Understanding New Media

OCAD and U of Toronto’s Bob Logan has published a new book just in time for 2011’s McLuhan Centenary: Understanding New Media:  Extending Marshall McLuhan

From the press release (because I have not yet read it):  Marshall McLuhan made many predictions in his seminal 1964 publication, Understanding Media: Extensions of Man. Among them were his predictions of the Internet, the 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 new volume by Robert Logan, a friend and colleague who worked with McLuhan. In Understanding New Media Logan expertly updates 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. Visit the companion website, understandingnewmedia.org, for the latest updates on this book.

“When I say the medium is the message, I’m saying that the motor car is not a medium. The medium is the highway, the factories, and the oil companies. That is the medium. In other words, the medium of the car is the effects of the car. When you pull the effects away, the meaning of the car is gone. The car as an engineering object has nothing to do with these effects. The car is a FIGURE in a GROUND of services. It’s when you change the GROUND that you change the car. The car does not operate as the medium, but rather as one of the major effects of the medium.

So ‘the medium is the message’ is not a simple remark, and I’ve always hesitated to explain it. It really means a hidden environment of services created by an innovation, and the hidden environment of services is the thing that changes people. *It is the environment that changes people, not the technology*.”
– Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Me: Lectures and Interviews (2003).

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