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Understanding New Media

Extending Marshall McLuhan – Second Edition


Robert K. Logan

Marshall McLuhan made many predictions in his seminal 1964 publication, Understanding Media: Extensions of Man. Among them were his predictions that the Internet would become a «global village,» making us more interconnected than television; the closing of the gap between consumers and producers; the elimination of space and time as barriers to communication; and the melting of national borders. He is also famously remembered for coining the expression «the medium is the message.» These predictions form the genesis of this updated volume by Robert K. Logan, a friend and colleague who worked with McLuhan. In this second edition of Understanding New Media Logan expertly updates McLuhan’s Understanding Media to analyze the «new media» McLuhan foreshadowed and yet was never able to analyze or experience. The book is designed to reach a new generation of readers as well as appealing to scholars and students who are familiar with Understanding Media.
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Chapter 10. Roads and Paper Routes


← 126 | 127 →

· 10 ·


Content and extension: The content of roads and paper routes is the pedestrians and their belongings or vehicles carrying passengers and/or cargo. The road extends the foot of the pedestrian and the wheel of the vehicle, which itself is an extension of the foot.

Cascade: The cascade is from the foot to the pedestrian to the road or from the foot to the wheel to the vehicle to the road.

LOM: The road enhances exchange of goods and ideas, obsolesces the trail and isolation, retrieves distant places, and reverses into rootlessness.

The Impact of “New Media” on Roads and Paper Routes

The impact of “new media” on roads takes two distinct paths: one is the way they help drivers find their way to their destination through electronic maps and surveillance, and the other is on the direct operation of vehicles on the highway. Let’s begin with finding our way on the road. The open road is now ← 127 | 128 → an open book. Many Web sites exist that will offer exact directions of how to travel between any two points on the planet that are accessible by road in the shortest and most convenient way. The most popular site of this type is, which is owned by AOL and is the 29th most popular Web site in the USA. They will also indicate the location of restaurants and hotels...

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