McLuhan and Mad Men

The final episode of acclaimed TV series Mad Men aired this week. I've not seen any of the show (though now that the series is complete it is ripe for binge-watching), but I did appreciate this piece from Stephen Marche at Esquire, analyzing Mad Men through Marshall McLuhan's media theory¬†(spoilers if, like me, you're not … Continue reading McLuhan and Mad Men

Political Economy in Mumford’s “Technics & Civilization”

I've written about the media ecology tradition, attended the Media Ecology Association's conferences and had an article published in their journal, but up to now Marshall McLuhan's Understanding Media and Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death are the only primary texts associated with the tradition that I've read. To broaden my knowledge of the tradition … Continue reading Political Economy in Mumford’s “Technics & Civilization”

Critical perspectives on the Isla Vista spree killer, media coverage

  Immediately following Elliot Rodger's spree killing in Isla Vista, CA last month Internet users discovered his YouTube channel and a 140-page autobiographical screed, dubbed a "manifesto" by the media. The written document and the videos documented Rodger's sexual frustration and his chronic inability to connect with other people. He specifically lashed out at women … Continue reading Critical perspectives on the Isla Vista spree killer, media coverage

Ender’s Game analyzed, the Stanley Parable explored, Political Economy of zombies, semiotics of Twitter, much more

It's been a long time since the last update (what happened to October?), so this post is extra long in an attempt to catch up. I haven't seen the new Ender's Game movie, but this review by abbeyotis at Cyborgology calls the film "a lean and contemporary plunge into questions of morality mediated by technology": … Continue reading Ender’s Game analyzed, the Stanley Parable explored, Political Economy of zombies, semiotics of Twitter, much more

Videodrome turns 30

David Cronenberg's Videodrome premiered in February 1983. To mark the 30th anniversary of the film's release, Cyborgology co-founder Nathan Jurgenson reflects on the New Flesh in relation to contemporary social media: Videodrome‚Äôs depiction of techno-body synthesis is, to be sure, intense; Cronenberg has the unusual talent of making violent, disgusting, and erotic things seem even … Continue reading Videodrome turns 30

Warren Ellis on violent fiction, death of the Western, Leatherface as model vegan

Slate writer Forrest Wickman was recently shocked to discover that The Texas Chainsaw Massacre functions as pro-vegetarian propaganda. Wickman writes that Chainsaw Massacre is "the last movie you'd expect" to be pro-vegetarian, but I thought this had been the general reading of the movie for years. I recall a reviewer's blurb on my video copy … Continue reading Warren Ellis on violent fiction, death of the Western, Leatherface as model vegan

End of 2012 mega blow-out post

"General Semantics and media theory": video of a 20-minute presentation by Thom Gencarelli from this year's IGS symposium. "Game or be gamed: Douglas Rushkoff on prototyping democracy through play" "Those levels of interactivity, for me, recapitulated the levels of participation that we as a society have had since the invention of media," Rushkoff said, referring … Continue reading End of 2012 mega blow-out post

Media matters: Alone Together @ TED, fear in the attention economy, Chomsky tweets and more

Sherry Turkle expounds on her Alone Together thesis in a recently released TED talk video: Danah Boyd considers the culture of fear and the attention economy (click here for Vimeo link). I recently came across this Salon article by UMD doctoral student Nathan Jurgenson from last year where he argues that Noam Chomsky is wrong … Continue reading Media matters: Alone Together @ TED, fear in the attention economy, Chomsky tweets and more

Media news roundup: Frenemies, Facebook and fat

The Chronicle of Higher Education covered the "EnemyGraph," a Facebook app created by Dean Terry (director of the emerging-media program at UT Dallas) and grad student Bradley Griffith. The EnemyGraph lets users declare people and things to be their Facebook enemies as opposed to Facebook friends. "What we all do in the program is help … Continue reading Media news roundup: Frenemies, Facebook and fat

Manuel Castells receives Holberg prize

Manuel Castells, University Professor and Wallis Annenberg Chair in Communication Technology and Society at USC and the foremost cited communication scholar in the world, was recently awarded the 2012 Holberg International Memorial Prize, a Norwegian honor that "recognizes outstanding scholarly work in arts and humanities, social science, law and theology." I'm lagging behind much of … Continue reading Manuel Castells receives Holberg prize