A tribute to and a lament for Marshall McLuhan.  Five days a week, Tuesday through Saturday, I present one of McLuhan’s observations and talk about its relevance today.  300 ideas. 300 days.  300 posts.

30 years ago today Marshall McLuhan was silenced by a stroke

After the stroke, for the remaining 15 months of his life, the expert on communications who startled the world in the 1960s with “the medium is the message” could not read, write or speak except for words like yes, no, oh boy.

Marshall (May 1946, age 35). Literature can’t be taught

“One can only train sensibility [in it. …] That [anyone can say that it can or] … should be taught … is the first fact to be exploded with the maximum amount of noise.”

Me (September 2009, age 57). Management can’t be taught

Management is another subject that can’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 code needs exploding.

What other subjects can’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, or talk to me about it.

Cordially, Marshall and Me

P.S.  See you here on Tuesday, September 29

Reading for this post
The Letters of Marshall McLuhan
.  Selected and edited by Matie Molinaro, Corinne McLuhan, and William Toye.  Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1987, p. 187.

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Michael Hinton Saturday, September 26th, 2009
Permalink 1930s and 40s, Communication, Culture, Education, Management, Vol. 1 1 Comment

1 Comment to 30 years ago today Marshall McLuhan was silenced by a stroke

  • Michael
    Congratulations on launching your blog and on a commitment to 300 posts! I like the concept and I like that you will give your opinions on matters relevant to today.

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