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.

What is truth?

Marshall McLuhan (March 25, 1974, age 61). Hercule Poirot knows!

The truth is not beauty nor shall it set you free.  It is explosive and discomforting.  In my study of media I have noticed it time and again, the minute you talk to people about media effects they start to lose their cool.  Nobody wants to hear that the medium is the message.  It only upsets them.  It is when people get upset I know I’m on to something.

“What is truth?”  asks Agatha Christie’s consulting detective Hercule Poirot.  “Eet ees whatever upsets zee applecart.”

Me (May 2010, age 57).   Look out!

One apple cart I keep upsetting has to do with PowerPoint.  In my work as a presentations coach I encourage corporate presenters to think about the effects PowerPoint will have on their audiences.  This is something it appears it takes courage to do.  PowerPoint is now so deeply ingrained in business as both a project management tool as well as a presentation device that as one corporate manager said, “I couldn’t think without PowerPoint.”

What apple carts are you upsetting?

Cordially, Marshall and Me

Reading for this post

Letters of Marshall McLuhan, 1987, pp. 491.

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Michael Hinton Saturday, May 8th, 2010
Permalink 1970s and 80s, Communication, Culture, Vol. 1 No Comments

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