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    • Greg

      New Members Please Read   10/07/2016

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About This Club

In-depth discussion, multiple viewpoints, and - really - being boring is the one unpardonable sin....

  1. What's new in this club
  2. http://all-that-is-interesting.com/marshall-mcluhan-global-village Short read about McLuhan's "prediction" of the internet. While I disagree that he predicted it, I do agree that he had a sense of the appetite for some kind of global information system. Therein was his genius, that he could sense what people wanted from technology, and therefore product what would eventually come without describing it exactly.
  3. What I don't understand is how the conclusions seem to abandon the idea of 'Public' broadcasting even as they talk about the flaws in the current model: Is 'Public' broadcasting charity ? Is it civic responsibility ? As such, it just can't be doomed. These aspects of human living still exist today, even if the morality has changed.
  4. https://www.knightfoundation.org/public-media-white-paper-2017-kramer-o-donovan A somewhat interesting perspective on how American Public Media drifted towards "a" public from "the" public. The relationship between "the" public and "a" public is as such: "a" public is a subgroup of "the" public. Human groupings align according to natural in-born perceptions of "us" vs "them" and our natural processes of reconciliation and separation from others. What makes the square dance even more dynamic is that this happens upon media that are forever changing. What makes the barn burn down is that the original media for politics in America were the printing press juxtaposed with the public town hall. ( See Neil Postman "Amusing Ourselves to Death") So National "Public" Media drifted to those publics that donated to them, and poorer communities were left behind. The craftier private networks found cheap ways to engage with poor people, sometimes as a loss leader to convincing them to support their pet projects (payday loans, quack cures, conspiracies, right-wing radio, etc.)
  5. I don't know McLuhan, or Narcissus, for that matter, other than as names and vague associations, but I do know some gadget lovers. They are not ignorant of ideas, so much as fickle slaves to them. I agree that the trend, in both men and women, is nauseating, and this McLuhan fellow would probably take ill if he could see what technology was doing to people and their brains today. Did he have a hand in writing Wall-E? Still, all that said, I did figure out how to stream the Ashes this week.
  6. Again, McLuhan saw beyond the news of his day, the cultural trends and even philosophy to that point in time. He saw where the narcotic of technology had taken us, and projected where it would go. One aspect of today's media that is missed is the equivalent intellect and spiritual narcissism. Ignorance of the ideas, and spirit of other people is at least as prevalent as ignorance of others' physical beauty.
  7. “The Greek myth of Narcissus is directly concerned with a fact of human experience, as the word Narcissus indicates. It is from the Greek word narcosis or numbness. The youth Narcissus mistook his own reflection in the water for another person. This extension of himself by mirror numbed his perceptions until he became the servomechanism of his own extended or repeated image. The nymph Echo tried to win his love with fragments of his own speech, but in vain. He was numb. He had adapted to his extension of himself and had become a closed system. Now the point of this myth is the fact that men at once become fascinated by any extension of themselves in any material other than themselves….” – The Gadget Lover, Narcissus as Narcosis, Chapter 4, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (1964), p.41, MIT Press ed.
  8. Well, it's already happening. Look around you. I think the 'I Love You' virus was the McLuhanesque leprechaun winking at us from the future. "louder voices" - yes, but we're in another populist era now, so it will be more like how groups of voices organize "media biases" - yes, and as per "Understanding Media" the most impactful bias is the inherent bias of the medium itself "recognize these biases" - yes, and for us to determine what to do with them. Objectivity still seems to be a thing there's a market for. See the popularity of Snopes.com 1. The system (of publics engagement) can be designed and iterated to create positive energy. Or, maybe more realistically, we can allow it to self organize and allow institutions of positive objectivity to emerge. The "pro-wrestling" fake fighting on Cable News satisfied a great need, ie. the need for entertainment. Through the 1990s politics became this game. People will soon tire of it, I think. 2. The superhero analogy is apt. 3. Meow. 4. No. After that time you would be smoking a pipe with me. I am a radical centrist and I melt you. 5. Nietzsche is a fun little thinker. I read Beyond Good & Evil. Also Derrida and the post-modernists. Philosophy and Physics are theories, but we actually LIVE in the world they try to abstract. This is why McLuhan is superior, in his thinking, to all of this because he builds on UofT professor Harold Innes' questions on human communication. The idea is not that somebody had a bunch of great ideas at a point in history, but that they were a product of the technology of their time.
  9. How do we democratize the media as you say here? In a free society, I don't see how this is possible. There will always be louder voices. EVERY piece of media has its own biases. The key I think is education on how to recognize these biases, and our own biases in how we choose to self-filter content & outlets, and how what media we are exposed to informs our own biases. We also need a huge deal of empathy, far more almost all of us possess currently, where we can can look at those outlets and journalists/pundits we vehemently disagree with and not just see them as sinister, misguided, ignorant/stupid etc but truly try to understand why people with different ideologies think differently than we do, how and why their core moral frameworks differ from ours? Most people are good people, even *gasp* FOX News and the Trump admin are filled with people who think what they're doing is actually going to help society. Everyone thinks they're Luke Skywalker or Batman fighting the forces of evil. This is much different than websites purposely trying to trick people for web hits to make money (real fake news). Michael, you're a pretty open-minded cat. If you gave me 30 minutes a day for a week to chat with you I'm very confident I could convince you to become an far right-wing fascist sympathizer, minus the Jew-killing stuff. A month later give me another 30 minutes a day for a week & I'm certain I could make you a Marxist commie sympathizer. I discovered this after studying Nietzsche & it blew by mind. If you understand his "master vs slave morality" as rightwing vs leftwing, and that neither left or right ideologies are "wrong" just opposite ways to interpret the human condition then you can empathize with people who have opposing political ideologies/views as you. Have fun down the rabbit-hole: https://thestuffedman.com/2013/10/15/master-slave-morality-and-you/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master–slave_morality
  10. http://www.niemanlab.org/2017/11/village-media-relying-on-local-advertisers-seems-to-have-found-a-scalable-and-profitable-local-news-model/ A small company called Village Media seems to be making a go of local online news... and is making it profitable. We always suspected that the fringe wouldn't consume the web, didn't we ? It's important to note that at its advent, the western press was more partisan but eventually learned that it could have a wider market by being objective. We just need to rediscover this aspect of our media diet, and perhaps in ourselves also, to move past this era of fake news and unprincipled partisanship. Or am I wearing Rose Coloured media glasses ?
  11. https://www.ft.com/content/7b15a29e-cf7a-11e7-9dbb-291a884dd8c6 I remember reading about the 'Balkanization' that would occur from the effects of electronic media but this was vaguely understood at the time, and I am still unsure what the precedents are in media history. Perhaps the best example is the splintering of Christianity that occurred with the printing press, turning Europe into a mosaic, not of cultures but of Christian sects. Once Europe adjusted socially, by inventing pluralism and tolerance, it was set to dominate the world with the new framework. Of course it didn't work for the non-Christians they conquered but that would come later. The time has come for us to take truth-telling into our own hands, and understand that politics belongs to the people - but not the loudest people. The silent majority works both ways, and there is a large centre that is looking for a way forward.
  12. WE now have an international union of journalists who are uniting in a global investigation against the robber barons (Yes, I said it !) that skip borders in order to withhold tax revenues. The ICIJ is investigating the Panama Papers and people should know. See the podcast below. http://www.canadalandshow.com/podcast/man-behind-paradise-papers/
  13. Michael, you're partially right about the Renaissance era: the modern European-style "nation state" is a result of the Peace of Westphalia, I am informed. However, I doubt that we will enter any kind of post-national world any time soon. Politicians are beholden to their voters, who have to worry about their political survival, and their political survival depends on their constituents--not those of other nation-states.
  14. I think we moralize all day long, yes, but we don't often make objective discoveries as to where it comes from. Aristotle, I think, talked about the danger of falling too far into fear or pity. The former might be a moral vice of the right, the latter of the left. That seems wise.
  15. First to Bonam and Argus, moralizing is about applying values of right and wrong to a group. Facts don't need to really be a part of it, the group dynamics supercede facts. I don't think expecting WLU, or police to behave a certain way is about morality as much as what we expect from public services. Expecting students, or BLM protesters to behave a certain way can be moralizing though.
  16. Inching my way through this documentary, it's interesting to hear someone say "people sense there's something wrong with the expressway idea, but they can't put their finger on it". That sounds absurd 40+ years later, but you can relate to the mystery by thinking about the first time an iPhone sat in your hand and you looked at it. You had no sense of the change that was coming to your life, and to the world at that time. You still don't, fully, but you know a lot more than you did. Globalism is, in a way, the Spadina Expressway of the current century. The 'experts' may be right at the advantages but only individuals can weigh the trade-offs. And the latest capitalist boon has decimated the 'neighbourhood' of middle America, and helped the fast-driving thinkers of the coasts.
  17. Isn't that what we do on here all day long? There is no single zeitgeist, and there is no single moral counterbalance. Without getting into religion too deeply, as I know you will want to avoid that, if I were to express disgust at the recent events in Egypt, two mini-zeitgeists would crop up immediately. The moralizing on the issue would be compared to either based on the person reading the post and the content would become meaningless. It would soon become zeitgeist vs zeitgeist.
  18. I was speaking defensively. Because sure as shit if you talk about Canadian traditions someone is going to say "We never did that!" But that doesn't mean hockey and Christmas and summers at the cottage and fireworks and barbques and a whole host of other things aren't Canadian traditions. And nations build unity on shared traditions and values.
  19. Thanks. But was it untrue? If you were born in 1800 you probably had a lot more knowledge/education in history than if you were born in 1980. There will always be larger entities. That's the way we think now. The more small government you have the less likely anything gets done on a larger scale. Take the native problem. How do you negotiate with 600 'nations'? I don't think most of the Muslims/Jews/Hindus would object. It would be progressives who would object, along with self-styled ethnic leaders. The Toronto District School board just removed police from schools even though the overwhelming majority of people believed they should stay or were ambivilent. They responded to about 10% who were indignant that police were there and 'felt threatened'. Politicians, particularly the craven set we now have in office at all levels, respond in spineless fashion, to the loudest voices. If a Canadian air force band started playing Christmas carols (carols, not music) in the our air museum the NDP would be fuming about how this favored one religion over another and might have offended others.
  20. So you gave 4 points there - 3 to support my side, and one (weaker one IMO) to support yours. Can't we say that governments asserting themselves across borders is a sign of the melting and therefore dissipation of countries as bordered, one-peopled entities ?
  21. That would win about 1/2 the voters I think. There used to be a councilman in my home town whose platform was 'No Promises to Make, No Promises to Break'
  22. I don't really see it. While it is true that the world is more connected now than before, and more people travel from nation to nation, and cultures mix more across nations than they once did, still national governments are also increasingly asserting themselves all around the world. Where a few decades ago there was essentially two supra-national alignments, one was either in the orbit of the USA or the USSR, today dozens of nations around the world are expressing their nationalism, consolidating their power and their culture, etc.
  23. I didn't think that he put anything into it.
  24. It could just mean a bunch of countries run differently with different ideologies & laws, and so you can move to whichever one you prefer based on that or on jobs etc but not nothing to do with national identity. Personally, since we live in a world of nation-states, I don't want to be the guinea pig for this project. It could be brilliant, it could be an epic disaster. I would like to think Canada should have a unifying national identity that binds us all together. I don't see how a healthy state can exist without a unifying national force...I could see that resulting in sub-national identities like Quebecois or Chinese-Canadians etc. wanting more of their own sovereignty & their own nation-state to protect their own culture, leading to the country breaking up aka Balkanization. This is a very dangerous idea Justin is too naive and uneducated to realize.
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