Anyway, here's the story. I've been working on a book, it was under deadline, I was way behind, got an extension, but still wanted even more than needed to get it done, not just for the sake of meeting the extended deadline, but for my own peace of mind. This is a book that I needed to get done. Anything else would be something I wanted to do, that would be nice to do, or good for my career, or whatever. But this is a book that, in my mind, it was necessary for me to do. It may sound morbid, but you never know when you will be called away, so to speak, and this is a book I needed to complete before going to my just desserts or wavy gravy or whatever.
And no, it's not a magnum opus, or magnum pi (π to the nth place). It's more like a manifesto maybe, or just a statement setting out some basics. Can you guess what the topic is? If you know me, you probably have, yup, it's media ecology. As you may know, I long ago said I was working on a book called Understanding Media Ecology. And I was, but other things came up, like starting up the Media Ecology Association. Later on, I was asked to write a review essay on media ecology for the Jesuit journal, Communication Research Trends, which I did, it was entitled "A Media Ecology Review," and it was quite extended, taking up the entirety of the Volume 23, Number 2 issue back in 2004. I then revised and updated that review of the literature, incorporating it into my 2006 book, Echoes and Reflections: On Media Ecology as a Field of Study.
Echoes and Reflections represented one part of what I had wanted to do in Understanding Media Ecology, and I would have moved on to the next part, but other things came up, like becoming executive director of the Institute of General Semantics, a position I held for three years before moving on. I had always considered general semantics to be part of the field of media ecology, but I developed a deeper understanding of its significance at this time, and while Neil Postman's assertion that media ecology is general semantics writ large may not have been entirely accurate, he was definitely correct in noting the strong connection between the two. During this period, I wrote a number of essays exploring general semantics and its connection to systems theory as well as media ecology, and collected them, along with a few earlier pieces, for my book published by the IGS in 2011, On the Binding Biases of Time and Other Essays on General Semantics and Media Ecology.
Two of the essays in On the Binding Biases of Time were about Neil Postman, which perhaps had something to do with an editor at the publisher Peter Lang asking if I would be willing to write a book following up on Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death. It was an offer I couldn't refuse, the result being Amazing Ourselves to Death: Neil Postman's Brave New World Revisited, published in 2014.