Assignment 1: McLuhan vs. Williams

McLuhan writes that “any technology gradually creates a totally new human environment” [vi] and “any child can list the effects” [vii] of new technologies. “Effects” of the medium are irresistible and unavoidable. Williams suggests that ideas of “effects” mask “unresolved historical and philosophical questions” [9] and such lists would be “superficial” [9] or even “ludicrous”[128] (He also predicted McLuhan would be “unlikely to last long” [128].) Who do you think is right? Why?

For questions about the length or style of the essay, review the assignment guidelines. Please make sure to
– answer the questions (a page or less, double spaced should be fine for length)
– provide citations (page numbers are fine if it’s from an assigned reading)
– proofread your answer