Unreal Nature

October 21, 2016

Without Delegation

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:35 am

… It is a relation in depth, and without delegation of functions or powers.

This is from ‘Telegraph: The Social Hormone’ found in Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man by Marshall McLuhan (1964, 1994, 2003):

… What makes a mechanism is the separation and extension of separate parts of our body as hand, arm, feet, in pen, hammer, wheel. And the mechanization of a task is done by segmentation of each part of an action in a series of uniform, repeatable, and movable parts. The exact opposite characterizes cybernation (or automation), which has been described as a way of thinking, as much as a way of doing. Instead of being concerned with separate machines, cybernation looks at the production problem as an integrated system of information handling.

It is this same provision of interacting places in the electric media that now compels us to react to the world as a whole. Above all, however, it is the speed of electric involvement that creates the integral whole of both private and public awareness. We live today in the Age of Information and of Communication because electric media instantly and constantly create a total field of interacting events in which all men participate.

… Many analysts have been misled by electric media because of the seeming ability of these media to extend man’s spatial powers of organization. Electric media, however, abolish the spatial dimension, rather than enlarge it. By electricity, we everywhere resume person-to-person relations as if on the smallest village scale. It is a relation in depth, and without delegation of functions or powers. The organic everywhere supplants the mechanical. Dialogue supersedes the lecture.

My most recent previous post from McLuhan’s book is here.

-Julie

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