Media- Media are 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
ontology’s of representation. Lisa Gitelman, Always Already New: Media, History, and the Data of
Why is a wrist watch a form of media?
The watch: Lecture 5, February 8 -Profound changes in Understanding Space/Time
• Technological techniques such as the precise measurement of time, number and distance are
keys for manipulation and exploitation.
• Mechanical clocks appeared during the 13th century.
• It brought exact measurement and temporal control to human life, from the medieval tower
clock, to clocks on the mantel, to part of human costime(watch) from the 19th century onward.
• Punctuality then becomes a virture.
• Karl Marx: " The clock is the first automatic machine applied to practical purposes; the whole
theory of production and regualar motion was developed through it."
• Clock as archetype model of all later machines: A model of precision; an early example of the
process of miniaturization.
Marshall McLuhan’s theory “the medium is the message”
“The medium is the message” is an example of technological determinism because, McLuhan argues that
the message is the change of scale or pace or pattern" that a new invention or innovation "introduces into
human affairs." (McLuhan 8) it is not the content or use of the innovation, but the change in inter-personal
dynamics that the innovation brings with it. Therefore, by the “medium being the message” it predicts the
effects technology will have on the micro level of society and in terms of psychological influences on
individuals and their personal perception of the message through the medium.
•Eg. the message of a newscast are not the news stories themselves, but a change in the public
attitude towards crime, or the creation of a climate of fear. McLuhan message always tells us to
look beyond the obvious and seek the non-obvious changes or effects that are enabled,
enhanced, accelerated or extended by the new thing.
•All media are extensions of some human faculty- psychic or physical.
Harold Innis’s theory of time-biased and space-biased media; identify examples.
Time- based media are used in societies that are oral and tribal. There leadership often times is
hierarchical however; they can also operate by consensus. Time bound cultures do not rely on written
records instead they preserve their traditions in story, song and myth which is handed down from
generations. They believe memory to be off crucial importance and favour concrete over abstract
forms of thought.
•Clay and stone tablets
• hand-copied manuscripts on parchment or vellum
• oral (based on presence, little tangible remains after the utterance)
•emphasizes control of time