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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 14. Money


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Content and extension: Money is a portable medium of exchange and hence is an extension of the labor that was required to acquire it. The original content of money was gold or silver in the form of coins, which became extended to paper certificates that could be used to recover gold held by the government to back up the paper money. Paper money then became an abstract quantity of value that facilitated commerce when currency was detached from the gold standard in the USA in 1971. Its content was the trust that it could be redeemed for commodities with intrinsic value.

Cascade: The cascade is from precious metals to paper certificates backed by stored gold to paper money with no intrinsic value but used by governments as a unit for exchange and trade.

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