Last week, Jeff Rice from University of Kentucky visited DePaul’s Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse to lecture about his coming book, Craft Identity. It’s all about social media and society told through the lens of craft beer. Rice is really seriously into craft beer.
I noticed immediately that Rice is heavily influenced by Marshall McLuhan, the author of The Medium is the Massage.
A short aside: McLuhan is extremely abstract. He argues that society is now governed by print media rules, logical uninterrupted arguments that flow from beginning to end. But digital media now dominate we continue to judge digital media by print media standards.
Now back to Rice. He argues that to understand the power of social media we have to throw out the print standard that arguments flow from one complete thought to the next. In social media, it’s more like a series of thoughts that interrupt and overlap each other and make a complete argument or pattern.
Now comes the interesting part, he made this argument by writing his book as a series of thoughts that interrupt and overlap each other. It was an interesting concept, although a little hard to follow, given the venue.
After a serious mulling and a talk with a professor who attended the lecture as well, I was able to piece together the description above. I’m certain Craft Identity will be required or recommended reading for one of my upcoming classes. I hope I will better understand once I am able to read to whole book for myself.
Find Rice’s other books here.