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.

Who can predict the future?

Marshall McLuhan (1964, age 52).  The arts!      

“The power of the arts to anticipate future social and technological developments, by a generation or more, has long been recognized.  In this century Ezra Pound called the artist ‘the antennae of the race.’  Art as radar acts as ‘an early alarm system,’ as it were, enabling us to discover social and psychological targets  in lots of time  to prepare to cope with them.”

Me (June, 2011, age 58).  What’s coming is here.

If you want to find out what the future will bring, what the next new thing will be, says McLuhan, you should check out what’s happening in the world of modern art.  What an insane idea!  Or is it?  Stranger things have happened.  Consider this snippet from a 1993 episode of Homicide:  Life on the Street:            

Cordially, Marshall and Me

Reading: 

Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media, 1964, p. x.

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Michael Hinton Tuesday, June 14th, 2011
Permalink 1950s and 60s, Technology 1 Comment

1 Comment to Who can predict the future?

  • natinja says:

    The “There will be like 500 channels … We will all be inter-active” statement needs update. We have become inner-active, pushing content out of ourselves to twitter and wherever and subscribing to dozens of charnel beings.

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