Media have played a fundamental role in the emergence of modernity’s institutions and the forms of coordination on which they rely. The relationship between media (as ways of organising communications) and the possibility of society is so basic to modernity that it is often hard to see: its operations are almost entirely naturalised, and in a specific sense (to be explained later) mythified. But the key institutions of modernity (corporations and trade unions, communities and churches, civil society organisations and governments) may now be being disrupted, deranged even, by the new and distinct set of institutions that we still broadly call “media”, a possibility to which this chapter seeks to orient us. The chapter’s main title recalls sociologist John Thompson’s book The Media and Modernity (1995) which offered a definitive account of media’s contribution to modernity on the threshold of the Internet era. The chapter’s subtitle recalls an article by philosopher Donald Davidson (A Nice Derangement of Epitaphs) which offered a challenging reinterpretation of how language works through convention. My purpose here is to suggest that, under conditions of the intensified production and circulation of communication – as well as radically transformed market competition – the changing set of institutions we call “media” demand a reinterpretation of how modernity itself “works” through institutional concentration. In this way, I hope to contribute to this special issue’s “critical inventory of modernity”.