Monday, May 26, 2008

McLuhan, The Medium is the Massage, notes

  • pg 22: "the mass audience can be used as a creative, participating force." I guess reality TV is the lowest common denominator of this phenomenon. Does Youtube represent this? or is all Web 2.0 a step further than he imagined?
  • pg 22: Interesting that he sees television as participatory. Now it's seen as a passive activity.
  • pg 41: "Electric circuitry is an extension of the central nervous system." And then, when the reach of any one of our senses change, we change. Maybe robotics is interesting because of this, an extension of our senses that changes what and how we can perceive. If you can make and program something to gather data or send a message, you not only gain control in the world, but have special knowledge of how to see things in a new way.
  • Also, re: electrical circuitry, is blogging an extension of self? and with so many doing it is this a new mass participation in this global village? But one problem is blogging does not help one understand the circuitry at all, it's still magic, like HTML was in the beginning.
  • First was oral literacy, then print literacy, now what?
  • pg. 117: We are visually biased.
  • pg. 125: He says "Television completes the cycle of the human sensorium." He says it abolishes writing, and therefore, I think, the linear thought of the printed word. If we extend the medium of television to include web browsing, maybe we have a key to why people have such a hard time following textual directions on web sites. With such an overwhelmingly visual medium people turn off their linear, textual thought processes. So often I have to help teachers simple read instructions on the page in front of them when they are trying to complete tasks. What would be a more effective way to communicate instructions?

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