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medium

A medium is a third-party or element through which a message is communicated. This seems to apply to information technology as well as to seances. In information technology, a medium can be:

  • A physical transmission medium such as optical fiber
  • A presentation medium (and thus the terms multimedia and advertising media)
In his influential book, Understanding Media , Marshall MacLuhan said "The medium is the message." He seemed to mean that media technology itself transformed our lives more than the messages the media carried. He saw radio as a "hot medium" that imposed itself on you and television as a "cool" medium that pulled you into it. He envisioned that television would foster an electronic world community, a "global village." Although he wrote before the Internet became widely known, the Internet almost seems like his best idea.
This was last updated in April 2005

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