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Alex Shevelenko
Content thumbnail Understanding Media by Marshall McLuhan

Understanding Media by Marshall McLuhan

Marshall McLuhan's Understanding Media: The extensions of man

Marshall McLuhan Understanding Media The extensions of man London and New York

CONTENTS PARTI 1 Introduction 3 1 The Medium is the Message 7 2 Media Hot and Cold 24 3 Reversal of the Overheated Medium 36 4 The Gadget Lover: Narcissus as Narcosis 45 5 Hybrid Energy: Les Liaisons Dangereuses 53 6 Media as Translators 62 7 Challenge and Collapse: the Nemesis of Creativity 68 PART II 81 8 The Spoken Word: Flower of Evil? 83 9 The Written Word: an Eye for an Ear 88 10 Roads and Paper Routes 97 11 Number: Profile ofthe Crowd 115 12 Clothing: Our Extended Skin 129 13 Housing: New Look and New Outlook 133

14 Money: the Poor Man's Credit Card 142 15 Clocks: the Scent of Time 157 16 The Print: How to Dig it 170 17 Comics: Mad Vestibule to TV 178 18 The Printed Word: Architect of Nationalism 185 19 Wheel, Bicycle, and Airplane 195 20 The Photograph: the Brothel-without-Walls 204 21 Press: Government by News Leak 220 22 Motorcar: the Mechanical Bride 236 23 Ads: Keeping Upset with the Joneses 246 24 Games: the Extensions of Man 254 25 Telegraph: the Social Hormone 267 26 The Typewriter: into the Age of the Iron Whim 281 27 The Telephone: Sounding Brass or TinklingSymbol? 289 28 The Phonograph: the Toy that Shrank the National Chest 300 29 Movies: the Reel World 310 30 Radio: the Tribal Drum 324 31 Television: the Timid Giant 336 32 Weapons: War of the Icons 369 33 Automation: Learning a Living 378

Part I

INTRODUCTION James Reston wrote in The New York Times (July 7, 1957): A health director . . . reported this week that a small mouse, which presumably had been watching television, attacked a little girl and her full-grown cat. . . . Both mouse and cat survived, and the incident is recorded here as a reminder that things seem to be changing. After three thousand years of explosion, by means of frag- mentary and mechanical technologies, the Western world is imploding. During the mechanical ages we had extended our bodies in space. Today, after more than a century of electric technology, we have extended our central nervous system itself in a global embrace, abolishing both space and time as far as our planet is concerned. Rapidly, we approach the final phase of the extensions of man-- the technological simulation of consciousness, when the creative process of knowing will be collectively and corporately extended to the whole of human society, much

as we have already extended our senses and our nerves by the various media Whether the extension of consciousness, so long sought by advertisers for specific products, will be "a good thing" is a question that admits of a wide solution. There is little possibility of answering such questions about the extensions of man without considering all of them together. Any extension, whether of skin, hand, or foot, affects the whole psychic and social complex. Some of the principal extensions, together with some of their psychic and social consequences, are studied in this book. Just how little consideration has been given to such matters in the past can be gathered from the consternation of one of the editors of this book. He noted in dismay that "seventy-five per cent of your material is new. A successful book cannot venture to be more than ten per cent new." Such a risk seems quite worth taking at the present time when the stakes are very high, and the need to understand the effects of the extensions of man becomes more urgent by the hour. In the mechanical age now receding, many actions could be taken without too much concern. Slow movement insured that the reactions were delayed for considerable periods of time. Today the action and the reaction occur almost at the same time. We actually live mythically and integrally, as it were, but we continue to think in the old, fragmented space and time patterns of the pre-electric age. Western man acquired from the technology of literacy the power to act without reacting. The advantages of fragmenting himself in this way are seen in the case of the surgeon who would be quite helpless if he were to become humanly involved us in the whole of mankind and to incorporate with in his operation. We acquired the art of carrying out the most dangerous social operations with complete detachment. But our detachment was a posture of noninvolvement. In the electric age, when our central nervous system is technologically extended to whole of mankind and to incorporate the

whole of mankind in us, we necessarily participate, in depth, in the consequences of our every action. It is no longer possible to adopt the aloof and dissociated role of the literate Westerner. The Theater of the Absurd dramatizes this recent dilemma of Western man, the man of action who appears not to be involved in the action. Such is the origin and appeal of Samuel Beckett's clowns. After three thousand years of specialist explosion and of increasing specialism and alienation in the technological extensions of our bodies, our world has become compressional by dramatic reversal. As electrically contracted, the globe is no more than a village. Electric speed in bringing all social and political functions together in a sudden implosion has heightened human awareness of responsibility to an intense degree. It is this implo-sive factor that alters the position of the Negro, the teen-ager, and some other groups. They can no longer be contained, in the political sense of limited association. They are now involved in our lives, as we in theirs, thanks to the electric media. This is the Age of Anxiety for the reason of the electric implosion that compels commitment and participation, quite regardless of any "point of view." The partial and specialized character of the viewpoint, however noble, will not serve at all in the electric age. At the information level the same upset has occurred with the substitution of the inclusive image for the mere viewpoint. If the nineteenth century was the age of the editorial chair, ours is the century of the psychiatrist's couch. As extension of man the chair is a specialist ablation of the posterior, a sort of ablative absolute of backside, whereas the couch extends the integral being. The psychiatrist employs the couch, since it removes the temptation to express private points of view and obviates the need to rationalize events. The aspiration of our time for wholeness, empathy and depth of awareness is a natural adjunct of electric technology. The age of mechanical industry that preceded us found vehement assertion of private outlook the natural mode of expression. Every

culture and every age has its favorite model of perception and knowledge that it is inclined to prescribe for everybody and everything. The mark of our time is its revulsion against imposed patterns. We are suddenly eager to have things and people declare their beings totally. There is a deep faith to be found in this new attitude— a faith that concerns the ultimate harmony of all being. Such is the faith in which this book has been written. It explores the contours of our own extended beings in our technologies, seeking the principle of intelligibility in each of them. In the full confidence that it is possible to win an understanding of these forms that will bring them into orderly service, I have looked at time anew, accepting very little of the conventional wisdom concerning them. One can say of media as Robert Theobald has said of economic depressions: "There is one additional factor that has helped to control depressions, and that is a better understanding of their development." Examination of the origin and development of the individual extensions of man should be preceded by a look at some general aspects of the media, or extensions of man, beginning with the never-explained numbness that each extension brings about in the individual and society.

THE MEDIUM IS THE MESSAGE In a culture like ours, long accustomed to splitting and dividing all things as a means of control, it is sometimes a bit of a shock to be reminded that, in operational and practical fact, the medium is the message. This is merely to say that the personal and social consequences of any medium-- that is, of any extension of ourselves -- result from the new scale that is introduced into our affairs by each extension of ourselves, or by any new technology. Thus, with automation, for example, the new patterns of human association tend to eliminate jobs, it is true. That is the negative result. Positively, automation creates roles for people, which is to say depth of involvement in their work and human association that our preceding mechanical technology had destroyed. Many people would be disposed to say that it was not the machine, but what one did with the machine, that was its meaning or message. In terms of the ways in which the machine altered our relations to one another and to ourselves, it mattered not in the least whether it turned out cornflakes or Cadillacs. The restructuring of human work and association was

shaped by the technique of fragmentation that is the essence of machine technology. The essence of automation technology is the opposite. It is integral and decentralist in depth, just as the machine was fragmentary, centralist, and superficial in its patterning of human relationships. The instance of the electric light may prove illuminating in this connection. The electric light is pure information. It is a medium without a message, as it were, unless it is used to spell out some verbal ad or name. This fact, characteristic of all media, means that the "content" of any medium is always another medium. The content of writing is speech, just as the written word is the content of print, and print is the content of the telegraph. If it is asked, "What is the content of speech?," it is necessary to say, "It is an actual process of thought, which is in itself nonverbal." An abstract painting represents direct manifestation of creative thought processes as they might appear in computer designs. What we are considering here, however, are the psychic and social consequences of the designs or patterns as they amplify or accelerate existing processes. For the "message" of any medium or technology is the change of scale or pace or pattern that it introduces into human affairs. The railway did not introduce movement or transportation or wheel or road into human society, but it accelerated and enlarged the scale of previous human functions, creating totally new kinds of cities and new kinds of work and leisure. This happened whether the railway functioned in a tropical or a northern environment and is quite independent of the freight or content of the railway medium. The airplane, on the other hand, by accelerating the rate of transportation, tends to dissolve the railway form of city, politics, and association, quite independently of what the airplane is used for. Let us return to the electric light. When the light is being used for brain surgery or night baseball is a matter of indifference. It could be argued that these activities are in some way the

"content" of the electric light, since they could not exist without the electric light. This fact merely underlines the point that "the medium is the message" because it is the medium that shapes and controls the scale and form of human association and action. The content or uses of such media are as diverse as they are ineffectual in shaping the form of human association. Indeed, it is only too typical that the "content" of any medium blinds us to the character of the medium. It is only today that industries have become aware of the various kinds of business in which they are engaged. When IBM discovered that it was not in the business of making office equipment or business machines, but that it was in the business of processing information, then it began to navigate with dear vision. The General Electric Company makes a considerable portion of its profits from electric light bulbs and lighting systems. It has not yet discovered that, quite as much as A.T.& T., it is in the business of moving information. The electric light escapes attention as a communication medium just because it has no "content." And this makes it an invaluable instance of how people fail to study media at all. For it is not till the electric light is used to spell out some brand name that it is noticed as a medium. Then it is not the light but the "content" (or what is really another medium) that is noticed. The message of the electric light is like the message of electric power in industry, totally radical, pervasive, and decentralized. For electric light and power are separate from their uses, yet they eliminate time and space factors in human association exactly as do radio, telegraph, telephone, and TV, creating involvement in depth. A fairly complete handbook for studying the extensions of man could be made up from selections from Shakespeare. Some might quibble about whether or not he was referring to TV in these familiar lines from Romeo and Juliet: But soft! what light through yonder window breaks? It speaks, and yet says nothing.

In Othello, which, as much as King Lear, is concerned with the torment of people transformed by illusions, there are these lines that bespeak Shakespeare's intuition of the transforming powers of new media: Is there not charms By which the property of youth and maidhood May be abus'd? Have you not read Roderigo, Of some such thing? In Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida, which is almost completely devoted to both a psychic and social study of communication, Shakespeare states his awareness that true social and political navigation depend upon anticipating the consequences of innovation: The providence that's in a watchful state Knows almost every grain of Plutus' gold, Finds bottom in the uncomprehensive deeps, Keeps place with thought, and almost like the gods Does thoughts unveil in their dumb cradles. The increasing awareness of the action of media, quite independently of their "content" or programming, was indicated in the annoyed and anonymous stanza: In modern thought, (if not in fact) Nothing is that doesn't act, So that is reckoned wisdom which Describes the scratch but not the itch. The same kind of total, configuration awareness that reveals why the medium is socially the message has occurred in the most recent and rad,cal medial theories. In his Stress of Life, Hans

Selye tells of the dismay of a research colleague on hearing of Selye's theory: When he saw me thus launched on yet another enraptured description of what I had observed in animals treated with this or that impure, toxic material, he looked at me with desperately sad eyes and said in obvious despair: "But Selye, try to realize what you are doing before it is too late! You have now decided to spend your entire life studying the pharmacology of dirt!" (Hans Selye, The Stress of Life) As Selye deals with the total environmental situation in his "stress" theory of disease, so the latest approach to media study considers not only the "content" but the medium and the cultural matrix within which the particular medium operates. The older unawareness of the psychic and social effects of media can be illustrated from almost any of the conventional pronouncements. In accepting an honorary degree from the University of Notre Dame a few years ago, General David Sarnoff made this statement: "We are too prone to make technological instruments the scapegoats for the sins of those who wield them. The products of modern science are not in themselves good or bad; it is the way they are used that determines their value." That is the voice of the current somnambulism. Suppose we were to say, "Apple pie is in itself neither good nor bad; it is the way it is used that determines its value." Or, "The smallpox virus is in itself neither good nor bad; it is the way it is used that determines its value." Again, "Firearms are in themselves neither good nor bad; it is the way they are used that determines their value." That is, if the slugs reach the right people firearms are good. If the TV tube fires the right ammunition at the right people it is good. I am not being perverse. There is simply nothing in the Sarnoff statement that will bear scrutiny, for it ignores the nature of the medium.

of any and all media, in the true Narcissus style of one hypnotized by the amputation and extension of his own being in a new technical form. General Sarnor Twent on to explain his attitude to the technology of print, saying that it was true that print caused much trash to circulate, but it had also disseminated the Bible and the thoughts of seers and philosophers. It has never occurred to General Sarnoffthat any technology could do anything but add itself on to what we already are. Such economists as Robert Theobald, W W. Rostow, and John Kenneth Galbraith have been explaining for years how it is that "classical economics" cannot explain change or growth. And the paradox of mechanization is that although it is itself the cause of maximal growth and change, the principle of mechanization excludes the very possibility of growth or the understanding of change. For mechanization is achieved by fragmentation of any process and by putting the fragmented parts in a series. Yet, as David Hume showed in the eighteenth century, there is no principle of causality in a mere sequence. That one thing follows another accounts for nothing. Nothing follows from following, except change. So the greatest of all reversals occurred with electricity, that ended sequence by making things instant. With instant speed the causes of things began to emerge to awareness again, as they had not done with things in sequence and in concatenation accordingly. Instead of asking which came first, the chicken or the egg, it suddenly seemed that a chicken was an egg's idea for getting more eggs. Just before an airplane breaks the sound barrier, sound waves become visible on the wings of the plane. The sudden visibility of sound just as sound ends is an apt instance of that great pattern of being that reveals new and opposite forms just as the earlier forms reach their peak performance. Mechanization was never so vividly fragmented or sequential as in the birth of the movies the moment that translated us beyond mechanism into the world of growth and organic interrelation. The movie, by

message. The message, it seemed, was the "content." as people used to ask what a painting was about. Yet they never thought to ask what a melody was about, nor what a house or a dress was about. In such matters, people retained some sense of the whole pattern, of form and function as a unity. But in the electric age this integral idea of structure and configuration has become so prevalent that educational theory has taken up the matter. Instead of working with specialized "problems" in arithmetic, the structural approach now follows the linea of force in the field of number and has small children meditating about number theory and "sets." Cardinal Newman said of Napoleon, "He understood the grammar of gunpowder." Napoleon had paid some attention to other media as well, especially the semaphore telegraph that gave him a great advantage over his enemies. He is on record for saying that "Three hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets." Alexis de Tocqueville was the first to master the grammar of print and typography. He was thus able to read off the message of coming change in France and America as if he were reading aloud from a text that had been handed to him. In fact, the nineteenth century in France and in America was just such an open book to de Tocqueville because he had learned the grammar of print. So he, also, knew when that grammar did not apply. He was asked why he did not write a book on England, since he knew and admired England. He replied: One would have to have an unusual degree of philosophical folly to believe oneself able to judge England in six months. A year always seemed to me too short a time in which to appreciate the United States properly, and it is much easier to acquire clear and precise notions about the American Union than about Great Britain. In America all laws derive in a sense from the same line of thought. The whole of society, so to speak is

founded upon a single fact; everything springs from a simple principle. One could compare America to a forest pierced by a multitude of straight roads all converging on the same point. One has only to find the center and everything is revealed at a glance. But in England the paths run criss-cross, and it is only by travelling down each one of them that one can build up a picture of the whole. De Tocqueville, in earlier work on the French Revolution, had explained how it was the printed word that, achieving cultural saturation in the eighteenth century, had homogenized the French nation. Frenchmen were the same kind of people from north to south The typographic principles of uniformity, continuity, and lineality had overlaid the complexities of ancient feudal and oral society. The Revolution was carried out by the new literati and lawyers. In England, however, such was the power of the ancient oral traditions of common law, backed by the medieval institution of Parliament, that no uniformity or continuity of the new visual print culture could take complete hold. The result was that the most important event in English history has never taken place; namely, the English Revolution on the lines of die French Revolution. The American Revolution had no medieval legal institutions to discard or to root out, apart from monarchy. And many have held that the American Presidency has become very much more personal and monarchical than any European monarch ever could be. De Tocqueville's contrast between England and America is clearly based on the fact of typography and of print culture creating uniformity and continuity. England, he says, has rejected this principle and dung to the dynamic or oral common-law tradition. Hence the discontinuity and unpredictable quality of English culture. The grammar of print cannot help to construe the message of oral and nonwritten culture and

institutions. The English aristocracy was properly classified as barbarian by Matthew Arnold because its power and status had nothing to do with literacy or with the cultural forms of typography. Said the Duke of Gloucester to Edward Gibbon upon the publication of his Decline and Fall; "Another damned fat book, eh, Mr. Gibbon? Scribble, scribble, scribble, eh, Mr. Gibbon?" De Tocqueville was a highly literate aristocrat who was quite able to be detached from the values and assumptions of typography. That is why he alone understood the grammar of typography. And it is only on those terms, standing aside from any structure or medium, that its principles and lines of force can be discerned. For any medium has the power of imposing its own assumption on the unwary. Prediction and control consist in avoiding this subliminal state of Narcissus trance. But the greatest aid to this end is simply in knowing that the spell can occur immediately upon contact, as in the first bars of a melody. A Passage to India by E. M. Forster is a dramatic study of the inability of oral and intuitive oriental culture to meet with the rational, visual European patterns of experience. "Rational," of course, has for the West long meant "uniform and continuous and sequential." In other words, we have confused reason with literacy, and rationalism with a single technology. Thus in the electric age man seems to the conventional West to become irrational. In Forster's novel the moment of truth and dislocation from the typographic trance of the West comes in the Marabar Caves. Adela Quested's reasoning powers cannot cope with the total inclusive field of resonance that is India. After the Caves: Lite went on as usual, but had no consequences, that is to say, sounds did not echo nor thought develop. Everything seemed cut off at its root and therefore infected with illusion." A Passage to India (the phrase is from Whitman, who saw America headed Eastward) is a parable of Western man in the electric age, and is only incidentally related to Europe or the Orient. The ultimate conflict between sigh and sound, between written and

The killer is regarded as we do a cancer victim. "How terrible it must be to feel like that," they say. J. M. Synge took up this idea very effectively in his Playboy of the Western World. If the criminal appears as a nonconformist who is unable to meet the demand of technology that we behave in uniform and continuous patterns, literate man is quite inclined to see others who cannot conform as somewhat pathetic. Especially the child, the cripple, the woman, and the colored person appear in a world of visual and typographic technology as victims of injustice. On the other hand, in a culture that assigns roles instead of jobs to people -- the dwarf, the skew, the child create their own spaces. They are not expected to fit into some uniform and repeatable niche that is not their size anyway. Consider the phrase "It's a man's world." As a quantitative observation endlessly repeated from within a homogenized culture, this phrase refers to the men in such a culture who have to be homogenized Dagwoods in order to belong at all. It is in our I.Q. testing that we have produced the greatest flood of misbegotten standards. Unaware of our typographic cultural bias, our testers assume that uniform and continuous habits are a sign of intelligence, thus eliminating the ear man and the tactile man. C. P. Snow, reviewing a book of A. L Rowse (The New York Times Book Review, December 24, 1961) on Appeasement and the road to Munich, describes the top level of British brains and experience in the 1930s. "Their I.Q.'s were much higher than usual among political bosses. Why were they such a disaster?" The view of Rowse, Snow approves: "They would not listen to warnings because they did not wish to hear." Being anti-Red made it impossible for them to read the message of Hitler. But their failure was as nothing compared to our present one The American stake in literacy as a technology or uniformity applied to every level of education, government, industry, and social life is totally threatened by the electric technology. The threat of Stalin Hitler was external. The electric technology is within the

gates, and we are numb, deaf, blind, and mute about its encounter with the Gutenberg technology, on and through which the American way of life was formed. It is, however, no time to suggest strategies when the threat has not even been acknowledged to exist. I am in the position of Louis Pasteur telling doctors that their greatest enemy was quite invisible, and quite unrecognized by them. Our conventional response to all media, namely that it is how they are used that counts, is the numb stance of the technological idiot. For the "content" of a medium is like the juicy piece of meat carried by the burglar to distract the watchdog of the mind. The effect of the medium is made strong and intense just because it is given another medium as "content." The content of a movie is a novel or a play or an opera. The effect of the movie form is not related to its program content. The "content" of writing or print is speech, but the reader is almost entirely unaware either of print or of speech. Arnold Toynbee is innocent of any understanding of media as they have shaped history, but he is full of examples that the student of media can use. At one moment he can seriously suggest that adult education, such as the Workers Educational Association in Britain, is a useful counterforce to the popular press. Toynbee considers that although all of the oriental societies have in our time accepted the industrial technology and its political consequences: "On the cultural plane, however, there is no uniform corresponding tendency." (Somervell, I. 267) This is like the voice of the literate man, floundering in a milieu of ads, who boasts, "Personally, I pay no attention to ads." The spiritual and cultural reservations that the oriental peoples may have toward our technology will avail them not at all. The effects of technology do not occur at the level of opinions or concepts, but alter sense ratios or patterns of perception steadily and without any resistance. The serious artist is the only person able to encounter technology with impunity, just because he is an expert aware of the changes in sense perception.

The operation of the money medium in seventeenth-century Japan had effects not unlike the operation of typography in the West The penetration of the money economy, wrote G. B. San-som (in Japan. Cresset Press, London, 193 1) "caused a slow but irresistible revolution, culminating in the breakdown of feudal government and the resumption of intercourse with foreign countries after more than two hundred years of seclusion." Money has reorganized the sense life of peoples just because it is an extension of our sense lives. This change does not depend upon approval or disapproval of those living in the society. Arnold Toynbee made one approach to the transforming power of media in his concept of "etherialization," which he holds to be the principle of progressive simplification and efficiency in any organization or technology. Typically, he is ignoring the effect of the challenge of these forms upon the response of our senses. He imagines that it is the response of our opinions that is relevant to the effect of media and technology in society, a "point of view" that is plainly the result of the typographic spell. For the man in a literate and homogenized society ceases to be sensitive to the diverse and discontinuous life of forms. He acquires the illusion of the third dimension and the "private point of view" as part of his Narcissus fixation, and is quite shut off from Blake's awareness or that of the Psalmist, that we become what we behold. Today when we want to get our bearings in our own culture, and have need to stand aside from the bias and pressure exerted by any technical form of human expression, we have only to visit a society where that particular form has not been felt, or a historical period in which it was unknown. Professor Wilbur Schramm made such a tactical move in studying Television in the Lives of Our Children. He found areas where TV had not penetrated at all and ran some tests. Since he had made no study of the peculiar nature of the TV image, his tests were of "content" preferences, viewing time, and vocabulary counts. In a word, his

approach to the problem was a literary one, albeit unconsciously so. Consequently, he had nothing to report. Had his methods been employed in 1500 a.d. to discover the effects of the printed book in the lives of children or adults, he could have found out nothing of the changes in human and social psychology resulting from typography. Print created individualism and nationalism in the sixteenth century. Program and "content" analysis offer no dues to the magic of these media or to their subliminal charge. Leonard Doob, in his report Communication in Africa, tells of one African who took great pains to listen each evening to the BBC news, even though he could understand nothing of it. Just to be in the presence of those sounds at 7 p.m. each day was important for him. His attitude to speech was like ours to melody--the resonant intonation was meaning enough. In the seventeenth century our ancestors still shared this native's attitude to the forms of media, as is plain in the following sentiment of the Frenchman Bernard Lam expressed in The Art of Speaking (London, 1696): Tis an effect of the Wisdom of God, who created Man to be happy, that whatever is useful to his conversation (way of life) is agreeable to him ... because all victual that conduces to nour- ishment is relishable, whereas other things that cannot be assimulated and be turned into our substance are insipid. A Discourse cannot be pleasant to the Hearer that is not easily to the Speaker; nor can it be easily pronounced unless it be heard with delight. Here is an equilibrium theory of human diet and expression such as even now we are only striving to work out again for media after centuries of fragmentation and specialism. Pope Pius XII was deeply concerned that there be serious study of the media today. On February 1 7, 1 950, he said:

oral kinds of perception and organization of existence is upon us. Since understanding stops action, as Nietzsche observed, we can moderate the fierceness of this conflict by understanding the media that extend us and raise these wars within and without us. Detribalization by literacy and its traumatic effects on tribal man is the theme of a book by the psychiatrist J. C. Carothers, The African Mind in Health and Disease (World Health Organization, Geneva, 1953). Much of his material appeared in an article in Psychiatry magazine, November, 1959: "The Culture, Psychiatry, and the Written Word." Again, it is electric speed that has revealed the lines of force operating from Western technology in the remotest areas of bush, savannah, and desert. One example is the Bedouin with his battery radio on board the camel. Submerging natives with floods of concepts for which nothing has prepared them is the normal action of all of our technology. But with electric media Western man himself experiences exactly the same inundation as the remote native. We are no more prepared to encounter radio and TV in our literate milieu than the native of Ghana is able to cope with the literacy that takes him out of his collective tribal world and beaches him in individual isolation. We are as numb in our new electric world as the native involved in our literate and mechanical culture. Electric speed mingles the cultures of prehistory with the dregs of industrial marketeers, the nonliterate with the semiliterate and the postliterate. Mental breakdown of varying degrees is the very common result of uprooting and inundation with new information and endless new patterns of information. Wyndham Lewis made this a theme of his group of novels called The Human Age. The first of these. The Childerraass, is concerned precisely with accelerated media change as a kind of massacre of the innocents. In our own world as we become more aware of the effects of technology on psychic formation and manifestation, we are losing all confidence in our right to assign guilt. Ancient prehistoric societies regard violent crime as pathetic.

sheer speeding up the mechanical, carried us from the world of sequence and connections into the world of creative configuration and structure. The message of the movie medium is that of transition from lineal connections to configurations. It is the transition that produced the now quite correct observation: "If it works, it's obsolete." When electric speed further takes over from mechanical movie sequences, then the lines of force in structures and in media become loud and clear. We return to the inclusive form of the icon. To a highly literate and mechanized culture the movie appeared as a world of triumphant illusions and dreams diat money could buy. It was at this moment of the movie that cubism occurred, and it has been described by E. H. Gombrich (Art and Illusion) as "the most radical attempt to stamp out ambiguity and to enforce one reading of the picture-that of a man-made construction, a colored canvas." For cubism substitutes all facets of an object simultaneously for the "point of view" or facet of perspective illusion. Instead of the specialized illusion of the third dimension on canvas, cubism sets up an interplay of planes and contradiction or dramatic conflict of patterns, lights, textures that "drives home the message" by involvement. This is held by many to be an exercise in painting, not in illusion. In other words, cubism, by giving the inside and outside, the top, bottom, back, and front and die rest, in two dimensions, drops the illusion of perspective in favor of instant sensory awareness of the whole. Cubism, by seizing on instant total awareness, suddenly announced that the medium is the message. Is it not evident that the moment that sequence yields to the simultaneous, one is in the world of the structure and of configuration? Is that not what has happened in physics as in painting, poetry, and in communication? Specialized segments of attention have shifted to total field, and we can now say, "The medium is the message" quite naturally. Before the electric speed and total field, it was not obvious that the medium is the

The killer is regarded as we do a cancer victim. "How terrible it must be to feel like that," they say. J. M. Synge took up this idea very effectively in his Playboy of the Western World. If the criminal appears as a nonconformist who is unable to meet the demand of technology that we behave in uniform and continuous patterns, literate man is quite inclined to see others who cannot conform as somewhat pathetic. Especially the child, the cripple, the woman, and the colored person appear in a world of visual and typographic technology as victims of injustice. On the other hand, in a culture that assigns roles instead of jobs to people 梩 he dwarf, the skew, the child create their own spaces. They are not expected to fit into some uniform and repeatable niche that is not their size anyway. Consider the phrase "It's a man's world." As a quantitative observation endlessly repeated from within a homogenized culture, this phrase refers to the men in such a culture who have to be homogenized Dagwoods in order to belong at all. It is in our I.Q. testing that we have produced the greatest flood of misbegotten standards. Unaware of our typographic cultural bias, our testers assume that uniform and continuous habits are a sign of intelligence, thus eliminating the ear man and the tactile man. C. P. Snow, reviewing a book of A. L Rowse (The New York Times Book Review, December 24, 1961) on Appeasement and the road to Munich, describes the top level of British brains and experience in the 1930s. "Their I.Q.'s were much higher than usual among political bosses. Why were they such a disaster?" The view of Rowse, Snow approves: "They would not listen to warnings because they did not wish to hear." Being anti-Red made it impossible for them to read the message of Hitler. But their failure was as nothing compared to our present one The American stake in literacy as a technology or uniformity applied to every level of education, government, industry, and social life is totally threatened by the electric technology. The threat of Stalin Hitler was external. The electric technology is within the

gates, and we are numb, deaf, blind, and mute about its encounter with the Gutenberg technology, on and through which the American way of life was formed. It is, however, no time to suggest strategies when the threat has not even been acknowledged to exist. I am in the position of Louis Pasteur telling doctors that their greatest enemy was quite invisible, and quite unrecognized by them. Our conventional response to all media, namely that it is how they are used that counts, is the numb stance of the technological idiot. For the "content" of a medium is like the juicy piece of meat carried by the burglar to distract the watchdog of the mind. The effect of the medium is made strong and intense just because it is given another medium as "content." The content of a movie is a novel or a play or an opera. The effect of the movie form is not related to its program content. The "content" of writing or print is speech, but the reader is almost entirely unaware either of print or of speech. Arnold Toynbee is innocent of any understanding of media as they have shaped history, but he is full of examples that the student of media can use. At one moment he can seriously suggest that adult education, such as the Workers Educational Association in Britain, is a useful counterforce to the popular press. Toynbee considers that although all of the oriental societies have in our time accepted the industrial technology and its political consequences: "On the cultural plane, however, there is no uniform corresponding tendency." (Somervell, I. 267) This is like the voice of the literate man, floundering in a milieu of ads, who boasts, "Personally, I pay no attention to ads." The spiritual and cultural reservations that the oriental peoples may have toward our technology will avail them not at all. The effects of technology do not occur at the level of opinions or concepts, but alter sense ratios or patterns of perception steadily and without any resistance. The serious artist is the only person able to encounter technology with impunity, just because he is an expert aware of the changes in sense perception.

The operation of the money medium in seventeenth-century Japan had effects not unlike the operation of typography in the West The penetration of the money economy, wrote G. B. San-som (in Japan. Cresset Press, London, 193 1) "caused a slow but irresistible revolution, culminating in the breakdown of feudal government and the resumption of intercourse with foreign countries after more than two hundred years of seclusion." Money has reorganized the sense life of peoples just because it is an extension of our sense lives. This change does not depend upon approval or disapproval of those living in the society. Arnold Toynbee made one approach to the transforming power of media in his concept of "etherialization," which he holds to be the principle of progressive simplification and efficiency in any organization or technology. Typically, he is ignoring the effect of the challenge of these forms upon the response of our senses. He imagines that it is the response of our opinions that is relevant to the effect of media and technology in society, a "point of view" that is plainly the result of the typographic spell. For the man in a literate and homogenized society ceases to be sensitive to the diverse and discontinuous life of forms. He acquires the illusion of the third dimension and the "private point of view" as part of his Narcissus fixation, and is quite shut off from Blake's awareness or that of the Psalmist, that we become what we behold. Today when we want to get our bearings in our own culture, and have need to stand aside from the bias and pressure exerted by any technical form of human expression, we have only to visit a society where that particular form has not been felt, or a historical period in which it was unknown. Professor Wilbur Schramm made such a tactical move in studying Television in the Lives of Our Children. He found areas where TV had not penetrated at all and ran some tests. Since he had made no study of the peculiar nature of the TV image, his tests were of "content" preferences, viewing time, and vocabulary counts. In a word, his

approach to the problem was a literary one, albeit unconsciously so. Consequently, he had nothing to report. Had his methods been employed in 1500 a.d. to discover the effects of the printed book in the lives of children or adults, he could have found out nothing of the changes in human and social psychology resulting from typography. Print created individualism and nationalism in the sixteenth century. Program and "content" analysis offer no dues to the magic of these media or to their subliminal charge. Leonard Doob, in his report Communication in Africa, tells of one African who took great pains to listen each evening to the BBC news, even though he could understand nothing of it. Just to be in the presence of those sounds at 7 p.m. each day was important for him. His attitude to speech was like ours to melody--the resonant intonation was meaning enough. In the seventeenth century our ancestors still shared this native's attitude to the forms of media, as is plain in the following sentiment of the Frenchman Bernard Lam expressed in The Art of Speaking (London, 1696): ‘Tis an effect of the Wisdom of God, who created Man to be happy, that whatever is useful to his conversation (way of life) is agreeable to him ... because all victual that conduces to nour- ishment is relishable, whereas other things that cannot be assimulated and be turned into our substance are insipid. A Discourse cannot be pleasant to the Hearer that is not easie to the Speaker; nor can it be easily pronounced unless it be heard with delight. Here is an equilibrium theory of human diet and expression such as even now we are only striving to work out again for media after centuries of fragmentation and specialism. Pope Pius XII was deeply concerned that there be serious study of the media today. On February 1 7, 1 950, he said:

It is not an exaggeration to say that the future of modern society and the stability of its inner life depend in large part on the maintenance of an equilibrium between the strength of the techniques of communication and the capacity of the individual's own reaction. Failure in this respect has for centuries been typical and total for mankind. Subliminal and docile acceptance of media impact has made them prisons without walls for their human users. As A. ]. Liebling remarked in his book The Press, a man is not free if he cannot see where he is going, even if he has a gun to help him get there. For each of the media is also a powerful weapon with which to clobber other media and other groups. The result is that the present age has been one of multiple civil wars that are not limited to the world of art and entertainment. In War and Human Progress, Professor J. U Nef declared: "The total wars of our time have been the result of a series of intellectual mistakes ..." If the formative power in the media are the media themselves, that raises a host of large matters that can only be mentioned here, although they deserve volumes. Namely, that technological media are staples or natural resources, exactly as are coal and cotton and oil. Anybody will concede that society whose economy is dependent upon one or two major staples like cotton, or grain, or lumber, or fish, or cattle is going to have some obvious social patterns of organization as a result. Stress on a few major staples creates extreme instability in the economy but great endurance in the population. The pathos and humor of the American South are embedded in such an economy of limited staples. For a society configured by reliance on a few commodities accepts them as a social bond quite as much as the metropolis does the press. Cotton and oil, like radio and TV, become fixed charges" on the entire psychic life of the community. And this pervasive fact creates the unique cultural flavor of any

society. It pays through the nose and all its other senses for each staple that shapes its life. That our human senses, of which all media are extensions, are also fixed charges on our personal energies, and that they also configure the awareness and experience of each one of us, may be perceived in another connection mentioned by the psychologist C. G. Jung: Every Roman was surrounded by slaves. The slave and his psychology flooded ancient Italy, and every Roman became inwardly, and of course unwittingly, a slave. Because living con- stantly in the atmosphere of slaves, he became infected through the unconscious with their psychology. No one can shield himself from such an influence (Contributions to Analytical Psychology, London, 1928).

2 Media Cold and Hot "The rise of the waltz," explained Curt Sachs in the World History of the Dance, "was a result of that longing for truth, simplicity, closeness to nature, and primitivism, which the last two-thirds of the eighteenth century fulfilled." In the century of jazz we are likely to overlook the emergence of the waltz as a hot and explosive human expression that broke through the formal feudal barriers of courtly and choral dance styles. There is a basic principle that distinguishes a hot medium like radio from a cool one like the telephone, or a hot medium like the movie from a cool one like TV. A hot medium is one that extends one single sense in "high definition." High definition is the state of being well filled with data. A photograph is, visually, "high definition." A cartoon is "low definition," simply because very little visual information is provided. Telephone is a cool medium. or one of low definition, because the ear is given a meager amount of information. And speech is a cool medium of low definition, because so little is given and so much has to be filled in by the listener. On the other hand, ho, media do not

leave so much to be filled in or completed by the audience. Hot media are, therefore, low in participation, and cool media are high in participation or completion by the audience. Naturally, therefore, a hot medium like radio has very different effects on the user from a cool medium like the telephone. A cool medium like hieroglyphic or ideogrammic written characters has very different effects from the hot and explosive medium of the phonetic alphabet. The alphabet, when pushed to a high degree of abstract visual intensity, became typography. The printed word with its specialist intensity burst the bonds of medieval corporate guilds and monasteries, creating extreme individualist patterns of enterprise and monopoly. But the typical reversal occurred when extremes of monopoly brought back the corporation, with its impersonal empire over many lives. The hotting-up of the medium of writing to repeatable print intensity led to nationalism and the religious wars of the sixteenth century. The heavy and unwieldy media, such as stone, are time binders. Used for writing, they are very cool indeed, and serve to unify the ages; whereas paper is a hot medium that serves to unify spaces horizontally, both in political and entertainment empires. Any hot medium allows of less participation than a cool one, as a lecture makes for less participation than a seminar, and a book for less than dialogue. With print many earlier forms were excluded from life and art, and many were given strange new intensity. But our own time is crowded with examples of the principle that the hot form excludes, and the cool one includes. When ballerinas began to dance on their toes a century ago, it was felt that the art of the ballet had acquired a new "spirituality." With this new intensity, male figures were excluded from ballet. The role of women had also become fragmented with the advent of industrial specialism and the explosion of home functions into laundries, bakeries, and hospitals on the periphery of the community. Intensity or high definition engenders

specialism and fragmentation in living as in entertainment, which explains why any intense experience must be "forgotten," "censored," and reduced to a very cool state before it can be "learned" or assimilated. The Freudian "censor" is less of a moral function than an indispensable condition of learning. Were we to accept fully and directly every shock to our various structures of awareness, we would soon be nervous wrecks, doing double-talces and pressing panic buttons every minute. The "censor" protects our centra] system of values, as it does our physical nervous system by simply cooling off the onset of experience a great deal. For many people, this cooling system brings on a lifelong state of psychic rigor mortis, or of somnambulism, particularly observable in periods of new technology. An example of the disruptive impact of a hot technology succeeding a cool one is given by Robert Theobald in The Rich and the Poor. When Australian natives were given steel axes by the missionaries, their culture, based on the stone axe, collapsed. The stone axe had not only been scarce but had always been a basic status symbol of male importance. The missionaries provided quantities of sharp steel axes and gave them to women and children. The men had even to borrow these from the women, causing a collapse of male dignity. A tribal and feudal hierarchy of traditional kind collapses quickly when it meets any hot medium of the mechanical, uniform, and repetitive kind. The medium of money or wheel or writing, or any other form of specialist speed-up of exchange and information, will serve to fragment a tribal structure. Similarly, a very much greater speedup, such as occurs with electricity, may serve to restore a tribal pattern of intense involvement such as took place with the introduction of radio in Europe, and is now tending to happen as a result oi TV m America. Specialist technologies detribalize. The nonspecia ist electric technology retribalizes. The process of upset resulting from a new distribution of skills is accompanied by much culture lag in which people feel compelled to look at

new situations as if they were old ones, and come up with ideas of "population explosion" in an age of implosion. Newton, in an age of clocks, managed to present the physical universe in the image of a clock. But poets like Blalce were far ahead of Newton in their response to the challenge of the clock. Blake spoke of the need to be delivered "from single vision and Newton's sleep," knowing very well that Newton's response to the challenge of the new mechanism was itself merely a mechanical repetition of the challenge. Blake saw Newton and Locke and others as hypnotized Narcissus types quite unable to meet the challenge of mechanism. W B. Yeats gave the full Blakean version of Newton and Locke in a famous epigram: Locke sank into a swoon; The garden died; Cod took the spinning jenny Out of his side. Yeats presents Locke, the philosopher of mechanical and lineal associationism, as hypnotized by his own image. The "garden," or unified consciousness, ended. Eighteenth-century man got an extension of himself in the form of the spinning machine that Yeats endows with its full sexual significance. Woman, herself, is thus seen as a technological extension of man's being. Blake's counterstrategy for his age was to meet mechanism with organic myth. Today, deep in the electric age, organic myth is itself a simple and automatic response capable of mathematical formulation and expression, without any of the imaginative perception of Blake about it. Had he encountered the electric age, Blake would not have met its challenge with a mere repetition of electric form. For myth is the instant vision of a complex process that ordinarily extends over a long period. Myth is contraction or implosion of any process, and the instant speed of electricity confers the mythic dimension on ordinary industrial and social

action today. We live mythically but continue to think frag-mentarily and on single planes. Scholars today are acutely aware of a discrepancy between their ways of treating subjects and the subject itself. Scriptural scholars of both the Old and New Testaments frequently say that while their treatment must be linear, the subject is not. The subject treats of the relations between God and man, and between God and the world, and of the relations between man and his neighbor-- all these subsist together, and act and react upon one another at the same time. The Hebrew and Eastern mode of thought tackles problem and resolution, at the outset of a discussion, in a way typical of oral societies in general. The entire message is then traced and retraced, again and again, on the rounds of a concentric spiral with seeming redundancy. One can stop anywhere after the first few sentences and have the full message, if one is prepared to "dig" it. This kind of plan seems to have inspired Frank Lloyd Wright in designing the Guggenheim Art Gallery on a spiral, concentric basis. It is a redundant form inevitable to the electric age, in which the concentric pattern is imposed by the instant quality, and overlay in depth, of electric speed. But the concentric with its endless intersection of planes is necessary for insight. In fact, it is the technique of insight, and as such is necessary for media study, since no medium has its i meaning or existence alone, but only in constant interplay with other media. The new electric structuring and configuring of life more and more encounters the old lineal and fragmentary procedures and tools of analysis from the mechanical age. More and more we turn from the content of messages to study total effect. Kenneth Boulding put this matter in The Image by saying, "The meaning of a message is the change which i, produces in the image." Concern with effect. rather than meaning is a basic change of our electric time, for effect involves the total situation, and not a single level information movement. Strangely, there is recognition of this

matter of effect rather than information in the British idea of libel: "The greater the truth, the greater the libel." The effect of electric technology had at first been anxiety. Now it appears to create boredom. We have been through the three stages of alarm, resistance, and exhaustion that occur in every disease or stress of life, whether individual or collective. At least, our exhausted slump after the first encounter with the electric has inclined us to expect new problems. However, backward countries that have experienced little permeation with our own mechanical and specialist culture are much better able to confront and to understand electric technology. Not only have backward and nonindustrial cultures no specialist habits to overcome in their encounter with electromagnetism, but they have still much of their traditional oral culture that has the total, unified "field" character of our new electromagnetism. Our old industrialized areas, having eroded their oral traditions automatically, are in the position of having to rediscover them in order to cope with the electric age. In terms of the theme of media hot and cold, backward countries are cool, and we are hot. The "city slicker" is hot, and the rustic is cool. But in terms of the reversal of procedures and values in the electric age, the past mechanical time was hot, and we of the TV age are cool. The waltz was a hot, fast mechanical dance suited to the industrial time in its moods of pomp and circumstance. In contrast, the Twist is a cool, involved and chatty form of improvised gesture. The jazz of the period of the hot new media of movie and radio was hot jazz. Yet jazz of itself tends to be a casual dialogue form of dance quite lacking in the repetitive and mechanical forms of the waltz. Cool jazz came in quite naturally after the first impact of radio and movie had been absorbed. In the special Russian issue of Life magazine for September 13. 1963, it is mentioned in Russian restaurants and night clubs, "though the Charleston is tolerated, the Twist is taboo." All this

is to say that a country in the process of industrialization is inclined s to regard hot jazz as consistent with its developing programs. The cool and involved form of the Twist, on the other hand, would strike such a culture at once as retrograde and incompatible with its new mechanical stress. The Charleston, with its aspect of a mechanical doll agitated by strings, appears in Russia as an avant-garde form. We, on the other hand, find the avant-jarde in the cool and the primitive, with its promise of depth involvement and integral expression. The "hard" sell and the "hot" line become mere comedy in the TV age, and the death of all the salesmen at one stroke of the TV axe has turned the hot American culture into a cool one that is quite unacquainted with itself. America, in fact, would seem to be living through the reverse process that Margaret Mead described in Time magazine (September 4, 1954): "There are too many complaints about society having to move too fast to keep up with the machine. There is great advantage in moving fast if you move completely, if social, educational, and recreational changes keep pace. You must change the whole pattern at once and the whole group together 梐 nd the people themselves must decide to move." Margaret Mead is thinking here of change as uniform speedup of motion or a uniform hotting-up of temperatures in backward societies. We are certainly coming within conceivable range of a world automatically controlled to the point where we could say, "Six hours less radio in Indonesia next week or there will be a great falling off in literary attention." Or, "We can ! program twenty more hours of TV in South Africa next week to cool down the tribal temperature raised by radio last week." Whole cultures could now be programmed to keep their emotional climate stable in the same way that we have begun to know something about maintaining equilibrium in the commercial economies of the world In the merely personal and private sphere we are often

reminded of how changes of tone and attitude are demanded of different times and seasons in order to keep situations in hand. British clubmen, for the sake of companionship and amiability, have long excluded the hot topics of religion and politics from mention inside the highly participational club. In the same vein, W. H. Auden wrote, "... this season the man of goodwill will wear his heart up his sleeve, not on it. ... the honest manly style is today suited only to Iago" (Introduction to John Betjeman's Slick But Not Streamlined). In the Renaissance, as print technology hotted up the social milieu to a very high point, the gentleman and the courtier (Hamlet 桵 ercutio style) adopted, in contrast, the casual and cool nonchalance of the playful and superior being. The Iago allusion of Auden reminds us that Iago was the alter ego and assistant of the intensely earnest and very non-nonchalant General Othello. In imitation of the earnest and forthright general, Iago hotted up his own image and wore his heart on his sleeve, until General Othello read him loud and clear as "honest Iago," a man after his own grimly earnest heart. Throughout The City in History, Lewis Mumford favors die cool or casually structured towns over the hot and intensely filled-in cities. The great period of Athens, he feels, was one during which most of the democratic habits of village life and participation still obtained. Then burst forth the full variety of human expression and exploration such as was later impossible in highly developed urban centers, For the highly developed situation is, by definition, low in opportunities of participation, and rigorous in its demands of specialist fragmentation from those who would control it. For example, what is known as "job enlargement" today in business and in management consists in allowing the employee more freedom to discover and define his function. Likewise, in reading a detective story the reader par- ticipates as co-author simply because so much has been left out of the narrative. The open-mesh silk stocking is far more

sensuous than the smooth nylon, just because the eye must act as hand in filling in and completing the image, exactly as in the mosaic of the TV image. Douglas Cater in The Fourth Branch of Government tells how the men of the Washington press bureaus delighted to complete or fill in the blank of Calvin Coolidge's personality. Because he was so like a mere cartoon, they felt the urge to complete his image for him and his public. It is instructive that the press applied the word "cool" to Cal. In the very sense of a cool medium, Calvin Coolidge was so lacking in any articulation of data in his public image that there was only one word for him. He was real cool. In the hot 1920s, the hot press medium found Cal very cool and rejoiced in his lack of image, since it compelled the participation of the press in filling in an image of him for the public. By contrast, F.D.R. was a hot press agent, himself a rival of the newspaper medium and one who delighted in scoring off the press on the rival hot medium of radio. Quite in contrast, Jack Paar ran a cool show for the cool TV medium, and became a rival for the patrons of the night spots and their allies in the gossip columns. Jack Paar's war with the gossip columnists was a weird example of clash between a hot and cold medium such as had occurred with the "scandal of the rigged TV quiz shows." The rivalry between the hot press and radio media, on one hand, and TV on the other, for the hot ad buck, served to confuse and to overheat the issues in the affair that pointlessly involved Charles van Doren. An Associated Press story from Santa Monica, California, August 9, 1962, reported how Nearly loo traffic violators watched a police traffic accident film today to atone for their violations. Two had to be treated tor nausea and shock. Viewers were offered a $5.00 reduction in fines if they agreed to see the movie, Signal 30, made by Ohio State police.

It showed twisted wreckage and mangled bodies and recorded the screams of accident victims. Whether the hot film medium using hot content would cool off the hot drivers is a moot point. But it does concern any understanding of media. The effect of hot media treatment cannot include much empathy or participation at any time. In this connection an insurance ad that featured Dad in an iron lung surrounded by a joyful family group did more to strike terror into the reader than all the warning wisdom in the world. It is a question that arises in connection with capital punishment. Is a severe penalty the best deterrent to serious crime? With regard to the bomb and the cold war, is the threat of massive retaliation the most effective means to peace? Is it not evident in every human situation that is pushed to a point of saturation that some precipitation occurs? When all the available resources and energies have been played up in an organism or in any structure there is some kind of reversal of pattern. The spectacle of brutality used as deterrent can brutalize. Brutality used in sports may humanize under some conditions, at least. But with regard to the bomb and retaliation as deterrent, it is obvious that numbness is the result of any prolonged terror, a fact that was discovered when the fallout shelter program was broached. The price of eternal vigilance is indifference. Nevertheless, it makes all the difference whether a hot medium is used in a hot or a cool culture. The hot radio medium used in cool or nonliterate cultures has a violent effect, quite unlike its effect, say in England or America, where radio is felt as entertainment. A cool or low literacy culture cannot accept hot media like movies or radio as entertainment. They are, at least, as radically upsetting for them as the cool TV medium has proved to be for our high literacy world. And as for the cool war and the hot bomb scare, the cultural strategy that is desperately needed is humor and play. It is play

that cools off the hot situations of actual life by miming them. Competitive sports between Russia and the West will hardly : serve that purpose of relaxation. Such sports are inflammatory, it is plain. And what we consider entertainment or fun in our media inevitably appears as violent political agitation to a cool ; culture. One way to spot the basic difference between hot and cold media uses is to compare and contrast a broadcast of a symphony performance with a broadcast of a symphony rehearsal. Two of the finest shows ever released by the CBC were of Glenn Gould's procedure in recording piano recitals, and Igor Stravinsky's rehearsing the Toronto symphony in some of his new i work. A cool medium like TV, when really used, demands this involvement in process. The neat tight package is suited to hot J media, like radio and gramophone. Francis Bacon never tired of contrasting hot and cool prose. Writing in "methods" or complete packages, he contrasted with writing in aphorisms, or single observations such as "Revenge is a kind of wild justice." The passive consumer wants packages, but those, he suggested, who are concerned in pursuing knowledge and in seeking causes will resort to aphorisms, just because they are incomplete and require participation in depth. The principle that distinguishes hot and cold media is perfectly embodied in the folk wisdom: "Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses." Glasses intensify the outward-going vision, and fill in the feminine image exceedingly, Marion the Librarian notwithstanding. Dark glasses, on the other hand, ere- ; ate the inscrutable and inaccessible image that invites a great deal of participation and completion. Again, in a visual and highly literate culture, when we meet a person for the first time his visual appearance dims out the sound of the name, so that in self-defense we add- "How do you spell your name?" Whereas, in an ear culture, the sound of a man’s name the overwhelming fact, as Joyce knew when he

said in Finneoans Wake, "Who gave you that numb?" For the name of a man is a numbing blow from which he never recovers. Another vantage point from which to test the difference between hot and cold media is the practical joke. The hot literary medium excludes the practical and participant aspect of the joke so completely that Constance Rourke, in her American Humor, con- siders it as no joke at all. To literary people, the practical joke with its total physical involvement is as distasteful as the pun that derails us from the smooth and uniform progress that is typographic order. Indeed, to the literary person who is quite unaware of the intensely abstract nature of the typographic medium, it is the grosser and participant forms of art that seem "hot," and the abstract and intensely literary form that seems "cool." "You may perceive, Madam," said Dr. Johnson, with a pugilistic smile, "that I am well-bred to a degree of needless scrupulosity." And Dr. Johnson was right in supposing that "well-bred" had come to mean a white-shirted stress on attire that rivaled the rigor of the printed page. "Comfort" consists in abandoning a visual arrangement in favor of one that permits casual participation of the senses, a state that is excluded when any one sense, but especially the visual sense, is hotted up to the point of dominant command of a situation. On the other hand, in experiments in which all outer sensation is withdrawn, the subject begins a furious fill-in or completion of senses that is sheer hallucination. So the hotting-up of one sense tends to effect hypnosis, and the cooling of all senses tends to result in hallucination.

3 REVERSAL OF THE OVERHEATED MEDIUM A headline for June 21, 1963, read: WASHINGTON-MOSCOW HOT LINE TO OPEN IN 60 DAYS The Times of London Service, Geneva: The agreement to establish a direct communication link between Washington and Moscow for emergencies was signed here yesterday by Charles Stelle of the United States and Semyon Tsarapkin of the Soviet Union. The link, known as the hot line, will be opened within sixty days, according to U.S. officials. It will make use of leased commercial circuits, one cable and the other wireless, using teleprinter equipment. The decision to use the hot printed medium in place of the cool, participational, telephone medium is unfortunate in the extreme. No doubt the decision was prompted by the literary

bias of the West for the printed form, on the ground that it is more impersonal than the telephone. The printed form has quite different implications in Moscow from what it has in Washington. So with the telephone. The Russians' love of this instrument, so congenial to their oral traditions, is owing to the rich nonvisual involvement it affords. The Russian uses the telephone for the sort of effects we associate with the eager conversation of the lapel-gripper whose face is twelve inches away. Both telephone and teleprinter as amplifications of the unconscious cultural bias of Moscow, on one hand, and of Washington, on the other, are invitations to monstrous misunderstandings. The Russian bugs rooms and spies by ear, finding this quite natural. He is outraged by our visual spying, however, finding this quite unnatural. The principle that during the stages of their development all things appear under forms opposite to those that they finally present is an ancient doctrine. Interest in the power of things to reverse themselves by evolution is evident in a great diversity of observations, sage and jocular. Alexander Pope wrote Vice is a monster of such frightful mien As to be hated needs but to be seen; But seen too oft, familiar with its face, We first endure, then pity, then embrace. A caterpillar gazing at the butterfly is supposed to have remarked. "Waal, you'll never catch me in one of those durn things." At another level we have seen in this century the changeover from the debunking of traditional myths and legends to their reverent study. As we begin to react in depth to the social life and problems of our global village, we become reactionaries. Involvement that goes with our instant technologies transforms the most "socially conscious" people into conservatives. When

Sputnik had first gone into orbit a schoolteacher asked her second-graders to write some verse of the subject. One child wrote: The stars are so big, The earth is so small, Stay as you are. With man his knowledge and the process of obtaining knowledge are of equal magnitude. Our ability to apprehend galaxies and subatomic structures, as well, is a movement of faculties that include and transcend them. The second-grader who wrote the words above lives in a world much vaster than any which a scientist today has instruments to measure, or concepts to describe. As W B. Yeats wrote of this reversal, "The visible world is no longer a reality and the unseen world is no longer a dream." Associated with this transformation of the real world into science fiction is the reversal now proceeding apace, by which the Western world is going Eastern, even as the East goes Western. Joyce encoded this reciprocal reverse in his cryptic phrase: The West shall shake the East awake While ye have the night for morn. The title of his Finnegans Wake is a set of multi-leveled puns on the reversal by which Western man enters his tribal, or Finn, cycle once more, following the track of the old Finn, but wide awake this time as we re-enter the tribal night. It is like our contemporary consciousness of the Unconscious. The stepping-up of speed from the mechanical to the instant electric form reverses explosion into implosion. In our present electric age the imploding or contracting energies of our world now clash with the old expansionist and traditional patterns of

organization. Until recently our institutions and arrangements, social, political, and economic, had shared a one-way pattern. We still think of it as "explosive," or expansive; and though it no longer obtains, we still talk about the population explosion and the explosion in learning. In fact, it is not the increase of numbers in the world that creates our concern with population. Rather, it is the fact that everybody in the world has to live in the utmost proximity created by our electric involvement in one another's lives. In education, likewise, it is not the increase in numbers of those seeking to learn that creates the crisis. Our new concern with education follows upon the changeover to an interrelation in knowledge, where before the separate subjects of the curriculum had stood apart from each other. Departmental sovereignties have melted away as rapidly as national sovereignties under conditions of electric speed. Obsession with the older patterns of mechanical, one-way expansion from centers to margins is no longer relevant to our electric world. Electricity does not centralize, but decentralizes. It is like the difference between a railway system and an electric grid system: the one requires rail-heads and big urban centers. Electric power, equally available in the farmhouse and the Executive Suite, permits any place to be a center, and does not require large aggregations. This reverse pattern appeared quite early in electrical "labor-saving" devices, whether a toaster or washing machine or vacuum cleaner. Instead of saving work, these devices permit everybody to do his own work. What the nineteenth century had delegated to servants and housemaids we now do for ourselves. This principle applies in toto in the electric age. In politics, it permits Castro to exist as independent nucleus or center. It would permit Quebec to leave the Canadian union in a way quite inconceivable under the regime of the railways. The railways require a uniform political and economic space. On the other hand, airplane and radio permit the utmost discontinuity and diversity in spatial organization.

Today the great principle of classical physics and economics and political science, namely that of the divisibility of each process, has reversed itself by sheer extension into the unified field theory; and automation in industry replaces the divisibility of process with the organic interlacing of all functions in the com-plex. The electric tape succeeds the assembly line. In the new electric Age of Information and programmed production, commodities themselves assume more and more the character of information, although this trend appears mainly in the increasing advertising budget. Significantly, it is those com- modities that are most used in social communication, cigarettes, cosmetics, and soap (cosmetic removers) that bear much of the burden of the upkeep of the media in general. As electric information levels rise, almost any kind of material will serve any kind of need or function, forcing the intellectual more and more into the role of social command and into the service of production. It was Julien Benda's Great Betrayal that helped to clarify the new situation in which the intellectual suddenly holds the whip hand in society. Benda saw that the artists and intellectuals who had long been alienated from power, and who since Voltaire had been in opposition, had now been drafted for service in the highest echelons of decision-making. Their great betrayal was that they had surrendered their autonomy and had become the flunkies of power, as the atomic physicist at the present moment is the flunky of the war lords. Had Benda known his history, he would have been less angry and less surprised. For it has always been the role of intelligentsia to act as liaison and as mediators between old and new power groups. Most familiar of such groups is the case of the Greek slaves, who were for long the educators and confidential clerks of the Roman power. And it is precisely this servile role of the confidential clerk to the tycoon –commerce, military, or political -- that the educator has continued to play in the Western

world until the present moment. In England "the Angries" were a group of such clerks who had suddenly emerged from the lower echelons by the educational escape hatch. As they emerged into the upper world of power, they found that the air was not at all fresh or bracing. But they lost their nerve even quicker than Bernard Shaw lost his. Like Shaw, they quickly settled down to whimsy and to the cultivation of entertainment values. In his Study of History, Toynbee notes a great many reversals of form and dynamic, as when, in the middle of the fourth century A.D., the Germans in the Roman service began abruptly to be proud of their tribal names and to retain them. Such a moment marked new confidence born of saturation with Roman values, and it was a moment marked by the complementary Roman swing toward primitive values. (As Americans saturate with European values, especially since TV, they begin to insist upon American coach lamps, hitching posts, and colonial kitchen-ware as cultural objects.) Just as the barbarians got to the top of the Roman social ladder, the Romans themselves were disposed to assume the dress and manners of tribesmen out of the same frivolous and snobbish spirit that attached the French court of Louis XVI to the world of shepherds and shepherdesses. It would have seemed a natural moment for the intellectuals to have taken over while the governing class was touring Disneyland, as it were. So it must have appeared to Marx and his followers. But they reckoned without understanding die dynamics of the new media of communication. Marx based his analysis most untimely on the machine, just as the telegraph and other implosive forms began to reverse the mechanical dynamic. The present chapter is concerned with showing that in any medium or structure there is what Kenneth Boulding calls a "break boundary at which the system suddenly changes into another or passes some point of no return in its dynamic processes." Several such "break boundaries" will be discussed

later including the one from stasis to motion, and from the mechanical to the organic in the pictorial world. One effect of the static photo had been to suppress the conspicuous consumption of the rich, but the effect of the speed-up of the photo had been to provide fantasy riches for the poor of the entire globe. Today the road beyond its break boundary turns cities into highways, and the highway proper takes on a continuous urban character. Another characteristic reversal after passing a road break boundary is that the country ceases to be the center of all work, and the city ceases to be the center of leisure. In fact, improved roads and transport have reversed the ancient pattern and made cities the centers of work and the country the place of leisure and of recreation. Earlier, the increase of traffic that came with money and roads had ended the static tribal state (as Toynbee calls the nomadic food-gathering culture). Typical of the reversing that occurs at break boundaries is the paradox that nomadic mobile man, the hunter and food-gatherer, is socially static. On the other hand, sedentary, specialist man is dynamic, explosive, progressive. The new magnetic or world city will be static and iconic or inclusive. In the ancient world the intuitive awareness of break boundaries as points of reversal and of no return was embodied in the Greek idea of hubris, which Toynbee presents in his Study of History, under the head of "The Nemesis of Creativity" and "The Reversal of Roles." The Greek dramatists presented the idea of creativity as creating, also, its own kind of blindness, as in the case of Oedipus Rex, who solved the riddle of the Sphinx. It was as if the Greeks felt that the penalty for one break-through was a general sealing-off of awareness to the total field. In a Chinese work-The Way and Its Power (A. Waley translation)--there is a series of instances of the overheated medium, the overextended man or culture, and the peripety or reversal that inevitably

He who stands on tiptoe does not stand firm; He who takes the longest strides does not walk the fastest... He who boasts of what he will do succeeds in nothing; He who is proud of his work achieves nothing that endures. One of the most common causes of breaks in any system is the cross-fertilization with another system, such as happened to print with the steam press, or with radio and movies (that yielded the talkies). Today with microfilm and micro-cards, not to mention electric memories, the printed word assumes again much of the handicraft character of a manuscript. But printing from movable type was, itself, the major break boundary in the history of phonetic literacy, just as the phonetic alphabet had been the break boundary between tribal and individualist man. The endless reversals or break boundaries passed in the interplay of the structures of bureaucracy and enterprise include the point at which individuals began to be held responsible and accountable for their "private actions." That was the moment of the collapse of tribal collective authority. Centuries later, when further explosion and expansion had exhausted the powers of private action, corporate enterprise invented the idea of Public Debt, making the individual privately accountable for group action. As the nineteenth century heated up the mechanical and dis- sociative procedures of technical fragmentation, the entire attention of men turned to the associative and the corporate. In the first great age of the substitution of machine for human toil Carlyle and the Pre-Raphaelites promulgated the doctrine of Work as a mystical social communion, and millionaires like Ruskin and Morris toiled like navvies for esthetic reasons. Marx was an impressionable recipient of these doctrines. Most bizarre of all the reversals in the great Victorian age of mechanization and high moral tone is the counter-strategy of Lewis Carroll and

Edward Lear, whose nonsense has proved exceedingly durable. While the Lord Cardigans were taking their blood baths in the Valley of Death, Gilbert and Sullivan were announcing that the boundary break had been passed.

4 THE GADGET LOVER Narcissus as Narcosis The Greek myth of Narcissus is directly concerned with a fact of human experience, as the word Narcissus indicates. It is from the Greek word narcosis, or numbness. The youth Narcissus mistook his own reflection in the water for another person. This extension of himself by mirror numbed his perceptions until he became the servomechanism of his own extended or repeated image. The nymph Echo tried to win his love with fragments of his own speech, but in vain. He was numb. He had adapted to his extension of himself and had become a closed system. Now the point of this myth is the fact that men at once become fascinated by any extension of themselves in any material other than themselves. There have been cynics who insisted that men fall deepest in love with women who give them back their own image. Be that as it may, the wisdom of the Narcissus myth does not convey any idea that Narcissus fell in

love with anything he regarded as himself. Obviously he would have had very different feelings about the image had he known it was an extension or repetition of himself. It is, perhaps, indicative of the bias of our intensely technological and, therefore, narcotic culture that we have long interpreted the Narcissus story to mean that he fell in love with himself, that he imagined the reflection to be Narcissus! Physiologically there are abundant reasons for an extension of ourselves involving us in a state of numbness. Medical researchers like Hans Selye and Adolphe Jonas hold that all extensions of ourselves, in sickness or in health, are attempts to maintain equilibrium. Any extension of ourselves they regard as "autoamputation," and they find that the autoamputative power or strategy is resorted to by the body when the perceptual power cannot locate or avoid the cause of irritation. Our language has many expressions that indicate this self-amputation that is imposed by various pressures. We speak of "wanting to jump out of my skin" or of "going out of my mind," being "driven batty" or "flipping my lid." And we often create artificial situations that rival the irritations and stresses of real life under controlled conditions of sport and play. While it was no part of the intention of Jonas and Selye to provide an explanation of human invention and technology, they have given us a theory of disease (discomfort) that goes far to explain why man is impelled to extend various parts of his body by a kind of autoamputation. In the physical stress of superstimulation of various kinds, the central nervous system acts to protect itself by a strategy of amputation or isolation of the offending organ, sense, or function. Thus, the stimulus to new invention is the stress of acceleration of pace and increase of load. For example, in the case of the wheel as an extension of the toot, the pressure of new burdens resulting from the acceleration of exchange by written and monetary media was the immediate occasion of the extension or "amputation" of this function from

our bodies. The wheel as a counter-irritant to increased burdens, in turn, brings about a new intensity of action by its amplification of a separate or isolated function (the feet in rotation). Such amplification is bearable by the nervous system only through numbness or blocking of perception. This is the sense of the Narcissus myth. The young man's image is a self-amputation or extension induced by irritating pressures. As counter-irritant, the image produces a generalized numbness or shock that declines recognition. Self-amputation forbids self-recognition. The principle of self-amputation as an immediate relief of strain on the central nervous system applies very readily to the origin of the media of communication from speech to computer. Physiologically, the central nervous system, that electric network that coordinates the various media of our senses, plays the chief role. Whatever threatens its function must be contained, localized, or cut off, even to the total removal of the offending organ. The function of the body, as a group of sustaining and protective organs for the central nervous system, is to act as buffers against sudden variations of stimulus in the physical and social environment. Sudden social failure or shame is a shock that some may "take to heart" or that may cause muscular disturbance in general, signaling for the person to withdraw from the threatening situation. Therapy, whether physical or social, is a counter-irritant that aids in that equilibrium of the physical organs which protect the central nervous system. Whereas pleasure is a counter-irritant (e.g., sports, entertainment, and alcohol), comfort is the removal of irritants. Both pleasure and comfort are strategies of equilibrium for the central nervous system. With the arrival of electric technology, man extended, or set outside himself, a live model of the central nervous system itself. To the degree that this is so, it is a development that suggests a desperate and suicidal autoamputation, as if the central nervous

system could no longer depend on the physical organs to be protective buffers against the slings and arrows of outrageous mechanism. It could well be that the successive mechanizations of the various physical organs since the invention of printing have made too violent and superstimulated a social experience for the central nervous system to endure. In relation to that only too plausible cause of such development, we can return to the Narcissus theme. For if Narcissus is numbed by his self-amputated image, there is a very good reason for the numbness. There is a close parallel of response between the patterns of physical and psychic trauma or shock. A person suddenly deprived of loved ones and a person who drops a few feet unexpectedly will both register shock. Both the loss of family and a physical fall are extreme instances of amputations of the self. Shock induces a generalized numbness or an increased threshold to all types of perception. The victim seems immune to pain or sense. Battle shock created by violent noise has been adapted for dental use in the device known as audiac. The patient puts on headphones and turns a dial raising the noise level to the point that he feels no pain from the drill. The selection of a single sense for intense stimulus, or of a single extended, isolated, or "amputated" sense in technology, is in part the reason for the numbing effect that technology as such has on its makers and users. For the central nervous system rallies a response of general numbness to the challenge of specialized irritation. The person who falls suddenly experiences immunity to all pain or sensory stimuli because the central nervous system has to be protected from any intense thrust of sensation. Only gradually does he regain normal sensitivity to sights and sounds, at which time he may begin to tremble and perspire and to react as he would have done if the central nervous system had been prepared in advance for the fall that occurred unexpectedly. Depending on which sense or faculty is extended

technologically, or "autoamputated," the "closure" or equilibrium-seeking among the other senses is fairly predictable. It is with the senses as it is with color. Sensation is always 100 per cent, and a color is always 100 per cent color. But the ratio among the components in the sensation or the color can differ infinitely. Yet if sound, for example, is intensified, touch and taste and sight are affected at once. The effect of radio on literate or visual man was to reawaken his tribal memories, and the effect of sound added to motion pictures was to diminish the role of mime, tactility, and kinesthesis. Similarly, when nomadic man turned to sedentary and specialist ways, the senses specialized too. The development of writing and the visual organization of life made possible the discovery of individualism, introspection and so on. Any invention or technology is an extension or self-amputation of our physical bodies, and such extension also demands new ratios or new equilibriums among the other organs and extensions of the body. There is, for example, no way of refusing to comply with the new sense ratios or sense "closure" evoked by the TV image. But the effect of the entry of the TV image will vary from culture to culture in accordance with the existing sense ratios in each culture. In audile-tactile Europe TV has intensified the visual sense, spurring them toward American styles of packaging and dressing. In America, the intensely visual culture, TV has opened the doors of audile-tactile perception to the non-visual world of spoken languages and food and the plastic arts. As an extension and expediter of the sense life, any medium at once affects the entire field of the senses, as the Psalmist explained long ago in the 113th Psalm: Their idols are silver and gold, The work of men's hands. They have mouths, but they speak not; Eyes they have, but they see not; They have ears, but they hear not;

Noses have they, but they smell not; They have hands, but they handle not; Feet have they, but they walk not; Neither speak they through their throat. They that make them shall be like unto them; Yea, every one that trusteth in them. The concept of "idol" for the Hebrew Psalmist is much like that of Narcissus for the Greek mythmaker. And the Psalmist i insists that the beholding of idols, or the use of technology, conforms men to them. "They that make them shall be like unto them." This is a simple fact of sense "closure." The poet Blake! developed the Psalmist's ideas into an entire theory of communication and social change, It is in his long poem of Jerusalem that he explains why men have become what they have beheld What they have, says Blake, is "the spectre of the Reasoning Power in Man" that has become fragmented and "separated from Imagination and enclosing itself as in steel." Blake, in a word, sees man as fragmented by his technologies. But he insists that these technologies are self-amputations of our own organs. When so amputated, each organ becomes a closed system of great new intensity that hurls man into "martyrdoms and wars." Moreover, Blake announces as his theme in Jerusalem the organs of perception: If Perceptive Organs vary, Objects of Perception seem to vary: If Perceptive Organs close, their Objects seem to close also. To behold, use or perceive any extension of ourselves in tech-nological form is necessarily to embrace it. To listen to radio or to read the primed page is to accept these extensions of ourselves into our personal system and to undergo the "closure" or dis- placement of perception that follows automatically. It is this continuous embrace of our own technology in daily use that

puts us in the Narcissus role of subliminal awareness and numbness in relation to these images of ourselves. By continuously embracing technologies, we relate ourselves to them as servo-mechanisms. That is why we must, to use them at all, serve these objects, these extensions of ourselves, as gods or minor religions. An Indian is the servo-mechanism of his canoe, as the cowboy of his horse or the executive of his clock. Physiologically, man in the normal use of technology (or his variously extended body) is perpetually modified by it and in turn finds ever new ways of modifying his technology. Man becomes, as it were, the sex organs of the machine world, as the bee of the plant world, enabling it to fecundate and to evolve ever new forms. The machine world reciprocates man's love by expediting his wishes and desires, namely, in providing him with wealth. One of the merits of motivation research has been the revelation of man's sex relation to the motorcar. Socially, it is the accumulation of group pressures and irritations that prompt invention and innovation as counter-irritants. War and the fear of war have always been considered the main incentives to technological extension of our bodies. Indeed, Lewis Mumford, in his The City in History, considers the walled city itself an extension of our skins, as much as housing and clothing. More even than the preparation for war, the aftermath of invasion is a rich technological period; because the subject culture has to adjust all its sense ratios to accommodate the impact of the invading culture. It is from such intensive hybrid exchange and strife of ideas and forms that the greatest social energies are released, and from which arise the greatest technologies. Buckminster Fuller estimates that since 1910 the governments of the world have spent 31/2 trillion dollars on airplanes. That is 62 times the existing gold supply of the world. The principle of numbness comes into play with electric technology, as with any other. We have to numb our central nervous system when it is extended and exposed, or we will die.

Thus the age of anxiety and of electric media is also the age of the unconscious and of apathy. But it is strikingly the age of consciousness of the unconscious, in addition. With our central nervous system strategically numbed, the tasks of conscious awareness and order are transferred to the physical life of man, so that for the first time he has become aware of technology as an extension of his physical body. Apparently this could not have happened before the electric age gave us the means of instant, total field-awareness. With such awareness, the subliminal life, private and social, has been hoicked up into full view, with the result that we have "social consciousness" presented to us as a cause of guilt-feelings. Existentialism offers a philosophy of structures, rather than categories, and of total social involvement instead of the bourgeois spirit of individual separateness or points of view. In the electric age we wear all mankind as our skin.

5 HYBRID ENERGY Les Liaisons Dangereuses "For most of our lifetime civil war has been raging in the world of art and entertainment. . . . Moving pictures, gramophone records, radio, talking pictures. ..." This is the view of Donald McWhinnie, analyst of the radio medium. Most of this civil war affects us in the depths of our psychic lives, as well, since the war is conducted by forces that are extensions and amplifications of our own beings. Indeed, the interplay among media is only another name for this civil war" that rages in our society and our psyches alike. "To the blind all things are sudden," it has been said. The crossings or hybridizations of the media release great new force and energy as by fission or fusion. There need be no blindness in these matters once we have been notified that there is anything to observe. It has now been explained that media, or the extensions of man, are "make happen" agents, but not "make aware" agents.

The hybridizing or compounding of these agents offers an especially favorable opportunity to notice their structural components and properties. "As the silent film cried out for sound so does the sound film cry out for color," wrote Sergei Eisenstein in his Notes of a Film Director. This type of observation can be extended systematically to all media: "As the printing press cried out for nationalism, so did the radio cry out for tribalism" These media, being extensions of ourselves, also depend upon us for their interplay and their evolution. The fact that they do interact and spawn new progeny has been a source of wonder over the ages. It need baffle us no longer if we trouble to scrutinize their action. We can, if we choose, think things out before we put them out. Plato, in all his striving to imagine an ideal training school, failed to notice that Athens was a greater school than any university even he could dream up. In other words, the greatest school had been put out for human use before it has been thought out. Now, this is especially true of our media. They are put out long before they are thought out. In fact, their being put outside us tends to cancel the possibility of their being thought of at all. Everybody notices how coal and steel and cars affect the arrangements of daily existence. In our time, study has finally turned to the medium of language itself as shaping the arrangements of daily life, so that society begins to look like a linguistic echo or repeat of language norms, a fact that has disturbed the Russian Communist party very deeply. Wedded as they are to nineteenth-century industrial technology as the basis of class liberation, nothing could be more subversive of the Marxian dialectic than the idea that linguistic media shape social development, as much as do the means of production. In fact, of all the great hybrid unions that breed furious release of energy and change, there is none to surpass the meeting of literate and oral cultures. The giving to man of an eye for an ear

by phonetic literacy is, socially and politically, probably the most radical explosion mat can occur in any social structure. This explosion of the eye, frequently repeated in "backward areas," we call Westernization. With literacy now about to hybridize the cultures of the Chinese, the Indians, and the Africans, we are about to experience such a release of human power and aggressive violence as makes the previous history of phonetic alphabet technology seem quite tame. That is only the East side story, for the electric implosion now brings oral and tribal ear-culture to the literate West. Not only does the visual, specialist, and fragmented Westerner have now to live in closest daily association with all the ancient oral cultures of the earth, but his own electric technology now begins to translate the visual or eye man back into the tribal and oral pattern with its seamless web of kinship and interdependence. We know from our own past the kind of energy that is released, as by fission, when literacy explodes the tribal or family unit. What do we know about the social and psychic energies that develop by electric fusion or implosion when literate individuals are suddenly gripped by an electromagnetic field, such as occurs in the new Common Market pressure in Europe? Make no mistake, the fusion of people who have known individualism and nationalism is not the same process as the fission of "backward" and oral cultures that are just coming to individualism and nationalism. It is the difference between the "A" bomb and the "H" bomb. The latter is more violent, by far. Moreover, the products of electric fusion are immensely complex, while the products of fission are simple. Literacy creates very much simpler kinds of people than those that develop in the complex web of ordinary tribal and oral societies. For the fragmented man creates the homogenized Western world, while oral societies are made up of people differentiated, not by their specialist skills or visible marks, but by their unique emotional mixes. The oral man's inner world is a tangle of complex emotions and feelings

that the Western practical man has long ago eroded or sup-pressed within himself in the interest of efficiency and practicality. The immediate prospect for literate, fragmented Western man encountering the electric implosion within his own culture is his steady and rapid transformation into a complex and depth-structured person emotionally aware of his total interdependence with the rest of human society. Representatives of the older Western individualism are even now assuming the appearance, for good or ill, of Al Capp's General Bull Moose or of the John Birchers, tribally dedicated to opposing the tribal. Fragmented, literate, and visual individualism is not possible in an electrically patterned and imploded society. So what is to be done? Do we dare to confront such facts at the conscious level, or is it best to becloud and repress such matters until some violence releases us from the entire burden? For the fate of implosion and interdependence is more terrible for Western man than the fate of explosion and independence for tribal man. It may be merely temperament in my own case, but I find some easing of the burden in just understanding and clarifying the issues. On the other hand, since consciousness and awareness seem to be a human privilege, may it not be desirable to extend this condition to our hidden conflicts, both private and social? The present book, in seeking to understand many media, the conflicts from which they spring, and the even greater conflicts to which they give rise, holds out the promise of reducing these conflicts by an increase of human autonomy. Let us now note a few of the effects of media hybrids, or of the interpenetration of one medium by another. Life at the Pentagon has been greatly complicated by jet travel, or example. Every few minutes an assembly gong rings to summon many specialists from their desks to hear a personal report from an expert from some remote part of the world Meantime, the undone paper work mounts on each desk. And

each department daily dispatches personnel by jet to remote areas for more data and reports. Such is the speed of this process of the meeting of the jet plane, the oral report, and the typewriter that those going forth to the ends of the earth often arrive unable to spell the name of the spot to which they have been sent as experts. Lewis Carroll pointed out that as large-scale maps got more and more detailed and extensive, they would tend to blanket agriculture and rouse the protest of farmers. So why not use the actual earth as a map of itself? We have reached a similar point of data gathering when each stick of chewing gum we reach for is acutely noted by some computer that translates our least gesture into a new probability curve or some parameter of social science. Our private and corporate lives have become information processes just because we have put our central nervous systems outside us in electric technology. That is the key to Professor Boorstin's bewilderment in The Image, or What Happened to the American Dream. The electric light ended the regime of night and day, of indoors and out-of-doors. But it is when the light encounters already existing patterns of human organization mat the hybrid energy is released. Cars can travel all night, ball players can play all night, and windows can be left out of buildings. In a word, the message of the electric light is total change. It is pure information without any content to restrict its transforming and informing power. If the student of media will but meditate on the power of this medium of electric light to transform every structure of time and space and work and society that it penetrates or contacts, he will have the key to the form of the power that is in all media to reshape any lives that they touch. Except for light, all other media come in pairs, with one acting as the "content" of the other, obscuring the operation of both. It is a peculiar bias of those who operate media for the owners that they be concerned about the program content of radio, or

press, or film. The owners themselves are concerned more about the media as such, and are not inclined to go beyond "what the public wants" or some vague formula. Owners are aware of the media as power, and they know that this power has little to do with "content" or the media within the media. When the press opened up the "human interest" keyboard after the telegraph had restructured the press medium, the newspaper killed the theater, just as TV hit the movies and the night dubs very hard. George Bernard Shaw had the wit and imagination to fight back. He put the press into the theater,! taking over the controversies and the human interest world of the press for the stage, as Dickens had done for the novel. The movie took over the novel and the newspaper and the stage, all at once. Then TV pervaded the movie and gave the theater-in-the-round back to the public. What I am saying is that media as extensions of our senses institute new ratios, not only among our private senses, but among themselves, when they interact among themselves. Radio changed the form of the news story as much as it altered the film image in the talkies. TV caused drastic changes in radio programming, and in the form of the thing or documentary novel. It is the poets and painters who react instantly to a new medium like radio or TV. Radio and gramophone and tape recorder gave us back the poet's voice as an important dimension of the poetic experience. Words became a kind of painting with light, again. But TV, with its deep-participation mode, caused young poets suddenly to present their poems in cafes, in public parks, anywhere. After TV, they suddenly felt the need for personal contact with their public. (In print-oriented Toronto, poetry-reading in the public parks is a public offense. Religion Pities are permitted, but not poetry as many young poets recently discovered.) John O'Hara, the novelist, wrote in The New York Times Boot Review of November 27, 1955.

You get a great satisfaction from a book. You know your reader is captive inside those covers, but as novelist you have to imagine the satisfaction he's getting. Now, in the theaterٛ well, I used to drop in during both productions of Pal Joey and watch, not imagine, the people enjoy it. I'd willingly start my next novel-- about a small town--right now, but I need the diversion of a play. In our age artists are able to mix their media diet as easily as their book diet. A poet like Yeats made the fullest use of oral peasant culture in creating his literary effects. Quite early, Eliot made a great impact by the careful use of jazz and film form. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock gets much of its power from an inter-penetration of film form and jazz idiom. But this mix reached its greatest power in The Waste Land and Sweeney Agonistes. Prufrock uses not only film form but the film theme of Charlie Chaplin, as did James Joyce in Ulysses. Joyce's Bloom is a deliberate takeover from Chaplin ("Chorney Choplain," as he called him in Finnegans Wake). And Chaplin, just as Chopin had adapted the pianoforte to the style of the ballet, hit upon the wondrous media mix of ballet and film in developing his Pavlova-like alternation of ecstasy and waddle. He adopted the classical steps of ballet to a movie mime that converged exactly the right blend of the lyric and the ironic that is found also in Prufrock and Ulysses. Artists in various fields are always the first to discover how to enable one medium to use or to release the power of another. In a simpler form, it is the technique employed by Charles Boyer in his kind of French-English blend of urbane, throaty delirium. The printed book had encouraged artists to reduce all forms of expression as much as possible to the single descriptive and narrative plane of the printed word. The advent of electric media released art from this straitjacket at once, creating the world of Paul Klee, Picasso, Braque, Eisenstein, the Marx Brothers, and James Joyce.

A headline in The New York Times Rook Review (September 16. 1962) trills: There's Nothing Like a Best Seller to Set Hollywood a-Tingle. Of course, nowadays, movie stars can only be lured from the beaches or science-fiction or some self-improvement course by the cultural lure of a role in a famous book. That is the way that the interplay of media now affects many in the movie colony. They have no more understanding of their media problems than does Madison Avenue. But from the point of view of the owners of the film and related media, the best seller is a form of insurance that some massive new gestalt or pattern has been isolated in the public psyche. It is an oil strike or a gold mine that can be depended on to yield a fair amount of boodle to the careful and canny processer. Hollywood bankers, that is, are smarter than literary historians, for the latter despise popular taste except when it has been filtered down from lecture course to literary handbook. Lillian Ross in Picture wrote a snide account of the filming of The Red Bodge of Courage. She got a good deal of easy kudos for a foolish book about a great film by simply assuming the superiority of the literary medium to the film medium. Her book got much attention as a hybrid. Agatha Christie wrote far above her usual good level in a group of twelve short stories about Hercule Poirot, called The Labours of Hercules. By adjusting the classical themes to make reasonable modern parallels, she was able to lift the detective form to extraordinary intensity. Such was, also, the method of James Joyce in Dubliners and Ulysses, when the precise classical parallels created the true hybrid energy. Baudelaire, said Mr. Eliot, "taught us how to raise the imagery of common life to first intensity." It is done, not by any direct heave-ho of poetic strength, but by a simple adjustment of situations from one culture in hybrid form with those of mother. It is precisely in this way that during wars and

migrations new cultural mix is the norm of ordinary daily life. Operations Research programs the hybrid principle as a technique of creative discovery. When the movie scenario or picture story was applied to the idea article, the magazine world had discovered a hybrid that ended the supremacy of the short story. When wheels were put in tandem form, the wheel principle combined with the lineal typographic principle to create aerodynamic balance. The wheel crossed with industrial, lineal form released the new form of the airplane. The hybrid or the meeting of two media is a moment of truth and revelation from which new form is born. For the parallel between two media holds us on the frontiers between forms that snap us out of the Narcissus-narcosis. The moment of the meeting of media is a moment of freedom and release from the ordinary trance and numbness imposed by them on our senses.

6 MEDIA AS TRANSLATORS The tendency of neurotic children to lose neurotic traits when telephoning has been a puzzle to psychiatrists. Some stutterers lose their stutter when they switch to a foreign language. That technologies are ways of translating one kind of knowledge into another mode has been expressed by Lyman Bryson in the phrase "technology is explicitness." Translation is thus a 'spelling-out" of forms of knowing. What we call "mechanization ' is a translation of nature, and of our own natures, into amplified and specialized forms. Thus the quip in Finnegans Wake, “What bird has done yesterday man may do next year," is a strictly literal observation of the courses of technology. The Power of technology as dependent on alternately grasping and letting go in order to enlarge the scope of action has been observed as the power of the higher arboreal apes as compared with those that are on the ground. Elias Canetti made the proper association of this power of the higher apes to grasp and let go, with the strategy of the stock market speculators. It is all capsulated in the popular variant on Robert Browning: "A man's reach

must exceed his grasp or what's a metaphor." All media are active metaphors in their power to translate experience into new forms. The spoken word was the first technology by which man was able to let go of his environment in order to grasp it in a new way. Words are a kind of information retrieval that can range over the total environment and experience at high speed. Words are complex systems of metaphors and symbols that translate experience into our uttered or outered senses. They are a technology of explicitness. By means of translation of immediate sense experience into vocal symbols the entire world can be evoked and retrieved at any instant. In this electric age we see ourselves being translated more and more into the form of information, moving toward the technological extension of consciousness. That is what is meant when we say that we daily know more and more about man. We mean that we can translate more and more of ourselves into other forms of expression that exceed ourselves. Man is a form of expression who is traditionally expected to repeat himself and to echo the praise of his Creator. "Prayer," said George Herbert, "is reversed thunder." Man has the power to reverberate the Divine thunder, by verbal translation. By putting our physical bodies inside our extended nervous systems, by means of electric media, we set up a dynamic by which all previous technologies that are mere extensions of hands and feet and teeth and bodily heat-controls--all such extensions of our bodies, including cities--will be translated into information systems. Electromagnetic technology requires utter human docility and quiescence of meditation such as befits an organism that now wears its brain outside its skull and its nerves outside its hide. Man must serve his electric technology with the same servo-mechanistic fidelity with which he served his coracle, his canoe, his typography, and all other extensions of his physical organs. But there is this difference, that previous technologies were partial and fragmentary, and the electric is

total and inclusive. An external consensus or conscience is now as necessary as private consciousness. With the new media, however, it is also possible to store and to translate everything; and, as for speed, that is no problem. No further acceleration is possible this side of the light barrier. Just as when information levels rise in physics and chemistry, it is possible to use anything for fuel or fabric or building material, so with electric technology all solid goods can be summoned to appear as solid commodities by means of information circuits set up in the organic patterns that we call "automation" and information retrieval. Under electric technology the entire business of man becomes learning and knowing. In terms of what we still consider an "economy" (the Greek word for a household), this means that all forms of employment become "paid learning," and all forms of wealth result from the movement of information. The problem of discovering occupations or employment may prove as difficult as wealth is easy. The long revolution by which men have sought to translate nature into art we have long referred to as "applied knowledge." "Applied" means translated or carried across from one kind of material form into another. For those who care to consider this amazing process of applied knowledge in Western civilization, Shakespeare's As You Like It provides a good deal to think about. His forest of Arden is just such a golden world of translated benefits and joblessness as we are now entering via the gate of electric automation. It is no more than one would expect that Shakespeare should nave understood the Forest of Arden as an advance model of the age of automation when all things are translatable into anything else that is desired: And this our life, exempt from public haunt Find tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,

Sermons in stones, and good in every thing. I would not change it. AMIENS! Happy is your Grace, That can translate the stubbornness of fortune Into so quiet and so sweet a style. (As You Like It, II, i. 15-21) Shakespeare speaks of a world into which, by programming, as it were one can play back the materials of the natural world in a variety of levels and intensities of style. We are close to doing just this on a massive scale at the present time electronically. Here is the image of the golden age as one of complete metamorphoses or translations of nature into human art, that stands ready of access to our electric age. The poet Stephane Mallarme thought "the world exists to end in a book." We are now in a position to go beyond that and to transfer the entire show to the memory of a computer. For man, as Julian Huxley observes, unlike merely biological creatures, possesses an apparatus of transmission and transformation based on his power to store experience. And his power to store, as in a language itself, is also a means of transformation of experience: "Those pearls that were his eyes." Our dilemma may become like that of the listener who phoned the radio station: "Are you the station that gives twice as much weather? Well, turn it off. I'm drowning." Or we might return to the state of tribal man, for whom magic rituals are his means of "applied knowledge." Instead of translating nature into art, the native nonliterate attempts to invest nature with spiritual energy. Perhaps there is a key to some of these problems in the Freudian idea that when we fail to translate some natural event

or experience into conscious art we "repress" it. It i ^ mechanism s that also serves to numb us in the presence of those extensions of ourselves that are the media studied in this book. For just as a metaphor transforms and transmits experience, so do the media. When we say, "I'll take a rain-check on that," We translate a social invitation into a sporting event, stepping up the conventional regret to an image of spontaneous disappointment: "Your invitation is not just one of those casual gestures that 1 must brush off. It makes me feel all the frustration of an interrupted ball game that I can't get with it." As in all metaphors, there are complex ratios among four parts: "Your invitation is to ordinary invitations as ball games are to conventional social life. It is in this way that by seeing one set of relations through another set that we store and amplify experience in such forms as money. For money is also a metaphor. And all media as extensions of ourselves serve to provide new transforming vision and awareness. "It is an excellent invention," Bacon says, "that Pan or the world is said to make choice of Echo only (above all other speeches or voices) for his wife, for that alone is true philosophy which doth faithfully render the very words of the world ..." Today Mark II stands by to render the masterpieces of literature from any language into any other language, giving as follows, the words of a Russian critic of Tolstoy about "War and World (peace…But nonetheless culture not stands) costs on place. Something translate. Something print." (Boorstin, 141) Our very word "grasp" or "apprehension" points to the process of getting at one thing through another, of handling and sensing many facets at a time through more than one sense at a time. It begins to be evident that "touch" is not skin but the interplay of the senses, and the “keep in touch” and “getting in touch” is a matter of fruitful meeting of senses, of sight translated into sound and sound into movement, and taste and smell. The “common sense” was for many centuries held to be the peculiar human power of translating one kind of experience

of one sense into all the senses, and presenting the result nntinuously as a unified image to the mind. In fact, this image of a unified ratio among the senses was long held to be the mark four rationality, and may in the computer age easily become so again For it is now possible to program ratios among the senses that approach the condition of consciousness. Yet such a condition would necessarily be an extension of our own consciousness as much as wheel is an extension of feet in rotation. Having extended or translated our central nervous system into the electromagnetic technology, it is but a further stage to transfer our consciousness to the computer world as well. Then, at least, we shall be able to program consciousness in such wise that it cannot be numbed nor distracted by the Narcissus illusions of the entertainment world that beset mankind when he encounters himself extended in his own gimmickry. If the work of the city is the remaking or translating of man into a more suitable form than his nomadic ancestors achieved, then might not our current translation of our entire lives into die spiritual form of information seem to make of the entire globe, and of the human family, a single consciousness?

7 CHALLENGE AND COLLAPSE The Nemesis of Creativity It was Bertrand Russell who declared that the great discovery of the twentieth century was the technique of the suspended judgment. A. N. Whitehead, on the other hand, explained how the great discovery of the nineteenth century was the discovery of the technique of discovery. Namely, the technique of starting with the thing to be discovered and working back, step by step, as on an assembly line, to the point at which it is necessary to start in order to reach the desired object. In the arts this meant starting with the effect and then inventing a poem, painting, or building that would have just that effect and no other. But the "technique of the suspended judgment" goes further. It anticipates the effect of, say, an unhappy childhood on an adult, and offsets the effect before it happens. In psychiatry, it is the technique of total permissiveness extended as an anesthetic

for the mind, while various adhesions and moral effects of false judgments are systematically eliminated. This is a very different thing from the numbing or narcotic effect of new technology that lulls attention while the new form slams the gates of judgment and perception. For massive social surgery is needed to insert new technology into the group mind, and this is achieved by the built-in numbing apparatus discussed earlier Now the "technique of the suspended judgment" presents the possibility of rejecting the narcotic and of postponing indefinitely the operation of inserting the new technology in the social psyche. A new stasis is in prospect. Werner Heisenberg, in The Physicist's Conception of Nature, is an example of the new quantum physicist whose over-all awareness of forms suggests to him that we would do well to stand aside from most of them. He points out that technical change alters not only habits of life, but patterns of thought and valuation, citing with approval the outlook of the Chinese sage: AsTzu-Gung was traveling through the regions north of the river Han, he saw an old man working in his vegetable garden. He had dug an irrigation ditch. The man would descend into a well, fetch up a vessel of water in his arms and pour it out into the ditch. While his efforts were tremendous the results appeared to be very meager. Tzu-Gung said, "There is a way whereby you can irrigate a hundred ditches in one day, and whereby you can do much with little effort. Would you not like to hear of it?" Then the gardener stood up, looked at him and said, "And what would that be?" Tsu-Gung replied, "You take a wooden lever, weighted at the back and light in front. In this way you can bring up water so quickly that it just gushes out. This is called a draw-well." Then anger rose up in the old man's face, and he said, "I have heard my teacher say that whoever uses machines does all

his work like a machine. He who does his work like a machine grows a heart like a machine, and he who carries the heart of a machine in his breast loses his simplicity. He who has lost his simplicity becomes unsure in the strivings of his soul. Uncertainty in the strivings of the soul is something which does not agree with honest sense. It is not that I do not know of such things; I am ashamed to use them." Perhaps the most interesting point about this anecdote is that it appeals to a modern physicist. It would not have appealed to Newton or to Adam Smith, for they were great experts and advo- cates of the fragmentary and the specialist approaches. It is by means quite in accord with the outlook of the Chinese sage that Hans Selye works at his "stress" idea of illness. In the 1920s he had been baffled at why physicians always seemed to concentrate on the recognition of individual diseases and specific remedies for such isolated causes, while never paying any attention to the "syndrome of just being sick." Those who are concerned with the program "content" of media and not with the medium proper, appear to be in the position of physicians who ignore the "syndrome of just being sick." Hans Selye, in tackling a total, inclusive approach to the field of sickness, began what Adolphe Jonas has continued in Irritation and Counter-Irritation; namely, a quest for the response to injury as such, or to novel impact of any kind. Today we have anesthetics that enable us to perform the most frightful physical operations on one another. The new media and technologies by which we amplify and extend ourselves constitute huge collective surgery carried out on the social body with complete disregard for antiseptics. If the operations are needed, the inevitability of infecting the whole system during the operation has to be considered. For in operating on society with a new technology, it is not the incised area that is most affected. The area of impact and incision is numb. It is the entire system that is changed. The effect of radio is visual.

fleet of the photo is auditory. Each new impact shifts the ratios among all the senses. What we seek today is either a means of controlling these shifts in the sense-ratios of the psychic and social outlook, or a means of avoiding them altogether. To have a disease without its symptoms is to be immune. No society has ever known enough about its actions to have developed immunity to its new extensions or technologies. Today we have begunto sense that art may be able to provide such immunity. In the history of human culture there is no example of a conscious adjustment of the various factors of personal and social life to new extensions except in the puny and peripheral efforts of artists. The artist picks up the message of cultural and technological challenge decades before its transforming impact occurs. He, then, builds models or Noah's arks for facing the change that is at hand. "The war of 1870 need never have been fought had people read my Sentimental Education," said Gustave Flaubert. It is this aspect of new art that Kenneth Galbraith recommends to the careful study of businessmen who want to stay in business. For in the electric age there is no longer any sense in talking about the artist's being ahead of his time. Our technology is, also, ahead of its time, if we reckon by the ability to recognize it for what it is. To prevent undue wreckage in society, the artist tends now to move from the ivory tower to the control tower of society. Just as higher education is no longer a frill or luxury but a stark need of production and operational design in the electric age, so the artist is indispensable in the shaping and analysis and understanding of the life of forms, and structures created by electric technology. The percussed victims of the new technology have invariably muttered cliches about the impracticality of artists and their fanciful preferences. But in the past century it has come generally acknowledged that, in the words of Wyndham Lewis. "The artist is always engaged in writing a detailed history of the future

because he is the only person aware of the nature of the present." Knowledge of this simple fact is now needed for human survival. The ability of the artist to sidestep the bully blow of new technology of any age, and to parry such violence with full awareness, is age-old. Equally age-old is the inability of the percussed victims, who cannot sidestep the new violence, to recognize their need of the artist. To reward and to make celebrities of artists can, also, be a way of ignoring their prophetic work, and preventing its timely use for survival. The artist is the man in any field, scientific or humanistic, who grasps the implications of his actions and of new knowledge in his own time. He is the man of integral awareness. The artist can correct the sense ratios before the blow of new technology has numbed conscious procedures. He can correct diem before numbness and subliminal groping and reaction begin. If this is true, how is it possible to present the matter to those who are in a position to do something about it? If there were even a remote likelihood of this analysis being true, it would warrant a global armistice and period of stock-taking. If it is true that the artist possesses the means of anticipating and avoiding the consequences of technological trauma, then what are we to think of the world and bureaucracy of "art appreciation"? Would it not seem suddenly to be a conspiracy to make die artist a frill, a fribble, or a MUltown? If men were able to be convinced that art is precise advance knowledge of how to cope with the psychic and social consequences of the next technology, would they all become artists? Or would they begin a careful translation of new art forms into social navigation charts? 1 am curious to know what would happen if art were suddenly seen for what it is, namely, exact information of how to rearrange one's psyche in order to anticipate the next blow from our own extended faculties. Would we, then, cease to look at works of art as an explorer might regard the gold and gems used as the ornaments of simple nonliterates?

At any rate, in experimental art, men are given the exact specifications of 'coming violence to their own psyches from their own counter-irritants or technology. For those parts of ourselves that we thrust out in the form of new invention are attempts to counter or neutralize collective pressures and irritations. But the counter-irritant usually proves a greater plague than the initial irritant, like a drug habit. And it is here that the artist can show us how to "ride with the punch," instead of "taking it on the chin " It can only be repeated that human history is a record of "taking it on the chin." Emile Durkheim long ago expressed the idea that the specialized task always escaped the action of the social conscience. In this regard, it would appear that the artist is the social conscience and is treated accordingly! "We have no art," say the Balinese; "we do everything as well as possible." The modern metropolis is now sprawling helplessly after the impact of the motorcar. As a response to the challenge of railway speeds die suburb and the garden city arrived too late, or just in time to become a motorcar disaster. For an arrangement of functions adjusted to one set of intensities becomes unbearable at another intensity. And a technological extension of our bodies designed to alleviate physical stress can bring on psychic stress that may be much worse. Western specialist technology transferred to the Arab world in late Roman times released a furious discharge of tribal energy. The somewhat devious means of diagnosis that have to be used to pin down the actual form and impact of a new medium are not unlike those indicated in detective fiction by Peter Cheyney. In You Cant's Keep the Change (Collins, London, 1956) he wrote: A case to Callaghan was merely a collection of people, some of whom -- all of whom -- were giving incorrect information, or telling lies, because circumstances either forced them or led them into the process.

But the fact that they had to tell lies; had to give false impres-sions, necessitated a reorientation of their own viewpoints and their own lives. Sooner or later they became exhausted or careless. Then, and not until then, was an investigator able to put his finger on the one fact that would lead him to a possible logical solution. It is interesting to note that success in keeping up a respectable front of customary kind can only be done by a frantic scramble back of the facade. After the crime, after the blow has fallen, the facade of custom can only be held up by swift rearrangement of the props. So it is in our social lives when a new technology strikes, or in our private life when some intense and, therefore, indigestible experience occurs, and the censor acts at once to numb us from the blow and to ready the faculties to assimilate the intruder. Peter Cheyney's observations of a mode of detective fiction is another instance of a popular form of entertainment functioning as mimic model of the real thing. Perhaps the most obvious "closure" or psychic consequence of any new technology is just the demand for it. Nobody wants a motorcar till there are motorcars, and nobody is interested in TV until there are TV programs. This power of technology to create its own world of demand is not independent of technology being first an extension of our own bodies and senses. When we are deprived of our sense of sight, the other senses take up the role of sight in some degree. But the need to use the senses that are available is as insistent as breathing--a fact that makes sense of the urge to keep radio and TV going more or less continuously. The urge to continuous use is quite independent of the content" of public programs or of the private sense life, being testimony to the fact that technology is part of our bodies. Electric technology is directly related to our central nervous systems, so it is ridiculous to talk of "what the public wants" played over its own nerves. This question would be like asking people what

sort of sights and sounds they would prefer around them in an urban metropolis! Once we have surrendered our senses and nervous systems to the private manipulation of those who would try to benefit from taking a lease on our eyes and ears and nerves, we don't really have any rights left. Leasing our eyes and ears and nerves to commercial interests is like handing over the common speech to a private corporation, or like giving the earth's atmosphere to a company as a monopoly. Something like this has already happened with outer space, for the same reasons that we have leased our central nervous systems to various corporations. As long as we adopt the Narcissus attitude of regarding the extensions of our own bodies as really out there and really independent of us, we will meet all technological challenges with the same sort of banana-skin pirouette and collapse. Archimedes once said, "Give me a place to stand and I will move the world." Today he would have pointed to our electric media and said, "I will stand on your eyes, your ears, your nerves, and your brain, and the world will move in any tempo or pattern I choose." We have leased these "places to stand" to private corporations. Arnold Toynbee has devoted much of his A Study of History to analyzing the kinds of challenge faced by a variety of cultures during many centuries. Highly relevant to Western man is Toynbee's explanation of how the lame and the crippled respond to their handicaps in a society of active warriors. They become specialists like Vulcan, the smith and armorer. And how do whole communities act when conquered and enslaved? The same strategy serves them as it does the lame individual in a society of warriors. They specialize and become indispensable to their masters. It is probably the long human history of enslavement, and the collapse into specialism as a counter-irritant, that have put the stigma of servitude and pusillanimity on the figure of the specialist, even in modern times. The capitulation of Western man to his technology, with its crescendo of specialized

demands, has always appeared to many observers of our world as a kind of enslavement. But the resulting fragmentation has been voluntary and enthusiastic, unlike the conscious strategy of specialism on the part of the captives of military conquest. It is plain that fragmentation or specialism as a technique of achieving security under tyranny and oppression of any kind has an attendant danger. Perfect adaptation to any environment is achieved by a total channeling of energies and vital force that amounts to a kind of static terminus for a creature. Even slight changes in the environment of the very well adjusted find them without any resource to meet new challenge. Such is the plight of the representatives of "conventional wisdom" in any society. Their entire stake of security and status is in a single form of acquired knowledge, so that innovation is for them not novelty but annihilation. A related form of challenge that has always faced cultures is the simple fact of a frontier or a wall, on the other side of which exists another kind of society. Mere existence side by side of any two forms of organization generates a great deal of tension. Such, indeed, has been the principle of symbolist artistic structures in the past century. Toynbee observes that the challenge of a civilization set side by side with a tribal society has over and over demonstrated that the simpler society finds its integral economy and institutions "disintegrated by a rain of psychic energy generated by the civilization" of the more complex culture. When two societies exist side by side, the psychic challenge of the more complex one acts as an explosive release of energy in the simpler one. For prolific evidence of this kind of problem it is not necessary to look beyond the life of the teenager lived daily in the midst of a complex urban center As the barbarian was driven to furious restlessness by the civilized contact, collapsing into mass migration, so the teenager, compelled to share the life of a city that cannot accept him as an adult, collapses into "rebellion without a cause." Earlier the adolescent had been

provided with a rain check. He was prepared to wait it out. But since TV the drive to participation has ended adolescence, and every American home has its Berlin wall. Toynbee is very generous in providing examples of widely varied challenge and collapse, and is especially apt in pointing to the frequent and futile resort to futurism and archaism as strategies of encountering radical change. But to point back to the day of the horse or to look forward to the coming of antigravitational vehicles is not an adequate response to the challenge of the motorcar. Yet these two uniform ways of backward and forward looking are habitual ways of avoiding the discontinuities of present experience with their demand for sensitive inspection and appraisal. Only the dedicated artist seems to have the power for encountering the present actuality. Toynbee urges again and again the cultural strategy of the imitation of the example of great men. This, of course, is to locate cultural safety in the power of the will, rather than in the power of adequate perception of situations. Anybody could quip that this is the British trust in character as opposed to intellect. In view of the endless power of men to hypnotize themselves into unawareness in the presence of challenge, it may be argued that willpower is as useful as intelligence for survival. Today we need also the will to be exceedingly informed and aware. Arnold Toynbee gives an example of Renaissance technology being effectively encountered and creatively controlled when he shows how the revival of the decentralized medieval parliament saved English society from the monopoly of centralism that seized the continent. Lewis Mumford in The City in History tells the strange tale of how the New England town was able to carry out the pattern of the medieval ideal city because it was able to dispense with walls and to mix town and country. When the technology of a time is powerfully thrusting in one direction, wisdom may well call for a countervailing thrust. The implosion of electric energy in our century cannot be met by explosion or

expansion, but it can be met by decentralism and the flexibility of multiple small centers. For example, the rush of students into our universities is not explosion but implosion. And the needful strategy to encounter this force is not to enlarge the university but to create numerous groups of autonomous colleges in place of our centralized university plant that grew up on the lines of European government and nineteenth-century industry. In the same way the excessive tactile effects of the TV image cannot be met by mere program changes. Imaginative strategy based on adequate diagnosis would prescribe a corresponding depth or structural approach to the existing literary and visual world. If we persist in a conventional approach to these developments our traditional culture will be swept aside as scholasticism was in the sixteenth century. Had the Schoolmen with their complex oral culture understood the Gutenberg technology, they could have created a new synthesis of written and oral education, instead of bowing out of the picture and allowing the merely visual page to take over the educational enterprise. The oral Schoolmen did not meet the new visual challenge of print, and the resulting expansion or explosion of Gutenberg technology was in many respects an impoverishment of the culture, as historians like Mumford are now beginning to explain. Arnold Toynbee, in A Study of History, in considering "the nature of growths of civilizations," not only abandons the concept of enlargement as a criterion of real growth of society, but states: More often geographical expansion is a concomitant of real decline and coincides with a 'time of troubles' or a universal state--both of them stages of decline and disintegration." Toynbee expounds the principle that times of trouble or rapid change produce militarism, and it is militarism that produces empire and expansion. The old Greek myth which taught that the alphabet produced militarism ("King Cadmus sowed the dragon s teeth, and they sprang up armed men") really goes much deeper than Toynbee's story. In fact, "militarism" is just

vague description, not analysis of causality at all. Militarism is a kind of visual organization of social energies that is both specialist and explosive, so that it is merely repetitive to say, as Toynbee does that it both creates large empires and causes social breakdown. But militarism is a form of industrialism or the concentration of large amounts of homogenized energies into a few kinds of production. The Roman soldier was a man with a spade. He was an expert workman and builder who processed and packaged the resources of many societies and sent them home. Before machinery, the only massive work forces available for processing material were soldiers or slaves. As the Greek myth of Cadmus points out, the phonetic alphabet was the greatest processer of men for homogenized military life that was known to antiquity. The age of Greek society that Herodotus acknowledges to have been "overwhelmed by more troubles than in the twenty preceding generations" was the time that to our literary retrospect appears as one of the greatest of human centuries. It was Macaulay who remarked that it was not pleasant to live in times about which it was exciting to read. The succeeding age of Alexander saw Hellenism expand into Asia and prepare the course of the later Roman expansion. These, however, were the very centuries in which Greek civilization obviously fell apart. Toynbee points to the strange falsification of history by archeology, insofar as the survival of many material objects of the past does not indicate the quality of ordinary life and experience at my particular time. Continuous technical improvement in the means of warfare occurs over the entire period of Hellenic and Roman decline. Toynbee checks out his hypothesis by testing it with the developments in Greek agriculture. When the enterprise of Solon weaned the Greeks from mixed farming to a program of specialized products for export, there were happy consequences and a glorious manifestation of energy in Greek life. When the next phase of the same specialist stress involved much reliance on slave labor, there was spectacular increase of

production. But the armies of technologically specialized slave working the land blighted the social existence of the independent yeomen and small farmers, and led to the strange world of the Roman towns and cities crowded with rootless parasites To a much greater degree than Roman slavery, the specialism of mechanized industry and market organization has faced Western man with the challenge of manufacture by mono-fracture, or the tackling of all things and operations one-bit-at-a-time. This is the challenge that has permeated all aspects of our" lives and enabled us to expand so triumphantly in all directions and in all spheres.

Part II

8 THE SPOKEN WORD Flower of Evil? A few seconds from a popular disk-jockey show were typed out as follows: That's Patty Baby and that's the girl with the dancing feet and that's Freddy Cannon there on the David Mickie Show in the night time ooohbah scubadoo how are you booboo. Next we'll be Swinging on a Star and sssshhhwwoooo and sliding on a moonbeam. Waaaaaaa how about that. . . one of the goodest guys with you .... this is lovable kissable D.M. in the p.m. at 22 minutes past nine o'clock there, aahhrightie, we're gonna have a Hitline, all you have to do is call WAlnut 5-1151, WAInut 5-1151, tell them what number it is on the Hitline. Dave Mickie alternately soars, groans, swings, sings, solos, intones, and scampers, always reacting to his own actions. He

moves entirely in the spoken rather than the written area of experience. It is in this way that audience participation is created. The spoken word involves all of the senses dramatically, though highly literate people tend to speak as connectedly and casually as possible. The sensuous involvement natural to cultures in which literacy is not the ruling form of experience is sometimes indicated in travel guides, as in this item from a guide to Greece: You will notice that many Creek men seem to spend a lot of time counting the beads of what appear to be amber rosaries. But these have no religious significance. They are komboloia or "worry beads," a legacy from the Turks, and Creeks click them on land, on the sea, in the air to ward off that insupportable silence which threatens to reign whenever conversation lags. Shepherds do it, cops do it, stevedores and merchants in their shops do it. And if you wonder why so few Creek women wear beads, you'll know it's because their husbands have preempted them for the simple pleasure of clicking. More aesthetic than thumb-twiddling, less expensive than smoking, this Queeg-like obsession indicates a tactile sensuousness characteristic of a race which has produced the western world's greatest sculpture Where the heavy visual stress of literacy is lacking in a culture, there occurs another form of sensuous involvement and cultural apprecauon that our Greek guide explains whimsically: not be surprised at the frequency with which you are patted, petted and prodded in Greece. You may end up feeling like the family dog... in an affectionate family. This propensity to pat seems to us a tactile extension of the avid Greek curiosity noted before. It's as though your hosts are trying to find out what you are made of.

The widely separate characters of the spoken and written words are easy to study today when there is ever closer touch with nonliterate societies. One native, the only literate member of his group, told of acting as reader for the others when they received letters. He said he felt impelled to put his fingers to his ears while reading aloud, so as not to violate the privacy of their letters. This is interesting testimony to the values of privacy fostered by the visual stress of phonetic writing. Such separation of the senses, and of the individual from the group, can scarcely occur without the influence of phonetic writing. The spoken word does not afford the extension and amplification of the visual power needed for habits of individualism and privacy. It helps to appreciate the nature of the spoken word to contrast it with the written form. Although phonetic writing separates and extends the visual power of words, it is comparatively crude and slow. There are not many ways of writing "tonight," but Stanislavsky used to ask his young actors to pronounce and stress it fifty different ways while the audience wrote down the different shades of feeling and meaning expressed. Many a page of prose and many a narrative has been devoted to expressing what was, in effect, a sob, a moan, a laugh, or a piercing scream. The written word spells out in sequence what is quick and implicit in the spoken word. Again, in speech we tend to react to each situation that occurs, reacting in tone and gesture even to our own act of speaking. But writing tends to be a kind of separate or specialist action in which there is little opportunity or call for reaction. The literate man or society develops the tremendous power of acting in any matter with considerable detachment from the feelings or emotional involvement that a nonliterate man or society would experience. Henri Bergson, the French philosopher, lived and wrote in a tradition of thought in which it was and is considered that language is a human technology that has impaired and diminished

the values of the collective unconscious. It is the extension of man in speech that enables the intellect to detach itself from the vastly wider reality. Without language. Bergson suggests, human intelligence would have remained totally involved in the objects of its attention. Language does for intelligence what the wheel does for the feet and the body. It enables them to move from thing to thing with greater ease and speed and ever less involvement. Language extends and amplifies man but it also divides his faculties. His collective consciousness or intuitive awareness is diminished by this technical extension of consciousness that is speech. Bergson argues in Creative Evolution that even consciousness is an extension of man that dims the bliss of union in the collective unconscious. Speech acts to separate man iron man, and mankind from the cosmic unconscious. As an extension or uttering (outering) of all our senses at once, language has always been held to be man's richest art form, that which distinguishes him from the animal creation. If the human ear can be compared to a radio receiver that is able to decode electromagnetic waves and recode them as sound, die human voice may be compared to the radio transmitter in being able to translate sound into electromagnetic waves. The power of the voice to shape air and space into verbal patterns may well have been preceded by a less specialized expression of cries, grunts, gestures, and commands, of song and dance. The patterns of the senses that are extended in the various languages of men are as varied as styles of dress and art. Each mother tongue teaches its users a way of seeing and feeling the world, and of acting in the world, that is quite unique. Our new electric technology that extends our senses and nerves in a global embrace has large implications for the future of language. Electric technology does not need words any more than the digital computer needs numbers. Electricity points the way to an extension of the process of consciousness itself, on a

world scale, and without any verbalization whatever. Such a state of co llective awareness may have been the preverbal condition of men, Language as the technology of human extension, whose of division and separation we know so well, may have been the "Tower of Babel" by which men sought to scale the hi hest heavens. Today computers hold out the promise of a means of instant translation of any code or language into any other code or language. The computer, in short, promises by technology a Pentecostal condition of universal understanding and unity. The next logical step would seem to be, not to translate, but to by-pass languages in favor of a general cosmic consciousness which might be very like the collective unconscious dreamt of by Bergson. The condition of "weightlessness," that biologists say promises a physical immortality, may be paralleled by the condition of speechlessness that could confer a perpetuity of collective harmony and peace.

9 THE WRITTEN WORD An Eye for an Ear Prince Modupe wrote of his encounter with the written word in his West African days: The ore crowded space in Father Perry's house was his bookshelves. I gradually came to understand that the marks on the pages were trapped words. Anyone could learn to decipher the symbols and turn the trapped words loose again into speech. The ink of the print trapped the thoughts; they could no rnore get away than a daomboo could get out of a pit. When the full realization of what this meant flooded over me, I experienced the same thrill and amazement as when I had my first glimpse of the bright lights of Konakry. I shivered with the intensity of my desire to learn to do this wondrous thing myself. In striking contrast to the native's eagerness, there are

the current anxieties of civilized man concerning the written word. To some Westerners the written or printed word has become a very touchy subject. It is true that there is more material written and printed and read today than ever before, but there is also a new electric technology that threatens this ancient technology of literacy built on the phonetic alphabet. Because of its action in extending our central nervous system, electric technology seems to favor the inclusive and participational spoken word over the specialist written word. Our Western values, built on the written word have already been considerably affected by the electric media of telephone, radio, and TV Perhaps that is the reason why many highly literate people in our time find it difficult to examine this question without getting into a moral panic. There is the further circumstance that, during his more than two thousand years of literacy, Western man has done little to study or to understand the effects of the phonetic alphabet in creating many of his basic patterns of culture. To begin now to examine the question may, therefore, seem too late. Suppose that, instead of displaying the Stars and Stripes, we were to write the words "American flag" across a piece of cloth and to display that. While the symbols would convey the same meaning, the effect would be quite different. To translate the rich visual mosaic of the Stars and Stripes into written form would be to deprive it of most of its qualities of corporate image and of experience, yet the abstract literal bond would remain much the same. Perhaps this illustration will serve to suggest the change the tribal man experiences when he becomes literate. Nearly all the emotional and corporate family feeling is eliminated from his relationship with his social group. He is emotionally free to separate from the tribute and to become a civilized individual, a man of visual organization who has uniform attitudes, habits, and rights with all other civilized individuals. The Greek myth about the alphabet was that Cadmus, reputedly the king who introduced the phonetic letters into

Greece, sowed the dragon's teeth, and they sprang up arm men. Like any other myth, this one capsulates a prolonged process into a flashing insight. The alphabet meant power and authority and control of military structures at a distance. When combined with papyrus, the alphabet spelled the end of the stationary temple bureaucracies and the priestly monopolies of knowledge and power. Unlike pre-alphabetic writing, which with its innumerable signs was difficult to master, the alphabet could be learned in a few hours. The acquisition of so extensive a knowledge and so complex a skill as pre-alphabetic writing represented, when applied to such unwieldy materials as brick and stone, insured for the scribal caste a monopoly of priestly power. The easier alphabet and the light, cheap, transportable papyrus together effected the transfer of power from the priestly to the military class. All this is implied in the myth about Cadmus and the dragon's teeth, including the fall of the city states, the rise of empires and military bureaucracies. In terms of the extensions of man, the theme of the dragon's teeth in the Cadmus myth is of the utmost importance. Elias Canetti in Crowds and Power reminds us that the teeth are an obvious agent of power in man, and especially in many animals. Languages are filled with testimony to the grasping, devouring power and precision of teeth. That the power of letters as agents of aggressive order and precision should be expressed as extensions of the dragon's teeth is natural and fitting. Teeth are emphatically visual in their lineal order. Letters are not only like teeth visually, but their power to put teeth into the business of empire-building is manifest in our Western history. The phonetic alphabet is a unique technology. There have been many kinds of writing, pictographic and syllabic, but there is only one phonetic alphabet in which semantically meaningless letters are used to correspond to semantically meaningly sounds. This stark divison and parallelism between a visual and an auditory world was both crude and ruthless, culturally

speaking. The phonetically written word sacrifices worlds of meaning and perception that were secured by forms like the hieroglyph and the Chinese ideogram. These culturally richer forms of writing, however, offered men no means of sudden transfer from the magically discontinuous and traditional world of the tribal word into the cool and uniform visual medium. Many centuries of ideogrammic use have not threatened the seamless web of family and tribal subtleties of Chinese society. On the other hand, a single generation of alphabetic literacy suffices in Africa today, as in Gaul two thousand years ago, to release the individual initially, at least, from the tribal web. This fact has nothing to do with the content of the alphabetized words; it is the result of the sudden breach between the auditory and the visual experience of man. Only the phonetic alphabet makes such a sharp division in experience, giving to its user an eye for an ear, and freeing him from the tribal trance of resonating word magic and the web of kinship. It can be argued, then, that the phonetic alphabet, alone, is the technology that has been the means of creating "civilized man" -the separate individuals equal before a written code of law. Separateness of the individual, continuity of space and of time, and uniformity of codes are the prime marks of literate and civilized societies. Tribal cultures like those of the Indian and the Chinese may be greatly superior to the Western cultures, in the range and delicacy of their perceptions and expression. However, we are not here concerned with the question of values, but with the configurations of societies. Tribal cultures cannot entertain the possibility of the individual or of the separate citizen. Their ideas of spaces and times are neither continuous nor uniform, but compassional and compressional in their intensity. It is in its power to extend patterns of visual uniformity and continuity that the "message" of the alphabet is felt by cultures. As an intensification and extension of the visual function, the phonetic alphabet diminishes the role of the other senses of

sound and touch and taste in any literate culture. The fact that this does not happen in cultures such as the Chinese, which use nonphonetic scripts, enables them to retain a rich store of inclusive perception in depth of experience that tends to become eroded in civilized cultures of the phonetic alphabet. For the ideogram is an inclusive gestalt, not an analytic dissociation of senses and functions like phonetic writing. The achievements of the Western world, it is obvious, are testimony to the tremendous values of literacy. But many people are also disposed to object that we have purchased our structure of specialist technology and values at too high a price. Certainly the lineal structuring of rational life by phonetic literacy has involved us in an interlocking set of consistencies that axe striking enough to justify a much more extensive inquiry than that of the present chapter. Perhaps there are better approaches along quite different lines; for example, consciousness is regarded as the mark of a rational being, yet there is nothing lineal or sequential about the total field of awareness that exists in any moment of consciousness. Consciousness is not a verbal process. Yet during all our centuries of phonetic literacy we have favored the chain of inference as the mark of logic and reason. Chinese writing, in contrast, invests each ideogram with a total intuition of being and reason that allows only a small role to visual sequence as a mark of mental effort and organization. In Western literate society it is still plausible and acceptable to say that something "follows" from something, as if there were some cause at work that makes such a sequence. It was David Hume who, in the eighteenth century, demonstrated that there is no causality indicated in any sequence, natural or logical. The sequential is merely additive, not causative. Hume's argument, said Immanuel Kant, awoke me from my dogmatic slumber." Neither Hume nor Kant, however, detected the hidden cause of our Western bias toward sequence as "logic" in the all-pervasive technology of the alphabet. Today in the electric age we feel as free to invent

nonlineal logics as we do to make non-Euclidean geometries. Even the assembly line, as the method of analytic sequence for mechanizing every kind of making and production, is nowadays yielding to new forms. Only alphabetic cultures have ever mastered connected lineal sequences as pervasive forms of psychic and social organization. The breaking up of every kind of experience into uniform units in order to produce faster action and change of form (applied knowledge) has been the secret of Western power over man and nature alike. That is the reason why our Western industrial programs have quite involuntarily been so militant, and our military programs have been so industrial. Both are shaped by the alphabet in their technique of transformation and control by making all situations uniform and continuous. This procedure, manifest even in the Graeco-Roman phase, became more intense with the uniformity and repeatability of the Gutenberg development. Civilization is built on literacy because literacy is a uniform processing of a culture by a visual sense extended in space and time by the alphabet. In tribal cultures, experience is arranged by a dominant auditory sense-life that represses visual values. The auditory sense, unlike the cool and neutral eye, is hyper-esthetic and delicate and all-inclusive. Oral cultures act and react at the same time. Phonetic culture endows men with the means of repressing their feelings and emotions when engaged in action. To act without reacting, without involvement, is the peculiar advantage of Western literate man. The story of The Ugly American describes the endless succession of blunders achieved by visual and civilized Americans when confronted with the tribal and auditory cultures of the East. As a civilized UNESCO experiment, running water--with its lineal organization of pipes--as installed recently in some Indian villages. Soon the villagers requested that the pipes be removed, for it seemed to them that the whole social life of the village had been impoverished when it was no longer necessary for all to

visit the communal well. To us the pipe is a convenience. We do not think of it as culture or as a product of literacy, any more than we think of literacy as changing our habits, our emotions, or our perceptions. To nonliterate people, it is perfectly obvious that the most commonplace conveniences represent total changes in culture. The Russians, less permeated with the patterns of literate culture than Americans, have much less difficulty in perceiving and accommodating the Asiatic attitudes. For the West, literacy has long been pipes and taps and streets and assembly lines and inventories. Perhaps most potent of all as an expression of literacy is our system of uniform pricing that penetrates distant markets and speeds the turn-over of commodities. Even our ideas of cause and effect in the literate West have long been in the form of things in sequence and succession, an idea that strikes any tribal or auditory culture as quite ridiculous, and one that has lost its prime place in our own new physics and biology. All the alphabets in use in the Western world, from that of Russia to that of the Basques, from that of Portugal to that of Peru, are derivatives of the Graeco-Roman letters. Their unique separation of sight and sound from semantic and verbal content made them a most radical technology for the translation and homogenization of cultures. All other forms of writing had served merely one culture, and had served to separate that culture from others. The phonetic letters alone could be used to translate, albeit crudely, the sounds of any language into one-and-the-same visual code. Today, the effort of the Chinese to use our phonetic letters to translate their language has run into special problems in the wide tonal variations and meanings of similar sounds This has led to the practice of fragmenting Chinese monosyllables into polysyllables in order to eliminate tonal ambiguity The Western phonetic alphabet is now at work transforming the central auditory features of the Chinese language and culture m order that China can also develop the lineal and

visual patterns that give central unity and aggregate uniform power to Western work and organization. As we move out of the Gutenberg era of our own culture, we can more readily discern its primary features of homogeneity, uniformity, and continuity. These were the characteristics that gave the Greeks and Romans their easy ascendancy over the nonliterate barbarians. The barbarian or tribal man, then as now, was hampered by cultural pluralism, uniqueness, and discontinuity. To sum up, pictographic and hieroglyphic writing as used in Babylonian, Mayan, and Chinese cultures represents an extension of the visual sense for storing and expediting access to human experience. All of these forms give pictorial expression to oral meanings. As such, they approximate the animated cartoon and are extremely unwieldy, requiring many signs for the infinity of data and operations of social action. In contrast, the phonetic alphabet, by a few letters only, was able to encompass all languages. Such an achievement, however, involved the separation of both signs and sounds from their semantic and dramatic meanings. No other system of writing had accomplished this feat. The same separation of sight and sound and meaning that is peculiar to the phonetic alphabet also extends to its social and psychological effects. Literate man undergoes much separation of his imaginative, emotional, and sense life, as Rousseau (and later the Romantic poets and philosophers) proclaimed long ago. Today the mere mention of D. H. Lawrence will serve to recall the twentieth-century efforts made to by-pass literate man in order to recover human "wholeness." If Western literate man undergoes much dissociation of inner sensibility from his use of the alphabet, he also wins his personal freedom to dissociate himself from clan and family. This freedom to shape an individual career manifested itself in the ancient world in military life. Careers were open to talents in Republican Rome, as much as in Napoleonic France, and for the same reasons. The new

literacy had created an homogeneous and malleable milieu in which the mobility of armed groups and of ambitious individuals, equally, was as novel as it was practical.

10 ROADS AND PAPER ROUTES It was not until the advent of the telegraph that messages could travel faster than a messenger. Before this, roads and the written word were closely interrelated. It is only since the telegraph that information has detached itself from such solid commodities as stone and papyrus, much as money had earlier detached itself from hides, bullion, and metals, and has ended as paper. The term "communication" has had an extensive use in connection with roads and bridges, sea routes, rivers, and canals, even before it became transformed into "information movement" in the electric age. Perhaps there is no more suitable way of defining the character of the electric age than by first studying the rise of the idea of transportation as communication, and then the transition of the idea from transport to information by means of electricity. The word "metaphor" is from the Greek meld plus pherein, to carry across or transport. In this book we are concerned with all forms of transport of goods and information, both as metaphor and exchange. Each form of transport not only carries, but translates and transforms, the sender, the receiver,

and the message. The use of any kind of medium or extension of man alters the patterns of interdependence among people, as it alters the ratios among our senses. It is a persistent theme of this book that all technologies are extensions of our physical and nervous systems to increase power and speed. Again, unless there were such increases of power and speed, new extensions of ourselves would not occur or would be discarded. For an increase of power or speed in any kind of grouping of any components whatever is itself a disruption that causes a change of organization. The alteration of social groupings, and the formation of new communities, occur with the increased speed of information movement by means of paper messages and road transport. Such speed-up means much more control at much greater distances. Historically, it meant the formation of the Roman Empire and the disruption of the previous city-states of the Greek world. Before the use of papyrus and alphabet created the incentives for building fast, hard-surface roads, the walled town and the city-state were natural forms that could endure. Village and city-state essentially are forms that include all human needs and functions. With greater speed and, therefore, greater military control at a distance, the city-state collapsed. Once inclusive and self-contained, its needs and functions were extended in the specialist activities of an empire. Speed-up tends to separate functions, both commercial and political, and acceleration beyond a point in any system becomes disruption and breakdown. So when Arnold Toynbee turns, in A Study of History, to a massive documentation of "the breakdowns of civilizations," he begins by saying: "One of the most conspicuous marks of disintegration, as we have already noticed, is ... when a disintegrating civilisation purchases a reprieve by submitting to forcible political unification in a universal state." Disintegration and reprieve, alike, are the consequence of ever faster movement of information by couriers on excellent roads.

Speed-up creates what some economists refer to as a center-margin structure. When this becomes too extensive for the generating and control center, pieces begin to detach themselves and to set up new center-margin systems of their own. The most familiar example is the story of the American colonies of Great Britain. When the thirteen colonies began to develop a considerable social and economic life of their own, they felt the need to become centers themselves, with their own margins. This is the time when the original center may make a more rigorous effort of centralized control of the margins, as, indeed, Great Britain did. The slowness of sea travel proved altogether inadequate to the maintenance of so extensive an empire on a mere center-margin basis. Land powers can more easily attain a unified center-margin pattern than sea powers. It is the relative slowness of sea travel that inspires sea powers to foster multiple centers by a kind of seeding process. Sea powers thus tend to create centers without margins, and land empires favor the center-margin structure. Electric speeds create centers everywhere. Margins cease to exist on this planet. Lack of homogeneity in speed of information movement creates diversity of patterns in organization. It is quite predictable, then, that any new mean of moving information will alter any power structure whatever. So long as the new means is everywhere available at the same time, there is a possibility that the structure may be changed without breakdown. Where there are great discrepancies in speeds of movement, as between air and road travel or between telephone and typewriter, serious conflicts occur within organizations. The metropolis of our time has become a test case for such discrepancies. If homogeneity of speeds were total, there would be no rebellion and no breakdown. With print, political unity via homogeneity became feasible for the first time. In ancient Rome, however, there was only the light paper manuscript to pierce the opacity, or to reduce the discontinuity, of the tribal villages; and when the

paper supplies failed, the roads were vacated, as they were in our own age during gas-rationing. Thus the old city-state returned and feudalism replaced republicanism. It seems obvious enough that technical means of speed-up should wipe out the independence of villages and city-states. Whenever speed-up has occurred, the new centralist power always takes action to homogenize as many marginal areas as possible. The process that Rome effected by the phonetic alpha bet geared to its paper routes has been occurring in Russia for the last century. Again, from the current example of Africa we can observe how very much visual processing of the human psyche by alphabetic means will be needed before any appreciable degree of homogenized social organization is possible. Much of this visual processing was done in the ancient world by nonliterate technologies, as in Assyria. The phonetic alphabet has no rival, however, as a translator of man out of the closed tribal echo-chamber into the neutral visual world of lineal organization. The situation of Africa today is complicated by the new electronic technology. Western man is himself being de-Westernized by his own new speed-up, as much as the Africans are being detribalized by our old print and industrial technology. If we understood our own media old and new these confusions and disruptions could be programmed and synchronized, The very success we enjoy in specializing and separating functions in order to have speed-up, however, is at the same time the cause of inattention and unawareness of the situation. It has ever been thus in the Western world at least. Self-consciousness of the causes and limits of one's own culture seem to threaten the ego structure and is, therefore, avoided. Nietzsche said understanding stops action, and men of action seem to have an intuition of the fact in their shunning the dangers of comprehension. The point of the matter of speed-up by wheel, road, and paper is the extension of power in an ever more homogeneous and

uniform space. Thus the real potential of the Roman technology was not realized until printing had given road and wheel a much greater speed than that of the Roman vortex. Yet the speed-up of the electronic age is as disrupting for literate, lineal, and Western man as the Roman paper routes were for tribal villagers. Our speed-up today is not a slow explosion outward from center to margins but an instant implosion and an interfusion of space and functions. Our specialist and fragmented civilization of center-margin structure is suddenly experiencing an instantaneous reassembling of all its mechanized bits into an organic whole. This is the new world of the global village. The village, as Mumford explains in The City in History, had achieved a social and institutional extension of all human faculties. Speed-up and city aggregates only served to separate these from one another in more specialist forms. The electronic age cannot sustain the very low gear of a center-margin structure such as we associate with the past two thousand years of the Western world. Nor is this a question of values. If we understood our older media, such as roads and the written word, and if we valued their human effects sufficiently, we could reduce or even eliminate the electronic factor from our lives. Is there an instance of any culture that understood the technology that sustained its structure and was prepared to keep it that way? If so, that would be an instance of values or reasoned preference. The values or preferences that arise from the mere automatic operation of this or that technology in our social lives are not capable of being perpetuated. In the chapter on the wheel it will be shown that transport without wheels had played a big role before the wheel, some of which was by sledge, over both snow and bogs. Much of it was by pack animal-- woman being the first pack animal. Most wheel-less transport in the past, however, was by river and by sea, a fact that is today as richly expressed as ever in the location and form of the great cities of the world. Some writers have observed that man's oldest beast of burden was woman, because

the male had to be free to run interference for the woman, as ball-carrier, as it were. But that phase belonged to the prewheel stage of transport, when there was only the tractless waste of man the hunter and food-gatherer. Today, when the greatest volume of transport consists in the moving of information, the wheel and the road are undergoing recession and obsolescence; but in the first instance, given the pressure for, and from, wheels, there had to be roads to accommodate them. Settlements had created the impulse for exchange and for the increasing movement of raw material and produce from countryside to processing centers, where there was division of labor and specialist craft skills. Improvement of wheel and road more and more brought the town to the country in a reciprocal spongelike action of give-and-take. It is a process we have seen in this century with the motorcar. Great improvements in roads brought the city more and more to the country. The road became a substitute for the country by the time people began to talk about "taking a spin in the country." With super-highways the road became a wall between man and the country. Then came the stage of the highway as city, a city stretching continuously across the continent, dissolving all earlier cities into the sprawling aggregates that desolate their populations today. With air transport comes a further disruption of the old town-country complex that had occurred with wheel and road. With the plane the cities began to have the same slender relation to human needs that museums do. They became corridors of showcases echoing the departing forms of industrial assembly lines. The road is, then, used less and less for travel, and more and more for recreation. The traveler now turns to the airways, and thereby ceases to experience the act of traveling. As people used to say that an ocean liner might as well be a hotel in a big city, the jet traveler, whether he is over Tokyo or New York, might just as well be in a cocktail lounge so far as travel experience is concerned. He will begin to travel only after he lands.

Meantime, the countryside, as oriented and fashioned by plane, by highway, and by electric information-gathering, tends to become once more the nomadic trackless area that preceded the wheel. The beatniks gather on the sands to meditate haiku. The principal factors in media impact on existing social forms are acceleration and disruption. Today the acceleration tends to be total, and thus ends space as the main factor in social arrangements. Toynbee sees the acceleration factor as translating the physical into moral problems, pointing to the antique road crowded with dog carts, wagons, and rickshaws as full of minor nuisance, but also minor dangers. Further, as the forces impelling traffic mount in power, there is no more problem of hauling and carrying, but the physical problem is translated into a psychological one as the annihilation of space permits easy annihilation of travelers as well. This principle applies to all media study. All means of interchange and of human in terassociation tend to improve by acceleration. Speed, in turn, accentuates problems of form and structure. The older arrangements had not been made with a view to such speeds, and people begin to sense a draining-away of life values as they try to make the old physical forms adjust to the new and speedier movement. These problems, however, are not new. Julius Caesar's first act upon assuming power was to restrict the night movement of wheeled vehicles in the city of Rome in order to permit sleep. Improved transport in the Renaissance turned the medieval walled towns into slums. Prior to the considerable diffusion of power through alphabet and papyrus, even the attempts of kings to extend their rule in spatial terms were opposed at home by the priestly bureaucracies. Then complex and unwieldy media of stone inscription made wide ranging empires appear very dangerous to such static monopolies. The struggles between those who exercised power over the hearts of men and those who sought to control the physical resources of nations were not of one time and place.

In the Old Testament, just this kind of struggle is reported in the Book of Samuel (I, viii) when the children of Israel besought Samuel to give them a king. Samuel explained to them the nature of kingly, as opposed to priestly, rule: This will be the manner of the King that shall reign over you: he will take your sons, and appoint them unto him for his chariots; and they shall run before his chariots: and he will appoint them unto him for captains of thousands, and captains of fifties; and he will set some to plough his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and the instruments of his chariots. And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks and to be bakers. And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants. Paradoxically, the effect of the wheel and of paper in organizing new power structures was not to decentralize but to centralize. A speed-up in communications always enables a central authority to extend its operations to more distant margins. The introduction of alphabet and papyrus meant that many more people had to be trained as scribes and administrators. However, the resulting extension of homogenization and of uniform training did not come into play in the ancient or medieval world to any great degree. It was not really until the mechanization o( writing in the Renaissance that intensely unified and centralized power was possible. Since this process is still occurring, it should be easy for us to see that it was in the armies of Egypt and Rome that a kind of democratization by uniform technological education occurred. Careers were then open to talents for those with literate training. In the chapter on the written word we saw how phonetic writing translated tribal man into a visual world and invited him to undertake the visual organization of space. The

priestly groups in the temples had been more concerned with the records of the past and with the control of the inner space of the unseen than with outward military conquest. Hence, there was a clash between the priestly monopolizers of knowledge and those who wished to apply it abroad as new conquest and power. (This same clash now recurs between the university and the business world.) It was this kind of rivalry that inspired Ptolemy II to establish the great library at Alexandria as a center of imperial power. The huge staff of civil servants and scribes assigned to many specialist tasks was an antithetic and countervailing force to the Egyptian priesthood. The library could serve the political organization of empire in a way that did not interest the priesthood at all. A not-dissimilar rivalry is developing today between the atomic scientists and those who are mainly concerned with power. If we realize that the city as center was in the first instance an aggregate of threatened villagers, it is then easier for us to grasp how such harassed companies of refugees might fan out into an empire. The city-state as a form was not a response to peaceful commercial development, but a huddling for security amidst anarchy and dissolution. Thus the Greek city-state was a tribal form of inclusive and integral community, quite unlike the specialist cities that grew up as extensions of Roman military expansion. The Greek city-states eventually disintegrated by the usual action of specialist trading and the separation of functions that Mumford portrays in The City in History. The Roman cities began that way--as specialist operations of the central power. The Greek cities ended that way. If a city undertakes rural trade, it sets up at once a center-margin relation with the rural area in question. That relation involves taking staples and raw produce from the country in exchange for specialist products of the craftsman. If, on the other hand, the same city attempts to engage in overseas trade, it is more natural to "seed" another city center, as the Greeks did,

rather than to deal with the overseas area as a specialized margin or raw material supply. A brief review of the structural changes in the organization of space as they resulted from wheel, road, and papyrus could go as follows: There was first the village, which lacked all of these group extensions of the private physical body. The village, however, was already a form of community different from that of food-gathering hunters and fishers, for villagers may be sedentary and may begin a division of labor and functions. Their being congregated is, itself, a form of acceleration of human activities which provides momentum for further separation and specialization of action. Such are the conditions for the extension of feet-as-wheel to speed production and exchange. These are, also, the conditions that intensify communal conflicts and ruptures that send men huddling into ever larger aggregates, in order to resist the accelerated activities of other communities. The villages are swept up into the city-state by way of resistance and for the purpose of security and protection. The village had institutionalized all human functions in forms of low intensity. In this mild form everyone could play many roles. Participation was high, and organization was low. This is the formula for stability in any type of organization. Nevertheless, the enlargement of village forms in the city-state called for greater intensity and the inevitable separation of functions to cope with this intensity and competition. The villagers had all participated in the seasonal rituals that in the city became the specialized Greek drama. Mumford feels that "The village measure prevailed in the development of the Greek cities, down to the fourth century . . ." (The City in History). It is this extension and translation of the human organs into the village model without loss of corporal unity that Mumford uses as a criterion of excellence for city forms in any time or locale. This biological approach to the man-made environment is sought today once more in the electric age. How strange that the idea of the

"human scale" should have seemed quite without appeal during the mechanical centuries. The natural tendency of the enlarged community of the city is to increase the intensity and accelerate functions of every sort whether of speech, or crafts, or currency and exchange. This in turn, implies an inevitable extension of these actions by subdivision or, what is the same thing, new invention. So that even though the city was formed as a kind of protective hide or shield for man, this protective layer was purchased at the cost of maximized struggle within the walls. War games such as those described by Herodotus began as ritual blood baths between the citizenry. Rostrum, law courts, and marketplace all acquired the intense image of divisive competition that is nowadays called "the rat race." Nevertheless, it was amidst such irritations that man produced his greatest inventions as counter-irritants. These inventions were extensions of himself by means of concentrated toil, by which he hoped to neutralize distress. The Greek word ponos, or "toil," was a term used by Hippocrates, the father of medicine, to describe the fight of the body in disease. Today this idea is called homeostasis, or equilibrium as a strategy of the staying power of any body. All organizations, but especially bio- logical ones, struggle to remain constant in their inner condition amidst the variations of outer shock and change. The man-made social environment as an extension of man's physical body is no exception. The city, as a form of the body politic, responds to new pressures and irritations by resourceful new extensionsٛ always in the effort to exert staying power, constancy, equilibrium, and homeostasis. The city, having been formed for protection, unexpectedly generated fierce intensities and new hybrid energies from accelerated interplay of functions and knowledge. It burst forth into aggression. The alarm of the village, followed by the resistance of" the city, expanded into the exhaustion and inertia of empire. These three stages of the disease and irritation syndrome

were felt, by those living through them, as normal physical expressions of counter-irritant recovery from disease. The third stage of struggle for equilibrium among the forces within the city took the form of empire, or a universal state, that generated the extension of human senses in wheel, road, and alphabet. We can sympathize with those who first saw in these tools a providential means of bringing order to distant areas of turbulence and anarchy. These tools would have seemed a glorious form of "foreign aid," extending the blessings of the center to the barbarian margins. At this moment, for example, we are quite in the dark about the political implications of Telstar. By outering these satellites as extensions of our nervous system, there is an automatic response in all the organs of the body politic of mankind. Such new intensity of proximity imposed by Telstar calls for radical rearrangement of all organs in order to maintain staying power and equilibrium. The teaching and learning process for every child will be affected sooner rather than later. The time factor in every decision of business and finance will acquire new patterns. Among the peoples of the world strange new vortices of power will appear unexpectedly. The full-blown city coincides with the development of writing -- especially of phonetic writing, the specialist form of writing that makes a division between sight and sound. It was with this instrument that Rome was able to reduce the tribal areas to some visual order. The effects of phonetic literacy do not depend upon persuasion or cajolery for their acceptance. This technology for translating the resonating tribal world into Euclidean lineality and visuality is automatic. Roman roads and Roman streets were uniform and repeatable wherever they occurred. There was no adaptation to the contours of local hill or custom. With the decline of papyrus supplies, the wheeled traffic stopped on these roads, too. Deprivation of papyrus, resulting from the Roman loss of Egypt, meant the decline of bureaucracy and of army organization as well. Thus the medieval world grew

up without uniform roads or cities or bureaucracies, and it fought the wheel, as later city forms fought the railways; and as we, today, fight the automobile. For new speed and power are never compatible with existing spatial and social arrangements. Writing about the new straight avenues of the seventeenth-century cities, Mumford points to a factor that was also present in the Roman city with its wheeled traffic; namely, the need for broad straight avenues to speed military movements, and to express the pomp and circumstance of power. In the Roman world the army was the work force of a mechanized wealth-creating process. By means of soldiers as uniform and replaceable parts, the Roman military machine made and delivered the goods, very much in the manner of industry during the early phases of the industrial revolution. Trade followed the legions. More than that, the legions were the industrial machine, itself; and numerous new cities were like new factories manned by uniformly trained army personnel. With the spread of literacy after printing, the bond between the uniformed soldier and the wealth-making factory hand became less visible. It was obvious enough in Napoleon's armies. Napoleon, with his citizen-armies, was the industrial revolution itself, as it reached areas long protected from it. The Roman army as a mobile, industrial wealth-making force created in addition a vast consumer public in the Roman towns. Division of labor always creates a separation between producer and consumer, even as it tends to separate the place oi work and the living space. Before Roman literate bureaucracy, nothing comparable to the Roman consumer specialists had been seen in the world. This fact was institutionalized in the individual known as "parasite," and in the social institution of the gladiatorial games. (Panem et circmse.) The private sponge and the collective sponge, both reaching out for their rations of sensation, achieved a horrible distinctness and clarity that matched the raw power of the predatory army machine.

With the cutting-off of the supplies of papyrus by the Mohammedans, the Mediterranean, long a Roman lake, became a Muslim lake, and the Roman center collapsed. What had been the margins of this center-margin structure became independent centers on a new feudal, structural base. The Roman center collapsed by the fifth century A.D. as wheel, road, and paper dwindled into a ghostly paradigm of former power. Papyrus never returned. Byzantium, like the medieval centers, relied heavily on parchment, but this was too expensive and scarce a material to speed commerce or even education. It was paper from China, gradually making its way through the Near East to Europe, that accelerated education and commerce steadily from the eleventh century, and provided the basis for "the Renaissance of the twelfth century," popularizing prints and, finally, making printing possible by the fifteenth century. With the moving of information in printed form, the wheel and the road came into play again after having been in abeyance for a thousand years. In England, pressure from the press brought about hard-surface roads in the eighteenth century, with all the population and industrial rearrangement that entailed. Print, or mechanized writing, introduced a separation and extension of human functions unimaginable even in Roman times. It was only natural, therefore, that greatly increased wheel speeds, both on road and in factory, should be related to the alphabet that had once done a similar job of speed-up and specialization in the ancient world. Speed, at least in its lower reaches of the mechanical order, always operates to separate, to extend, and to amplify functions of the body. Even specialist learning in higher education proceeds by ignoring interrelationships; for such complex awareness slows down the achieving of expertness. The post roads of England were, for the most part, paid for by the newspapers. The rapid increase of traffic brought in the railway, that accommodated a more specialized form of wheel than

the road. The story of modern America that began with the discovery of the white man by the Indians, as a wag has truly said, quickly passed from exploration by canoe to development by railway. For three centuries Europe invested in America for its fish and its furs. The fishing schooner and the canoe preceded the road and the postal route as marks of our North American spatial organization. The European investors in the fur trade naturally did not want the trapping lines overrun by Tom Sawyers and Huck Finns. They fought land surveyors and settlers, like Washington and Jefferson, who simply would not think in terms of mink. Thus the War of Independence was deeply involved in media and staple rivalries. Any new medium, by its acceleration, disrupts the lives and investments of whole communities. It was the railway that raised the art of war to unheard-of intensity, making the American Civil War the first major conflict fought by rail, and causing it to be studied and admired by all European general staffs, who had not yet had an opportunity to use railways for a general blood-letting. War is never anything less than accelerated technological change. It begins when some notable disequilibrium among existing structures has been brought about by inequality of rates of growth. The very late industrialization and unification of Germany had left her out of the race for staples and colonies for many years. As the Napoleonic wars were technologically a sort of catching-up of France with England, the First World War was itself a major phase of the final industrialization of Germany and America. As Rome had not shown before, and Russia has shown today, militarism is itself the main route of technological education and acceleration for lagging areas. Almost unanimous enthusiasm for improved routes of land transportation followed the War of 1812. Furthermore, the British blockade of the Atlantic coast had compelled an unprecedented amount of land carriage, thus emphasizing the unsatisfactory character of the highways. War is certainly a form

of emphasis that delivers many a telling touch to lagging social attention. However, in the very Hot Peace since the Second War, it is the highways of the mind that have been found inadequate. Many have felt dissatisfaction with our educational methods since Sputnik, in exactly the same spirit that many complained about the highways during the War of 1812. Now that man has extended his central nervous system by electric technology, the field of battle has shifted to mental image-making-and-breaking, both in war and in business. Until the electric age, higher education had been a privilege and a luxury for the leisured classes; today it has become a necessity for production and survival. Now, when information itself is the main traffic, the need for advanced knowledge presses on the spirits of the most routine-ridden minds. So sudden an upsurge of academic training into the marketplace has in it the quality of classical peripety or reversal, and the result has been a wild guffaw from the gallery and the campus. The hilarity, however, will die down as the Executive Suites are taken over by the Ph.D.s. For an insight into the ways in which the acceleration of wheel and road and paper rescramble population and settlement patterns, let us glance at some instances provided by Oscar Handlin in his study Boston's Immigrants. In I 790, he tells us, Boston was a compact unit with all workers and traders living in sight of each other, so that there was no tendency to section residential areas on a class basis: "But as the town grew, as the outlying districts became more accessible, the people spread out and at the same time were localized in distinctive areas." That one sentence capsulates the theme of this chapter. The sentence can be generalized to include the art of writing: "As knowledge was spread out visually and as it became more accessible in alphabetic form, it was localized and divided into specialties." Up to the point just short of electrification, increase of speed produces division of function, and of social classes, and of knowledge.

At electric speed, however, all that is reversed. Implosion and contraction then replace mechanical explosion and expansion. If the Handlin formula is extended to power, it becomes: "As power grew, and as outlying areas became accessible to power, it was localized in distinctive delegated jobs and functions." This formula is a principle of acceleration at all levels of human organization. It concerns especially those extensions of our physical bodies that appear in wheel and road and paper messages. Now that we have extended not just our physical organs but the nervous system, itself, in electric technology, the principle of specialism and division as a factor of speed no longer applies. When information moves at the speed of signals in the central nervous system, man is confronted with the obsolescence of all earlier forms of acceleration, such as road and rail. What emerges is a total field of inclusive awareness. The old patterns of psychic and social adjustment become irrelevant. Until the 1820s, Handlin tells us, Bostonians walked to and fro, or used private conveyances. Horse-drawn buses were introduced in 1826, and these speeded up and extended business a great deal. Meantime the speed-up of industry in England had extended business into the rural areas, dislodging many from the land and increasing the rate of immigration. Sea transport of immigrants became lucrative and encouraged a great speed-up of ocean transport. Then the Cunard Line was subsidized by the British government in order to ensure swift contact with the colonies. The railways soon linked into this Cunard service, to convey mail and immigrants inland. Although America developed a massive service of inland canals and river steamboats, they were not geared to the speeding wheels of the new industrial production. The railroad was needed to cope with mechanized production, as much as to span the great distances of the continent. The steam railroad as an accelerator proved to be one of the most revolutionary of all extensions of our physical bodies, creating a new political

centralism and a new kind of urban shape and size. It is to the railroad that the American city owes its abstract grid layout the nonorganic separation of production, consumption and residence. It is the motorcar that scrambled the abstract shape of the industrial town, mixing up its separated functions to a degree that has frustrated and baffled both planner and citizen It remained for the airplane to complete the confusion by amplifying the mobility of the citizen to the point where urban space as such was irrelevant. Metropolitan space is equally irrelevant for the telephone, the telegraph, the radio, and television. What the town planners call "the human scale" in discussing ideal urban spaces is equally unrelated to these electric forms. Our electric-extensions of ourselves simply by-pass space and time and create problems of human involvement and organization for which there is no precedent. We may yet yearn for the simple days of the automobile and the superhighway.

11 NUMBER Profile of the Crowd Hitler made a special horror of the Versailles Treaty because it had deflated the German army. After 1870 the heel-clicking members of the German army had become the new symbol of tribal unity and power. In England and America the same sense of numerical grandeur from sheer numbers was associated with the mounting output of industry, and the statistics of wealth and production: "tanks a million." The power of sheer numbers, in wealth or in crowds, to set up a dynamic drive toward growth and aggrandizement is mysterious. Elias Canetti in Crowds and Power illustrates the profound tie between monetary inflation and crowd behavior. He is baffled by our failure to study inflation as a crowd phenomenon, since its effects on our modern world are pervasive. The drive toward unlimited growth inherent in any kind of crowd, heap, or horde would seem to link economic and Population inflation.

In the theater, at a ball, at a ball game, in church, every individual enjoys all those others present. The pleasure of being among the masses is the sense of the joy in the multiplication of numbers, which has long been suspect among the literate members of Western society. In such society, the separation of the individual from the group in space (privacy), and in thought ("point of view"), and in work (specialism), has had the cultural and technological support of literacy, and its attendant galaxy of fragmented industrial and political institutions. But the power of the printed word to create the homogenized social man grew steadily until our time, creating the paradox of the "mass mind" and the mass militarism of citizen armies. Pushed to the mechanized extreme, letters have often seemed to produce effects opposite to civilization, just as numbering in earlier times seemed to break tribal unity, as the Old Testament declares ("And Satan rose up against Israel, and moved David to number Israel"). Phonetic letters and number were the first means of fragmenting and detribalizing man. Throughout Western history we have traditionally and rightly regarded letters as the source of civilization, and looked to our literatures as the hallmark of civilized attainment. Yet all along, there has been with us a shadow of number, the language of science. In isolation, number is as mysterious as writing. Seen as an extension of our physical bodies, it becomes quite intelligible. Just as writing is an extension and separation of our most neutral and objective sense, the sense of sight, number is an extension and separation of our most intimate and interrelating activity, our sense of touch. This faculty of touch, called the "haptic" sense by the Greeks, was popularized as such by the Bauhaus program of sensuous education, through the work of Paul Klee, Walter Gropius, and many others in the Germany of the 1920s. The sense of touch, as offering a kind of nervous system or organic unity in the work

of art, has obsessed the minds of the artists since the time of Cezanne. For more than a century now artists have tried to meet the challenge of the electric age by investing the tactile sense with the role of a nervous system for unifying all the others. Paradoxically, this has been achieved by "abstract art," which offers a central nervous system for a work of art, rather than the conventional husk of the old pictorial image. More and more it has occurred to people that the sense of touch is necessary to integral existence. The weightless occupant of the space capsule has to fight to retain the integrating sense of touch. Our mechanical technologies for extending and separating the functions of our physical beings have brought us near to a state of disintegration by putting us out of touch with ourselves. It may very well be that in our conscious inner lives the interplay among our senses is what constitutes the sense of touch. Perhaps touch is not just skin contact with things, but the very life of things in the mind? The Greeks had the notion of a consensus or a faculty of "common sense" that translated each sense into each other sense, and conferred consciousness on man. Today, when we have extended all parts of our bodies and senses by technology, we are haunted by the need for an outer consensus of technology and experience that would raise our communal lives to the level of a world-wide consensus. When we have achieved a world-wide fragmentation, it is not unnatural to think about a world-wide integration. Such a universality of conscious being for mankind was dreamt of by Dante, who believed that men would remain mere broken fragments until they should be united in an inclusive consciousness. What we have today, instead of a social consciousness electrically ordered, however, is a private subconsciousness or individual "point of view" rigorously imposed by older mechanical technology. This is a perfectly natural result of "culture lag" or conflict, in a world suspended between two technologies.

The ancient world associated number magically with the properties of physical things, and with the necessary causes of things, much as science has tended until recent times to reduce all objects to numerical quantities. In any and all of its manifestations, however, number seems to have both auditory and repetitive resonance, and a tactile dimension as well. It is the quality of number that explains its power to create the effect of an icon or an inclusive compressed image. Such is its use in newspaper and magazine reporting, as: "Cyclist John Jameson, 12, Collides with Bus," or "William Samson, 51, New Vice-President in Charge of Brooms." By rule of thumb the journalists have discovered the iconic power of number. Since Henri Bergson and the Bauhaus group of artists, to say nothing of Jung and Freud, the nonliterate and even antiliterate values of tribal man have in general received enthusiastic study and promotion. For many European artists and intellectuals, jazz became one of the rallying points in their quest for the integral Romantic Image. The uncritical enthusiasm of the European intellectual for tribal culture appears in the exclamation of the architect Le Corbusier on first seeing Manhattan: "It is hot-jazz in stone." It appears again in the artist Moholy-Nagy's account of his visit to a San Francisco night club in 1940. A Negro band was playing with zest and laughter. Suddenly a player intoned, "One million and three," and was answered: "One million and seven and a half." Then another sang, "Eleven," and another, "Twenty-one." Then amidst "happy laughter and shrill singing the numbers took over the place." Moholy-Nagy notes how, to Europeans, America seems to be the land of abstractions, where numbers have taken on an existence of their own in phrases like "57 Varieties," "the 5 and 10," or "7 Up" and "behind the 8-ball." It figures. Perhaps this is a kind of echo of an industrial culture that depends heavily on prices, charts, and figures. Take 36-24-36. Numbers cannot become more sensuously tactile than when mumbled as the

magic formula for the female figure while the haptic hand sweeps the air. Baudelaire had the true intuition of number as a tactile hand or nervous system for interrelating separate units, when he said that "number is within the individual. Intoxication is a number." That explains why "the pleasure of being in a crowd is a mysterious expression of delight in the multiplication of number " Number, that is to say, is not only auditory and resonant, like the spoken word, but originates in the sense of touch, of which it is an extension. The statistical aggregation or crowding of numbers yields the current cave-drawings or finger-paintings of the statisticians' charts. In every sense, the amassing of numbers statistically gives man a new influx of primitive intuition and magically subconscious awareness, whether of public taste or feeling: "You feel better satisfied when you use well-known brands." Like money and clocks and all other forms of measurement, numbers acquired a separate life and intensity with the growth of literacy. Nonliterate societies had small use for numbers, and today the nonliterate digital computer substitutes "yes" and "no" for numbers. The computer is strong on contours, weak on digits. In effect, then, the electric age brings number back into unity with visual and auditory experience, for good or ill. Oswald Spengler's The Decline of the West originated in large part from his concern with the new mathematics. Non-Euclidean geometries, on one hand, and the rise of Functions in number theory, on the other, seemed to Spengler to spell the end of Western man. He had not grasped the fact that the invention of luiclidean space is. itself, a direct result of the action of the phonetic- alphabet on the human senses. Nor had he realized (hat number is an extension of the physical body of man, an extension of our sense of touch. The "infinity of functional processes," into which Spengler gloomily saw traditional number and geometry dissolving, is, also, the extension of our central nervous system in electrical technologies. We need not feel

grateful to apocalyptic writers like Spengler, who see our tech- nologies as cosmic visitors from outer space. The Spenglers are tribally entranced men who crave the swoon back into collective unconsciousness and all the intoxication of number. In India the idea of darshon -- of the mystical experience of being in very large gatherings --stands at the opposite end of the spectrum from the Western idea of conscious values. The most primitive tribes of Australia and Africa, like the Eskimos of today, have not yet reached finger-counting, nor do they have numbers in series. Instead they have a binary system of independent numbers for one and two, with composite numbers up to six. After six, they perceive only "heap." Lacking the sense of series, they will scarcely notice when two pins have been removed from a row of seven. They become aware at once, however, if one pin is missing. Tobias Dantzig, who investigated these matters, points out (in Number: The Language of Science) that the parity or kinesthetic sense of these people is stronger than their number sense. It is certainly an indication of a developing visual stress in a culture when number appears. A closely integrated tribal culture will not easily yield to the separatist visual and individualistic pressures that lead to the division of labor, and then to such accelerated forms as writing and money. On the other hand, Western man, were he determined to cling to the fragmented and individualist ways that he has derived from the printed word in particular, would be well advised to scrap all his electric technology since the telegraph. The implosive (cora-pressional) character of the electric technology plays the disk or film of Western man backward, into the heart of tribal darkness, or into what Joseph Conrad called "the Africa within." The instant character of electric information movement does not enlarge, but involves, the family of man in the cohesive state of village living. It seems contradictory that the fragmenting and divisive power of our analytic Western world should derive from an

accentuation of the visual faculty. This same visual sense is, also, responsible for the habit of seeing all things as continuous and connected. Fragmentation by means of visual stress occurs in that isolation of moment in time, or of aspect in space, that is beyond the power of touch, or hearing, or smell, or movement. By imposing unvisualizable relationships that are the result of instant speed, electric technology dethrones the visual sense and restores us to the dominion of synesthesia, and the close interinvolvement of the other senses. Spengler was plunged into a Slough of Despond by what he saw as the Western retreat from Numerical Magnitude into a Faery Land of Functions and abstract relations. "The most valuable thing in classical mathematic," he wrote, "is its proposition that number is the essence of all things perceptible to the senses. Defining number as a measure, it contains the whole world-feeling of a soul passionately devoted to the 'here' and 'now' Measurement in this sense means the measurement of something near and corporeal." The ecstatic tribal man emanates from every page of Spengler. It never occurred to him that the ratio among corporeal things could never be less than rational. That is to say, rationality or consciousness is itself a ratio or proportion among the sensuous components of experience, and is not something added to such sense experience. Subrational beings have no means of achieving such a ratio or proportion in their sense lives but are wired for fixed wave lengths, as it were, having infallibility in their own area of experience. Consciousness, complex and subde, can be impaired or ended by a mere stepping-up or dimming-down of any one sense intensity, which is the procedure in hypnosis. And the intensification of one sense by a new medium can hypnotize an entire community. Thus, when he thought he saw modern mathematics and science abandoning visual relations and constructions for a nonvisual theory of relations and functions, Spengler pronounced the demise of the West.

Had Spengler taken the time to discover the origins of both number and Euclidean space in the psychological effects of the phonetic alphabet, The Decline of the West might never have been written. That work is based on the assumption that classical man, Apollonian man, was not the product of a technological bias in Greek culture (namely, the early impact of literacy on a tribal society), but rather the result of a special tremor in the soul stuff that embosomed the Greek world. This is a striking instance of how easily men of any one particular culture will panic when some familiar pattern or landmark gets smudged or shifted because of the indirect pressure of new media. Spengler, as much as Hitler, had derived from radio a subconscious mandate to announce the end of all "rational" or visual values. He was acting like Pip in Dickens' Great Expectations. Pip was a poor boy who had a hidden benefactor who wanted to raise Pip to the status of a gentleman. Pip was ready and willing until he found that his benefactor was an escaped convict. Spengler and Hitler and many more of the would-be "irrationalists" of our century are like singing-telegram delivery boys, who are quite innocent of any understanding of the medium that prompts the song they sing. So far as Tobias Dantzig is concerned in his Number: The Language of Science, the progress from the tactile fingering of toes and fingers to "the homogeneous number concept, which made mathematics possible" is the result of visual abstraction from the operation of tactile manipulation. We have both extremes of this process in our daily speech. The gangster term "to put the finger on" says that somebody's "number" has come up. At the extreme of the graph profiles of the statisticians there is the frankly expressed object of manipulation of population for varieties of power purposes. For example, in any large stockbroker's office there is a modern medicine man known as "Mr. Odd Lots." His magical function is to study the daily purchases and sales of the small buyers on the big exchanges. Long experience

has revealed that these small buyers are wrong 80 per cent of the time. A statistical profile of the failure of the little man to be in touch enables the big operators to be about 80 per cent right Thus from error comes truth; and from poverty, riches, thanks to numbers. This is the modern magic of numbers. The more primitive attitude toward the magical power of numbers appeared in the dread of the English when William the Conqueror numbered them and their chattels in what the folk called the Doomsday Book. To turn again briefly to the question of number in its more limited manifestation, Dantzig, having made clear that the idea of homogeneity had to come before primitive numbers could be advanced to the level of mathematics, points to another literate and visual factor in the older mathematics. "Correspondence and succession, the two principles which permeate all mathematics-- nay, all realms of exact thought -- an woven into the very fabric of our number system," he observes. So, indeed, are they woven into the very fabric of Western logic and philosophy. We have already seen how the phonetic technology fostered visual continuity and individual point of view, and how these contributed to the rise of uniform Euclidean space. Dantzig says that it is the idea of correspondence which gives us cardinal numbers. Both of these spatial ideas --lineality and point of view--come with writing, especially with phonetic writing; but neither is necessary in our new mathematics and physics. Nor is writing necessary to an electric technology. Of course, writing and conventional arithmetic may long continue to be of the utmost use to man, for all that. Even Einstein could not face the new quantum physics with comfort. Too visual a Newtonian for the new task, he said that quanta could not be handled mathematically. That is as much as to say that poetry cannot be properly translated into merely visual form on the printed page. Dantzig develops his points about number by saying that a literate population soon departs from the abacus and from finger

enumeration, though arithmetic manuals in the Renaissance continued to give elaborate rules for calculating on the hands. It could be true that numbers preceded literacy in some cultures, but so did visual stress precede writing. For writing is only the principal manifestation of the extension of our visual sense, as the photograph and the movie today may well remind us. And long before literate technology, the binary factors of hands and feet sufficed to launch man on the path of counting. Indeed, the mathematical Leibniz saw in the mystic elegance of the binary system of zero and I the image of Creation. The unity of the Supreme Being operating in the void by binary function would, he felt, suffice to make all beings from the void. Dantzig reminds us also that in the age of manuscript there was a chaotic variety of signs for numerals, and that they did not assume a stable form until printing. Although this was one of the least of the cultural effects of printing, it should serve to recall that one of the big factors in the Greek adoption of the letters of the phonetic alphabet was the prestige and currency of the number system of the Phoenician traders. The Romans got the Phoenician letters from the Greeks but retained a number system that was much more ancient. Wayne and Shuster, the comedian team, never fail to get a good laugh when they line up a group of ancient Roman cops in togas and have them number themselves from left to right, uttering Roman numerals. This joke demonstrates how the pressure of numbers caused men to seek ever more streamlined methods of numeration. Before the advant of ordinal, successive, or positional numbers, rulers had to count large bodies of soldiery by displacement methods. Sometimes they were herded by groups into spaces of approximately known area. The method of having them march in file and of dropping pebbles into containers was another method not unrelated to the abacus and the counting board. Eventually the method of the counting board gave rise to the great discovery of the principle of position in the early centuries of our era. By simply putting 3

and 4 and 2 in position on the board, one after another, it was possible to step up the speed and potential of calculation fan- tastically. The discovery of calculation by positional numbers rather than by merely additive numbers led, also, to the discovery of zero. Mere positions for 3 and 2 on the board created ambiguities about whether the number was 32 or 302. The need was to have a sign for the gaps between numbers. It was not till the thirteenth century that sifr, the Arab word for "gap" or "empty," was Latinized and added to our culture as "cipher" (ziphirum) and finally became the Italian zero. Zero really meant a positional gap. It did not acquire the indispensable quality of "infinity" until the rise of perspective and "vanishing point" in Renaissance painting. The new visual space of Renaissance painting affected number as much as lineal waiting had done centuries earlier. A main fact about numbers has now been reached, with the link between the medieval positional zero and the Renaissance vanishing point. That both vanishing point and infinity were unknown in the Greek and Roman cultures can be explained as by-products of literacy. It was not until printing extended the visual faculty into very high precision, uniformity, and intensity of special order that the other senses could be restrained or depressed sufficiently to create the new awareness of infinity. As one aspect of perspective and printing, mathematical or numerical infinity serves as an instance of how our various physical extensions or media act upon one another through the agency of our own senses. It is in this mode that man appears as the reproductive organ of the technological world, a fact that Samuel Butler bizarrely announced in Erewhon. The effect of any kind of technology engenders a new equilibrium in us that brings quite new technologies to birth, as we have just seen in the interplay of number (the tactile and quantitative form), and the more abstract forms of written or visual culture. Print technology transformed the medieval zero into the

Renaissance infinity, not only by convergence -- perspective and vanishing point -- but by bringing into play for the first time in human history the factor of exact repeatability. Print gave to men the concept of indefinite repetition so necessary to the mathematical concept of infinity. The same Gutenberg fact of uniform, continuous, and indefinitely repeatable bits inspired also the related concept of the infinitesimal calculus, by which it became possible to translate any kind of tricky space into the straight, the flat, the uniform, and the "rational." This concept of infinity was not imposed upon us by logic. It was the gift of Gutenberg. So, also, later on, was the industrial assembly line. The power to translate knowledge into mechanical production by the breaking up of any process into fragmented aspects to be placed in a lineal sequence of movable, yet uniform, parts was the formal essence of the printing press. This amazing technique of spatial analysis duplicating itself at once, by a kind of echo, invaded the world of number and touch. Here, then, is merely one familiar, if unrecognized, instance of the power of one medium to translate itself into another medium. Since all media are extensions of our own bodies and senses, and since we habitually translate one sense into another in our own experience, it need not surprise us that our extended senses or technologies should repeat the process of translation and assimilation of one form into another. This process may well be inseparable from the character of touch, and from the abrasively interfaced action of surfaces, whether in chemistry or crowds or technologies. The mysterious need of crowds to grow and to reach out, equally characteristic of large accumulations of wealth, can be understood if money and numbers are, indeed, technologies that extend the power of touch and the grasp of the hand. For numbers, whether of people or of digits, and units of money would seem to possess the same factual magic for seizing and incorporating

The Greeks ran head-on into the problem of translating their own new media when they tried to apply rational arithmetic to a problem in geometry. Up arose the specter of Achilles and the tortoise. These attempts resulted in the first crisis in the history of our Western mathematics. Such a crisis concerned the problems of determining the diagonal of a square and the circumference of a circle: a clear case of number, the tactile sense, trying to cope with visual and pictorial space by reduction of the visual space to itself. For the Renaissance, it was the infinitesimal calculus that enabled arithmetic to take over mechanics, physics, and geometry. The idea of an infinite but continuous and uniform process, so basic to the Gutenberg technology of movable types, gave rise to the calculus. Banish the infinite process and mathematics, pure and applied, is reduced to the state known to the pre-Pythagoreans. This is to say, banish the new medium of print with its fragmented technology of uniform, lineal repeatability, and modern mathematics disappears. Apply, however, this infinite uniform process to finding the length of an arc, and all that need be done is to inscribe in the arc a sequence of rectilinear contours of an increasing number of sides. When these contours approach a limit, the length of the arc becomes the limit of this sequence. The older method of determining volumes by liquid displacement is thus translated into abstract visual terms by calculus. The principles regarding the concept of length apply also to notions of areas, volumes, masses, moments, pressures, forces, stresses and strains, velocities and accelerations. The miracle-maker, the sheer function of the infinitely fragmented and repeatable, became the means of making visually flat, straight, and uniform all that was nonvisual: the skew, the curved, and the bumpy. In the same way, the phonetic alphabet had, centuries before, invaded the discontinuous cultures of the barbarians, and translated their sinuosities and obtusities into the uniformities of the visual culture of the Western world. It is


12 CLOTHING Our Extended Skin Economists have estimated that an unclad society eats 40 per cent more than one in Western attire. Clothing as an extension of our skin helps to store and to channel energy, so that if the Westerner needs less food, he may also demand more sex. Yet neither clothing nor sex can be understood as separate isolated factors, and many sociologists have noted that sex can become a compensation for crowded living. Privacy, like individualism, is unknown in tribal societies, a fact that Westerners need to keep in mind when estimating the attractions of our way of life to nonliterate peoples. Clothing, as an extension of the skin, can be seen both as a heat-control mechanism and as a means of denning the self socially. In these respects, clothing and housing are near twins, though clothing is both nearer and elder; for housing extends the inner heat-control mechanisms of our organism, while

clothing is a more direct extension of the outer surface of the body. Today Europeans have begun to dress for the eye, American-style, just at the moment when Americans have begun to abandon their traditional visual style. The media analyst knows why these opposite styles suddenly transfer their locations. The European, since the Second War, has begun to stress visual values; his economy, not coincidentally, now supports a large amount of uniform consumer goods. Americans, on the other hand, have begun to rebel against uniform consumer values for the first time. In cars, in clothes, in paperback books; in beards, babies, and beehive hairdos, the American has declared for stress on touch, on participation, involvement, and sculptural values. America, once the land of an abstractly visual order, is profoundly "in touch" again with European traditions of food and life and art. What was an avant-garde program for the 1920 expatriates is now the teenagers' norm. The Europeans, however, underwent a sort of consumer revolution at the end of the eighteenth century. When industrialism was a novelty, it became fashionable among the upper classes to abandon rich, courtly attire in favor of simpler materials. That was the time when men first donned the trousers of the common foot soldier (or pioneer, the original French usage), but it was done at that time as a kind of brash gesture of social "integration." Up until then, the feudal system had inclined the upper classes to dress as they spoke, in a courtly style quite removed from that of ordinary people. Dress and speech were accorded a degree of splendor and richness of texture that universal literacy and mass production were eventually to eliminate completely. The sewing machine, for example, created the long straight line in clothes, as much as the linotype flattened the human vocal style. A recent ad for C-E-I-R Computer Services pictured a plain cotton dress and the headline: "Why does Mrs. 'K' dress that way?" --referring to the wife of Nikita Khrushchev. Some of the

copy of this very ingenious ad continued: "It is an icon. To its own underprivileged population and to the uncommitted of the East and South, it says: 'We are thrif-ty, simple, hon-est; peaceful, home-y, go-od.' To the free nations of the West it says: 'We will bury you.' " This is precisely the message that the new simple clothing of our forefathers had for the feudal classes at the time of the French Revolution. Clothing was then a nonverbal manifesto of political upset. Today in America there is a revolutionary attitude expressed as much in our attire as in our patios and small cars. For a decade and more, women's dress and hair styles have abandoned visual for iconic--or sculptural and tactual--stress. Like toreador pants and gaiter stockings, the beehive hairdo is also iconic and sensuously inclusive, rather than abstractly visual. In a word, the American woman for the first time presents herself as a person to be touched and handled, not just to be looked at. While the Russians are groping vaguely toward visual consumer values, North Americans are frolicking amidst newly discovered tactile, sculptural spaces in cars, clothes, and housing. For this reason, it is relatively easy for us now to recognize clothing as an extension of the skin. In the age of the bikini and of skin-diving, we begin to understand "the castle of our skin" as a space and world of its own. Gone are the thrills of strip-tease. Nudity could be naughty excitement only for a visual culture that had divorced itself from the audile-tactile values of less abstract societies. As late as 1930, four-letter words made visual on the printed page seemed portentous. Words that most people used every hour of the day became as frantic as nudity, when printed. Most "four-letter words" are heavy with tactile-involving stress. For this reason they seem earthy and vigorous to visual man. So it is with nudity. To backward cultures still embedded in the full gamut of sense-life, not yet abstracted by literacy and industrial visual order, nudity is merely pathetic. The Kinsey Report on the sex

life of the male expressed bafflement that peasants and backward peoples did not relish marital or boudoir nudity. Khrushchev did not enjoy the can-can dance provided for his entertainment in Hollywood. Naturally not. That sort of mime of sense involvement is meaningful only to long-literate societies. Backward peoples approach nudity, if at all, with the attitude we have come to expect from our painters and sculptors -- the attitude made up of all the senses at once. To a person using the whole sensorium, nudity is the richest possible expression of structural form. But to the highly visual and lopsided sensibility of industrial societies, the sudden confrontation with tactile flesh is heady music, indeed. There is a movement toward a new equilibrium today, as we become aware of the preference for coarse, heavy textures and sculptural shapes in dress. There is, also, the ritualistic exposure of the body indoors and out-of-doors. Psychologists have long taught us that much of our hearing takes place through the skin itself. After centuries of being fully clad and of being contained in uniform visual space, the electric age ushers us into a world in which we live and breathe and listen with the entire epidermis. Of course, there is much zest of novelty in this cult, and the eventual equilibrium among the senses will slough off a good deal of the new ritual, both in clothing and in housing. Meantime, in both new attire and new dwellings, our unified sensibility cavorts amidst a wide range of awareness of materials and colors which makes ours one of the greatest ages of music, poetry, painting, and architecture

13 HOUSING New Look and New Outlook If clothing is an extension of our private skins to store and channel our own heat and energy, housing is a collective means of achieving the same end for the family or the group. Housing as shelter is an extension of our bodily heat-control mechanisms --a collective skin or garment. Cities are an even further extension of bodily organs to accommodate the needs of large groups. Many readers are familiar with the way in which lames Joyce organized Ulysses by assigning the various city forms "I walls, streets, civic buildings, and media to the various bodily organs. Such a parallel between the city and the human body enabled Joyce to establish a further parallel between ancient Ithaca and modern Dublin, creating a sense of human unity in depth, transcending history. Baudelaire originally intended to call his Flairs du Mai, Lei mines, having in mind the city as corporate extensions of our

physical organs. Our letting-go of ourselves, self-alienations, as it were, in order to amplify or increase the power of various functions, Baudelaire considered to be flowers of growths of evil. The city as amplification of human lusts and sensual striving had for him an entire organic and psychic unity. Literate man, civilized man, tends to restrict and enclose space and to separate functions, whereas tribal man had freely extended the form of his body to include the universe. Acting as an organ of the cosmos, tribal man accepted his bodily functions as modes of participation in the divine energies. The human body in Indian religious thought was ritually related to the cosmic image, and this in turn was assimilated into the form of house. Housing was an image of both the body and the universe for tribal and nonliterate societies. The building of the house with its hearth as fire-altar was ritually associated with the act of creation. This same ritual was even more deeply embedded in the building of the ancient cities, their shape and process having been deliberately modeled as an act of divine praise. The city and the home in the tribal world (as in China and India today) can be accepted as iconic embodiments of the word, the divine mythos, the universal aspiration. Even in our present electric age, many people yearn for this inclusive strategy of acquiring significance for their own private and isolated beings. Literate man, once having accepted an analytic technology of fragmentation, is not nearly so accessible to cosmic patterns as tribal man. He prefers separateness and compartmented spaces, rather than the open cosmos. He becomes less inclined to accept his body as a model of the universe, or to see his house -- or any other of the media of communication, for that matter -- as a ritual extension of his body. Once men have adopted the visual dynamic of the phonetic alphabet, they begin to lose the tribal man's obsession with cosmic order and ritual as recurrent in the physical organs and their social extension. Indifference to the cosmic, however, fosters intense concentration on minute

segments and specialist tasks, which is the unique strength of Western man. For the specialist is one who never makes small mistakes while moving toward the grand fallacy. Men live in round houses until they become sedentary and specialized in their work organization. Anthropologists have often noted this change from round to square without knowing its cause. The media analyst can help the anthropologist in this matter, although the explanation will not be obvious to people of visual culture. The visual man, likewise, cannot see much difference between the motion picture and TV, or between a Corvair and a Volkswagen, for this difference is not between two visual spaces, but between tactile and visual ones. A tent or a wigwam is not an enclosed or visual space. Neither is a cave nor a hole in the ground. These kinds of space -- the tent, the wigwam, the igloo, the cave -- are not "enclosed" in the visual sense because they follow dynamic lines of force, like a triangle. When enclosed, or translated into visual space, architecture tends to lose its tactile kinetic pressure. A square is the enclosure of a visual space; that is, it consists of space properties abstracted from manifest tensions. A triangle follows lines of force, this being the most economical way of anchoring a vertical object. A square moves beyond such kinetic pressures to enclose visual space relations, while depending upon diagonal anchors. This separation of the visual from direct tactile and kinetic pressure, and its translation into new dwelling spaces, occurs only when men have learned to practice specialization of their senses, and fragmentation of their work skills. The square room or house speaks the language of the sedentary specialist, while the round hut or igloo, like the conical wigwam, tells of the integral nomadic ways of food-gathering communities. This entire discussion is offered at considerable risk of misap- prehension because these are, spatially, highly technical matters. Nevertheless, when such spaces are understood, they offer the key to a great many enigmas, past and present. They explain the

change from circular-dome architecture to gothic forms, change a occasioned by alteration in the ratio or proportion of the sense lives in the members of a society. Such a shift occurs with the extension of the body in new social technology and invention. A new extension sets up a new equilibrium among all of the senses and faculties leading, as we say, to a "new outlook" --new attitudes and preferences in many areas. In the simplest terms, as already noted, housing is an effort to extend the body's heat-control mechanism. Clothing tackles the problem more directly but less fundamentally, and privately rather than socially. Both clothing and housing store warmth and energy and make these readily accessible for the execution of many tasks otherwise impossible. In making heat and energy accessible socially, to the family or the group, housing fosters new skills and new learning, performing the basic functions of all other media. Heat control is the key factor in housing, as well as in clothing. The Eskimo's dwelling is a good example. The Eskimo can go for days without food at 50 degrees below zero. The unclad native, deprived of nourishment, dies in a few hours. It may surprise many to learn that the primitive shape of the igloo is, nonetheless, traceable to the primus stove. Eskimos have lived for ages in round stone houses, and, for the most part, still do. The igloo, made of snow blocks, is a fairly recent development in the life of this stone-age people. To live in such structures became possible with the coming of the white man and his portable stove. The igloo is an ephemeral shelter, devised for temporary use by trappers. The Eskimo became a trapper only after he had made contact with the white man; up until then he had been simply a food-gatherer. Let the igloo serve as an example of the way in which a new pattern is introduced into an ancient way of life by the intensification of a single factor --in this instance, artificial heat. In the same way, the intensification of a single factor in our complex lives leads naturally to a new balance among our technologically extended faculties, resulting

in a new look and a new "outlook" with new motivations and inventions. In the twentieth century we are familiar with the changes in housing and architecture that are the result of electric energy made available to elevators. The same energy devoted to lighting has altered our living and working spaces even more radically. Electric light abolished the divisions of night and day, of inner and outer, and of the subterranean and the terrestrial. It altered every consideration of space for work and production as much as the other electric media had altered the space-time experience of society. All this is reasonably familiar. Less familiar is the architectural revolution made possible by improvements in heating centuries ago. With the mining of coal on a large scale in the Renaissance, inhabitants in the colder climates discovered great new resources of personal energy. New means of heating permitted the manufacture of glass and the enlargement of living quarters and the raising of ceilings. The Burgher house of the Renaissance became at once bedroom, kitchen, workshop, and sale outlet. Once housing is seen as group (or corporate) clothing and heat control, the new means of heating can be understood as causing change in spatial form. Lighting, however, is almost as decisive as heating in causing these changes in architectural and city spaces. That is the reason why the story of glass is so closely related to the history of housing. The story of the mirror is a main chapter in the history oi' dress and manners and the sense of the self. Recently an imaginative school principal in a slum area provided each student in the school with a photograph of himself. The classrooms of the school were abundantly supplied with large mirrors. The result was an astounding increase in the learning rate. The slum child has ordinarily very little visual orientation. He does not see himself as becoming something. He does not envisage distant goals and objectives. He has deeply involved

in his own world from day to day, and can establish no beachhead in the highly specialized sense life of visual man. The plight of the slum child, via the TV image, is increasingly extended to the entire population. Clothing and housing, as extensions of skin and heat-control mechanisms, are media of communication, first of all, in the sense that they shape and rearrange the patterns of human association and community. Varied techniques of lighting and heating would seem only to give new flexibility and scope to what is the basic principle of these media of clothing and housing; namely, their extension of our bodily heat-control mechanisms in a way that enables us to attain some degree of equilibrium in a changing environment. Modern engineering provides means of housing that range from the space capsule to walls created by air jets. Some firms now specialize in providing large buildings with inside walls and floors that can be moved at will. Such flexibility naturally tends toward the organic. Human sensitivity seems once more to be attuned to the universal currents that made of tribal man a cosmic skin-diver. It is not only the Ulysses of James Joyce that testifies to this trend. Recent studies of the Gothic churches have stressed the organic aims of their builders. The saints took the body seriously as the symbolic vesture of the spirit, and they regarded the Church as a second body, viewing its every detail with great completeness. Before James Joyce provided his detailed image of the metropolis as a second body, Baudelaire had provided a similar "dialogue" between the parts of the body extended to form the metropolis, in his Fleurs du Mai. Electric lighting has brought into the cultural complex of the extensions of man in housing and city, an organic flexibility unknown to any other age. If color photography has created "museums without walls," how much more has electric lighting created space without walls, and day without night. Whether

the night city, the night highway, or the night ball game, sketching and writing with light have moved from the domain of the pictorial photograph to the live, dynamic spaces created by out of-door lighting. Not many ages ago, glass windows were unknown luxuries. With light control by glass came also a means of controlling the regularity of domestic routine, and steady application to crafts and trade without regard to cold or rain. The world was put in a frame. With electric light not only can we carry out the most precise operations with no regard for time or place or climate, hut we can photograph the submicroscopic as easily as we can enter the subterranean world of the mine and of the cave-painters. Lighting as an extension of our powers affords the clearest cut example of how such extensions alter our perceptions. If people are inclined to doubt whether the wheel or typography or the plane could change our habits of sense perception, their doubts end with electric lighting. In this domain, the medium is the message, and when the light is on there is a world of sense that disappears when the light is off. "Painting with light" is jargon from the world of stage-electricity. The uses of light in the world of motion, whether in (he motorcar or the movie or the microscope, are as diverse as the uses of electricity in the world of power. Light is information without "content," much as the missile is a vehicle without the additions of wheel or highway. As the missile is a self-contained transportation system that consumes not only its fuel but its engine, so light is a self-contained communication system in which the medium is the message. The recent development of the laser ray has introduced new possibilities for light. The laser ray is an amplification of light by intensified radiation. Concentration of radiant energy has made available some new properties in light. The laser ray -- by thickening light, as it were --enables it to be modulated to carry

information as do radio waves. But because of its greater intensity, a single laser beam can carry as much information as all the combined radio and TV channels in the United States. Such beams are not within the range of vision, and may well have a military future as a lethal agents. From the air at night, the seeming chaos of the urban area manifests itself as a delicate embroidery on a dark velvet ground. Gyorgy Kepes has developed these aerial effects of the city at night as a new art form of "landscape by light through" rather than "light on." His new electric landscapes have complete congruity with the TV image, which also exists by light through rather than by light on. The French painter Andre Girard began painting directly on film before the photographic movies became popular. In that early phase it was easy to speculate about "painting with light" and about introducing movement into the art of painting. Said Girard: I would not be surprised if, fifty years from now, almost no one would pay attention to paintings whose subjects remain still in their always too-narrow frames. The coming of TV inspired him anew: Once I saw suddenly, in a control room, the sensitive eye of the camera presenting to me, one after another, the faces, the landscapes, the expressions of a big painting of mine in an order which I had never thought of. I had the feeling of a composer listening to one of his operas, all scenes mixed up in an order different from the one he wrote. It was like seeing a build-ing from a fast elevator that showed you the roof before the basement, and made quick stops at some floors but not others. Since that phase, Girard has worked out new techniques of

control for painting with light in association with CBS and NBC technicians. The relevance of his work for housing is that it enables us to conceive of totally new possibilities for architectural and artistic modulation of space. Painting with light is a kind of housing without walls. The same electric technology, extended to the job of providing global thermostatic controls, points to the obsolescence of housing as an extension of the heat control mechanisms of the body. It is equally conceivable that the electric extension of the process of collective consciousness, in making consciousness-without-walls, might render language walls obsolescent. Languages are stuttering extensions of our live senses, in varying ratios and wavelengths. An immediate simulation of consciousness would by-pass speech in a kind of massive extrasensory perception, just as global thermostats could by-pass those extensions of skin and body that we call houses. Such an extension of the process of consciousness by electric simulation may easily occur in the 1960s.

14 MONEY The Poor Man's Credit Card Central to modern psychoanalytical theory is the relation between the money complex and the human body. Some analysts derive money from the infantile impulse to play with faeces. Ferenczi, in particular, calls money "nothing other than odorless dehydrated filth that has been made to shine." Ferenczi, in his concept of money, is elaborating Freud's concept of "Character and Anal Erotism." Although this idea of linking "filthy lucre" with the anal has continued in the main lines of psychoanalysis, it does not correspond sufficiently to the nature and function of money in society to provide a theme for the present chapter. Money began in nonliterate cultures as a commodity, such as whales' teeth on Fiji; or rats on Easter Island, which later were considered a delicacy, were valued as a luxury, and thus became a means of mediation or barter. When the Spaniards were besieging Leyden in 1574, leather money was issued, but as

hardship increased the population boiled and ate the new currency. In literate cultures, circumstances may reintroduce commodity money. The Dutch, after the German occupation of World War II, were avid for tobacco. Since the supply was small, objects of high value such as jewels, precision instruments, and even houses were sold for small quantities of cigarettes. The Reader's Digest recorded an episode from the early occupation of Europe in 1 945, describing how an unopened pack of cigarettes served as currency, passing from hand to hand, translating the skill of one worker into the skill of another as long as no one broke the seal. Money always retains something of its commodity and community character. In the beginning, its function of extending the grasp of men from their nearest staples and commodities to more distant ones is very slight. Increased mobility of grasp and trading is small at first. So it is with the emergence of language in the child. In the first months grasping is reflexive, and the power to make voluntary release comes only toward the end of the first year. Speech comes with the development of the power to let go of objects. It gives the power of detachment from the environment that is also the power of great mobility in knowledge of the environment. So it is with the growth of the idea of money as currency rather than commodity. Currency is a way of letting go of the immediate staples and commodities that at first serve as money, in order to extend trading to the whole social complex. Trading by currency is based on the principle of grasping and letting go in an oscillating cycle. The one hand retains the article with which it tempts the other party. The other hand is extended in demand toward the object which is desired in exchange. The first hand lets go as soon as the second object is touched, somewhat in the manner of a trapeze artist exchanging one bar for another. In fact, Elias Canetti in Crowds and Power argues that the trader is Involved in one of the most ancient of all pastimes,

namely that of climbing trees and swinging from limb to limb. The primitive grasping, calculating, and timing of the greater arboreal apes he sees as a translation into financial terms of one of the oldest movement patterns. Just as the hand among the branches of the trees learned a pattern of grasping that was quite removed from the moving of food to mouth, so the trader and the financier have developed enthralling abstract activities that are extensions of the avid climbing and mobility of the greater apes. Like any other medium, it is a staple, a natural resource. As an outward and visible form of the urge to change and to exchange, it is a corporate image, depending on society for its institutional status. Apart from communal participation, money is meaningless, as Robinson Crusoe discovered when he found the coins in the wrecked ship: I smiled to myself at the sight of this money. "O drug!" said I aloud, "What art thou good for? Thou art not worth to me --no, not the taking off the ground: one of those knives is worth all this heap: I have no manner of use for thee; e'en remain where thou art and, go to the bottom, as a creature whose life is not worth saving." However, upon second thoughts, I took it away; and wrapping it all in a piece of canvas, I began to think of making another raft . . . Primitive commodity money, like the magical words of non-literate society, can be a storehouse of power, and has often become the occasion of feverish economic activity. The natives of the South Seas, when they are so engaged, seek no economic advantage. Furious application to production may be followed by deliberate destruction of the products in order to achieve moral prestige. Even in these "potlatch" cultures, however, the effect of the currencies was to expedite and to accelerate human

energies in a way that had become universal in the ancient world with the technology of the phonetic alphabet. Money, like writing, has the power to specialize and to rechannel human energies and to separate functions, just as it translates and reduces one kind of work to another. Even in the electronic age it has lost none of this power. Potlatch is very widespread, especially where there is ease of food-gathering or food-production. For example, among the Northwest coast fishermen, or rice-planters of Borneo, huge surpluses are produced that have to be destroyed or class differ- ences would arise that would destroy the traditional social order. In Borneo the traveler may see tons of rice exposed to rains in rituals, and great art constructions, involving tremendous efforts, smashed. At the same time, in these primitive societies, while money may release frantic energies in order to charge a bit of copper with magical prestige, it can buy very little. Rich and poor necessarily live in much the same manner. Today, in the electronic age, the richest man is reduced to having much the same entertainment, and even the same food and vehicles as the ordinary man. The use of a commodity such as money naturally increases its production. The nonspecialist economy of Virginia in the seven- teenth century made the elaborate European currencies quite dispensable. Having little capital, and wishing to put as little of this capital as possible into the shape of money, the Virginians turned to commodity money in some instances. When a commodity like tobacco was legislated into legal tender, it had the effect of stimulating the production of tobacco, just as the establishment of metallic currencies advanced the mining of metals. Money, as a social means of extending and amplifying work and skill in an easily accessible and portable form, lost much of its magical power with the coming of representative money, or Paper money. Just as speech lost its magic with writing, and further with printing, when printed money supplanted gold the

compelling aura of it disappeared. Samuel Butler in Erewhon (1872) gave clear indications in his treatment of the mysterious prestige conferred by precious metals. His ridicule of the money medium took the form of presenting the old reverent attitude to money in a new social context. This new kind of abstract, printed money of the high industrial age, however, simply would not sustain the old attitude: This is the true philanthropy. He who makes a colossal fortune in the hosiery trade, and by his energy has succeeded in reducing the price of woollen goods by the thousandth part of a penny in the pound --this man is worth ten professional philanthropists. So strongly are the Erewhonians impressed with this, that if a man has made a fortune of over/2O,ooo a year they exempt him from all taxation, considering him a work of art, and too precious to be meddled with; they say, "How very much he must have done for society before society could have been prevailed upon to give him so much money"; so magnificent an organization overawes them; they regard it as a thing dropped from heaven. "Money," they say, "is the symbol of duty, it is the sacrament of having done for mankind that which mankind wanted. Mankind may not be a very good judge, but there is no better." This used to shock me at first, when I remembered that it had been said on high authority that they who have riches shall enter hardly into the kingdom of heaven; but the influence of Erewhon had made me begin to see things in a new light, and I could not help thinking that they who have not riches shall enter more hardly still. Earlier in the book, Butler had ridiculed the cash-register morality and religion of an industrialized world, under the guise of the "Musical Banks," with clergy in the role of cashiers. In the present passage, he perceives money as "the sacrament of having

done for mankind that which mankind wanted." Money, he is saying, is the "outward and visible sign of an inward and invisible grace. " Money as a social medium or extension of an inner wish and motive creates social and spiritual values, as happens even in fashions in women's dress. A current ad underlines this aspect of dress as currency (that is, as social sacrament or outward and visible sign) "The important thing in today's world of fashion is to appear to be wearing a popular fabric." Conformity to this fashion literally gives currency to a style or fabric, creating a social medium that increases wealth and expression thereby. Does not this stress how money, or any medium whatever, is constituted and made efficacious? When men become uneasy about such social values achieved by uniformity and repetition, doing for mankind that which mankind wants, we can take it as a mark of the decline of mechanical technology. "Money talks" because money is a metaphor, a transfer, and a bridge. Like words and language, money is a storehouse of communally achieved work, skill, and experience. Money, however, is also a specialist technology like writing; and as writing intensifies the visual aspect of speech and order, and as the clock visually separates time from space, so money separates work from the other social functions. Even today money is a language for translating the work of the farmer into the work of the barber, doctor, engineer, or plumber. As a vast social metaphor, bridge, or translator, money -- like writing --speeds up exchange and tightens the bonds of interdependence in any community. It gives great spatial extension and control to political organizations, just as writing does, or the calendar. It is action at a distance, both in space and in time. In a highly literate, fragmented society, "Time is money," and money is the store of other people's time and effort. During the Middle Ages the idea of the fisc or "the King's purse" kept the notion of money in relation to language ("the

King's English") and to communication by travel ("the King's highway"). Before the advent of printing, it was quite natural for the means of communication to be regarded as extensions of a single body. In an increasingly literate society, money and the clock assumed a high degree of visual or fragmented stress. In practice, our Western use of money as store and translator of communal work and skill has depended upon long accustomation to the written word, and upon the power of the written word to specialize, to delegate, and to separate functions in an organization. When we look at the nature and uses of money in nonliterate societies, we can better understand the ways in which writing helps to establish currencies. Uniformity of commodities, combined with a fixed-price system such as we now take for granted, does not become possible until printing prepares the ground. "Backward" countries take a long time to reach economic "takeoff' because they do not undergo the extensive processing of print with its psychological conditioning in the ways of uniformity and repeatability. In general, the West is little aware of the way in which the world of prices and numbering is supported by the pervasive visual culture of literacy. Nonliterate societies are quite lacking in the psychic resources to create and sustain the enormous structures of statistical information that we call markets and prices. Far easier is the organization of production than is the training of whole populations in the habits of translating their wishes and desires statistically, as it were, by means of market mechanisms of supply and demand, and the visual technology of prices. It was only in the eighteenth century that the West began to accept this form of extension of its inner life in the new statistical pattern of marketing. So bizarre did this new mechanism appear to thinkers of that time that they called it a "Hedonistic calculus." Prices then seemed to be comparable, in terms of feelings and desires, to the vast world of space that had yielded its inequities earlier to the

translating power of the differential calculus. In a word, the fragmentation of the inner life by prices seemed as mysterious in the eighteenth century, as the minute fragmentation of space by means of calculus had seemed a century earlier. The extreme abstraction and detachment represented by our pricing system is quite unthinkable and unusable amidst populations for whom the exciting drama of price haggling occurs with every transaction. Today, as the new vortices of power are shaped by the instant electric interdependence of all men on this planet, the visual factor in social organization and in personal experience recedes, and money begins to be less and less a means of storing or exchanging work and skill. Automation, which is electronic, does not represent physical work so much as programmed knowledge. As work is replaced by the sheer movement of information, money as a store of work merges with the informational forms of credit and credit card. From coin to paper currency, and from currency to credit card there is a steady progression toward commercial exchange as the movement of information itself. This trend toward an inclusive information is the kind of image represented by the credit card, and approaches once more the character of tribal money. For tribal society, not knowing the specialisms of job or of work, does not specialize money either. Its money can be eaten, drunk, or worn like the new space ships that are now designed to be edible. "Work," however, does not exist in a nonliterate world. The primitive hunter or fisherman did no work, any more than does the poet, painter, or thinker of today. Where the whole man is involved there is no work. Work begins with the division of labor and the specialization of functions and tasks in sedentary, agricultural communities. In the computer age we are once more totally involved in our roles. In the electric age the "job of work ' yields to dedication and commitment, as in the tribe. In nonliterate societies money relates itself to the other organs

of society quite simply. The role of money is enormously increased after money begins to foster specialism and separation of social functions. Money becomes, in fact, the principal means of interrelating the ever more specialist activities of literate society. The fragmenting power of the visual sense, as literacy separates it from the other senses, is a fact more easily identified now in the electronic age. Nowadays, with computers and electric programming, the means of storing and moving information become less and less visual and mechanical, while increasingly integral and organic. The total field created by the instantaneous electric forms cannot be visualized any more than the velocities of electronic particles can be visualized. The instantaneous creates an interplay among time and space and human occupations, for which the older forms of currency exchange become increasingly inadequate. A modern physicist who attempted to employ visual models of perception in organizing atomic data would not be able to get anywhere near the nature of his problems. Both time (as measured visually and segmentally) and space (as uniform, pictorial, and enclosed) disappear in the electronic age of instant information. In the age of instant information man ends his job of fragmented specializing and assumes the role of information gathering. Today information gathering resumes the inclusive concept of "culture," exactly as the primitive food-gatherer worked in complete equilibrium with his entire environment. Our quarry now, in this new nomadic and "work-less world, is knowledge and insight into the creative processes of life and society. Men left the closed world of the tribe for the "open society," exchanging an ear for an eye by means of the technology of writing. The alphabet in particular enabled them to break out of the charmed circle and resonating magic of the tribal world. A similar process of economic change from the closed to the open society, from mercantilism and the economic protection of national trade to the open market ideal of the free-traders, was

accomplished in more recent times by means of the printed word, and by moving from metallic to paper currencies. Today, electric technology puts the very concept of money in jeopardy, as the new dynamics of human interdependence shift from fragmenting media such as printing to inclusive or mass media like the telegraph. Since all media are extensions of ourselves, or translations of some part of us into various materials, any study of one medium helps us to understand all the others. Money is no exception. The primitive or nonliterate use of money is especially enlightening, since it manifests an easy acceptance of staple products as media of communication. The nonliterate man can accept any staple as money, partly because the staples of a community are as much media of communication as they are commodities. Cotton, wheat, cattle, tobacco, timber, fish, fur, and many other products have acted as major shaping forces of community life in many cultures. When one of these staples becomes dominant as a social bond, it serves, also, as a store of value, and as a translator or exchanger of skills and tasks. The classic curse of Midas, his power of translating all he touched into gold, is in some degree the character of any medium, including language. This myth draws attention to a magic aspect of all extensions of human sense and body; that is, to all technology whatever. All technology has the Midas touch. When a community develops some extension of itself, it tends to allow all other functions to be altered to accommodate that form. Language, like currency, acts as a store of perception and as a transmitter of the perceptions and experience of one person or of one generation to another. As both a translator and storehouse of experience, language is, in addition, a reducer and a distorter of experience. The very great advantage of accelerating the learning process, and of making possible the transmission of knowledge and insight across time and space, easily overrides

the disadvantages of linguistic codifications of experience. In modern mathematics and science there are increasingly mere and more nonverbal ways of codifying experience. Money, like language a store of work and experience, acts also as translator and transmitter. Especially since the written word has advanced the separation of social functions, money is able to move away from its role as store of work. This role is obvious when a staple or commodity like cattle or fur is used as money. As money separates itself from the commodity form and becomes a specialist agent of exchange (or translator of values), it moves with greater speed and in ever greater volume. Even in recent times, the dramatic arrival of paper currency, or "representative money," as a substitute for commodity money caused confusions. Much in the same way, the Gutenberg technology created a vast new republic of letters, and stirred great confusion about the boundaries between the realms of literature and life. Representative money, based on print technology, created new speedy dimensions of credit that were quite inconsistent with the inert mass of bullion and of commodity money. Yet all efforts were bent to make the speedy new money behave like the slow bullion coach. J. M. Keynes stated this policy in A Treatise on Money: Thus the long age of Commodity Money has at last passed finally away before the age of Representative Money. Cold has ceased to be a coin, a hoard, a tangible claim to wealth, of which the value cannot slip away so long as the hand of the individual clutches the material stuff. It has become a much more abstract thing--just a standard of value; and it only keeps this nominal status by being handed round from time to time in quite small quantities amongst a group of Central Banks, on the occasions when one of them has been inflating or deflating its managed representative money in a different degree from what is appropriate to the behavior of its neighbours.

Paper, or representative money, has specialized itself away from the ancient role of money as a store of work into the equally ancient and basic function of money as transmitter and expediter of any kind of work into any other kind. Just as the alphabet was a drastic visual abstraction from the rich hieroglyphic culture of the Egyptians, so it also reduced and translated that culture into the great visual vortex of the Graeco-Roman world. The alphabet is a one-way process of reduction of nonlit-erate cultures into the specialist visual fragments of our Western world. Money is an adjunct of that specialist alphabetic technology, raising even the Gutenberg form of mechanical repeatability to new intensity. As the alphabet neutralized the divergencies of primitive cultures by translation of their complexities into simple visual terms, so representative money reduced moral values in the nineteenth century. As paper expedited the power of the alphabet to reduce the oral barbarians to Roman uniformity of civilization, so paper money enabled Western industry to blanket the globe. Shortly before the advent of paper money, the greatly increased volume of information movement in European newsletters and newspapers created the image and concept of National Credit. Such a corporate image of credit depended, then as now, on the fast and comprehensive information movement that we have taken for granted for two centuries and more. At that stage of the emergence of public credit, money assumed the further role of translating, not just local, but national stores of work from one culture to another. One of the inevitable results of acceleration of information movement and of the translating power of money is the opportunity of enrichment for those who can anticipate this transformation by a few hours or years, as the case may be. We are particularly familiar today with examples of enrichment by means of advance information in stocks and bonds and real estate. In the past, when wealth was not so obviously related to

information, an entire social class could monopolize the wealth resulting from a casual shift in technology. Keynes' report of just such an instance, in his study of "Shakespeare and the Profit Inflations," explains that since new wealth and bullion fall first to the governing classes, they experience a sudden buoyancy and euphoria, a glad release from the habitual stress and anxieties that fosters a prosperity, which in turn inspires the starving artist in his garret to invent new triumphant rhythms and exultant forms of painting and poetry. As long as profits leap well ahead of wages, the governing class cavorts in a style that inspires the greatest conceptions in the bosom of the impecunious artist. When, however, profits and wages keep in reasonable touch, this abounding joy of the governing class is correspondingly diminished, and art then cannot benefit from prosperity. Keynes discovered the dynamics of money as a medium. The real task of a study of this one medium is identical with that of the study of all media; namely, as Keynes wrote, "to treat the problem dynamically, analyzing the different elements involved, in such a manner as to exhibit the causal process by which the price level is determined, and the method of transition from one position of equilibrium to another." In a word, money is not a closed system, and does not have its meaning alone. As a translator and amplifier, money has exceptional powers of substituting one kind of thing for another. Information analysts have come to the conclusion that the degree to which one resource can be substituted for another increases when information increases. As we know more, we rely less on any one food or fuel or raw material. Clothes and furniture can now be made from many different materials. Money, which had been for many centuries the principal transmitter and exchanger of information, is now having its function increasingly transferred to science and automation. Today, even natural resources have an informational aspect. They exist by virtue of the culture and skill of some community.

The reverse, however, is true also. All media –or extension of man -- are natural resources that exist by virtue of the shared knowledge and skill of a community. It was awareness of this aspect of money that hit Robinson Crusoe very hard when he visited the wreck, resulting in the meditation quoted at the beginning of this chapter. When there are goods but no money, some sort of barter --or direct exchange of one product for another --has to occur. When, however, in nonliterate societies goods are used in direct exchange, then it is easiest to note their tendency to include the function of money. Some work has been done to some material, if only in bringing it from a distance. The object, then, stores work and information or technical knowledge to the extent that something has been done to it. When the one object is exchanged for another, it is already assuming the function of money, as translator or reducer of multiple things to some common denominator. The common denominator (or translator) is, however, also a time-saver and expediter. As such, money is time, and it would be hard to separate labor-saving from time-saving in this operation. There is a mystery about the Phoenicians, who, although they were avid maritime traders, adopted coinage later man the landed Lydians. The reason assigned for this delay may not explain the Phoenician problem, but it draws sharp attention to a basic fact about money as a medium; namely, that those who traded by caravan required a light and portable medium of payment. This need was less for those who, like the Phoenicians, traded by sea. Portability, as a means of expediting and extending the effective distance of action, was also notably illustrated by papyrus. The alphabet was one thing when applied to clay or stone, and quite another when set down on light papyrus. The resulting leap in speed and space created the Roman Empire. In the industrial age the increasingly exact measurement of work revealed time-saving as a major aspect of labor-saving. The

media of money and writing and clock began to converge into an organic whole again that has brought us as close to the total involvement of man in his work, as of native in a primitive society, or of artist in his studio. Money in one of its features provides a natural transition to number because the money hoard or collection has much in common with the crowd. Moreover, the psychological patterns of the crowd and those associated with accumulations of wealth are very close. Elias Canetti stresses that the dynamic which is basic to crowds is the urge to rapid and unlimited growth. The same power dynamic is characteristic of large concentrations of wealth or treasure. In fact, the modern unit of treasure in popular use is the million. It is a unit acceptable to any type of currency. Always associated with the million is the idea that it can be reached by a rapid speculative scramble. In the same way, Canetti explains how the ambition to see numbers mounting up was typical of Hitler's speeches. Not only do crowds of people and piles of money strive toward increase, but they also breed uneasiness about the possibility of disintegration and deflation. This two-way movement of expansion and deflation seems to be the cause of the restlessness of crowds and the uneasiness that goes with wealth. Canetti spends a good deal of analysis on the psychic effects of the German inflation after the First World War. The depreciation of the citizen went along with that of the German mark. There was a loss of face and of worth in which the personal and monetary units became confused.

15 CLOCKS The Scent of Time Writing on Communication in Africa, Leonard Doob observes: "The turban, the sword and nowadays the alarm clock are worn or carried to signify high rank." Presumably it will be rather long before the African will watch the clock in order to be punctual. Just as a great revolution in mathematics came when positional, tandem numbers were discovered (302 instead of 32, and so on), so great cultural changes occurred in the West when it was found possible to fix time as something that happens between two points. From this application of visual, abstract, and uniform units came our Western feeling for time as duration. From our division of time into uniform, visualizable units comes our sense of duration and our impatience when we cannot endure the delay between events. Such a sense of impatience, of time as duration, is unknown among non literate cultures. Just as work began with the division of labor, duration begins with the

division of time, and especially with those subdivisions by which mechanical clocks impose uniform succession on the time sense. As a piece of technology, the clock is a machine that produces uniform seconds, minutes, and hours on an assembly-line pattern. Processed in this uniform way, time is separated from the rhythms of human experience. The mechanical clock, in short, helps to create the image of a numerically quantified and mechanically powered universe. It was in the world of the medieval monasteries, with their need for a rule and for synchronized order to guide communal life, that the clock got started on its modern developments. Time measured not by the uniqueness of private experience but by abstract uniform units gradually pervades all sense life, much as does the technology of writing and printing. Not only work, but also eating and sleeping, came to accommodate themselves to the clock rather than to organic needs. As the pattern of arbitrary and uniform measurement of time extended itself across society, even clothing began to undergo annual alteration in a way convenient for industry. At that point, of course, mechanical measurement of time as a principle of applied knowledge joined forces with printing and assembly line as means of uniform fragmentation of processes. The most integral and involving time sense imaginable is that expressed in the Chinese and Japanese cultures. Until the coming of the missionaries in the seventeenth century, and the introduction of the mechanical clocks, the Chinese and Japanese had for thousands of years measured time by graduations of incense. Not only the hours and days, but the seasons and zodiacal signs were simultaneously indicated by a succession of carefully ordered scents. The sense of smell, long considered the root of memory and the unifying basis of individuality, has come to the fore again in the experiments of Wilder Penfield. During brain surgery, electric probing of brain tissue revived many memories of the patients. These evocations were dominated and unified by

unique scents and odors that structured these past experiences. The sense of smell is not only the most subtle and delicate of the human senses; it is, also, the most iconic in that it involves the entire human sensorium more fully than any other sense. It is not surprising, therefore, that highly literate societies take steps to reduce or eliminate odors from the environment. B.O., the unique signature and declaration of human individuality, is a bad word in literate societies. It is far too involving for our habits of detachment and specialist attention. Societies that measured time scents would tend to be so cohesive and so profoundly unified as to resist every kind of change. Lewis Mumford has suggested that the clock preceded the printing press in order of influence on the mechanization of society. But Mumford takes no account of the phonetic alphabet as the technology that had made possible the visual and uniform fragmentation of time. Mumford, in fact, is unaware of the alphabet as the source of Western mechanism, just as he is unaware of mechanization as the translation of society from audile-tactile modes into visual values. Our new electric technology is organic and nonmechanical in tendency because it extends, not our eyes, but our central nervous systems as a planetary vesture. In the space-time world of electric technology, the older mechanical time begins to feel unacceptable, if only because it is uniform. Modern linguistics studies are structural rather than literary, and owe much to the new possibilities of computers for translation. As soon as an entire language is examined as a unified system, strange pockets appear. Looking at the usage scale of English, Martin Joos has wittily designated "five clocks of style," or five different zones and independent cultural climates. Only one of these zones is the area of responsibility. This is the zone of homogeneity and uniformity that ink-browed Gutenberg rules as his domain. It is the style-zone of Standard English pervaded by Central Standard Time, and within this

zone the dwellers, as it were, may show varying degrees of punctuality. Edward T. Hall in The Silent Language discusses how "Time Talks: American Accents," contrasting our time-sense with that of the Hopi Indians. Time for them is not a uniform succession or duration, but a pluralism of many kinds of things co-existing. "It is what happens when the corn matures or a sheep grows up. ... It is the natural process that takes place while living substance acts out its life drama." Therefore, as many kinds of time exist for them as there are kinds of life. This, also, is the kind of time-sense held by the modern physicist and scientist. They no longer try to contain events in time, but think of each thing as making its own time and its own space. Moreover, now that we live electrically in an instantaneous world, space and time interpenetrate each other totally in a space-time world. In the same way, the painter, since Cezanne, has recovered the plastic image by which all of the senses coexist in a unified pattern. Each object and each set of objects engenders its own unique space by the relations it has among others visually or musically. When this awareness recurred in the Western world, it was denounced as the merging of all things in a flux. We now realize that this anxiety was a natural literary and visual response to the new nonvisual technology. J. Z. Young, in Doubt and Certainty in Science, explains how elec- tricity is not something that is conveyed by or contained in anything, but is something that occurs when two or more bodies are in special positions. Our language derived from phonetic technology cannot cope with this new view of knowledge. We still talk of electric current "flowing," or we speak of the "discharge" of electric energy like the lineal firing of guns. But quite as much as with the esthetic magic of painterly power, "electricity is the condition we observe when there are certain spatial relations between things." The painter learns how to adjust relations among things to release new perception, and the chemist

and physicist learn how other relations release other kinds of power. Less and less, in the electric age, can we find any good reason for imposing the same set of relations on every kind of object or group of objects. Yet in the ancient world the only means of achieving power was getting a thousand slaves to act as one man. During the Middle Ages the communal clock extended by the bell permitted high coordination of the energies of small communities. In the Renaissance the clock combined with the uniform respectability of the new typography to extend the power of social organization almost to a national scale. By the nineteenth century it had provided a technology of cohesion that was inseparable from industry and transport, enabling an entire metropolis to act almost as an automaton. Now in the electric age of decentralized power and information we begin to chafe under the uniformity of clock-time. In this age of space-time we seek multiplicity, rather than repeatability, of rhythms. This is the difference between marching soldiers and ballet. It is a necessary approach in understanding media and technology to realize that when the spell of the gimmick or an extension of our bodies is new, there comes narcosis or numbing to the newly amplified area. The complaints about clocks did not begin until the electric age had made their mechanical sort of time starkly incongruous. In our electric century the mechanical time-kept city looks like an aggregation of somnambulists and zombies, made familiar in the early part of T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land. On a planet reduced to village size by new media, cities themselves appear quaint and odd, like archaic forms already overlaid with new patterns of culture. However, when mechanical clocks had been given great new force and practicality by mechanical writing, as printing was at first called, the response to the new time sense was very ambiguous and even mocking. Shakespeare's sonnets are full of the twin themes of immortality of

fame conferred by the engine of print, as well as the petty futility of daily existence as measured by the clock: When I doe count the clock that tels the time, And see the brave day sunck in hidious night. . . Then of thy beauty do I question make That thou among the wastes of time must goe. (Sonnet X) In Macbeth, Shakespeare links the twin technologies of print and mechanical time in the familiar soliloquy, to manifest the disintegration of Macbeth's world: Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow Creeps in this petty pace from day to day, To the last syllable of recorded time. Time, as hacked into uniform successive bits by clock and print together, became a major theme of the Renaissance neurosis, inseparable from the new cult of precise measurement in the sciences. In Sonnet LX, Shakespeare puts mechanical time at the beginning, and the new engine of immortality (print) at the end: Like as the waves make towards the pibled shore, So do our minuites hasten to their end, Each changing place with that which goes before, In sequent toil all forwards do contend. And yet to times in hope, my verse shall stand Praising thy worth, dispight his cruell hand. John Donne's poem on "The Sun Rising" exploits the contrast between aristocratic and bourgeois time. The one trait that most damned the bourgeoisie of the nineteenth century was their

punctuality, their pedantic devotion to mechanical-time and sequential order. As space-time flooded through the gates of awareness from the new electric technology, all mechanical observance became distasteful and even ridiculous. Donne had the same ironic sense of the irrelevance of clock-time, but pretended that in the kingdom of love even the great cosmic cycles of time were also petty aspects of the clock: Busy old fool, unruly Sun, Why dost thou thus Through windows, and through curtains call on us? Must to thy motions lovers' seasons run? Saucy, pedantic wretch, go chide Late school-boys, and sour prentices, Co tell Court-huntsmen, that the King will ride, Call country ants to harvest offices, Love, all alike, no season knows nor clime, Nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time. Much of Donne's twentieth-century vogue was due to his challenging the authority of the new Gutenberg age to invest him with the stigmata of uniform repeatable typography and with the motives of precise visual measurement. In like manner, Andrew Marvell's "To his Coy Mistress" was full of contempt for the new spirit of measurement and calculation of time and virtue: Had we but world enough and time, This coyness, lady, were no crime We would sit down and think which way To walk, and pass our long love's day. . . . An hundred years should go to praise Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze; Two hundred to adore each breast

But thirty thousand to the rest; An age at least to every part, And the last age should show your heart, For lady, you deserve this state, Nor would I love at lower rate. Marvell merged the rates of exchange with the rates of praise suited to the conventional and fashionably fragmented outlook of his inamorata. For her box-office approach to reality, he substituted another time-structure, and a different model of perception. It is not unlike Hamlet's "Look on this picture and on that." Instead of a quiet bourgeois translation of the medieval love code into the language of the new middle-class tradesman, why not a Byronic caper to the farther shores of ideal love? But at my back I always hear Time's winged chariot hurrying near; And yonder all before us lie Deserts of vast eternity. Here is the new lineal perspective that had come to painting with Gutenberg, but that had not entered the verbal universe until Milton's Paradise Lost. Even written language had resisted for two centuries the abstract visual order of lineal succession and vanishing point. The next age after Marvell, however, took to landscape poetry and the subordination of language to special visual effects. But Marvell concluded his reverse strategy for the conquest of bourgeois clock-time with the observation Thus, though we cannot make our sun Stand still, yet we will make him run. He proposed that his beloved and he should transform

themselves into a cannonball and fire themselves at the sun to make it run. Time can be defeated, as it were, by reversal of its characteristics if only it be speeded up enough. Experience of this fact awaited the electronic age, which found that instant speeds abolish time and space, and return man to an integral and primitive awareness. Today not only clock-time, but the wheel itself, is obsolescent and is retracting into animal form under the impulse of greater and greater speeds. In the poem above, Andrew Marvell's intuition that clock-time could be defeated by speed was quite sound. At present the mechanical begins to yield to organic unity under conditions of electric speeds. Man now can look back at two or three thousand years of varying degrees of mechanization with full awareness of the mechanical as an interlude between two great organic periods of culture. In 1911 the Italian sculptor Boccioni said, "We are primitives of an unknown culture." Half a century later we know a bit more about the new culture of the electronic age, and that knowledge has lifted the mystery surrounding the machine. As contrasted with the mere tool, the machine is an extension or outering of a process. The tool extends the fist, the nails, the teeth, the arm. The wheel extends the feet in rotation or sequential movement. Printing, the first complete mechanization of a handicraft, breaks up the movement of the hand into a series of discrete steps that are as repeatable as the wheel is rotary. From this analytic sequence came the assembly-line principle, but the assembly line is now obsolete in the electric age because synchronization is no longer sequential. By electric tapes, synchronization of any number of different acts can be simultaneous. Thus the mechanical principle of analysis in series has come to an end. Even the wheel has now come to an end in principle, although the mechanical stratum of our culture carries it still as part of an accumulated momentum, an archaic configuration. The modern clock, mechanical in principle, embodied the

wheel. The clock has ceased to have its older meanings and functions. Plurality-of-times succeeds uniformity-of-time. Today it is only too easy to have dinner in New York and indigestion in Paris. Travelers also have the daily experience of being at one hour in a culture that is still 3000 B.C., and at the next hour in a culture that is 1900 A.D.. Most of North American life is, in its externals, conducted on nineteenth-century lines. Our inner experience, increasingly at variance with these mechanical patterns, is electric, inclusive, and mythic in mode. The mythic or iconic mode of awareness substitutes the multi-faceted for point-of-view. Historians agree on the basic role of the clock in monastic life for the synchronization of human tasks. The acceptance of such fragmenting of life into minutes and hours was unthinkable, save in highly literate communities. Readiness to submit the human organism to the alien mode of mechanical time was as dependent upon literacy in the first Christian centuries as it is today. For the clock to dominate, there has to be the prior acceptance of the visual stress that is inseparable from phonetic literacy. Literacy is itself an abstract asceticism that prepares the way for endless patterns of privation in the human community. With universal literacy, time can take on the character of an enclosed or pictorial space that can be divided and subdivided. It can be filled-in. "My schedule is filled up." It can be kept free: "I have a free week next month." And as Sebastian de Grazia has shown in of Time, Work and Leisure, all the free time in the world is not leisure, because leisure accepts neither the division of labor that constitutes "work," nor the divisions of time that create "full time" and free time." Leisure excludes times as a container. Once time is mechanically or visually enclosed, divided, and filled, it is possible to use it more and more efficiently. Time can be transformed into a labor-saving machine, as Parkinson reveals in his famous "Parkinson's Law." The student of the history of the clock will find that a totally

new principle entered with the invention of the mechanical clock. The earliest mechanical clocks had retained the old principle of the continuous action of the driving force, such as was used in the water clock and in the water wheel. It was about 1300 A.D. that the step was taken of momentarily interrupting rotary movement by a crown rod and balance wheel. This function was called "escapement" and was the means of literally translating the continuous force of the wheel into the visual principle of uniform but segmented succession. Escapement introduced the reciprocal reversing action of the hands in rotating a spindle forward and backward. The meeting in the mechanical clock of this ancient extension of hand movement with the forward rotary motion of the wheel was, in effect, the translation of hands into feet, and feet into hands. Perhaps no more difficult technological extension of interinvolved bodily appendages could be found. The source of the energy of the clock was thus separated from the hands, or the source of information, by technological translation. Escapement as a translation of one kind of wheel space into uniform and visual space is thus a direct anticipation of the infinitesimal calculus that translates any kind of space or movement into a uniform, continuous, and visual space. Parkinson, sitting on the fence between the mechanical and the electric uses of work and time, is able to provide us with real entertainment by simply squinting, now with one eye, now with the other, at the time and work picture. Cultures like ours, poised at the point of transformation, engender both tragic and comic awareness in great abundance. It is the maximal interplay of diverse forms of perception and experience that makes great the cultures of the fifth century B.C., the sixteenth century, and the twentieth century. But few people have enjoyed living in these intense periods when all that ensures familiarity and security dissolves and is reconfigured in a few decades. It was not the clock, but literacy reinforced by the clock, that

created abstract time and led men to eat, not when they were hungry, but when it was "time to eat." Lewis Mumford makes a telling observation when he says that the abstract mechanical time-sense of the Renaissance enabled men to live in the classical past, and to tear themselves out of their own present. Here again, it was the printing press that made possible the re-creation of the classic past by mass production of its literature and texts. The establishment of a mechanical and abstract time pattern soon extends itself to periodic alteration of clothing styles, much in the same way that mass production extends itself to periodic publication of newspapers and magazines. Today we take for granted that the job of Vogue magazine is to alter the dress styles as part of the process of its being printed at all. When a thing is current, it creates currency; fashion creates wealth by moving textiles and making them ever more current. This process we have seen at work in the section on "Money." Clocks are mechanical media that transform tasks and create new work and wealth by accelerating the pace of human association. By coordinating and accelerating human meetings and goings-on, clocks increase the sheer quantity of human exchange. It is not really incongruous, therefore, when Mumford associates "the clock and the printing press and the blast furnace" as the giant innovations of the Renaissance. The clock, as much as the blast furnace, speeded the melting of materials and the rise of smooth conformity in the contours of social life. Long before the industrial revolution of the later eighteenth century, people complained that society had become a "prose machine" that whisked them through life at a dizzy pace. The clock dragged man out of the world of seasonal rhythms and recurrence, as effectively as the alphabet had released him from the magical resonance of the spoken word and the tribal trap. This dual translation of the individual out of the grip of Nature and out of the clutch of the tribe was not without its own penalties. But the return to Nature and the return to the tribe are

under electric conditions, fatally simple. We need beware of those who announce programs for restoring man to the original state and language of the race. These crusaders have never examined the role of media and technology in tossing man about from dimension to dimension. They are like the somnambulistic African chief with the alarm clock strapped to his back. Mircea Eliade, professor of comparative religion, is unaware, in The Sacred and the Profane, that a "sacred" universe in his sense is one dominated by the spoken word and by auditory media. A "profane" universe, on the other hand, is one dominated by the visual sense. The clock and the alphabet, by hacking the universe into visual segments, ended the music of interrelation. The visual desacralizes the universe and produces the "nonreligious man of modern societies." Historically, however, Eliade is useful in recounting how, before the age of the clock and the time-kept city, there was for tribal man a cosmic clock and a sacred time of the cosmogony itself. When tribal man wanted to build a city or a house, or cure an illness, he wound up the cosmic clock by an elaborate ritual reenactment or recitation of the original process of creation. Eliade mentions that in Fiji "the ceremony for installing a new ruler is called 'creation of the world.'" The same drama is enacted to help the growth of crops. Whereas modern man feels obligated to be punctual and conservative of time, tribal man bore the responsibility for keeping the cosmic clock supplied with energy. But electric or ecological man (man of the total field) can be expected to surpass the old tribal cosmic concern with the Africa within. Primitive man lived in a much more tyrannical cosmic machine than Western literate man has ever invented. The world of the ear is more embracing and inclusive than that of the eye can ever be. The ear is hypersensitive. The eye is cool and detached. The ear turns man over to universal panic while the eye, extended by literacy and mechanical time, leaves some gaps and some islands free from the unremitting acoustic pressure and reverberation.

16 THE PRINT How to Dig it The art of making pictorial statements in a precise and repeatable form is one that we have long taken for granted in the West. But it is usually forgotten that without prints and blueprints, without maps and geometry, the world of modern sciences and technologies would hardly exist. In the time of Ferdinand and Isabella and other maritime monarchs, maps were top-secret, like new electronic discoveries today. When the captains returned from their voyages, every effort was made by the officers of the crown to obtain both originals and copies of the maps made during the voyage. The result was a lucrative black-market trade, and secret maps were widely sold. The sort of maps in question had nothing in common with those of later design, being in fact more like diaries of different adventures and experiences. For the later perception of space as uniform and continuous was unknown to the medieval

cartographer, whose efforts resembled modern nonobjective art. The shock of the new Renaissance space is still felt by natives who encounter it today for the first time. Prince Modupe tells in his autobiography, I Was a Savage, how he had learned to read maps at school, and how he had taken back home to his village a map of a river his father had traveled for years as a trader. . . .my father thought the whole idea was absurd. He refused to identify the stream he had crossed at Bomako, where it is no deeper, he said, than a man is high, with the great widespread waters of the vast Niger delta. Distances as measured in miles had no meaning for him. . . . Maps are liars, he told me briefly. From his tone of voice I could tell that I had offended him in some way not known to me at the time. The things that hurt one do not show on a map. The truth of a place is in the joy and the hurt that come from it. I had best not put my trust in anything as inadequate as a map, he counseled. ... I under- stand now, although I did not at the time, that my airy and easy sweep of map-traced staggering distances belittled the jour- neys he had measured on tired feet. With my big map-talk, I had effaced the magnitude of his cargo-laden, heat-weighted treks. All the words in the world cannot describe an object like a bucket, although it is possible to tell in a few words how to make a bucket. This inadequacy of words to convey visual information about objects was an effectual block to the development of the Greek and Roman sciences. Pliny the Elder reported the inability of the Greek and Latin botanists to devise a means of transmitting information about plants and flowers: Hence it is that other writers have confined themselves to a verbal description of the plants; indeed some of them have not so much as described them even, but have contented

themselves for the most part with a bare recital of their names . .. We are confronted here once more with that basic function of media --to store and to expedite information. Plainly, to store is to expedite, since what is stored is also more accessible than what has to be gathered. The fact that visual information about flowers and plants cannot be stored verbally also points to the fact that science in the Western world has long been dependent on the visual factor. Nor is this surprising in a literate culture based on the technology of the alphabet, one that reduces even spoken language to a visual mode. As electricity has created multiple non-visual means of storing and retrieving information, not only culture but science also has shifted its entire base and character. For the educator, as well as the philosopher, exact knowledge of what this shift means for learning and the mental process is not necessary. Well before Gutenberg's development of printing from movable types, a great deal of printing on paper by woodcut had been done. Perhaps the most popular form of this kind of block printing of text and image had been in the form of the Biblia Pauperum, or Bibles of the Poor. Printers in this woodcut sense preceded typographic printers, though by just how long a period it is not easy to establish, because these cheap and popular prints, despised by the learned, were not preserved any more than are the comic books of today. The great law of bibliography comes into play in this matter of the printing that precedes Gutenberg: "The more there were, the fewer there are." It applies to many items besides printed matter --to the postage stamp and to the early forms of radio receiving sets. Medieval and Renaissance man experienced little of the separation and speciality among the arts that developed later. The manuscript and the earlier printed books were read aloud, and poetry was sung or intoned. Oratory, music, literature, and

drawing were closely related. Above all, the world of the illuminated manuscript was one in which lettering itself was given plastic stress to an almost sculptural degree. In a study of the art of Andrea Mantegna, the illuminator of manuscripts, Millard Meiss mentions that, amidst the flowery and leafy margins of the page, Mantegna's letters "rise like monuments, stony, stable and finely cut. . . . Palpably soled and weighty, they stand boldly before the colored ground, upon which they often throw a shadow. . ." The same feeling for the letters of the alphabet as engraved icons has returned in our own day in the graphic arts and in advertising display. Perhaps the reader will have encountered the sense of this coming change in Rimbaud's sonnet on the vowels, or in some of Braque's paintings. But ordinary newspaper headline style tends to push letters toward the iconic form, a form that is very near to auditory resonance, as it is also to tactile and sculptural quality. Perhaps the supreme quality of the print is one that is lost on us, since it has so casual and obvious an existence. It is simply that it is a pictorial statement that can be repeated precisely and indefinitely --at least as long as the printing surface lasts. Repeatability is the core of the mechanical principle that has dominated our world, especially since the Gutenberg technology. The message of the print and of typography is primarily that of repeatability. With typography, the principle of movable type introduced the means of mechanizing any handicraft by the process of segmenting and fragmenting an integral action. What had begun with the alphabet as a separation of the multiple gestures and sights and sounds in the spoken word, reached a new level of intensity, first with the woodcut and then with typography. The alphabet left the visual component as supreme in the word, reducing all other sensuous facts of the spoken word to this form. This helps to explain why the woodcut, and even the photograph, were so eagerly welcomed in a literate world. These

forms provide a world of inclusive gesture and dramatic posture that necessarily is omitted in the written word. The print was eagerly seized upon as a means of imparting information, as well as an incentive to piety and meditation. In 1472 the Art of War by Volturius was printed at Verona, with many woodcuts to explain the machinery of war. But the uses of the woodcut as an aid to contemplation in Books of Hours, Emblems, and Shepherds' Calendars continued for two hundred years on a large scale. It is relevant to consider that the old prints and woodcuts, like the modern comic strip and comic book, provide very little data about any particular moment in time, or aspect in space, of an object. The viewer, or reader, is compelled to participate in completing and interpreting the few hints provided by the bounding lines. Not unlike the character of the woodcut and the cartoon is the TV image, with its very low degree of data about objects, and the resulting high degree of participation by the viewer in order to complete what is only hinted at in the mosaic mesh of dots. Since the advent of TV, the comic book has gone into a decline. It is, perhaps, obvious enough that if a cool medium involves the viewer a great deal, a hot medium will not. It may contradict popular ideas to say that typography as a hot medium involves the reader much less than did manuscript, or to point out that the comic book and TV as cool media involve the user, as maker and participant, a great deal. After the exhaustion of the Graeco-Roman pools of slave labor, the West had to technologize more intensively than the ancient world had done. In the same way the American farmer, confronted with new tasks and opportunities, and at the same time with a great shortage of human assistance, was goaded into a frenzy of creation of labor-saving devices. It would seem that the logic of success in this matter is the ultimate retirement of the work force from the scene of toil. In a word, automation. If this, however, has been the motive behind all of our human

technologies, it does not follow that we are prepared to accept the consequences. It helps to get one's bearings to see the process at work in remote times when work meant specialist servitude, and leisure alone meant a life of human dignity and involvement of the whole man. The print in its clumsy woodcut-phase reveals a major aspect of language; namely, that words cannot bear sharp definition in daily use. When Descartes surveyed the philosophical scene at the beginning of the seventeenth century, he was appalled at the confusion of tongues and began to strive toward a reduction of philosophy to precise mathematical form. This striving for an irrelevant precision served only to exclude from philosophy most of the questions of philosophy; and that great kingdom of philosophy was soon parceled out into the wide range of uncommunicating sciences and specialities we know today. Intensity of stress on visual blueprinting and precision is an explosive force that fragments the world of power and knowledge alike. The increasing precision and quantity of visual information transformed the print into a three-dimensional world of perspective and fixed point of view. Hieronymus Bosch, by means of paintings that interfused medieval forms in Renaissance space, told what it felt like to live straddled between the two worlds of the old and the new during this revolution. Simultaneously, Bosch provided the older kind of plastic, tactile image but placed it in the intense new visual perspective. He gave at once the older medieval idea of unique, discontinuous space, superimposed on the new idea of uniform, connected space. This he did with earnest nightmare intensity. Lewis Carroll took the nineteenth century into a dream world that was as startling as that of Bosch, but built on reverse principles. Alice in Wonderland offers as norm that continuous time and space that had created consternation in the Renaissance. Pervading this uniform Euclidean world of familiar space-and time, Carroll drove a fantasia of discontinuous space-and-time that

anticipated Kafka, Joyce, and Eliot. Carroll, the mathematical contemporary of Clerk Maxwell, was quite avant-garde enough to know about the non-Euclidean geometries coming into vogue in his time. He gave the confident Victorians a playful foretaste of Einsteinian time-and-space in Alice in Wonderland. Bosch had pro- vided his era a foretaste of the new continuous time-and-space of uniform perspective. Bosch looked ahead to the modern world with horror, as Shakespeare did in King Lear, and as Pope did in The Dunciad. But Lewis Carroll greeted the electronic age of space-time with a cheer. Nigerians studying at American universities are sometimes asked to identify spatial relations. Confronted with objects in sunshine, they are often unable to indicate in which direction shadows will fall, for this involves casting into three-dimensional perspective. Thus sun, objects, and observer are experienced separately and regarded as independent of one another. For medieval man, as for the native, space was not homogeneous and did not contain objects. Each thing made its own space, as it still does for the native (and equally for the modern physicist). Of course this does not mean that native artists do not relate things. They often contrive the most complicated, sophisticated configurations. Neither artist nor observer has the slightest trouble recognizing and interpreting the pattern, but only when it is a traditional one. If you begin to modify it, or translate it into another medium (three dimensions, for instance), the native fails to recognize it. An anthropological film showed a Melanesian carver cutting out a decorated drum with such skill, coordination, and ease that the audience several times broke into applause --it became a song, a ballet. But when the anthropologist asked the tribe to build crates to ship these carvings in, they struggled unsuccessfully for three days to make two planks intersect at a 90-degree angle, then gave up in frustration. They couldn't crate what they had created.

in the low definition world of the medieval woodcut, each object created its own space, and the there was no rational connected space into which it must fit. As the retinal impressiois intensified, objects cease to cohere in a space of their own making, and, instead, become "contained" in a uniform,continuous and "rational" space. Relativity theory in 1905announced the dissolution of uniform Newtonian space as an illusion or fiction, however useful. Einstein pronounced the doom of continusou or "rational" space, and the way was made clear for Picasso and the Marx brothers and MAD.

17 COMICS Mad Vestibule to TV It was thanks to the print that Dickens became a comic writer. He began as a provider of copy for a popular cartoonist. To consider the comics here, after "The Print," is to fix attention upon the persistent print-like, and even crude woodcut, characteristics of our twentieth-century comics. It is by no means easy to perceive how the same qualities of print and woodcut could reappear in the mosaic mesh of the TV image. TV is so difficult a subject for literary people that it has to be approached obliquely. From the three million dots per second on TV, the viewer is able to accept, in an iconic grasp, only a few dozen seventy or so, from which to shape an image. The image thus made is as crude as that of the comics. It is for this reason that the print and the comics provide a useful approach to understanding the TV image, for they offer very little visual information or connected detail. Painters and sculptors, however, can easily understand TV, because they sense

how very much tactile involvement is needed for the appreciation of plastic art. The structural qualities of the print and woodcut obtain, also, in the cartoon, all of which share a participational and do-it-yourself character that pervades a wide variety of media experiences today. The print is clue to the comic cartoon, just as the cartoon is clue to understanding the TV image. Many a wrinkled teenager recalls his fascination with that pride of the comics, the "Yellow Kid" of Richard F. Outcault. On first appearance, it was called "Hogan's Alley" in the New York Sunday World. It featured a variety of scenes of kids from the tenements, Maggie and Jiggs as children, as it were. This feature sold many papers in 1898 and thereafter. Hearst soon bought it, and began large scale comic supplements. Comics (as already explained in the chapter on The Print), being low in definition, are a highly participational form of expression, perfectly adapted to the mosaic form of the newspaper. They provide, also, a sense of continuity from one day to the next. The individual news item is very low in information, and requires completion or fill-in by the reader, exactly as does the TV image, or the wirephoto. That is the reason why TV hit the comic-book world so hard. It was a real rival, rather than a complement. But TV hit the pictorial ad world even harder, dislodging the sharp and glossy, in favor of the shaggy, the sculptural, and the tactual. Hence the sudden eminence of MAD magazine which offers, merely, a ludicrous and cool replay of the forms of the hot media of photo, radio, and film. MAD is the old print and woodcut image that recurs in various media today. Its type of configuration will come to shape all of the acceptable TV offerings. The biggest casualty of the TV impact was Al Capp's "Li 1 Abner." For eighteen years Al Capp had kept Li'l Abner on the verge of matrimony. The sophisticated formula used with his characters was the reverse of that employed by the French novelist Stendhal, who said, "I simply involve my people in the

consequences of their own stupidity and then give them brains so they can suffer." Al Capp, in effect, said, "I simply involve my people in the consequences of their own stupidity and then take away their brains so that they can do nothing about it." Their inability to help themselves created a sort of parody of all the other suspense comics. Al Capp pushed suspense into absurdity. But readers have long enjoyed the fact that the Dogpatch predicament of helpless ineptitude was a paradigm of the human situation, in general. With the arrival of TV and its iconic mosaic image, the everyday life situations began to seem very square, indeed. Al Capp suddenly found that his kind of distortion no longer worked. He felt that Americans had lost their power to laugh at themselves. He was wrong. TV simply involved everybody in everybody more deeply than before. This cool medium, with its mandate of participation in depth, required Capp to refocus the Li'l Abner image. His confusion and dismay were a perfect match for the feelings of those in every major American enterprise. From Life to General Motors, and from the classroom to the Executive Suite, a refocusing of aims and images to permit ever more audience involvement and participation has been inevitable. Capp said: "But now America has changed. The humorist feels the change more, perhaps, than anyone. Now there are things about America we can't kid." Depth involvement encourages everyone to take himself much more seriously than before. As TV cooled off the American audience, giving it new preferences and new orientation of sight and sound and touch and taste, Al Capp's wonderful brew also had to be toned down. There was no more need to kid Dick Tracy or the suspense routines. As MAD magazine discovered, the new audience found the scenes and themes of ordinary life as funny as anything in remote Dogpatch. MAD magazine simply transferred the world of ads into the world of the comic book, and it did this just when the TV image was beginning to eliminate the comic

book by direct rivalry. At the same time, the TV image rendered the sharp and clear photographic image as blur and blear. TV cooled off the ad audience until the continuing vehemence of the ads and entertainment suited the program of the MAD magazine world very well. TV, in fact, turned the previous hot media of photo, film, and radio into a comic-strip world by simply featuring them as overheated packages. Today the ten-year-old clutches his or her MAD ("Build up your Ego with MAD") in the same way that the Russian beatnik treasures an old Presley tape obtained from a G.I. broadcast. If the "Voice of America" suddenly switched to jazz, the Kremlin would have reason to crumble. It would be almost as effective as if the Russian citizens had copies of Sears Roebuck catalogues to goggle at, instead of our dreary propaganda for the American way of life. Picasso has long been a fan of American comics. The highbrow, from Joyce to Picasso, has long been devoted to American popular art because he finds in it an authentic imaginative reaction to official action. Genteel art, on the other hand, tends merely to evade and disapprove of the blatant modes of action in a powerful high definition, or "square," society. Genteel art is a kind of repeat of the specialized acrobatic feats of an industrialized world. Popular art is the clown reminding us of all the life and faculty that we have omitted from our daily routines. He ventures to perform the specialized routines of the society, acting as integral man. But integral man is quite inept in a specialist situation. This, at least, is one way to get at the art of the comics, and the art of the clown. Today our ten-year-olds, in voting for MAD, are telling us in their own way that the TV image has ended the consumer phase of American culture. They are now telling us what the eighteen-year-old beatniks were first trying to say ten years ago. The pictorial consumer age is dead. The iconic age is upon us. We now toss to the Europeans the package that concerned us from 1922 to 1952. They, in turn, enter their first consumer age of

standardized goods. We move into our first depth-age of art-and-producer orientation. America is Europeanizing on as extensive a pattern as Europe is Americanizing. Where does this leave the older popular comics? What about "Blondie" and "Bringing Up Father"? Theirs was a pastoral world of primal innocence from which young America has clearly graduated. There was still adolescence in those days, and there were still remote ideals and private dreams, and visualizable goals, rather than vigorous and ever-present corporate postures for group participation. The chapter on The Print indicated how the cartoon is a do-it-yourself form of experience that has developed an ever more vigorous life as the electric age advanced. Thus, all electric appli- ances, far from being labor-saving devices, are new forms of work, decentralized and made available to everybody. Such is, also, the world of the telephone and the TV image that demands so much more of its users than does radio or movie. As a simple consequence of this participational and do-it-yourself aspect of the electric technology, every kind of entertainment in the TV age favors the same kind of personal involvement. Hence the paradox that, in the TV age, Johnny can't read because reading, as customarily taught, is too superficial and consumerlike an activity. Therefore the highbrow paperback, because of its depth character, may appeal to youngsters who spurn ordinary narrative offerings. Teachers today frequently find that students who can't read a page of history are becoming experts in code and linguistic analysis. The problem, therefore, is not that Johnny can't read, but that, in an age of depth involvement, Johnny can't visualize distant goals. The first comic books appeared in 1935. Not having anything connected or literary about them, and being as difficult to decipher as the Book of Kells, they caught on with the young. The elders of the tribe, who had never noticed that the ordinary newspaper was as frantic as a surrealist art exhibition, could

hardly be expected to notice that the comic books were as exotic as eighth-century illuminations. So, having noticed nothing about the form, they could discern nothing of the contents, either. The mayhem and violence were all they noted. Therefore, with naive literary logic, they waited for violence to flood the world. Or, alternatively, they attributed existing crime to the comics. The dimmest-witted convict learned to moan, "It wuz comic books done this to me." Meantime, the violence of an industrial and mechanical environment had to be lived and given meaning and motive in the nerves and viscera of the young. To live and experience anything is to translate its direct impact into many indirect forms of awareness. We provided the young with a shrill and raucous asphalt jungle, beside which any tropical animal jungle was as quiet and tame as a rabbit hutch. We called this normal. We paid people to keep it at the highest pitch of intensity because it paid well. When the entertainment industries tried to provide a reasonable facsimile of the ordinary city vehemence, eyebrows were raised. It was Al Capp who discovered that until TV, at least, any degree of Scragg mayhem or Phogbound morality was accepted as funny. He didn't think it was funny. He put in his strip just exactly what he saw around him. But our trained incapacity to relate one situation to another enabled his sardonic realism to be mistaken for humor. The more he showed the capacity of people to involve themselves in hideous difficulties, along with their entire inability to turn a hand to help themselves, the more they giggled. "Satire," said Swift, "is a glass in which we see every countenance but our own." The comic strip and the ad, then, both belong to the world of games, to the world of models and extensions of situations elsewhere. MAD magazine, world of the woodcut, the print, and the cartoon, brought them together with other games and models from the world of entertainment. MAD is a kind of newspaper

mosaic of the ad as entertainment, and entertainment as a form of madness. Above all, it is a print- and woodcut-form of expression and experience whose sudden appeal is a sure index of deen changes in our culture. Our need now is to understand the formal character of print, comic and cartoon, both as challenging and changing the consumer-culture of film, photo, and press There is no single approach to this task, and no single observation or idea that can solve so complex a problem in changing human perception.

18 THE PRINTED WORD Architect of Nationalism You may perceive, Madam," said Dr. Johnson with a pugilistic smile, that I am well-bred to a degree of needless scrupulosity " Whatever the degree of conformity the Doctor had achieved with the new stress of his time on white-shirted tidiness, he was quite aware of the growing social demand for visual presentability. Printing from movable types was the first mechanization of a complex handicraft, and became the archetype of all subsequent mechanization. From Rabelais and More to Mill and Morris, the typographic explosion extended the minds and voices of men to reconstitute the human dialogue on a world scale that has bridged the ages. For if seen merely as a store of information, or as a new means of speedy retrieval of knowledge, typography ended parochialism and tribalism, psychically and socially, both m space and in time. Indeed the first two centuries of printing

from movable types were motivated much more by the desire to see ancient and medieval books than by the need to read and write new ones. Until 1 700 much more than SO per cent of all printed books were ancient or medieval. Not only antiquity but also the Middle Ages were given to the first reading public of the printed word. And the medieval texts were by far the most popular. Like any other extension of man, typography had psychic and social consequences that suddenly shifted previous boundaries and patterns of culture. In bringing the ancient and medieval worlds into fusion --or, as some would say, confusion -- the printed book created a third world, the modern world, which now encounters a new electric technology or a new extension of man. Electric means of moving of information are altering our typographic culture as sharply as print modified medieval manuscript and scholastic culture. Beatrice Warde has recently described in Alphabet an electric display of letters painted by light. It was a Norman McLaren movie advertisement of which she asks Do you wonder that I was late for the theatre that night, when I tell you that I saw two club-footed Egyptian A's . . . walking off arm-in-arm with the unmistakable swagger of a music-hall comedy-team? I saw base-serifs pulled together as if by ballet shoes, so that the letters tripped off literally sur les pointes . . . after forty centuries of the necessarily static Alphabet, I saw what its members could do in the fourth dimension of Time, "flux," movement. You may well say that I was electrified. Nothing could be farther from typographic culture with its "place for everything and everything in its place." Mrs. Warde has spent her life in the study of typography and she shows sure tact in her startled response to letters that are not printed by types but painted by light. It may be that the

explosion that began with phonetic letters (the "dragon's teeth" sowed by King Cadmus) will reverse into "implosion" under the impulse of the instant speed of electricity. The alphabet (and its extension into typography) made possible the spread of the power that is knowledge, and shattered the bonds of tribal man, thus exploding him into agglomeration of individuals. Electric writing and speed pour upon him, instantaneously and continuously, the concerns of all other men. He becomes tribal once more. The human family becomes one tribe again. Any student of the social history of the printed book is likely to be puzzled by the lack of understanding of the psychic and social effects of printing. In five centuries explicit comment and awareness of the effects of print on human sensibility are very scarce. But the same observation can be made about all the extensions of man, whether it be clothing or the computer. An extension appears to be an amplification of an organ, a sense or a function, that inspires the central nervous system to a self-protective gesture of numbing of the extended area, at least so far as direct inspection and awareness are concerned. Indirect comment on the effects of the printed book is available in abundance in the work of Rabelais, Cervantes, Montaigne, Swift, Pope, and Joyce. They used typography to create new art forms. Psychically the printed book, an extension of the visual faculty, intensified perspective and the fixed point of view. Associated with the visual stress on point of view and the vanishing point that provides the illusion of perspective there comes another illusion that space is visual, uniform and continuous. The linearity precision and uniformity of the arrangement of movable types are inseparable from these great cultural forms and innovations of Renaissance experience. The new intensity of visual stress and private point of view in the first century of printing were united to the means of self-expression made possible by the typographic extension of man.

Socially, the typographic extension of man brought in nationalism, industrialism, mass markets, and universal literacy and education. For print presented an image of repeatable precision that inspired totally new forms of extending social energies. Print released great psychic and social energies in the Renaissance, as today in Japan or Russia, by breaking the individual out of the traditional group while providing a model of how to add individual to individual in massive agglomeration of power. The same spirit of private enterprise that emboldened authors and artists to cultivate self-expression led other men to create giant corporations, both military and commercial. Perhaps the most significant of the gifts of typography to man is that of detachment and noninvolvement--the power to act without reacting. Science since the Renaissance has exalted this gift which has become an embarrassment in the electric age, in which all people are involved in all others at all times. The very word "disinterested," expressing the loftiest detachment and ethical integrity of typographic man, has in the past decade been increasingly used to mean: "He couldn't care less." The same integrity indicated by the term "disinterested" as a mark of the scientific and scholarly temper of a literate and enlightened society is now increasingly repudiated as "specialization" and fragmentation of knowledge and sensibility. The fragmenting and analytic power of the printed word in our psychic lives gave us that "dissociation of sensibility" which in the arts and literature since Cezanne and since Baudelaire has been a top priority for elimination in every program of reform in taste and knowledge. In the "implosion" of the electric age the separation of thought and feeling has come to seem as strange as the departmentalization of knowledge in schools and universities. Yet it was precisely the power to separate thought and feeling, to be able to act without reacting, that split literate man out of the tribal world of close family bonds in private and and social life. Typography was no more an addition to the scribal art than

the motorcar was an addition to the horse. Printing had its "horse-less carriage" phase of being misconceived and misapplied during its first decades, when it was not uncommon for the purchaser of a printed book to take it to a scribe to have it copied and illustrated. Even in the early eighteenth century a "textbook" was still defined as a "Classick Author written very wide by the Students, to give room for an Interpretation dictated by the Master, &c, to be inserted in the Interlines" (O.E.D.). Before printing, much of the time in school and college classrooms was spent in making such texts. The classroom tended to be a scriptorium with a commentary. The student was an editor-publisher. By the same token the book market was a secondhand market of relatively scarce items. Printing changed learning and marketing processes alike. The book was the first teaching machine and also the first mass-produced commodity. In amplifying and extending the written word, typography revealed and greatly extended the structure of writing. Today, with the cinema and the electric speed-up of information movement, the formal structure of the printed word, as of mechanism in general, stands forth like a branch washed up on the beach. A new medium is never an addition to an old one, nor does it leave the old one in peace. It never ceases to oppress the older media until it finds new shapes and positions for them. Manuscript culture had sustained an oral procedure in education that was called "scholasticism" at its higher levels; but by putting the same text in front of any given number of students or readers print ended the scholastic regime of oral disputation very quickly. Print provided a vast new memory for past writings that made a personal memory inadequate. Margaret Mead has reported that when she brought several copies of the same book to a Pacific island there was great excitement. The natives had seen books, but only one copy of each, which they had assumed to be unique. Their astonishment at the identical character of several books was a natural response

to what is after all the most magical and potent aspect of print and mass production. It involves a principle of extension by homogenization that is the key to understanding Western power. The open society is open by virtue of a uniform typographic educational processing that permits indefinite expansion of any group by additive means. The printed book based on typographic uniformity and repeatability in the visual order was the first teaching machine, just as typography was the first mechanization of a handicraft. Yet in spite of the extreme fragmentation or specialization of human action necessary to achieve the printed word, the printed book represents a rich composite of previous cultural inventions. The total effort embodied in the illustrated book in print offers a striking example of the variety of separate acts of invention that are requisite to bring about a new technological result. The psychic and social consequences of print included an extension of its fissile and uniform character to the gradual homogenization of diverse regions with the resulting amplification of power, energy, and aggression that we associate with new nationalisms. Psychically, the visual extension and amplification of the individual by print had many effects. Perhaps as striking as any other is the one mentioned by Mr. E. M. Forster, who, when discussing some Renaissance types, suggested that "the printing press, then only a century old, had been mistaken for an engine of immortality, and men had hastened to commit to it deeds and passions for the benefit of future ages." People began to act as though immortality were inherent in the magic repeatability and extensions of print. Another significant aspect of the uniformity and repeatability of the printed page was the pressure it exerted toward "correct" spelling, syntax, and pronunciation. Even more notable were the effects of print in separating poetry from song, and prose from oratory, and popular from educated speech. In the matter of poetry it turned out that, as poetry could be read without being

heard, musical instruments could also be played without accompanying any verses. Music veered from the spoken word, to converge again with Bartok and Schoenberg. With typography the process of separation (or explosion) of functions went on swiftly at all levels and in all spheres; nowhere was this matter observed and commented on with more bitterness than in the plays of Shakespeare. Especially in King Lear, Shakespeare provided an image or model of the process of quan- tification and fragmentation as it entered the world of politics and of family life. Lear at the very opening of the play presents "our darker purpose" as a plan of delegation of powers and duties: Only we shall retain The name, and all th' addition to a King; The sway, revenue, execution of the rest, Beloved sons, be yours: which to confirm, This coronet part between you. This act of fragmentation and delegation blasts Lear, his kingdom, and his family. Yet to divide and rule was the dominant new idea of the organization of power in the Renaissance. "Our darker purpose" refers to Machiavelli himself, who had developed an individualist and quantitative idea of power that struck more fear in that time than Marx in ours. Print, then, challenged the corporate patterns of medieval organization as much as electricity now challenges our fragmented individualism. The uniformity and repeatability of print permeated the Renaissance with the idea of time and space as continuous measurable quantities. The immediate effect of this idea was to desacralize the world of nature and the world of power alike. The new technique of control of physical processes by segmentation and fragmentation separated God and Nature as much as Man

and Nature, or man and man. Shock at this departure from traditional vision and inclusive awareness was often directed toward the figure of Machiavelli, who had merely spelled out the new quantitative and neutral or scientific ideas of force as applied to the manipulation of kingdoms. Shakespeare's entire work is taken up with the themes of the new delimitations of power, both kingly and private. No greater horror could be imagined in his time than the spectacle of Richard II, the sacral king, undergoing the indignities of imprisonment and denudation of his sacred prerogatives. It is in Troilus and Cressida, however, that the new cults of fissile, irresponsible power, public and private, are paraded as a cynical charade of atomistic competition: Take the instant way; For honour travels in a strait so narrow Where one but goes abreast: keep, then, the path; For emulation hath a thousand sons That one by one pursue: if you give way, Or hedge aside from the direct forthright, Like to an enter'd tide they all rush by And leave you hindmost. . . The image of society as segmented into a homogeneous mass of quantified appetites shadows Shakespeare's vision in the later plays. Of the many unforeseen consequences of typography, the emergence of nationalism is, perhaps, the most familiar. Political unification of populations by means of vernacular and language groupings was unthinkable before printing turned each vernacular into an extensive mass medium. The tribe, an extended form of a family of blood relatives, is exploded by print, and is replaced by an association of men homogeneously trained to be

individuals. Nationalism itself came as an intense new visual image of group destiny and status, and depended on a speed of information movement unknown before printing. Today nationalism as an image still depends on the press but has all the electric media against it. In business, as in politics, the effect of even jet-plane speeds is to render the older national groupings of social organization quite unworkable. In the Renaissance it was the speed of print and the ensuing market and commercial developments that made nationalism (which is continuity and competition in homogeneous space) as natural as it was new. By the same token, the heterogeneities and noncompetitive discontinuities of medieval guilds and family organization had become a great nuisance as speed-up of information by print called for more fragmentation and uniformity of function. The Benvenuto Cellinis, the goldsmith-cum-painter-cum-sculptor-cum-writer-cum-condottiere, became obsolete. Once a new technology comes into a social milieu it cannot cease to permeate that milieu until every institution is saturated. Typography has permeated every phase of the arts and sciences in the past five hundred years. It would be easy to document the processes by which the principles of continuity, uniformity, and repeatability have become the basis of calculus and of marketing, as of industrial production, entertainment, and science. It will be enough to point out that repeatability conferred on the printed book the strangely novel character of a uniformly priced commodity opening the door to price systems. The printed book had in addition the quality of portability and accessibility that had been lacking in the manuscript. Directly associated with these expansive qualities was the revolution in expression. Under manuscript conditions the role of being an author was a vague and uncertain one, like that of a minstrel. Hence, self-expression was of little interest. Typography, however, created a medium in which it was possible to speak out loud and bold to the world itself, just as it was possible

to circumnavigate the world of books previously locked up in a pluralistic world of monastic cells. Boldness of type created boldness of expression. Uniformity reached also into areas of speech and writing, leading to a single tone and attitude to reader and subject spread throughout an entire composition. The "man of letters" was born. Extended to the spoken word, this literate equitone enabled literate people to maintain a single "high tone" in discourse that was quite devastating, and enabled nineteenth-century prose writers to assume moral qualities that few would now care to simulate. Permeation of the colloquial language with literate uniform qualities has flattened out educated speech till it is a very reasonable acoustic facsimile of the uniform and continuous visual effects of typography. From this technological effect follows the further fact that the humor, slang, and dramatic vigor of American-English speech are monopolies of the semi-literate. These typographical matters for many people are charged with controversial values. Yet in any approach to understanding print it is necessary to stand aside from the form in question if its typical pressure and life are to be observed. Those who panic now about the threat of the newer media and about the revolution we are forging, vaster in scope than that of Gutenberg, are obviously lacking in cool visual detachment and gratitude for that most potent gift bestowed on Western man by literacy and typography: his power to act without reaction or involvement. It is this kind of specialization by dissociation that has created Western power and efficiency. Without this dissociation of action from feeling and emotion people are hampered and hesitant. Print taught men to say, "Damn the torpedoes. Full steam ahead!"

19 WHEEL, BICYCLE, AND AIRPLANE The kinds of interplay between wheel, bicycle, and airplane are startling to those who have never thought about them. Scholars tend to work on the archeological assumption that things need to be studied in isolation. This is the habit of specialism that quite naturally derives from typographic culture. When a scholar like Lynn White ventures to make some interrelations, even in his own area of special historical study, he causes a good deal of unhappiness among his merely specialist colleagues. In his Medieval Technology and Social Change he explains how the feudal system was a social extension of the stirrup. The stirrup first appeared in the West in the eighth century A.D., having been introduced from the East. With the stirrup came mounted shock combat that called into existence a new social class. The European cavalier class had already existed to be armed, but to mount a knight in full armor required the combined resources often or more peasant holdings. Charlemagne demanded that less prosperous freemen merge their private farms to equip a single knight for the

wars. The pressure of the new war technology gradually developed classes and an economic system that could provide numerous cavaliers in heavy armor. By about the year 1000 A.D. the old word miles had changed from "soldier" to "knight." Lynn White has much to say, also, about horseshoes and horse-collars as revolutionary technology that increased the power and extended the range and speed of human action in the early Middle Ages. He is sensitive to the psychic and social implications of each technological extension of man, showing how the heavy wheel-plow brought about a new order in the field system, as well as in the diet of that age. "The Middle Ages were literally full of beans." To come more directly to our subject of the wheel, Lynn White explains how the evolution of the wheel in the Middle Ages was related to the development of the horsecollar and the harness. The greater speed and endurance of the horse was not available for cartage until the discovery of the collar. But once evolved, this horse-harness led to the development of wagons with pivoted front axles and brakes. The four-wheel wagon capable of hauling heavy loads was a common feature by the middle of the thirteenth century. The effects on town life were extraordinary. Peasants began to live in cities while going each day to their fields, almost in the manner of motorized Saskatchewan farmers. These latter live mainly in the city, having no housing in the country beyond sheds for their tractors and equipment. With the coming of the horse-drawn bus and streetcar, American towns developed housing that was no longer within sight of shop or factory. The railroad next took over the development of the suburbs, with housing kept within walking distance of the railroad stop. Shops and hotels around the railroad gave some concentration and form to the suburb. The automobile, followed by the airplane, dissolved this grouping and ended the pedestrian, or human, scale of the suburb. Lewis Mumford contends

that the car turned the suburban housewife into a full-time chauffeur. Certainly the transformations of the wheel as expediter of tasks, and architect of ever-new human relations, is far from finished, but its shaping power is waning in the electric age of information, and that fact makes us much more aware of its characteristic form as now tending toward the archaic. Before the emergence of the wheeled vehicle, there was merely the abrasive traction principle -runners, skids, and skis preceded wheels for vehicles, just as the abrasive, semirotary motion of the hand-operated spindle and drill preceded the full, free rotary motion of the potter's wheel. There is a moment of translation or "abstraction" needed to separate the reciprocating movement of hand from the free movement of wheel. "Doubtless the notion of the wheel came originally from observing that rolling a log was easier than shoving it," writes Lewis Mumford in Technics and Civilization. Some might object that log-rolling is closer to the spindle operation of the hands than to the rotary movement of feet, and need never have got translated into the technology of wheel. Under stress, it is more natural to fragment our own bodily form, and to let part of it go into another material, than it is to transfer any of the motions of external objects into another material. To extend our bodily postures and motions into new materials, by way of amplification, is a constant drive for more power. Most of our bodily stresses are interpreted as needs for extending storage and mobility functions, such as occur, also, in speech, money, and writing. All manner of utensils are a yielding to this bodily stress by means of extensions of the body. The need for storage and portability can readily be noted in vases, jars, and "slow matches" (stored fire). Perhaps the main feature of all tools and machines -economy of gesture --is the immediate expression of any physical pressure which impels us to outer or to extend ourselves, whether in words or in wheels. Man can say it with flowers or plows or locomotives. In "Krazy Kat," Ignatz said it with bricks.