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 (January 12, 1973, age 61). Thousands of reading publics exist
When I was at Cambridge, in the 1930s, the library of the English School maintained displays of a small number of relevant books covering a variety of different fields.Â Looking over the shelves I came away with the distinct idea that this was what you needed to know to know what was happening in history, poetry, or any other field.Â Today however such an impression is an impossibility.Â So much is being published â€“ in America alone 39,000 books are published every year –Â there cannot be a reading public only publics.Â We read what we will and except for very modest area of overlap our reading separates us from one another.
Me (May 2010, age 57).Â Â Thousands have become millions.
Every book club is a reading public.Â Each blog has its reading public, some large, most small.
What are the implications?Â Are programs like â€śCanada Readsâ€ť necessary to maintain a sense of community?