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nettime: McLuhan Monday Night Seminars: New Series
sage on Fri, 21 Feb 97 19:53 MET


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nettime: McLuhan Monday Night Seminars: New Series


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PLEASE FORWARD AND POST

The McLuhan Program in Culture and Technolgy, The Facutly of Information
Studies at the University of Toronto, and TAO Communications present:

McLuhan Monday Night Public Seminars

The McLuhan Monday Night Seminars will continue in 1997 with a third series.
In the tradition of the open seminars held by Marshall McLuhan, they are a
forum for unrestricted discussion of topics related to media and their
effect within society, culture, politics, economy, and psychology. Everyone
who has an interest in such questions is invited to participate in the
exchange of ideas and the connected development of new insight.

The Seminars are an open and free discussion where the medium is the message
and the audience is the content. The diversity of participants will ensure a
lively, spontaneous, and multi-disciplinary discussion where the ideas flow
freely from one field to another. For more information on the structure see
the end of this message.

Time & Location: 
Every Monday night from 7.15-9.30 p.m. at the Faculty of Information Studies
(FIS) 140 St. George Street (the north east corner on the same block as
robarts library)  in the staff lounge (rm 728).

The seminars are free and open to the public. Space is determined on a first
come, first serve basis. The seminars are for the open minded, no previous
knowledge is expected.


Topics:

March 3 - Political Economy of the Information Age
We are moving from a marketplace of ideas, to arenas of action. The
Information Age is the reality of a global market and global governance.
What is the changing nature of governance in the age of the network of
networks and open standards? What is electronic politics? Who are the
players and forces behind convergence? What is electronic activism? Who,
what, where, and when is the decision making process, and how do we engage it?

March 10 - Fragmentation & Integration
Are we heading towards growing social and cultural segmentation of our
lives, with new patterns of communities and groups that have little in
common with each other, fragmenting themselves into smaller and smaller
entities, until we reach 6 billion different nations? Or are we going to be
integrated into one interconnected and shared environment where mutual
responsibilities become a central part of a planetarized culture?  Are these
two trends mutually exclusive or part of deeper reconfiguration of culture
and society, accelerated by electronic media?

March 17th - Literacy in The Digital Domain
What is the relationship between traditional literacy and the electronic
environment? What skills and abilities are needed to explore and enjoy the
benefits of the new media? What effects do changes in literacy have on the
rest of our social structures? What can we learn from our cultural past to
help prepare us for our collective future?

March 24th - Language and The Internet
What is the language of the Internet? What effect does our language have
upon our culture? How is our language changing? Will english dominate in the
new media, or will we see the emergence of new hybrids? What is are the
realtions between western, eastern, and digital linguistic systems? Will
open standards protect linguistic diversity?

March 31st - Connected Intelligence
What is the convergence of minds? What does the Internet, World Wide Web,
and Virtual Reality have to do with Connected Intelligence? What is satelite
psychology? Do global mass media encourage the explosion and expansion of
ego? What role will artificial intelligence play in the distribution,
selection, and processing of our information? What is the future of
Connected Intelligence?

April 7th - Privacy, Encryption, & Surveillance
How is the concept of privacy and private space being protected in the
Information Age? How is the concept of the indivudal affected by new
technologies and expanded surveillance? What role does encryption play in
empowering and enforcing borders and identity? How much do we know about
current developments in these areas? What actions can we take to empower
ourselves?

April 14th - Art in The Electronic Storm
How does the artist strive and survive in the Electronic Storm? What new
tools and roles are available to the creative and artistic? How are artists
using new media to demonstrate and explore the impacts upon society? What
messages can we learn from the people experimenting with the emerging global
psyche? Can we develop a culture that can shelter us from the storm?

April 21st - The Learning Organization
What is a Learning Organization? How does it relate to concepts of openness,
interconnectivity, interoperability, and co-operation? How can a hiearchical
organization begin to learn? What are the resistances to the model of a
Learning Organization? Are we approaching education without borders? What
are we trying to learn?



Structure, Process, and Methodology
Of the current McLuhan Monday Night Seminars

The McLuhan Monday Night Seminars are an open and free forum for the
exchange of ideas and the generation of knowledge. The seminars take place
every Monday evening beginning around 7:30pm, the location changes with the
nomadism inherent in the project, and participation is open to the public at
large. Traditionally the seminars have been held in Toronto Canada.

No prior experience or background is expected, as analysis of the
environment and our surrounding ground is a process of generalization that
arises from the combined perspectives of a diverse and multi-disciplinary
group. The seminars rarely have 'keynote' speakers, and when they do, the
speakers interact with the participants as equals, using the same language.
The medium is the message and the audience are the content. All participants
are speakers, and all the speakers listen. The discourse generated by the
seminars stems from the linguistic and cultural foundations of each
individual. Great effort and consideration is made by the group to include
everyone and use language that is universally accessible and comprehensible.

The participants in the seminars recognize a moderator to act in the
interests of the group and protect the rights of each individual to speak
and be heard. The diversity of the group generates a multi-disciplinary and
co-operative approach to innovation and the generation of knowledge. Each
seminar has as a focus: an archetype, paradox, or problem, connected to the
emergence and development of the new media environment that is explored or
probed by the group. The seminar topics are examined in relation to
cultural, economic, political, technological, theological, philosophical,
linguistic and psychological effects, characteristics, patterns, and events.
The analysis is non-linear, dynamic, and often spontaneous. Individuals with
specialized perspectives contribute, and as the session  progresses, a
consensus emerges through proximity of mind. Convergence of ideas produces
original and unique concepts that belong to the group as a whole, and all
the individuals within.

Direct participation in the seminars is rewarded with a unique and
empowering experience. The energy and momentum derived from the group is
self-perpetuating. Many participants describe the event as extreme mental
stimulation. Individually and collectively the seminars are a project and
process of the open mind. The diversity of perspectives and the convergence
of ideas dissolves barriers and constructs that prevent the free flow of
information and the receptivity and flexibility of the human mind. The
seminars move to resolve the fear of the unknown, and enable clear and
balanced thought in an age of chaos.

Virtual participation in the seminars are and will be available in a number
of formats. An email list exists for open discussion and distribution of
reports originating or connected to the seminars. All traffic on the list is
simultaneously archived on a web site, and with time the material available
on the web will increase in both quantity and quality. The seminars
themselves have access to video-conferencing facilities, and opportunities
for other geographic locations to participate does exist, although the costs
for the connection at present must be paid by the party calling to the
seminars. With time both the accessibility, visibility, and mobility of the
seminars will increase.


For more information please email jesse {AT} tao.ca or contact the McLuhan
Program directly  {AT}  416-978-7026. An email list exists for the seminars, and
can be subscribed to by sending email to majordomo {AT} tao.ca with the command
in the body of the message 'subscribe seminars' (no quotes).

Also see:
http://www.fis.utoronto.ca/mcluhan/
http://www.tao.ca/fire/seminars



Jesse Hirsh - jesse {AT} tao.ca - jesse {AT} lglobal.com
P.O. Box 108, Station P, Toronto,  Canada, M5S 2S8

http://www.tao.ca/~jesse

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