The Medium Is The Message11


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The Medium Is The Message11

  1. 1. The Medium Is the Message Media technologies, most pertinent to us, being the Internet, shape societal progression and cultural forms.
  2. 2. Media Determinism <ul><li>Media technologies are primary cause of social and historical changes </li></ul><ul><li>“ If the medium is the cause, all other causes, all that men see as history are at once reduced to the effects. What are elsewhere seen as effect are excluded as irrelevant by comparison with the direct physiological effects of media as such.” </li></ul><ul><li>Raymond Williams (1974) </li></ul>
  3. 3. Marshall McLuhan <ul><li>The Mechanical Bride (1951) </li></ul><ul><li>The Gutenberg Galaxy (1962) </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding Media (1964) </li></ul><ul><li>The Medium is the Massage: An Inventory of Effects (1967) </li></ul>The Tetrad: Means of examining effects on society of any technology. What does the medium enhance? What does the medium make obsolete? What does the medium retrieve that was obsolete earlier? What does the medium flip into when pushed?
  4. 4. Evolution from print media to the Internet: A new social structure <ul><ul><ul><li>McLuhan wrote that print media culture would be ended by &quot;electronic interdependence“. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Electronic media replaces visual culture with aural/oral culture. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>This moves from an individualist, fragmented society instigated by print media to a collective identity with a &quot;tribal&quot; base (what McLuhan coined as “the global village”) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Print is the extreme phase of alphabet culture that detribalizes or decollectivizes man in the first instance… Print is the technology of individualism. If men decided to modify this visual technology by an electric technology, individualism would also be modified” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>McLuhan </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Roles of Media? <ul><li>McLuhan presents the idea that media technologies are an extension of man. </li></ul><ul><li>- Print is an extension of the eye </li></ul><ul><li>The Internet is an extension of the brain. </li></ul>
  6. 6. The Medium as Content and the User as Content Online <ul><li>The content of any medium that takes prominence in our perception is a prior medium made un-invisible, thus content is important as a way of examining a new medium and its impact. </li></ul>The User as Content: the user serves as content, perceives content, becoming content, and creates content.
  7. 7. Content Versus Context <ul><li>Is the medium more important than the content it provides? </li></ul><ul><li>Consider the example of a light bulb . </li></ul><ul><li>It does not have any content yet it is a medium that has a social effect, creating an environment by its mere presence, making previously unusable space relevant. </li></ul>
  8. 9. The Internet <ul><li>a unique medium: encompassing all previous mediums </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitates a new “global village”. </li></ul><ul><li>Nature of networked computer communication on the Web means mass medium with one-to-many possible in addition to one-to-one communication </li></ul><ul><li>Distinct shift from one-way medium to a two-way participation. </li></ul>
  9. 10. <ul><li>McLuhan paid particular attention to the &quot;sensorium,&quot; the effects of media on our senses. </li></ul><ul><li>Media affect us by manipulating the ratio of our senses. E.g, the phonetic alphabet stresses the sense of sight, which in turn affects how we think: linearity and objectivity are the results. </li></ul><ul><li>All media have characteristics that engage the viewer: Passage in Book vs. Re-screening of movie </li></ul>In internet media, this has changed. It is multipurpose and not linear.
  10. 11. “ The Global Village” <ul><li>You-tube </li></ul><ul><li>Blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Online Print and Press </li></ul><ul><li>Networking: Facebook, Myspace </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual Reality: Still Life </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual Communications: skype, twitter, </li></ul><ul><li>Mass Encyclopedia: Wikipedia </li></ul>Internet Media is a new way for humans to exist in the world Transcending all physical barriers through systems and communication constituting a universal telegraphics, linking world language, semiotics, and inventions to a global transfiguration of the earth.
  11. 12. Internet Media Changes the world: Re-inventing old Behaviors <ul><li>Terrorism/National Security </li></ul><ul><li>Bullying (micro and macro) </li></ul><ul><li>Dating/Networking </li></ul><ul><li>Employment </li></ul><ul><li>Specialisation/De-specialisation </li></ul><ul><li>Education/Language </li></ul><ul><li>Democracy </li></ul><ul><li>Consumerism/Marketing and Advertising </li></ul><ul><li>Law/Economics </li></ul><ul><li>Ethical issues about </li></ul><ul><li>Internet Media: </li></ul><ul><li>Privacy </li></ul><ul><li>Individualism </li></ul><ul><li>Isolation </li></ul><ul><li>Equality of access </li></ul><ul><li>Crime </li></ul><ul><li>Employment </li></ul><ul><li>Commercialism/Materialism </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural Imperialism </li></ul>
  12. 13. Media as a tool? <ul><li>While it is true that media determines social and cultural shifts, we must examine its relevance in terms of who wields the power of media as a tool to determine societies future. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Who has the power to introduce a new technology have the power to create a consumer class to use technology, with new practices, relationships and identities supplanting the old.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Those with the wherewithal to implement new technologies often molded society to match the needs of emerging technologies and organizations” </li></ul><ul><li>Langdon Winner </li></ul>
  13. 14. Getting the Brain Juices flowing.. <ul><li>Can social environment be a type of technological innovation? </li></ul><ul><li>Is linked text on a computer screen different than unlinked text on a printed page? Is the medium therefore the message? </li></ul>
  14. 15. Some useful URL’s <ul><li> - Media Determinism in Cyberspace </li></ul><ul><li> Marshall McLuhan, the man and his message </li></ul><ul><li> Welcome to Cyberia: Notes on the Anthropology of Cyberculture </li></ul><ul><li> - Understand Media </li></ul><ul><li> - The Medium is the Message </li></ul><ul><li> - the tetrad concept explained. </li></ul><ul><li> - Old Messengers, New media </li></ul>