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.

You must remember this!

Marshall McLuhan (March 7, 1977, age 65).  At very high speeds.    

“Well, when things change at very high speeds, a need for continuity develops.  You see, you’re in such complete discontinuity at high speed.  Everything you’re looking at now is gone in a second and our demands are to hang on to older things.  So the antique stores and the love of taking the varnish off old tables, revealing their original state, and that sort of thing is a passion today.”

Me (May, 2011, age 58).  We must forget to think. 

McLuhan suggests that when information is coming at you at very high speeds, as it certainly is today, you must learn to forget it as fast as you can.  “In order to think,” he says, “you have to forget most of what you are experiencing in order to relate it to earlier things that you knew, otherwise you can’t infer anything from what you are seeing.”  In other words, welcome to the …     

 Cordially, Marshall and Me

 

Reading: 

Marshall McLuhan, Letters of Marshall McLuhan, 1987, p. 177.

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Michael Hinton Saturday, May 7th, 2011
Permalink 1970s and 80s, Culture, Technology No Comments

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