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However, backward countries that have experienced little permeation with our own mechanical and specialist culture are much better able to confront and to understand electric technology. Third, whether a medium is hot or cool can also depend on how it is used in a particular society, and that can change over time.

Media interact with one another, so the introduction of a new medium can change the way older media are used. Radio changed the form of the news story as much as it altered the film image. We do not use television today in the same way we used it in the s and s, when families frequently sat around the television watching one show at a time.

Now we have multiple televisions and other types of screens such as personal computers, laptops, cell phones, tablet computers of multiple sizes in multiple locations including on our person that are available continuously to provide a stream of images, text, and other information that we often attend to in a fragmentary and desultory manner.

Therefore the experience and effect of using electronic screen technology has heated up over time. Thus we can see that for McLuhan the hot versus cool media distinction describes effects, not definitions. McLuhan notes the way roads and highways designed to provide freedom of movement have reversed into traffic congestion and urban sprawl and the irony that mobile, nomadic tribal societies were socially static while contemporary, sedentary, specialist societies are socially dynamic and progressive The chance to snap out of our numbness, provided by processes of break boundaries or hybridization, is one of several possible antidotes to the narcotic effects of media.

McLuhan wrote Understanding Media , in part, as a warning about the effects of media that we are ignoring. But that is only the first step. Awareness itself is not enough. McLuhan writes in chapter 31 on television:. It is the theme of this book that not even the most lucid understanding of the peculiar force of a medium can head off the ordinary "closure" of the senses that causes us to conform to the pattern of experience presented.

To resist TV, therefore one must acquire the antidote of related media like print. So turn off the TV or the computer or the cell phone after some time and read a book or take a walk in the woods. After enough reading, have a conversation with another human being. Another antidote to technological narcosis is for people to assume the attitude of the artist. McLuhan writes:.

The Medium is the Message by Marshall McLuhan - Animated Book Review

The effects of technology do not occur at the level of opinion or concepts, but alter sense ratios or patterns of perception steadily and without any resistance. The serious artist is the only person able to encounter technology with impunity, just because he is an expert aware of the changes in sense perception. Thus, the artistic perspective serves as an antidote to media narcosis because it allows us to see the big picture and the interrelationship among things, as well as to anticipate technological changes, and their social and cultural implications, before they happen. For myth is the instant vision of a complex process that ordinarily extends over a long period.

Myth is contraction or implosion of any process. Thus, myth, like the artistic temperament, serves as an antidote to media narcosis because it allows us to see many things at once by collapsing complex processes into understandable, simplified forms. Not only does this video help explain his ideas, but it also gives the students a chance to see and hear McLuhan in his own words, as well as providing biographical information to put his ideas in the context of the type of person and scholar he was and the kinds of question he was attempting to answer.

As I have noted throughout this essay, I find McLuhan to be dialogic and dialectical in his approach to explicating his ideas. Ways of Seeing Penguin Modern Classics. John Berger. Mass Market Paperback.

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Understanding Media Psychology – Association for Psychological Science

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