. left | coast | lurker . on Tue, 2 Nov 2010 09:20:33 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> Weekly Standard: Shirkyism


I would just like to say that as someone educated and employed in the rank
and file of Communication Studies (and Philosophy) in Canada, it is not
necessary to default directly to the old horse of Marshal McLuhan, whose
theories require a human body untainted of technics from which the
"extensions of man" will protrude. This is another way of saying that
technology is an external actor which can be me moralized and judged as an
appendage (rather than an implicated or enfolded tendency), and which all
you remade Freudians out there should have no trouble in grasping, hands-on,
as the phallogocentrism of Canada's good ol' media mogul Catholic.

There are better, more intriguing thinkers today, from the conversations
around Bernard Stiegler's work (including the fascinating work of Mark
Hansen) to the continuing disssections of Andrew Feenberg (carrying the
torch of Marcuse) to where philosophy of technology and speculative realism
have encountered each other (such as in the work of David Wills and Graham

And for what it's worth, McLuhan got all his good bits from Harold Innis and
George Grant (WHO? -- nevermind, we'll keep our Canuck gold). Me, I still
like Lewis Mumford and Jacques Ellul, as well as good ol' Ivan Illich. If
you'd like a contemporary technotheism without resorting to McLuhan (yet
again), have a look at John Durham Peters, who does an interesting bit
talking Derridean dissemination and Christological communication in the same
breath. Unlike McLuhan, at least he's upfront about it.

yrs from the frozen North,


> Dave:
> Well said -- however, the real problem lies in the absence of a
> COMMUNICATIONS theory on the part of both Clay Shirky and his critics.
> After all, this is why he gets away with what he does. Nobody involved
> really knows what they are talking about.

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