My Discover Column

I’m writing a new column for Discover magazine called “Peer Review.” I’ll post links to them whenever the magazine puts the columns online.

Here’s one from a month or so ago, that led to a lot of email from angry HDTV owners. It wasn’t exactly criticizing the new medium – just trying to point out that TV on HDTV is a different experience. As McLuhan might have said, it transforms television from a cool to a hot medium. Here’s an excerpt:

It’s no surprise that members of a technology-driven age would yearn for clearer images in all media. This trend began when microscopes revealed that disease-causing “humours” were actually microbes and telescopes deconstructed the constellations of astrology to reveal the galaxies of astronomy. But what happens when we bring the highest-resolution technologies into worlds best left in the realm of myth? This tendency to apply scientific accuracy of observation to literature and even religion may actually strip them of their greater power. Mel Gibson’s computer-generated depiction of Jesus’ every bleeding wound in The Passion of the Christ turned a universal gospel into the literal story of one man’s mutilation and death.”