Skeuonyms and Collapsitarians

Just finished Kevin Kelly’s latest book, What Technology Wants, and learned two new words/phrases.

Skeuonym – an expression left over from an older technology, no longer used. Examples include, “rewinding the tape,” “dialing the phone, “filming a movie,” or “cranking the engine.”

Anti-civilization Collapsitarian – folks like the Unabomber who view technology with suspicion and fear that mass adoption is the beginning of the end and seek to hasten the collapse of society built up around the worship of technology.

The book was thought-provoking and I’m sure I’ll be referring it to again and again. My full review here on Good Reads.

3 Replies to “Skeuonyms and Collapsitarians”

  1. “I thoroughly enjoyed Kelly’s unique perspective on technology as an extension of our bodies. ” – From Ian’s book review in Good Reads

    reminds me of a book I read 20 years back by Marshall Mcluhan – The Medium is the Message,”

    For McLuhan a medium is “any extension of ourselves”, or more broadly, “any new technology”. – Wikipedia

    Curious how is Kelly different than What Marshall said 40 years back?

    1. I believe Kelly’s phrasings owe a great deal to Mcluhan’s thesis and he references Mcluhan several times. While TV and advertising was the emergent technology of Mcluhan’s day, the internet is Kelly’s.

Leave a comment