Hybridization refers to the fact that media necessarily affect and change one another as they are adopted, in the same way that they bring about closure of sense ratios.[1]

Hybridization can be a good opportunity to break out of somnambulism and understand the effects of media, since the changes in them draw attention to themselves.[2]


  • Sergei Einstein: "As the silent film cried out for sound, so does the sound film cry out for color."[3]
  • McLuhan takes a parallel form to Einstein: "As the printing press cried out for nationalism, so did the radio cry out for tribalism."[4]
  • When the Pentagon began using jet travel, experts were continuously flown in from different parts of the world, and specialists were called from their desks every few minutes to hear reports. The frequency of this disruption results in paperwork being unfinished, and in a lack of information about the locations that are so quickly reported on.[5]
  • Electric light changes patterns of human organization when it encounters them: cars can begin travelling at night, ball players can begin playing at night, and buildings no longer require windows.[6]
  • The telegraph restructured newspapers, and one of the ways it did so was allowing for "human interest" stories. This took significant interest away from the theater.[7]
  • Radio changed the form of news stories.[8]
  • George Bernard Shaw responded to this effect of "human interest" stories by putting the press and "human interest" into the theater.[9]
  • Movies took significant interest away from the novel, newspapers, and theater.[10]
  • Radio altered the form of movies when it was added to silent films to created sound films.[11]
  • Radio, gramophone, and tape recorder all affected poetry by re-emphasizing the role of the poet's actual voice.[12]
  • Television's cool emphasis on participation resulted in poets desiring a personal connection with their audience, and therefore presenting their poems live in cafés and parks.[13]
  • Television took significant interest away from movies and nightclubs.[14] It also caused significant changes in radio programming.[15]
  • Artists are able to "mix their media diet" to affect their work. Whereas print culture encouraged a single viewpoint, electric media have released artists from this restriction.[16]
    • Yeats' poetry was affected by oral peasant culture.
    • Eliot's poetry was affected by jazz and film.
    • Both Eliot's The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock and Joyce's Ulysses used "the film theme of Charlie Chaplin."
    • Chaplin adopted forms of movement from ballet to the film medium.
  • Many Hollywood movies are based on bestselling novels.[17]
  • Lilian Ross's Picture is a book about the filming of a movie.[18]
  • Agatha Christie adapted a classical oral story to short story form in The Labors of Hercules, about Hercule Poirot.[19]
  • Magazines applied concepts from movies to "the idea article," they took significant attention from short stories.[20]
  • McLuhan asserts that the wheel combined with "the lineal typographic principle" resulted in putting wheels in a line, creating balance.[21]
  • McLuhan asserts that the wheel combined with "industrial, lineal form" resulted in the airplane.[22]


  1. UM, p. 53
  2. UM, pp. 49, 55
  3. UM, p. 49
  4. UM, p. 49
  5. UM, p. 51
  6. UM, p. 52
  7. UM, p. 52
  8. UM, p. 53
  9. UM, p. 52
  10. UM, p. 52
  11. UM, p. 53
  12. UM, p. 53
  13. UM, p. 53
  14. UM, p. 52
  15. UM, p. 53
  16. UM, pp. 53-54
  17. UM, p. 54
  18. UM, pp. 54-55
  19. UM, p. 55
  20. UM, p. 55
  21. UM, p. 55
  22. UM, p. 55