GEOG 2040Y Lecture Notes - Lecture 20: Understanding Media, Marshall Mcluhan, Ipsos

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13 Feb 2016
GEOG-2040Y March 23, 2015
Digital Ecologies
Getting beyond the standard of a machine
Where can technology go
What are the implications
Breaking down what workers do – forced model of production
Mass production through organized assembly lines (Ford plants)
Different quality of life for the people working in the factories – dehumanizing
Popularity of car changing the landscape – roads, mass infrastructure
Freedom of the car brought a bunch of other things – strip malls, paving, etc.
Picture of the World – taken during the Apollo mission, used for the growing
environmental movement at the time for isolation of space, one planet is all we
have, drawing attention to environmental problems in the 1970s
Picture of Google Maps – for directions, zooming out and seeing anywhere in the
world, the invasiveness of this technology, does see the global through Google
Maps change the way we understand and see it?
Some Statistics
Canadians spend more time on the internet than anyone else globally
The average Canadian in 2011 spent over 40 hours a month on the Web, almost
twice the worldwide average
A 2013 survey found adult Canadians watched an average of 30 hours of
television per week
Smartphone owners admitted to Ipsos pollsters that their screen time – including
watching TV, using a computer, tablet or e-reader – was about 86 percent of their
free time, or seven hours a day
Technology and Cognition
The web has not only changed how we access information, but possibly is
changing the way we think
Marshall McLuhan in Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (1964)
proposed that media itself, not the content, was most significant – “the medium is
the message”
“We shape our tools, and thereafter our tools shape us” – Marshall McLuhan,
Understanding Media (1964)
Further, McLuhan considered all human technologies as extensions of our
physical and nervous systems to increase power and speed
Toaster the ability to taste and digestive system (increasing speed and
makes it easier)
Skype the ability to see
Phone the ability to hear better
Glasses the ability to see better, cognitive function extended
Technology assisting us
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