Sunday, January 11, 2009

Who in the world is Tony Schwartz?

I came across Tony Schwartz in Arthur Berger's Seeing is Believing the other day; Berger referenced Schwartz's notion of "the responsive cord" to explain what McLuhan would call "media intensification." The responsive cord seems to be that "shock of recognition" that we get when we see intertextuality and allusions at work, when we see the revisionist history, the gender, race, or class revision. Schwartz, in other words, seemed to be getting credit for a McLuhanism--S.O.P in the media analysis world.

Then I stumbled across a Twitter feed that said something like "If you like Cluetrain Manifesto, you will love Media: the Second God by Tony Schwartz. That post was followed by "McLuhan called Schwartz the "electronic guru."

So obviously I need to find out more about Schwartz, and Wikipedia gives me a nice entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Schwartz

It also reveals why I haven't heard of him; he wasn't an academic, The Responsive Cord and Media: The Second God were his only two books, and those were published in 1973 and 1982. Undoubtedly gold mines of antienvironmental insight. Stay tuned!

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