Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Submerging the Individual: Moving Out of a Print Culture? Well...

Marshall McLuhan on technology, books, &
individuality in the global village



"The next medium, whatever it is - it may be the extension of consciousness - will include television as its content, not as its environment [where we are in 2011---SH], and will transform television into an art form. A computer as a research and communication instrument could enhance retrieval, obsolesce mass library organization, retrieve the individual's encyclopedic function and flip into a private line to speedily tailored data of a saleable kind". --- Marshall McLuhan, 1962

Yes, unarguably true... in part; but was McLuhan overconfident and overreaching in his assessment? Did he really mean what he appears to have been saying about the loss of individuality, submerging it into the hive mind?

By contrast Existentialism got at least this much right: No outside determinism may steal our individual freedom while we are conscious and alive. Nothing. Jean Paul Sartre said we could be free in defiance "even before a firing squad". Albert Camus in his classic work The Plague suggested the citizens of Oran were not really free before the plague hemmed them in on all sides, before they were suddenly faced with the possibility of a future cut tragically short. In the face of death and dying the Oranians began to live their freedom and love beyond all rote convention. Our environment has changed to be sure. Another kind of ubiquitous plague appears in our time. So freedom again is our possibility, but only through conscious choice, decision.

Time to get reading, young people. And remember the imago dei.

--->And privacy? Nightmare No. 9...
_______

--->$170 million mock city rises at Marine base... [There's plenty of money for some things, no?]

--->Tens Of Thousands March In Egypt Against Mubarak Regime...

--->The kind of news that does not age... [Thanks to Jim Forest for this]

--->Malaysia release of genetically modified insects sparks fears of uncontrollable new species...

--->More Icelandic bankers arrested...Iceland’s special prosecutor into the banking crisis has confirmed that raids have taken place ... and that arrests have been made. The Central Bank of Iceland is among the institutions under investigation...(click) [Justice still exists somewhere? And what of suspect bankers in Greece, Ireland, the US, to name a few...?]

--->US lawmaker aims to protect tipsters
on extremists...

--->Bono Playing Near Fraudster Concerns? Fraud Plagues Celebrity-Backed Global Health Fund. A $21.7 billion development fund backed by celebrities and hailed as an alternative to the bureaucracy of the United Nations sees as much as two-thirds of some grants eaten up by corruption, The Associated Press has learned...(click)The U.N. Development Program manages more than half of the fund's spending, but U.N. officials won't release internal audits of their programs to the fund's investigators.

--->U2 singer Bono owns 728 million dollars worth of Facebook stocks...

--->Media and the workers who may lose their pensions...

--->House speaker lends legislative support to Catholic schools...

--->Prominent Rabbis to Place Ad Against Beck, Ailes, in Murdoch-Owned WSJ...

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