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  Critical Comments 


"This companion to McGaughey's earlier book, Five Epochs of Civilization (2000), is a meticulously researched discussion of the fundamental values of what he calls our "electronic civilization" and how those values afect the way we behave and communicate. We are, he observes, moving from a primarily literate culture, based on the communication of ideas through readable text, into an electronic culture that requires and values different communication skills. In the new culture, performance is the organ of communication and we tend to value whatever creates a good performance. The principle underlying all 'good' performances is rhythm, which, McGaughey says, involves focusing the mind on some object outside of itself so as to avoid the inhibitions of self-consciousness. This is an intelligent and fascinating book, with tasteful illustrations and an elucidating appendix that offers a bird's-eye view of our current culture by placing it within a clear, progressive historical context. The reader is given a unique treatise on the nature of rhythm and its emergence as a cultural force." JA in NAPRA REVIEWS, Nov/ Dec 2001

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