Marshall McLuhan

Marshall McLuhan

· 1964

· Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man

· Distracted by messages we don’t really need

· Come out of nowhere and just absorbing them

“Medium is not just ‘mass media’”

· Marshall McLuhan

· All these messages will make us smarter?

Medium can be

· Chair: Ira Shor talks about how the chair is a medium

o What does it tell us to do: sit down, face direction,

Medium communicates a message**

The message can distract us from the truth of what the medium does

· Give the dog a piece of meat to distract from burglary

· Big brother would give us messages from everywhere

Benedict Anderson

· “Imagined Communities” 1983

· nations developed after the fall of empires

· no “real” good way to rule people

Print capitalism- a simultaneity of past and future in an instantaneous present

· Language shared by people who would never meet

· Provided technical means for ‘re-presenting’ the kind of imagined community that is the nation

· So what?

· Printing was medium allowing people to miss the fact

· Members of smallest nation will never know most of their fellow members, meet them, or even hear of them, yet in the minda of each lives the image of their communion

Neil Postman

· 1984-1985

· lecture because of George Orwell

· “Age of Show Business” peek-a-boo culture

· pops up and present- we’re absorbed in it

· media keeps us from the facts- only a little bit of information that has absolutely no importance to our lives

· medium is the soma that keeps s from understanding what the message is doing

o “big brother doesn’t watch us, by his choice. We watch him, by ours”

· Not necessarily McLuhan vs. Postman

· Every technology has an inherent bias

o George Bernard Shaw- the lights at 42nd and Broadway mist look beautiful if you cannot read

· “There is nothing wrong with entertainment… the problems come when we try to live in it” postman

*consider these texts

· network news

· documentaries like Food Inc. or Inconvenient Truth

· Facebook news feed

· Tweet

· Text message exchange between you and your parent

· New York Times

· Cosmopolitan or Maxim

When we read/write a text that relies on cyberspace…

· What is happening? (known knowns) writing “happy birthday”

· What is happening that we don’t understand? (known unknowns) how it’s sent

· What is happening that we know is happening but we choose to forget? (unknown knowns) cookies, no social interactions

· What is happening that people might be completely unaware of? (unknown unknowns)

· How are messages made more appealing?

· How are we doped (soma-fied) by new media?

· What is happening that people might by completely unaware of?