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Utopia Is Creepy: And Other Provocations by Nicholas Carr
Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, centralized clearinghouse, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, computer age, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, deskilling, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, factory automation, failed state, feminist movement, Frederick Winslow Taylor, friendly fire, game design, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, hive mind, impulse control, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, Kevin Kelly, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, mental accounting, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, oil shale / tar sands, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Singularitarianism, Snapchat, social graph, social web, speech recognition, Startup school, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technoutopianism, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator
Cave painting lasted a hundred years, and then there was smoke signaling, which also lasted a hundred years, and of course there was the hundred years of yodeling, and then there was the printing press, which was invented almost precisely a hundred years ago, and so forth up to the present day—the day that Facebook picked up the hundred-year torch and ran with it. Quoth the Zuckster: “The next hundred years will be different for advertising, and it starts today.” Yes, today is the first day of the rest of advertising’s life. I like the way that Zuckerberg conflates “media” and “advertising.” It cuts through the noise. It simplifies. Get over your mainstream-media hang-ups, granddads. Editorial is advertorial. The medium is the message from our sponsor. Marketing is conversational, says Zuckerberg, and advertising is social. There is no intimacy that is not a branding opportunity, no friendship that can’t be monetized, no kiss that doesn’t carry an exchange of value. “Facebook’s ad system,” goes a company press release, “serves Social Ads that combine social actions from your friends—such as a purchase of a product or review of a restaurant—with an advertiser’s message.”
He would also be amazed to discover that the fuzzy, low-definition TV screens that he knew (and on which he based his famous distinction between hot and cool media) have been replaced by crystal-clear, high-definition monitors, which more often than not are crawling with the letters of the alphabet. Our senses are more dominated by the need to maintain a strong, narrow visual focus than ever before. Electric media are social media, but they are also media of isolation. If the medium is the message, then the message of electric media has turned out to be far different from what McLuhan supposed. That some of his ideas didn’t pan out wouldn’t have bothered him much. He was far more interested in playing with ideas than nailing them down. He intended his writings to be “probes” into the present and the future. He wanted his words to knock readers out of their intellectual comfort zones, to get them to entertain the possibility that their accepted patterns of perception might need reordering.
SMARTPHONES ARE HOT October 21, 2014 THE LIGHTBULB, MARSHALL MCLUHAN wrote, is an example of a medium without content. Walk into a dark room and hit the light switch, and the bulb generates a new environment even though the bulb transmits no information. The idea of a medium without content is hard to grasp. It doesn’t make sense in the context of our assumptions about media. But it’s fundamental to understanding McLuhan’s contention that the medium is the message—that every medium creates an environment independent of the content or information it transmits. So what are we to make of the smartphone, the medium of the moment, our portable environment? If, as McLuhan argued, the content of any new medium is an old medium, the content of the smartphone would seem to be all media: telephone, television, radio, cinema, printed book, electronic book, comic book, record, MP3, newspaper, magazine, letter, newsletter, email, peep show, library, school, lecture, ATM, desktop, laptop, love note, medical record, rap sheet.
Collaborative Futures by Mike Linksvayer, Michael Mandiberg, Mushon Zer-Aviv
4chan, Benjamin Mako Hill, British Empire, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collaborative economy, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Debian, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, informal economy, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, late capitalism, loose coupling, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Naomi Klein, Network effects, optical character recognition, packet switching, postnationalism / post nation state, prediction markets, Richard Stallman, semantic web, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Slavoj Žižek, stealth mode startup, technoutopianism, the medium is the message, The Wisdom of Crowds, web application
Assumptions “Xerography—every man’s brainpicker—heralds the times of instant publishing. Anybody can now become both author and publisher. Take any books on any subject and custom-make your own book by simply xeroxing a chapter from this one, a chapter from that one—instant steal! As new technologies come into play, people become less and less convinced of the importance of self expression. Teamwork succeeds private eﬀort.“ —Marshall McLuhan, The Medium is the MESSAGE This book was wri en in a collaborative Book Sprint by six core authors over a ﬁve-day period in January 2010. The six starting authors each come from diﬀerent perspectives, as are the contributors who were adding to this living body of text. Six months later a new group of collaborators convened in New York City, while several of the ﬁrst group also contributed simultaneously from NYC, Berlin and San Francisco.
And it is this thought, this form-of-life, that, abandoning naked life to ‘Man’ and to the ‘Citizen,’ who c lothe it temporarily and represent it with their ‘rights,’ must bec ome the guiding c onc ept and the unitary c enter of the c oming politic s.” —Giorgio Agamben, Mea ns without End: Notes on Politics. [University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, London: 2000] 25 What this book is… To begin looking at those futures, we look back to others who have looked into the future. Marshall McLuhan’s quote above, from “The Medium is the MESSAGE” give us our ﬁrst clue about all of these assumptions we are making. We are talking about media, we are talking about freedom, we are talking about technologies, and we are talking about culture. McLuhan’s prophetic u erance, several decades before the photocopier fueled the punk cut-up design aesthetic, or the profusion of home-brew zines, is still unmet. We are still chasing it. Mainstream culture continues to consolidate around block buster ﬁlms, books, and music.
The Internet of Money by Andreas M. Antonopoulos
AltaVista, altcoin, bitcoin, blockchain, clean water, cognitive dissonance, cryptocurrency, ethereum blockchain, global reserve currency, litecoin, London Interbank Offered Rate, Oculus Rift, packet switching, peer-to-peer lending, Ponzi scheme, ransomware, reserve currency, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, Skype, smart contracts, the medium is the message, trade route, underbanked, WikiLeaks
If I’m the guerrilla and I want to buy something, I construct the transaction offline, and when I’m ready, run out into the middle of the field, clamp my transmitter onto a clothesline, press “enter,” transmit for 25 seconds, pack up my gear, and disappear into the forest. How the hell do you stop that? You don’t. That’s the simple answer, you don’t. But that’s just the beginning. 9.5. Separating the Medium and the Message Once you realize that money has become a content type, that transactions have been disconnected from the medium, some really important secondary characteristics emerge. You see, the medium is the message, as someone famous once said. The primary reason the medium is the message is because the medium constrains, transforms, and in many cases, distorts the message. When your medium is TV, your message is 18 minutes long, interrupted by advertising slots. That is your message; there is no other format you can fit there. So, you make a message that fits that medium. And you start assigning the value of your message based on the mistaken assumption that it is equivalent to the cost of production.
Albert Einstein, Andrew Keen, Apple II, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, butterfly effect, computer age, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, East Village, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Grace Hopper, gravity well, Guggenheim Bilbao, Honoré de Balzac, Howard Rheingold, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, John von Neumann, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Mercator projection, Mother of all demos, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, planetary scale, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Post-materialism, post-materialism, Potemkin village, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Robert X Cringely, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, social software, spaced repetition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ted Nelson, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, Thomas L Friedman, Turing machine, Turing test, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, walkable city, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, William Shockley: the traitorous eight
It does not matter if it is delivered over the air, via cable, or with the aid of a dish; played back from tape, digital video disc (DVD), or a digital video recorder’s (DVR) hard drive; watched on a plasma screen, an ancient console, or in the car (a particularly terrifying development for those of us who drive the freeways). Television is always the same: to watch it is to track an electronic download in real time—a narrativized progress bar with a laugh track.3 Marshall McLuhan was half right: the medium is the message, but the messages also deﬁne the medium. And what of the computer? The challenge it has mounted to television over the past decade has little to do with one machine being replaced by another—in the manner of 78s being supplanted by LPs, vinyl records by 8-tracks and cassette tapes, and compact discs (CDs) by MP3s; or videotape recorders by laser discs to be followed in turn by DVDs, video on demand, and DVRs.
Often invoking “quality shows” like The Sopranos and The Wire, the capitulationists wax on about narrative complexity, visual sophistication, time shifting via DVRs, the release of whole seasons on DVD, and the increasingly intertwined hypercontextualization of television via extratextual material on the Web, including podcasting and mobisodes on mobile phones, all to make the claim that television has ﬁnally reached a critical mass of cultural importance. Yet if the formulation that the medium is the message holds true, the unfortunate fact is that the medium has not turned out to be all that good for us in heavy usage, even if some of the programming is as good as contemporary ﬁlm.8 7 CHAPTER 1 Television’s junk culture spews the high fructose corn syrup of the imagination, and as a result of our addiction to the box, we have contracted cultural diabetes. I am fully aware of the critiques of my antitelevision position from both the Left and the Right, but before we get to the cultural studies rhetoric of audience empowerment and the laissez-faire bromides about the market, let me unpack my metaphors, ﬁrst with some diagnostics, and then with some examples.
4chan, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Burning Man, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, dematerialisation, en.wikipedia.org, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Google Glasses, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Loebner Prize, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, Nicholas Carr, pattern recognition, pre–internet, Republic of Letters, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social web, Steve Jobs, the medium is the message, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing test
After the arrival of mass-produced books, we became “typographical man,” and our voices lost some power. We were encouraged by the technologies of writing and printing to take on some kinds of input and discouraged from taking on others. Today we privilege the information we take in through our eyes while reading and pay less heed to information that arrives via our other senses. In plainest terms, McLuhan delivers his famous line: “The medium is the message.” What you use to interact with the world changes the way you see the world. Every lens is a tinted lens. • • • • • A latter-day King Thamus or Squarciafico would grumble at me for using my phone to call up my partner’s number. In fact, I’ve never known Kenny’s number by heart. But it’s not something I worry about or seek to fix. Likewise, if adults in 2064 manage to entirely outsource their memories to digital aids, they won’t begrudge their situation at all, but will rejoice in their mental freedom.
Today they’re a charming part of the mise-en-scène. Time settles everything. One day soon we’ll contentedly discuss dreams that appeared to us as bright blue bubbles of text. My day’s activities included: a visit to the bank to pay a bill; sending a printed chapter of my book to Matthew in Ottawa; Mailbox (11:45!); 40 minutes ogling Shaughnessy mansions; 30 minutes reading Coupland’s riff on McLuhan’s The Medium Is the Message. But nothing feels productive (i.e., nothing makes me money). Increasingly disturbed by how hamstrung my work-life is without Internet. I can’t take on new projects, or even invoice for old ones. I sweep and tidy my desktop instead. My free time is capacious. Found myself disappointed when I checked my toenails and saw it wasn’t time to clip them yet. August 26 Bertrand Russell says in Conquest of Happiness that the ability to fill leisure time intelligently is the last product of civilization.
accounting loophole / creative accounting, Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, Black Swan, Black-Scholes formula, Bretton Woods, BRICs, Brownian motion, business process, buy low sell high, call centre, capital asset pricing model, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, cuban missile crisis, currency peg, disintermediation, diversification, diversified portfolio, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial innovation, fixed income, Haight Ashbury, high net worth, implied volatility, index arbitrage, index card, index fund, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, locking in a profit, Long Term Capital Management, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market bubble, Marshall McLuhan, mass affluent, merger arbitrage, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Journalism, Nick Leeson, offshore financial centre, oil shock, Parkinson's law, placebo effect, Ponzi scheme, purchasing power parity, quantitative trading / quantitative ﬁnance, random walk, regulatory arbitrage, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, shareholder value, short selling, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, technology bubble, the medium is the message, time value of money, too big to fail, transaction costs, value at risk, Vanguard fund, volatility smile, yield curve, Yogi Berra, zero-coupon bond
DAS_A01.QXD 5/3/07 8:01 PM Page viii Contents List of figures and tables xii Preface xiii Prologue 1 Miracles and mirages Serial crimes Beginning of the end/end of the beginning Knowns and unknowns Unreliable recollections Summary judgment 2 5 9 12 13 17 1 Financial WMDs – derivatives demagoguery 19 School days It’s all Chinese to me A derivative idea Betting shops Secret subtexts Leveraged speculations Under the radar Whole lotta swapping going on The golden age/LIBOR minus 50 Warehouses Serial killings Forbidden fruit Derived logic 2 Beautiful lies – the ‘sell’ side Smile and dial Market colour Rough trade Analyze this 21 22 23 25 27 29 32 33 37 40 43 45 50 53 55 56 59 62 DAS_A01.QXD 5/3/07 ix 8:01 PM Page ix Tr a d e r s , G u n s & M o n e y Class wars Ultra vires Feudal kingdoms Uncivil wars Golden rules Business models The medium is the message Bondage Tabloid cultures Conspicuous currency Ethnic cleansing Foreign affairs FILTH Lost in translation A day in the life 3 True lies – the ‘buy’ side Turn of the fork Risky business Magic kingdoms Stripping or stacking/hedging perils, again Me too ‘Zaiteku’ or the bride stripped bare The gamble in P & G Tobashi, baby Gnomes of Zermatt and Belgian dentists Death swaps Investment fashions Alpha, beta, zeta Looking after the relatives Agents all Unique selling propositions 4 Show me the money – greed lost and regained Money uncertainty Toll booths Take a seat Efficient markets On the platform A day at the races Black swans, black sheep Trading places 64 66 67 68 70 71 74 75 76 77 79 80 81 82 83 87 88 89 91 95 97 98 101 105 107 108 110 112 115 116 117 121 122 123 125 126 127 129 130 131 DAS_A01.QXD 5/3/07 8:01 PM Page x Contents Secret intelligence Overwhelming force Oracle of Delphi Free money The colour of money In reserve A comedy of errors Black holes What’s the number?
Perhaps even altered perspectives and planes. Me (wondering Umm, if you say so. whether my boss is a fool or a genius) My boss Exactly. Survival requires keeping your head down. There was no point in resisting the latest fad, I just nodded and kept doing what I always did – trying to make money. No management fad lasted long. Before you knew it, we would have a new ‘business model’ and would be entering a ‘new paradigm’. The medium is the message Complex business decisions require numerous management retreats. Management rarely advances; they are usually in retreat. Conferences, strategy sessions and other talkfests take up management time. Managers are constantly huddled together with the consultant du jour discussing business models and strategies. The locations are remote, luxurious five-star resorts; the isolation is to avoid distractions.
Marty said it with immense gravitas; the financial journalists reported it verbatim. His template for success was in accord with that of Rumsfeld. ‘I think I probably said that to The Washington Post although I don’t recall precisely what I said. But I’m pretty sure it’s roughly what I say all the time.’ 6 In the 1960s a Canadian academic, Marshall McLuhan, built a reputation on his views of modern culture. He is best remembered for the pithy phrase ‘the medium is the message’. Nobody quite knew what McLuhan was getting at. In press coverage of finance and markets, the medium is the only message. McLuhan also understood the value of the secret information that everybody in financial markets covets: ‘This information is top security. When you have read it destroy yourself.’ Overwhelming force Overwhelming force is the preferred strategy of larger dealers. In August 2004, Citigroup sold €11 billion of bonds through an electronic trading system known as MTS.
The Rise of the Network Society by Manuel Castells
Apple II, Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, borderless world, British Empire, capital controls, complexity theory, computer age, Credit Default Swap, declining real wages, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, deskilling, disintermediation, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, edge city, experimental subject, financial deregulation, financial independence, floating exchange rates, future of work, global village, Hacker Ethic, hiring and firing, Howard Rheingold, illegal immigration, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, information retrieval, intermodal, invention of the steam engine, invention of the telephone, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, job-hopping, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, laissez-faire capitalism, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, megacity, Menlo Park, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, packet switching, planetary scale, popular electronics, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, prediction markets, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Robert Gordon, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social software, South China Sea, South of Market, San Francisco, special economic zone, spinning jenny, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ted Nelson, the built environment, the medium is the message, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, transaction costs, urban renewal, urban sprawl
After all, Hitler showed how radio could be a formidable instrument of resonance for one-way single-purpose messages. What TV represented, first of all, was the end of the Gutenberg Galaxy – that is, of a system of communication essentially dominated by the typographic mind and the phonetic alphabet order.18 For all his critics (generally turned off by the obscurity of his mosaic language), Marshall McLuhan struck a universal chord when, in all simplicity, he declared that the “medium is the message”: The mode of TV image has nothing in common with film or photo, except that it offers also a nonverbal gestalt or posture of forms. With TV, the viewer is the screen. He is bombarded with light impulses that James Joyce called “The Charge of the Light Brigade”… The TV image is not a still shot. It is not a photo in any sense, but a ceaselessly forming contour of things limned by the scanning-finger.
From the perspective of the medium, different communication modes tend to borrow codes from each other: interactive educational programs look like video games; newscasts are constructed as audiovisual shows; trial cases are broadcast as soap operas; pop music is composed for MTV; sports games are choreographed for their distant viewers, so that their messages become less and less distinguishable from action movies; and the like. From the perspective of the user (both as receiver and sender, in an interactive system), the choice of various messages under the same communication mode, with easy switching from one to the other, reduces the mental distance between various sources of cognitive and sensorial involvement. The issue at stake is not that the medium is the message: messages are messages. And because they keep their distinctiveness as messages, while being mixed in their symbolic communication process, they blur their codes in this process, creating a multifaceted semantic context made of a random mixture of various meanings. Finally, perhaps the most important feature of multimedia is that they capture within their domain most cultural expressions, in all their diversity.
Mankiewicz, Frank and Swerdlow, Joel (eds) (1979) Remote Control: Television and the Manipulation of American Life, New York: Ballantine. Mansfield, Edwin (1982) Technology Transfer, Productivity, and Economic Policy, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Marceau, Jane (ed.) (1992) Reworking the World: Organisations, Technologies, and Cultures in Comparative Perspective, Berlin: Walter De Gruyter. Markoff, John (1995) “If the medium is the message, the message is the Web”, The New York Times, 20 November: A1, C5. —— (1999a) “Tiniest circuits hold prospects of explosive computer speeds”, The New York Times, July 16: A1–C17. —— (1999b) “A renaissance in computer science: chip designers search for life after silicon”, The New York Times, July 19: C1–C8. Marshall, Alfred (1919) Industry and Trade, London: Macmillan. Marshall, J.N. et al. (1988) Services and Uneven Development, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
The Dice Man by Luke Rhinehart
Lil even enjoyed the dice's sudden passion for awkward sexual positions, although when the dice ordered me to penetrate her from thirteen distinctly different positions before reaching my climax, she became quite angry as I was trying to maneuver her into position eleven. When she wondered why I was getting so many strange whims these days, I suggested that perhaps I was pregnant. But the medium is the message, and the dice decisions, no matter how pleasant they might sometimes be to Lil or Arlene or others, acted to separate me from people. Sexual dice decisions were particularly effective in destroying natural intimacy X" convincing a woman that one awkward sexual position is all 'that will satisfy you when she feels otherwise). Such dice commands obviously involved my being able to manipulate (both psychologically and physically) the woman as well as myself.
One thing I've learned in my miscellaneous career is that any good creating that gets done gets done despite my efforts at controlling the writing, not because of them. In so far as I'm the Dice Man I can write easily in almost any form the Die chooses, but as serious, old, ambitious Luke, I run into as many blocks as a rat in an insoluble maze. Obedience of the Die implies with every fall that rational, purposive man doesn't know what he's doing so he might as well relax and enjoy the fumbling Die. `The medium is the message,' once said the noted psychic Edgar Cayce, and so is mine. Walk on, I've learned. I let my pen and the Die do what my mind boggles at doing. The falling Die and moving pen think for themselves and the interposition of ego, artistic conscience, style or organization usually weighs things down. These inhibiting forces removed, the ink flows freely, space is filled, words are formed; ideas spring full-blown on the page like giants from dragons' teeth.
Intertwingled: The Work and Influence of Ted Nelson (History of Computing) by Douglas R. Dechow
3D printing, Apple II, Bill Duvall, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Claude Shannon: information theory, cognitive dissonance, computer age, conceptual framework, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, game design, HyperCard, hypertext link, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jaron Lanier, knowledge worker, linked data, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, pre–internet, RAND corporation, semantic web, Silicon Valley, software studies, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, the medium is the message, Vannevar Bush, Wall-E, Whole Earth Catalog
We can now take for granted following stories with multiple endings, or choosing our own paths through narratives, poems that shuffle themselves into different shades of meaning, multi-stream multiscreen fiction with multitasking audience members each finding their own meanings, process pieces that once set in motion will continue to reveal additional evolutions, algorithmic music generators that never repeat… These kinds of meta-artistic creations point us toward new uninhabited potentials for expressing our experience the way the mind knows it subjectively, the way we think that we think we perceive. I guess this is sort of an ultimate case of “The medium is the message.” Ted created new media initially because he needed them as an artistic being. Then instead of populating them with his own art, he made his life’s work the struggle to give us as much freedom of structure as he could, so we can express, interconnect and begin to capture better the ways we experience thought in our minds. Or at least that was, I think, the vision before other people’s ideas and interests pointed the Internet’s evolution in the directions it took.
It’s an elemental point: the television does not become a computing device; the various computing devices become remarkably satisfactory entertainment devices, not just making entertainment available at any time and in any place but pushing entertainment—professionally made, scripted narratives—into the realm of digital activity. The devices themselves mean that digital media executives become as reliant—or more reliant—on writers, actors, directors, and producers as on programmers. 13 MORE BOXES “Digital convergence” turns out not so much to be about bringing computing to your television but about bringing more television to your television. Accept that the medium is the message (in Douglas Coupland’s succinct explanation of Marshall McLuhan’s still opaque aphorism—more than half a century later still opaque: “The ostensible content of all electronic media is insignificant; it is the medium itself that has the greater impact on the environment, a fact bolstered by the now medically undeniable fact that the technologies we use every day begin, after a while, to alter the way our brains work, and hence the way we experience the world”), but what is the medium?
When Things Start to Think by Neil A. Gershenfeld
3D printing, Ada Lovelace, Bretton Woods, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, Dynabook, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, invention of movable type, Iridium satellite, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, John von Neumann, means of production, new economy, Nick Leeson, packet switching, RFID, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, the medium is the message, Turing machine, Turing test, Vannevar Bush
It was the wrong level of description for him, so he was going to struggle on with software patches for a device that could never work reliably. An education that forces people to specialize in hardware, or software, sends them out into the world with an erroneous impression that the two are easily separated. It is even embodied in our legal code, in the workings of the U.S. Patent Office. A patent must scrupulously distinguish between apparatus claims, on hardware, and method claims, on software. This means that "the medium is the message" is actually illegal: the message must be separated from the medium for patent protection. The best patent examiners recognize that new technology is stretching the boundaries of old rules, and are flexible about interpreting them. The worst examiners refuse to accept that a single entity can simultaneously embody a physical apparatus and a logical method. I've spent years winding my way through the legal system with a particularly obtuse examiner who insists on trying to split an invention into its component hardware and software, even though the function of the device cannot be seen in either alone but arises only through their interaction. 192 + WHEN THINGS START TO THINK Companies can't help but notice that these kinds of distinctions no longer make sense.
Nothing to Hide: The False Tradeoff Between Privacy and Security by Daniel J. Solove
Albert Einstein, cloud computing, Columbine, hindsight bias, illegal immigration, invention of the telephone, Marshall McLuhan, national security letter, security theater, the medium is the message, traffic fines, urban planning
For a compelling critique of the envelope-content distinction, see Paul Ohm, The Rise and Fall of Invasive ISP Surveillance, 2009 U. Ill. L. Rev. 1417, 1453–55 (2009). But for a defense of the distinction, see Orin S. Kerr, A User’s Guide to the Stored Communications Act and a Legislator’s Guide to Amending It, 72 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 1208, 1229 n.142 (2004). 11. I am referring to McLuhan’s famous phrase “the medium is the message.” Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man 7 (1964). 12. 18 U.S.C. § 3127(3) (amended 2001). 13. 18 U.S.C. § 3127(3), amended by USA PATRIOT Act, Pub. L. No. 107-56, § 216(c) (2001). 14. Kerr, Patriot Act, supra, at 638. 15. 18 U.S.C. § 3127(3). 16. USA PATRIOT Act § 215 (codified at 50 U.S.C. §1861(a)(1)). 17. USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005, Pub.
Albert Einstein, Asperger Syndrome, Cass Sunstein, cognitive bias, David Brooks, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, Flynn Effect, framing effect, Google Earth, impulse control, informal economy, Isaac Newton, loss aversion, Marshall McLuhan, Naomi Klein, neurotypical, new economy, Nicholas Carr, pattern recognition, phenotype, placebo effect, Richard Thaler, Silicon Valley, the medium is the message, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind
We are better off for this change and it is part of a broader trend of how the production of value—including beauty, suspense, and education—is becoming increasingly interior to our minds. 4 IM, CELL PHONES, AND FACEBOOK It’s not just that we have more music, more text, more websites, and more TV for mixing our personal cultural blends. We also have new media for experiencing and expressing ourselves and for building the richness of our lives. Marshall McLuhan asserted that “the medium is the message” and later economists Harold Innis and Leonard Dudley showed how communications media shape human lives. Over the last fifteen years the rapid advance of digital technology has accelerated this process beyond expectations. Many of us are still trying to catch up, so I intend this chapter to be a simple guide to how some of the new communications media—such as instant messaging, cell phone texting, and micro-blogging—matter for the emotional side of our lives.
Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport
8-hour work day, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, business climate, Cal Newport, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clayton Christensen, David Brooks, deliberate practice, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental subject, follow your passion, Frank Gehry, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jaron Lanier, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Merlin Mann, Nate Silver, new economy, Nicholas Carr, popular electronics, remote working, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, statistical model, the medium is the message, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, winner-take-all economy
It’s easy, amid the turbulence of a rapidly evolving information age, to default to dialectical grumbling. The curmudgeons among us are vaguely uneasy about the attention people pay to their phones, and pine for the days of unhurried concentration, while the digital hipsters equate such nostalgia with Luddism and boredom, and believe that increased connection is the foundation for a utopian future. Marshall McLuhan declared that “the medium is the message,” but our current conversation on these topics seems to imply that “the medium is morality”—either you’re on board with the Facebook future or see it as our downfall. As I emphasized in this book’s introduction, I have no interest in this debate. A commitment to deep work is not a moral stance and it’s not a philosophical statement—it is instead a pragmatic recognition that the ability to concentrate is a skill that gets valuable things done.
But What if We're Wrong? Thinking About the Present as if It Were the Past by Chuck Klosterman
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, British Empire, citizen journalism, cosmological constant, dark matter, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Gerolamo Cardano, ghettoisation, Howard Zinn, Isaac Newton, non-fiction novel, obamacare, pre–internet, Ralph Nader, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Stephen Hawking, the medium is the message, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, too big to fail, Y2K
But this is the elephant-based Hannibal narrative we’ve always had, and any story contradicting it would be built on the same kind of modern conjecture and ancient text. As far as the world is concerned, it absolutely happened. Even if it didn’t happen, it happened. This is the world that is not there. Don’t Tell Me What Happens. I’m Recording It. Television is an art form where the relationship to technology supersedes everything else about it. It’s one realm of media where the medium is the message, without qualification. TV is not like other forms of consumer entertainment: It’s slippier and more dynamic, even when it’s dumb. We know people will always read, so we can project the future history of reading by considering the evolution of books. (Reading is a static experience.) We know music will always exist, so we can project a future history of rock ’n’ roll by placing it in context with other genres of music.
More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun-Control Laws by John R. Lott
affirmative action, Columbine, crack epidemic, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, gun show loophole, income per capita, More Guns, Less Crime, statistical model, the medium is the message, transaction costs
“The more guns people are carrying, the more likely it is that ordinary confrontations will escalate into violent confrontations” (William Tucker, “Maybe You Should Carry a Handgun,” the Weekly Standard, Dec. 16, 1996, p. 30). 46. For these arguments, see P. J. Cook, “The Role of Firearms in Violent Crime,” in M. E. 372 | N OT E S TO PA G E 1 2 Wolfgang and N. A. Werner, eds., Criminal Violence (Newbury, NJ: Sage Publishers, 1982); and Franklin Zimring, “The Medium Is the Message: Firearm Caliber as a Determinant of Death from Assault,” Journal of Legal Studies 1 (1972): 97–124. 47. P. J. Cook, “The Technology of Personal Violence,” Crime and Justice: Annual Review of Research 14 (1991): 57, 56 n. 4. Cook reported 82,000 defensive uses for an earlier period. The irony of Cook’s position here is that his earlier work argued that the National Crime Victimization Survey radically underreports other violence-related events, including domestic violence, rapes, and gunshot woundings linked to criminal acts; see Gary Kleck, Targeting Guns (Hawthorne, NY: Aldine de Gruyter Publishers, 1997).
., and George L. Kelling. “Making Neighborhoods Safe.” Atlantic Monthly, Feb. 1989. Wolpin, Kenneth. “An Economic Analysis of Crime and Punishment in England and Wales, 1894–1967.” Journal of Political Economy 86 (1978). Wright, James D., and Peter Rossi. Armed and Considered Dangerous: A Survey of Felons and Their Firearms. New York: Aldine de Gruyter Publishers, 1986. Zimring, Franklin. “The Medium Is the Message: Firearm Caliber as a Determinant of Death from Assault.” Journal of Legal Studies 1 (1972). SUPPLEMENTARY ENTRIES FOR SECOND EDITION Ayres, Ian, and John J. Donohue III. “Nondiscretionary Concealed Weapons Laws: A Case Study of Statistics, Standards of Proof, and Public Policy.” American Law and Economics Review 1, nos. 1–2 (Fall 1999): 436–70. Bartley, William Alan. “Will Rationing Guns Reduce Crime?”
Hard Landing by Thomas Petzinger, Thomas Petzinger Jr.
airline deregulation, centralized clearinghouse, collective bargaining, cross-subsidies, desegregation, Donald Trump, feminist movement, index card, low cost carrier, low skilled workers, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, offshore financial centre, oil shock, Ponzi scheme, postindustrial economy, price stability, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, strikebreaker, the medium is the message, The Predators' Ball, Thomas L Friedman, union organizing, yield management
Whether a cable television system, a complex of automatic teller machines, or an airline computer reservation system, a network exists not as an end in itself but as a convenience to those who create and consume an underlying product: a Hollywood movie, a banking service, a seat on an airplane. The sociologist Marshall McLuhan’s 1964 assertion that “the medium is the message” is by more recent standards a quaintly over-enthusiastic characterization of the Information Age. Even if the medium is the message, it is not the product. Though it may enhance value, it creates nothing. By themselves computers, networks, and systems can no more fly people between cities than they can print money or direct actors. Yet in the mid-1980s it almost seemed otherwise to Frank Lorenzo. New York Air and the resurgent Continental Airlines, were, taken together, the largest airline operation in the country without a direct electronic tie-in to the travel agent community.
What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis
23andMe, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Anne Wojcicki, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, business process, call centre, cashless society, citizen journalism, clean water, connected car, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, don't be evil, fear of failure, Firefox, future of journalism, Google Earth, Googley, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Mark Zuckerberg, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, PageRank, peer-to-peer lending, post scarcity, prediction markets, pre–internet, Ronald Coase, search inside the book, Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, social software, social web, spectrum auction, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, the medium is the message, The Nature of the Firm, the payments system, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, web of trust, Y Combinator, Zipcar
Robert Scoble, now head of FastCompany.TV, was the poster child for Locke’s argument when he blogged from inside Microsoft, in his own voice rather than that of the corporate Borg. He almost single-handedly turned around the reputation of even this company online. Your products and your customers are your ads, and so are your employees. The best way to burnish a brand is no longer to rub up against media properties like Vogue or the Super Bowl. The best way today is to rub up against people: Sally the blogger or Joe the Facebook friend. The medium is the message and the customer is the medium. Sally is the new Vogue. Separate the functions of an ad agency today—media buying, research and data, and creative. What happens to each? Media buying, under Locke’s theory, now becomes more important than messaging. When your customer is your ad, media doesn’t mean content, it means people. Networks of people will become a force in advertising. Already, media companies, including Forbes and Reuters, are running blog ad networks for marketers.
Made to Break: Technology and Obsolescence in America by Giles Slade
Albert Einstein, Alexey Pajitnov wrote Tetris, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Buckminster Fuller, Cass Sunstein, Douglas Engelbart, global village, housing crisis, indoor plumbing, invention of radio, Joseph Schumpeter, Marshall McLuhan, Mikhail Gorbachev, more computing power than Apollo, mutually assured destruction, Ralph Nader, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, the market place, the medium is the message, Thorstein Veblen, unemployed young men, upwardly mobile, Vladimir Vetrov: Farewell Dossier, women in the workforce
More than anything else, this invention was responsible for the individuation, specialization, mechanization, and visual orientation that developed during the reign of scribal culture after the fif eenth century. Print, McLuhan wrote, rendered oral culture (the preceding mode of consciousness) obsolete. He also believed that the electronic media of the twentieth century—telegraph, telephone, movies, radio, television,and digital computers—had brought mankind to the threshold of a new revolution in consciousness. McLuhan’s claim that “the medium is the message” refle ts his conviction that whatever the surface content of a specifi message, it is the technology of its medium that has the most lasting formative impact on the consciousness of human receivers: “If a technology is introduced either from within or from without a culture, and if it gives new stress or ascendancy to one or another of our senses, the ratio among all our senses is altered.
Dreaming in Public: Building the Occupy Movement by Amy Lang, Daniel Lang/levitsky
Bay Area Rapid Transit, bonus culture, British Empire, clean water, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate personhood, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, deindustrialization, facts on the ground, glass ceiling, housing crisis, Kibera, late capitalism, Naomi Klein, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Port of Oakland, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Slavoj Žižek, structural adjustment programs, the medium is the message, too big to fail, trade liberalization, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, War on Poverty, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, We are the 99%, white flight, working poor
What is the relationship between the making and maintenance of Liberty Park in Lower Manhattan (its mail, its legal procedures, its noise statutes) with the making and maintenance of the broader ideas and actions of a growing movement that exists as much in the media and social networking as it does in disobedient reclamations of the commons? For a month and a half, it has been an almost-sacred tenet of OWS that the medium is the message, that the reclamation of privatized public space not only for engaged citizenship, but also for free food, shelter, clothing, healthcare, libraries, education, wifi and more, is OWS politics. Logistics, the claim goes, are politics. And yet even to those most dedicated to that position, it rarely feels like enough. Bureaucracy rarely feels transcendent. In the latest developments of the bureaucracies of anarchy in OWS, these contentions over the spaces of politics have been brought to the fore in the single most controversial GA proposal in the movement’s young life: to change the very process of consensus itself, and to move from a nightly General Assembly to a Spokes Council Model.
A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asperger Syndrome, availability heuristic, Benoit Mandelbrot, biofilm, Black Swan, British Empire, conceptual framework, corporate governance, Danny Hillis, Douglas Engelbart, Emanuel Derman, epigenetics, Flynn Effect, Frank Gehry, Google Earth, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, index card, information retrieval, Internet Archive, invention of writing, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Kevin Kelly, lone genius, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, out of africa, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, smart grid, social graph, social software, social web, Stephen Hawking, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telepresence, the medium is the message, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, trade route, upwardly mobile, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize
The same may be starting to happen for book authors.) Beyond that, there are numerous brilliant thinkers, researchers, and inventors who would never contemplate writing a book. They, too, now have the opportunity to become one of the world’s teachers. Their efforts, conveyed vividly from their own mouths, will bring knowledge, understanding, passion, and inspiration to millions. When Marshall McLuhan said, “The medium is the message,” he meant, among other things, that every new medium spawns its own unexpected units of communication. In addition to the Web page, the blog, and the tweet, we are witnessing the rise of riveting online talks, long enough to inform and explain, short enough for mass impact. The Web has allowed us to rediscover fire. The Rise of Social Media Is Really a Reprise June Cohen Director of media, TED Conference; TED Talks In the early days of the Web, when I worked at HotWired, I thought mainly about the new.
The Internet Is Not the Answer by Andrew Keen
3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, computer age, connected car, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, disintermediation, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, frictionless, full employment, future of work, gig economy, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Hacker Ethic, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, index card, informal economy, information trail, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, libertarian paternalism, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, nonsequential writing, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Potemkin village, precariat, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, the medium is the message, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, working poor, Y Combinator
In spite of being toolmakers of our digital future, Michael and Xochi Birch aren’t prescient. And the truth about the Battery—whether or not it has had a chance to get its jeans on—is that the well-meaning but deluded Birches have unintentionally created one of the least diverse and most exclusive places on earth. The twentieth-century media guru Marshall McLuhan, who, in contrast with the Birches, was distinguished by his prescience, famously said that the “medium is the message.” But on Battery Street in downtown San Francisco, it’s the building that is the message. Rather than an unclub, the Battery is an untruth. It offers a deeply troubling message about the gaping inequalities and injustices of our new networked society. In spite of its relaxed dress code and self-proclaimed commitment to cultural diversity, the Battery is as opulent as the most marble-encrusted homes of San Francisco’s nineteenth-century gilded elite.
Social Life of Information by John Seely Brown, Paul Duguid
AltaVista, business process, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, cross-subsidies, disintermediation, double entry bookkeeping, Frank Gehry, frictionless, frictionless market, future of work, George Gilder, global village, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, information retrieval, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, loose coupling, Marshall McLuhan, medical malpractice, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, Productivity paradox, rolodex, Ronald Coase, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Superbowl ad, Ted Nelson, telepresence, the medium is the message, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Y2K
Making News The conduit metaphor suggests that information sits around in discrete lumps waiting to be loaded onto a carrier. Newspapers, for example, appear to be freighted with news that they carry out to readers. But, as we suggested in chapter 1, news is not some naturally occurring object that journalists pick up and stick on paper. It is made and shaped by journalists in the context of the medium and the audience. There's no need to go as far as Marshall McLuhan's claim that the "medium is the message" to see that the medium is not an indifferent carrier here. 17 The newspaper, then, is rather like the librarynot simply a collection of news, but a selection and a reflection. And the selection process doesn't just "gather news," but weaves and shapes, developing stories in accordance with available space and Page 186 priorities. Properties of the newspaper inherently convey these priorities to readers.
Atrocity Archives by Stross, Charles
airport security, anthropic principle, Berlin Wall, brain emulation, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, defense in depth, disintermediation, experimental subject, glass ceiling, haute cuisine, hypertext link, Khyber Pass, mandelbrot fractal, Menlo Park, NP-complete, the medium is the message, Y2K, yield curve
Don't know that it's got anything to do with this, though." "A software audit? Didn't she know Licencing and Compliance handles that on a blanket departmentwide basis? We were updated on it about a year ago." "We were--" I sit down heavily on the cheap plastic visitor's chair. "What are the chances this McLuhan guy put the idea into Harriet's mind in the first place? What are the chances it isn't connected?" "McLuhan. The medium is the message. SCORPION STARE. Why do I have a bad feeling about this?" Andy sends me a worried look. " 'Nother possibility, boss-man. What if it's an internal power play? The software audit's a cover, Purloined Letter style, hiding something fishy in plain sight where nobody will look at it twice until it's too late." "Nonsense, Bridget's not clever enough to blow a project wide open just to discredit--" His eyes go wide.
Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now by Douglas Rushkoff
algorithmic trading, Andrew Keen, bank run, Benoit Mandelbrot, big-box store, Black Swan, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, cashless society, citizen journalism, clockwork universe, cognitive dissonance, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, disintermediation, Donald Trump, double helix, East Village, Elliott wave, European colonialism, Extropian, facts on the ground, Flash crash, game design, global supply chain, global village, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, Inbox Zero, invention of agriculture, invention of hypertext, invisible hand, iterative process, John Nash: game theory, Kevin Kelly, laissez-faire capitalism, Law of Accelerating Returns, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, Merlin Mann, Milgram experiment, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, passive investing, pattern recognition, peak oil, price mechanism, prisoner's dilemma, Ralph Nelson Elliott, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, the medium is the message, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Turing test, upwardly mobile, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Y2K
When there is a direct communication with the senses, on the other hand, the difference becomes a lot clearer. Like a fluorescent lightbulb, which will perceptibly flicker at 60 hertz along with the alternating current of the house, digital technologies are almost perceptibly on/off. They create an environment, regardless of the content they are expressing. This is what Marshall McLuhan meant by “the medium is the message.” A lightbulb creates an environment, even though it has no content. Even without a slide or movie through which to project an image onto the wall, the light itself creates an environment where things can happen that otherwise wouldn’t. It is an environment of light. With digital technology, the environment created is one of choice. We hop from choice to choice with no present at all.
Beyond: Our Future in Space by Chris Impey
3D printing, Admiral Zheng, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Berlin Wall, Buckminster Fuller, butterfly effect, California gold rush, carbon-based life, Colonization of Mars, cosmic abundance, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, discovery of DNA, Doomsday Clock, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Eratosthenes, Haight Ashbury, Hyperloop, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, life extension, Mahatma Gandhi, Mars Rover, mutually assured destruction, Oculus Rift, operation paperclip, out of africa, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, phenotype, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, risk tolerance, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Searching for Interstellar Communications, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, supervolcano, technological singularity, telepresence, telerobotics, the medium is the message, the scientific method, theory of mind, V2 rocket, wikimedia commons, X Prize, Yogi Berra
It will be easier to decide that a radio signal is artificial in origin than to decode the meaning in the signal. If you doubt that, recall that we can’t communicate with primates that share 99 percent of our DNA. Now imagine that we’re trying to communicate with aliens who might not even have DNA, aliens of unknown function and form. We assume that if they send radio signals, they must be intelligent. In other words, the choice of a means of communication is very telling. The medium is the message. The main approach to SETI continues to be radio astronomy. But the power of modern lasers suggests an alternative. If a civilization on a planet was using rapidly pulsed lasers to send signals rather than radio transmitters, the pulses might stand out against the steady light of the nearby star. Optical SETI can be done with small telescopes if the stars are nearby. Pulsed lasers are now powerful enough to match the Sun’s energy—but only for radiation traveling in one direction and only for a billionth of a second.
3D printing, AltaVista, altcoin, bitcoin, blockchain, buy low sell high, capital controls, cloud computing, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, Firefox, forensic accounting, global village, GnuPG, Google Earth, Haight Ashbury, Jacob Appelbaum, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, litecoin, M-Pesa, Marshall McLuhan, Oculus Rift, peer-to-peer lending, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, ransomware, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, Skype, smart contracts, Steven Levy, the medium is the message, underbanked, WikiLeaks, Zimmermann PGP
While it could be argued that these questions can be traced to Nikola Tesla’s discussion of global wireless “central nervous centers,” it is ultimately Marshall McLuhan who should be credited. In his 1964 book Understanding Media, McLuhan described an interconnected and interactive form of media that sounds shockingly similar to the Internet and, one might argue, virtual reality. Earlier, in The Gutenberg Galaxy, he had coined the term “global village,” which is still used to describe the Internet today. McLuhan also coined the phrase “The medium is the message,” meaning that the way information is conveyed in society has a more profound effect than the actual information. These concepts are starting to engage with the question of how culture would work in an electronically connected society, but McLuhan was primarily concerned with communication and media, not economics. That wouldn’t come until later. Older readers might remember the in-home shopping networks of the late 1970s.
Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television by Jerry Mander
Alistair Cooke, conceptual framework, dematerialisation, full employment, invention of agriculture, Menlo Park, music of the spheres, placebo effect, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Stewart Brand, the medium is the message, trickle-down economics
Hurnan ingenuity had now advanced to the point where technology could produce a nationwide, one-mind experience, previously thought to reside only in the realm of the mystic. McLuhan, who saw so much, could have helped us see through that crap. Instead, because of his celebration of our electronic connection, our planetary-tribal village, he effec- 29 INTRODUCTION tively encouraged support for the techno-mystical-unification theme. His words entered the arena of talk show patter and word- play. "Hot and coo1." "The medium is the message." People struggled to find concrete meaning in these phrases. They became the basis of hundreds of conferences and thousands of cocktail party debates. Most people were satisfied that they understood something if they grasped that, because of tele- vision, we were now vibrating together to the same electronic drumbeat. Joyful at what looked like a new and positive unity, we failed to perceive, nor did McLuhan help us become con- scious of three critical facts, 1) it was only one drumbeat, 2) this drum could be played only by a handful of players, 3) the identity of the players was determined by the tech- nology itself.
The Vanishing Neighbor: The Transformation of American Community by Marc J. Dunkelman
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, big-box store, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, Broken windows theory, call centre, clean water, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, David Brooks, delayed gratification, double helix, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Gini coefficient, glass ceiling, global supply chain, global village, helicopter parent, if you build it, they will come, impulse control, income inequality, invention of movable type, Jane Jacobs, Khyber Pass, Louis Pasteur, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, McMansion, Nate Silver, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Occupy movement, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, Richard Florida, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban decay, urban planning, Walter Mischel, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, World Values Survey
Chapter 11: And Now for Something Completely Different 1Thomas L. Friedman, The Lexus and the Olive Tree (New York: Anchor Books, 2000). 2Marshall McLuhan and Bruce R. Powers, The Global Village (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989). 3Thomas L. Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum, That Used to Be Us (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011), 58, 62. 4McLuhan is also famous for the phrase “the medium is the message.” 5Charles Murray, Coming Apart: The State of White America 1960–2010 (New York: Crown Forum, 2012), 238. 6Murray, Coming Apart. 7Personal communication from Herbert Gans, July 26, 2012. 8R. I. M. Dunbar, “Coevolution of Neocortical Size, Group Size, and Language in Humans,” Behavioral and Brain Sciences 16 (1993). 9Jenna Wortham, “WhatsApp Deal Bets on a Few Fewer ‘Friends,’ ” New York Times, February 21, 2014. 10Barry Wellman and Bernie Hogan et al., “Connected Lives: The Project,” chapter 8 in Networked Neighbourhoods, ed.
Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, cellular automata, combinatorial explosion, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, Danny Hillis, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, fudge factor, George Gilder, Gödel, Escher, Bach, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, information retrieval, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, John von Neumann, Lao Tzu, Law of Accelerating Returns, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, natural language processing, Norbert Wiener, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, phenotype, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, stochastic process, technological singularity, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, the medium is the message, traveling salesman, Turing machine, Turing test, Whole Earth Review, Y2K
Aaron’s Code: MetaArt, Artificial Intelligence, and the Work of Harold Cohen. New York: W H. Freeman, 1991. ─. Machines Who Think: A Personal Inquiry into the History and Prospects of Artificial Intelligence. San Francisco: W H. Freeman, 1979. McCulloch, Warren S. An Account of the First Three Conferences of Teleological Mechanisms. Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation, 1947. ─ Embodiments of Mind. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1965. McLuhan, Marshall. The Medium Is the Message. New York: Bantam Books, 1967. ─. Understanding Media: The Extension of Man. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1964. McRae, Hamish. The World in 2020: Power, Culture, and Prosperity. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business School Press, 1994. Mead, Carver. Analog VLSI Implementation of Neural Systems. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1989. Mead, Carver and Lynn Conway. Introduction to VLSI Systems. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1980.
Alone Together by Sherry Turkle
Albert Einstein, Columbine, global village, Hacker Ethic, helicopter parent, Howard Rheingold, industrial robot, information retrieval, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jaron Lanier, Kevin Kelly, Loebner Prize, Marshall McLuhan, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rodney Brooks, Skype, stem cell, technoutopianism, The Great Good Place, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Wall-E, women in the workforce
When I send a message out, it is hurtful if I don’t get anything back.” Mandy presses her point. For her, the hurt of no response follows from what she calls the “formality” of instant messenging. In her circle, instant messages are sent in the evening, when one is working on homework on a laptop or desktop. This presumed social and technical setting compels a certain gravitas. Mandy’s case rests on an argument in the spirit of Marshall McLuhan. The medium is the message: if you are at your computer, the medium is formal, and so is the message. If you are running around, shopping, or having a coffee, and you swipe a few keys on your phone to send a text, the medium is informal, and so is the message, no matter how much you may have edited the content. The defenders of the “nonchalance” of instant messaging stand their ground: when you send an IM, it is going to a person “who has maybe ten things going on.”
Dealers of Lightning by Michael A. Hiltzik
Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Bill Duvall, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, computer age, Dynabook, El Camino Real, index card, Jeff Rulifson, Joseph Schumpeter, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, oil shock, popular electronics, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, the medium is the message, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog
As he wrote later, “The best outputs that time-sharing can provide are crude green-tinted line drawings and square-wave musical tones. Children, however, are used to finger paints, color television and stereophonic records, and they usually find the things that can be accomplished with a low-capacity time-sharing system insufficiently stimulating to maintain their interest.” Or as Kay and his colleague Adele Goldberg wrote later: “If ‘the medium is the message,’ then the message of low-bandwidth time-sharing is ‘blah.’” When his turn came to design a programming language at PARC, he would invest it with several unmistakable elements of Papert’s system: its visual feedback, its accessibility to novices, and its orientation to the wonder and creativity of childhood. Partially in deference to this last factor, he would call it “Smalltalk.” While Kay was taking these first mind-blowing excursions into Ideaspace, the caliber of graphics research at Utah was exploding.
A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, airport security, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Duvall, bioinformatics, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, call centre, cellular automata, Chris Urmson, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Dean Kamen, deskilling, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hacker Ethic, haute couture, hive mind, hypertext link, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of the wheel, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Conway, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, loose coupling, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, medical residency, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, natural language processing, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, semantic web, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Singularitarianism, skunkworks, Skype, social software, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tenerife airport disaster, The Coming Technological Singularity, the medium is the message, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight
Kay, like Engelbart, put the human user at the center of his design. He wanted to build technologies to extend the intellectual reach of humans. He did, however, differ from Engelbart in his conception of cyberspace. Engelbart thought the intellectual relation between humans and information could be compared to driving a car; computer users would sail along an information highway. In contrast, Kay had internalized McLuhan’s insight that “the medium is the message.” Computing, he foresaw, would become a universal, overarching medium that would subsume speech, music, text, video, and communications. Neither of those visions found traction at SAIL. Les Earnest, brought to SAIL by ARPA officials in 1965 to provide management skills that McCarthy lacked, has written that many of the computing technologies celebrated as coming out of SRI and PARC were simultaneously designed at SAIL.
To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism by Evgeny Morozov
3D printing, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Automated Insights, Berlin Wall, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive bias, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, Dava Sobel, disintermediation, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, frictionless, future of journalism, game design, Gary Taubes, Google Glasses, illegal immigration, income inequality, invention of the printing press, Jane Jacobs, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, license plate recognition, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Narrative Science, Nicholas Carr, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Graham, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, pets.com, placebo effect, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Thaler, Ronald Coase, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, smart meter, social graph, social web, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, urban decay, urban planning, urban sprawl, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks
The authors’ key insight is that the new electronic systems that mediate access to such forms—from online databases to search engines—are anything but the unproblematic and highly predictable purveyors of information that we often take them to be. These platforms actually transform and modify the information they carry; it’s one of the few cases in which Marshall McLuhan’s famous dictum that the medium is the message is actually worth heeding, at least partially, for it forces us to confront the information infrastructure that gets us the information we want. There is a certain shallow attitude toward such infrastructure—an attitude that French philosopher Bruno Latour calls “double click”—that treats communication and the production of knowledge as relatively uncomplicated and frictionless affairs that could happen without mediators like databases and search engines.
Disaster Capitalism: Making a Killing Out of Catastrophe by Antony Loewenstein
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, British Empire, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Chelsea Manning, clean water, collective bargaining, colonial rule, corporate social responsibility, Edward Snowden, facts on the ground, failed state, falling living standards, Ferguson, Missouri, financial independence, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, housing crisis, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, Julian Assange, market fundamentalism, Naomi Klein, neoliberal agenda, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, open borders, private military company, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, Slavoj Žižek, stem cell, the medium is the message, trade liberalization, WikiLeaks
The aim of privatizing government itself has existed for decades, but the attacks of September 11, 2001, accelerated the process in the United States because the Bush administration saw its “war on terror” as a boon for the private sector. “Now wars and disaster responses are so fully privatized,” Klein argues, “that they are themselves the new market: there is no need to wait until after the war for the boom—the medium is the message.”15 These ideological changes are implemented by force, despite the routine opposition to them expressed by populations across the world—if they know about the policies at all. Resistance occurs because inefficiency, abuse, corruption, and death cloud the sunny rhetoric offered by privatization’s loudest defenders.16 Still, all too often, corporate power wins. The social and environmental costs of this phenomenon are what I document in these pages.
Apple II, augmented reality, Bill Duvall, conceptual framework, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, experimental subject, Grace Hopper, hiring and firing, hypertext link, index card, information retrieval, invention of hypertext, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Rulifson, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, new economy, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Silicon Valley, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, stochastic process, Ted Nelson, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, unbiased observer, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog
Another interestIng nugget was that children really need as much or more power than adults were wIllIng to settle for when using a time-sharing system. The best that tIme-sharing has to offer is slow control of crude wire-frame green-tInted graphIcs and square-wave musIcal tones. The kids, on the other hand, are used to finger-paints, water colors, color televI- sIon, real musical instruments, and records. If "the medium is the message," the message of low bandwidth time-sharing IS "blah." (19 88 ,255-56) Here began, in thought at least, a long series of Kay's experiments with chil- dren and computers, not to mention the ongoing vision of children as the most accomplished and demanding users of personal computers. According to Alan Kay, PARC management refused support for his Dyna- book project in the spring of 1972.
The Great Influenza by John M. Barry
Albert Einstein, Brownian motion, centralized clearinghouse, Chance favours the prepared mind, conceptual framework, discovery of penicillin, double helix, Fellow of the Royal Society, germ theory of disease, index card, Louis Pasteur, Marshall McLuhan, Mason jar, means of production, statistical model, the medium is the message, the scientific method, traveling salesman, women in the workforce
Each form is defined in exquisite and absolutely precise detail, and each carries a message. Basically everything in the body—whether it belongs there or not—either carries a form on its surface, a marking, a piece that identifies it as a unique entity, or its entire form and being comprises that message. (In this last case, it is pure information, pure message, and it embodies perfectly Marshall McLuhan’s observation that “the medium is the message.”) Reading the message, like reading braille, is an intimate act, an act of contact and sensitivity. Everything in the body communicates in this way, sending and receiving messages by contact. This communication occurs in much the same way that a round peg fits into a round hole. When they fit together, when they match each other in size, the peg “binds” to the hole. Although the various shapes in the body are usually more complex than a round peg, the concept is the same.
Extreme Money: Masters of the Universe and the Cult of Risk by Satyajit Das
affirmative action, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, Andy Kessler, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Black Swan, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, capital asset pricing model, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, Celtic Tiger, clean water, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, discrete time, diversification, diversified portfolio, Doomsday Clock, Emanuel Derman, en.wikipedia.org, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial independence, financial innovation, fixed income, full employment, global reserve currency, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, high net worth, Hyman Minsky, index fund, interest rate swap, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, job automation, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kevin Kelly, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, load shedding, locking in a profit, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, margin call, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, merger arbitrage, Mikhail Gorbachev, Milgram experiment, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, Nick Leeson, Nixon shock, Northern Rock, nuclear winter, oil shock, Own Your Own Home, pets.com, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price anchoring, price stability, profit maximization, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative ﬁnance, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, savings glut, shareholder value, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Slavoj Žižek, South Sea Bubble, special economic zone, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the market place, the medium is the message, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Nature of the Firm, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Turing test, Upton Sinclair, value at risk, Yogi Berra, zero-coupon bond
It had just been the same money that had flowed around ever faster. When asked what happened to his fortune, the soccer star George Best responded: “I spent 90 percent of my money on women, drink and fast cars. The rest I wasted!” Slowly, the world awoke to the realization that it had wasted a staggering amount of wealth that did not exist in the first place. 6. Money Honey The scholar Marshall McLuhan elliptically noted that “the medium is the message.” The medium is newspapers, books, television, and increasingly the Internet. The message now was money. Banker Walter Wriston anticipated it: “Information about money has become almost as important as money itself.”1 Once, newspapers gave more space to sport than financial news. When asked about the reason, Richard Harwood, the assistant managing editor of the Washington Post, replied: “I guess it is because we think sport is more interesting to readers than business and economics.
agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, back-to-the-land, British Empire, carbon footprint, collaborative economy, death of newspapers, delayed gratification, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, feminist movement, global village, hydrogen economy, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, labour mobility, Mahatma Gandhi, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, out of africa, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, planetary scale, Simon Kuznets, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, supply-chain management, surplus humans, the medium is the message, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, transaction costs, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, working poor, World Values Survey
To understand the full impact of the empathic surge brought on by monotheism and the world’s axial movements, we need to understand how script cognition differs from oral cognition. Both forms of communication allow human beings to tell their story, but the narratives they tell have the unmistakable mark of the communication media being used. That’s because modes of communication help create the very consciousness that they also manage. As the late Canadian philosopher Marshall McLuhan observed, “The medium is the message.” Oral consciousness relies on hearing, while script consciousness relies on sight. This difference alone accounts for the profound change in human consciousness that distinguishes a written culture from an oral one. Hearing is the most internalizing of the senses. While touch, smell, and taste also penetrate the interior of one’s being, hearing is a more powerful experience as anyone who has ever enjoyed music knows so well.
Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America by Rick Perlstein
affirmative action, Alistair Cooke, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, cognitive dissonance, cuban missile crisis, delayed gratification, desegregation, East Village, European colonialism, full employment, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, immigration reform, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, index card, indoor plumbing, Mahatma Gandhi, Marshall McLuhan, Monroe Doctrine, New Urbanism, Own Your Own Home, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price mechanism, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, the medium is the message, traveling salesman, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, walking around money, War on Poverty, Whole Earth Catalog
To the talking heads on the Sunday panel shows, it was obvious: the man who went into the showdown with Lyndon Johnson would have to be a TV star. It simply couldn’t be Nixon. The logic of the times demanded it. This new political science had a prophet, and his name was Marshall McLuhan—“the new spokesman of the electronic age,” as the blurb to his 1964 magnum opus, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, called him. A key hinge of that book’s argument that “the medium is the message” was his exegesis of the Kennedy-Nixon debates. He thought Nixon resembled the railway lawyer in westerns “who signs leases that are not in the best interests of the folks in the little town…. Without TV, Nixon had it made.” The influence of TV had only accelerated in the eight years since. That was how, in defiance of all the doughy-faced bald men whose constituencies returned them to Congress year after year, in defiance of the presidential landslide won in 1964 by the jug-eared, poky-voiced Texan, pundits proclaimed with such confidence that 1968 would be the year of “Republican Camelot.”