Articles[ edit ] "The Analogical Mirrors". The Kenyon Review, Vol. The Sewanee Review, Vol. The Classical Journal, Vol. Connolly and Mr.

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His interest in the critical study of popular culture was influenced by the book Culture and Environment by F. Like his book The Gutenberg Galaxy, The Mechanical Bride is composed of a number of short essays that may be read in any order—what he styled the "mosaic approach" to writing a book.

The analyses bear on aesthetic considerations as well as on the implications behind the imagery and text. McLuhan chose the ads and articles included in his book not only to draw attention to their symbolism and their implications for the corporate entities that created and disseminated them, but also to mull over what such advertising implies about the wider society at which it is aimed. Throughout the book, McLuhan takes pains to reveal how communication technology alphabetic writing, the printing press , and the electronic media affects cognitive organization, which in turn has profound ramifications for social organization It is comparable to what happens when a new note is added to a melody.

And when the sense ratios alter in any culture then what had appeared lucid before may suddenly become opaque, and what had been vague or opaque will become translucent. According to McLuhan, the invention of movable type greatly accelerated, intensified, and ultimately enabled cultural and cognitive changes that had already been taking place since the invention and implementation of the alphabet, by which McLuhan means phonemic orthography.

McLuhan is careful to distinguish the phonetic alphabet from logographic or logogramic writing systems, such as Egyptian hieroglyphs or ideograms. Quoting with approval an observation on the nature of the printed word from Prints and Visual Communication by William Ivins , McLuhan remarks: In this passage [Ivins] not only notes the ingraining of lineal, sequential habits, but, even more important, points out the visual homogenizing of experience of print culture, and the relegation of auditory and other sensuous complexity to the background.

The technology and social effects of typography incline us to abstain from noting interplay and, as it were, "formal" causality, both in our inner and external lives. Print exists by virtue of the static separation of functions and fosters a mentality that gradually resists any but a separative and compartmentalizing or specialist outlook. According to McLuhan, this advance of print technology contributed to and made possible most of the salient trends in the Modern period in the Western world : individualism , democracy , Protestantism , capitalism , and nationalism.

In this new age, humankind will move from individualism and fragmentation to a collective identity, with a "tribal base. And as our senses have gone outside us, Big Brother goes inside. So, unless aware of this dynamic, we shall at once move into a phase of panic terrors, exactly befitting a small world of tribal drums, total interdependence, and superimposed co-existence.

Terror is the normal state of any oral society, for in it everything affects everything all the time. In our long striving to recover for the Western world a unity of sensibility and of thought and feeling we have no more been prepared to accept the tribal consequences of such unity than we were ready for the fragmentation of the human psyche by print culture.

Print is the extreme phase of alphabet culture that detribalizes or decollectivizes man in the first instance. Print raises the visual features of alphabet to highest intensity of definition. Thus print carries the individuating power of the phonetic alphabet much further than manuscript culture could ever do. Print is the technology of individualism.

If men decided to modify this visual technology by an electric technology, individualism would also be modified. To raise a moral complaint about this is like cussing a buzz-saw for lopping off fingers. It is a problem, but not a moral problem; and it would be nice to clear away some of the moral fogs that surround our technologies.

It would be good for morality. For instance, McLuhan contrasts the considerable alarm and revulsion that the growing quantity of books aroused in the latter seventeenth century with the modern concern for the "end of the book".

If there can be no universal moral sentence passed on technology, McLuhan believes that "there can only be disaster arising from unawareness of the causalities and effects inherent in our technologies". Ong wrote a highly favorable review of this new book in America. It seems to me a book that somebody should have written a century ago. I wish somebody else had written it. Dismayed by the way people approached and used new media such as television, McLuhan famously argued that in the modern world "we live mythically and integrally McLuhan pointed to the light bulb as a clear demonstration of this concept.

A light bulb does not have content in the way that a newspaper has articles or a television has programs, yet it is a medium that has a social effect; that is, a light bulb enables people to create spaces during nighttime that would otherwise be enveloped by darkness. He describes the light bulb as a medium without any content.

McLuhan states that "a light bulb creates an environment by its mere presence. Some media, such as the movies, were "hot"—that is, they enhance one single sense , in this case vision , in such a manner that a person does not need to exert much effort in filling in the details of a movie image.

McLuhan contrasted this with "cool" TV, which he claimed requires more effort on the part of the viewer to determine meaning, and comics , which due to their minimal presentation of visual detail require a high degree of effort to fill in details that the cartoonist may have intended to portray.

For example, print occupies visual space, uses visual senses, but can immerse its reader. Hot media favour analytical precision, quantitative analysis and sequential ordering, as they are usually sequential, linear and logical.

They emphasize one sense for example, of sight or sound over the others. For this reason, hot media also include radio , as well as film , the lecture , and photography.

Cool media, on the other hand, are usually, but not always, those that provide little involvement with substantial stimulus. They require more active participation on the part of the user, including the perception of abstract patterning and simultaneous comprehension of all parts. Therefore, according to McLuhan cool media include television , as well as the seminar and cartoons. McLuhan describes the term "cool media" as emerging from jazz and popular music and, in this context, is used to mean "detached.

In other words, a society that appears to be actively participating in the streaming of content but not considering the effects of the tool is not allowing an "extension of ourselves. Like Eco, he is ill at ease with this reductionist approach, summarizing its ramifications as follows: The list of objections could be and has been lengthened indefinitely: confusing technology itself with its use of the media makes of the media an abstract, undifferentiated force and produces its image in an imaginary "public" for mass consumption; the magical naivete of supposed causalities turns the media into a catch-all and contagious "mana"; apocalyptic millenarianism invents the figure of a homo mass-mediaticus without ties to historical and social context, and so on.

McLuhan overemphasizes the technology behind cultural change at the expense of the usage that the messages and codes make of that technology.

Carey further this point of contention, claiming: The work of McLuhan was a particular culmination of an aesthetic theory which became, negatively, a social theory It is an apparently sophisticated technological determinism which has the significant effect of indicating a social and cultural determinism His eclectic writing style has also been praised for its postmodern sensibilities [69] and suitability for virtual space.

Near the beginning of the book, Fiore adopted a pattern in which an image demonstrating a media effect was presented with a textual synopsis on the facing page.

Finally, McLuhan described key points of change in how man has viewed the world and how these views were changed by the adoption of new media. When faced with a totally new situation we tend always to attach ourselves to the objects, to the flavor of the most recent past. We look at the present through a rear-view mirror.

We march backward into the future. Suburbia lives imaginatively in Bonanza -land. The recording consists of a pastiche of statements made by McLuhan interrupted by other speakers, including people speaking in various phonations and falsettos , discordant sounds and s incidental music in what could be considered a deliberate attempt to translate the disconnected images seen on TV into an audio format, resulting in the prevention of a connected stream of conscious thought.

Various audio recording techniques and statements are used to illustrate the relationship between spoken, literary speech and the characteristics of electronic audio media. Each "thunder" below is a character portmanteau of other words to create a statement he likens to an effect that each technology has on the society into which it is introduced. In order to glean the most understanding out of each, the reader must break the portmanteau into separate words and many of these are themselves portmanteaus of words taken from multiple languages other than English and speak them aloud for the spoken effect of each word.

There is much dispute over what each portmanteau truly denotes. McLuhan claims that the ten thunders in Wake represent different stages in the history of man: [77] Thunder 1: Paleolithic to Neolithic. From herding to harnessing animals.

Thunder 2: Clothing as weaponry. Enclosure of private parts. First social aggression. Thunder 3: Specialism. Centralism via wheel, transport, cities: civil life. Thunder 4: Markets and truck gardens. Patterns of nature submitted to greed and power.

Thunder 5: Printing. Distortion and translation of human patterns and postures and pastors. Thunder 6: Industrial Revolution. Extreme development of print process and individualism. Thunder 7: Tribal man again. All choractors end up separate, private man. Return of choric. Thunder 8: Movies. Pop art, pop Kulch via tribal radio. Wedding of sight and sound. Thunder 9: Car and Plane.

Both centralizing and decentralizing at once create cities in crisis. Speed and death. Thunder Television. Back to tribal involvement in tribal mood-mud. The last thunder is a turbulent, muddy wake, and murk of non-visual, tactile man.


Marshall McLuhan

Vilrajas This book has been subject to every possible treatment that being a part of the public library can inflict. Thanks coknterblast telling us about the problem. Small unobtrusive red smudge to front covers, otherwise a near fine copy. It could be seen as a compilation of bold headlines and it is hauntingly prescient, as this superbly reproduced facsimile of the original edition will affirm. Ccounterblast cloth with silver and purple titles on the spine.







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