Wednesday, January 12, 2005

from "The Derring-Do of Walter Ong," a review article of The Presence of the Word and Knowledge and the Future of Man in The Dialogist 1.3 (1969): 70-73:

"Ong assumes varying levels of meaning and significance in cultural communications, which sets his thesis somewhat apart from the medium-is-the-message route of Marshall McLuhan....Whereas one might call the Innis-McLuhan tradition one of "Media Dictating Culture," I woudl call this second school [Ong's] the "Perceptual Meaning" tradition. There is an important distinction here. Innis and McLuhan focused on the principal media of a period to she [sic] how the sensory ratios were thereby adjusted. The second school focuses directly on the activities of the senses themselves (or upon their nearest expressive modes, irrespective of media) to see the connection between one sense and the kind of meaning it tends to assimilate. Perhaps the critical difference lies in teh assumption by Innis and McLuhan that the dominant medium, by being dominant, thereby shapes a culture. The second tradition, however, claims that at all times in all cultures are at work: the important question is, what different kind of work do they do?" (71-72).from "The Derring-Do of Walter Ong," a review article of The Presence of the Word and Knowledge and the Future of Man in The Dialogist 1.3 (1969): 70-73:

"Ong assumes varying levels of meaning and significance in cultural communications, which sets his thesis somewhat apart from the medium-is-the-message route of Marshall McLuhan....Whereas one might call the Innis-McLuhan tradition one of "Media Dictating Culture," I would call this second school [Ong's] the "Perceptual Meaning" tradition. There is an important distinction here. Innis and McLuhan focused on the principal media of a period to she [sic] how the sensory ratios were thereby adjusted. The second school focuses directly on the activities of the senses themselves (or upon their nearest expressive modes, irrespective of media) to see the connection between one sense and the kind of meaning it tends to assimilate. Perhaps the critical difference lies in the assumption by Innis and McLuhan that the dominant medium, by being dominant, thereby shapes a culture. The second tradition, however, claims that at all times in all cultures are at work: the important question is, what different kind of work do they do?" (71-72).

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