Tetrad laws of media probes


Laws of Media
Laws of Media
  Chains etc.
Medium is the Message
  Start Here
  First Law of Motion
  Second Law of Motion
  Third Law of Motion


Laws of Media: Obsolesces

"Pastimes are past times" - James Joyce
Culture is Our Business [Review-Mirror]

What does the artifact erode or obsolesce? What does it flip into when pushed to an extreme? What got pushed aside by the enhancements of this artifact.

Let's look at a few examples:
Automobile obsolesced the horse and buggy.
Refigerator obsolesced salted meats.
Candy obsolesced dried fruits.
email obsolesced the office memo.

Often critics insist that McLuhan was wrong because a new medium did not completely replace an older medium. For example, there are more magazines now than before television. But certainly broadcasting eroded the influence of magazines. Time and Newsweek magazines are not considered equivalent news sources to broadcasting or cable networks. Most magazines focus on recreation, crafts or entertainment.

While this quesion would appear to be an easy to answer, it is not always obvious. Looking at art, sports, recreation and pastimes can help. "Obsolescence is not the end of anything; it is the beginning of aesthetics, the cradle of taste, of art, of eloquence, of slang." LM 100 What has been obsolesced becomes art or a pastime.

This process is also an interesting place to start composing a tetrad. McLuhan pointed out that what we do for recreation (and art) is obosoleced. I enjoy riding my bike, but where I live biking is certainly not the primary method of transportation anymore. My cousin enjoys calligraphy as a pastime. Some people enjoy vintage computers or vintage cars. So you could take a pastime and start building a tetrad. This can provide a different perspective on art and re-creation.

Author: Ray Daly
Updated: Update-Goes-Here