McLuhan Mashuan

The medium is not the message, or at least it shouldn’t be. While language is often essential for conveying the truth, we should not confuse it with the truth.

Most if not all of us, however, have problems with this. That is because of the great extent to which language is embodied.

Say the word absolutely over and over again enough times, emphatically and without sarcasm, and we will find it increasingly difficult to see any alternative to the subject at hand. Most of the time it won't matter what the subject is. The action of the description (upon us) trumps the description of the action (the message).

One can easily see how this kind of embodiment came to be, from an evolutionary standpoint. Conscious thought, intention and intervention slow down our responses, even while they might well have made them more accurate.

In a gunfight, the most absolute thinker, whose conscious participation may be limited to aim and technique, will, all else being equal, be fastest on the draw. In all such scenarios, the winners are those whose medium has become their message. And as we have come to know by now, the winners are those who also usually get to write the histories of such events, histories that mostly tend to deepen our espousal of such behavior.

Shoot first, ask questions later. Nice guys finish last.

Essentially, however, in existential fact on the broadest scale, the medium is not the message. However deeply personal or pervasively social the influences that turn the words “life” and “death” into absolutes, in point of fact they share no factual identity at all with their organic objective correlatives.

Actual life and death are absolute facts; the words we use to refer to them are absolutely not.

As language becomes increasingly embodied, this habit or half-conscious evolutionary choice that initially saved us begins to doom us. A world run by mindset runs faster and more conveniently but is rife with inaccuracies.

Lee Strauss (Copyright@2018)