Marshall McLuhan is still relevant in our Global Village

by J-Mirabelli

Originally published in 1968, this sequel to The Medium is the Massage was so prophetic that it has taken three decades to see how much the book guides our understanding of electric media.

Terms like “The medium is the message” and “global village”, are phrases that are commonplace in our internet world. The origin of these expressions come from a little office at St. Michael’s College on the University of Toronto campus and date back to the 1960s. Marshall McLuhan, professor, philosopher, scholar, coined these phrases almost thirty years before the world wide web was invented.

In his writings and teachings, he was concerned with how we tend to focus on the obvious. By doing that, we miss the changes in our society that are introduced subtly, or over long periods of time. We always have the opportunity to influence the development of any innovation before the effects become too entangled. The Internet, Facebook, Twitter and blogging have changed our society dramatically. The obvious result of these technologies is to stay in touch with family and friends. The huge societal changes they are causing are only beginning to be seen.

Marshall McLuhan was sought after by executives worldwide and awarded honorary degrees to many universities. He was visited (unannounced) by John and Yoko and met with Andy Warhol. Apparently, he didn’t like Mr. Warhol, calling him a “rube”.

When he published Understanding Media in 1964, he was bothered by our shuffling toward the twenty-first century with nineteenth century perceptions. Today, he would probably be just as bothered.

Marshall McLuhan died December 30, 1980. On July 21, 2011 he would have celebrated his 100th birthday.

Read more:

Marshall McLuhan | Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

What is the Meaning of The Medium Is The Message? | Mark Federman at University of Toronto

Who was Marshall McLuhan? |

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