Monday, June 18, 2012

Chapters 1-4

Chapter two summarizes each of the elements in McLuhan’s methodology, which were extremely well thought out. McLuhan’s approach to media studies and media ecology was categorized into three basic communication eras—the oral, the literate, and the electric eras.  The oral tradition starts from the time that speech was first acquired by humans to the beginning of literacy about 5,000 years ago.    The age of literacy ranges from when writing was invented 5,000 years ago to the discovery of electricity and the invention of the telegraph.  The last tradition ranges from the use of the telegraph in 1844 to the present.  I thought it was interesting that two more ages were added in because I agree that there was language before speech was acquired (through paintings and other methods).  The mimetic age was added and defined as the time of preverbal communication before the age of oral tradition.  It was also important to add an age that consists of the present of new media because times today are completely different from a few decades ago.    The electric communication era ranges from the middle of the nineteenth century to the middle of the twentieth century.  The fifth era added is called the digital communication era that ranges from the invention of the computer around 55 years ago to the present.  This division of the last era into two was inevitable according to the later work of McLuhan.  Both of the new additions to the methodology of media studies were necessary to best explain media ecology.  One fact that I noted that was interesting was that in 2005 youngsters are exposed to media about 6.5 hours per day, but are actually exposed to 8.5 hours because of the use of different mediums (pgs 37-38). McLuhan’s evolution of technology was a good visual as to how technology has changed completely.  It is especially noteworthy for me to read because my generation is used to the digital communication era and I could not imagine growing up any other way.  The only problems that my generation had to deal with was the slowness of the Internet and the World Wide Web compared to the speed of the Internet we have today.  The instantaneous flow of information  is at an all time high.

No comments:

Post a Comment