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.

Back to School.

Me (September, 2010, age 58).  Forever young.

In a letter to Sheila Watson, McLuhan writes that the Bloomsbury groupVirginia and Leonard Woolf, Maynard Keynes, and the rest – was a “child cult.”    They celebrated the virtues of youth and were determined never to grow up.

Sensible people, of course, then and now, have always thought such ideas are selfish, irresponsible and ultimately dangerous.  But today such ideas, arguably, are viewed with even greater hostility.  Parents seem determined to do everything they can to get children to grow up as fast as possible.  Marshall, of course, has other ideas.

Marshall McLuhan (September 20, 1965, age 54).  Forever learning.

It is impossible to learn without embracing a cult of the child.  To learn you must be like a child.  You must look at the world without pretension.  Children are born with a hard wired formula for learning.  That formula, as I wrote Sheila, is to allow oneself “the freedom to play and probe.”

Cordially, Marshall and Me


Letters of Marshall McLuhan, 1987, p. 324.

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Michael Hinton Friday, September 10th, 2010
Permalink 1950s and 60s, Education, Vol. 1 No Comments

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