What the Heck is Electracy?


Introduction: Electracy” by Ulmer stated the importance of electracy.

What is electracy? As many people would ask. In the article, it said that “‘electracy’ is to digital media what literacy is to alphabetic writing: an apparatus, or social machine, partly technological, partly institutional.” In addition, Derrida traced electracy as a combination of electricity and trace (electricity + trace = electracy).

I thought it was an interesting idea what Ulmer came up with. We use electronic media in our daily lives without thinking of how important it really is. We used to not use it because technology was not this advanced. However, without thinking about it, we gradually started using more and more electronic media as the time passed, and we probably will even more in the future. In many ways, being able to use electronic media is very helpful. On the other hand, it can be very distracting.

Electracy is a type of entertainment, whereas oral is to religion and literacy is to science. The article said, “the institutional practices of electracy, so far, have been developed within the institution of Entertainment.” Because we use so much digital media for entertainment, our mind has become “electrate.” We are revolving our lives through electracy.

figure-1Moreover, Ulmer said, “electracy needs to do for digital imagining what literacy did for the written word.” We used to depend our information orally and through literacy. However, in recent years, we have added another category, and yes, you guessed it right, electracy, without even realizing it. We now use electonic media to get information and connect with people.

Ulmer also thinks that electracy should be taught in school in addition to math and science. I thought that was very interesting because he is taking electracy as another “subject.” I agree with him that it should be taught in school. However, from middle school. Through electracy, people can learn things and discover themselves that religion and science can’t teach. It can also help with imagination and creativity. The reason I say from middle school and not from elementary school is that for elementary school, I think recess is enough for young kids. In recess, kids can connect with people physically, and also see what they enjoy. I think learning electracy is too early for these kids, and after elementary school, they can build up their self discovery through electracy.


Do we depend too much on digital media? Or is digital media a good thing? We might depend too much but because of it we can also learn something that math and science can’t teach. The real keyword for electracy is “humanity.”


Related Articles:
What is electracy?
Inventing Electracy

Discussion Questions:
-Do you think electracy should be taught in school just like other subjects?
-Would electracy change how we view the world?


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