Another McLuhan Post…


What makes McLuhan so easy to analyze is that again and again we are reading a chapter from McLuhan’s Understanding Media, and once again, he is rejecting the concept of linearity which he thinks characterizes the written word. Making wide claims with little to no supporting evidence, he does manage to pull out an interesting train of thought with respect to what we have read of Geuens.

Here’s an example of linear rapping

In the chapter Movies; The Reel World McLuhan claims that Russians, unlike literate people, cannot internalize linear cause and effect themes. This made me think of Geuens’ distinction between American or French video editing and Soviet video editing. One of the biggest distinctions between Soviet editing and the other two was how soviet films did not center on any specific person and instead told the story of a group of anonymous people.

If you liked the last video, here’s a relatively non-linear example

Although it mostly makes sense with respect to Geuens’ work, McLuhan actually made a strong claim that makes sense! I don’t know if McLuhan intentionally engineered an example of non-linear written words since one needs to read both texts to fully understand what they say, or if he just does a very good job of accidentally disproving that the medium is the message, but either way, it is very interesting.

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