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The Effects of McLuhan: Medium is the MessageEdit

Marshall McLuhan hailed as the "father of media"

1964 - book: "Understanding Media"
McLuhan believed media, not the information they carry, should be the focus of study: "The medium is the message."

The medium is just "mass media"

Ira Shor - 1980 - book: "Critical Teaching and Everyday Life" : Even a chair is a media, it tells us something (how to sit, direction to face, the style of our environment)

McLuhan notes that we should not let the message distract us from what the medium can do.

Benedict Anderson - 1983 - book: "Imagined Communities" : Anderson notes that the nation-state was only developed as a method of control, and that these imagined communities are socially constructed ideas.

Print capitalism developed as a method to define these communities and connect people within these imagined communities, and masks the fact that an individual in a community will never know every single person within that community.


The Effects of Neil Postman: Medium Hides the Message Edit

Neil Postman - 1985 - book:"Amusing Ourselves to Death"

As a public, we are oppressed by our addiction to amusement (much like Brave New World), and that television entertainment is out own self-medicated soma, that prevents us from understand what the message is doing.
The visual is emphasized, over the textual.
"There is nothing wrong with entertainment ... the problems come when we try to live in it."
"Every technology has an inherent bias."


New Media "Texts" We Encounter Every Day Edit

Network News

"Special Broadcasts"

Documentaries like "Food, Inc." or "Inconvenient Truth"

Your Facebook news feed

A tweet

Text message between you and a parent

NY Times

Cosmopolitan / Maxim


Writing for the InternetEdit

While writing, consider:

what is happening? (known knowns)
what is happening that we don't understand? (known unknowns)
what is happening that we know is happening, but we choose to forget? (unknown knowns)
what is happening that we are completely unaware of? (unknown unknown)

How are messages made more appealing?

How are we doped by new media?

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