New Book Announcement: McLuhan in Reverse: His General Theory of Media (GToM) by Robert K. Logan

01Aug21

McLuhan in Reverse

His General Theory of Media (GToM)

Series: Understanding Media Ecology

Robert K. Logan

McLuhan in Reverse proposes two new and startling theses about Marshall McLuhan’s body of work. The first argues that despite McLuhan’s claim that he did not work from a theory, his body of work in fact constitutes a theory that Robert K. Logan calls his General Theory of Media (GToM). The second thesis is that McLuhan’s GToM is characterized by a number of reversals, including his reversals of figure and ground, cause and effect, percepts and concepts; and the medium and its content as described in his famous one-liner “the medium is the message.” 

While McLuhan’s famous Laws of Media are part of his GToM, Logan has identified nine other elements of the GToM. They are his use of probes; figure/ground analysis; the idea that the medium is the message; the subliminal nature of ground or environment revealed only by the creation of an anti-environment; the reversal of cause and effect; the importance of percept over concept and hence a focus on the human sensorium and media as extensions of man; the division of communication into the oral, written, and electric ages along with the notions of acoustic and visual space; the notion of the global village; and finally, media as environments and hence media ecology.
(Source: https://tinyurl.com/3uxtxv22)

From Robert Logan’s Preface:-

I have, concluded that McLuhan’s body of work constitutes what I have called his General Theory of Media (GToM) and that the underlying theme of this theory is his use of reversals. This is the thesis that will be explored in this book. While McLuhan’s famous Laws of Media are part of his GToM there are nine other elements of the GToM that I have identified. They are 1. his use of probes; 2. figure/ground analysis; 3. the idea that the medium is the message; 4. the subliminal nature of ground or environment revealed only by the creation of an anti-environment; 5. the reversal of cause and effect; 6. the importance of percept over concept and hence a focus on the human sensorium and media as extensions of man; 7. the division of communication into the oral, written, and electric ages along with the notions of acoustic and visual space; 8. the notion of the global village and finally, 9. media as environments and hence media ecology.

Table of Contents
Preface
Chapter One: McLuhan’s General Theory of Media (GToM) and the Role of Reversals
Chapter Two: The Ten Elements of McLuhan’s General Theory of Media
Chapter Three: Applying McLuhan’s General Theory of Media to the Flowering of the Digital Age
Chapter Four: Understanding Humans: The Extensions of Digital Media
Chapter Five: General System Thinking and Marshall McLuhan’s General Theory of Media
Chapter Six: Cataloguing McLuhan Reversals

About the Author
Robert K. Logan (PhD, MIT, 1965) is an emeritus professor of physics, fellow of St. Michael’s College, and member of the School of Environmental Studies, all at the University of Toronto. He is also Chief Scientist of the sLab (OCAD University) and a recipient of the Walter J. Ong Award for Career Achievement in Scholarship by the Media Ecology Association.



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