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Understanding New Media

Extending Marshall McLuhan – Second Edition

Series:

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 22. Motorcar

Extract

← 196 | 197 →

· 22 ·

MOTORCAR

Content and extension: The motorcar extends the wheel and hence ultimately the foot. It is another example of an extension of an extension. It is also a hybrid of the carriage and the motor. The motor may be considered an extension of the leg muscles since they replace the body’s source of power with a mechanical technology.

Cascade: The cascade is from two directions, one from the foot to the wheel to the carriage and the other from the leg muscles to the motor.

LOM: The motorcar enhances movement, obsolesces the horse and buggy (McLuhan & McLuhan, 1988, p. 105) as well as the pedestrian, retrieves the knight in shining armor (McLuhan, private communication), and reverses into traffic jams and destruction of the countryside.

The greatest impact on the motorcar by the “new media” has been the GPS or in-car navigation systems that we reviewed in Chapter 10, “Roads and Paper Routes.” Other than the appearance of digital entertainment systems in the back seats of SUVs or CD players on the dashboard and the use of invisible computer systems to regulate the operation of the motorcar or diagnose its problems there is not a lot more to discuss vis-à-vis the motorcar and the “new media.” ← 197 | 198 →

There is also the use of telemetrics that enable motorcar drivers to make payments automatically at the gas pump or at drive-through fast-food outlets...

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