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 (June 30, 1960, age 48). We have opened a door to a new world.
I have the uncomfortable feeling that Iâ€™m the only one who senses that something dramatic and unprecedented has happened.Â As I wrote in my Report on Understanding New Media, which was commissioned by the National Association of Educational Broadcasters, â€śWe are in great danger at the present of sacrificing the whole of our western culture with its unconscious bias based on alphabet and printing.â€ť
Corinne said if I get this wrong Iâ€™ll come off like the boy who cried wolf.Â Perhaps, but Iâ€™m no boy and this is no ordinary wolf.Â When so much is at stake how can I remain silent.
Me (July, 2010, age 57). Â We are still waiting for the future to arrive.
An unnamed reviewer (L.H.) acting for the National Association of Educational broadcasters advised the group that they should exercise â€ścaution in interpreting and generalizing â€¦ [the] results [of McLuhanâ€™s report.â€ťÂ Caution is still being exercised.Â Nicholas Carr may be convinced that â€śGoogle is making us stupid,â€ť but it is doubtful if anyone is losing any sleep over the subversion of our culture by electric media that McLuhan said was taking place some fifty years ago.Â Perhaps, at long last, we should be.
As I have said before the death of western culture appears to be a very long and circuitous process.Â Are you worried? Should we remain silent?
Cordially, Marshall and Me
Reading for this post
Marshall McLuhan.Â Report on Understanding New Media. 30 June 1960, preface p. 8.