…..psst… on final cut pro how do you set the dissolve times again?….
The average American now watches more than 4.2 hours of television a day.
For their entire lives.
If we spent 4.2 hours a day reading instead of watching television we would be a very different kind of culture. We would have a very different kind of President.
But we don’t.
So let’s accept the idea that video is here to stay. It has now become the dominant means of communicating in the early years of the 21st Century. And with video now moving to the web, it is seems more than likely that we are going to be looking at a lot more video… a lot more.
The end of the 18th Century saw a great social movement both in this country and also in Europe to begin to educate people, for free. Public schools were opened looking to offering free education for all. It was meant as a free education for all in reading, in writing and in maths.
People were not taught to read and write so that they could perhaps earn a living as novelists. They were taught to read and write so that they could participate in print-driven culture.
We don’t live in a print driven culture anymore. We live in a video driven culture. But we are not educating our people in video literacy, and we should. This is not so that they can then go on to earn a living as cameramen or editors. It is so that they can then go on to participate in an increasing number of facets of the society that is surely coming.
Reading and writing are great, but so is video literacy.
And at the moment, the ability to create video, to express yourself in video is held in the hands of a very few… and elite few. Even if they have the best intentions, this is dangerous to a healthy, democratic society.
If public discourse is going to take place in video, which is increasingly is; if the transmission of knowledge and opinion is going to take place in video, which it increasingly is; if entertainment is going to take place in video, which it increasingly is; then it is critical that we create a population that can give.. as well as receive. A population that can participate.
Otherwise, we run the risk of turning over the most powerful institutions and conversations we will have to a very very few.