A tribute to and a lament for Marshall McLuhan.Â Five days a week, Tuesday through Saturday,Â I present one of McLuhanâ€™s observations and talk about its relevance today.Â 300 ideas. 300 days.Â 300 posts.
After the stroke, for the remaining 15 months of his life,Â the expert on communicationsÂ who startled the world in the 1960s with â€śthe medium is the messageâ€ť could not read, write or speak except forÂ words like yes, no, oh boy.
Marshall (May 1946, age 35). Literature canâ€™t be taught
“One can only train sensibility [in it. ...] That [anyone can say that it can or] â€¦ should be taught â€¦ is the first fact to be exploded with the maximum amount of noise.â€ť
Me (September 2009, age 57). Management canâ€™t be taught
Management is another subject that canâ€™t be taught. It cannot be accurately talked about or described in words or pictures. It can only be done or not done. Like literature we can train sensibility in it, and coach people to do it better, but the idea that it can and should be taught like multiplication, map reading, and morse codeÂ needs exploding.
What other subjects canâ€™t be taught? How much time and money are we wasting trying to teach the unteachable?
If you find this blog interesting send it to someone you know or talk about it, orÂ talk to me about it.
Cordially, Marshall and Me
P.S.Â See you here on Tuesday, September 29
Reading for this post The Letters of Marshall McLuhan.Â Selected and edited by Matie Molinaro, Corinne McLuhan, and William Toye.Â Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1987, p. 187.