Eight provocations about social media for your consideration.
“‘Tis all in pieces, all coherence gone,” lamented John Donne in 1611. The line is from An Anatomy of the World, a poem written by Donne to mark the death of his patron’s daughter at the age of sixteen. Immediately before and after this line, Donne alludes to ruptures in the social, political, philosophical, religious, and … Continue reading Orality and Literacy Revisited
It will come as no surprise, I’m sure, if I tell you that the wells of online discourse are poisoned. It will come as no surprise because critics have complained about the tone of online discourse for as long as people have interacted with one another online. In fact, we more or less take the toxic, volatile … Continue reading Waiting for Socrates … So We Can Kill Him Again and Post the Video on Youtube
Given how the word technology gets used and abused, we might sometimes be tempted to respond this way. In fact, technology is a word we use all of the time, and ordinarily it seems to work well enough as a shorthand, catch-all sort of word. That same sometimes useful quality, however, makes it inadequate and counter-productive … Continue reading Traditions of Technological Criticism
Consider the image below. It was created in 1952 by Alexander Leydenfrost for the 50th anniversary issue of Popular Mechanics. I thought of this image as I read Thomas Misa’s brief discussion of the wide-spread perception that the pace of technological change is ever-quickening. “At least since Alvin Toffler’s best-selling Future Shock (1970),” Misa writes, “pundits perennially … Continue reading Promethean Shocks