Medium – the Massage

Reading Marshall mcLuhan’s the medium is the MASSAGE. Deep. The impact of media – the wheel as an extension of the leg, clothes as an extension of the body, electronic circuitry as an extension of the brain – has powerful impacts on the way we are.

He makes the point about “electric technology” presenting a unifying force, “recreating in us the multidimensional space orientation of the ‘primitive'” unconstrained by the dictates of the primarily visual and pushing us to become aware of the integration of time and space – “an acoustic, horizonless, boundless, olfactory space”.

“Environments are not passive wrappings, but are, rather, active processes which are invisible.”  This is crucial to us when we think about creation of learning environments. To be able to use “multiple models for exploration – the technique of suspended judgment” is key to these environments.

We cannot approach now by looking into the rearview mirror or use new media to do old things or things the old way. We need to understand how that impacts the way we “do learning”.

Writing in 1967, mcLuhan exhorts us – “it is a matter of the greatest urgency that our educational institutions realize that we now have civil war among these environments created by media other than the printed word”.

The book, and the wonderful visualization by Quentin Fiore, is a call to action. And action it should provoke among us!

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