Inside the envelope

by | May 7, 2014 | Smith-Corona | 15 comments


  1. Ted

    ahh, so tiny & clicking them doesn't enlarge much. ):

  2. Richard P

    Sorry about that — blogging by iPhone was a big Fail this time.

    I've reloaded the pictures and you can now click them for easy reading.

  3. Ted

    much better (:

    Balance is key, but extremes are necessary and unavoidable. The digital domain has it's problems, but at least it destroyed the omnipotence of television. It Democratized media, and there are few things as banal or beautiful as Democracy. We are at least free to choose our own communities, which is more than what Television offered us. Buy the ticket & enjoy the ride – bread to the right, circuses to the left.

  4. x over it

    When W and I take long walks in the park, that often leads to intense discussions on topics we find important, sometimes leading to rants on my part. At first I didn't realize the importance of these personal, non-recorded discussions, but in a world where it is so easy to save everything they are a refreshing break from it all. (even though I'm very easy prey for the "save everything" possibilities that we have due to sound and video recording)

  5. Rob Bowker

    There's a tone of guilt or regret. I think that the popularity and proliferation of the 'superficial' cyberspace is a phase and likely to be as short-lived as, say, the typewriter or the printed newspaper. Right now, it is what it is and we lazy (read efficient) Homo sapiens will bumble along more or less the same as ever. And if different learning methods do the 'connected' minority any lasting damage, we can rely on the majority of the world's population who don't have access to cyberspace to put us right when the bubble bursts… or becomes another bubble. Meanwhile, there will always be the makers (cultural artisans) on the one hand and the takers on the other. One thing which Ted mentions is the democratisation of information access and generation which applies in the developed and wealthy parts of the world. It is a long way from a literate elite through Carngie's free libraries to Wikipedia. I think you'll have fun with this theme in Florida, it sounds like a fascinating gig.

  6. Ton S.

    It's great to hear that you found a conference that could be a forum to debate the digital-analogue dialectic. Perhaps I missed it (I'm glad you increased the size but I still struggle to read the text) but will the use of typewriters figure into your argument at all? Perhaps that is no-brainer.

  7. Steve Snow

    This is a debate that I like, so forgive me for stirring the pot. My argument is that back in the day, aside from those keen for knowledge who would read the reputable newspapers or visit the libraries, didn't most people rely on gossip amongst friends, word of mouth and Chinese whispers in the same way that many of us get information from memes and skimming? And while I agree a good balance has not yet been struck (personally at least for me), I feel the value of this debate is not so much to be found in discussing the relative merits of each, but about how we best integrate and work within this unavoidable new paradigm?

  8. Richard P

    My paper will be part of a panel on "techno-posthumanism" (the very term makes me want to turn to the typewriter) at the Heidegger Circle. I am not planning to bring up typewriters, but there certainly will be an opening if the discussion goes there …

  9. Richard P

    I agree that the mentality I criticized is a universal human pitfall, but I think digital devices offer particularly strong temptations to this mentality.

    I disagree that we have to work within the paradigm. I think we can dip in and out of it, subvert it, take a break from it, and gain perspective on it.

  10. Scott K

    I think that it is part of a greater issue about integration of technology into our lives, and how we only develop the social conventions in time for another technology to suddenly shift the direction of our social change. I think we are at a very difficult time connectively.

    Love the idea of the deconstructed envelope though.

  11. Unknown

    There is a lot of good food for thought here. Through the ages, all technological advanced in communication have caused their schism – the printing press, he telegraph, the typewriter, the telephone, television, digital communications, and so on. Each advance, to Richard's point, levers us further apart from a physical reality and into an abstracted reality. Right, wrong, or otherwise, the detractors of the change usually see the change as loss – as a compromise that isn't worth it, at least not just for the sake of change. There are the masses in the middle who are swept up in the change. And there are the visionaries who are pushing the boundaries …. Envisioning what they feel is a Great Leap Forward for mankind … Because to them, those bonds that the detractors cling to, are holding us back. So this tension persists in fits and starts – causing waves of excitement and discontent as the cycle repeats. The balance we speak of, is maintaining the bonds to the physical realities of personal communication and relationships – while opportunistically exploiting the technology to hose ends (using an iPhone to post a typecast is a great example). It's anachronistic to the skeptic, but it's poetry to the romantic who sees the power of both when blended.

  12. Unknown

    Bloody ipad type-os!!! :-)

  13. Don Lampert

    I love these conversations! That's one of the joys for me of this community, – and with great civility (a precious commodity these days)! Of course "what is real, and what is not" ? There is no "is real, or not real" – we made it all up. I believe that it's only what we believe, and what works for us, or we need to survive, and have purpose in our lives that matters. We were endowed by our creator with "free will" so we get to make it all up ….. and I concur with all that's been said – it's all real, valid, and we created it.

  14. rn

    1. It made me very happy to know that somewhere out there there is something called the Heidegger Circle.

    2. To be truly circular in your 'techno-posthumanism', please take a selfie with the other members of the Heidegger Circle & post it here.

    Thanks for the great envelope note and enjoy the conference.


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