Marshall McLuhan Tetrad of Media Effects

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We can use the Tetrad of Media Effects (McLuhan 1988) as a model for analysing the impacts of the implementation of a technology. There are parameters that the implementation has to adhere to in order to achieve a successful integration into the design or peoples behaviours. There are benefits and hindrances, advantages and disadvantages of all medium and this is what the tetrad analyses. It is especially useful to highlight the uses but potential dangers of the implementation of a technology that is too far removed from our intuitive actions or norms. The tetrad analyses what it enhances, which it obsolesces, what it pushes forward and what it pushes back. The laws of the tetrad exist simultaneously, not successively or in linear form. We are thus encouraged to think how outputs are in a constant state of flux in relation to each other, allowing an analysis of intermittent effects. A strong argument is needed to make sure this balanced approach is implemented no matter what the brief, what the space and what new technologies are inevitable to be introduced.

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