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Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man by [McLuhan, Marshall]
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Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Length: 640 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2348 KB
  • Print Length: 500 pages
  • Publisher: Gingko Press; Critical edition (14 Jun. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DIEZI7U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #112,129 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I found this book in a second-hand bookstore for under one dollar. Had never heard of it, had never heard of him but I am fascinated by the media, specifically advertising. I wore this book out and replaced it with the new edition from MIT Press. I love this book. I still can't understand it in places (this makes me study it even more to try and understand where he is coming from) but it definitely changed the way I view the media and my place within it. We are definitely beyond being influenced by the media; the media has become the ground from which we operate.
The book is challenging and it is scattered and chaotic but there is a cohesiveness to it. I suppose that style of writing was supposed to be symbolic of the way the world is (or is becoming). This book will help you to regain your ability to reintegrate yourself with the real world and stop living life as if you have "autoamputated" your true self only to watch it live on television.
While many of the analogies are "out there," most are poignant and relevent. One example is McLuhan's interpretation of the Narcissus myth from Greek mythology. Narcissus did not fall in love with his own reflection. Narcissus had no idea that the reflection he saw was himself; he thought that what he saw was something other than himself. He became transfixed by the image; it was not love, it was numbness. The television screen is our reflection; we are not separate from it -- it is merely what is inside of us extended to the outside for us to look at, thus the subtitle, The Extensions of Man. We have become Narcissus; the media is the reflection we see and, instead of falling in love with the reflection, we have become numb, forgetting (or not aware) that what we are seeing is really us. Tell me that is not relevant today.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great Love it!
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Format: Paperback
I will stick my neck out here and state what I think is obvious but hasn't been noticed because of the erotic talisman cast by the terrible wizard Dawkins, and his hosts of genetic goblins, screaming forth from the citadels of orthodox science...phew!

This Marshall goblin argues, indeed shows, that 'human inventiveness' (various mediums invented via the cerebral cortex) is changing human behaviour, and not those ageless genes that have been swimming around since the dawn of biology.

By the way, you can download a lecture by Terence McKenna. His take on all this typographic man business easily surpasses other explanations of what Marshall Mkluhan was trying to say. It is easily googled.

I won't go into examples here because we can see the way mobile phones are changing human behaviour already. You only need to sit in a cafe and look around you. Ok, I will like to use one little example that I only noticed after reading this book, as only masterpieces can change the field of vision of a reader. (Marshall McLuhan saw very far and he is more than the 'global village' cliché. I mean, Marshall McLuhan's ideas are a direct challenge to reductionist science but the poor man is only remembered for slogans!)

Anyway here goes my example... If you look at old black and white photo's from the age before they had automobiles (1890); the people just stand in the middle of roads, like idiots! They are just relaxing and chatting away, right in the middle of a main road in broad daylight. I have even examined old oil paintings from the 18th century and the people were just as suicidal! We would never do that today, would we? You couldn't pay me one million pounds to stand in the middle of the road like those people in the photograph.
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Format: Paperback
In a nutshell, McLuhan's thesis would snap a "be wary" sticker on this review. McLuhan says a lot and what sticks with me is that technology becomes part of ourselves, changing us as it does so, in an effect that goes beyond what we ordinarily assume. So to follow McLuhan's thinking: Now, as you as the reader and me as the reviewer have extended ourselves into the internet, then it has altered us and given us a different existence...hmmmmmm... Does the way something is conveyed change the content and meaning of the same message? Of course it does. And this book is a great reminder. I have often noticed how things in print have a different effect to that written in pdf, and how stuff that is facebooked or tweeted has a separate quailty to that which is said by the same person in face to face talk. We often think it is subjective experience but McLuhan gets us thinking beyond that. I think this book would be a great gift to those who were "born into" the social media age and need a reference point which McLuhan does do, even if he does do it somewhat enigmatically.
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By A Customer on 22 Oct. 1998
Format: Paperback
This book is the most profound statement of McLuhan's theories, filled with memorable quotes and odd ideas. Sometimes, however, the ideas are inadequately supported, and the narrative is organized very oddly. (It's all part of his "mosaic" method of understanding.) However, this is probably the easiest of McLuhan's books to digest, and many of his statements are very relevant to our modern lifestyle. Buy the book.
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