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.

Do you want to be immortal?

Me (October, 2010, age 58).  More on the power of print.

Yet another of the powers of print according to Marshall McLuhan is that it granted us the power of immortality.  Granted, you cannot live forever.  But you can put you into a book and that version of you could live forever.  Or can it?  How long will any of the things made by man survive?  Many today behave as if social media and possibly other technologies will give us immortality too.  Are they wrong so to do?

Marshall McLuhan (1964, age 52).  Of course …

“Psychically, the visual extension and amplification of the individual by print had many effects.  Perhaps as striking as any other is the one mentioned by Mr. E.H. Forster, who when discussing some Renaissance types, suggested that ‘The printing press, then only a century old, had been mistaken for an engine of immortality, and men had hastened to commit to it deeds and passions for the benefit of future ages.’  People began to act as though immortality were inherent in the magic repeatability and extensions of print.”

Cordially, Marshall and Me

Reading

Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media, 1964, p. 175.

Tags: , , , ,

Michael Hinton Saturday, October 23rd, 2010
Permalink 1950s and 60s, Business, Culture, Technology, Vol. 1 No Comments

Leave a Reply