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.
Marshall (April 1946, age 35). Exams create paralysis
Exams have a “paralyzing [effect on the] independence of mind.”Â That wrangler Keynes learned this first hand at Cambridge. Iâ€™m learning it second hand at Toronto. I want to take “a practical critical” approach to literature but my students have been trained like Pavlovâ€™s dogs to salivate at the prospect of recall not independent thought.
Me (September 2009, age 57). You can start creating and stop being paralysed
If you manage peopleÂ – are you teaching your people to make creative contributions to the enterprise, or are you teaching them to pass annual performance reviews, quarterly tests and other exams?Â
If you workÂ for someone else – are you learning how to makeÂ creative contributions?Â Or are you learning how to pass annual performance reviews, quarterly tests , and other exams?Â Â
Cordially, Marshall and Me
P.S. See you here tomorrow
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. 190
Robert Skidelsky, John Maynard Keynes, 1883-1946: Economist, Philosopher, Statesman. London: Macmillan, 2003, pp. 83-84.