David Perell+ Your Authors @david_perell "The Writing Guy" | I tweet about business, online learning, and Internet writing | My Podcast: perell.com/podcast | My writing school: writeofpassage.school/ Apr. 04, 2018 + Your Authors

1/ The Medium is the Message.

The way we communicate shapes:

1⃣ How we speak
2⃣ How we think
3⃣ How we act

Some examples…

👇 Thread 👇

2/ Quick history.

Historically, there were two kinds of societies:

1. Time-biased societies
2. Space-biased societies

Empires were concerned with duration over time and extension in space.

But depending on how they communicated, they were biased towards one or the other.

3/ TIME-BIASED societies wrote on stone + clay.

They emphasized religion and neglected problems of space, like law.

Time-based media was durable, heavy and hard to move

Since stone and clay could survive the elements and natural disasters, their messages lived on for centuries

4/ SPACE-BIASED societies wrote on papyrus and paper.

They also communicated through speech.

They were territorial and non-religious.

Since they communicate with light and portable mediums such as papyrus, they expanded far and wide.

But they didn't last as long.

5/ Writing led to the invention of democracy.

~1/3 of men in Athens were literate in 4th century BC.

For the first time in history, written language — civilization’s primary method of control — was shared widely among the population.

6/ Literacy democratized learning and government participation.

That’s why democracy developed in Greece — not Egypt or Mesopotamia.

7/ New technologies change how we live and communicate.

Electric lighting transformed every structure of work, society, space and time.

The telegraph shortened the sentence and radio shortened the news story.

The power is in the MEDIUM — not the message or the content.

8/ Writing augmented memory and extended the human mind.

It brought in:

▶️ Nationalism
▶️ Industrialism
▶️ Mass markets
▶️ Universal literacy

Repeatable PRECISION is only possible with writing.

Print lets us REPRODUCE the same text over and over again.

9/ TV transformed American culture.

TV shaped America’s taste in clothes, food, housing, entertainment, and vehicles.

TV defined America’s visual identity.

10/ Here’s the KEY LESSON: Media shapes the character of knowledge.

New technology creates new human environments.

These environments are ACTIVE, not passive.

11/ Some modern examples:

We're blind to our media environment. We’re aware of the content, but not the technology.

Calendars encourage us to spend time that we don’t currently have.
Credit cards encourage us to spend money that we don’t currently have.

12/ Technology shapes music in surprising ways.

The Black Eyed Peas used to optimize their songs for DJs.

Songs like “Imma Be” naturally speed up during the song. Since it was easy to transition in and out of the song, DJs used it more often.

Then, the song exploded.

13/ Today, social media is shaping music.

Songs are getting shorter.

The way people hear music shapes how it’s made. Music has shifted from being an active, intentional experience to more of a passive, unfocused one.

Songs are now are optimized for streaming and social media.

14/ Most people ignore or deplore ads.

But they never STUDY them.

What works on social media is the OPPOSITE of what works on traditional media.

Today, the best ads don’t look like ads.

The best ads are native to the platform. They’re raw, shaky, and timely.

15/ Phones are transforming fashion.

Designs are getting bigger because they look good on Instagram.

Rise of:

1⃣ Big logos
2⃣ Bright colors
3⃣ Vibrant patterns

Designers know that we’re consuming their clothes on small screens.

Modern fashion is attention-grabbing.

16/ Most people focus too much on CONTENT.

And not enough on the MEDIUM.

We’re blind to our media environment because we’re so immersed in it.

The Medium is the Message.


I post all my tweetstorms on my website

⭐️  http://www.perell.com/tweetstorms/main  ⭐️

You can follow @david_perell.


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