Time-based media, movies, music recordings and even phone conversations, move easily from analogue to digital format. Some print sectors associated with timed delivery, such as news or genre fiction, move easily as well and can decoy us into thinking that analogue print not associated with timed delivery will also migrate one-way from analogue to digital format.
But wait, what is going on with persistent analogue print sectors such as textbooks or the scholarly monograph or scripture? These sectors are especially NOT time paced in their delivery. The scholarly monograph has a perpetual long tail, and scripture is oddly perpetual as well. Textbooks are ambivalent either inscrutable or transparent to the given student with immensely different periods of engagement. The accumulated annotation and high-lighting in used textbooks are a clue to the persistent analogue genres.
Your review is EXTREMELY helpful…I attempted to order the conference proceedings at Prairie Lights. I am still wondering about the matrix in (my) terms of resilience of book transmission or accounting for the behaviors and actions (bionics) that enable that evident, proven component of history. A synopsis such as Bernstein, Masters of the Word, how media shaped history from the alphabet to the internet, Grove press, 2013 does a great job of proving the influence of the mechanism at work but still omits the power source.
I am also at least momentarily dis-conserted by an undue influence of cognitive bionics. (to explain the resilience of book transmission). I find a clue in Chartier’s hand of the author in collaboration with the mind of the printer inverting the roles usually presumed…this suggests a weaving through an ecology of behaviors and actions that I still want to grasp.
From: Roy Kenagy [email@example.com]
Sent: Thursday, April 17, 2014 11:56 PM
To: Frost, Gary
Subject: RE: confused
Hi Gary –
How Things Shape the Mind is an overview/manifesto for the embodied/extended mind hypothesis. Cognitive Life of Things collects the papers from a conference (2008, I think), with entries from key people associated with the approach, including Andy Clark, Edwin Hutchins, Charles Goodwin, Merlin Donald, Carl Knappett, and Chris Gosden. Many if not most of the papers are rehashes of points of view/research that the authors are already known for. Malafouris’s contribution, for example, is an earlier version of Chapter 7 of How Things Shape the Mind. The conference volume was edited by Malafouris and Colin Renfrew, but Renfrew doesn’t contribute a separate paper (except that he co-wrote the introduction with Malafouris – a good précis of the whole approach, incidentally).
Of the papers in Cognitive Life of Things, I’ve marked four to add to my general bibliography on the topic:
Chris Gosden, “The Death of the Mind.”
Merlin Donald, “The Exographic Revolution: Neuropsychological Sequelae.”
Charles Goodwin, “Things and Their Embodied Environments.”
Malafouris and Renfrew, “The cognitive life of things: Archaeology, material engagement and the extended mind”
The Goodwin is probably the most important for my “Many Collections Hypothesis.” What I’m calling a “collection” is roughly analogous to his concept of a “semiotic field,” and what I call “contexture” is almost exactly analogous to what he calls “contextual configuration.” I found it exhilarating to stumble across confirmation of my musings more or less by accident.
Hope this helps. ~Roy
From: Frost, Gary [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Thursday, April 17, 2014 7:07 PM
To: Roy Kenagy
I have a copy of How Things Shape the Mind, MIT, 2013 by Lambros Malfouris. The three page bibliography from you cites The Cognitive Life of Things, Cambridge, 2010. How do these relate? I also picked up Mark Johnson, The Meaning of the Body Aesthetics of Human Understanding, Chicago, 2007, and Lisa Gitelman, Paper Knowledge, Toward a Media History of Documents, Duke, 2014.