Binding time: Harold Innis and the balance of new media

Chesher, Chris (2008) Binding time: Harold Innis and the balance of new media. In: Wittgenstein and the Philosophy of Information. Proceedings of the 30th International Ludwig Wittgenstein-Symposium in Kirchberg, 2007. Ontos Verlag, Frankfurt, pp. 9-26.

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Much has been made of the impacts of digital media on the experience of space: new modes of perception and action at a distance: accelerating globalisation; shifting boundaries between work and home life; and so on. It is less common to read about the impacts of digital media on the experience of time. Yet, the digitisation of cultural practices and artefacts has significant implications for structuring our relationships with both the future and the past. In the theoretical traditions concerned with technology and time, the work of Harold Innis, a Canadian economist and communications theorist, offers an approach to understanding the social significance of all kinds of media. He analysed how different media relate to space and time: space-binding media extend influence and meanings over distances, helping to build empires and develop cohesion across space; while time-binding media influence cultural patterns in duration. For Innis, civilisations can be measured by their balance between managing time and controlling space. If this remains the case today, how has the computer changed this balance in our own culture? This paper examines the extent to which Innis’s concepts about media still apply today.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: Philosophie > Philosophische Disziplinen > Medienphilosophie, Theorie der Virtualität, Cyberphilosophie
Depositing User: Sissi Kemp
Date Deposited: 05 Jan 2011 18:24
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2011 18:53

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