The book outlines various themes such as the learnings of society were recieve as we mature from child to adulthood, noting that technological advances have effects on people and their societies. It notes that social and cultural environments are affected by the technological advancements and often the most common form of anxieties are created by trying to complete the tasks of today with yesterdays tools (i.e. computers, software) and that our time on the earth has been a constant string of achievements of development and crossing barriers ultimately improving ourselfs or technologies.
The mere existance of this book as surely it could become as obsolete as the technologies it talks about. Medium is the Masaage is a look at our time with media students who focus m0re on the method rather than the concept and how older people ultimately can become dependant on the technologies of today where as younger generations would be able to adapt without it as they've constantly been surrounded by it.
The book is seperated into chapters below I'll outline the main features of each chapter;
- What has made you who you are?
- Is there a lack of privacy in a world were everything is recorded?
- "You are not a name but, a number"
This chapter outlines themes of personal development and survielance, questioning if this has helped shape people into being obediant as if their every move is being watched, they can get caught.
- Family has widened
- You're influced by the World around you
- "All the World is a sage", a soure of information
- Electronic reach widens, creating new boundries
- You can't clock off.
- Home and Classroom have different paces
- Child was previously merged into the adult world
- Child now lives in two different worlds
- Different paces = ADHD
- Growing up is a child's job
- Fragmentation of Work
- Blend into more rules and responsibilites
- Machines are taking over.
- Media has more control than goverment
- Media can be the medium to interact with the goverment
The book contiues to highlight that all media is an extention of one's body using examples such as clothes are the extention of the skin and electric circuitry is an extention of the nervesystem, the author also cites that the dominant organ before the alphabet was the ear and that since then cultures and histories have been set by alphabets. Stating that writing is the beginnings of culture and civilisation, McCluhan notes that because of writing we can keep record that ultimately fixes problems such as disputes.
"Slower Communication is irrelevant, information is constatly being compiled upon."
In short this book deals with the theme that Technology and people's developing mind ultimately advances cultures to the next step and just by looking at one person's life you can define changes that have happened along the way all thanks to technology.