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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 19. Wheel, Bicycle, and Airplane


← 178 | 179 →

· 19 ·


Content and extension: The wheel, the bicycle, and the airplane all extend the foot but they form a cascade of media in that the content of the airplane (an invention of the bicycle mechanics, the Wright Brothers) is the bicycle (two cycles or two wheels) whose content is the wheel.

Cascade: The cascade is from the foot to the wheel to the bicycle to the airplane.

LOM: The wheel enhances transportation, obsolesces the foot, retrieves horse or camel, and reverses into rootlessness.

One impact on the airplane of “new media” is the use of the Web for reserving and ordering tickets, which are sent by e-mail in the form of an eticket. Naturally, computing plays a large role throughout the airline industry, but that is a topic for another book. ← 179 | 180 →

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