SMC219Y1 - Lecture Notes #7.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
St. Michael's College Courses
Steve Hoselton

SMC219Y1 – LECTURE NOTES October 9, 2013 Instrumentalism Opacity:  Speaks of the medium in the broadest sense, something that connects one thing to another, a person to something outside themselves  Walking is a medium because it connects the presence of one location to another  Connects the person to the world, an extension of the world and the mind, not separate from the self o Example: the chalk becomes part of the hand and the brain when holding it  Extends the senses  The content of the message doesn't matter, the content doesn't matter in terms of the media process, a medium is still one regardless of its content  The structures imposed by the media influences what the medium is being used for  The medium controls the message  Because the medium is changing way we're communicating, the way we interact creates the rules, assumptions, limits, standards and expectations, virtually controls the communication process  Media creates and controls the message being sent o Example: using the cell phone to talk anywhere and anytime about mundane things (i.e. broccoli)  The medium sometimes becomes the messages  The medium changes our values, the way we think and expectations  We are unaware of this process, can influence us in ways that we're unclear of  When we're not aware of the influences, we become pawns and tools of technology Differences between the typographical period and the electronic period:  We live in a linear society because of the way type is read, understood, organized; the norm during its time  Anything out of the norm was considered odd  In the electronic period, the message became spontaneous  In the electronic period, media is considered to be controlling its users; a Frankenstein analogy  Messages come at you instantly  The process is faster than the typographical period  Invention is emphasized more than tradition, new vs. familiar  Arranged marriages are from oral and typographical periods, there is an order, decisions are made for you; in the electronic period, people fall in love themselves, they make their own decisions; responding unconsciously to the idea based on the media of the time  Norms are being supplanted by new norms via the media Criticism: Instrumentalism:  Too much emphas
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