Dial-in Details for the Terry Gordon Lecture

On Monday, May 20th, at 16:00 CET we will have our next virtual meeting for #UMRG. Click this link to see the meeting in your own timezone.

We will use Adobe Connect. Click on the following link to join the meeting:

http://meet79324623.adobeconnect.com/umrg-9

This week Terry Gordon will give a guest lecture about McLuhan. There should be a lot of discussion (don’t forget to look at Will Monroe’s questions), so make sure the microphone of your computer is working. Go here if you think you need help with Adobe Connect.

See you there!

P.S. Can somebody please remind me at the beginning of the session to press the record button? Thanks!

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McLuhan on What TV Does Best

This week we are reading the Understanding Media chapter on Television (The Timid Giant). In this video McLuhan explains why he thinks that TV fosters patterns rather than events:

Mark the date! Terry Gordon to Lecture on McLuhan for #UMRG

W. Terrence Gordon

W. Terrence Gordon

W. Terrence (Terry) Gordon has kindly offered to give us a virtual guest lecture on McLuhan. He is the author of many books and is the editor of Gingko Press’ Critical Edition of Understanding Media](http://www.gingkopress.com/02-mcl/understanding-media.html).

When and where?

The lecture will be on Monday May 20th at 16:00 CET (click here for your own timezone).

The URL for the Adobe Connect session is the following:

http://meet79324623.adobeconnect.com/umrg-9

Discussing #UMRG Chapters 26 to 29

On Monday, May 13th, at 16:00 CET we will have our next virtual meeting for #UMRG. Click this link to see the meeting in your own timezone.

We will use Adobe Connect. Click on the following link to join the meeting:

http://meet79324623.adobeconnect.com/umrg-8

This week we will look at the chapters about the typewriter, the telephone, the phonograph and the movies. Dennie and Ñusta have created summaries with questions that we will try and answer together. There should be a lot of discussion, so make sure the microphone of your computer is working. Go here if you think you need help with Adobe Connect.

See you there!

P.S. Can somebody please remind me at the beginning of the session to press the record button? Thanks!

Dennie Heye on Chapters 26 to 29 for #UMRG

Dennie Heye has written the following about chapter 26 to 29.


To be honest, it took me a while to get into McLuhan’s writing. It reminded me of the theoretical books and articles I read during my university studies – but with the difference that McLuhan makes you think at least once every chapter and his thinking is still valid after decades.

Below my mindmap based on the chapters typewriter, telephone, phonograph and movies for others to peruse. It’s an interactive (expandable) PDF of the mindmap, hopefully this works for all.

Click to download/open PDF

Click to download/open PDF

I have outlined the questions that I would like to offer for discussion below. Unfortunately I will not be present during next week’s call to take part in the discussion:

1. McLuhan states that the telephone has decentralized every operation and bypasses hierarchical arrangements in business. This made me think how e-mail instant messaging and now social media has continued this trend. to this day. But still many (older?) organisations are still run via hierarchical “command and control” structures, although everyone knows that these structures are not how things get done, communicated or decided. Why do organisations still put so much effort and “respect” in hierarchical (management) structures, when the current set of technology tools could lead to more transparent communication, better informed decision making and more fluid operations?

2. In the chapter about the telephone, McLuhan writes: “”In any given structure, the rate of staff accumulation is not related to the work” and “The work to be done is actually the movement of information”. I have always worked in complex, global, large organizations and I am sometimes amazed how much staff is involved in moving information around. We handle, reprocess, (re)validate, re-work, discuss, re-route information all day – just look at the job titles nowadays: process owners, business analysts, information architect, compliancy officer etc. .I wonder how much of this work is part of a “ritual” (or perhaps even busy work?) or actually work that is crucial to make the organization realize it’s goals?

3. On the last page of the chapter about the phonograph, McLuhan puts a great set of short definitions:

Telephone: speech without walls
Phonograph: music hall without walls
Photograph: museum without walls
Electric light: space without walls
Move / radio / tv: classroom without walls

How would McLuhan have defined the Internet in the above list?