samwreads's review against another edition

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4.0

Really good stuff. As a hard sciences person and newcomer to media theory, it was actually the small bits of text on infrastructural media and ablative relationships that were most interesting to me.

I was on board the whole way with Peters's premise but I do feel that a lot of his search for meaning, connections and epiphanies relies more heavily on linguistic bricolage than I am fond of. Probably need to re-read sections to critically evaluate that impression. That said there's more than enough solid work to make it worthwhile.

cemyilmaz's review against another edition

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5.0

Bought this book thinking it was an essay on media theory - was pleasantly surprised to see it was an almanac of main elements / media of fire, water, time, air. A diverse ontological study of the history, philosophy and current state of main elements that shape lives. Hard to maintain all the book reveals to us, selected anecdotes and pieces of epistemological information from 4000 BCE all the way to this decade. One can only hope to maintain some of the knowledge, and better yet, internalize a portion of it.
Half way through this book, it reminded me of something Schopenhauer has said:
“... the problem is not so much to see what nobody has yet seen, as to think what nobody has yet thought concerning that which everybody sees.”
This book will make you see the "media" around you differently.
I definitely recommend it.

nathanstrem's review

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challenging informative inspiring reflective medium-paced

4.0

wmhenrymorris's review against another edition

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This book is aimed at both media theorists/critics and the general audience who is interested in the modern condition. I doubt it satisfies either, but it's very much worth reading to see if it might satisfy you. If you're interested in science, technology, history, philosophy and theology and especially writing about all of the above that is more about making connections and be allusive and spinning metaphor and raising questions, then, yes, you very well might like it quite a bit. I did.

JDP talks about the elements (water, fire, wind) as media. And the sky and things used to explore and measure the sky. And (of course) clouds. He does so not in a way that provides a direct model for talking about media, but in a way that, as he puts it, suggests that since "media old and new are embedded in cycles of day and night, weather and climate, energy and culture" and insofar (and despite what we may think) "the digital implies basic facts of biology" (rather than being aloof from them) then "we should make a greener media studies that appreciates our long natural history of shaping and being shaped by our habitats as a process of mediation" (377).

ajschlecht's review against another edition

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Didn’t answer my question on how to become the avatar of all media. Otherwise very interesting and thought-provoking look into contemporary media studies.
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