A Miscommunication with Civilians

“The Hassans decided to make the journey after an American helicopter dropped fliers over their farming village that showed a drawing of a family sitting at a table, eating and smiling, with a message written in Arabic. | Sgt. 1st Class Stephen Furbush, an Army intelligence analyst, said the message read: ‘To be safe, stay put.’ | But Hassan said he and his father thought it just said, ‘Be safe.’…

Robotic Iguanas

“A gentle waterfall pours from the cliff into a large aqua pool. The rocks are molded concrete and the pool reeks of chlorine. Under clear resin, our tabletop bears a colorful design of the Mayan alphabet and calendar. Down one level to the right is an area with carpeted steps and a large video screen playing cartoons — a sideshow for children not sufficiently captivated by robotic iguanas…. Can someone…

Embedded Reporters: What Are Americans Getting?

“Often the best reports were those that were carefully written and edited. Some were essentially radio reporting on TV. Technology made some reports stand out but got in the way when it was used for its own sake. Too often the rush to get information on air live created confusion, errors and even led journalists to play the game of ‘Telephone,’ in which partial accounts become distorted and exaggerated in…

In Defense of Play

“Children don’t go to work in either family businesses (which are fewer and fewer), nor do they go to work to help support their families as in the past. These are small-scale examples but they speak to a larger societal issue: we have taken away nearly all of the ‘traditional’ past-times of children and replaced them with television [first - pre 1985] and games [second - post 1985]. And we…

McLuhan's Messages, Echoing in Iraq Coverage

“Because McLuhan saw the media as extensions of the human body – printed books as extensions of eyes, radios as extensions of ears – he believed that each new technological advance would reshape humanity and traumatize it, too. ‘We shape our tools and our tools shape us.’…. The tanks rolling into Iraq from the south were not just tanks but extensions of marching legs and protective skin. The night vision…