Transformations in World Life and Media in the 21st Century

Transformations in World Life and Media in the 21st Century
ISBN13: 9780195079104ISBN10: 0195079108 Paperback, 240 pages




Extending the visionary early work of the late Marshall McLuhan, The Global Village , one of his last collaborative efforts, applies that vision to today's worldwide, integrated electronic network.

When McLuhan's groundbreaking Understanding Media was published in 1964, the media as we know it today did not exist. But McLuhan's argument, that the technological extensions of human consciousness were racing ahead of our ability to understand their consequences, has never been more compelling. And if the medium is the message, as McLuhan maintained, then the message is becoming almost impossible to decipher.

In The Global Village , McLuhan and co-author Bruce R. Powers propose a detailed conceptual framework in terms of which the technological advances of the past two decades may be understood. At the heart of their theory is the argument that today's users of technology are caught between two very different ways of perceiving the world. On the one hand there is what they refer to as Visual Space--the linear, quantitative mode of perception that is characteristic of the Western world; on the other hand there is Acoustic Space--the holistic, qualitative reasoning of the East. The medium of print, the authors argue, fosters and preserves the perception of Visual Space; but, like television, the technologies of the data base, the communications satellite, and the global media network are pushing their users towards the more dynamic, "many-centered" orientation of Acoustic Space.

The authors warn, however, that this movement towards Acoustic Space may not go smoothly. Indeed, McLuhan and Powers argue that with the advent of the global village--the result of worldwide communications--these two worldviews "are slamming into each other at the speed of light," asserting that "the key to peace is to understand both these systems simultaneously."

Employing McLuhan's concept of the Tetrad--a device for predicting the changes wrought by new technologies--the authors analyze this collision of viewpoints. Taking no sides, they seek to do today what McLuhan did so successfully twenty-five years ago--to look around the corner of the coming world, and to help us all be prepared for what we will find there. 


McLuhan's Dream Solliquoy (Final sequence)

McLear Dream Solliquoy (Final sequence)

The night of the 1st of August 1936, Mclear’s dream.

Mclear’s father drinks some tea from a chalice, and then climbs a ladder set against a house to fetch down the toad that is stuck up high, the pet toad of his cousin, and, while on his way down he slips, on a snake mimicking the wrong of a ladder, falls and crushes his head, and the toad in the process. Brains, Toad slime, jewels and flies merge together.

Mclear’s cousin turns into Alice through the looking glass, in wonderland, and shrinks down to the size of a small rodent, she begins munching on Lotus petals that have suddenly sprung up around his father/mothers corpse, where a fly swoons and across the body that is now wearing a white gown and has breasts 

A bomb comes whistling out of the sky, changing into a figure resembling Cuchulain, a giant with twelve arms, and each hand holding an object: A boomerang, a Robert Johnson 78’ disk, a golden jewel encrusted chalice, a smoking pipe styled into the shape of a toad, a totem pole, A telephone receiver/speaker, a printing stamp-press, a calendar, an Umbrella, A TV set, a Video-Camera.

The smoking pipe was now in the giants mouth and the clouds of smoke drifted up and up to become huge clouds, nebulous, ten miles high or more. 

One cloud takes the form of a giant mushroom and descends back to the scene of the accident, pitching itself next to the androgenous corpse. The mushroom then morphs again into a small Santa Claus doll, and proceeds to administer coca-cola to the body, pouring it up the nostrils and letting it fizz all over the face, the body begins to shake. 

[due to a disturbance in the dream sequence, ultimately down to an early lecture with G.K Chesterton, but setting his alarm clock one full hour earlier than he needed]

Mclear’s father/mother, his cousin and himself were now up and running from the house, jumping away from the garden on pogo sticks, away from where the toad-corpse ooze had now released a green fog into the air, that set everybody laughing uncontrollably.

Arriving in a wooded area they eventually stop and slump down onto the ground leaning against a birch tree. Suddenly a wheel rolls into the clearing in front of them with a golden apple lodged inside the axis. Then, as Mclear recalls his dream, ‘we all eat a small piece of the apple and go sit down back under the tree again’ 

In a flash the dreaer has morphed into a Mushroom stood right there in the spot where he once sat.

His Father/mother had transformed into a fly, and his cousin Mary changed quickly from his grandmother, then to a toad who also sits where she once sat in the wooded clearing. 

At this point Mclear describes the sense of eternity passing, then a jumping of perceptions between the three shapeshifters, triangulated in their positions.

The mushroom had only single sight, a tiny periscope inside a wart, but it released a constant humming sound that Mclear heard as the sound of a tribal drum in his head when he looked at the fly and the toad looking at him.

Suddenly Mclear experienced total ESP with the others, plus he heard voices from the tress and the foliage and the leaves; a low chatter beneath the canopy, they sat motionless, in awe of the infinite stars above them.

In a flash, the fly lands on the mushroom, licks it, flies off towards the toad, who swiftly, and Ninja like, snatches the drunken fly out of the air, and swallows it in one gulp.

Cuchulain returns and lands in front of the Toad with a drawn sword and slices it in two. Gold and jewels fall-out from the toads head while the fly shakes, buzzes, flinches a little,  staggers up to gather itself and flies off, only a few feet to then land on a floating lotus flower upon the pond, and is swallowed by a huge salmon, which then in turn is fished out by Cuchulain and set free, plus Cuchulain discovers a golden ring inside the salmon that fits perfectly with his elaborate zoological breastplate.

Ants came marching into the clearing and gathered up the toads parts, and some Lapis Lazuli jewels and carried them back to their nest, where together with a beetle, a snake and a unknown miniature jellyfish-scorpion creature, they remade the toad with spittle, venom and special green fungus.

The toad jumps out of the nest and leaps back to the clearing, where he spits on the mushroom’s periscope, which then transforms the whole mushroom into a geodesic object, but still bejewelled crystallized and sparkling.

Cuchulain returned from a gap in a nearby tree trunk, plucked the mushroom, put it in his red sack, and sprang off into the air again back to the town, where he fairly divided the crystalized mushroom up between all the towns people, everyone got a piece and said a prayer:



Steven James Pratt.


“Bucky" Ez said to Joyce,
“See you Down the old Vic’ Bucky said to Ez
“You’ll raise Merry Hell" Joyce said.
Narrator on Bruno: “The notion of verbal, spatial, numeric and “figurative” combinatorics.”

“I slice the heavens and soar to the infinite.” Bruno said.
Narrator “The purpose of Bruno’s lists appears to be satire”
In the town of Dalkey, on Vico road stands a man shouting “Where terms begin?”
McLuhan to James Joyce: “Trivialized and quadrivialized.

Ez “A Rhetorical generator?”

McLuhan: “Madison ave?”

McLuhan: “The Four part cycle creates the corners of a square!”

“A Cube?” Shouts a voice in the street.

Bruno: “To whom shall I address my beautiful play?

James Joyce: “a rhythmatick or other over Browne and Nolan's divisional tables.”

Yeats: “Sirius?”

Bruno: “Through sirius’s celestial influence in these sweltering days and nights called dog days.

RAW: “Sirius seems very important to me.”

Bruno: “The fixed stars rain down into my brain.

Ernest Fenollosa: “Stars for the final Asian man”

Bruno: “Beautiful lights of the firmament shower upon me, the ocean of twelve signs hit me in the head, and the seven wandering lights whisper into my ears.

Joyce: “And I shall be misunderstord if understood to give an unconditional sinequam to the heroicised furibouts of the Nolanus theory.

Vico: “There are in fact three lights of divine providence....
Ez to
Joyce: “See you Down the old Vic’

--Steven James Pratt 'TTOTT Situation.

Versus TTOTT Versus

This tale begins when the record [1] spins to the days turn of Gio Bruno and his heretical sins. Learn em', 
turn em'. Seen by the clergy as a sheen against God and King, no center to things, he said, he said that everything spins (everything spins), they 'everything' sins. had to wait till late for Bucky synergy. 

Vico wrote recorso to describe a new course so the rotorio [2]of ages can turn through the pages of man, he made new gauges that span the historical myth of grammar, a geography of man, man as word, word as man. 

Nietszche killed ‘god’ in the name of his good and started a flood of eternal returns so that new thinking caps burned 

under this very moonlight, and the spider learns to spin a social web and define terms as we move into the Celtic twilight. Billyum Yeats and his Irish mates contact the spirit levels of French Symbolism, perfected synesthesia in times on National Amnesia, of the swift wit and synge'd tongue, Yeats carried Ireland on the tip of his song. And the mighty Joyce trots into the tale, like a Lion, a Lamb and a whale, Joyce enthralls the reading with multiple choice, a quantum prose of the Hermetic nose craft, a smell for the wave particle swell, a feel for the silk satin stockings and the hard stainless steel, hyper-fiction, genius diction, resolution of the contradiction, of life and of time, of love and what's above like that which is below. Yeats living with Ezra Pound in the smoke feet on the ground, Pound helps Joyce find a distributor for his voice, and a nice letter and short stories to better and butter the idle chatter and chortle of Tories. And Ernest Fenollosa's spirit enters the London melting pot, by way of a manuscript most American scholars forgot, handed to Ez by his Widow, a study in Chinese Poetry, a window, into new worlds of imagist beauty, film in translation [3], Noh play a thousand new ways to say amore'. Through the first world war these writers and more struggled against the banking dinosaur threat, and lost friends and would never forget the destruction and suffering war begot. Korzybski developed a science of meaning, a map of the ceiling of language and math, he put the heat on the scriptures, testing sentences for god, for truth, and shows the multiple choice voice of Joyce as a formula, mind body brain control structures and neuro-linguistic systems, to balance the romantics Korzybski helped to create General Semantics. Bucky Fuller did a similar thing with a similar swing, using math and science and philosophy to produce new systems, and Bucky made pistons, nuts, bolts and volts, Bucky made us think outside the box into the Icosa, look at LAW as a hidden variable, to balance the equation, technology versus the will to life of humanity, the science and sanity of Korzybski cast as innovative tools against fools on the war game trip. Bucky tripping up the bad man killers with alternative ideas, the mental resources spill out from Bucky's mind-spray of Synergy like 12 flavors of ice cream sources. Ez said Bucky went in for structure, but consumption is still done by animals. Yes the world should feel lucky to have had an inventor like Bucky, thinking for all of us, all on the bus, on a trip to enlighten us. Shannon shoots 'bits' into the tale like they were fired from a cannon aimed at you. Yes you, dear reader you know who you are by now, your a collection of 'bits' in the information age, a field of 'control' of various 'bits' of information, your the cybernetic navigator, alright mate, see you later. 'What are you doing' said Orson Welles to Marshall McLuhan, and our tale was wrapped up and bound with glue in. 'Keep chewing' Said McLuhan, "Keep going' said Orson. "Awesome" said McLuhan, "Those letters to Harold Innis, innit" said Orson. And internet came.      

footnote 1:
Terence and the singularity.....
RAW and Heretic Factor.
I-Ching and foundation for Singularity
Rather than Liebnitz, King Wen?

Software and Hardware.

Update your reality Operating system.
The Hierarchy of values.
Maybe leftfield scientists Shannon, 
Weiner, and Von Neumann
Bucky and 
McLuhan in the muddle

And Bruno, Vico, Joyce, Yeats and Ez on the
Rightside of the brain.

Orson Welles conducting the symphony.

Dr. Wilson and his Heretic factor

Hold out for a paradigm shift superior  to any 
singularity yet proposed

A RAW singularity or
(Non-simultaneously apprehended event)

      Coincidance: A Head Testicle

Information = surprise, Shannon and 
Joyce waltz to
Kurzweil Pounding the piano 
like Frank Bruno with his Weiner.

footnote 2:

‘V’ co.  Said the Fellow Gnosa, Pounding his Weiner down in the Welles Fuller’ McGluon’s Brew.

“Noh, Rejoyce” Said Fried Rick. 

“Cor’ Seb Ski?” said Shannanigum.

‘V’ for vicorecorsi." Said Ezybski 

footnote 3:

Philosophers David Chalmers at the Australian National University in Canberra, points out that “consciousness” is an ambiguous term since it can refer to a variety of phenomena. “Each of these phenomena needs to be explained, but some are easier to explain than others,” says Chalmers. “At the start, it is useful to divide the associated problems of consciousness into ‘hard’ and ‘easy’ problems. The easy problems of consciousness are those that seem directly susceptible to the standard methods of cognitive science, whereby a phenomenon is explained in terms of computational or neural mechanisms. The hard problems are those that seem to resist those methods.” Here’s David Chalmers on consciousness:

I FIRST MET DR. WILSON... (from September 2006)

Introduction 2010:

Hi, I met BOB a number of times between 2000 and 2005 in the USA, and regret not being allowed back into the U.S due to VISA issues, to see him again before he passed on. While he was still with us I already started a piece of writing that started to describe his influence upon me and how that amplified since traveling to America to meet him and having a most excellent adventure.

The following is what I wrote in mid 2006 while living with my parents at their home near Stourbridge in the West Midlands of England. I thought it was about time I put this up, as its just sitting on my hard-drive gathering moss, enjoy, love, steve.

P.S I now have the audio recording I made from the Prophets conference I can share here.

Universe Contains a maybe monday by rawmemorial

I first met Dr. Wilson on the 17th December 2000 A.D at the Prophets Conference in Palm springs, California, only 4 days after Al Gore said ""This is America, and we put country before party."  conceding  to Bozo the clown in what might have been the most crooked election in U.S history, although the 2004 election may prove to even topple that.  RAW opened his presentation titled "The Universe contains a maybe" with the line "George W. Bush is the president of the United States...maybe?" and continued to keep the audience smiling and in high spirits all throughout his epic, encyclopedic sit-down comedy cornucopia. 

Six years on, and RAW seems as optimistic and cheerful as he ever was, perpetually glossing the world and its "other" with practical and scientific solutions, models, metaphors for our human condition. His alchemical unity of science and mysticism through the lenses of social psychology, humor and poetry illuminates, to me in (2006), the observation that language and the "other" places beyond language will provide us, the stewards of spaceship-earth, with new portals of discovery that can help nurture communication between different people's, nation's and species. His humble wisdom and teachings are an immortal kind of "Timespace capsule" as any bookshop or internet search will indicate his increasing presence throught the mediasphere, to not speak of his rather under acknowledged shadow as countercultural legend and outer head of the inter-galactic super Illuminati.

I would like to extend my gratitude to Dr. Robert Anton Wilson for his time and patience towards his merry tribes of interacting readers and processing patients everywhere. I will also take this opportunity to thank my family, friends and fellow poets for their critical support and optimistic humour that helped sustain me, as an independent artist within various challenging environments.
I first met Dr. Robert Anton Wislon in Palm Springs California at the Prophets conference where i was fortunate to have been asked to provide assistance to Bob throughout the conference, we enjoyed dinner together and had a Manhattan or two together with Paul Krassner and his wife.

Later in different company we shared a fragrant bit of Marijuana - a recent cannabis-cup winning weed called Williams Wonder which transformed Bob into the image of Yoda before my eyes, wise, old and green. The wonderful weed was provided courtesy of Richard Metzger. 

Earlier that day i had offered Bob some Liberty Cap mushrooms i had carried some 6000 miles with me in my pants, Lovingly picked from the Wychbury hills in the West Midlands of England close to where i grew up, alas Bob turned down my offer but seemed to enjoy my wry smile and laughed with surprise when i produced the mushrooms.

AHA! At the Prophets Conference 2000 A.D in Palm Springs i had gave Bob a copy of a book called the Stargate Conspiracy by Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince and he was reading it while at the conference and even talked a little of his initial impressions of the book. I gave this book to him because he was mentioned in the book and i felt an author should at the very least have a copy of any book they are mentioned in. 

Two and half years later i gave another text to Bob at his home in Santa Cruz, the book was "The Cosmic Serpent" by Jeremy Narby that i had with me and wanted to leave with Bob when i discovered he had not read it plus the fact that it had recently come up in an e-mail Bob received. Another 2 years later - September 2004, myself and over 50 other critters were exchanging blooks, essays, poetry, art and music with Bob during various courses he led at the new internet based Maybelogic Academy. 

In San Francisco i saw Bob on four occasions, two at the learning annex San Francisco and one of these events i was an assistant in video taping the event for Soundphotosynthesis archive. I also worked upon some editing of this presentation afterwards but am unsure if the recording is finished and available at Soundphotosynthesis. Another in S.F event was called Pantheon conference 2001, held at the Renaissance hotel - i sent a Manhatten to his table as i knew what his favorite drink was.

On september 10th 2002 i travelled to Bob's home in Capitola and spent three or four hours that felt like several days in fascinating conversation with him.  A partial textual transcription of the recording from this afternoon has been published in the online magazine (Maybelogic Quarterly Vernal Equinox 2006) co-created by members of the maybelogic academy. Considering that i turned up to Bob's house with no credentials, without flashing an I.D card, or waving a press pass or PHD.

I introduced myself as Fly Agaric on BOB's intercom and he simply asked me if i wanted to come up. He treated me with upmost respect and trusted me in his own personal home space, he allowed me to set up some recording equipment and fiddle with his electric plugs, drink cans of Guinness and smoke weed on his balcony. I mean... What a Giza! And to then continue to entertain me with his razor wit and encyclopedic trademark intelligence, me, a nobody from England, a young cosmic Schmuck with a passion to know more about what the hell is REALLY going on, and a lad who had found the living oracle and was now engaging with him, laughing a lot, feeling comfortable and having fun.

You might ask yourself how many other 72 year old celebrity writers, comedians and philosophers would tolerate such things, i mean imagine tracking down Dan Brown to his house, getting buzzed in and then only 20 minutes later drinking Guinness, smoking pot, eating Marijuana brownies and having a right good chin wag? More reasons to read Robert Anton Wilson, i discovered that day another secret of the Illuminati - be humble. 

The next time i met Bob was at the launch of his first and only biographical Movie premiere in Santa Cruz on the auspicious date 23 July 2003 (30 full years after his first telepathic experiences with doggies from the double star system Sirius.) On this occasion i was also celebrating my own contributions to this movie project and the very generous title given to me by Deepleaf productions of "Associate Producer". I felt ecstatic! After the show i saw Bob briefly while getting into a jaguar and riding off into the Santa Cruz night like the final scene from the Usual suspects. This was the last time i saw Bob in the flesh, he had the physical attributes of a Chan Buddhist monk, an Irish Bard and a witch. He also looked to me like Xavier from the X-men in the year 2023 but with wild Einstein-white hair. Always well dressed in a dinner jacket and a ruffled enbroidered silk shirt, his Celtic spiral ring  beaming off his large blue eyes, his speech slightly slurred due to a recent pair of teeth i believe, he must have wore out his last pair on that senator from Washington D.C? Yeah, i suppose Bob was like a grandad figure to me because of his age and appearance but also his influence upon this particular journey (all the way from New orleans) and my current life in America to some extent, having originally came to America to hear his presentation "The Universe contains a maybe" at the Santa fe Prophets conference, but he became Ill and could not make it.

This incident led to me being asked to help Bob at the next conference in Palm Springs - Dec 2000 A.D, and so it goes. My own journey into Chapel perilous had begun. Fortunately i was among kind family in the Bay area and got treated with much love and respect by the inhabitants, i was given food, lodging, access to the internet, gigs and the kind of trust and respect you might expect from close neighbors of fifteen years.

The Utopia i had only imagined was real, San Francisco, Oakland, California, with all the creative forces and cultural waltzing, i was living in a novel, and my friends reflected for me the kind of hero's and positive forces within classic stories and myths, tales - lending a helpful hand, asking you to come to the party, the show, the art opening. I began to feel and tune in the vibe, you know the VIBE, it seemed everybody was from somewhere else on the map, all around the world. I could feel the same kind of optimism and technological embrace and multicultural celebrations that i often get from reading RAW in some sense, although my gloss is skewed or maybe not skewed in a RAW fashion because i read him so damn much.

Steven James Pratt (September 2006)