Medium as a living organism; a biological metaphor.
Living as manmade.
The medium as a creation.
This medium is manmade/ created by us to enhance our comprehension of the world around
This medium is an artifact for human creation.
The above are all synonyms.
These artifacts are necessary expression of our own identity. This is literary and
It’s a fundamental action that is by McLuhan and Frye.
Concerns of concerns are needs of humans to create – this is necessity/obligation for humans
to create; fundamental urge to create something
Primary concern: need to eat, drink, freedom of movement
Most common media is language.
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Ex) from Latin literature in one book by Cicero (2000 years ago): book about all the concerns
of the people that is useful for mankind. What do humans do useful; what we need
(food/air/water). In second part, he describes what is opposite of that is useful: called
HONEST; that which is honest. Honest for Cicero is something that is beautiful, has no
practical function; not useful for anything. In this category, which puts our best part of identity
are imaginations/ ingenuity/ craftsmanship as when you project/envision something. This
word honest remained in lit for centuries.
Dante (1265-1321): foundation of Western lit. Dante started the modern lit (MLA). Dante’s
famous poem speaks of honesty, beauty; Beatrice appears so kind and so honest. This honesty
relates to kindness.
Honest doesn’t mean someone that steals
This concept is what makes intellectual medium is made of – has no practical effects. It puts
human beings at the level that is the highest.
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The essential elements of medium (laws of any media)
(1) Law of Retrieval (starting, but not starting from nothing). Retrieval is not necessarily a
transformation, but an invention based on an idea or a need.
o Most obvious retrieval: Fashion industry; fashion back to 70s.
(2) Laws of Enhancement and (***)
o Enhancement: a new medium is constantly enhancing. We create/use/understand to
enhance, to upgrade;
o By enhancing: more notions, more impressions, more general understanding, we have
decrease in analytical understanding.
(3) Law of Reverse Soul (most dramatic).
o In Understanding the media: the extensions of man by McLuhan, is the reverse soul….
Overheated medium flips to its opposite.
Life of medium does not need to follow these laws – these are expressions.
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How long does it take for medium to live? Wh