Real orig­i­nal thinkers

National Post (National Edition) - - LETTERS -

Re: Don’t blame tech for how peo­ple use it, Marni Soup­coff, Dec. 3, and Tech isn’t neu­tral, Let­ter to the ed­i­tor, Dec. 6

Let­ter writer Gary Craigs quotes Neil Post­man as say­ing that “ev­ery tech­nol­ogy has an in­her­ent bias.” But how sad that he quotes Post­man’s de­riv­a­tive work, and not the orig­i­nal Cana­dian

thinkers, Harold In­nis and Mar­shall McLuhan, whose work on me­dia and so­ci­ety broke the ground in the field.

These two men, work­ing at the Univer­sity of Toronto, real­ized that our so­ci­eties form around our tech­nolo­gies. McLuhan in par­tic­u­lar noted how the lin­ear par­a­digm of print had be­come supreme, but at the time of his writ­ing (1964), was un­der at­tack by elec­tronic me­dia. That at­tack is now a rout, and many of our cur­rent problems have at their root the way elec­tronic me­dia dis­solve print-based power struc­tures (e.g. Trump used Twit­ter to com­pletely by­pass The New York Times). Cana­dian thinkers led the way here. Kevin Bertsch, Toronto

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