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 McLuhan (December 25, 1960 age 49).Â Its time!
Iâ€™ve been too busy writing to write you a letter.Â It seems that Sunday is the only day I can look up from what Iâ€™m doing.Â For years Iâ€™ve been reading other peopleâ€™s stuff.Â Reading it and re-reading it.Â Now itâ€™s time for me to see what Iâ€™ve got to say. Â Actually, Iâ€™ve found I have a lot to say.Â Iâ€™ve just finished the big book, The Gutenberg Galaxy, my book about yesterday, the world that has ended – 400 typescript pages in less than 30 days.Â Must go, Iâ€™ve got proof reading to do if Iâ€™m going to meet my deadline and get this off to the publisher the day after tomorrow.Â And then I begin the next one, my book about today, the world about us which no one can see, Understanding Media.
Me (January 2010, age 57). Â McLuhan uses deadlines to speed up.
From whatâ€™s said about Marshall McLuhan in magazines, on the web, deadlines are not something you would expect the philosopher of pop cult to be using to get work done.Â Â And of course he does use them.Â McLuhan was a very practical if eccentric genius.Â For example, he once took a speed reading course to get a fresh take on what it means to read in the electronic age.Â He said that the main benefit of the course was that he was able to read and dispose of junk mail faster.Â There are at least two ideas here worth following up.Â And I will do so in the questions.
If speed readingâ€™s benefit is to allow you to wade through junk writing faster is there a way to tell whatâ€™s junk without having to read it?Â I profile.Â What strategies do you use? And, in what way do you use deadlines in your own work? School is all about deadlines.Â But those deadlines donâ€™t work for everyone.Â Do they, or did they, work for you?Â Here’s what Julien Smith said about deadlines in a recent blog post.
Cordially, Marshall and Me
Reading for this post
Letters of Marshall McLuhan, p. 276.