Reading: Marshall McLuhan

The Medium and the Message: Understanding the Information World,  Collected Speeches of Marshall McLuhan

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I read this on Kindle books recently and found it interesting that ideas put forward in the 1960s are still relevant today, perhaps in some cases even more so.  He touched on identity in the essays which is relevant to this module along with thoughts on how the media and technology will influence how we view society.

In the section From Lineality to Simultaneity, he talks about using the hemispheres of our brain and how one can possibly dominate the other.  One side is very literal and the other is more fluid. “The right hemisphere is characterised by intuitive, holistic or totalitarian and simultaneous awareness.” Left hemisphere is more linear. “The left hemisphere tends to be in charge of education.  All IQ testing is left hemisphere. Nobody has ever devised an IQ test for the right hemisphere. The very nature of IQ testing is quantified and therefore alien to the right hemisphere.”  “The left hemisphere (is dominated) by eye.  The right hemisphere by ear.”

In relation to photography, this makes sense as my personal approach to it from the heart and from what I see, the technical side of it doesn’t interest me although I have a knowledge of how it all works.  I am drawn to things that I see and how I feel about them.  Interestingly, he commented that these two polarities could be responsible for events such as the American Revolution; the southern states of the country are very musical and have a history of story telling, the northern states are more rule bound and so they clashed.


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