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 1, 1979, age 67). Communication is not about transportation!
You are undoubtedly familiar with the Shannon-Weaver model of communication.Â I was just telling Pierre Trudeau about it.Â Claude Shannon and Warren Weaver were mathematicians who said that the chief difficulty of a sender in getting a message through to a receiver is â€śnoise.â€ťÂ And their remedy for noise is to increase the electrical charge in the circuit.
This type of thinking is whatâ€™s wrong with most communications.Â They donâ€™t hear you and your solution is to shout? Thatâ€™s a transportation solution.Â Whatâ€™s needed is a transformation solution.
Me (May 2010, age 57).Â Â But how do you affect transformation?
One thing you can do is stop looking at communication as a transportation problem.Â Frame your task from the beginning as transformation.
Transportation is ridiculously easy with current technology, which perhaps accounts for its attractions. Iâ€™m curious to know, what do you think? Why are we spending too much time on transportation and too little on transformation?Â
Cordially, Marshall and Me
Reading for this post
Letters of Marshall McLuhan, 1987, pp. 524-25.