This book was a very interesting read, and I’m glad I got to read it because I’ve heard it mentioned in several Media Studies classes. While some of the main arguments of the book I’m not sure I agree with, I think it discussion of media and its direct relationship to “the public” or “the audience” is very significant. When McLuhan suggests that it is only the medium of a message, not the content, that formulates the actual meaning, I cannot say I entirely agree, but I was definitely challenged to think more critically about what message the medium sends that is independent from the direct content. The passage that I’d like to focus on speaks to this relationship between audience and their relationship to the mediums through which media is presented. Early in the text he talks about how new technologies have allowed the “public,” once a mass of separate people with their own points of view, to become a mass audience that is able to be participatory. On page 68-69, he pushes this point further: “The public consists of separate individuals walking around with separate,fixed points of view. The new technology demands that we abandon the luxury of his posture, this fragmentary outlook…The method of our time is to use not a single, but multiple¬†models of exploration.” I think his point about fixed points of view and the ability for new technologies to force one to contemplate multiple views is very interesting, as if the changes in medium require people to consider representation how different messages are sent based on how the are presented and received through a certain medium. In conjunction with the overall message the book presents about the role technologies have in meaning making and the inevitable corruption of the psyche by media, the fact that new technologies, especially those now considered necessary, encouraged the participation of the public despite their limited points of view points to a further corruption as a result of this participation.


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