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Mcluhan, energy exploitation and the overextensions of man

Logan, Robert K. (2013) Mcluhan, energy exploitation and the overextensions of man. Razón y palabra (84). pp. 15-29.


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We make use of McLuhan’s Laws of Media and his notion that our technologies are “the
extensions of man” to understand ecological issues in general and global warming in
particular. We examine the evolution of humankind’s exploitation of energy that have
increased human wealth and well being. We identify the benefits and costs of tool
making, the control of fire, agriculture, steam engines, internal combustion engines,
electricity generation and nuclear power plants. Using McLuhan’s Laws of Media we
show that an energy exploitation technology or medium, and hence an extension of man,
when pushed to its extreme can flip into it opposite an ‘overextension of man.’ This is
certainly the case with the environmental challenges facing our planet and the survival of
the human race today. These include the storage of nuclear waste and the depletion of
natural resources. It is the burning of fossil fuels giving rise to pollution and the
greenhouse effect, which is most troubling as the build up of greenhouse gases could
devolve into a runaway effect threatening the very existence of human habitation on this

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Energy exploitation; media; McLuhan; “extensions of man”; “Laws of Media”; fossil fuels; global warming.
Divisions: Research Labs > sLAB (Strategic Innovation Lab)
Date Deposited: 10 May 2016 20:32
Last Modified: 20 Dec 2021 20:15
URI: https://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/736

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