Transcript of an interview with Basil Montag, professor of Entertainment Matter at Ball State University. (note: this interview was also taken by a UI undercover reporter (Sh4d0wF4x) and was conducted in 2133, ten years before the Cook incident. Mr. Montag has since refused interviews except with the major bugy media sources)
Thank you for seeing me, Mr. Montag.
No, thank you for having me. Which feed did you mention you wrote for, again?
The Shanghai Hourly Meal
That's funny, it isn't showing up on my Google Goggles.
We are just starting up, sir, we've only a few feeds at this point. We're also situated under data regulation, and-
So we're helping the free transfer of data with this interview?
Well, in some ways-
Oh, don't worry! I'm all for freedom of data! Interview away!
Why, thank you, sir.
Tell me your name again?
Well, continue Mr. Mendeleev!
Thank you, sir. For my first question, for our readers who are not so familiar with your work: tell us what you do.
I am a professor of Entertainment Matter at Ball State University, and have been for the past 8 years. Before that I worked for about 25 years on improving MindFeed for FoggyChannel, whose development I was lucky to oversee.
You and FoggyChannel, particularly the MindFeed project, have quite a legacy, am I correct?
Indeed we do! How refreshing to meet a reporter who does his research! While I like to think I earned my place in FoggyChannel like every other of their fine employees, my grandfather helped found the company and my father was one of the developers for the original MindFeed.
How did MindFeed come about?
Exactly how ignorant are your readers? (chuckles) Well, those studying Entertainment Matter need a stringent knowledge of the history, so, if I may indulge myself, would you let the professor demonstrate?
Go right ahead, sir.
Thank you! Here we go: For centuries and before the invention of many devices, we could only approximate the world we sensed; there was no way to accurately capture it. We painted paintings, but they were only estimates of what we saw. We imitated sounds and built instruments, but they sounded different wherever we played them, and the original sounds were lost forever.
This was centuries ago?
Right, the very, very basics. Then we invented objects that could re-create. Cameras (imagine, they were once state-of-the-art and the size of your head! Maybe larger!). Others might be speakers, microphones, you name it! In the 19th and 20th century, we were awash in actual data and information that seemed to its viewers like something that once existed!
...This was new?!
Right, right, in this day and age it's harder to imagine a world without it. But really, imagine a place with... oh, I don't know...trees. Grass. Horses. But namely, people whose entire job it was to tell stories, because we had no other way of receiving them. Anything that happened, it was gone when it was done. The only music you could hear was if someone else was in the room with you playing it. Someone could only be seen if they were somewhere in your vision!
Incredibly! Think of the miracles that this new technology showered us with! Once again, we had things that could accurately re-create!-
You keep saying "re-create." Why the prefix "re"?
Slow down, son! We're getting there...
Oh, I'm sorry. Continue.
There was an awkward stage when this technology was new, but its products often weren't modified. Meaning: a camera would take a picture, and nobody would alter it. Or a microphone would capture someone's voice, but wouldn't re-arrange the words. So nothing new was created, rather, an event was emulated.
Re-created! Done again! Because of this, people believed what they saw. A photo was considered proof of an event. A recording of my voice, when played back, would prove to a listener that I'd actually said whatever the recording had me say. This technology was so new that people tended to believe it.
Eventually though, other technologies gave rise to the changing and re-arranging of this media. I could take someone out of a photograph, and suddenly they were never there! I could re-arrange the words on a voice recording so I seemed to have said something that I truthfully never said.
While this is fascinating, what does this all have to do with MindFeed, or you, for that matter?
Ah, you see, this all has to do with the study of Entertainment Matter, a study I helped create!
How does Entertainment Matter fit into all of this?
Entertainment Matter is the study of creation and re-arrangement of digital signal that we use for entertainment purposes. Our graduates strive to make the most captivating, engaging material for the most general, widest audiences.
Audience and Media Manipulation?
I'm sorry, that was the term I've heard used for your program.
...who do you write for again?
The Shanghai Hourly Meal
I still don't see any hits, it's been at least 6 minutes since I last checked.
Please, let's finish this interview so other searching readers can see it! Tell me, why not Media Manipulation? Isn't that what you do? Change recorded media around?
Well... we avoid the word manipulation. Remember, we create these original works, so who cares where the original stock comes from?
So there are no original sources?
The new work you produce is made entirely from pre-recorded segments?
Well, technically, all Entertainment Matter is pre-recorded. Nothing can be presented unless its reality has been captured, by camera or microphone, at one point or another-
But how long ago was this captured? I guess what I'm asking is, when was the original, or source, material captured?
That's very hard to define...
What I mean is, your studio's last movie, Wakey Wakey, features someone named Woody Allen.
Didn't Woody Allen die sometime last century?
I don't see the relevance of that fact, and neither will the viewers.
I'm not sure if the viewers will even know. Some critics state that Entertainment Matter has expunged certain words from vocabulary. "Actor," "Singer," or a favorite one, "Performer"-
I don't appreciate this.
What are those words?
Like most of your questions, they tie to the history of Entertainment Matter. As I was saying: there was a moment when we started altering the evidence, and when this evidence was being used as entertainment. Television, movie theaters (imagine a whole crowd of people watching one large screen!). There were great possibilities of reaching the masses...
And why is this related to performance?
Because for a while, viewers simply wanted re-creations of other people. Back then, some people's entire jobs were to do things for a viewer's entertainment. We've had them since the beginning of time (other historical words like jester, minstrel, bard) but we started to record them in great quantities, around the middle of the 20th century. Sometime around the middle of the last century, we realized we didn't need them anymore.
We'd reached a huge amount of recorded data. We found that we had so much entertainment already stored we could produce an infinitely large body of work by simply re-arranging it. And re-arranging that, and so on and so forth. And it was much cheaper than the old process. The Old Process required hiring people to think of a work (they used to write it), act it out (perform was the word), and later edit it to make it presentable. Now, we can just skip to a shorter version of writing it out, and later edit the pre-recorded material. Think of the efficiency!
So this is Entertainment Matter?
Indeed! Entertainment Matter creates new work by re-arranging old ones. As a path of study, it is about creating entertainment in the New Process.
Exclusively. The entertainment is found to be exponentially more effective when it's jacked directly into the brain. Earlier experiments with technologies like television were proven to be ineffective.
When in the history of Entertainment Matter did Media Rehabilitation Centers appear?
Shanhai Daily Meal is finally producing a search result...
Do you feel that by capitalizing on such a basic commodity as sleep with NapSpace you are making your viewers into mere capital-holding objects?
A government warning...
Are people being made slovenly and listless by MindFeed?
"The most recent cover for the Underground Insider, a sensationalist anti-media feed, discovered 43 seconds ago!"
Answer my questions, Basil.
This interview is over. Security will see you out.