Back to the Tribe

Modern technologies can revive ancient impulses

Modernity tried to whitewash our tribal selves, to erase the vestiges of the savannah in our genome. But like graffiti in a city, our inner caveman is irrepressible. The ancient hominid self springs up unpredictably and in unexpected places. The tribe underlies the most fundamental parts of our identities, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to pin down. How far have we moved from our small bands of foragers? Digital technologies like social networking sites and cell phones return us to an age of tribal-style social immersion.

The Playboy Interview

December 24th 2009

In 1961, the name of Marshall McLuhan was unknown to everyone but his English students at the University of Toronto – and a coterie of academic admirers who followed his abstruse articles in small-circulation quarterlies. But then came two remarkable books – The Gutenberg Galaxy (1962) and Understanding Media (1964) – and the graying professor from Canada's western hinterlands soon found himself characterized by the San Francisco Chronicle as "the hottest academic property around."…

Archaeologist Finds Ruins of ‘Friendster’

Researchers conducting the Friendster excavation say the site has been deserted since the year 2005 A.D.

Wifi Dowsing Rod

Van Mensvoort
September 11th 2009

Today's technology advances so rapidly that people are often unable to update their media schemas in time and as a result are left cluelessly in awe of it all.…

To Milk the Cows, Click here

Van Mensvoort
June 15th 2010

In millions of offices and homes around the world, people are hard at work planting crops, feeding cattle and tilling their land.…

How to Grow your Own Toaster

Van Mensvoort
August 5th 2009

Now here is an experiment any one can do at home: Look around in your house and try to find a consumer product of which you know where it was made and by whom.…