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Books Are Specialized Technology

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Joined: 20 Mar 2006
Posts: 1273
Location: Kent (East Hill), WA

PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 7:05 pm    Post subject: Books Are Specialized Technology Reply with quote

It is one of the peculiar biases of book format that it makes its users oblivious of the fact that it is a highly specialized form of technology; and they readily assume that all other media are also gimmicks for conveying information, because they assume that is also the role of the book. It is easy to see how readers of print got into this state of mind, since the book is archetypically a mechanical gimmick. It is not so easy to get these readers to see that the use of print creates modes of thought and space taht are quite alien to other cultures, and even alien to our own earlier culture. It is very hard to get a man in the print belt of culture to recognize that the form of print is itself cultural and deeply biased. The fish knows nothing of water.

McLuhan, Counterblast (1969), p. 75
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