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Everything posted by Shwa

  1. But you know it is a message right, you just don't know the contents. The medium IS the message after all. So you unfold and, voila! What is the first thing you see?
  2. McLuhan & Frye should be compulsory reads in high schools. They are that important.
  3. It's an interesting little book that is worth the read in order to gain a better etic perspective of some of the idealist views on the form of capitalism in operation in the mid-18th century. Naturally you'll want to read 'Das Kapital' which is also in the public domain I believe.
  4. Well at least Lowes is standing up for all those persecuted Christians in America. The ones who suffer under the "the Islamic agenda’s clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values." Lowe’s pulls ads from TV show about U.S. Muslims Florida Family Association - persecuted to the teeth
  5. Festivus solves everything.

  6. As this passage indicates. Willingness is just a barrier though, always has been. But note that I have edited the product of your consciousness to suite my purpose and this required no willingness at all on your part. All of which can make for a dumbed down society on the first EMP.
  7. Our system of democracy is based on choice. That is, I have the franchise, but there is no compelling reason - like a law - for me to exercise it; and, if I do, to exercise it as I see fit. This is the element of design that over rides all other assumptions. So I can choose not to choose and this fact has been indicated in every single election held in Canada. Ethics is all about choice. Pretty much, but I am not sure "happy" is the correct term. Perhaps satisfied that the choice they make is as effective as it will ever be and thus, for some of those that choose not to participate, a sense of acceptance of the status quo. No, it is always relative. Sure we do, but we also have much better ways of accessing or addressing the government which reveals so much more than was possible before. There is more specificity, which can lead to the appearance of complexity, but appearances aren't always everything. If I hand you a folded telegram, it is clearly a message from another. But what does it say? In 'The Gutenberg Galaxy' written two years before 'Understanding Media' McLuhan makes a clear and convincing comparative analogy between the periods in which the print and electronic ages arose. The effects of each had similar outcomes on the societies of their days and are worth noting. Like disturbances on the status quo. Then I shudder when the day comes when a corporation can immerse me in the goose-bump experience of a warm sunbeam coming through a window on a cold winter's day. It will be one hellva way to sell a Coke. Don't we already though? Our individual ability to correspond with another, with governments and institutions, are already over-loading the latter's ability to respond according to their own rules. It is amazing to see how much the simple email has replaced such correspondence or the ability to create and message those others compared to 30 years ago. And not just for urbanites either, this phenomenon is extended to rural and remote areas. A prospector can communicate real time from the remotest places on earth. "And now I will finalize my input by clicking the 'post' button." Me too! Except I'll click the "Add Reply" button since my medium is more accurate than yours.
  8. It has nothing to do with Stoicism, where one tries to free themselves from one's own emotions. And I am not apathetic, far from it. This is much different from me being responsible for how other's feel, which is one of the most insidious and persistent delusions in society usually expressed as 'made me feel.' I can't make anyone feel anything and I am not responsible for what they do feel.
  9. This is one the aspects I am getting at, i.e.the smartphone, that now allows TV, video, text, pictures and direct communications, in a small, mobile device and hints at an immersive, participatory experience. We often think of 'virtual reality' in terms of fiction, but we are seeing devices that allow us to construct virtual realities in a very realistic way, of almost being there.
  10. It is. This is one of the reasons that MLW is attractive despite the distractions of the loons on the fringe.
  11. Well, I don't believe I can make anyone feel anything and, that being said, I am not responsible for how they feel when they do feel something. Alas, we have discovered that even olpfan1 feels joy so no harm, no foul.
  12. Perhaps it is more a matter of not having the same sort of character perceptive abilities that you do, according to, "you can easily tell when he was lying during the election." I presume you are speaking only for yourself and are not ascribing your abilities upon the entire population. That being said, then it is possible that quite a few of them "fell for his lies" in the sense that they believed what he was saying at the time and voted for it. Now I don't believe that "most" people in Toronto are ideological, selfish, ignorant of gullible, but I do believe that with his track record over the past year, Mayor Ford would have a very tough time being re-elected if an election were held today.
  14. Tsk, tsk, tsk, cybercoma, you are ignoring what you had said in another thread about that poster being a troll. Don't feed the trolls! Public service growth far outstrips population rise, notes show The Harper Government ballooned the public service so they could slash it and look heroic. The sort of cartoon politics that appeals to the low-grade intellect of the Canadian fringe right who only have the capacity to understand politics in terms of slogans.
  15. I think this is the sort of 'creepy reality' that Caplan is referring to, except on a much smaller scale of course, and that is the construction of the straw man and subsequent embodiment of fear and hatred of the alternatives, whatever their form. It is pretty flimsy construct and could indicate a lack of intellectual capacity on behalf of the poster to conceptualize and rationally discuss abstract ideas. Instead of abstraction, all we have is the familiar distraction. How dishonest of you TimG, it makes you out to look like an ineffectual fool. Gerald Caplan and David Frum, two individuals who routinely put their intellectual and experiencial credentials on the line practically everyday, but are now reduced "vacuous analysis emanating from the left wing" by an anonymous poster on an Internet message board. This is more of the flimsy straw man building of course. The problem here TimG is that I doubt your credentials stack up against theirs in any sort of relative capacity and the reason I say this is because: No where in the OP or linked article is there any hint that this is "a trait unique to conservatives." In fact, Caplan writes, "Of course the Republicans have no monopoly on inventing imaginary new worlds" Note Caplan's use of the phrase, 'of course' generally used to denote an obvious and well known notion. So, TimG, you either didn't read the article and assumed it's content, which makes you out to appear like an ineffectual fool, or you willfully ignored Caplan's 'of course' whichs makes you out to appear like an ineffectual fool. Or it may have been any number of reasons in between, with the ultimate result being you look like... etc. Of course, any rational person can pick up on your limp effort at creating distracting strawmen, which is one of those problems with extreme right wing conservatism hinted at by Caplan. It's creepy. And self-professed-libertarian or not, you fit right in.
  16. Interesting article by Gerald Caplan, from the Globe and Mail, that might resontate a little with some folks here. I am posting it in Political Philosophy because a second part next week will discuss the Harper Government in relation to this construct. Conservatives concoct their own creepy reality Quoting David Frum's article from a few weeks ago: So I suppose the question might be, is this construction of different realities something new? I mean, we can look at empire from the past and they too were in the business of constructing different realities, especially in the frontiers that they conquered and incorporated various other ethnic groups and cultures. And, of course, all the monument building...
  17. But now you have moved the topic into the domain of ethics which, to me, is what the question will always be about. (I suppose it also touches form/content as well.) People are ethically bound to inform themselves of several things (laws, mores, institutions, etc.) but what constitutes a successful level of being informed? The Fairness Doctrine was a culturally informed doctrine of ethics and, as we move more towards the global village, who's to dictate our ethics for us? So why should someone go above and beyond the necessary requirements for information? As I have said, people in this post-modern age are better informed about how to get better informed. There isn't the necessary requirement of knowledge unless is suits an immediate practical purpose. Now, supposing this has always been so, we might be witnessing the effects of a kind of future shock in that there is less time for esoteric interests (i.e. in depth political knowledge of the world) because people are no longer working at a secure job for 30-40 years) That is, there are other immediate requirements for different kinds of information than just civics. People are still informing themselves, but about different things. I think the biggest symptom of this is the consumption of political rhetoric as truth and yes, this is a problem. But practically speaking, I don't see government any more complex than it was 30 years ago and government information is certainly more accessible than it ever was. (do you remember the racks upon racks of pamplets at the Unemployment Centres just 20 years ago?) And I think the more you know about the government, or the background behind some piece of legislation, the less complex it is. Like anything, really. Back in McLuhan's day, and likely for a good portion for the both of us, the news was presented by participating 'experts'(well, dressed like they were experts)to a mostly passive audience. Even McLuhan, as great a historian as he was could not have envisioned the extent of social media and the participatory function of the audience in the creation and delivery of content. He saw this phenomenon when print arose as a medium and he used those societal struggles as analogy of our own when the television age came along. We are likely experiencing the same things with the new media now. It seems that the next generation will gain important information in ways that we never imagined and I am not referring to the simple technological side of it. "News" may no longer be an apt word for it. This new media might include aspects of direct participation in the experiences of events, that is, the public become interested when they participate or have some sort of direct connection to the events in one way or another. (which reminds me of Orwell's 'feelies') Sort of like an immersion media. But will that make them better informed or want to go out and vote? I dunno. Perhaps democracy is a means to an end we haven't expected yet.
  18. That is simply not true. You raise some good points, but in the end, I think parents should have the ability to see what kind of teacher is in the classroom. The College agrees:
  19. Good news! And nice to see the government respond. I read through the Star series and it wasn't pretty. I mean, Rate My Teacher can only go so far. What I didn't know is that BC's had similar problems with the College of Teachers and took drastic measures to correct them. I guess the Ontario College of Teachers saw the writing on the wall, which might be the thin edge of the wedge for more public oversight on the self-interest of the regulatory institutions. Identity of rogue teachers to be made public
  20. Because dumb Canadians were already committed to voting CPC.
  21. The reason we don't care about these "scandals" is because we know that any other party will have similar "scandals". Scandal-plagued Tories become the new Liberals Chris Selley and the National Post disagree with you, including the use of the word 'scandal.' See Chris Selley and the National Post, above. See Chris... oh nevermind. LOFL! God? PLEASE! Bring back the Progressive Conservatives!
  22. Ah, you see, I never said that the "public is generally better informed" just that there is much more good-and-serious information available. This doesn't mean a better informed public, but it does mean that those who are interested, have far more sources available to them than ever before in human history. And I would say that in the modern age, it is much easier for someone to become informed if they wish, on most subjects. You have to remember, the term "idiot box" comes from this mystical time that people now lament about. This term was familiar when I was growing up in the 60's. Just because there might have been more quality news, doesn't necessarily mean the public then was generally better informed or even accessed that content to any large degree. Now, the problem with the mythical 50's & 60's, McLuhan's time, is that US legislators saw a requirement for the Fairness Doctrine, which should give you a hint right there. That is, why did they need to enact this in the first place? Did they enact a Fairness Doctrine for pamphleteers in the 18th & 19th centuries? So while they can lament the "depth" of a particular topic, they were forced to present an alternative view. I would surmise that this "depth" was based on the social and political mores of a very few controlling interests. So the public might have been generally better informed on one perspective of an issue, but that does not transform them to be better informed overall. Not so nowadays where an interested individual can gain information on a particular topic or issues from many perspectives up to, and including, information from other individuals who are directly involved in those topics or issues. So I wouldn't necessarily agree that the modern public is generally better informed except to say that the modern public is generally better informed on how to get informed.
  23. No need to get testy because I pointed out you make false assertions and can't back them up. Except you have no idea about the numbers of Newfoundlanders that went to work in Alberta. Now I will grant that you do seem to have reasonable knowledge about the culture that they brought with them, including their social clubs and parties. But let's be clear here fellowtraveller: a few social clubs and parties in Fort MacMurray does'nt equate to "20,000" workers. Ah, the new math again. That's nice. But the fact remains that you still haven't proven or provided any sort of coherent evidence that the "chunk of workers" from Newf working in Alberta are responsible for NFLD getting "back on it's feet" after the Cod fishery collapse in 1992. Not even close.
  24. This is a difficult concept to reconcile to what I see as the facts, as stated by yourself in your post. The "old broadcast" sample you provide, the example when there "were more correspondents in the past" was from a pre-cable era where there were a limited number of broadcast news outlets on VHF. Thus, a limited amount of channels, with more correspondents. Also note that since broadcasters had other programming, the amount of time these correspondents had was also limited. These are but a few of the 24 hour news channels in addition to many more cable and satellite channels that broadcast news to their audiences through various forms, newscasts, news magazines, documentaries, etc. So the fact of the matter is, there are far more news correspondents now than there ever was in the past, as an aggregate, and I would even bet that there are far more correspondents with a particular station, especially those whose parent companies run the national 24 hour cable news programs. I would bet the newsroom at CBLT in Toronto has many more actual correspondents than they did in 1974 and, because of the increased infrastructure, they have access to far more than they ever did. The corollary here is that if they have more access, we do as well. And this is true from a larger perspective when you include all of the news sources as our disposal. The amount of television, print news is vast compared to 1974, now add the endless supply of the Internet. I see what you are saying, that competition has lowered the standards to a form of infotainment and at a glance this appears true. But this is only a phenomenon of the availability of so many choices to so many more, combined with modern lifestyle. But is is appearances only. I think in modern times we have far more good and serious correspondents than ever before, doing stories about life that simply was not available pre-cable. I believe there is a very healthy competition in this 'good and serious' modern news that urges correspondents and their broadcasters to not only delve deeper into an issue, filter through far more available research material, but to go to places that simply would not have mattered 40 years ago. TL;DR: more and better news compared to pre-cable 40 years ago.
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