Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Wave of the Future: Understanding Marshall McLuhan

This is a summary of Marshall McLuhan's work applied to understanding the past, present and future. It covers - the medium is the message, the medium as content, hot and cool media, our change from a pre-literate to literate to post literate society, characteristics of the post literate society, and the four laws of media. It will close with a discussion of the wave of the future.

The benefits of understanding this approach are that you:

• Will understand why our present environment is the way that it is
• Gain a greater understanding of the interrelationships of past, present and future.
• Will understand the influence of media on our perception, thinking and actions
• Will gain insight on the long term future.

Paul Schumann is a practicing futurist with expertise in creativity and innovation. He has lived long enough to see forecasts fail and succeed, including some of his own. He had a thirty year career with IBM in three very different arenas - as a technologist and technology manager in semiconductor technology, as an internal entrepreneur creating the first independent business unit within IBM, and as a cultural change agent developing a more creative and innovative culture. Since retiring from IBM he has 19 years of experience in consulting as a business futurist with programs in creativity and innovation. He is the founding president of the Central Texas Chapter of the World Future Society. And he is the founder of the Insights – Intelligence - Innovation Collaborative . He is on the advisory boards of the Marketing Research Association and the Austin Center for Nonprofit and community Based Organizations.

Introduction: The Medium Is the Massage

McLuhan on the information age:

McLuhan's Wake: National Film Board of Canada
McLuhan's Wake: Introduction

Web 2.0 (The Machine is Us/ing Us)

The Mechanical Bride: Folklore of Industrial Man, Marshall McLuhan, Beacon Press, 1951
The Gutenberg Galaxy, Marshall McLuhan, University of Toronto Press, 1962
Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, Marshal McLuhan (McGraw-Hill: 1964; MIT Press: 1994)
The Medium is the Massage, Marshall McLuhan & Quentin Fiore, Jerome Agel, 1967
“The Playboy Interview: Marshall McLuhan”, Playboy, 1969
Four Causes of Reality, William Crews, Philosophical Library, 1969
Culture is Our Business, Marshall McLuhan, Ballantine Books, 1972
Media: The Second God, Tony Schwartz, Random House, 1981
The Alphabet Effect, Robert Logan, William Morrow & Co., 1986
Laws of Media: The New Science, Marshal and Eric McLuhan, University of Toronto Press, 1988
The Global Village, Marshall McLuhan & Bruce Powers, Oxford University Press, 1989
Essential McLuhan, Edited by Eric McLuhan and Frank Zingrone, Basic Books, 1995
The Medium and the Light: Reflections on Religion, Marshall McLuhan, edited by Eric McLuhan & Jacek Szklarek, Stoddart, 1999
Digital McLuhan: A Guide to the Information Millennium, Paul Levinson, Routledge, 1999
“McLuhan’s Wake”, National Film Board of Canada (video), 2002
The Wave of the Future: From Four Causes to Four Laws or McLuhan Re...”, Paul Schumann, 2005,

Other Resources
The McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology,
The Media Ecology Association,
A Model Media Ecologist, Bob Blechman,
McLuhan & Mailer, video,
The Medium is the Massage, Marshall McLuhan Audio,
Marshal McLuhan, the Man and his Message, CBC Archives,
The Official Site of Marshall McLuhan,
Marshall McLuhan, Wikipedia,
Digital Ethnography, Michael Wesch, Kansas State University,
Numerous McLuhan Videos on YouTube

Why are so unhappy?

Why are you so unhappy?
Because 99% of what you think,
And everything you do,
Is for yourself,
And there isn't one.

Wu Wei Wu

Friday, October 9, 2009

Income and Asset of the US (1989 - 2004)

I've been curious about the distribution of personal income and assets in the US. I found a data source at the Federal Reserve Board. However, it's masses of data and complicated spreadsheets. I've been trying to approach the problem as I ordinarily do, with mathematics. But, my experience has been that while I understand the math, few people I ever show it to grasp the real significance. Then yesterday I discovered a great tool and wondered if it would be useful for this application.

The tool was developed by Hans Rosling and is described in the video above and web site. Joyfully, a simple version of the tool is available in Google Gadgets (Motion Chart). it took me awhile to figure out how to use it, but I was rewarded with an interesting visual. It can be viewed here.

If you click on the play button, the data will flow with time. The different colors represent different percentile ranges of income for the US.

What do you see in the data?

What data would you like to see analyzed this way?

How could you use the tool?

A Morning Twitter Poem

A Morning Twitter Poem*

Morning house silence,
Pre paper-on-the-driveway thud,
Or even the comforting clacking
Of the automatic coffee maker turning itself on.

Our evolution,
Path toward peace:
The power of a moral character.
The second great depression.
What else is there that I can enjoy right now?

Collecting stories and their visual display.
A way for what?

Running down the road,
Trying to loosen my load.
I've got stupid questions on my mind.

Me add gentle.
Wishing every day was a holiday.
Wondering about this whole Twitter thing.

It's weird when you realize,
You don't really know anyone,
That goes to your old high school anymore.

It's going to be a longgggg day.

So what is true and
What is not is
What I think about.
Will need help with that.

Let's see...
I need more coffee.

* All these statements were abstracted from this morning's twitter.