The Medium is the Metaphor:
I appreciate Neil Postman’s The Medium is the Metaphor because it corrects what I found to be the most misleading handling by McLuhan of his seminal ideas laid out in The Medium is the Message. In what I see as intentionally oblique uses of words in ways that often contradict their connotations, for reasons I don’t understand, McLuhan needlessly confuses the content of his essay to those without the intellectual horsepower equivalent to his own or the acute familiarity of his essay. The medium is not the message, as Postman clarifies in his book – the medium is the metaphor: “[McLuhan’s] aphorism, however, is in need of amendment because, as it stands, it may lead one to confuse a message with a metaphor. A message denotes a specific, concrete statement about the world. But the forms of our media, including the symbols through which they permit conversation, do not make such statements. They are rather like metaphors, working by unobtrusive but powerful implication to enforce their special definitions of reality.”
Not only do I appreciate the chapter’s fixing of McLuhan’s delivery, it also illuminates effectively the magic of the advent of text-technology in more concrete ways than McLuhan did in his essay.
A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace:
I whole heartedly agree with what he intends to say, but what of the government’s responsibility to keep the internet neutral? The government has a huge role in preserving net neutrality.
More practically, how would a completely decentralized network effectively organize – and grow – its continued existence without the help of capitalistic corporations and potentially nefarious and power hungry governmental institutions?
His writing is, obviously, intentionally idealistic and dramatic. I really wonder what his practical approach to this very important topic is.