The Message is to Analyze

Mcluhan wants us all to think about what we are seeing. To keep thinking and to not be satisfied with first glance. He explains that the message of a medium or technology is the change of scale or pace or pattern that it introduces into human affairs. Most new inventions and technology are viewed at first glance and not really looked at by how they will change the way of being.  Electric light does not just eliminate dark but it allows certain things to happen such as brain surgery and night baseball.  This formula is even true in business as he points out with IBM not really taking off until they realized they were in the business of processing information and not just selling business machines.

It is crucial to keep thinking and looking beyond what is right in front of you. Analyze all media as much as possible, consider all angles including future impact and changing way of life. I feel that learning about this formula early on in this program will benefit us in the long run to always think ahead and break down media messages to full potential. 

Media is always embedded within media. Television produces media within itself daily in the form of news, advertisements and sports. There is always a message within a message. The nightly news carries messages within its stories which in turn effect the viewer to act on another medium. Same with sports when stories are created within the actual match ups. We are also blatantly exposed to media within media these days through the Internet while reading certain websites and blogs many of them will have a video or short clip within the article to enhance the message.


2 Responses to “The Message is to Analyze”

  1. Good article! However, I feel you have only interpreted the theory and given practicle examples without going through the pros and cons of the theory, especially in terms of practicle use. For e.g. you have explained media embedding quite well but haven’t touched upon the idea that it can be confusing and complicated at times, how and what can be done to fix it.

  2. In his critique of my blog, Dylan writes that he doesn’t “agree that communication will come to an end” as stated in my blog. He seems to suggest that this is a question of being a more informed consumer… e.g. “I think it is just a matter of which new mediums and technology we decide to to take part in.” noting that with new technology increasing bits of news (like tv news) have embedded or multifaceted messages.”

    My worry remains: I fear that as communication increases at a geometric rate, with no standard of quality or evaluation, that static will drown out meaning leading to an end of civilization. This is a certain form of postmodernism which celbrates that all ideas are equal and we should consider them all easily e.g. love is ok, shit is ok, genocide is ok, all ideas are equal because we are only concerned with medium. (Also, when McLuhan said the medium was the message, he couldn’t have accounted for the mass democraticization (hence increasing uneveluation or mass mediocrity) of the internet.)

    In his first paragraph, Hansen writes, “our media determine our situation.” He asks if it is “possibnle to resist this industrialization of consciousness.” That to me means that communication constantly declines in meaning, but at the same time increases in its vapid call for us to stop thinking and just channel money to capitalism. That is what I mean by an end to civilization — lots of communication is colorful, just like static with color turned all the way up. In fact though, it does represent the end of civilization by replacing communication with mass vapid consumerism (e.g. static).

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