The Interactive Paradigm – Journal, 09.07.16

Class Readings

How is interactivity structured in a networked system?


“The End of Books” by Robert Coover

“Osama Bin Laden and the Advent of Netwar” by John Arquilla and David Ronfelt

“The Extended Mind” by Andy Clark and David J. Chalmers


Do contemporary media structures promote cultural interactivity?

“The Medium is the Message” by Marshall McLuhan

“The Work of Art in the Electronic Age” by Jean Baudrillard

“The Filter Bubble” by Eli Pariser


Notes on the Readings

Class Overview





actor and acted on


Notes & Research

Article: “Internalism and Externalism in the Philosophy of Mind and Language[1]

Externalism – the position that our contents essentially depend on the external world. They can be created by our interaction with the natural and social world.


Supported by: Hilary Putnam, Tyler Burge et al. Twin Earth thought experiments


Internalism – the position that our contents depend only on properties of our bodies, such as our brains.

Externalism is more popular than internalism.


Internalists such as David Chalmers, Gabriel Segal, and others have developed versions of narrow content that may not be vulnerable to typical externalist objections.


You Tube Video: Interview with Hilary Putman (long)

He is an average speaker. It was a little hard to follow. Only some of it was useful to the current reading but it was still worth watching.



You Tube Video: Hilary Putman’s Twin Earth, Pt 1

 Discussion of how Hilary Putman’s thought experiment applies to the Philosophy of Language.


You Tube Video: Hilary Putman’s Twin Earth, Pt 2

Discussion of how Hilary Putman’s thought experiment applies to the Philosophy of Language.


  • indexicals – linguistic term for words whose reference shifts from utterance to utterance
  • Putman is more interested in meaning than truth.
  • Meaning depends on the context.
  • internal meaning – intention
  • That we apply to -> external meaning – extension
  • Who determines what something means?
  • Division of Linguistic Labor
  • A small number of people, experts, who determine what something is
  • we non experts simply refer to their term
  • we do not need to know what it is, we only need to mean what they say it is
  • so when we say something we are referring to the meaning given to it by the experts
  • As Putman would say, “meaning ain’t just in the head”

Who is David Chalmers?


“Is Your Phone Part of Your Mind” Ted Talk

David Chalmers Discusses the Extended Mind



  • How does the mind relate to the brain?
  • The extended mind thesis transforms the perception of the mind. It is no longer just part of the brain but also out there in the world that we interact with.
  • Example: Smart Phones act as memory
  • Example: Counting on Fingers. Addition could be in head but now is on fingers
  • Technology really amplifies the idea of an external mind
  • People don’t like the idea of extended mind because they think of it as a form of implanting. It is as if the brain were too scared to be altered. We want it to get all the credit so we resist the idea of extending it to the outside world.
  • Is consciousness the center of the mind? Maybe not. There are lots of things in the mind that are outside of our consciousness. Things like emotions, desires etc, even memories. These things still drive us. Things in the outside world also drive us. Why not?
  • It’s a new way of looking at the mind
  • It makes a difference to practices.
  • Alzheimer’s, handling the symptoms is assisted with external assistants like notes and reminders. Keeps an aspect of their minds out in the world
  • open book exams in education, extended mind thesis, testing whole extended self so why not have open book or calculators on tests?
  • extended perception, I Phone as a vision tool for the blind. It reads out colors when you point it to something. A man watched a sunset with it. It called out the colors of the sunset
  • Wearable computing
  • Socially extended mind, other people become extensions of our mind. One person acts as another’s memory. Finish each other’s sentences
  • Social Networking becomes part of us
  • Downsides: As our minds move into the world we become more vulnerable to loss.
  • Fires, Floods, Etc. Loss of possessions/memories. Loss of one’s self.
  • Stolen phone! NOOOOO they take a part of self. A really vicious form of assault!
  • fear we will become robots. Danger Will Robinson.
  • Extended mind offers hope of an optimistic world view
  • is Google making us stupid.
  • NO Google is making us smarter
  • Externalizing memory. Knowledge is power.
  • Democratization of the powers of the mind as technology becomes more available
  • Turning us into Super Heroes of the mind
  • Will we use this power for good? or evil. This is the challenge ahead.


Andy Clark on the Extended Mind

Andy Clark Discusses the Extended Mind. Interview is not great. The interview is hard to follow. There are also technical issues.

  • Howard Rheingold is studying the Opposite of “is the web dumbing down culture”
  • Is What ways does use of the web and digital media make us more intelligent
  • Engelbart Raising our Collective IQ
  • So Interview Andy Clark about Natural Born Cyborgs
  • Human minds are not enclosed by the physical brain
  • interaction of culture and technology
  • Is the internet making US dumb? “US” is the little biological bit. That is what they mean.
  • The right question is, “as a result are we able to explore ideas in a more productive way?”
  • That judgment shows that the internet is a piece of scaffolding.
  • It works for good and for bad
  • early in development. We will get better at it.
  • we were trained to use books. Human book symbiosis worked well.
  • We will figure it out with technology
  • It takes a while. Some of it is just trial and error

Marshall McLuhan (


“The Medium is the Message” Full Lecture, Pt 1 by Marshall McLuhan


  • Television is Cool and Radio is Hot
  • Message and the Medium is Marshall Mc.
  • Future Historians will say: The Medium is the message”
  • Coined by MM.
  • provocative
  • some media are cool and some are hot
  • studied media as a way of understanding society itself
  • concerned with all media
  • best known for electronic radio and TV
  • extension of central nervous system
  • electrical detribalization of the west
  • more formally at University of Toronto Canada
  • Mechanical Bride, Understanding Media, War and Peace in Global Village
  • Medium is the message. Does it leave room for criticism of individual television content??
  • Doesn’t matter what you say on telephone. It’s a huge environment.
  • phone affects huge part of environment
  • what you say affects very few
  • television promotes illiteracy
  • NO it creates another form of awareness
  • Literacy had strange antecedents and we are only beginning to notice effects now that it is being pushed aside
  • literacy as a form of awareness is highly specialist and objective
  • TV has no objectivity at all
  • TV tends to create a totally different kind of awareness
  • literacy is objective
  • TV is subjective, totally involving
  • I think Radio people are far more literate than TV people
  • I personally avoid making value judgments because value judgments are too personal and confusing
  • people are very diversified
  • to read = to guess
  • reading is rapid guessing because any word has so many readings that to select one in a context requires rapid guessing that’s why a good reader tends to be a good decision maker
  • nature of reading calls for quick decisions and guessing
  • advertising is the folk-art of the 20th century
  • it is a very great art form, not private but corporate
  • but it is the concern of the advertiser to make an effect
  • any artist sets out to create an effect
  • he sets a trap to catch somebody’s attention
  • Are there master pieces of radio or television?
  • we will know better in 50 years
  • I know that there are but the ones selected now would probably not get the same vote 50 years from now
  • remember that Shakespeare wrote plays considered vulgar at the time but no one had a way of rating it at the time
  • we have no criteria for measuring TV
  • the measures we use now are just bottom-line but that’s box office
  • If the medium is the message and it doesn’t matter what we say on TV why are we all here tonight? Why am I asking this question
  • I didn’t say it didn’t matter what you asked. I said the effect is quite independent of the program
  • that is there is a huge technology involved that surrounds you physically
  • the effect of that huge environment on you is vast, The effect of the program is incidental
  • The search for identity through violence? What is the alternative instead?
  • the alternative to violence is dialogue
  • interface with other people and situations
  • we live in a world with so much power
  • when you trigger vast media you are manipulating entire populations
  • we have created a form of universal peace bc the means of destruction are so vast, it cools us off, war is unthinkable
  • violence is a kind of self expression
  • the quest for identity, the person who is struggling to find out “who am I’ by all sorts of maladjustments and quarrels, encounters, such a person is a social nuisance of course, but the quest goes along with this bumping into other people to find out who am I, how much power can I exert, how much identity can I discover that I posses by simply banging into other people
  • that’s what I thought when I said the quest for identity is always a violent quest
  • Literature examples. Don Quixote, Flash Gordon, Superman, Star War (SNICKER) Star war is based on Flash Gordon? Bionic Man, Bionic Woman.
  • Vicarious violence in which young people are discovering “who am I’
  • Asked Granddaughter what do you want to be?>
  • She said “Bionic woman”
  • was using the word “violence’ in a large sense to mean abrasive encounters
  • how would the message be different if instead of being in Sydney Hotel it were in the Cricket Ground
  • Cricket is a very organized form of violence APPLAUSE
  • I would insist on studying as a controlled form of violence in the community
  • you can learn enormous amount about business community by studying sports games
  • huge ways of discovering, dramatizing what society you are in is all about
  • Without audience games have no reason (INFINITE GAMES LINK??)
  • baseball game without audience is a rehearsal only
  • game require public
  • games are dramatizing of violent behavior under control
  • No room for commercials in Cricket? So where would you put them without messing up game?


“The Medium is the Message” Full Lecture, Pt 2 by Marshall McLuhan


  • You said life was very much like driving a car but only being able to look into rear vision mirror.
  • Having accused a lot of people of living in rear view mirror and having meant that they were out of date, 19th century minds
  • I looked again, on my own, discovered to my surprise that when you look you do not see what has gone past. You see what is coming
  • the rear view mirror is the foreseeable future
  • the phrase appears to distort the situation
  • people think of it from sound of the phrase It Must Be the Past
  • in terms of media
  • nostalgia is the name of the game
  • including the program “Roots”
  • nostalgia is a kind of rear view mirror but also the shape of things to come
  • when people are stripped of private identities they develop huge nostalgia
  • levis nostalgia for Grand Dads overalls
  • this is a mysterious thing
  • the costumes worn by the young, fashionable ones, are really very old hat and nostalgic
  • (BECAUSE THEY ARE YOUNG? Searching Identity)
  • International Motley or Clown Costume
  • paradoxically the clown is a person with a grievance
  • his job was to be the voice of grievance
  • his job was to tell what was wrong with society
  • the clown is trying to tell us his grievance
  • the beards and the hairdos and costumes of the young are a manifestation of grievance and anger
  • You’ve heard about streakers? a kind of manifestation of anger about the lack of jobs in the word
  • since in the 20th century we are so conditioned by media should we be teaching our children what value judgments they should make concerning what programs they should listen to or watch as part of their development in achieving adult maturity
  • the answer is YES
  • electronic speed pushes all unconscious factors up into conscious
  • hidden aspects should be taught
  • they have an irresistible force when invisible
  • absolute power over the user if invisible
  • the sooner that the population can be taught the effects of these forms the sooner we can establish an ecology
  • program whole environment so that literature values not wiped out by new media
  • if you understand medium you can neutralize negative effects and foster positive
  • we have not yet done this
  • Can we reach this level of awareness?
  • YES
  • Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce is one of the top guides to the effect of media
  • the work is devoted to that theme
  • thunders are statements of the effect of particular media
  • The last thunder in the book is television (page 424) and with all its effects, social consequences carefully dramatized
  • it is a play
  • the actors are the media themselves
  • very few Joyceans know this
  • Television may have dominated our minds but box hasn’t dominated living room.
  • Will LARGE screens have an effect? Will we tolerate the giants watching us?
  • Personal Note: Does the newest streamlining of TV change this? No longer so dominating when a flat screen. Sleek and incorporated. Not a giant watching us
  • I haven’t seen those… they tend to have them out on the play fields for the game so you can watch the game on TV while the game is in process
  • This is a kind of situation that invites an enormous awareness of actual process
  • Participate in the kind of replay of the thing while it is still ongoing
  • participation in replay is a form of pattern recognition which is new in the media which has rather large consequences, mostly cognitive
  • will affect the nature of our cognition and awareness
  • extreme self awareness
  • Personal Note: Is facebook the same thing? Replay of our lives producing extreme self awareness?
  • What is the effect of instant replay on football?
  • We have now to play the game in such a way that the audience can watch the actual process that we are performing. People want to see the nature of the play
  • Audience participation
  • unexpected effect that extends to the classroom
  • the future of education requires that we pay attention to media employing as forms of study not necessarily just eh hardware skill and use of cameras and microphone but awareness of nature of operation
  • television uses the eyes and ears Tony Swartz from Responsive Cord
  • means literally that image is made of millions of resonating particles
  • no pictures no snapshots no shutter no camera
  • an outpouring of small bits of info in patterns that are entirely active and dynamic so they resonate
  • so not visual but resonating form of experience
  • Is television the ultimate medium or is there worse to come?
  • hologram goes completely around you 360 degrees
  • it’s been anticipated that you have to become enclosed in a sound bubble
  • hologram like rock music because of enclosure in sound bubble
  • the hologram is technically here
  • going out for our privacy going home for social in relationship to electronic mans new thirsts for mystical experience meditation etc
  • transcendental meditation has become exceedingly popular, all forms popular in TV age
  • we are going to the East since TV
  • as an exercise in awareness
  • I’m not sure that that is good or bad, it just is
  • Do you think of it as a significant event?
  • It seems like a nostalgia to return to private self to inner union(SPEAKER)
  • Jane Austin said that people go outside to be alone just to prove their inner resources that they don’t need people and can make it alone. Romantic movement is based on psychic development
  • Hawthorne regarded the habit to go outside to be alone as an undermining of democracy
  • putting on aristocratic thing and going to undermine whole democracy
  • the moralist is always a person who studies content rather than effect
  • figure and not the ground
  • great concern to advertisers because tend to study figure not ground


“The Medium is the Message” Full Lecture, Pt 3 by Marshall McLuhan


  • If the world had not discovered your great thinking how would you go about creating a demand for it? What would be your campaign?
  • I put people on. I tease and challenge and upset them
  • any comic puts on his audience by hurting them
  • the technique of putting people on consists in pointing to the things they have ignored but which concern them deeply and have been pushed aside as insignificant
  • a situation I study a good deal
  • advertising can do the same
  • has to be a comic element in good advertising
  • comic is always the registration of a grievance
  • funny man is a man with a grievance
  • What is the grievance of an advertiser? You are not buying my product
  • The Ascent of Man, is it a victory for advertisers or Writer?
  • Ascent of Man is a popular cliché
  • very nostalgic since not necessarily the way things are going
  • best seller is a mysterious thing, created not spontaneous
  • publishers have methods
  • it means investing a good deal of money
  • program had many millions of dollars invested
  • multi million program guarantees bestseller status
  • Rearview mirror syndrome, shouldn’t some of us be looking in rearview mirror to see carnage?
  • Well, in the case of politics not too hard to see
  • which parties are up and which are down
  • peculiar thing about media on politics
  • image of politician takes on new importance
  • radio is very different COMPLETELY different message
  • TV politics do not permit very much interest in the policy or the party
  • individual candidate must have charisma
  • charisma means looking like a lot of other people
  • y technical analysis of the people
  • Poor Richard Nixon looked only like Richard Nixon. No charisma at all
  • look like acceptable, interesting people
  • Jimmy Carter looks like all American southern boy. Huck Finn in the Whitehouse
  • Jack Kennedy all American Bostonian
  • southern boy not aggressive, whimsical
  • so the civil war is over
  • How did Nixon’s program with David Frost go? First time in history that a major actor in history played himself
  • is it a waste of time for regulators to concern themselves with content
  • I would hate to regulate the thoughts of any bureaucracy’
  • but the tendency of any medium is to attract to itself types of content that are consistent with its limits
  • medium gets the content it deserves
  • some kind of harmony between these things
  • I would point to the fact that TV is primarily concerned with complex processes
  • best content that serves it are complex services
  • radio is far more of a package medium
  • More definite. Hot medium
  • TV is a Cool Medium or involving character
  • QUESTION: Nuclear Energy represents mass suicide, ultimate expression of the death wish???
  • The main development in these electric media is the loss of private identity
  • mass man relates to all other men simultaneously
  • How that relates to atom bomb and so on, would take a while to develop
  • these forms have a kind of inner logic and dynamic which can be traced and discerned
  • Will Media always be commercially based? Do you see it getting more responsible?
  • I appreciate issues but the commercial sponsor of the medium is more sensitive to the audience than anybody
  • the commercial sponsor is going to demand rapport between investment and show which will ensure popularity and representativeness
  • can’t ignore audience and be successful very easily
  • (Speaker sneaks off to have a Pee)
  • New Brain research, left hemisphere more logical, right to intuitive, can you enlarge on parallel to Eastern and Western cultures
  • People of the west developed their visual point of view along with Euclidian geometry.
  • in the east there is no Euclid
  • neither is their individual private identity
  • the kinds of left and right hemisphere correspond pretty well to east and west lineal nature of left is very visual and connected
  • acoustic space is not linear or connected
  • acoustic space is a sphere whose center is everywhere and margin is nowhere
  • we hear from everywhere at once
  • space of sound bubble in rock music
  • right hemisphere is simultaneous acoustic
  • oriental man people who play it by ear as opposed to people who have strong bias of point of view and play by eye, logical connectedness
  • right hemisphere is interested only in quality not in quantity
  • the non worldly orient with interest in way of life rather than amount of product
  • Polynesia, various attempts made to organize as producers but Polynesians remains indifferent. Very acoustically oriented, right hemisphere people
  • both hemispheres affect all of us to some degree, not either/or
  • in some cultures one or the other gets much stress, much play


“The Work of Art in the Electronic Age” by Jean Baudrillard

About Jean Baudrillard



Claimed the Gulf War wouldn’t happen, wasn’t happening, didn’t happen. It was all a video game. It was created and executed in the media, The real violence was hidden by “simulation”

Early thinking about virtual reality. Simulation.

Quoted in the Matrix, “Welcome to the desert of the real.” Neo hid the software in one of Baudrillards books. Baudrillard said: “The most embarrassing part of the film is that the new problem posed by simulation is confused with its classical, Platonic treatment … The Matrix is surely the kind of film about the matrix that the matrix would have been able to produce.”

The 1981 volume Simulacra and Simulation (the book that later appeared in The Matrix) gained a wide audience, and Baudrillard soon found himself a globetrotting academic superstar, discoursing on his themes of “seduction” (the term that escapes the binary opposition of “production” and “destruction”) and “hyper-reality” (the simulated realm that is “more real than the real”).

“His 2004 essay, War Porn, observed how the photographs from Abu Ghraib enacted scenes of fetishistic pornography, concluding: “It is really America that has electrocuted itself.”


Simulacra and Simulation

  • 1981 Treatise
  • relation between reality, symbols and society
  • simulacra are copies that depict things with no reality to begin with or no longer have original
  • simulation is copy of operation of real world process or system over time
  • the simulacrum is true
  • simulacra and simulation is most known for its discussion of symbols and signs and how it relates to contemporanaity
  • human civilization has replaced all reality and meaning with symbols and signs
  • saturated with the constructs of society become infinitely mutable
  • order of sorcery
  • stage 1- faithful copy, sign of profound reality
  • stage 2 – perversion of reality,  belief unfaithful copy
  • stage 3 – masks absence of profound reality, pretends to be faithful copy but has no original. claims to be real but no representation is taking place
  • stage 4 – pure simulation, no relation to any reality whatsoever, cultural products need no longer even pretend to be real, artificial and hyper-real
  • money rather than usefulness
  • multinational capitalism, separates goods from materials to processes
  • urbanization separates human from non human world, alienation
  • language and ideology, production of power relations between social groups
  • Borges (sp?), map as large as empire itself
  • people live in the map
  • no way to separate real from resurrection

Baudrillard: Ideas & Concepts

  • Educational Interview
  • Who is B?
  • He was a French Sociologist born in 1929 died in 206 or 2007
  • famous as the great provocateur of French Social theory
  • advocating more and more extreme versions of post modernism
  • what is simulacra?
  • he uses it in an idiosyncratic way
  • it is the plural of simulacrum
  • both refer in his way to the way a particular society realizes or brings off reality
  • how it “simulates” as he would call it, “the real”
  • so we never actually get at the real
  • different forms at different times
  • simulacra is how reality is brought off by a society
  • how it simulates the nature of reality
  • when you say simulates reality are their instances that suggest that sometimes there is no real that is simulated?
  • yes, absolutely
  • as we approach (or are in) a post modern society
  • so great is the increase in number of signs in media
  • media has become destabilized
  • to the point we are not quite sure what is real and what is not
  • the two constantly bump into each other and reflect instability of meaning
  • instability of meaning
  • has numerous examples of how this works
  • the fictional and real become interwoven
  • one example comes from author “David Snow”
  • There is an Italian restaurant in Northern England. Inside the restaurant is a giant wall-sized mural of Marlon Brando. Students where asked “Why Marlon Brando?” They answered that he was “the godfather” He was “Italian” etc etc. They know he was an American. He was a big American actor in an American film about Italian-American gangsters. He was called the “godfather” but really has no relation to what the Christian conception of a godfather actually is. And yet, no one questions it. They immediately understand that the picture of Marlon Brando labels the restaurant (which is in England) as an Italian restaurant. Their understanding is not based on fact at all.
  • so you get this regular kind of misplacing and displacing of the real
  • we don’t argue
  • we take it for granted
  • that kind of slippage between real and imagined, true and fictional
  • thinks is characteristic
  • he is also known for saying the gulf war wasn’t real.
  • It is a similar idea.
  • he write 3 essays which appeared in a Paris Newspaper
  • The Gulf War will not happen. Is not happening. Did not happen
  • This irked the French public quite a bit
  • the argument in the broadest since
  • is because experience is so destabilized in media it is almost impossible to say what is really going on
  • you have lots of competing accounts of what is going on
  • but the reality of what was really going on was quite unknown because only experienced to long periods of broadcast time
  • he is not saying that the media distort reality because there is no real left to distort they are simply competing rhetoric’s
  • ways of talking about things
  • competing versions
  • competing simulations of reality
  • designed to seduce us (not sexual) they become convincing for us
  • we believe even though no referent or real object to which they are referring
    his assumption that real and fictional have collapsed into each other is misleading
  • in late 1990s coronation street (soap opera) had a well known character sent to jail
  • remember watching sport game
  • big sign “Free the Character”
  • someone thought it was real, clearly unjust
  • everybody laughed
  • it was all good fun, but jokes only work if you know the distinction between the real and the fictional
  • jokes are were different levels of reality collide with each other
  • he seems happy to assume that agents are mashed into this hyper real world were the simulation is more real than the real
  • Is there anything you want to add?
  • people should be skeptical of his ideas by thinking they must be frightfully interesting because they are so hard to understand
  • on the other hand, simply ignoring it because it’s hard to understand you miss out
  • rich in ideas and possibilities
  • ironically in light of what I’ve said, much of what he has to say does seem to apply to aspects of our lives in surprising ways



“The Filter Bubble” by Eli Pariser

Eli Pariser: Beware Online “Filter Bubbles”


  • Squirrel quote by MZ.
  • Internet used to mean a connection to the world
  • But…
  • There has been a shift in how information is flowing online
  • It is invisible
  • If we don’t pay attention real problem
  • Politically progressive noticed that conservatives had disappeared from face book feed. Bc face book noticed which links were more often selected and edited out the conservatives
  • Google does the same
  • Two searches are not the same even at the same time, even if you log out
  • There is no standard Google anymore
  • Hard to see. Can’t see differences
  • Test it. Different people will get different results on a Google search
  • Personalization everywhere
  • The internet is showing us what it thinks we want to see but not necessarily what we need to see
  • It will be very hard to watch or consume something that has not in some sense been tailored for them
  • All these algorithms create a filter bubble
  • Filter bubble is your own unique information universe
  • But you don’t decide what gets in
  • You don’t see what gets edited out
  • Problems with bubble.
  • Researchers at Netflix noticed that some movies just enter the cue and zip right out
  • The best editing lets us see a bit of both
  • Some information vegetables
  • Some information deserts
  • Problem is that they are mainly looking at what you click on first so it throws off balance
  • Not a balanced info diet
  • Information junk food
  • We may have the story about the internet wrong
  • In a broadcast society the editors controlled the flows of information and the internet swept them out of the way
  • But now that is changing
  • Editors gone. Algorithmic take over
  • Algorithms don’t yet have embedded ethics that editors did
  • So if algorithms are going to curate the world then we need to be sure they are not just keyed to relevance
  • We need uncomfortable, challenging
  • We have been here before as a society
  • 1915 newspapers were not worried about civic responsibility
  • We noticed that you couldn’t have a functioning democracy without a good flow of information
  • Journalistic ethics developed
  • Not perfect but got us through the last century
  • We are back in 1915 but on the web
  • We need the new gatekeepers to encode that responsibility into their algorithms
  • Need to make sure that we have a sense of civic responsibility in our filters
  • We need transparency and some control so that we can decide what gets through and what doesn’t
  • We need the internet to be what we dreamed it would be
  • New ideas
  • New people
  • Different perspectives
  • Won’t do it if it leaves us isolated in a web of 1










[1] Smith, Basil. “Internalism and Externalism in the Philosophy of Mind and Language.” Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Accessed September 10, 2016.