A tribute to and a lament for Marshall McLuhan continues. If he had lived Marshall would have been 100 on July 21, 2011. Join me in the countdown to his centennial, and an exploration of more of his observations on the way media work in the electric age in which we live.
Marshall McLuhan (1964, age 52).¬† He only gets¬†the noise!
‚ÄúElectricity¬† ‚Ä¶ has made the harmonizing of production schedules as rigorous as that demanded of the members of a large symphony orchestra.¬† And the satisfactions are just as few for the big executives as for the symphonists, since a player in a big orchestra can hear nothing of the music that reaches the audience.¬† He gets only the noise.‚ÄĚ
Me (June, 2011, age 58).¬† Do you have an ear for Management?
Only McLuhan with his preternatural sensitivity to noise could take the idea of a business executive being like a player in a symphony orchestra and turn it into a nightmare.¬†¬† Despite what you thought the problem with being a senior¬†executives isn’t that¬† you’re¬†lonely at the top it’s that you can’t get a moment to yourself.¬† If you think about it that’s what Dr. Henry Mintzberg has been saying years about the Manager’s job, it’s chaos.
Cordially, Marshall and Me
Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media, 1964, p. 355.