McLuhan Was Right: U of Virginia Case for Educating Differently

A study conducted by Dr. Jane Healy concluded that we are rearing a generation of “different brains.” She saw subtle but significant changes in the way children learned.  Such changes put children in direct conflict with traditional methods of teaching.

.. Frank Lanham suggested that hypertext returns learning to rhetoric, that is, as a conversation between computer and student. Teachers are familiar with the use of rhetorical devices to interact with students, but computers would allow far more interactive learning.


A Hypertext Field Guide to McLuhan Understanding Media

The annotations in the left column are provisional glosses of my own. Highlighting can be very distracting to readers, especially when it is someone else’s, so I have tried to use it sparingly. Highlightings are a lot like scent-markings, a staking out of territory: lime denotes an interesting passage, yellow a central theme. This field guide began life as a self-help project. While it is entirely possible others may find it useful, I have tried to observe a strict discipline in interpreting McLuhan’s book: to write exclusively for myself; for I noticed that as soon as I began to think of these notes as product (rather than process), the adventure of free association failed and I lost touch with the material.

.. McLuhan did not index his books; he was a firm believer in the part played by intervalin human understanding and he may have felt that a specialist approach to his ideas would isolate and strip them of their rich elliptical associations.

Table of Contents

The medium is the message

A light bulb does not have content in the way that a newspaper has articles or a television has programs, yet it is a medium that has a social effect; that is, a light bulb enables people to create spaces during nighttime that would otherwise be enveloped by darkness. He describes the light bulb as a medium without any content.

On the subject of art history, McLuhan interpreted Cubism as announcing clearly that the medium is the message.

Fox Viewers May Be Graying, but Their Passion Still Pays

In cable, the ages range from as young as 28.9 for Comedy Central, to 39.2 for another Fox sister network, FX, 43.6 for ESPN, and 52.9 for USA.

.. Mr. Moffett said the most successful brands always had to be aware of reinventing themselves for the next generation. He cited the example of Cadillac.

“It was amazing,” Mr. Moffett said. “You could see the average Cadillac buyer was getting one year older every year. It didn’t take a lot of math skills to realize if nothing changed, one day the last Cadillac buyer was going to walk into the showroom and then drop dead on the way out.”

Social Media Hasn’t Weakened Censorship in China

Are all criticisms of the government then prohibited? Not exactly. Despite Beijing’s willingness to devote considerable resources to controlling internet content, the government simply cannot ensure that all objectionable content is removed all the time. So they prioritize. Researchers at Harvard found, in a study published earlier this year, that Beijing tolerates some criticism but not calls for collective action. Complain about government corruption? No problem. Attempt to organize a protest on Sina Weibo? No way.

.. In effect, China has two parallel levels of censorship. The first is the relatively free-wheeling atmosphere of sites like Sina Weibo, where the government uses paid advocates — prisoners, for example, can get their sentences reduced by writing pro-Beijing content online — and selective censorship to prevent objectionable content from gathering momentum.