A blank tetrad diagram from Wikipedia

A blank tetrad diagram from Wikipedia

The Tetrad method was developed by Marshall McLuhan. It’s an idea of using tetrads to apply a consistent mode of analysis to different media. The idea behind them is simple: to make sure that you ask the same questions in the same way about different media. Media can be anything like cellphone, car, love, hate, philosophical questions, and concepts.

The tetrad consists of four questions.

  1. What does the medium enhance?
    Netflix enhances entertainment.
  2. What does the medium make obsolete?
    Netflix makes movie theaters and local TV programs obsolete.
  3. What does the medium retrieve that had been made obsolescent earlier?
    Netflix retrieves old TV shows and movies that may have been forgotten.
  4. What does the medium reverse or flip into when pushed to extremes?
    Netflix flips into addictions, loss of connections to reality or human contact.

These questions may give you different perspectives or ideas when you craft a story.
If you’re writing jokes, the last question is the best one. It won’t write jokes for you, but it’ll help you find one.

Now, enlighten me. What’s your media? What are your answers?

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