McLuhan Classic Assists In Understanding Media

It’s a good time to think about media. Really think about it.

Marshall McLuhan in his classic text Understanding Media explores the vessel in which a message is brought from one person to another and how that vessel has an impact all of its own.

A Hippy Classic?

Yes, undoubtedly so, but there’s a lot of powerful insight here that you won’t find anywhere else even at a university.

Think of a light bulb as a medium. It has no message but the ability to create light at will has had an enormously powerful effect on us as a species.

Then he wonders if the content involved in message transmission isn’t, in fact, all that important.

Does it really matter if children see, for example, violent content on TV? Opinions vary, obviously.

The Medium Is The Message

The idea of the medium becoming the message was found here before anyone else ever conceived of the idea.

It demonstrates how globalization has managed to steamroller so many localized sets of values and cultures without very much effort.

Terms and phrases such as “the global village” and “the medium is the message” are now part of the lexicon, and McLuhan’s theories continue to challenge our sensibilities and our assumptions about how and what we communicate.

Even in undeveloped parts of the world such as rural Cambodia, every child dreams of eating McDonald’s.

Eventually, be breaks the idea of media into two types “hot” and “cold” which are determined by the requirement for effort on the part of the consumer.

Then he breaks down every type of known media (sorry the internet’s too new) to help you see how it might impact everything else. This book will change your life.

You can find Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man by Marshall McLuhan online.

For more interesting books check out all our book reviews here.

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