Extending Marshall McLuhan – Second Edition
Appendix. McLuhan’s Methodology: There Was Method in His Madness
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McLuhan’s Methodology: There Was Method in His Madness
This Appendix provides the reader with a detailed discussion of each of the 38 elements of McLuhan’s methodology as outlined in Chapter 2.
A.1 The Equivalence of Media and Technologies
Although McLuhan (1964) called his book Understanding Media and he analyzed many different media ranging from the spoken and written word to radio, movies, and television, he also included a number of technological tools such as roads, clothing, housing, clocks, the wheel, the bicycle, the airplane, the motor car, weapons, and automation. All media, with the exception of the spoken word, involved some human artifact or technology. His use of the term “technology” included not only hardware but also all forms of organization and communications media such as computers. The fact that computers are referred to as information technology supports the notion that the distinction between media and technology is an artificial one. ← 425 | 426 →
A.2 Technology as Extensions of the Body and Media as Extensions of the Psyche
Because technologies and media enhance human functions they may be regarded as extensions of our being. McLuhan (1964) observed that mechanical technologies extended our bodies in space and that electric technology extended our central nervous system into what he termed “a global embrace, abolishing both space and time” (p. 3). The integrated nature of the total communications/technology environment is a consequence of this fact. “Since all...
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