Marshall McLuhan

I enjoyed the clips shown in our group this week: Woody Allen and Marshall McLuhan in Annie Hall and the Mad Men clip spouting  “the medium is the message.” I did not realize Marshall McLuhan and his writings were such a large part of the cultural/social landscape back in the day. 

As I told my group, when I read the first part of  “The Galaxy Reconfigured”  excerpt, I really thought McLuhan must have been on drugs when it wrote this.   More probably, it was over my head. The latter part of the excerpt, however, made more sense to me. He put the history in perspective when he pointed out, “that every generation poised on the edge of massive change should later seem oblivious of the issues and the imminent event would seem to be natural enough.” … “It is felt at those times, that the future will be a larger or greatly improved version of the immediate past.”

The second excerpt, “The Medium Is the Message” was interesting. While we must, of course, pay attention to the content of messages, McLuhan was correct, in a sense, that “the medium is the message”. He said “the ‘message’ of any medium or technology is the change of scale or pace or pattern that it introduces into human affairs”. The adage McLuhan pointed out “if it works, it’s obsolete” rings doubly true today than it did then.

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