I really struggled with this lesson, I am not a theoretical person, I tend to see things as they are and take them as is. So I’m going to do my best to understand what it is I need to be understanding about these lessons. I recorded the lesson on my Ipod touch and have listened to it back a few times and this is what I have taken from it.

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The Medium is the Massage is a book by Marshall McLuhan. Originally he wanted the title to read Medium is the message but a typo at the typographers  made it read Medium is the massage. McLuhan found this very interesting as his book is about media specificity and this type of accident could only happen within that type of medium.

The book is not the traditional text, is contains very little text as he wanted to tell you that it is a physical think and make you think about the way you handle it. Making you aware that the book is an object, that it is doing something , that it is operating, that it is very specific as a media.

McLuhan worked with a graphic designer to put the book together, he wanted to point out that the writer doesnt design the book, that we forget that there are a number of people coming together to produce them. ” All media work over us completely” how media can shift our thinking completely like the typo in his book.

He was interested in the history of human beings. He thought about stuff like how we had no extensions of our selves and how now we are so used to having tools around us that we forget how they are extensions of ourselves. How we can do different things, how media is an extension of our selves. ‘Getting an apple from a tree using a hooked stick’ McLuan realises that as soon as the medium has been invented it can change us, now the hooked stick has been invented it means that more can get apples and more can get fed.

Verbal communication is a structure that we extend, that TV and Radio comes from the fact that we like talking and communicating with each other and by communicating we can do more things.The TV changed the focus of a room where before the focus was the fire. It changed eating habits, before they would gather around the table for tea, but now people where making tea and eating it in front of the TV. This generated new things like TV dinners and fast food.So we can see how the introduction of a new media can generate new things. With TV’s coming into our homes for example, meant government could communicate to people very quickly, i.e Government debates and people would then not only receive information verbally but visually too and the presentation of the to be presidents would have an influential effect on people’s votes. So people where becoming convinced by the TV and media in a different way.  And now people are aware of a media presence and are trained how to operate in front of the media. ( learning how to speak with your head still when talking to stay within the camera frame) What McLuhan is referring to is that media was reshaping and changing the political environment in the way that they where being voted for. Tv changed what we talked about, on a weekly basis I find myself discussing a program I have seen on the TV. So McLuhan is pointing out how media is changing and shaping people’s lives.

McLuhan came up with the term ‘ the global village’. How in the past we would gossip within the village and now with the introduction of technology like mobile phones and Facebook it has opened up a universal field of gossip, how we still gossip among our selves but now its global. This sense of the global village can be very frightening for some people. Some countries limit to what their people are exposed to prevent uprising and panic. One that stands out from my memory is from a documentary about ‘The Tank Man’ in china.

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