Although there are many people who criticize McLuhan, he is an important theorist for communication studies. Also, he had complained that many people misunderstood him. There is a part about misunderstanding McLuhan in Woody Allen’s Annie Hall. In addition, it is a funny critisisim about academics
Alvy Singer: [the man behind him in line is talking loudly] What I wouldn’t give for a large sock with horse manure in it!
Alvy Singer: [to audience] Whaddya do when you get stuck in a movie line with a guy like this behind you?
Man in Theatre Line: Wait a minute, why can’t I give my opinion? It’s a free country!
Alvy Singer: He can give it… do you have to give it so loud? I mean, aren’t you ashamed to pontificate like that? And the funny part of it is, Marshall McLuhan, you don’t know anything about Marshall McLuhan!
Man in Theatre Line: Oh, really? Well, it just so happens I teach a class at Columbia called “TV, Media and Culture.” So I think my insights into Mr. McLuhan, well, have a great deal of validity!
Alvy Singer: Oh, do ya? Well, that’s funny, because I happen to have Mr. McLuhan right here, so, so, yeah, just let me…
[pulls McLuhan out from behind a nearby poster]
Alvy Singer: come over here for a second… tell him!
Marshall McLuhan: I heard what you were saying! You know nothing of my work! You mean my whole fallacy is wrong. How you got to teach a course in anything is totally amazing!
Alvy Singer: Boy, if life were only like this!
‘As electrically contracted, the globe is no more than a village. Electric speed at bringing all social and political functions together in a sudden implosion has heightened human awareness of responsibilty to an intense degree’
McLuhan claims that it is the speed of electronic media which allow us some action and reaction to global issues at the same rapid as face to face communication. The rapidity of communication through electric media afecct our sense’s rapid. Through media such as the TV, telephone and the computer as a part of ‘Internet’, we are rapidly linked together in the all over the world and connect with people at the other side of the world .We reach the people other side of the worl like as our neighbour.We can now hear and see events that take place other side of globe often quicker than we hear of events in our own villages or even families.
According to Harold Innis, a medium of communication has an important influence on the dissemination of knowledge over space and over time. He divided media into time-binding and space binding type. Time binding media are durable and heavy. The include clay or stone tablets where space-binding media are light and consist of modern media such as radio, television and mass circulation newspapers.
Innis suggested this division in 1940s. If he would have made this distinction in this century, he certainly would have included e-books to the space binding media, considering the nature of them. Let’s look at the definition taken from Wikipedia ‘Electronic Book is a book-length publication in digital form, consisting of text, images, or both, and produced on, published through, and readable on computers or other electronic devices. Sometimes the equivalent of a conventional printed book, e-books can also be born digital. E-books are usually read on dedicated hardware devices known as e-Readers or e-book devices. Personal computers and some mobile phones can also be used to read e-books.
Comparing to e-books and conventional ones, we can say that, conventional ones look like tablets, clays in ancient times and electronic ones are light and modern, suits to space binding media. Right, you can reach any e-book via internet without considering time, place. You can read it, save it, store it and carry it with you in your small gadget. However, you can not touch it, smell it, and hold it as we do in our ‘normal’ books in the library. You can not save them for your grand children as well. Of course this is my view, but there are discussions around it. As an example; The New York Times asked the following question in their opinion page ‘Does the brain like E-Books’. Is there a difference in the way the brain takes in or absorbs information when it is presented electronically versus on paper? Does the reading experience change, from retention to comprehension, depending on the medium?
Below link reaches you thru the different opinions from different sciences…