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!

Daniella Alfonso Team 4- Assignment #2

Marshall McLuhan’s ideas can be quite difficult to understand and they have also been hailed at being quite revolutionary. Many people have also highly debated his ideas and have been extremely critical of them. In this regard, we find that one of the ideas that McLuhan presented was that “the message is the medium.” This goes against the conventions because of how it was otherwise widely believed and depicted that the medium was the message. The main idea behind this statement was that McLuhan said that it was not the content of the message that was the most important part of communication but rather the medium that was being used for it that was the most important part.

            It has to be noted that McLuhan held a very critical view of the various different aspects of the media. For instance, he said that it was only after the printing press was invented that the world was able to change dramatically and that there were many different shifts in people’s behaviors and actions. He also talked about how phonetic literacy came to the masses through the use of the printing press and this was something that resulted in the world shifting quite drastically as well. According to McLuhan, the media can be said to be an extension of human beings and it is impossible to separate the media from the person. McLuhan also talked about how it was important for all of us to look at how we are all consuming our media. He compared human beings and media with an analogy of fish in the water. People tend to be surrounded by technology and media and we do not question much of it. We all tend to get completely consumed by the newest technology and we do not seem to think much of it, getting engrossed in it. However, McLuhan talks about how it is important that people stop and think about such aspects of their usage and to question why they are doing what they are doing.

            In his arguments, McLuhan uses the critical perspective as well to promote his idea about the medium being the message. McLuhan talks about how the medium is something that has a lot of impact and influence on the society with regards to how human beings tend to look at information. The way that we receive such information is much more important than the information that we receive. One prime example these days can be said to be the “fake news” that we tend to hear about so often. Many people have been duped into believing that a piece of news is true simply because they have seen it appear on such platforms as Facebook and Twitter in written form and it appears to be legitimate to the readers. The main reason for that is that people are used to believing in information that they see written in a formal manner. This is why many people get conned into thinking that a news item is right simply because it has been presented as such. This is something that lends credence to McLuhan’s claim that the medium is the message.

            In conclusion, it can be said that McLuhan presents some very interesting ideas about the medium being the message. He wants to aim for the betterment of the society by encouraging people to be much more mindful of the information that they consume and to question whatever it is that they read. This is something that is important for the people because otherwise they would get trapped into thinking that a piece of information is correct when it might not be.

You covered the concepts from McLuhan very well with detail. You could work on your writing structurally, although some of it is quite good. I didn’t see a thesis statement here.


Assignment #2 McLuhan and the Critical Perspective By:Nicole Crousillat

Thesis: McLuhan uses critical perspective by pointing out that we are moving away from the “Renaissance age” into this new “electronic age”. (We actually moved away from that hundreds of years years ago btw) By immersing ourselves with the rapid movement of information that we receive thru THROUGH technology we enable ourselves to connect with all of mankind as a whole, this concept ties into what he called a global village. good

McLuhan in “Understanding Media” Chapter 18, describes how society is changing from a “Renaissance” man to an “Electronic” man.  He mentions how society would receive their information from books before to now before to now is not correct relying on appliances to receive this information instantaneously. The roles of books are now changing, everything is happening now at once. By talking about these concepts, McLuhan emphasizes how electricity now challenges our fragmented individualism. The reason this challenge was thought of is because electronic media points to the tribal man and away from the individual man.  

McLuhan questions held assumptions such as readers who question the development of printing as a factor responsible for nationalism and industrialism.  In McLuhan’s interview with Playboy he mentions how “print demanded both personal fragmentation and social uniformity”. Print opened the door to mass production of literature and the actual mechanical component of this machine influenced industrialism like the assembly line. In a way this introduced the beginning of print technology. As technology advances and the modern era is introduced electronic media such as the television emerges. good

McLuhan expands the bounds of debate when he speaks about the importance of understanding the new society that is developing due to the new instant electronic communications movement. He claims through this movement there won’t be absolute freedom but that this global village will be less restrictive and there would be more room for creative diversity. The electronic media creates a space where individuals can say their popular opinions on things such as elections. The emergence of this era destroys and replaces old traditional values, attitudes and institutions. great analysis and writing here

McLuhan described how electric technology has contracted the globe into a village because of the instantaneous movement of information connecting everyone. He reiterates that we must become “masters” and not “servants” of these changes. Learning and mastering the use of these technologies we are in control of these evolutionary changes. The electronic media such as the computer, can be used to optimize human awareness by programing societies in a beneficial way. By using all senses, we can program societies through these electronic methods because the people using these methods would absorb an extension of themselves upon using the electronic media.

The global village aims for the betterment of society because it helps in bringing a collective effort from everyone to make environmental changes which has more of an impact than attempting a change on an individual basis. McLuhan’s concept of a “global village” has especially come into effect after his death with the internet being discovered in 1989. By having the internet, websites such as Twitter have been created and this has collectively united the globe as one to bring awareness to important issues which involve politics, abuse and major social justice movements from around the world instantaneously.


You went into great detail about the concepts covered in the McLuhan readings and it shows.

Ortega Emily Team #4 Assignment 2

Marshall McLuhan uses all aspects of critical perspective to explain his theory that the medium is the message.

According to McLuhan, the way we receive information is more important than the information itself. It is not that the content is not relevant at all, but it is definitely the only aspect that matters. The medium can alter how we perceive information, making it the most important factor.

He questions commonly held assumptions by suggesting that because we choose to focus only on the content of the message instead of the medium, it makes it hard for us to realize the real impact that technology is having on man. He also states that if we continue down this path, it will become increasingly hard for man to create revolutionary technology and reinvent himself. He’ll be stuck.

He expands the bounds of debate by discussing the impact that media and technology have on the man, and he even states that technology is an extension of our bodies. This idea was not previously studied by scholars. He says that “For the past 3500 years of the Western World, the effects on media have been systematically overlooked by social observers” making it clear that it has been a phenomenon that has been happening for years, but it has not been properly discussed. He also stresses that we need to understand this for our own survival. By introducing these new ideas, he is presenting a brand-new perspective.

He aims for the betterment of society by explaining that the modern education system is not being helpful to the youth. Instead of preparing them to face all these new challenges and environments, according to him “it is been used merely as an instrument of cultural aggression, imposing upon retribalized youth the obsolescent visual values of the dying literate age”. He implies that in order to see real changes in our society, the education system needs to be reformed. Before these changes can be made, there must be an understanding of what is wrong so we don’t make the same mistakes again.


Good job. You fully answered the assignment questions. It is perhaps a bit too straightforward and could use a bit more analysis. However, you’ve done a great job of demonstrating your grasp of the material.

Quincy Hicks Team 4 Rhetorical Analysis

Thesis Statement: Analyze Simons and Chabis’ piece “Our Memory Fails Us” for logos, pathos and ethos. Also, use Virginia’s Heffernan article “Comment is King” to see if the New York Times’ top 3 reader picks are effective. this is the objective of the assignment rather than a thesis statement which summarizes the argument you will make.

“Our Memory Fails Us” is about our memory conflicting with our mind to revert our memory to be based on our own personal experiences in that moment of thought. Ethos was found in this article when Chabis and Simons referred to Hillary Clinton, President Bush and Neil Degrasse Tyson as “smart people” giving them credibility. But at times in their lives they have forgotten important moments while speaking.good mention of rhetoric, but keep in mind you want to analyze not summarize (as much as possible).

Logos in this article was shown when talking about confidence when it comes to memory if ones is confident about remembering an event that is a good thing. But if one becomes overconfident in that memory it could lead to memory loss or a changing of the memory. Overconfidence comes from recalling thins so easy as we do in our daily ives which could lead this emotion. Another form of logos is when Dr. Neil Tyson called out President Bush for something that he didn’t recall fully about a certain Islamic statement that was made by President Bush. He got two of Mr. Bush’s speeches mixed up, but as a “good scientist” stayed open to the fact that he was wrong about his statement. This led to an apology by Tyson which showed great technique in apologizing for his lapse in memory. how is this logos (logic)? seems that you may mean ethos or credibility here.

Pathos was shown by Dr. Tyson’s emotion overshadowing his memory to recall President Bush’s speech on Islam. This occurring led to miscommunication among other things that weren’t true. In the article Chabis and Simons’ question, “Are our heroes memory made out of clay?” People we look up to are forgetting details about that are important creating a relatable emotion that ties to regular people that forget stuff to do on a daily basis.

In Heffernan’s article “Comment is King” she speaks on some commenters not having sustained analysis in their comments while criticizing the writers. She states that, “The integrity for the newspaper is being tainted by comments” not only does she give examples she also gives the usernames of some commenters. She concludes her argument by saying that, “Most commenters just want to defy the writers point” no matter the topic. But in the top 3 reader’s picks from the “Our Memory Fails Us” article in NYT that is not found in the top 3 at least. It is highlighted by a comment from Neil Degrasse Tyson among two other commenters. Tyson used other articles to stay open to other people’s ideas and the articles are cohesive with the article.  These three comments are all specific and related to the article. The second comment questions Bush’s intelligence which was spoken on in the article. The comment is backed with an article and quotes in which he thought Bush sounded dumb in his opinion. While the third stated his opinion on how he thinks honest should be looked at as that and not with malicious intent. All relate and go well with the article which makes the ranking comments effective. good grasp of Heffernan and decent rhetorical analysis (paragraph on pathos being the best). please proofread and be sure you understand what a thesis statement is in the future.


Daniella Alfonso Team 4 – Assigment #1

Thesis Statement: Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons use rhetorical devices ethos, pathos and logos in their article in The New York Times, “Why Our Memory Fails Us”, to establish their point of view and persuade readers.

Audience is the people you refer to when you write or communicate something. It is the people who is going to read your content grammar errors; that is why the tone of how you write and say things will depend on your type of audience. I believe that tone puts meaning and character to what you are trying to say and/or write and it gives it a purpose. With the help of rhetorical devices, ethos, pathos and logos, Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons wrote the article “Why Our Memory Fails Us” in The New York Times. refrain from using first person and check grammar. concise writing is crucial for short assignments. no need to define audience in three sentences.

In this article, Neil is referred to as “Dr.”, giving him more credibility because generally professional abbreviations before your name gives you a more serious image. To create their argument on the problem of relying on one’s memory, they use the rhetorical appeal logos. good!

When the authors wrote “Instead, Dr. Tyson was fooled by his faith in the accuracy of his own memory”, it introduced us to the rhetorical device pathos because of the sense of pity, letting us know that they truly rely on their audience rather than on facts and studies. Emotional appeal is used a lot in writing. Then the readers feel persuaded to change their mind so they start analyzing that memories aren’t always correct because we are constantly changing them as time goes by. The fact that they use examples and speak with authority makes a strong appeal to ethos; and the way they express themselves in their writing gives them the “credibility” as well. I think Chabris and Simons used mostly pathos to convince their audience; the tone of their writing is persuasive and clear.

In the top three Reader Picks comments, the first comment is by Keith Dow and he uses the rhetorical device logos. Dow starts off with this quote “Dr. Tyson, Mr. Bush and Mrs. Clinton are all intelligent, educated people” followed by his opinion about Bush not really being an intelligent person. Keith Dow then adds several quotes about Busch giving him even more credibility in his comment of the article.

Jacob Sommer comments that “providing people are willing to acknowledge and make whole their mistakes, we should learn to let the smaller ones’ slide”. His comment is a great appeal to ethos and pathos because you get a sense of fairness, and trustworthiness from him. In the third comment by Prometheus he uses the rhetorical device pathos by stating that the memory of George Bush is a memory that most intelligent people would love to forget, and that the authors should use another authority figure as an example to prove or make their point.

I think that the Times approach to ranking comments is very effective because it gives you credibility in your writing and it helps other readers understand the article. Plus, readers will be motivated to comment and share their thoughts on the article in a professional way since Times will be evaluating the comments.  with the exceptions mentioned above with extraneous wording and grammatical errors, this is a great first assignment. you have an understanding of the process of analyzing by applying concepts to readings.