Toward a Communicative Cosmos: Whitehead and Media Ecology (updated draft)

Below is a draft of a paper I'll offer at the MEA Convention in a few weeks. I share it here in the hopes that my readers may provide feedback that helps me improve it. I have something like 15 minutes to present as part of a panel on "Philosophical Perspectives," so I'll only be …

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 …

Climate Change and Schelling’s inversion of Fichte’s “economic-teleological” principle

Two disappointing tidbits of news from the front lines of the climate war came my way this morning. First, I learned that the US Department of State decided to contract out its recent environmental review of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline to a company called Environmental Resources Management. ERM happens to be "a dues-paying …

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 …