Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Extension of 'Man' . . .

Mary Ruefle

I'm still reading Mary Ruefle's Madness, Rack, and Honey, and I read the lines below yesterday on the subway, and they struck me because I recently edited a philosopher's paper that was making a similar point:
Writing and reading are ways the brain can contain itself outside of itself. If you can't remember the ingredients you need to make dinner you make a list and voilá -- a bit of your brain gets carried outside of itself. Eventually -- more millenia -- books came into being, and the human brain was able to keep expanding. A book is a physical expansion of the human brain. It is not an object to be treated lightly. When you hold a book in your hands, you are holding a piece of cerebrum in your hands. (267-268)
The philosopher gave a similar example, but was more concerned with showing that smartphones are extensions of our brains.

Somehow, I'm reminded of McLluhen . . .

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At 4:41 AM, Blogger dhr said...

ways the brain can contain itself outside of itself

Cf Teilhard de Chardin's Noosphere, too.

At 5:11 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thanks, Dario.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 9:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

McLuhen - the prognosticator of the world wide web and probably the basis for the "BORG" in Star Trek with his "collective" predictions of instant communications and total interdependence of the masses. And, he made those predictions in the early 1960's!


At 9:59 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Planet BORG-9 from Outer Space!

That's my prediction for 50 years from now . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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