A tribute to and a lament for Marshall McLuhan.  Five days a week, Tuesday through Saturday, I present one of McLuhan’s observations and talk about its relevance today.  300 ideas. 300 days.  300 posts.

The rear view mirror.

Marshall McLuhan (October 6, 1965, age 54). Is this any way to live?

Unaware of the environment that surrounds them, people do not see the world for what it is.  Instead they insist on seeing it as it was.  The present which contains the future lies before them, but they do not see it.  Instead they see the past.  You might say this is like driving with your eyes firmly fixed on the rear view mirror.  Fortunately, I don’t drive.

Me (March 2010, age 57). Is there any other way?

If this is the human condition, what can we do about it? The possible courses of action would seem to be:  (1) Distrust your senses; (2) Hope there are no bends in the road; (3) Find ways to wake yourself up* and see the present; (4) Hope that McLuhan got this one wrong.

*The standard approaches are: read history, travel, and look for patterns

Cordially, Marshall and Me

Reading for this post

Letters of Marshall McLuhan, 1987, p. 325.

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Michael Hinton Thursday, March 25th, 2010
Permalink 1950s and 60s, Communication, Culture, Vol. 1 No Comments

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