Category Archives: Essays

Thinking Systems

In his epic, futurist tome The Third Wave, Alvin Toffler (1980) wrote that we need to “move from a Second Wave culture that [has] emphasized the study of things in isolation from one another to a Third Wave culture that emphasizes contexts, relationships, and wholes” (p. 300-301), what Herman Witkin calls “field dependence.” Taking the […]

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Mirroring Minds

In researching technological mediation (which many of you know has been my most intense intellectual jones over the past few years), I started looking internally a year and a half or so ago. Internally meaning cognitively, thinking that quite a lot of the process I’m trying to figure out is going on inside our heads. I first read about mirror neurons when David Byrne and Daniel Levitin were in Seed Magazine‘s “The Seed Salon,” and I immediately knew I’d stumbled across something I couldn’t ignore. (more…)

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Music for Magazines: This is Not a Record Review

I wouldn’t even bother writing about Coldplay’s latest record, but as the water of the music industry recedes, Viva la Vida has landed as a big fish in a little pond. Dave Allen exerted quite a bit of effort vilifying the record over at Pampelmoose, and while I don’t disagree with all of his points, I think his keyboard’s venom is at least partially misplaced. This is not a record review. (more…)

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Mind Wide Shut: Recent Books on Mind and Metaphor

Scientists have used metaphors to conceptualize and understand phenomena since early Greek philosophy. Aristotle used many anthropomorphic ideas to describe natural occurrences, but the technology of the time, needing constant human intervention, offered little in the way of metaphors for the mind. Since then, theorists have compared the human mind to the clock, the steam engine, the radio, the radar, and the computer, all of increasing complexity. (more…)

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How We Became Post-Rock

There seems to be very little consensus on exactly where Rock crossed the line and became Post-Rock (a term popularized by Simon Reynolds), but most people agree that the two bands that galvanized the movement in the last two decades are Tortoise and Mogwai. The roots of the genre run deep and in many directions […]

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Blade Runner Redux

Just when I thought I’d missed it, The Laurelhurst Theater here in Portland brought Blade Runner: The Final Cut back around (I wasn’t here when it first played, and somehow, I missed the movie’s original release, though during that same time I managed to see all three original Star Wars movies as they came out). Thankfully Ridley Scott’s upgrades are subtle. He didn’t feel the need to George-Lucas it up with obvious and jarring new scenes and CGI. The changes are relatively seamless. (more…)

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