McLuhan

Key

Terms

Media– extensions of human senses

Fragmentation– the restructuring of human work and association

Mechanization– fragmentation of any process in a series.

Etherialization -the principle of progressive simplification and efficiency in any organization or technology.

Brief Summary

Medium is the message. Personal and social consequences result from the new scale that is introduced into our affairs by each extension of ourselves or by any technology. Through automation , the new patterns of human association tend to eliminate jobs. Positively automation creates roles for people. Fragmentation is the essence of machine technology, it restructures human work and association. The essence of automation technology is the opposite, as it is integral and decentralist. Electric light is  viewed as pure information. McLuhan used the the following example to show this;”whether or not light is being used for brain surgery or a baseball game is indifferent, as these activities are the content of the light, as they couldn’t occur without it.” According to McLuhan, the message of any medium or technology is the change of scale or pace or pattern that it introduces into human affairs. Sarnoff believed that the way media is used determines whether it is good or bad.“We are to prone to make technological instruments the scapegoats for the sins of those who wield them,” Sarnoff said.

“We are to prone to make technological instruments the scapegoats for the sins of those who wield them” David Sarnoff.

McLuhan believed that any medium has the power of imposing its own assumption on the unwary. Ultimately, McLuhan viewed technological media as a natural resource, just like coal and cotton, as they are “fixed charges on the physic life of a community.”  ” Every new technology creates a new environment in which men can work”         The Medium is the Massage Part 1 – Marshall McLuhan

 

Digital Writing

If a paperback book’s creating process was all done digitally is it considered digital writing? According to McLuhan that answer is yes. Applying his analogy of electric light;”whether or not light is being used for brain surgery or a baseball game is indifferent, as these activities are the content of the light, as they couldn’t occur without it,” this book can be considered digital writing. This is because the book wouldn’t exist without it.

 

 

Citation

Understanding Media: The Extension of Man New York: McGraw Hill, 1964.

4 Responses to McLuhan

  1. I find it interesting what is now being considered new media. A book that is digitally written is considered new media, but what really makes it so much different than a book that isn’t digitally written? What bridges the gap between old and new media? Does old media even exist anymore?

  2. Pingback: Replies To Classmates | Janae Cherry

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