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Back to Cyber Terminology Notes 1/3 KL

Writing and Media
Marshall-mcluhan1
  • Marshall McLuhan
    • 1964, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man
  • Medium is not just “mass media”
    • Ira Shor (87) : Critical Teaching and Everyday life
    • Your chair- what does it tell you? What is the college trying to tell you about the chairs they bought for your classroom? Lazy boy vs wooden chair
  • The message can distract us from the truth of what the medium does
    • McLuhan- Burglar who gives a dog a piece of meat so the dog won’t try to stop the burglar from robbing the owners
    • Ruled by Big Brother. Watch and listen to Wizard of Oz, and not remember to look behind the curtain
  • Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities 1983
  • Nationality- ideology that emerged to reinforce the power structures as empire and religious structures
  • Print Capitalism “simultaneity of past and future in an instantaneous present”
    • newspaper provided technical means for representing the kind of imagined community that is the nation
    • By using a community, people were linked even though they never would have been
  • So what?
    • ''Medium is the message
    • Missed the fact that they were thrown into an unnatural community.


The Medium Controls the Message

  • Neil Postman
    • 1984-1985: Amusing Ourselves to Death
    • Age of show Business and Peak-A-Boo Culture
      • Media prevents us from learning more, little view, no relevance
    • Privileges visual over textual
    • Medium is soma that keeps us from understanding what the message is doing.
      • Big Brother does not watch us, we watch him by choice
    • Not McLuhan vs. Postman.
    • Every technology has an inherent bias, need to know how to read the medium
    • Nothing wrong with entertainment, problem is when we try to live in it.

Texts to Consider*Special Broadcasts

  • Documentaries
  • News Feed
  • Tweet
  • Texting conversations
  • New York Times
  • Cosmo


Artifacts Relying on Cyberspace... Knowns and Unknowns

  • Known, Known: What is happening?
    • Its their birthday, people can see it
  • Known, Unknown: What is happening that we don’t understand?
    • Techy stuff- don’t know how our message gets to their wall
    • Their Personal Reactions to you wishing them a Happy Birthday
  • Unknown, Known: What is happening that we know is happening but we choose to forget?
    • Don’t attempt to remember people’s birthdays anymore
    • Don’t need to call them, can just post
  • Unknown, Unknown: What is happening that people are completely unaware of?


When we read/view things on cyberspace? *How are messages made more appealing?

  • How are we doped (soma-fied) by new media?
  • What is happening that people might be completely unaware of?

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