Extending Marshall McLuhan – Second Edition
Chapter 34. Hybrid or Convergent Technologies
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HYBRID OR CONVERGENT TECHNOLOGIES
“The crossing or hybridization of the media release great new forces and energy by fission [as in literate media] and fusion [as in electric media].”
—McLuhan (1964, p. 48)
Content and extension: Hybrid or convergent (5.7) technologies extend and amplify the technologies of which they are composed and hence each represents the end product of a cascading chain of technologies. All “new media” are hybrid technologies. A prime example of a hybrid technology is a microcomputer system (desktop or notebook) that consists of a power supply, microelectronic chips and circuits, software of various types, a video display, a printer, a scanner, a mouse, game peripherals, a CD or DVD player, speakers, access to the Internet and World Wide Web, and possibly agents and bots.
Cascade: The cascade is from those parts of the psyche extended by each of the components of the hybrid technology or medium to the components themselves.
LOM: Hybrid technologies enhance convenience, obsolesce many individual devices, retrieve the Swiss Army knife, and reverse into clutter. ← 275 | 276 →
“The hybrid or the meeting of two media is a moment of truth and revelation from which new form is born” (McLuhan, 1964, p. 55). Hybrid systems operate more efficiently than the individual components from which they emerge. Hence, the synergy they represent releases new forms of energy, creating additional “vortices of power.” Electric systems, which favor...
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