For fans of Marshall McLuhan, or those interested in knowing more than just the phrase, “the medium is the message”, there is an excellent interview online with Derrick de Kerckhove, Director of the McLuhan Program in Toronto. There is lots of stuff to chew on, as well as a concise overview of McLuhan’s tetradic Laws of Media:
“every new medium:
- extends a human property (the car extends the foot);
- obsolesces the previous medium by turning it into a sport or an form of art (the automobile turns horses and carriages into sports);
- retrieves a much older medium that was obsolesced before (the automobile brings back the shining armour of the chevalier);
- flips or reverses its properties into the opposite effect when pushed to its limits (the automobile, when there are too many of them, create traffic jams, that is total paralysis)”
The most enlightening for me is de Kerckhove’s view of a new kind of identity in our inter-networked world:
The key to the new identity is what I call “selving”, that is the self in progress, in becoming, as in quantum physics where “things are not, they merely tend to be”. The new identity is in perpetual formation and reformation at the moment of use and on line it is fluid and aggregative as when people meet and change their perceptions of each other during the meeting. I sometime suspect that screens were invented only for the purpose of allowing several persons, minds, identities to meet and share thinking and speaking at a distance. The new connective thinking system is the screen.Via What is the Message?