- 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
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 18 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #363,007 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
Let me consider some of the 26 means of communication he studies, targeting in my review those that have to do with what he calls the extensions of the central nervous system.
The spoken word: Extension of all senses but centered on the ear seen as the capturing sense of the sacred universe and the sacred. Plus connection to the mind, the intellect seen as one way only by McLuhan; the intellect precedes and is non-verbal, which is of course at least debatable.
Language: Extension of intelligence, the intellect within McLuhan's limited vision of language/mind. Note he never uses the concept "mind".Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A peerless analysis of the social-cultural bypass suffered by humanity since the 1960's, beautifully packaged by Gingko Press in an eminently readable edition. Highly recommended.Published 8 months ago by Lone Ant
Excellent series of insights into how the mass media really do affect the public mind.Published on 15 Feb. 2015 by Ragdoll Radio
I first read this in the sixties, when it was all the rage. I have little to add to the other reviews, which do it more than justice (perhaps more than it deserves). Read morePublished on 15 Nov. 2014 by Josef K
As someone who makes his living trying to use my understanding of the media, I really ought to have read Marshall McLuhan's magnum opus "Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man"... Read morePublished on 11 Nov. 2013 by P. J. Dunn
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... Read morePublished on 24 Dec. 2012 by Razwan Ul-haq
I found this book in an excellent condition! Brand new! Mc luhan is a well known author, so no words needed to describe it.Published on 12 Jan. 2012 by gerrydap
This is an excellent book for the study of communication and the ideas can be enlightening, particularly considering the period in which it was written and its validity in today's... Read morePublished on 26 Sept. 2011 by ereader
Introduced to McLuhan by an eccentric lecturer who looked as I imagine Hereward the Wake must have looked like, I enjoyed it for its original thinking, making links which, when... Read morePublished on 6 Sept. 2011 by RR Waller