McLuhan and the critical perspective by: Josue San Martin

McLuhan talks about how the medium is the message. McLuhan uses critical perspective as he discusses how people see the medium. McLuhan questions a commonly held assumption and is that the message is what is important rather than the medium. On one side McLuhan says that for most people the medium is what transports the message and what is important is what the message says. On the other side McLuhan said that what matters is how the medium changes the human environment. For most people, they only care about what the message says but do not fully understand how the medium is slowly changing the lifestyle of society. McLuhan does not minimize the importance of the content but rather says the content plays a different role. McLuhan expands the bounds by giving an example for this debate. Hitler giving speeches and lectures, with the invention of radio the message was going across the nation. The message is important but if there were not medium the nation would probably would not hear what Hitler said but only a small portion of it. Showing the importance that the medium had and how was changing human environment.

McLuhan was definitely trying to tell society how the medium could help them in the future. By giving the examples of phonetic alphabet, movable type in the 16th century and the telegraph. How phonetic literary made humans go from a tribe to a civilized community. Modern industrialism would not be possible and how phonetic literacy and the printing press made it possible. McLuhan was telling them that these mediums changed the human environment and how human have the ability to keep changing it. McLuhan wanted the educational establishments to be aware that there is an electric culture so the “TV child” could be help to his educational environment.

As stated earlier, McLuhan uses critical perspective when talking about the medium. McLuhan said “All media are extensions of some human faculty- psychic, or physical”. For example, the invention of the wheel is an extension of the foot, the book is an extension of the eye, the electric media is an extension of the nervous system. By McLuhan thinking, the extension helps human’s society for the best. For McLuhan what you text is not important, what is important is that everyone that can see the text has a device that allows them to see it. What matters is not the message the world can see but that the world is able to see it regardless of where the individual lives. McLuhan thinks that the medium is the message and how the medium changes human environment, he utilizes the example of the radio and Hitler, he shows how the medium can change the impact of the message on a nation. With the existence of the internet the thinking of McLuhan is accurate. Society now is different as how it was before thanks to the internet. The internet changed human’s lifestyle. The medium changed human environment and keeps changing it.

You demonstrated your understanding of McLuhan with organized writing and good examples. Please be sure to use only formal, academic writing.

Individual Assignment 2 – Pedro Almeyda

McLuhan displayed his belief for the medium is the message in a variety of methods by predicting how society would consume media in the future. Though many were skeptical, in his 1969 interview with Playboy, he goes into detail explaining exactly what he means. By stating that the medium is the message, McLuhan has the opportunity to explain how past innovative technology, such as Typography, has changed how media is delivered: “The most important quality of print is its repeatability; it is a visual statement that can be reproduced indefinitely”. For McLuhan, this technology acted as a betterment for society due to the fact that audiences could now be up to date with current event news faster thanks to the mass production if print. 

McLuhan also challenges certain held assumptions, such as the idea that the content itself is the message, rather than the medium. He makes the case by detailing exactly how the medium has the power to influence the content that is being delivered. this is good  McLuhan doesn’t necessarily state that content plays no role, he just means that the source of the content itself has a higher level of influence. “Because unlike previous environmental changes, the electric media constitute a total and near-instantaneous trans- formation of culture, values and attitudes”. McLuhan uses critical perspective to analyze exactly how different cultures perceive the meaning of the individual message depending on their backgrounds, values and time. Specifically, he argues how messages were perceived and conveyed back in the day compared to today. Prior to the invention of the alphabet, man lived in a world where all the senses in which they conveyed content was neutral. “The primary medium of communication was speech, and thus no man knew appreciably more or less than any other”. Today we are able to analyze and make our own image of the message depending on how exactly it is delivered to us. McLuhan brings up television as an example of a new, modern world invention, that transforms how we perceive these messages. McLuhan opens up the bounds of debate by using ‘low’ and ‘high’ definition to measure precisely how the content behind each message speaks to us, and whether or not it plays a valid role in today’s’ society. High/hot definition referring to low audience participation, where the viewer does not actively shape the image that they are seeing and thus, not creating a full sense of understanding. This is because the information is being fed directly to the mind of the audience. Whereas low/cool definition requires more of an input from the user, allowing little influence from the source of the message.  “This is, of course, just one more reason why the medium is the message, rather than the content; it is the participatory nature of the TV experience itself that is important, rather than the content of the particular TV image that is being invisibly and indelibly inscribed on our skins.”

you need to break this up into paragraphs, but you did a goo job of analysis.

McLuhan and the Critical Perspective: Veronica Martinez, Team #5

Canadian professor, Marshall McLuhan, demonstrates his use of critical perspective and a series of detailed observations on how media has revolutionized society, leading to the creation of the notorious phrase, “the medium is the message.”  excellent thesis!

McLuhan sufficiently questions commonly held assumptions while applying critical perspective in his 1969 interview with Playboy Magazine and his published book from 1964, Understanding Media. For McLuhan, what’s most important is not the content of the message but more, how men communicate with one another over time. Societies change throughout the evolution of media, not by the subject that is being delivered directly from the media. All media, from the phonetic alphabet to television and computers, have caused deep and lasting changes that have transformed the environment we live in, not the subject that was perceived by individuals at the time throughout those mediums. With this observation, McLuhan questions the commonly held assumption that what is important is the content and not the media that it is being delivered from. 

Although McLuhan believed that medium is the message, society, on the other hand, did not necessarily agree with this concept. He expanded the bounds of debate by introducing his idea that the medium itself is more influential and significant than the content that it provides. McLuhan states that, “The content or message of any particular medium has about as much importance as the stenciling on the casing of an atomic bomb.” In his interview with Playboy Magazine, McLuhan suggests that all technology has the property of the Midas touch. When society develops a new sense of itself, all other functions throughout society adapt and begin to accommodate its new form. This example illustrates a vital point that new technology and media revolutionizes, the content or message does not. Only by standing aside from any phenomenon, or in this case, new technology, to re-evaluate how it has impacted the current environment, can one discover and make sense of its true purpose. 

Aside from questioning commonly held assumptions and expanding the bounds of debate, McLuhan also aims for the betterment of society. The Canadian professor was always stimulating society to become more aware of what is happening around them throughout the environment. “…man must, as a simple survival strategy, become aware of what is happening to him,” McLuhan said. If we can fully comprehend the transformations generated by media, we can easily control them, but, if society continues in a media-induced trance, we will be held captive to its power. By sharing his observations and ideas, McLuhan allows society to view how medium can function through a new perspective.

In summary, Marshall McLuhan demonstrates his use of critical perspective throughout his observations on how media shapes mankind and the role it plays in society. His idea of how medium is the message allowed him to question commonly held assumptions viewed by the public in his findings, expand the bounds of debate for media’s purpose and aim for the betterment of society to allow mankind to evolve gracefully. 

Dane Witter Assignment 2:Rhetorical Analysis (TEAM 05)

In his 1969 Playboy Interview, McLuhan emphasizes the concept of the medium is the message. In  using the critical perspective and emphasizing the medium is the message, McLuhan questions commonly held assumptions, expands the bounds of debate, and aims for the betterment of society. good thesis

McLuhan questions the commonly held assumption that when a message is transmitted that an understanding of its content is what is needed to be grasped. McLuhan opposes this by claiming the medium is the message. He expands on this by saying , “ our survival, and at the very least our comfort, and happiness is predicated on understanding the nature of our new environment, because unlike previous environmental changes, the electric media constitute a total and near-instantaneous transformation of culture, values and attitudes.” Thus, McLuhan warns his audience that the mediums of electronic media are rapidly changing our culture, unprecedentedly changing them so rapidly that humans cannot catch up with the newest forms of culture. In turn, in order to prevent stressing ourselves, we continue to use the media blindly understanding their messages, but maintaining ignorance of the ulterior motives of its mediums. great analysis

McLuhan expands on the bounds of debate by presenting that “all media are extensions of man that cause deep and lasting changes in him and transform his environment.”  For example, he explains “when human partake in the receival of media their central nervous system appears to institute a self-protective numbing of the affected area, insulating and anesthetizing it from conscious awareness of what’s happening to it.” Therefore, it is because of the makeup of our human psychology that humans become ignorant to the agendas being pushed by the sources of the media because of the hypnosis that it causes,even though they may understand the content of the media.In turn, we as mass consumers of media should take heed to McLuhan’s warning and be wary in consuming media because as we partake, pushed agendas will continue to affect us while many are  oblivious of the possible implications. well stated

McLuhan aims for the betterment of society when he addresses how the nature of the current educational system is not suited to educate the television generation. He asserts that, “the mosaic image of the TV screen generates a depth-involving nowness and simultaneity in the lives of children that makes them scorn the distant visualized goals of traditional education as unreal, irrelevant and puerile and too much to learn by the traditional analytic methods.” Thus, it is because television that students are shaped to require rapid and concurrent distribution of information which has made the current education system outdated as it cannot provide such . In turn, McLuhan calls for the betterment of society by means of changing the way we educate our youth because they need a system that  caters to their need of relevance of information and based on sound analysis rather than memorization and recall.

In summation, McLuhan successfully embodies the principles of critical perspective as he questions commonly held assumptions, expands the bounds of debate, and aims for the betterment of society while incorporating  that the medium is the message.

Excellent. You do not need to start your statements with “thus”.

Nathaniel Cuevas Team 5- Assignment 2

Thesis Statement: Marshall McLuhan uses his critical perspective and utilizes it to present that the medium is the message.

McLuhan shares his theories about how the media impacts a man and society. Shared by McLuhan himself, from his playboy interview, has expressed how the medium itself that is the message, but not the content. In other words, the medium has a big influence on man and society due to the way we receive and perceive information. They way man receives the information is more important than the actual message itself.

Due to the media, from phonetic alphabet to the computer, the extensions of man causes lasting changes in him and his environment, stated by McLuhan. McLuhan shares that the form of self-hypnosis called, Narcissus narcosis, is where a man remains unaware of the psychic and social effects of his new technology. Due to a new media being induced an environment then becomes persuasive and our sensory balance becomes invisible. This lets people tend to get stuck with the current stage of technology.

The comfort and happiness for people as stated from the interview is understanding the nature of a new environment. McLuhan expands on this by expressing unlike previous environmental changes, the electric media constitute to to a transformation towards culture, values, and attitudes.

In a way questioning the betterment to society, McLuhan mentions the struggle to keeping up with current stage technology within the education system. Education should be helping the youth adapt to the constant change and revolutionary new environments. The education system shares the past values and past technologies till the old generation give up the power. There could be a creative blend between the new era and old era to help the adjustment to the educational environment.

In conclusion Marshall McLuhan used his critical perspective to showcase how the medium is the message. He shares how the media has impacted our society and how a man can get trapped in their current stage of technology. This then affects the kids and the education system and technology continues to grow, change, and expand.

Concise, well-organized and informative. I was looking for information on expanding the bounds of debate, as well. Be sure to proofread and make sure the grammar and flow of your writing works.


Marshall McLuhan is best known for saying that the medium is the message. When he says this, he means that all media are extensions of some human faculty- psychic, or physical. For instance, the wheel is an extension of the foot. The book is an extension of the eye, and clothing is an extension of the skin. Electric media is an extension of the nervous system. McLuhan uses the critical perspective in his thinking by answering thoroughly, the commonly held assumptions rather than questioning them. I  understand the point you’re making but he does question commonly held assumptions. He does so, to help us better understand his radically different perspective. He also expands the bound of debate and aims for the betterment of society.

In McLuhan’s interview from Playboy (1969), the interviewer asked questions regarding McLuhan’s view and the questions and answers flowed back and forth. The interviewer, in some of his questions was the one to assume. But McLuhan stayed true on his perspective. McLuhan believes that all media, in and of themselves and regardless of the messages they communicate, exert a compelling influence on man and society. And as we learned repeatedly in class, the medium is the message. good. I hope I didn’t repeat myself too much…

 McLuhan expands this debate by evoking (? this word doesn’t work here) us to think critically when he compares us and media, with fish in water. The water is best described as the media, which is all around us. We’re so used to it, we don’t even notice it. To go more in depth about this, McLuhan also mentions in his interview that Narcissus narcosis, a syndrome, is when man remains as unaware of the psychic and social effects of his new technology, as a fish in the water it swims in. As a result, precisely at the point where a new media-induced environment becomes all pervasive and transmogrifies our sensory balance, it also becomes invisible. Man must become more aware of what’s happening to him and the fact that he not doesn’t is why McLuhan describes this age of electronics as the “age of anxiety.” great analysis

But most people are still oblivious of what the media does to them; unaware that because of their pervasive effects on man, it is the medium itself that is the message, not the content. The medium is the message, and as McLuhan says, it saturates, molds and transforms every sense.  Societies have always been shaped more by the nature of the media with which men communicate than by the content of the communication.

In the past, the effects of media were experienced more gradually, allowing the individual and society to absorb and cushion their impact to some degree. Today, McLuhan believes that our survival, comfort and happiness, is predicated on understanding the nature of our new environment. The electric media constitutes a total and instantaneous transformation of culture, values and attitudes. If we understand the revolutionary transformations caused by new media, we can anticipate and control them; but if we continue in this trace, we will be their slaves. With this, McLuhan makes his stance on aiming towards the betterment of society.

Quincy Hicks: Assignment 2 McLuhan Team 4

Marshall McLuhan uses critical perspective to present that medium is the message. Medium is the message is a quote that McLuhan is known for and it means that the content of the media does not matter but the way that it is delivered (ie. media, post office, etc) is more important to the environment. To confirm that he did you (three questions need to be answered rather than using “you have to”) have to answer 3 critical questions: Does McLuhan question commonly held assumptions, did he expand the bounds of debate and did he aim for the betterment of society? you are restating the assignment guidelines in your thesis statement, which is unnecessary.

In the playboy interview, McLuhan states, “As an investigator, I have no fixed point of view, no commitment to any theory-my own or anyone else’s.” From the statement you can get the sense the he question commonly held assumptions even assumptions he has come to himself. McLuhan questions commonly held in the playboy interview, he questioned the idea of caring more about the message than the medium or how the message is delivered. McLuhan feels that “content plays a subordinate role to the message” which is opposite of the assumption especially in this day in age with a lot of social media where in which content gets the headlines. this is very well stated.

He expands bounds of debates. An example is when he says, “An environment becomes fully visible only when it has superseded by a new environment. We are always one step behind. We tend to make the old environment more visible.” Most don’t think like this because they feel like we as the United States are ahead in some ways when it comes to technology which would expand bounds of debate. Also, his beliefs in firearms that were highlighted in the lectures shows that the way they are used questions commonly held assumptions and expands areas of debate. In the interview from Playboy, he expands the bounds of debate by analyzing and comparing the phonetic alphabet of thousands of years ago to Africa in recent years; he explains that artists are better at understanding changes than scientists because they are more open to it.

Lastly, McLuhan somewhat aimed for the betterment of society. McLuhan’s didn’t simply want  to aim for a betterment for society but more at what he describes as needling the somnambulists making people aware of what is going on around them especially when it comes to the media. As he says the old education system is not good for the first TV generation which means that their needs to be a better educational system for the future generations changing from a broken system. Thats why he points out that we first have to recognize “we are doing the wrong way before we do the right way”. Also going back to the firearm debate, McLuhan doesn’t judge if the firearms are good or bad but the way in which it used determine its value.

great grasp of the material!