Notes on Canadian Medium Theory.docx

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Media, Information and Technoculture
Media, Information and Technoculture 2200F/G
Alison Hearn

WEEK 6 CANADIAN MEDIUM THEORYA Plea for TimeHarold InnisThe Bias of CommunicationAlexander John WatsonHarold Adams Innis Volunteered for the army in 1916 Worked on communications Hones his focus on power empire and communications Attempted to write a history of the world through the lens of the materiality of technology and communications media A combination of a theory of culture and a theory of technology Motivated by a desire to intervene in a world he saw as highly unstable centralized presentminded that has lost a sense of history traditions rituals and broader cultural values Wrote on the history of the fur trade and relations with the First Nations What we come to understand as Canadaits roads railways water routeswere dictated by the resource demands of the empire elsewhere The Staples ThesisCanadas economy is governed by the production of one specific resource fur cod pulp paper oil etc exploited and extracted by the technologies and interests foreign to those who live here As a result Canada will always be an unstable and dependent nation on the periphery of the main powers and dedicated to the maintenance and continued exploitability of her natural resources Each staple is a medium of communicationTheformalstructuresandmaterialrealitiesofdifferentmediaofcommunicationininteractionwiththeirsocialpoliticaleconomiccontextworktoshapeorinfluencehowwethinkhowwelearnwhatwethinkofasknowledgehowpoweroperat
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