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On this episode of Spark: Digital Impermanence, Pervasive Computing, and McLuhan Today. Click below to listen to the whole show, or download the MP3 (runs 54:00).

You can also listen to individual stories below.

Why The Medium is Still The Message

Photo by akaalias

This year marks the centenary of Marshall McLuhan’s birth – on July 21, 1911 in Edmonton. It’s a big deal, with all kinds of events planned in Canada and abroad. Here at Spark, we’re going to host our own McLuhan Fest, because whether you see McLuhan as a folk hero, an academic, a hippie prophet, or a Canadian icon, what he had to say about media more than 40 years ago shines light on today’s digital world. Eric McLuhan is a lecturer and author and for many years worked closely with his father researching media and communications theory. Published posthumously in 1988 by Eric, Laws of Media brought together McLuhan’s ideas as a tetrad of media effects, four laws of media we’ll explore over the next four weeks on Spark. To start it all off, here is Nora’s conversation with Eric McLuhan. (Runs 11:52)

[Audio clip: view full post to listen]

Eric McLuhanMcLuhan100McLuhan GalaxyThe Evolution of Humans and Technology

Photo courtesy of Palgrave MacMillan

Thinking about the effect of media and technology on our lives and reflecting on its future impact has lead us to an unusual place – archeology. In his recent book The Artificial Ape Timothy Taylor argues a challenging new theory – that the very appearance of humans is a result of early technology. As he tells Nora, we didn’t make the tools, the tools made us. Whoa, man. (Runs 11:00)

[Audio clip: view full post to listen]

Timothy TaylorThe Artificial ApeFull uncut version of interview with Timothy TaylorThe Networked City

Photo by SPDP

A few weeks ago on Spark, we talked about the idea of cognitive cities and the ways that urban planners are thinking about using our data trails to create better infrastructure. A leader in the field is Adam Greenfield. Adam is founder and managing director of the urban-systems design practice Urbanscale and he spoke to Nora about the future of the networked city, and its relationship with our everyday lives. (Runs 12:05)

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Adam GreenfieldUrbanscaleFull uncut version of interview with Adam GreenfieldSpark Blog: cognitive cities item that includes Adam GreenfieldThe YouTube Trapper and The Idea of Digital Impermanence

Photo by Zengame

A few weeks ago, Google Video sent out a notice stating they were shutting down, and videos would have to be downloaded to your home computer, or migrated to YouTube. Earlier in the year Yahoo Video removed all user-generated uploads from its site and Cisco announced its FlipShare video sharing service would not be supported come the end of 2013. These stories seem to suggest the web isn’t as permanent as we’re often led to believe. For his perspective on online video and digital heritage, Nora spoke with archivist, technology historian, and filmmaker Jason Scott. But first, CBC Producer Philippe Morin brings us the story of the YouTube trapper, a young man who lives, hunts and traps in the wilderness outside Hay River, Northwest Territories, and he uses his own YouTube channel The Wild North, to teach his skills. (Runs 11:33)

[Audio clip: view full post to listen]

The Wild North – Andrew’s YouTube channelJason ScottYouTube Blog: An update on Google Video – Finding an easier way to migrate Google Video content to YouTubeFull uncut version of interview with Jason ScottAdditional LinksSpark Blog: Derek K. MillerAPM music used in this episodeSpark’s McLuhan Audio TourSpark Podcast

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