The book I want

I’m seeking a philosophical account of technology that draws together three strands of critique.

1. The Medium is the Message. The way digital media change the way we think and act or, to paraphrase George Grant, “the computer dictates the uses to which it is put,” and dictates a hell of a lot more while it’s at it. Relevant here are texts by (in order of descending obscurity and insight) Heidegger, Arendt, McLuhan, Zygmunt Bauman, and Neil Postman.

2. Justifiable Paranoia. The way digital media facilitate universal surveillance and mass control. Relevant thinkers are Foucault and Orwell.

3. Brains in vats. A line traced from the ubiquity of video games (or other ways in which digital media are used as diversion and as devices for casual communication) and disembodiment. I don’t know the recent embodiment theorists well enough to name any here, but if I did it would have to be someone more rigorous than Al Lingis, who offers a lot of pomo fooferah and then says we should all get the buds out of our ears and walk through a sequoia forest.

All three, woven together and related. Anyone know of an article, or book, or body of thought like this?

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3 thoughts on “The book I want

  1. Ta. I’ll check out Shaviro. Putnam I mostly know for coming late to the pomo game and getting Levinas all wrong, but I’ll look for his attacks on the gamesters.

    I should add that I’m not looking for a right-wing rant. I want something a little closer to Derrida (who links Rome, Holy Rome and CD Rome) than to Allan Bloom, if you know what I mean.

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