​Low-resolution Civilization: It’s Still About the Content 

by Bob Schwartz

“Displays are the secret superstars of CES” says a headline about the ongoing Consumer Electronics Show, the annual world’s fair of our bright digital future. 
It seems that screens with higher resolution, more dimensions and more curves are something we can eagerly await. 

It’s probably a good time to mention the Bible, Plato, Shakespeare, or whatever spiritual, philosophical or literary texts and icons you might consider a little remarkable. 

As a student of media, and an admirer of brilliant media analysts such as Marshall McLuhan who tie evolving messaging to evolving media, I still should mention this. Much of our civilized foundation comes from oral traditions, or when set down, written and published in decidedly low-resolution form. Feathered quill pens managed to convey some very high-resolution thoughts and creativity. 

Yes, I have a 4k TV and other amazing devices with astonishing screens and capabilities. But it was the Romans who gave us the concept of bread and circuses, distractions from the real issues at hand. Of course form and technique of messaging matter and change. But in the long run, our outcomes and lives will depend on the content of communications, whatever the resolution.