Two tetrads and seven pages of notes on the effects of COVID-19, March 11 2020.

This means war.

COVID-19 is, in effect, World War III (or later) in terms of the level of innovation we’re seeing. Almost every aspect of society is faced with significant challenges, forced to adjust, to adapt.

We are in a period of change equal to the introduction of smartphones and high speed mobile internet, and the lasting effects will be as great. There will be no return to normal, only new norms. It will surely be a matter of pre- and post-COVID-19.

Wartime is always a period of maximal innovation and growth. In response to extreme threat, governments remove many…

I like to focus on what’s practical today from McLuhan work, but that said, history is important and it can be instructive and useful to know where things come from. It can also be interesting, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Some years ago, when I undertook the inventory and evaluation of Marshall McLuhan’s ‘working library’ of some six thousand items, I made a discovery which, at the time, made me a bit giddy with excitement. I found a note, written by Marshall, showing where and when and why he first said ‘the medium is the message.’

Chapter 1 from ‘Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man’ (1964 MIT Press) ‘The Medium is the Message’ reprinted in ‘From Source to Statement’ by James M. McCrimmon (1968, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company) where ‘The Medium is the Message’ (chapter 1 of “Understanding Media) is reprinted. This copy is now at the Fisher Rare Book Library at the University of Toronto.

The penciled note…

Photo of Andrew McLuhan by Andrey Miroshnichenko
Photo of Andrew McLuhan by Andrey Miroshnichenko
Photo by Andrey Miroshnichenko

From Snake Oil to Silicon

An address to the University of Windsor Law Faulty, October 25th 2019.

To begin, I must state up front that I am (gratefully) in the position of an amateur here, so I won’t represent myself as an expert, certainly not in any areas of law. This hopefully gives me some freedom to explore a topic without having to stay within many boundaries as I do so. …

I’ve written on this before — how people get ‘the medium is the message’ so wrong because they rely on Wikipedia or other far-removed sources rather than going directly to Marshall McLuhan to find out what it means. In a previous post on the subject, [“The Meaning of ‘Medium’ is the Message”] my goal was to be as brief as possible. Here I am going to dive a little deeper into the topic.

I do understand why people rely on Wikipedia and secondary or tertiary (or…) sources: reading McLuhan is challenging. He makes you work. It’s easier to just take…

Paperback editions of ‘Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man.’ (photo: Andrew McLuhan)

Some excerpts from and comments on Marshall McLuhan’s introduction to the second edition of ‘Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man’ (1966) with some information about The McLuhan Institute (TMI). Reposted (revised) from TMI FB

Something you may not know about, and I only discovered very recently, is that for the second (paperback) edition of ‘Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man’ (1966), Marshall McLuhan wrote a short new introduction.

[It was not reprinted in most subsequent editions, but is in the latest Gingko Press edition]

This second introduction is short, only five printed pages, but it is packed with goodies directed…

[Eric McLuhan’s last speech, ‘Media Ecology in the 21st Century,’ was delivered at El Nogal in Bogotá, Colombia, on May 17th 2018. He died, suddenly, the following afternoon. The following remarks were written to introduce that speech when it’s published along with the speeches which Lance Strate and Sergio Roncallo-Dow gave that evening.]

ME21 — Introduction

Asked to travel to Bogotá, Colombia, to give an opening address at the Universidad de la Sabana’s launch of their doctorate program in communication, Eric McLuhan used the opportunity to make some comments regarding what he felt needed immediate (and overdue) attention in the…

For some years, a quote has been circulating, which shows Marshall McLuhan “predicting the internet.”

That would be really something — were it true.

The Quote:

“The next medium, whatever it is — it may be the extension of consciousness — will include television as its content, not as its environment, and will transform television into an art form. A computer as a research and communication instrument could enhance retrieval, obsolesce mass library organisation, retrieve the individual’s encyclopedic function and flip it into a private line to speedily tailored data of a saleable kind.”

This quote is generally cited as coming from…

The Relation of Rachel Carson to Marshall McLuhan

There is no difference between environmental science and media study.

Environmental science is an interdisciplinary academic field that integrates physical, biological and information sciences (including ecology, biology, physics, chemistry, zoology, mineralogy, oceanology, limnology, soil science, geology, atmospheric science, and geodesy) to the study of the environment, and the solution of environmental problems.” -Wikipedia

Environmental Science is the scientific study of the environment and the effects of humans on environmental systems.” -York University

Environmental science developed in part to classify and organize, make sense of our natural environment. Later, in the afterglow of the industrial revolution, the second half of the…

I was so filled with love today, and feeling it so strongly, that after posting a few pictures of my boy Ezra in the morning (he’s been sick and is finally feeling much better and was goofing around), and words on how much love I feel these days, I went to far as to suggest on my Facebook page that I’d even hug Natzis.

“Hug a Nazi,” I typed.

“Um, you may have gone a bit far there.” “Pass.” “Not.” “Haha. What?” “”Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” doesn’t mean I have to get all huggy…

Much of the the confusion around the statement “the medium is the message” can be avoided if the reader is willing to first consider the use of the word ‘medium’.

When Marshall McLuhan made this statement for the first time…

(in 1958, at a Vancouver conference — he would later write it up as the first chapter of Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man in 1964)

…he meant by ‘medium’ “an environment of services and disservices.” …

Andrew McLuhan

Writer, maker, thinker, dreamer.

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