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Dr. Petroski
Dr. Petroski
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The EPIC Googleplex

on Thu May 24, 2018 9:06 pm
~EPIC 2014 wrote:At its best, EPIC is a summary of the world—deeper, broader and more nuanced than anything ever available before . . . but at its worst, and for too many, EPIC is merely a collection of trivia, much of it untrue.


In 2004, new media commentators Robin Sloan and Matt Thompson presented a video presentation to the Poynter Institute (a U.S.-based nonprofit news education organization) on the future of news audiences. Inventing the hypothetical EPIC (Evolving Personalized Information Construct), they described a media system completely tailored for each individual Web user wherein the computer program EPIC searches and scans the entirety of online news in a given point in time, taking and rewriting existing news stories so that they can be tailored to meet the discrete personality, interests, and tastes of individual audience members. As the preceding quote demonstrates, such a news distribution system would likely be remarkably attractive for each user, but could have a devastating impact on society as a whole as we might lose collective sight on the important issues of the day.

Yet, as the book argues (and as Sloan and Thompson seem to suggest), media tools are not inherently “good” or “bad,” but rather the individuals who use them can do so in a “good” or “bad” manner. What do you think? As you use more tailored media sources to learn, relate, persuade, and entertain yourselves and your friends, do you feel more or less informed about the world? Why or why not?

The original EPIC videos are available for viewing at epic.makingithappen.co.uk

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Dr. Petroski
Department of Communication
Southern Connecticut State University
petroskid1@southernct.edu
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