14 Matching Annotations
  1. Sep 2021
    1. Nicholas Carr explores cognitive science and media theory to understand how technology is change our brains through neuroplasticity.

      Ezra Klein was in conversation with Richard Powers regarding his recent book, Bewilderment, exploring the way technology changes us by changing our environment. The medium is the message.

    1. I think Marshall McLuhan knew it all. I really do. Not exactly what it would look like, but his view and Postman’s view that we are creating a digital global nervous system is a way they put it, it was exactly right. A nervous system, it was such the exact right metaphor. And he didn’t — it’s not that they saw it exactly, but I really love those mid-century media critics because they saw something happening clearer than we see it now. And it is a nervous system. I’m a huge Marshall McLuhan stan.

      We are creating physical infrastructure to scale, enhance, and amplify human capabilities to extend our reach beyond the constraints of time and space.

  2. Jul 2021
    1. Carr’s argument is something I resisted for a long time, but his main assertion — that the tools we use to think shape how we think — is hard to ignore.

      While this may be Nicholas Carr's statement, it's actually pre-dated significantly by Marshall McLuhann

    1. Linnaeus had to manage a conflict between the need to bring information into a fixed order for purposes of later retrieval, and the need to permanently integrate new information into that order, says Mueller-Wille. “His solution to this dilemma was to keep information on particular subjects on separate sheets, which could be complemented and reshuffled,” he says.

      Carl Linnaeus created a method whereby he kept information on separate sheets of paper which could be reshuffled.

      In a commonplace-centric culture, this would have been a fascinating innovation.

      Did the cost of paper (velum) trigger part of the innovation to smaller pieces?

      Did the de-linearization of data imposed by codices (and previously parchment) open up the way people wrote and thought? Being able to lay out and reorder pages made a more 3 dimensional world. Would have potentially made the world more network-like?

      cross-reference McLuhan's idea about our tools shaping us.

  3. Jun 2021
    1. liberatory struggle but also there are traditions that are um indigenous to like black um to the like to the black community to black explorer community

      yes marxism is a incredibly important tool um for thinking you know uh for you know liberatory struggle but also there are traditions that are um indigenous to like black um to the like to the black community to black diaspora community —Christopher R. Rogers (auto-generated transcript)

      Marxism can be a lens (tool) through which to look at the black community, but the black community has also changed Marxism.

      How can we connect this to the McLuhan-esque idea of us shaping out tools and then them reshaping us?

      cf. https://hypothes.is/a/6Znx6MiMEeu3ljcVBsKNOw

      "We shape our tools and thereafter they shape us." — John M. Culkin cf.

    1. Google’s headquarters, in Mountain View, California—the Googleplex—is the Internet’s high church, and the religion practiced inside its walls is Taylorism.

      The idea of Taylorism as a religion is intriguing.

      However, underlying it is the religion of avarice and greed.

      What if we just had the Taylorism with humanity in mind and took out the root motivation of greed?

      This might be akin to trying to return Christianity to it's Jewish roots and removing the bending of the religion away from its original intention.

      It's definitely the case that the "religion" is only as useful and valuable to it's practitioners as the practitioners allow. In the terms of the McLuhan-esque quote "We shape our tools and thereafter they shape us." we could consider religion (any religion including Taylorism) as a tool. How does that tool shape us? How do we continue to reshape it?

      While I'm thinking about it, what is the root form of resilience that has allowed the Roman Catholic Church to last and have the power and influence it's had for two millennia?

    2. Sometime in 1882, Friedrich Nietzsche bought a typewriter—a Malling-Hansen Writing Ball, to be precise. His vision was failing, and keeping his eyes focused on a page had become exhausting and painful, often bringing on crushing headaches. He had been forced to curtail his writing, and he feared that he would soon have to give it up. The typewriter rescued him, at least for a time. Once he had mastered touch-typing, he was able to write with his eyes closed, using only the tips of his fingers. Words could once again flow from his mind to the page. But the machine had a subtler effect on his work. One of Nietzsche’s friends, a composer, noticed a change in the style of his writing. His already terse prose had become even tighter, more telegraphic. “Perhaps you will through this instrument even take to a new idiom,” the friend wrote in a letter, noting that, in his own work, his “‘thoughts’ in music and language often depend on the quality of pen and paper.”“You are right,” Nietzsche replied, “our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts.” Under the sway of the machine, writes the German media scholar Friedrich A. Kittler , Nietzsche’s prose “changed from arguments to aphorisms, from thoughts to puns, from rhetoric to telegram style.”

      Saving the entire story for context, but primarily for this Marshall McLuhan-esque quote:

      “You are right,” Nietzsche replied, “our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts.”

      I want to know the source of the quote.

    1. We shape our buildings and afterwards our buildings shape us. —Winston Churchill


      Life imitates art. We shape our tools and thereafter they shape us. — John M. Culkin, “A Schoolman’s Guide to Marshall McLuhan” (The Saturday Review, March 1967) (Culkin was a friend and colleague of Marshall McLuhan)

  4. May 2021
    1. As Friedrich Nietzsche famously conceded to his friend Heinrich Köselitz a century later, “You are right — our writing tools take part in the forming of our thoughts.”

      This is a fascinating quote and something I've thought about before. Ties to McLuhan's "the medium is the message" as well.

  5. Aug 2020
    1. “When the environment itself is constituted by electric circuitry and information, architecture becomes the content of the new information environment. Architecture is the old technology which is automatically elevated into an art form.”
    2. electronics presents new challenges to planners because this latest prosthetic extension of the body defines an entirely new form of space.
    1. Obviously not every group chat counts as a “conspiracy”. But it makes the question of how society coheres, who is associated with whom, into a matter of speculation – something that involves a trace of conspiracy theory. In that sense, WhatsApp is not just a channel for the circulation of conspiracy theories, but offers content for them as well. The medium is the message.
  6. Jul 2019
    1. In this sense, it isn’t the medium that is the message as McLuhan (1994) famously states; rather the process of producing media is the message as Benjamin (1970; See also Waltz, 2005) argued, whether the media in question be print, radio, TV, or online.