Media - socially-realized structures of communication, where structures include both
technological forms and their associated protocols, and where communication is a cultural
practice, a ritualized collocation of different people on the same mental map, sharing or
engaged with popular ontologies of representation .
Progress- History shows a typical progression of information technologies, from
somebody’s hobby to somebody’s industry; from jury-rigged contraption to slick production
marvel; from a freely accessible channel to one strictly controlled by asingle corporation or
cartel—from open to closed systems. Eventually, entrepreneurs or regulators smash apart
the closed system, and the cycle begins anew.
“The wheel . . . is an extension of the foot. The book is an extension of the eye . . . clothing,
an extension of the skin . . . electric circuitry, an extension of the central nervous system.
Media, by altering the environment, evoke in us unique ratios of sense perceptions. The
extension of any one sense alters the way we think and actually the way we perceive the
- Marshal Mcluhan, The Medium is the Massage (1967)
Most scholars “emphasize the film’s paranoid dimension of social manipulation and mind
control, which connects individual anxieties about identity engulfment and transformation
through media images with political analysis that asks questions about who wields media
power and to what ends. The film’s political and social implications are also much more
serious: deep and widespread, offering a kind of postmodern paranoid model of
manipulation of helpless private individuals by predatory corporate forces under conditions
of universal technological penetration and colonization. At the same time, the protagonist’s
psyche and body become the uncontrollable landscape of transgressive sexuality, boundary-
less transformation and abjection, and murderous violence.”
William Beard, The Artist as Monster: The Cinema of David Cronenberg (2001)
Marked the separation between “transportation” and “communication”
Before telegraph, transportation and communication were synonymous; the telegraph
(including earlier line-of-sight optical forms, allowed symbols to move independently of and
faster than transport.
The telegraph helped shape a range of business practices: