Introducing Human Extension

Welcome to Human Extension, 

the blog of dr. Gregory Sandstrom, Canadian sociologist  & philosopher, based in Vilnius, Lithuania

This site is designed to allow its host to publish thoughts and to engage in discussion with people from/at other blogs and websites, journalistic, academic or popular in orientation. Some of the threads will be opened for commentary, others will be closed to commentary, at the discretion of the host. The main theme of the blog is ‘Human Extension’ and related topics.

“When technology extends one of our senses, a new translation of culture occurs as swiftly as the new technology is interiorized.” – Marshall McLuhan (The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man, 1962)

Language as the technology of human extension, whose powers of division and separation we know so well, may have been the ‘Tower of Babel’ by which men sought to scale the highest heavens. Today computers hold out the promise of a means of instant translation of any code or language into any other code or language. The computer, in short, promises by technology a Pentecostal condition of universal understanding and unity. The next logical step would seem to be, not to translate, but to by-pass languages in favour of a general cosmic consciousness which might be very like the collective unconscious dreamt by Bergson. The condition of “weightlessness” that biologists say promises a physical immortality, may be paralleled by the condition of speechlessness that could confer a perpetuity of collective harmony and peace.” – Marshall McLuhan (Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, 1964)

“All media are extensions of some human faculty – psychic or physical.” – Marshall McLuhan (The Medium is the Massage, 1967)

“The entire evolutionary process shifted, at the moment of Sputnik, from biology to technology.” – Marshall McLuhan (Counterblast, 1969)

“[A]ll human artefacts are extensions of man, outerings or utterings of the human body or psyche, private or corporate.  That is to say, they are speech, and they are translations of us, the users, from one form into another form: metaphors.” – Marshall McLuhan (Laws of Media: The New Science, 1988)

Topics of interest include:

Development, change, progress, evolution, processes, origins, creation, intelligent design, innovation, invention, ideology, higher education, science, philosophy, religion, theology, economy, society, culture and language.

Featured Quotations:

“It is therefore misleading as well as confusing to speak in anticipation about THE SYSTEM of science, as if the form and content of such a system were determined once for all. The unification and systematization of science are permanent activities.” – O. Neurath

“The present danger does not really lie in the loss of universality on the part of the scientist, but rather in his [sic] pretense and claim of totality…What we have to deplore therefore is not so much the fact that scientists are specialising, but rather the fact that specialists are generalising.” – Viktor Frankl

“Scientists are not the paragons of rationality, objectivity, open-mindedness and humility that many of them might like others to believe.” – Marcello Truzzi

“The common idea that scientists reject a theory as soon as it leads to a contradiction is just not so. When they get something that works at all they plunge ahead with it and ignore its weak spots… scientists are just as bad as the rest of the public in following fads and being influenced by mass enthusiasm.” – Vannevar Bush

“If we ask about the cause of the universe we should ask about the cause of mathematical laws. By doing so we are back in the great blueprint of God’s thinking about the universe; the question on ultimate causality: why is there something rather than nothing? When asking this question, we are not asking about a cause like all other causes. We are asking about the root of all possible causes. Science is but a collective effort of the human mind to read the mind of God from question marks out of which we and the world around us seem to be made.” – Michael Heller

“The history of the anti-evolution debates in the United States is less about biology and more about morality.” – William Grassie

This blog welcomes a ‘dialogue of civilisations’ (Mohammad Khatami) and invites people of various religious, philosophical and scientific traditions, and of all nationalities to read, listen and participate.

E-mail correspondence can be directed to: gregorisandstrom@yahoo.com

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E-mail: gregorisandstrom@yahoo.com

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