. This renown neurolinguist talks here about what has been discovered to be essentially human, and why this knowledge has irated so many people, despite the fact that it can save arts, media, and the humanities in general.

    Continue Reading...

  • This article analyzes the consumption of cultural works in Mexico, at the end of the XXth century. 
In the years elapsed since it was published, however, the number of copies magazines sell -like national papers' and other media products' sales, have plummeted.
Several best-selling magazines it mentions, have disappeared from the market; and others are publishing less than a fourth of the copies they did at that time, as a consequence of the very same issues this article analyzed: Creators, producers and distributors of both "high brow" (elite) and "low brow" (popular) works, have alienated themselves from their audiences, and through the continuous opposition to the latters' values, ideas and beliefs (through both veiled and overt contestation), they have lost their consumers' trust.  And also their money.

In other words: What this article concluded, is still true, including the fact that people -even the younger generations, are reading... --yes, indeed!; but not what some would like them to read.
In the end, this is more positive for society in many senses, than the consumption of media works that would otherwise have corroded even more, the social and cultural tissue of our countries.
What we have observed is the displacement of average audiences, towards works that better reflect the latter's values, ideas and beliefs, as we should have expected since the beginning: This facilitates the survival of the larger part of the social group and its culture --the part that has been less influenced by media in general, by the way.

Anyone could have foreseen what has happened, from a social-anthropology or systems-theories' frames of study --we certainly did, and published it all around, while many stared at us in disbelief. Nowadays media fear for their very survival; but the social-body demonstrates a vigour and an intuition, few would have vowed for. It will soon produce new works, away from dominant content agendas, that most of us  (but sadly not all), will love.

    If it is not the readers’ fault, WHOM SHOULD WE BLAME…?

    This article analyzes the consumption of cultural works in Mexico, at the end of the XXth century. In the years elapsed since it was published, however, the number of copies magazines sell -like national papers' and other media products' sales, have plummeted. Several best-selling magazines it mentions, have disappeared from the market; and others are publishing less than a fourth of the copies they did at that time, as a consequence of the very same issues this article analyzed: Creators, producers and distributors of both "high brow" (elite) and "low brow" (popular) works, have alienated themselves from their audiences, and through the continuous opposition to the latters' values, ideas and beliefs (through both veiled and overt contestation), they have lost their consumers' trust. And also their money. In other words: What this article concluded, is still true, including the fact that people -even the younger generations, are reading... --yes, indeed!; but not what some would like them to read. In the end, this is more positive for society in many senses, than the consumption of media works that would otherwise have corroded even more, the social and cultural tissue of our countries. What we have observed is the displacement of average audiences, towards works that better reflect the latter's values, ideas and beliefs, as we should have expected since the beginning: This facilitates the survival of the larger part of the social group and its culture --the part that has been less influenced by media in general, by the way. Anyone could have foreseen what has happened, from a social-anthropology or systems-theories' frames of study --we certainly did, and published it all around, while many stared at us in disbelief. Nowadays media fear for their very survival; but the social-body demonstrates a vigour and an intuition, few would have vowed for. It will soon produce new works, away from dominant content agendas, that most of us (but sadly not all), will love.

    Continue Reading...

  • A brief examination of what highly educated people really read when nobody is watching them, allows  us to conclude that it is humanly impossible to refrain from reading popular works –to maintain a “purely highbrow diet” comprised of only elite works.
We put forth the following explanation: Works applauded and esteemed by the elite arts in the last 100 years or so, envision a sordid, bitter, and hopeless world –thus frequently becoming toxic or harmful for their readers’ emotional and general health, as we shall analyse in other articles. A “purely-depressive works” diet would certainly kill its reader.
No wonder most people, and even highly educated ones, tend to prefer popular works, even if they lack the prestige of the “high arts”. What a pity it is, though, that even popular works have been contaminated by the biases that have progressively killed the “high” arts, thus diminishing the spontaneous and joyful pleasure we hope and expect to obtain from them.

    WHAT HIGHLY EDUCATED PEOPLE READ…, when nobody watches

    A brief examination of what highly educated people really read when nobody is watching them, allows us to conclude that it is humanly impossible to refrain from reading popular works –to maintain a “purely highbrow diet” comprised of only elite works. We put forth the following explanation: Works applauded and esteemed by the elite arts in the last 100 years or so, envision a sordid, bitter, and hopeless world –thus frequently becoming toxic or harmful for their readers’ emotional and general health, as we shall analyse in other articles. A “purely-depressive works” diet would certainly kill its reader. No wonder most people, and even highly educated ones, tend to prefer popular works, even if they lack the prestige of the “high arts”. What a pity it is, though, that even popular works have been contaminated by the biases that have progressively killed the “high” arts, thus diminishing the spontaneous and joyful pleasure we hope and expect to obtain from them.

    Continue Reading...

  • What interests us in this talk?. The public recognition by a top neurolinguist, that previous to the word –previous to the form, shape and channel we may choose to transmit a message, there is a communicative intention –the content we want to transmit, the message itself.  Everything else depends from it, and derives from it, as we will incredibly addapt any available means and resources, to fulfill our communication goal, to transmit our message.

    Steven Pinker: On language and thought, …AND THE PREEMINENCE OF CONTENTS IN MEDIA

    What interests us in this talk?. The public recognition by a top neurolinguist, that previous to the word –previous to the form, shape and channel we may choose to transmit a message, there is a communicative intention –the content we want to transmit, the message itself. Everything else depends from it, and derives from it, as we will incredibly addapt any available means and resources, to fulfill our communication goal, to transmit our message.

    Continue Reading...

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