As most everyone knows, Marshall McLuhan focused a great deal of his time and energy on the examination of the effects on us of the changing and various media to which we expose ourselves.
As not everyone knows, he developed a system, “Tetrads”, whereby specific media could be analysed…here’s what it looks like:
The Tetrad asks us to consider four questions:
1. What does the technology enhance? What does it amplify or intensify?
2. What does the technology make obsolete? What does it replace or reduce?
3. What does the technology retrieve? What does it recover that was previously lost?
4. How does the technology reverse? How do these effects flip when the technology is pushed to its limits?
Although a lot of work has been done using the Tetrad “tool” in assessing the effects of various media…example: Tetrad-ing the Smartwatch …
recently Eric McLuhan has published a new book :
which seems very intriguing to me (I have ordered it but it has not yet arrived)
In one of my early posts I made mention of a phrase I heard many years ago…that human beings don’t know what’s happening to them until it’s too late. I believe McLuhan understood this, and he tried, no, fought, to inform and even warn our human perceptions about the pitfalls inherent the experience of our media filled environment.