Tetrad Analysis: Satellite

Another tetrad from Marshall and Eric McLuhan's Laws of Media: The New Science (p.150):

ENHANCES

-the planet

-earth goes inside itself

-the first extension-of-earth

REVERSES
-implosion

-the orb urbs; the globe as theatre

-the crowd dynamic
-participating in their own audience participation
-population reverses from content/spectator to actor/participant

RETRIEVES
-ecology
-'Primitive man is, inevitably, ecological.'
-In The Savage Mind, C. Lévi Strauss noted that the primitive regards everything as related to everything — a condition we recognize as paranoia
OBSOLESCES
-Nature

-nature: an invention of the Greeks
-Lewis Mumford (Technics and Civilization, page 69) called the mine 'the first completely organic environment created by man.'
-Like the space capsule, the submarine is also a completely programmed environment. And the scientific laboratory, whether for Pavlovian conditioning, or routine controlled-condition experiences.

Earth extends itself only to go inside itself — or to become its own content. Fascinating.

The satellite has made several appearances on sportsBabel, most notably in discussing the historical relationship between the blimp and the geosynchronous satellite; in pointing out that pirated American satellite feeds of the Super Bowl allow Canadian viewers to see the Madison Avenue advertisements; and in highlighting the recently available Google Maps service and its satellite view.

(With regards to this latter, Keyhole, a Google subsidiary that provides 3D digital satellite imaging solutions, offers three sample videos of their service: a tour of the Athens 2004 Olympic venues (wmv,13Mb); a tour of Boston's Fenway Park (wmv,6.5Mb); and coverage of the war in Fallujah (wmv,3.2Mb) — not the first time we have discussed the link between satellite sport and war on sportsBabel.)

Like the McLuhans, Paul Virilio also describes an obsolescing of the natural environment that occurs with satellite and other telecommunications technologies — creating a new environment that resembles an electronic ecology, no doubt. As I have suggested before, this new ecology renders permeable the membrane between participant and spectator, allowing for the erstwhile spectator's "participating in their own audience participation."

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