Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Following the path of "affordances."
I looked up "affordances" on Wikipedia because I want to ask a student an exam question about "affordances;" Kress isn't mention, but James Gibson is identified as the psychologist who coined the term. Started digging around for info on Gibson, who wrote books like An Ecological Approach to Visual Perception and I started to think that Gibson must have been reading McLuhan, or vice versa. I've always thought "affordances" is just a million dollar academic word for "the medium is the massage." Couldn't find any clear and conclusive connections between the two, but ended up back at Wikipedia's entry on "Sensorium" which credits McLuhan, Ong, and anthropologist Ted Carpenter with stimulating interest in "sense ratios;" the article eventually comes around to Gibson. Kress does not yet have a node in THE Wikipedia. Take that! McLuhanites are populating Wikipedia while the New London Group snoozes and loses.