Tag Archives: Exodus

The Tablets: Moses and McLuhan

Last week, at the CBC’s license renewal hearings before the CRTC in Ottawa, in a discussion of the relative merits of children learning from conventional TV screens and from tablets, one of the commissioners mentioned Marshall McLuhan’s writings.

Further reading:

Exodus 31:18: When the Lord finished speaking to Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave him the two tablets of the Testimony, the tablets of stone inscribed by the finger of God.

Exodus 32:16: The tablets were the work of God; the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets.

Exodus 32:19: When Moses approached the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, his anger burned and he threw the tablets out of his hands, breaking them to pieces at the foot of the mountain.

And:

McLuhan: People are beginning to understand the nature of their new technology, but not yet nearly enough of them – and not nearly well enough. Most people still cling to what I call the rearview-mirror view of their world. By this I mean to say that because of the invisibility of any environment during the period of its innovation, man is only consciously aware of the environment that has preceded it; in other words, an environment becomes fully visible only when it has been superseded by a new environment; thus we are always one step behind in our view of the world. Because we are benumbed by any new technology – which in turn creates a totally new environment – we tend to make the old environment more visible; we do so by turning it into an art form and by attaching ourselves to the objects and atmosphere that characterized it.

Source: Playboy interview, 1969

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It Is Not True: Jews Have No Claim on the Pyramids

Rumours are circulating that the slaves who built the pyramids were those whom Moses liberated and led to the Promised Land.

The National Geographic denies this.

The pyramid builders, it says, were not slaves or foreigners. Excavated skeletons show that they were Egyptians who lived in villages developed and overseen by the pharaoh’s supervisors.

The builders’ villages boasted bakers, butchers, brewers, granaries, houses, cemeteries, and probably even some sorts of health-care facilities – there is evidence of laborers surviving crushed or amputated limbs. Bakeries excavated near the Great Pyramids could have produced thousands of loaves of bread every week.

Some of the builders were permanent employees of the pharaoh. Others were conscripted for a limited time from local villages. Some may have been women. Although no depictions of women builders have been found, some female skeletons show wear that suggests they labored with heavy stone for long periods of time.

It took more than manual labour, though. Architects achieved an accurate pyramid shape by running ropes from the outer corners up to the planned summit, to make sure the stones were positioned correctly. And priests-astronomers helped choose the pyramid sites and orientations, so that they would be on the appropriate axis in relation to sacred constellations.

From stone pusher to priest, every worker would likely have recognized his or her role in continuing the life-and-death cycle of the pharaohs and, thereby, in perpetuating the glory of Egypt.