Thank you for your interest in the Plaza PDF Reading Group, an ongoing and open-ended discussion about culture and related forces. Details about the first text are included below.

Before diving in we would like to invite you to a ‘pre-meeting’, an opportunity to discuss what this group will be and how it should operate. This pre-meeting will be held this coming Sunday, January 24th, at 15h00. Because 6820 Marconi is in winter mode, this session will be held at Plaza Planning Department HQ, 6046 Av. Durocher, Outremont. The date and time of the first discussion will be decided then. Please let us know whether or not you are able to attend.


We begin with some observations and some questions, pretending to be observations.

  1. Culture changes.

  2. Technology changes.

  3. A principal engine for the change of culture is technology.

  4. The rate of technological change has never been greater then it is ‘right now’ (that is, at the present instant, whenever that is).

  5. It isn’t slowing down.

If the Reading Group has a prompt, it is: “What is now (as an experience), and what distinguishes it from then?” And maybe (if we’re a little ambitious): “What can we find in the experience of now, that suggests where we are going and how best we can equip ourselves to arrive there?”

And not arrive, of course, but pass through.


We desired to start this project by looking to someone who asked similar questions, and so we’ve chosen to begin not now but then, with George W.S Trow’s Within the Context of No-Context. Published in 1980, No-Context is an attempt to understand and describe the experience of now at the dawn of the 80s, and to describe the forces that differentiated that moment from the one which preceded it.

A copy of Within the Context of No-Context is available for download at

Additional Reading

  • For some biographical details on Trow, see this eulogy by Alec Wilkinson:

Thank you for your interest, and please let us know if you have any questions or input.


The Steering Committee