the medium is the message

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pages: 170 words: 49,193

The People vs Tech: How the Internet Is Killing Democracy (And How We Save It) by Jamie Bartlett

Ada Lovelace, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Boris Johnson, central bank independence, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, computer vision, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Filter Bubble, future of work, gig economy, global village, Google bus, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, information retrieval, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Julian Assange, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mittelstand, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, off grid, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, payday loans, Peter Thiel, prediction markets, QR code, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Renaissance Technologies, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Mercer, Ross Ulbricht, Sam Altman, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, smart cities, smart contracts, smart meter, Snapchat, Stanford prison experiment, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, strong AI, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, the medium is the message, the scientific method, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, too big to fail, ultimatum game, universal basic income, WikiLeaks, World Values Survey, Y Combinator

Tribalism is understandable, but ultimately it is damaging to democracy, because it has the effect of magnifying the small differences between us, and transforming them into enormous, unsurpassable gulfs. The ‘system one’ system McLuhan had a theory that the written word, and by consequence the literate man, was calm, cool and rational. He ordered things and categorised them, which meant he had time to carefully analyse them. He was a reflection of the medium through which he received information. (This is where his other famous saying ‘the medium is the message’ comes from.) By contrast he thought electronic information, and especially television – his era’s internet – was aural. It was sound and pictures, a more complete sensory experience. If literate man was rational, said McLuhan, then electronic man would be more emotional, aural and tactile. McLuhan’s prescient 50-year-old ‘probes’ (he called his ideas probes) into how technology would change behaviour are still significantly more insightful than almost every ‘thought-provoking’ TED Talk.

Indeed, several studies conducted after the election found a strong correlation between the importance of white identity and support for Trump. Richard Spencer – an influential alt-right leader – summed it up like this: ‘As long as whites continue to avoid and deny their own racial identity, at a time when almost every other racial and ethnic category is rediscovering and asserting its own, whites will have no chance to resist their dispossession.’19 * * * • • • If the medium is the message, is there a way to escape the drift toward ever more extreme ‘system one’ tribal politics? Of course. Laws, regulations or education can help. But, in the end, a cultural shift in how we understand political difference is the only real solution. When he became president in 1861, Abraham Lincoln appointed his opponents in the Republican primary race to prominent positions within his cabinet.

pages: 200 words: 47,378

The Internet of Money by Andreas M. Antonopoulos

AltaVista, altcoin, bitcoin, blockchain, clean water, cognitive dissonance, cryptocurrency, disruptive innovation, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, financial exclusion, global reserve currency, litecoin, London Interbank Offered Rate, Marc Andreessen, Oculus Rift, packet switching, peer-to-peer lending, Ponzi scheme, QR code, ransomware, reserve currency, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, Skype, smart contracts, the medium is the message, trade route, underbanked, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

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.

pages: 188 words: 9,226

Collaborative Futures by Mike Linksvayer, Michael Mandiberg, Mushon Zer-Aviv

4chan, AGPL, Benjamin Mako Hill, British Empire, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collaborative economy, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Debian,, 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, WikiLeaks

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.

pages: 391 words: 105,382

Utopia Is Creepy: And Other Provocations by Nicholas Carr

Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, Airbus A320, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, centralized clearinghouse, Charles Lindbergh, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, computer age, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, deskilling, digital map, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, 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, Joan Didion, job automation, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, mental accounting, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norman Mailer, off grid, 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.

pages: 204 words: 61,491

Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business by Neil Postman, Jeff Riggenbach Ph.

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, global village, Index librorum prohibitorum, invention of the printing press, Louis Daguerre, Marshall McLuhan, Mikhail Gorbachev, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, the medium is the message

This change-over has dramatically and irreversibly shifted the content and meaning of public discourse, since two media so vastly different cannot accommodate the same ideas. As the influence of print wanes, the content of politics, religion, education, and anything else that comprises public business must change and be recast in terms that are most suitable to television. If all of this sounds suspiciously like Marshall McLuhan’s aphorism, the medium is the message, I will not disavow the association (although it is fashionable to do so among respectable scholars who, were it not for McLuhan, would today be mute). I met McLuhan thirty years ago when I was a graduate student and he an unknown English professor. I believed then, as I believe now, that he spoke in the tradition of Orwell and Huxley—that is, as a prophesier, and I have remained steadfast to his teaching that the clearest way to see through a culture is to attend to its tools for conversation.

But how much more divergence there is in world view among different cultures can be imagined when we consider the great number and variety of tools for conversation that go beyond speech. For although culture is a creation of speech, it is recreated anew by every medium of communication—from painting to hieroglyphs to the alphabet to television. Each medium, like language itself, makes possible a unique mode of discourse by providing a new orientation for thought, for expression, for sensibility. Which, of course, is what McLuhan meant in saying the medium is the message. His aphorism, however, is in need of amendment because, as it stands, it may lead one to confuse a message with a metaphor. A message denotes a specific, concrete statement about the world. But the forms of our media, including the symbols through which they permit conversation, do not make such statements. They are rather like metaphors, working by unobtrusive but powerful implication to enforce their special definitions of reality.

pages: 239 words: 56,531

The Secret War Between Downloading and Uploading: Tales of the Computer as Culture Machine by Peter Lunenfeld

Albert Einstein, Andrew Keen, anti-globalists, Apple II, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, business cycle, butterfly effect, computer age, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, 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, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Mercator projection, Metcalfe’s law, Mother of all demos, mutually assured destruction, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-materialism, Potemkin village, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Robert Metcalfe, 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.

pages: 259 words: 73,193

The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We've Lost in a World of Constant Connection by Michael Harris

4chan, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Burning Man, Carrington event, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, dematerialisation,, 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, lifelogging, Loebner Prize, low earth orbit, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, moral panic, 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.

pages: 349 words: 134,041

Traders, Guns & Money: Knowns and Unknowns in the Dazzling World of Derivatives by Satyajit Das

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, beat the dealer, Black Swan, Black-Scholes formula, Bretton Woods, BRICs, Brownian motion, business process, buy and hold, buy low sell high, call centre, capital asset pricing model, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, complexity theory, computerized trading, corporate governance, corporate raider, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, cuban missile crisis, currency peg, disintermediation, diversification, diversified portfolio, Edward Thorp, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, Everything should be made as simple as possible, 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, John Meriwether, locking in a profit, Long Term Capital Management, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market bubble, Marshall McLuhan, mass affluent, mega-rich, merger arbitrage, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, money market fund, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Myron Scholes, 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, Right to Buy, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, Satyajit Das, shareholder value, short selling, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, technology bubble, the medium is the message, the new new thing, 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.

pages: 425 words: 112,220

The Messy Middle: Finding Your Way Through the Hardest and Most Crucial Part of Any Bold Venture by Scott Belsky

23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Anne Wojcicki, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Ben Horowitz, bitcoin, blockchain, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, cryptocurrency, delayed gratification, DevOps, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, endowment effect, hiring and firing, Inbox Zero, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, NetJets, Network effects, new economy, old-boy network, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, ride hailing / ride sharing, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, subscription business, TaskRabbit, the medium is the message, Travis Kalanick, Uber for X, uber lyft, Y Combinator, young professional

For sensitive topics, the nonverbal cues you can see only in person are extremely important. However, sometimes the formal nature of a meeting or long email can make a small issue seem like a bigger deal than it actually is. Knowing what to say and when to say it is incredibly important to maintaining relationships. But it’s not enough. How we say it is just as vital. As the trope goes, “The medium is the message.” Before shooting a blasé email to a new client or pinging a colleague about a problem on Slack, consider the following: Is this a one-way share of information or is it conversational? Email is a great way of blasting off information for people to consider on their own schedule; they can respond whenever they like, and you are likewise not pressured to reply until you’ve gathered your thoughts.

A MOCK-UP > ANY OTHER METHOD OF SHARING YOUR VISION “When evaluating a product”: Peep Laja, “8 Things That Grab and Hold Website Visitor’s Attention,” Conversation XL, May 8, 2017, DELEGATE, ENTRUST, DEBRIEF, AND REPEAT. The problem is that, in the heat: David Marquet, “The Counterintuitive Art of Leading by Letting Go,” 99U, accessed March 23, 2018, KNOW HOW AND WHEN TO SAY IT. “The medium is the message”: Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1964). “means that our body”: Vanessa Van Edwards, “3 Tips for Women to Improve Their Body Language at Work,” Forbes, May 21, 2013, CLEARING THE PATH TO SOLUTIONS TACKLE “ORGANIZATIONAL DEBT.”

pages: 476 words: 125,219

Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism Is Turning the Internet Against Democracy by Robert W. McChesney

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, access to a mobile phone, Albert Einstein, American Legislative Exchange Council, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Automated Insights, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crony capitalism, David Brooks, death of newspapers, declining real wages, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Erik Brynjolfsson, failed state, Filter Bubble, full employment, future of journalism, George Gilder, Gini coefficient, Google Earth, income inequality, informal economy, intangible asset, invention of agriculture, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Metcalfe’s law, mutually assured destruction, national security letter, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, new economy, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, patent troll, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post scarcity, price mechanism, profit maximization, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Nader, Richard Stallman, road to serfdom, Robert Metcalfe, Saturday Night Live, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, Skype, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Telecommunications Act of 1996, the medium is the message, The Spirit Level, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transfer pricing, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, yellow journalism

In the mid-twentieth century, he wrote long studies on the importance of communication in shaping the course of human history.10 Innis argued that modes of communication and communication technologies were of central importance in understanding human development and that they had profound intrinsic biases. Marshall McLuhan was an acolyte of Innis, though this Canadian English professor altered Innis’s arguments. McLuhan is best known for his notion that the “medium is the message,” that the nature of media content derives from the structure and technology of the medium. The dominant media technology defines a society, he said, changing the very way we think and the way that human societies operate.11 His work was very influential on innumerable thinkers, including Neil Postman, who argued that television had an innate bias toward superficiality.12 “Every intellectual technology,” as Nicholas Carr puts it, “embodies an intellectual ethic, a set of assumptions about how the human mind works or should work.”

Harold Innis, Political Economy in the Modern State (Toronto: Ryerson Press, 1946), Empire and Communications (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1950), and The Bias of Communication (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1951). 11. See Eric McLuhan and Frank Zingrone, eds., Essential McLuhan (New York: Basic Books, 1995); Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (1964; Cambridge: MIT Press, 1999, intro. Lewis H. Lapham); Marshall McLuhan and Quentin Fiore, The Medium Is the Message: An Inventory of Effects (New York: Bantam Books, 1967); and Marshall McLuhan, The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man (Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 1962). Another classic in this tradition is Jerry Mander, Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television (New York: Quill, 1978). Mander writes: “Without our gaining control over technology, all notions of democracy are a farce. . . .

pages: 843 words: 223,858

The Rise of the Network Society by Manuel Castells

"Robert Solow", Apple II, Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bob Noyce, borderless world, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, complexity theory, computer age, computerized trading, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, declining real wages, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, deskilling, disintermediation, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, edge city, experimental subject, financial deregulation, financial independence, floating exchange rates, future of work, global village, Gunnar Myrdal, Hacker Ethic, hiring and firing, Howard Rheingold, illegal immigration, income inequality, Induced demand, 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, John Markoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, laissez-faire capitalism, Leonard Kleinrock, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, megacity, Menlo Park, moral panic, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, packet switching, Pearl River Delta, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, popular capitalism, popular electronics, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, prediction markets, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Shoshana Zuboff, 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 new new thing, 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, zero-sum game

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.

pages: 172 words: 46,104

Television Is the New Television: The Unexpected Triumph of Old Media in the Digital Age by Michael Wolff

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, barriers to entry, commoditize, creative destruction, disintermediation, hiring and firing, Joseph Schumpeter, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, the medium is the message, zero-sum game

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?

pages: 524 words: 143,596

The Dice Man by Luke Rhinehart

call centre, East Village, fear of failure, impulse control, land reform, Lao Tzu, Socratic dialogue, the medium is the message

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.

pages: 172 words: 48,747

The View From Flyover Country: Dispatches From the Forgotten America by Sarah Kendzior

"side hustle", Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American ideology, barriers to entry, clean water, corporate personhood, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, David Graeber, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, George Santayana, glass ceiling, income inequality, low skilled workers, Lyft, Marshall McLuhan, Mohammed Bouazizi, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, payday loans, pink-collar, post-work, publish or perish, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Silicon Valley, the medium is the message, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, unpaid internship, Upton Sinclair, urban decay, War on Poverty, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce

He blamed his critics for using Twitter, “a medium [that] encourages reflexes rather than reflection.” Keller’s aversion to social media is common among media’s old guard, who believe it has eroded standards of ethics and behavior. Outlets like The Atlantic regularly run pieces such as “Is Google making us stupid?” or “Is Facebook making us lonely?” (According to researchers, it is not.) “The medium is the message,” Marshall McLuhan famously said. In the digital age, condemning the medium is often shorthand for condemning not only the message but the messenger—and her right to speak. Twitter, which is extremely popular among young African Americans, functions as a public gathering space for marginalized groups to rally under common causes—one of which is countering cruel and inaccurate portrayals of them found in mainstream media.

pages: 223 words: 52,808

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, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, game design, HyperCard, hypertext link, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jaron Lanier, knowledge worker, linked data, Marc Andreessen, 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.

pages: 238 words: 46

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, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, low earth orbit, 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.

pages: 281 words: 71,242

World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech by Franklin Foer

artificial general intelligence, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, big-box store, Buckminster Fuller, citizen journalism, Colonization of Mars, computer age, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, data is the new oil, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, global village, Google Glasses, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, income inequality, intangible asset, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, Law of Accelerating Returns, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, new economy, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, PageRank, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, Ray Kurzweil, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, supply-chain management, the medium is the message, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, Upton Sinclair, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, yellow journalism

The fragmentation of humanity was an understandable concern for a generation born in the shadow of a total war and living under the constant threat of a nuclear conflagration. There was a more personal form of fragmentation that plagued postwar America, too—a sense that all the paper-pushing and file cabinets had divided workers from their creativity, rendering them miserable, isolated automatons. But that plague of alienation, McLuhan suggested, was hardly implacable. The healing powers of the network could be found in McLuhan’s famous maxim: The medium is the message. Technology was the thing that mattered. He heaped blame upon Gutenberg’s invention, print, a medium he believed divided the world, isolating us from our fellow humans in the antisocial act of reading. “The alphabet is a technology of visual fragmentation and specialization,” he lamented. It produced a “desert of classified data.” His critique was actually a lament—he longed for the world before print, for oral culture, with its face-to-face interactions.

pages: 244 words: 66,599

Insanely Great: The Life and Times of Macintosh, the Computer That Changed Everything by Steven Levy

Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, computer age, conceptual framework, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, information retrieval, information trail, John Markoff, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Marshall McLuhan, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, Productivity paradox, QWERTY keyboard, rolodex, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, the medium is the message, Vannevar Bush

Could an interface be designed so that ordinary people could use it? This was an unconventional question in those days, when it was rarely assumed that ordinary people would ever have reason to belly up to a computer keyboard. But Kay already was pondering ideas like people relating to a computer intimately. He found himself reading Marshall McLuhan's Understanding Media and pondering its seminal koan, "The medium is the message." Then he had his flash of enlightenment, "a shock that reverberates even now," he wrote over twenty years later in The Art of Human-Computer Interaction: The computer is a medium! I had always thought of it as a tool, perhaps a vehicle-a much weaker conception. What McLuhan was saying is that if the personal computer is truly a new medium then the very use of it would actually change the thought patterns of an entire civilization.

pages: 456 words: 185,658

More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun-Control Laws by John R. Lott

affirmative action, Columbine, crack epidemic, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, G4S, gun show loophole, income per capita, More Guns, Less Crime, Sam Peltzman, selection bias, 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?”

pages: 257 words: 72,251

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.

pages: 254 words: 72,929

The Age of the Infovore: Succeeding in the Information Economy by Tyler Cowen

Albert Einstein, Asperger Syndrome, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, cognitive bias, David Brooks,, 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, selection bias, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, 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.

Yes Please by Amy Poehler

airport security, Albert Einstein, blood diamonds, carbon footprint, Donald Trump, East Village, Google Hangouts, Pepto Bismol, Saturday Night Live, Skype, the medium is the message

I dressed as Baby Jessica, the little girl who fell down the well. (And was successfully rescued! Important fact!) I wore pajamas and pigtails and made my face a little dirty. Sexy stuff. We lived on a street called Strathmore and our motto was “Live More, Love More, Strath More.” I learned about Charles Busch and Kate Bush. I sat with the cool Jesuit priests and talked about Edna St. Vincent Millay. I took classes like “The Medium Is the Message” and “The Male Lens.” I carved out a pretty groovy off-campus curriculum in what was a very competitive academic program. I spent my days directing scenes from True West and my nights writing sketches about bad cafeteria food. I studied Shakespeare and learned to control my voice, and at night I huddled with a bunch of misfits and practiced being stupid on purpose. I didn’t really know what kind of actor I wanted to be back then.

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, David Heinemeier Hansson, deliberate practice, disruptive innovation, Donald Knuth, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey,, 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, Ruby on Rails, 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, zero-sum game

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.

pages: 281 words: 78,317

But What if We're Wrong? Thinking About the Present as if It Were the Past by Chuck Klosterman

a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, British Empire, citizen journalism, cosmological constant, dark matter, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, George Santayana, Gerolamo Cardano, ghettoisation, Howard Zinn, Isaac Newton, Joan Didion, 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.

pages: 361 words: 81,068

The Internet Is Not the Answer by Andrew Keen

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bob Geldof, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, computer age, connected car, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, Donald Davies, 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, Joi Ito, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, libertarian paternalism, lifelogging, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, Metcalfe’s law, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, nonsequential writing, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, Occupy movement, packet switching, PageRank, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer rental, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Potemkin village, precariat, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, 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 Future of Employment, the medium is the message, the new new thing, Thomas L Friedman, Travis Kalanick, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, uber lyft, 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.

pages: 791 words: 85,159

Social Life of Information by John Seely Brown, Paul Duguid

business process, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, cross-subsidies, disintermediation, double entry bookkeeping, Frank Gehry, frictionless, frictionless market, future of work, George Gilder, George Santayana, global village, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, information retrieval, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Markoff, Just-in-time delivery, Kenneth Arrow, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, lateral thinking, loose coupling, Marshall McLuhan, medical malpractice, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, Productivity paradox, Robert Metcalfe, rolodex, Ronald Coase, shareholder value, Shoshana Zuboff, 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.

pages: 296 words: 86,610

The Bitcoin Guidebook: How to Obtain, Invest, and Spend the World's First Decentralized Cryptocurrency by Ian Demartino

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, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, Firefox, forensic accounting, global village, GnuPG, Google Earth, Haight Ashbury, Jacob Appelbaum, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, litecoin, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, Oculus Rift, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, QR code, ransomware, Ross Ulbricht, 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.

pages: 726 words: 210,048

Hard Landing by Thomas Petzinger, Thomas Petzinger Jr.

airline deregulation, buy and hold, centralized clearinghouse, Charles Lindbergh, collective bargaining, cross-subsidies, desegregation, Donald Trump, feminist movement, index card, low cost airline, 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, zero-sum game

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.

pages: 299 words: 91,839

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, commoditize, connected car, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, different worldview, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, don't be evil, fear of failure, Firefox, future of journalism, G4S, 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, old-boy network, 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, WikiLeaks, 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.

pages: 384 words: 89,250

Made to Break: Technology and Obsolescence in America by Giles Slade

Albert Einstein, Alexey Pajitnov wrote Tetris, American ideology, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Buckminster Fuller, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, Charles Lindbergh, creative destruction, Douglas Engelbart, 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, white picket fence, 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.

pages: 317 words: 98,745

Black Code: Inside the Battle for Cyberspace by Ronald J. Deibert

4chan, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Brian Krebs, call centre, citizen journalism, cloud computing, connected car, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, failed state, Firefox, global supply chain, global village, Google Hangouts, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, invention of writing, Iridium satellite, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Kibera, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, low earth orbit, Marshall McLuhan, MITM: man-in-the-middle, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, new economy, Occupy movement, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, planetary scale, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart grid, South China Sea, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, Ted Kaczynski, the medium is the message, Turing test, undersea cable, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, WikiLeaks, zero day

In 1999, Stanford University’s Lawrence Lessig published a book called Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace. Its central thesis is that the instructions encoded in the software that effectively run the Internet shape and constrain what is communicated just as laws and regulations do. Although Lessig did not emphasize it, that thesis is part of a larger tradition of theorizing about communications technology associated most prominently with Canadian academics Marshall McLuhan (“the medium is the message”) and Harold Innis (“the bias of communications”). According to this tradition, communications technologies are rarely neutral and their material properties – the wires, cables, machines themselves, and so forth – have direct societal impacts. Think about this for a moment. To what degree does the machine in front of you, that you log onto and operate daily, now determine your behaviour, what you do and don’t do?

pages: 327 words: 88,121

The Vanishing Neighbor: The Transformation of American Community by Marc J. Dunkelman

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, assortative mating, Berlin Wall, big-box store, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, Broken windows theory, business cycle, call centre, clean water, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, David Brooks, delayed gratification, different worldview, double helix, Downton Abbey, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Santayana, 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, McMansion, Nate Silver, obamacare, Occupy movement, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, Richard Florida, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, social intelligence, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban decay, urban planning, Walter Mischel, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, World Values Survey, zero-sum game

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.

pages: 537 words: 99,778

Dreaming in Public: Building the Occupy Movement by Amy Lang, Daniel Lang/levitsky

activist lawyer, Bay Area Rapid Transit, bonus culture, British Empire, clean water, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate personhood, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, deindustrialization, different worldview, facts on the ground, glass ceiling, housing crisis, Kibera, late capitalism, mass incarceration, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, 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.

Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television by Jerry Mander

Alistair Cooke, commoditize, conceptual framework, dematerialisation, full employment, invention of agriculture, Menlo Park, music of the spheres, placebo effect, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, sexual politics, 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.

pages: 370 words: 97,138

Beyond: Our Future in Space by Chris Impey

3D printing, Admiral Zheng, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, AltaVista, Berlin Wall, Buckminster Fuller, butterfly effect, California gold rush, carbon-based life, Charles Lindbergh, 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, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, life extension, low earth orbit, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mars Rover, mutually assured destruction, Oculus Rift, operation paperclip, out of africa, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, phenotype, private space industry, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, risk tolerance, Rubik’s Cube, 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, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen, 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.

pages: 323 words: 95,939

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, business cycle, 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 pandemic, 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, lateral thinking, Law of Accelerating Returns, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, Merlin Mann, Milgram experiment, mutually assured destruction, negative equity, 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, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), 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, zero-sum game

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.

pages: 293 words: 97,431

You Are Here: Why We Can Find Our Way to the Moon, but Get Lost in the Mall by Colin Ellard

A Pattern Language, call centre, car-free, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Frank Gehry, global village, Google Earth, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, job satisfaction, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, New Urbanism, peak oil, polynesian navigation, Ralph Waldo Emerson, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, traveling salesman, urban planning, urban sprawl

Just as rapid transit, especially air travel, can be perceived as having made the world a smaller place, wireless transmission of images in the form of television signals can be argued to have shrunk the world, perhaps making space disappear completely as a significant factor in our lives. But, just like rapid transit, the influence of electronic media on our perception of space is more complex than this. Spaces are connected to one another using sets of rules that have more to do with politics, power, and preference than with physics. When Marshall McLuhan, a pioneering Canadian thinker in media studies and author of the influential slogan “the medium is the message,” described the impact of new media as having converted the world into a kind of “global village,” this is precisely the kind of transformation in the use of space that he meant. Like villagers, we form allegiances, links, and unions with other individuals, but the far reach of invisible waves makes physical distance irrelevant to the formation of these connections. The mind-warping power of television has in some ways worked in concert with other space-devouring developments of the past century.

Data and the City by Rob Kitchin,Tracey P. Lauriault,Gavin McArdle

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, bike sharing scheme, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, Claude Shannon: information theory, clean water, cloud computing, complexity theory, conceptual framework, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, create, read, update, delete, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dematerialisation, digital map, distributed ledger, fault tolerance, fiat currency, Filter Bubble, floating exchange rates, global value chain, Google Earth, hive mind, Internet of things, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, lifelogging, linked data, loose coupling, new economy, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, open economy, openstreetmap, packet switching, pattern recognition, performance metric, place-making, RAND corporation, RFID, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, semantic web, sentiment analysis, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, smart contracts, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, software studies, statistical model, TaskRabbit, text mining, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, the medium is the message, the scientific method, Toyota Production System, urban planning, urban sprawl, web application

When investigating the multitude of ways in which cities in the twenty-first-century enter into complex relations with data devices and digital infrastructures, it is therefore advisable to consciously deploy the spatio-temporal workings of ICT towards a technical understanding of the socio-political implications of data. I propose that an applied material topology can help such analyses by challenging preconceived dualisms of code and data, or the digital and the physical realms, and by widening the array of permissible spatialities deployed in forthcoming research. Notes 1 McLuhan’s work, famously stating that ‘the medium is the message’, can be read as an early intervention into this predominant framing of media as a passive carrier (McLuhan 1994 [1964]). 2 Latour makes an analogous argument regarding sociologists’ various efforts to come to an arrangement between interaction- and structure-based perspectives: ‘The combination of two artifacts could only produce a third, yet more annoying, one’ (Latour 1996: 234). Situating data infrastructures 167 3 Notably, some functional programming languages (e.g.

pages: 379 words: 109,612

Is the Internet Changing the Way You Think?: The Net's Impact on Our Minds and Future by John Brockman

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, 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, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, lone genius, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, out of africa, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, 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.

pages: 416 words: 108,370

Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity in an Age of Distraction by Derek Thompson

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Alexey Pajitnov wrote Tetris, always be closing, augmented reality, Clayton Christensen, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, full employment, game design, Gordon Gekko, hindsight bias, indoor plumbing, industrial cluster, information trail, invention of the printing press, invention of the telegraph, Jeff Bezos, John Snow's cholera map, Kodak vs Instagram, linear programming, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, Minecraft, Nate Silver, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, out of africa, randomized controlled trial, recommendation engine, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, subscription business, telemarketer, the medium is the message, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Vilfredo Pareto, Vincenzo Peruggia: Mona Lisa, women in the workforce

When Christian, a handsome dullard, asks Cyrano to ghostwrite notes on his behalf to woo Roxane, Cyrano obliges. At the end of the play, however, Roxane realizes that she has fallen for the words themselves. The one she truly loves is the author of the letters—the ugly Cyrano, not the handsome Christian. The play sprang to mind one evening during the research for this book. I was writing the next chapter, which is, in large part, about Cyrano’s singular gift—pleasing an audience. “The medium is the message,” as Marshall McLuhan said once and everybody else repeated a million times. The Internet and its social network inhabitants are forces of amplification, extending our messages to more ears and eyes. What I wanted to know was whether people change what they talk about when they think they’re addressing a large group of people, as they often do on Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter. If the medium dictates the message, might the size of the audience shape the subject of the message?

pages: 404 words: 113,514

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, MITM: man-in-the-middle, 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.

pages: 464 words: 121,983

Disaster Capitalism: Making a Killing Out of Catastrophe by Antony Loewenstein

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Legislative Exchange Council, 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, Corrections Corporation of America, Edward Snowden, facts on the ground, failed state, falling living standards, Ferguson, Missouri, financial independence, full employment, G4S, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, housing crisis, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, mandatory minimum, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, Naomi Klein, neoliberal agenda, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, open borders, private military company, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Satyajit Das, 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.

pages: 413 words: 119,587

Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots by John Markoff

"Robert Solow", A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, airport security, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, 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 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, Gunnar Myrdal, 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 Markoff, 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, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, medical residency, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, 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, zero-sum game

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.

Bootstrapping: Douglas Engelbart, Coevolution, and the Origins of Personal Computing (Writing Science) by Thierry Bardini

Apple II, augmented reality, Bill Duvall, conceptual framework, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, 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, Leonard Kleinrock, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, packet switching, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, 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 [1977],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.

pages: 696 words: 143,736

The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence by Ray Kurzweil

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, Everything should be made as simple as possible, 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, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Lao Tzu, Law of Accelerating Returns, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, natural language processing, Norbert Wiener, optical character recognition, ought to be enough for anybody, pattern recognition, phenotype, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Robert Metcalfe, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, speech recognition, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, stochastic process, technological singularity, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, the medium is the message, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen, 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.

pages: 559 words: 157,112

Dealers of Lightning by Michael A. Hiltzik

Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, beat the dealer, Bill Duvall, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, business cycle, computer age, creative destruction, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Thorp, El Camino Real, index card, Jeff Rulifson, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, oil shock, popular electronics, Robert Metcalfe, 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, zero-sum game

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.

Sorting Things Out: Classification and Its Consequences (Inside Technology) by Geoffrey C. Bowker

affirmative action, business process, corporate governance, Drosophila, information retrieval, loose coupling, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, natural language processing, Occam's razor, QWERTY keyboard, Scientific racism, scientific worldview, sexual politics, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, the built environment, the medium is the message, transaction costs, William of Occam

Too often, this sort of work remains invisible to traditional science and technology, or to rational analyses of process. This tension is itself collective, historical, and partially institutionalized. The medium of an information system is not just wires and plugs , bits and bytes, but also conventions of representation, information both formal and empirical. A system becomes a system in design and use, not the one without the other. The medium is the message, certainly, and it is also the case that both are political creations (Taylor and Van Every 1 993). In Donna Haraway's words, " No layer of the onion of practice that is technos­ cience is outside the reach of technology of critical interpretation and critical inquiry about positioning and location; that is the condition of embodiment and mortality. The technical and the political are like the abstract and the concrete, the foreground and the background, the text and the context, the subject and the object" (Haraway 1 997, 1 0).

pages: 542 words: 161,731

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, Joan Didion, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, Loebner Prize, Marshall McLuhan, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rodney Brooks, Skype, social intelligence, 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, Year of Magical Thinking

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.”

pages: 606 words: 157,120

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, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, Dava Sobel, disintermediation, East Village,, 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, lifelogging, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, moral panic, Narrative Science, Nelson Mandela, Nicholas Carr, packet switching, PageRank, Parag Khanna, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel,, 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.

pages: 604 words: 161,455

The Moral Animal: Evolutionary Psychology and Everyday Life by Robert Wright

"Robert Solow", agricultural Revolution, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, British Empire, centre right, cognitive dissonance, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, fault tolerance, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Gilder, global village, invention of gunpowder, invention of movable type, invention of the telegraph, invention of writing, invisible hand, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Marshall McLuhan, Norbert Wiener, planetary scale, pre–internet, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, social web, Steven Pinker, talking drums, the medium is the message, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, your tax dollars at work, zero-sum game

The first two magazines in the United States, published in the mid-eighteenth century, were called American Magazine and General Magazine, much as early broadcast networks had names like the American Broadcasting Company. By the end of the nineteenth century, there were magazines such as Popular Science—rough equivalents of the Discovery Channel. This parallel between media is often lost in the course of cosmic media theorizing. The emphasis, instead, is placed on the supposedly determinative differences among media. Marshall McLuhan, for example, said that “the medium is the message”—that different media have different intrinsic, culture-shaping properties. Thus the phonetic alphabet was said to be a “hot” medium (though ideographic script, oddly, was “cool”), and TV was said to be “cool” (though movies were “hot”). What did McLuhan mean by “cool” and “hot”? Deciphering McLuhan’s prose is not always a cost-effective way to spend time. Besides, the merit of his particular taxonomy is not the main point here.

pages: 667 words: 186,968

The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History by John M. Barry

Albert Einstein, Brownian motion, centralized clearinghouse, conceptual framework, coronavirus, 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.

pages: 741 words: 179,454

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, business cycle, capital asset pricing model, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, Celtic Tiger, clean water, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, 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, Edward Thorp, Emanuel Derman,, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, Everybody Ought to Be Rich, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial independence, financial innovation, financial thriller, 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, information asymmetry, interest rate swap, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, job automation, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Meriwether, joint-stock company, Jones Act, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, Kevin Kelly, 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, mega-rich, merger arbitrage, Mikhail Gorbachev, Milgram experiment, money market fund, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, mutually assured destruction, Myron Scholes, Naomi Klein, negative equity, NetJets, Network effects, new economy, Nick Leeson, Nixon shock, Northern Rock, nuclear winter, oil shock, Own Your Own Home, Paul Samuelson,, Philip Mirowski, 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 Thaler, Right to Buy, 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, Satyajit Das, 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, survivorship bias, 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 new new thing, 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, zero-sum game

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.

Carrying the Fire: An Astronaut's Journeys: 50th Anniversary Edition by Michael Collins, Charles A. Lindbergh

Charles Lindbergh, Colonization of Mars, Elon Musk, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, place-making, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, the medium is the message

Tsiolkovsky, Goddard, Von Braun—these chaps never dreamed about simulators or recovery systems or mission planning, but about the raw rocket power which would be required to put men into orbit, onto the moon, out beyond Jupiter, or wherever. In my own view, the pendulum has swung; rockets are about as interesting as the powder which propels a bullet. To be fascinated by them is to prove McLuhan’s point that the medium is the message, or perhaps it is a more Freudian thing. From the crew point of view, one rides the thing rather than flying it, and the trick is to know when to get off, or when to shut it down, if it turns out to be ailing. The boundaries of leaving or staying are generally defined by two sets of limits: if it wanders off past a certain angle, which might cause you to point in the wrong direction, or if it changes direction at an unacceptable rate, indicating a predilection to tumble ass over tea kettle.

pages: 879 words: 233,093

The Empathic Civilization: The Race to Global Consciousness in a World in Crisis by Jeremy Rifkin

agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, animal electricity, back-to-the-land, British Empire, carbon footprint, collaborative economy, death of newspapers, delayed gratification, distributed generation,, energy security, feminist movement, global village, hedonic treadmill, hydrogen economy, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Mahatma Gandhi, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, Nelson Mandela, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, off grid, out of africa, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, scientific worldview, Simon Kuznets, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, social intelligence, 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.

pages: 1,072 words: 237,186

How to Survive a Pandemic by Michael Greger, M.D., FACLM

coronavirus, COVID-19, Covid-19, double helix, friendly fire, global pandemic, global supply chain, global village, inventory management, Kickstarter, mass immigration, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Journalism, out of africa, Peace of Westphalia, phenotype, profit motive, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, statistical model, stem cell, supply-chain management, the medium is the message, Westphalian system, Y2K, Yogi Berra

The deadly coronaviruses: the 2003 SARS pandemic and the 2020 novel coronavirus epidemic in China. J Autoimmun. [accessed 2020 Mar 30]. 2657. Carbone M, Green JB, Bucci EM, Lednicky JA. 2020. Coronaviruses: facts, myths, and hypotheses. J Thorac Oncol. Article in press. [accessed 2020 Mar 30]. 2658. Garrett L. 2020. COVID-19: the medium is the message. Lancet. 395(10228):942–943. [accessed 2020 Mar 30]. 2659. Jones DS. 2020 Mar 12. History in a crisis—lessons for Covid-19. N Engl J Med. [accessed 2020 Mar 30]. 2660. The Lancet. 2020. COVID-19: fighting panic with information. Lancet. 395(10224):537. [accessed 2020 Mar 30]. 2661.

pages: 1,351 words: 404,177

Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America by Rick Perlstein

affirmative action, Alistair Cooke, American ideology, 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, Joan Didion, Kitchen Debate, liberal capitalism, Mahatma Gandhi, Marshall McLuhan, Monroe Doctrine, moral panic, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, Own Your Own Home, Paul Samuelson, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price mechanism, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, sexual politics, the medium is the message, traveling salesman, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, walking around money, War on Poverty, white picket fence, 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.”