Marshall McLuhan, fully Herbert Marshall McLuhan

McLuhan, fully Herbert Marshall McLuhan

Canadian Philosopher of Communication Theory, Educator, Author and Media Expert

Author Quotes

Without an understanding of causality there can be no theory of communication. What passes as information theory today is not communication at all, but merely transportation.

World War I a railway war of centralization and encirclement. World War II a radio war of decentralization concluded by the Bomb. World War III a TV guerrilla war with no divisions between civil and military fronts.

World War III is a guerrilla information war with no division between military and civilian participation.

Writing turned a spotlight on the high, dim Sierras of speech; writing was the visualization of acoustic space. It lit up the dark.

You can be a French Canadian or an English Canadian, but not a Canadian. We know how to live without an identity, and this is one of our marvelous resources.

Youth instinctively understand the present environment ? the electric drama. It lives mythically and in depth.

With [Francis] Bacon, Vico continuously asserts the claims of grammar as true science precisely because it has not yielded to specialism and method.

With Gutenberg Europe enters the technological phase of progress, when change itself becomes the archetypal norm of social life.

With the arrival of electric technology, man has extended, or set outside himself, a live model of the central nervous system itself. To the degree that this is so, it is a development that suggests a desperate suicidal autoamputation, as if the central nervous system could no longer depend on the physical organs to be protective buffers against the slings and arrows of outrageous mechanism.

With TV, came the icon, the inclusive image, the inclusive political posture or stance.

Without an anti-environment, all environments are invisible. Any new technology is an evolutionary and biological mutation opening doors of perception and new spheres of action to mankind.

The spoken word was the first technology by which man was able to let go of his environment in order to grasp it in a new way.

The user of the electric light -- or a hammer, or a language, or a book -- is the content. As such, there is a total metamorphosis of the user by the interface. It is the metamorphosis that I consider the message.

There is no individualism in Eastern or oral cultures.

Typographic man can express but is helpless to read the configurations of print technology.

We are not Argus-eyed, but Argus-eared.

When new technologies impose themselves on societies long habituated to older technologies, anxieties of all kinds result.

The stock market was created by the telegraph and the telephone, and its panics are engineered by carefully orchestrated stories in the press.

The victory over Euclidean space was not achieved by isolated individuals, but by a field of young rebels opposed to all absolutes.

There is nothing willful or arbitrary about the Innis mode of expression. Were it to be translated into perspective prose, it would not only require huge space, but the insight into the modes of interplay among forms of organization would also be lost. Innis sacrificed point of view and prestige to his sense of the urgent need for insight. A point of view can be a dangerous luxury when substituted for insight and understanding. As Innis got more insight he abandoned any mere point of view in his presentation of knowledge. When he interrelates the development of the steam press with 'the consolidation of the vernaculars' and the rise of nationalism and revolution he is not reporting anybody's point of view, least of all his own. He is setting up a mosaic configuration or galaxy for insight ? Innis makes no effort to "spell out" the interrelations between the components in his galaxy. He offers no consumer packages in his later work, but only do-it-yourself kits...

Typography as the first mechanization of a handicraft is itself the perfect instance not of a new knowledge, but of applied knowledge.

We are numb in our new electric world as the native involved in our literate and mechanical culture.

When producers want to know what the public wants, they graph it as curves. When they want to tell the public what to get, they say it in curves.

The student of media soon comes to expect the New Media of any period whatever to be classed as 'pseudo' by those who acquired the patterns of earlier media, whatever they may happen to be.

The visual power of the phonetic alphabet is the translate other languages into itself is part of its power to invade right hemisphere (oral) cultures.

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McLuhan, fully Herbert Marshall McLuhan
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Canadian Philosopher of Communication Theory, Educator, Author and Media Expert