McLuhan on Electronic Media

I’m reading McLuhan’s classic Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (1964) as I prepare a paper for the Media Ecology Association conference this summer. I’m struck by his prophetic insights into the effect of “electronic media” on the human condition. My MEA conference paper will challenge some of his basic assumptions from a (surprise, surprise) Whiteheadian…

Media Ecology Conference Paper

Later this month, St. Mary’s College of California will host the 18th Annual Convention of the Media Ecology Association. The conference theme is “Technology, Spirituality, Ecology.” My paper proposal was accepted. The abstract is below Title: A Communicative Cosmos: Toward a Whiteheadian Media Ecology Author: Matthew T. Segall, PhD Affiliation: California Institute of Integral Studies Contact: msegall@ciis.edu…

Alf Hornborg on Ecology, Economy, and Technology

A few excerpts from professor of human ecology Alf Hornborg‘s book The Power of the Machine: Global Inequalities of Economy, Technology, and Environment (2001). “We seem to have difficulties understanding exactly in which sense human ideas and social relations intervene in the material realities of the biosphere. Rather than continuing to appraoch ‘knowledge’ from the Cartesian…

Speculations on Obama’s Brain Initiative

Francis Collins, director of the National Institute of Health and author of The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief (2006), introduces President Obama as the “scientist-in-chief.” Collins’ “BioLogos” theory is a brand of theistic evolution I have to admit I am not all that familiar with. But I do think he is…

[Rough Draft] “The Re-Emergence of Schelling” – The nature of human freedom

For a PDF of the entire essay, click The Re-Emergence of Schelling: Philosophy in a Time of Emergency. The Nature of Human Freedom The Naturphilosoph comes to understand “Nature as subject.”232 This does not imply that nature necessarily conforms to the transcendental structure of the human mind (a form of anthropomorphism), but rather that human consciousness…

The Feat of Human Flight

Prometheus stole fire from the Gods, and now Icarus is closing in on the Sun. Daedalus reverse engineered the technology of angels and made man into bird. Will our wax wings melt in the light of space, or has the fire of spirit burst free of heavier elements? With each invention, are we more upright, or…