Friday, June 19, 2009

New Book: Media and the Apocalypse

Annette M. Holba/Kylo-Patrick R. Hart
Part I: Reexamining End of the World
The Day After t
he End of the World: Media Coverage of a Nonevent
Terri Toles Patkin
Part II: Media and the Apocalypse
Apocalypticism in American Folk Music

Gary Baines
Empty All Along: Eraserhead, Apocalypse, and Dismantled Masculine Privilege

Jason T. Clemence
How to Save the Unsaved World?: Transforming the Self in The Matrix, The Terminator, and 12 Monkeys
Jörn Ahrens
Diversity, The Doom Generation, and the Apocalypse
Kylo-Patrick R. Hart
Occultic Rhetoric in the Buffyverse: Apocalypse Revisited
Annette M. Holba
The Pleasure of Sadism: A Reading of the Left Behind Series
Christian Lundberg
Apocalypse Documented: An Audiovisual Representation of September 11, 2001
Mark J. Porrovecchio
Exploring Science as Salvation in Apocalyptic Films
Brent Yergensen
Apocalypto Now: A New Millennial Pax Americana in Crisis?
Terence McSweeney
Part III: The Future of the End of the World
Futuralness as Freedom: Moving toward the Past that Will-Have-Been.
Corey Anton

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Locating Differences

Not all Differences Make that Much of a Difference

Where, Bateson asks us, is the difference between any two items?

Of any object, any object at all, you could spend the rest of your life giving truthful assertions regarding what it is not. And, it is often fairly easy to identify some of the similarities between two items. But only more discerning inquirers are able identify those differences that make a difference.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Giving Thanks to the Cosmic Mystery (Youtube & Wide-Eyed Article)

Death and the Meaning of Forgiveness

And just what if the Divine Mystery that resides in the depths of our being needs deep and profound forgiveness for all the eternally unresolved injustice and terror of existence? The trouble with being born is that no one asks for it. But somehow, evolution made possible beings who came to know of their own death, and we, those very beings, may need to learn how to forgive the mysterious origins for such possibilities.

Understanding Transactionalism (Youtube)

Interpretation Precedes Experience

“The nature of an organism’s becomingness is to be found in the accumulated alterations of the organism’s perceptual processes, purposes, and values. That is, the ‘now’ of a specific organism’s perceptual world is the high-water mark of the synthesis of the becomingness of purpose (value) of that organism as related to the becomingness of all other functional activities constituting reality” (1960, p. 14), From The Morning Notes of Adelbert Ames, jr. Edited by Hadley Cantril and including a correspondence with John Dewey.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Valuation and Media Ecology: Ethics, Morals, and Laws (facebook group)

Now Available

How are ethics, morals, and laws related to communication and communication technologies? In what ways—and to what degree—do communication technologies shape, maintain, and/or alter moral practices and sensibilities regarding justice and the good? In this provocative and engaging collection, Corey Anton brings together noted scholars and media ecologists to address these questions and many more. A must have anthology for anyone seeking to understand how communication and communication technologies bear upon valuation and life more generally.



Chapter 1 Ethicality, Morality, Legality: Alignments of Speech, Writing, and Print, respectively, by Corey Anton

Chapter 2 Ethics Unwired: Some Retrospections, by Lee Thayer

Chapter 3 Why is There no Such Thing as a Bad Shark?, by Frank E. X. Dance

Chapter 4 Altruism and the Origin of Language and Culture, by Robert K. Logan

Chapter 5 Concerning Media Ecology, by Eric McLuhan

Chapter 6 René Girard as Media Ecologist, by Phil Rose

Chapter 7 Fugue in D Minor, by Stephanie Gibson

Chapter 8 The Digital Dark Ages: A Retro-Speculative History of Possible Futures, by Phil Graham & Greg Hearn

Chapter 9 Aristotle’s Energeia as a Necessary Attribute for Moral Communication in the new “Flat World,” by Kathryn S. Egan

Chapter 10 Communication at the Speed of Life: Tele-vision, Intimacy, Community, and Nostalgia, by Frank Macke

Chapter 11 Getting our Bearings about Western Culture and the World Today: Walter J. Ong versus Sayyid Qutb as Guide, by Thomas J. Farrell

Chapter 12 On Matters of Imagination and Possibility, by Amardo Rodriguez

_____Early Reviews_____

“This phosphorescent book shows genius in every chapter. Each is intellectual dynamite -- from the majestic first where values, morals, ethics and law are woven into an organic whole, to the world of imagination and possibility in the last. Along a horizon of erudite to brilliant, splendidly well-written, this book establishes a fresh way of thinking about ethics "in an age of legality."… some of the finest thinkers in communications, writing with a creativity and verve that is truly astonishing. In the tradition of Burke's Language as Symbolic Action, Ong's Orality and Literacy, and Langer's Philosophy in a New Key, Valuation and Media Ecology is destined for history.”
--Clifford G. Christians, Research Professor of Communications, University of Illinois-Urbana

“Corey Anton has therefore done a great service, to the field of media ecology, and to scholarship in general, by bringing focused attention to bear on precisely this aspect of our intellectual tradition, and by bringing these different scholarly voices together in harmony and counterpoint to underscore the strength and complexity of media ecology as a moral and ethical approach to human life.”
--Lance Strate, Professor of Communication and Media Studies at Fordham University

“Media ecology, and its insistence on communication as the environment in which we live, offers a new perspective on communication ethics and valuation in general. If the means of communication change human experience, human thought patterns, and human interaction, then they also influence ethics. These essays explore how speech, writing, print, electronic and digital media affect the public sphere, power, law, morality, and even religion. One can only wonder how we never noticed the key role of communication in the central concerns of human life before.”
--Paul A. Soukup, S.J., Santa Clara University

Published at Hampton Press as part of their Media Ecology Series.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

There are No Things Without Language (Utube)

There Are No Things Without Language.

Language is the mother of all things. Just as Korzybski noted, 'Whatever you something is, it is not,' so too we should equally admit that it is only by language that we can say what something is or is not.

As Lee Thayer suggests, there may well be a world beyond what we say about it, but no one can ever say what that world is.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Language and Mental Life

Where lives the thought that you didn't know you knew?

You cannot say what is independent of language. There may well be much that is other than language, what Wittgenstein called, the forever unspeakable only showable. But without language you'd be so tethered to the immediate present in an immediate now. As one example, note that Nietzsche writes,
Observe the herd as it grazes past you: it cannot distinguish yesterday from today, leaps about, eats, sleeps, digests, leaps some more, and carries on like this from morning to night and from day to day, tethered by the short leash of its pleasures and displeasures to the stake of the moment, and thus it is neither melancholy nor bored. It is hard on the human being to observe this, because he boasts about the superiority of his humanity over animals and yet looks enviously upon their happiness—for the one and only thing that he desires is to live like an animal, neither bored nor in pain, and yet he desires this in vain, because he does not desire it in the same way as does the animal. The human being might ask the animal: ‘Why do you just look at me like that instead of telling me about your happiness?’ The animal wanted to answer, ‘Because I always immediately forget what I wanted to say’—but it had already forgotten this answer and hence said nothing, so that the human being was left to wonder.' (Unfashionable Observations, 1995, p. 87)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

BUY Now!! My First Book!

"Corey Anton is quickly becoming a major voice in the developing interdisciplinary field of communication and philosophy. Selfhood and Authenticity explores the landscape marked out in his investigations with a combined theoretical incisiveness and praxis-oriented understanding. It makes a very important contribution to the existing literature in the field." -- Calvin O. Schrag, author of The Self after Postmodernity

"Corey Anton's creative utilization of phenomenologies of embodiment as a basis for a communicative self is accentuated by a clear command of phenomenological literature. The discussion of sociality is excellent, and the explication of temporality is grand in scope. The work is, in other words, a short systematic treatise." -- Lewis R. Gordon, Brown University

Buy from SUNY Here

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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Korzybski and Bateson (ETC Article)

Korzybski and Bateson

Alfred Korzybski maintained that training in "consciousness of abstracting" would lead people beyond the paradoxes of abstraction. Gregory Bateson, on the other hand, argued for the inability to achieve this thoroughly.

Bateson concluded: "It seems to be a universal feature of human perception…that the perceiver shall perceive only the product of his perceiving act. He shall not perceive the means by which that product was created." (Bateson, 1977, p.238)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Understanding the Impetus to the Digital Age (Wide-Eyed Article)

On The Three Arm Despot

Did you know that one of the most tyrannical inventions in Western history isn’t but 150 years old? What am I talking about? That elusive little slice called “the minute” and its stepchild “the second.” Seriously, the minute and the second are highly modern inventions, things unknown throughout the vast majority of human history. In a word, modern folks have been more and more subject to the minute and the second, and have been more and more tightly scheduled and synchronized than most people who have lived on the planet. Anyone who wants to understand the impetus to the ultra-modern “digital age” might therefore begin by considering the invention of the “three-armed despot.”

A Multidisciplinary Communication Theory Reading List

The Future of Freedom (Wide-Eyed Article)

The Future of Freedom

We talk quite a bit about freedom in the U.S., but I’m not sure how many people really understand what freedom is or even how freedom is related to time. What we call the future is really a past that will-have-been.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Looking for Words in all the Wrongs Places (Utube)

Words Defy the Confines of Space and Time

Words are words only because humans are able to equate the unequal. Now, if we equate the unequal, are the things equal or not?

So, if mathematics is sometimes said to locate and deal with similarities between differences and with differences between similarities, where, then, is any number?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Scholarly Quotations to Consider

And through Burke The Lord spoke to Satan: "And in any case, you will agree that, even if their ideas of divine perfection were reducible to little more than a language-using animals' ultimate perception of its own linguistic forms, this could be a true inkling of the divine insofar as language itself happened to be made in the image of divinity." (The Rhetoric of Religion, 1970, p. 289-299).

Maurice Merleau-Ponty: "If we were to make completely explicit the architectonics of the human body, its ontological framework, and how it sees itself and hears itself, we would see that the structure of its mute world is such that all the possibilities of language are already given in it."(The Visible and the Invisible, Trans. A. Lingis. 1968, p. 155).

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Where is Mind? (Utube)

Mind is Between You and Others
Your mind is not in your head. It is between you and other people. This means that serious study is one of the best ways you can cultivate your mind, and this is why Cioran tells us, "The most important decision you ever make is who to have as parents." See Video

Matthew Segall on Selfhood and Authenticity (Utube)


In this promotional video, Matthew Segall, a Utube friend, provides a nice informal introduction to some of the main ideas from my book Selfhood and Authenticity. He helps us to recognize the organic nature of speech and calls us to understand ourselves as places and moments of the Earth rather than things on it. If more people were to engage these ideas they might come to understand themselves periodic achievements of an Earth that can have itself only by occasionally losing itself in the dance of others-world-self. Read it today.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Who are Your Neighbors? (Wide-Eyed Article)

Who are Your Neighbors?

We perhaps could learn much from Epictetus, one of the great teachers of Stoicism and arguably the person who issued the Western world’s first cosmopolitanism. Once asked where he was from, he gave a reply that all of us might just as well say: “I am a citizen of the world.”

Where and When are Words? (Utube)

The Space and Time of Word Users

Erving Goffman, in his book Strategic Interaction, writes, "Of all the things of this world, information is the hardest to guard, because it can be stolen without removing it." Words are not simply in space and time; they are not things in our environments. They are environments that we, word users, always already find ourselves within.

Dreamless Sleep and the Whole of Life (Article & Utube)

Might the Whole of You be Other than You Think?

"What is continuous across the states of being awake, dreaming, and sleeping is not some inner self, nor some super-ordinary transcendental “I,” but the larger living event of which awakeness is the partial moment. Awake I am an individuated whole who is part of a whole, and yet, as someone who necessarily already has slept, I am only on the condition of having been indistinguishable from the whole. This is possible because the whole in question is that absolute whole of all wholes, that partless whole, the undifferentiated. To deny that I am part of that whole which nevertheless also is the whole of who I am is to deny the meaning of dreamless sleep," (Anton, 2006, p. 197).

Monday, May 25, 2009

Artefactual Metonymy and Antiques (ETC Article)

Antiques, and ancient relics even more so, are things that represent worlds that have long since passed away, and it is this representing whereby things transcend their merely physical properties and become, at another level, surrogates or stand-ins for times now gone…even at the level of the not-words, we always already have introjections of inferential data. This means that items of the human world are not simply themselves. They inevitably get transformed into nonverbal metonymies in accordance with the situations in which they are embedded and in which they have participated.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Suggested Readings

Please see these suggested readings.
A multidisciplinary list of readings for basic orientations to communication theory. Sorry for so many omissions.

Against Forrest Gump (Utube)

Against Forrest Gump

This movie took advantage of the most memorable moments from movies and provided a backdrop for a guy who basically has little idea of what is actually going on around him.

One of the main messages of this movie is that you are more likely to run disabled legs to health than you are to improve yourself intellectually.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Election Day Changes (Wide-Eyed)

How Educated is Your Vote?

Richard Parsons, Sumner Redstone, Michael Eisner, Reinhard Mohn, and, of course, Rupert Murdock. These five guys, and their respective corporations, own almost all the dominant mass media systems in the U.S. That’s right, these five guys are as influential, perhaps even more influential, than most politicians.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Selfhood and Authenticity (Utube)

Ever notice that everyone has a face but you?

We are the way the world makes room for itself. We are not things in the world; we are places and moments of it, existential gatherings that retainingly await.

We sometime hear that language is not natural because it is learned with and from others. Even if this is true, it doesn't mean language is not natural; it means that we are naturally social.

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Appriasing Facebook (Utube)

On Self-Promotion and Reading Atrophy

Facebook seems to be promoting a kind of quick, hummingbird mentality, one that slowly will culminate into a large scale system of irrelevance, self-promotion, and profound forgetfulness.

It is the best marketing tool yet created, as many people now no longer distinguish between consumer preferences and personality.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

New Article in Afterimage

Media, Biases, and Environments

An afterimage article by Corey Anton on the 2005 Media Ecology Conference.