Just now we had a very interesting conversation with Terry Gordon. Gordon has edited critical editions of McLuhan’s work and is McLuhan’s biographer. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to record the audio (we used a different system today), but the Adobe Connect recording does have extensive notes in the chat history.
Gordon told us about McLuhan’s imperative to “scrutinize the modes of media in order to reveal the assumption that they impose and the perceptual habits that they foster” and spoke a lot about the media experiment that McLuhan did during his sabbatical. Gordon would love to see educators build on this work. We had educators in the room who referenced the Clark versus Kozma debate from the early nineties and debated what McLuhan meant with print as an inoculator against the numbness that media create.
It was a very good session today, but just to note a small point Hans — McLuhan (and Will) refer to the “antidote” to the numbing from new media traumatization, not “inoculation” — the difference of course being that an inoculation is preventative — but as McLuhan says, there is no immunization, so at best we can use an antidote, something applied after the fact to counteract an effect.
Thanks for making that distinction Tom. I must have missed that during the frantic note taking…