Medium theory or media ecology
Argued that there is a decisive relationship between social and cultural
processes and communication media such that one can best understand the
social and psychological characteristics of an age by looking closely at its
dominant forms of media. Mcluhan saw history in terms of the tribal age, literate
age, the print age and the electronic age.
The study of media and the study of the way the media creates an ecological
Interdepence is mutual
Sees the world, not as it is but as it will be
Instead of trending towards a vast Alexandrian library, the world has come a
computer, an electronic brain, exactly as an infantile piece of science fiction,. As
our senses have gone outside us, big brother goes inside. So unless aware of
this dynamic, we shall at once move into a phase of panic terros, exactly befitting
a small world of tribal drums, total interdepence and superimposed coexistence.
Marshall mcluhan, by douglas coupland
1962 before the internet was invented.
In our society truth is what is written down
The mechanical bride: folklore of industrial man
Concerned with the pressures set up around us today by mechanical agencies of
the press, radio, movies and advertising.
Neil postman: to a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail
Marshall mcluhan: we shape our tools and afterwards out tools shape us
As we invent things, they shape the way we think and the way we perceive things.
Literacy has many social, political, implications Modern media: the television is important but the content is irrelevant.
The medium is the message
Understanding media the extensions of man
I don’t have theories, I have probes, not concepts but percepts
starts by introducing an idea (1 chapter)
short chapters of popular culture
connects it back to the 1 chapter.
Rapidly we approach the final phase of the extensions of man.
We are rapidly approaching the point at which human consciousness will
somehow fuse into a larger, disembodied form of collective wisdom (the
internet?) and thus complete a process that started eons ago when the first
rudimentary technologies were created. But he had no verifying ideas that
showed this was possible.
Percepts short for perception or probes
Means he doesn’t really develop a full blown theory of the media and technology
as he probes his subjects, first pushing forward into one area by drawing an
interesting connection then quickly moving into another field again with a