We argue that jokes are not just about the ha-ha and laughter, but they are a technology, and a medium that create an environment and they have a serious purpose. We examine the medium of the joke making particular use of the work of three scholars who made a serious effort to understand the phenomenon of the joke and humor, namely Sigmund Freud (1916) in his book Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious, Johan Huizinga (1971) in his book Homo Ludens and Marshall McLuhan (1964) in his book Understanding Media and his other writings. For Freud jokes like dreams are the medium to reach the unconscious mind. For Huizinga play, puns and games that are closely related to jokes are a universal aspect of human culture dating back to our very origin. For McLuhan jokes are about grievances and a way people deal with them.
My thesis is that the Canadian Renaissance specialist and media ecology theorist and Catholic convert Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980; Ph.D. in English, Cambridge University, 1943) is an analogist. McLuhan himself developed the thesis that the Victorian Jesuit poet and Catholic convert Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889) is an analogist in his 1944 article “The Analogical Mirrors,” using Hopkins’ poem “The Windover” to discuss the analogical mirrors. Because I claim that McLuhan is an analogist, I explore that broader context of analogical thought in Western cultural history. In addition, I suggest that McLuhan himself might also be characterized as a practical mystic which is how he himself characterizes G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936) in his 1934 article “G. K. Chesterton: A Practical Mystic.”
The following paper revisited Gozzi Jr.’s (2002) probing of algorithmic and aphoristic thinking. Drawing on literature from media ecology, surveillance studies, and new materialism, the following paper argued that dichotomies between algorithmic and aphoristic thought reinforce a cartesian dualism between self and object that makes impossible meaningful discourse about, and subsequent alteration of, our data- driven technologies and policies. In his endorsement of the aphorism, Gozzi Jr. (2002) was careful to note that aphoristic thinkers did often employ algorithmic thinking in practice and principle, though the current data-driven nature of society drives a wedge deeper between these two modes of thought. Instead, a mode of thinking for the 21st century requires competency in both aphoristic thinking and ideation and algorithmic comprehension and application. Thus, the present paper explicated what is meant by the term “algorithmic society,” outlined aphoristic and algorithmic modes of thought, and offered an alternative perspective that incorporated algorithmic and aphoristic thinking in a cyclical and systemic manner in order to create space for continued discourse.
This paper examines the resistance and revival of outmoded photographic technologies, in a new format we call “new analogue photography”. This type of image resignifies old analogue practices as stated by Ansel Adams (2019a, 2019b, 2018) in three key areas: 1. meaning, 2. methodology, and 3. aesthetics. It is the grain image adapted to the connected media ecosystem in post-photographic times. The contribution of millennials and gen Z to the growth of this type of photography is presented and discussed. At the conclusion, the decalogue of the new analogue photography is stated, summing up its practice and significance across ten topics.
The purpose of this paper is to critically analyze the business and marketing practices of the music streaming service Spotify. The paper demonstrates that Spotify’s features are designed to elicit free labour from its users so that Spotify may exploit this labour, alienate its users from the products of this labour, and ultimately reap the maximum benefits from this labour. This is accomplished primarily through the attachment of marketing to, or the commodification of, the social and affectual roles that music plays in the human experience, such as allowing individuals to forge bonds over shared music taste. Spotify benefits from these practices in numerous ways, such as the obtaining of user data that betters the platform’s algorithm and attracts paying targeted marketers, or the propagation of free and effective marketing for the service undertaken by users. The processes by which these benefits are realized also, in many cases, act in a cyclical nature, perpetuating themselves. The end goal of this paper is to bring academic attention to the specific forms of free labour, exploitation and alienation occurring on Spotify in an effort to lay groundwork for the development of alternatives.
This paper discusses the idea that the deity or the divine figure serves as a medium or technology. It does so by establishing a dialogue between Albert Camus and Marshall McLuhan. There are two conceptual pillars to sustain the theoretical framework undertaken in this work: the Camusian notion of philosophical suicide and McLuhan’s aphorism “the medium is the message.” Once it is understood that the idea of God is an abundant aggregator of elements that represents all values of the creed, it is also possible to understand that it defines a relationship between oppressors and those that are oppressed. Since this figure came to be used as a support for religions to act, it has worked as a coercive device as well as it has carried all symbolic aspects of its tenet and have mediated the aforementioned relation between dominators and the dominate.
The Stoic grammatical-rhetorical system of education was interrupted about 50 BCE by the intrusion of a rational logic (logica rationalis) which challenged the place of grammar. Marshall McLuhan and Albert Einstein are called as witnesses against the claims of this logic.
Predating the current billionaire space race, Ridley Scott’s Prometheus explores an interplay of competing explanations of the origins of life as discoverable in the universe through space exploration. The film’s plot debates evolution versus faith as life’s origins, and demonstrates evolution as victorious over and utilizing faith. Accompanying this analysis is focus on the film’s previously released online prologue scene, a fictional TED Talk that intertwines technological advancements and religious themes that display a brutal Darwinian survival of the fittest hierarchy as the answer to life’s origins. In the age of re- emerging space exploration, Prometheus and its social media-released prologue oration demonstrate technological control over evolution and relegate faith to functioning as a survival mechanism in response to superior and hyperaggressive species. Faith’s value is in assisting humanity to continually seek transcendent answers when confronting life’s beginnings and violent endings.
In my review, I highlight the Irish philosopher and singer Fran O’Rourke’s new massively learned and massively researched and admirably lucid 2022 book Joyce, Aristotle, and Aquinas. However, I discuss his account of Western philosophy in the larger conceptual framework of media ecology by drawing on the work of the Canadian Renaissance specialist and media ecology theorist Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980; Ph.D. in English, Cambridge University, 1943), the American Jesuit Renaissance specialist and media ecology theorist Walter J. Ong (1912-2003; Ph.D. in English, Harvard University, 1955), and the American-born Joyce specialist and media ecology theorist Eric McLuhan (1942-2018; Ph.D. in English, University of Dallas, 1982).
Marshall McLuhan’s seminal “the medium is the message” one-liner, title to Chapter 1 of his 1964 book Understanding Media is a formidable sum up of mid 20th Century media analysis. With a remarkable economy of semantics, McLuhan posited that the powers inherent to radio and television were so immense that the technology itself needed to be the focus. McLuhan’s insight is worth revisiting with an updated frame of reference towards 2030, given our current fragmented media landscape. Finite analog broadcast networks who wielded immense powers have now been replaced by an abundant digital emporium, itself ruled by oligopolistic technology platforms.