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March 09, 2007


Olly Wright

I just read your post about TV being an act of violence, and your comments in this post. I agree wholeheartedly with both Euan and you.

Something that has greatly interested me recently is Marshall McLuhans book Understanding Media. With his notion of 'The Medium is the Message' he encourages us to look beyond just the content of the medium, into the form. What behaviour does it provoke? How does it change our habits?

Television viewed through this lens is particularly telling. Yes the obnoxious content is damaging, but it's the means in which it is delivered that is the real culprit. The fact that we cannot choose what we see and what we don't: Euan's point about not getting to the remote in time, and your description of 'daily fix of the electronic drug', are at the core of what McLuhan is saying. We are what we perceive: with this understood, the ability to choose what media we consume is a moral imperative.

As you said, our brains our being rewired by the shift from push to pull media. It doesn't have to be this way, and, if we get it right, it won't stay this way.

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