(minor diff, author diff)
Added Changed Deleted

  • Prior major revision
  • Current Revision

    = The Laws of Media =
    Towards the end of his life, McLuhan and his son Eric embarked on a project to update the 1964 ''Understanding Media;'' the unexpected result was ''Laws of Media: The New Science'' (1988), published after McLuhan’s death (in 1980) by his son. ''Laws of Media'' seeks to answer the following questions:
    * What statements can we make about media that anyone can test--prove or disprove?
    * What do all media have in common?
    * What do they do?
    These questions resulted in the formulation of the following four laws of media:
    # '''<no>Extension/Enhancement</no>:''' Every technology extends or amplifies some organ or faculty of the user. What does the medium enhance or intensify?<p>
    # '''<no>Closure/Obsolescence</no>:''' Because there is equilibrium in sensibility, when one area of experience is heightened or intensified, another is diminished or numbed. What is pushed aside or obsolesced by the new medium?<p>
    # '''Reversal:''' Every form, pushed to the limit of its potential, reverses its characteristics.<p>
    # '''Retrieval:''' The content of any medium is an older medium.<p>
    This tetrad of the effects of technologies is not sequential, but rather simultaneous. All four aspects are inherent from the start, and all four aspects are complementary.
    == Printed Word ==
    # Amplifies private ownership, the competitive goal-oriented individual.
    # Obsolesces slang, dialects, and group identity, separates composition and performance, divorce of eye and ear.
    # Retrieves tribal elitism, charmed circle
    # With flip from manuscript into mass production via print comes the corporate reading public and the "historical sense"
    == Electric Media ==
    # Amplification of scope of simultaneity and service environment as information.
    # Obsolesces the segmented visual, connected, and logical.
    # Retrieves the subliminal, audile-tactile dialogue
    # Etherialization: the sender gets sent.
    == Telephone ==
    # Enlarges the impact and speed of the private voice.
    # Erodes the body as hardware; creates the disembodied consciousness.
    # Retrieves sense of telepathy.
    # Reverses into the party-line; omnipresence, like the conference call or teleconferencing.
    == Radio-Television ==
    # Improves simultaneous access to entire planet--everybody: "On the air you're everywhere"
    # Obsolesces wires, cables and physical bodies
    # Retrieves tribal ecological environments: echo, trauma, paranoia, and also brings back primacy of the spatial, musical, and acoustic.
    # Reverses into global village theater (Orson Welles's Invasion From Mars: no spectators, only actors).
    == Cable TV ==
    # Amplifies quality and diversity of signal pickup.
    # Obsoleces diffusion broadcasting.
    # Retrieves early transmission broadcast pattern point-to-point (ship to shore).
    # Reversal is flip to home broadcasting.
    == Teletext ==
    # Printed radio; enhances headline service, like early radio.
    # Obsolesces prolonged TV watching; viewer uses service selectively for short intervals.
    # Retrieves silent film dialogue card, pictograph or pun style; teletype format.
    # Reverses into interactive video-text; qualitative data filter, via data bank.
    == Computer ==
    # Accelerates logical sequential calculations to speed of light.
    # Erodes or bypasses mechanical processes and human logic in all sequential operations.
    # Highlights "numbers is all" philosophy, and reduces numbering to body count by touch.
    # Flips into the simultaneous from the sequential; accentuates acoustic over visual space to produce pattern recognition.
    == Global Media Networking ==
    # Instantaneous diverse media transmission on global basis; simultaneous planetary feed and counter-feed.
    # [Deoxy:videx/stupid Erodes human ability to code and decode in real time.]
    # Brings back the [Find:babel Tower of Babel]: group voice in the ether.
    # Reverses into loss of specialism; [Deoxy:audio/mcluhan_natureisover.m3u programmed earth].