A Story within a Story

On Saturday, Doug Johnson, a highly respected educator, thinker, and author, posted a message to the WWWEDU mailing list suggesting we view “a very interesting (and frightening) short clip on the future of how technology may impact on the News.” The clip can be viewed from the following URL:


The above page announced that:

In the year 2014, The New York Times has gone offline.
The Fourth Estate’s fortunes have waned.
What happened to the news?
And what is EPIC?

The video itself, which is attributed to the Museum of Media History and the Tampa Bay Federal District in Florida, provides a accurate portrayal of the developments of media, media retrieval, distribution, and social software. After 2004, it projects developments, primarily at the hands of Amazon, Google, and Microsoft. It is a chilling account of a media world based in self gratification rather than hard and accurate content.

Ironically, the video is challenged by Paul Nash, an equally respected educator and technologist from New Zealand. He researched the video, exposing the fact that neither the Museum of Media History, nor the Tampa Bay Federal District exist. I further investigated the video, tracking down one of the writers and designer of the Flash production. He appears to be associated with with INdTV, started by Al Gore (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A45826-2005Jan3.html) and also authors a blog, called “Large is the New Medium” (http://www.robinsloan.com/blog/)

So, is EPIC worth watching or using?

Does it depend on who the author is? Yes. Does it depend on the author’s agenda? Of course! Does it depend on its accuracy. Without question! But, perhaps most important, does it help you accomplish your goal? Bottom line!

Why would I want to recommend or even show this video in a workshop? In order to imprint the point that literacy, in the 21st century, is far richer than merely being able to decode the text in front of you. It means being able to:

  • located appropriate information,
  • extract meaning,
  • critically evaluate the information in terms of your goals and environment, and
  • being able to logically organize the information into valuable personal digital libraries.

Now, thanks to Paul Nash, I have a story about the story to further make my case.

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