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.