Admit That Byron Was No Good
March 24, 2013 4:50 PM   Subscribe

The Free Information movement as seen through Thomas Pynchon’s ‘Byron the Bulb’ story. In one sense, Byron is a tangent—a rogue sketch that found its way into [Gravity's Rainbow] perhaps because Pynchon liked it. In another sense, Byron is GR condensed to a general thesis. On what? Hell, any number of interpretations could be derived from Byron, but I like to think that it reads as revelation. And the revelation is this: from the moment homo sapiens fashioned the first tool to the moment we are finally and completely extinguished, we are fated to be governed by those who control technology. An essay from Death And Taxes mag.
posted by chavenet (5 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
There is a typo in the article, where he calls the McLuhan book "the Medium is the Message".
posted by idiopath at 5:17 PM on March 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

There is [the correction of] a typo in the article, where he calls the McLuhan book "the Medium is the Message".
The phrase was introduced in his most widely known book, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, published in 1964.[1] McLuhan proposes that a medium itself, not the content it carries, should be the focus of study. He said that a medium affects the society in which it plays a role not only by the content delivered over the medium, but also by the characteristics of the medium itself.

McLuhan frequently punned on the word "message", changing it to "mass age", "mess age", and "massage"; a later book, The Medium Is the Massage was originally to be titled The Medium is the Message, but McLuhan preferred the new title, which is said to have been a printing error.
posted by jamjam at 8:36 PM on March 24, 2013

You know nothing of my work. (This is not intended to denigrate either comment, by the way. I just saw a series of paired comments about McLuhan, and couldn't resist.)
posted by .kobayashi. at 2:55 AM on March 25, 2013 [1 favorite]

Baby Bulb Byron was the key that unlocked GR for me. It was as if (forgive me) a bulb went on over my head and I realized how profoundly silly the whole thing was.
posted by whuppy at 8:37 AM on March 25, 2013 [1 favorite]

"Information Wants To Be Free, and Code Wants To Be Wrong" is a cute variation.
posted by jeffburdges at 3:02 PM on March 25, 2013

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