More McLuhan and Media as a System

After Marshall McLuhan’s death, his son, Eric McLuhan, completed a remaining work entitled Laws of Media. In it McLuhan lays down four laws as questions:

  1. What does it enhance or intensify?
  2. What does it render obsolete or replace?
  3. What does it retrieve that was previously obsolesced?
  4. What does it produce or become when pushed to an extreme?

Marshall McLuhan called this a “tetrad” and said it could be applied to any human artifact.

If we think about evolution and systems the tetrad can be applied to anything.

Consider this: you have an ecological system and a new organism evolves. How do you assess the impact? McLuhan’s tetrad is a perfect template for that analysis in the same way you would assess a human artifact.

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