McLuhan

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.