Oratory, Literacy and Digitality

I just finished reading a post at www.robertbleckman.blogspot.com and I am amazed at what myth passes for sound thought. Apparently, “Media Ecologists” are discussing the rise of a negative “second orality” which is a great deal of hogwash. The concept of a second orality is also raised by Ray Bradbury in Fahrenheit 451. What he and media ecologists don’t seem to recognize is the amount of trash oratory the listening public was consuming prior to the advent of trash literature and the amount of trash literature the reading public was consuming prior to the advent of trash television. If the pareto principle holds true 80% of all the media content out there is crap including the internet and your blog and mine. What is actually occurring is the literati of the present are being replaced by the digerati of the future. Marshall McLuhan is probably spinning in his grave when someone wanes sentimental about literacy.

Digital technologies are relieving us of much of the effort required to communicate. Literacy is now only one tool in the toolbox. Our children will communicate in ways we cannot even imagine. And it will be better. Adhering to outmoded means of communication will only result in our young people falling behind. Instead of practicing literacy Luddism look forward to the evolution of digital ecology.

Deeper Than McLuhan

I have read all of McLuhan’s books over the span of a few months. One thing to point out is that McLuhan did not say “The Medium is the Message”. McLuhan said, “The Medium is the Massage”. The medium was the cause of change, reformation and revolution not the message.

Another thing that stands out is that the scope of McLuhan’s system had only two dimensions where one could be the other. That is fine, but it is extensible to a six dimensional framework.


What I mean by this is that any of Zachman’s six focuses (who, what, when, where, why, how) can be the message contained within the medium. This agrees with McLuhan’s four laws of Media Theory. More simply put, each of Zachman’s focuses can be a system its own right and any system can be the container for another lesser system. The system is the massage. Or the message.

I will look further at how McLuhan’s four laws apply to Zachman in later posts.

Time Breakdown of Modern Web Design


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