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The “Gig Economy” and the Death of Society

The “Gig Economy” and the Death of Society

Until relatively recently, most people hearing that someone had a “gig” would assume that person was a musician. Whether for a night, a week, or even as a “steady gig,”...
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Reductio ad Machina: Human Identity in the Age of Machines

Reductio ad Machina: Human Identity in the Age of Machines

“Technique has penetrated the deepest recesses of the human being. The machine tends not only to create a new human environment, but also to modify man’s very essence…. He must...
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We Are Not Our Own: Childhood in a Technological Age

We Are Not Our Own: Childhood in a Technological Age

Liberal culture’s anti-child practices are bound up with a logic of childlessness most basically defined in terms of a forgetfulness of being and its Origin and expressed by the marginalization...
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Technological Servitude and Marshall McLuhan’s Proposal for Liberation

Technological Servitude and Marshall McLuhan’s Proposal for Liberation

Marshall McLuhan identified our time of postmodernity as the “ecological age” in which technological dominance has become planetary. This undeniable truth is a fact that may be symbolized by the...
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Re-Programming Ourselves to Be Mindful

Re-Programming Ourselves to Be Mindful

“The world exists to end in a book” — Stéphane Mallarmé   “Happy is your Grace, That can translate the stubbornness of fortune Into so quiet and so sweet a...
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35th International Meeting of THE ERIC VOEGELIN SOCIETY, 2019

35th International Meeting of THE ERIC VOEGELIN SOCIETY, 2019

35th International Meeting of THE ERIC VOEGELIN SOCIETY, 2019 American Political Science Association Meeting, August 29-September 1 Washington, DC   David Walsh, Meeting Director [email protected]     Dear Friends, I...
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Liberal culture’s anti-child practices are bound up with a logic of childlessness most basically defined in terms of a forgetfulness of being and its Origin and expressed by the marginalization of philosophy, leisure, and liturgy as ways of being and acting. We can adequately address either these practices or this logic only by addressing both of them at the same…

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Marshall McLuhan identified our time of postmodernity as the “ecological age” in which technological dominance has become planetary. This undeniable truth is a fact that may be symbolized by the visual image of satellites circling the entire globe. Accordingly, McLuhan liked to use Sputnik as a synecdoche for technology’s global embrace:“To free himself from servitude to his own artifacts has…

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“The world exists to end in a book”
— Stéphane Mallarmé
 
“Happy is your Grace,
That can translate the stubbornness of fortune
Into so quiet and so sweet a style.”
—Shakespeare, As You Like It (II.i.19-21)
 
“Prayer is reversed thunder.”
—George Herbert
 
In Chapter 6 of Understanding Media (1964), “Media as Translators,” Marshall McLuhan starts off by offering us an image of “the higher arboreal…

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In this digital age of polarized politics, where can we look for guidance on how to turn down the heat? After all, we don’t want to blow ourselves up. Fortunately, although the imperative to use our most powerful weapons could be a catalyst for our own destruction, we also have alternative technological tools. These alternative tools are more than capable…

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“There’s Nothing Like a Best Seller to Set Hollywood a-Tingle”
—The New York Times Book Review (Sep 16, 1962)
“I’d willingly start my next novel—about a small town—right now, but I need the diversion of a play.”
—John O’Hara, The New York Times Book Review (Nov 27, 1955)
“For most of our lifetime civil war has been raging in the world of art and…

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He could not go.
He wanted neither to eat nor to sleep.
Only to lie there — eyes insatiably
Gazing into the eyes that were no eyes.
This is how his own eyes destroyed him.
— Ted Hughes, “Narcissus”
Unknowingly he desires himself, and
the one who praises is himself praised, and,
while he courts, is courted,
so that, equally, he inflames and burns.
How often he gave his lips…

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The West shall shake the East awake
While ye have the night for morn.
— James Joyce, Finnegan’s Wake
企者不立;跨者不行;
自見者不明;自是者不彰;
自伐者無功;自矜者不長。
其在道也,曰:餘食贅行。
物或惡之,故有道者不處。
— Lao Tzu, Tao te Ching, Chapter 24
 
In Chapter 3 of Understanding Media (1964), “Reversal of the Overheated Medium,” Marshall McLuhan describes how technological enhancements tend to undergo reversals as they work themselves out within the wider environmental context. For example, the enhancement of…

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In the first chapter of Understanding Media (1964), called “The Medium is the Message,” Marshall McLuhan begins the book by explaining his most famous aphorism. Over time, the proposition has acquired the status of a cliché, such that its original meaning and intent can become obscured. But as W. Terrence Gordon, the editor of the Critical Edition of Understanding Media (published…

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