The Changing Spaces of Reading and Writing

Text & Technology


According to Chow, “The meaning of text involves writing and reading or, more appropriately, production and consumption. Production carries the intention of the author, while consumption is the process by which the reader makes meaning”.

A different approach to technology was explained by McLuhan as , “Technology is literally an extension of man, as the axe is an extension of the hand, the wheel of the foot. Most instruments are attempts to extend man’s physical capacity, a capacity shared with other animals. Communications technology, on the other hand, is an extension of thought, of consciousness, of man’s unique perceptual capacities. Thus communications media, broadly used to include all modes of symbolic representation, are literally extensions of mind”.


Chow, Kenny K. N. Operating Text and Transcending Machine: Toward an interdisciplinary Taxonomy of Media Works, LEONARDO, Vol. 41, No. 4, pp. 373-378, 2008.

Rosenthal, R. (ed), McLuhan Pro and Con, p 273, Baltimore: Penguin Books, 1968.

1 comment

1 Drew Murphy { 09.15.09 at 9:13 pm }

Hello Hosein: Enjoyed your post and the McLuhan post. My takes on text and technology were similar to yours. Unlike much of the mechanical technology that has come out of the industrial revolution, I’m finding digital technology is much more of a personal sensory experience. Your McLuhan quote hits the nail on the head for me.

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