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Media Ecology Institute

Ivan Franko National University of L'viv

 

 

The Institute attempts to integrate, on the one hand, conceptual and theoretical ideas related to Media Ecology/ Media Philosophy, and on the other hand, practical applications of Media Education/Media Literacy.

 

 

In the sphere of Media Education/Media Literacy, the Institute

1)       popularizes the ideas and works of North American and West European colleagues;

2)       makes its own contribution to these fields.

 

 

The Institute emphasizes that the audience of the countries with the totalitarian past is more sensitive to the psychological manipulation of mass media. The situation is still more aggravated by the discrepancies between the values formed by advertisement and very low living standards of a majority of population.

 

Another hypothesis is that for the population of post-totalitarian countries propaganda and falsification are more dangerous than screen violence and pornography.

 

 

One more “non-standard” aspect of the Institute work is connected with the statement that not only a separate text (whether representing violence, propaganda, or pornography) is pathogenic, but also the excessive pliability of humans to the influence of the text as an aggressive semiotic structure is potentially dangerous.

                However, this aspect cannot be viewed as a purely practical (applied) one and it therefore requires philosophical contemplation.

 

 

Thus, in the sphere of Media Ecology/Media Philosophy, the Institute

1)       popularizes the concepts of media determinism, ideas of Marshall McLuhan, Neil Postman, and other representatives of the Toronto and New York media ecology schools;

2)       elaborates its own theoretical research, based on the vision of discourse (meta-discourse) as an expansionist semiotic structure.

 

 

Self-expansion and irreversible growth of this meta-discourse determines, in fact, the development of human civilization and culture. The global meta-discourse is identified with the noosphere―a new sphere of the Earth, which does not depend upon the subjective desires of separate people, and which exerts, on a certain stage of its formation, a destabilizing influence on the other Earth spheres―bioshpere, atmo- and hydrosphere. In this sense, it is possible to speak about the threat of the noosphere.

 

Paradoxical thinking can be viewed as one of the devices able to somewhat neutralize the influence of aggressive semiotic structures and, hence, to contribute to the stabilization of the noosphere.

 

 

One more aspect of the Institute activity is connected with the prediction of media development and the issue of the “transfer of the fourth power.” Our vision of the problem is based upon the idea that the ways of “media throne” transfer (from oral medium to writing, from writing to printing, from printing to television―the dominant medium of the end of the 20th-beginning of the 21st centuries) has always been based upon conflicts. Each of these stages reflected the interests of the conservative media elite and of those people who implemented a new medium. Today we may observe the signs of a growing conflict between television―the media king and its successor. These conflicts will be mostly connected with the redistribution of advertisement.

 

 

   


Media Ecology emerged at a time when a new sphere around the planet Earth, the noosphere, was moving into high gear. This sphere  is being increasingly associated with the information space, which seems to be taking a firmer grip on the planet. The current period of the breath-taking informational development is somewhat akin to a nuclear chain reaction getting out of hand. It seems like almosThet every sphere of the planet knew a similar stage of instability at one time or another. This critical instability can knock the planet off balance. The Media Ecology, however, is about a belief that this  painful phase can be overcome.


Media Ecology emerged at a time when a new sphere around the planet Earth, the noosphere, was moving into high gear. This sphere  is being increasingly associated with the information space, which seems to be taking a firmer grip on the planet. The current period of the breath-taking informational development is somewhat akin to a nuclear  chain reaction getting out of hand. It seems like almosThet every sphere of the planet knew a similar stage of instability at one time or another. This critical instability can knock the planet off balance. The Media Ecology, however, is about a belief that this  painful phase can be overcome.