Hey Woofmooers: Howzabout all y'alls help a playa out with comments and/or suggestions for the collection of YouTube video links I'm putting together for an undergrad course on Media Ecology? We will start with the proposition that "the very cognitive structure of the individual human being and the formal patterns of human social relations are intimately linked to the forms of systems of communication that are predominant in given eras." And further:
Each new medium of communication re-creates or modifies culture in its image; and it is extreme naiveté to believe that a medium of communication or, indeed, any technology is merely a tool, a way of doing. Each is also a way of seeing. To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail. To a man with a pencil, everything looks like a sentence; to a man with a television camera, everything looks like a picture; and to a man with a computer, the whole world looks like data. To put it another way, and to paraphrase the philosopher Wittgenstein, a medium of communication may be a vehicle or thought but we must not forget that it is also the driver. (Neil Postman)
The study of the media deals not only with the content of the media but with the media themselves and the total cultural environment within which the media function. Only by standing aside from any phenomenon and taking an overview can you discover its operative principles and lines of force. There's really nothing inherently startling or radical about this study---except that for some reason few have had the vision to undertake it. For the past 3500 years of the Western world, the effects of media---whether it's speech, writing, printing, photography, radio or television---have been systematically overlooked by social observers. Even in today's revolutionary electronic age, scholars evidence few signs of modifying this traditional stance of ostrichlike disregard. (Marshall McLuhan)
The list currently includes a large range of material, from theoretical discussions (McLuhan, Postman, Nicholas Negroponte) to representations of forms of media in film (the medieval scribal culture of "The Name of the Rose," the typographic culture of "His Girl Friday," the radio culture of "The King of Marvin Gardens," etc.) to online documentaries about and artifacts from various forms of media. I have a pretty good online text collection at this point, but any suggestions in that direction are also always welcome. The YouTube page is here. The embedded player with the loaded list is below.