[xmca] mythic/theoretic/virtual cultures?

From: Mike Cole <lchcmike who-is-at gmail.com>
Date: Sun Jun 17 2007 - 09:28:11 PDT

David and Katherine's toolforthought has stimulated so many different
thoughts in so many different directions that I am uncertain where to begin
in seeking to discuss it. Tony has urged that we read it in light of ideas
in acting with technology, and it have spent a few hours with that book.
I was pushed back to earlier discussions of CHAT and Actor Network Theory
(ANT) and with help from you, have been able to recover Reijo's
discussion of that aspect of the discussion (there is a discussion of these
relations in Acting with Technology).

Of the many potential starting places, the one at the top of the jumble in
my head at this moment is the relationship between the idea of
what is referred to in the abstract as new media (which I believe gets
refined later to new computational media enabling complex simulations), and
"forms" of culture indexed by the adjectives mythic/theoretic/virtual

I have two confusions here.

First, to what extent is it helpful to characterize entire cultural systems
by the dominant modes of tool mediation? Were the people who constructed and
Stonehenge restricted to mythic thinking/narrative? Does Seymor Papert
pondering the terrible accident that befell him in Hanoi think about it
virtually? Theoretically?
Do old forms disappear when when forms emerge?

Second, and related, to what extent is the idea of toolforthought dependent
upon such new media? For most of the article, it seems to me that the idea
applies no less
to people sitting on the lip of the caves of Lascaux, observing the moon,
and inscribing its phases on a piece of bone than to my grandson playing
world of warcraft. At
other times it appeared (as in the statement in the abstract) that it was
the new forms of computational media that give rise to a new culture and a
new mode of thought
where toolforthought applies.

Plenty more questions.
What do you think?
(The now-absent-from-this-discussion-Eugene hereby invoked tentatively as a

xmca mailing list
Received on Sun Jun 17 09:30 PDT 2007

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Sun Jul 01 2007 - 00:30:04 PDT