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.

For your information, here is a question.

Marshall McLuhan (1960, age 48/49). The question is:

Why should the sending or receiving of a telegram seem more dramatic than the ringing of a telephone?

Me (August, 2010, age 58).  The sending or receiving of what?

Anyone who has sent or received a telegram can attest to the truth of McLuhan’s observation.

Unfortunately, many of the readers of this blog may find the truth of McLuhan’s observation difficult to grasp because they have never sent or received a telegram.   It is also possible that they have never heard a telephone ring dramatically.  Which raises the question: What is today’s dramatic equivalent of the telegram?  I suspect that the answer is: there isn’t one.  Which raises another question for your information:  Is the history of media impossible?

Cordially, Marshall and Me


Philip Marchand, Marshall McLuhan: The Medium and the Messenger, 1989, p. 150.

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Michael Hinton Saturday, August 7th, 2010
Permalink 1950s and 60s, Communication, Education, Technology, Vol. 1 No Comments

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