You make some good points. I have rebuttals for each of them - and,
for each of those, you would have thoughtful counter-rebuttals, I'm
sure, but we've probably gone far enough for this email list.
As for McLuhan's book: your are correct that the title was "The Medium
Is the Massage", but the story goes that it was a printer's error; it
was really supposed to read "Message". However, McLuhan found the "new"
title fascinating and let it be. I think, though, that McLuhan's
intended message was that "the medium IS the message."
>>> On 9/22/2006 at 5:51 pm, in message
<[log in to unmask]>, [log in to unmask]
> Hi Vince,
> You sound a lot like Postman, and almost "get it." And then like him,
> you back away from the conclusions that should be made ...
> On Sep 22, 2006, at 4:35 PM, Vince Rossano wrote:
>> Someone with a real message to deliver won't be heard unless the
>> rich and powerful approve
>> and provide that person the means to produce and present a sound-
>> and-light show that will wake people up from their naps on the
> Consider reversing these argument a bit.
> If the real message takes the approval of the rich and power, perhaps
> that's exactly what is happening. The rich and powerful are getting
> out the message they want to get out. Their message is the real
> message. (And that is what de Toqueville was onto).
> If people are taking naps on the couch (I don't think they are, by
> the way.) it's because that's what the intent of the couch is.
> "Media is," as a President of CBS, I believe, once testified to the
> Senate, "advertising media." The audience is not the customer of
> television, the advertisers are. Television programs are not the
> content of the television media, audiences are. The purpose of
> television is to provide audiences for advertisers. The sponsor is
> the customer.
>> Luddite, schmuddite! Postman knew what he was talking about. He
>> knew, for instance, that in a power struggle between traditional
>> schooling and television, television will win every time. The
>> question is no longer winning; it's fighting a rear-guard action to
>> prevent us from losing altogether the power to think logically and
> There is no struggle between schooling and television, they are both
> working together. The "traditional schooling" categorization reveals
> this. Once upon a time, a certain class was in power; now that power
> is being challenged.
> There is no "rear guard" action, it's right up front, and it's fueled
> by lots of things.
> Besides reading (yes) Postman's "Technopoly" (*), I am also reading
> Malcolm Gladwell's "Blink" (The Power of Thinking without Thinking).
> "Blink" digs into the mechanisms by which advertising messages are
> designed and delivered to do their product magic.
> Oh, and that Mcluhan guy, his book was entitled "The Medium is the
> Massage", not "The Medium is the Message."