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 (February 27, 1962, age 50).Â I thought it up.
Ed Hall says he got the idea that media are extensions of us, our bodies our minds, our spirits, from Bucky Fuller.Â I didnâ€™t get it from anybody.Â It just hit me.Â But now that Iâ€™ve got it I see the idea everywhere.Â Blake put it this way â€“ â€śIf perceptive organs vary, Objects of Perception seem to vary: / If the perceptive organs close, their objects seem to close also.â€ť In other words by extending the senses media vary our perceptions and as our perceptive organs vary and the objects of the world vary.Â O brave new world!
Me (February, Â 2010, age 57). Â What if heâ€™s right?
Marshall McLuhan enjoyed the game of exploring the myriad ways media extend us and in so doing alter the way we see the world.Â Every part of us he thought was a perceptive organ.
What is Twitter an extension of?Â Our voice.Â A yell.
What is the calculator an extension of?Â Our fingers and toes.
What is PowerPoint an extension of?Â Our palms and sleeves where we used to make notes to remind us of things we didnâ€™t want to forget.
What is the digital book an extension of?
What is the digital newspaper an extension of?
What is the digit an extension of?
Is this more than a parlor game?Â Does it really matter?
Cordially, Marshall and Me
Reading for this post
Letters of Marshall McLuhan, 1987, pp. 286-287.