Marshall McLuhan Predicted the Internet in 1962. [Actually, no, he didn’t].
Andrew McLuhan


I confronted Derrick De Kerckhove about that quotation in May, 2014.

He was pissed off at first but we became friends and when I visited him at his home in Nice, France, in mid-August, 2014, he gradually recalled how he got it from a Spanish translation and he hadn’t checked it closely enough.

Derrick was amazed that it’s cited something like 15,000 times on the Web.

Here’s a brief excerpt of the details (the whole thing is on my older computer and I’m not near it now) when I archived some of it for myself:

Begin forwarded message:
From: Bob Dobbs <>
Subject: Famous De Kerckhove Blooper
Date: January 5, 2017 at 3:20:05 AM HST
To: Bob Dobbs <>
In the latest issue of the JOURNAL OF VISUAL CULTURE (Vol.13, #1, April, 2014), Derrick recycles the following supposed quotation from THE GUTENBERG GALAXY, p.158, 1962:
“The next medium, whatever it is — it may be the extension of consciousness (1) — will include television as its content, not as its environment (2), and will transform television into an art form (3). A computer as a research and communication instrument (4) could enhance retrieval (5), obsolesce mass library organization (6), retrieve the individual’s encyclopedic function (7) and flip it into a private line (8) to speedily tailored data (9) of a saleable kind (10).”
Derrick also used it in the May, 2011, edition of the Barcelona Proceedings of the UNDERSTANDING MEDIA, TODAY Conference, and before that in THE COLUMBIA HISTORY OF AMERICAN TELEVISION, 2007.
And none of you supposed McLuhan scholars ever caught it… not even Doug Coupland who copies it in his 2009 book on MM (see p. 4).
The second half is from p.143 of THE GLOBAL VILLAGE by Powers and MM… and Powers was quoting from ETC. Journal, 1978 ( he says, but Zingrone and EM say 1979 in ESSENTIAL McLUHAN, pp.295–6).

As you can see, Andrew, you’re correct when you say: “Equally amazing is the number of people who have so cited it who should know better.”

Derrick has deposited it in the heart of the Android Meme as you can see above.

The first half comes from 1965 before PERSPECTA — I think it’s in the VISION ’65 talk (look in ESSENTIAL McLUHAN).

Michael Edmunds and I tracked that down in that dark month of May, 2014.

I’ll get the original discussion about it for you in about 3 weeks.

Actually, you may have the original because remember when you were on a small list with Eric, Michael, me, and about 8 others back then (including Brian Cantwell-Smith).

Look it up in your email archive — go into June, 2014, too.

I cite the actual 1977/8 ETC. General Semantics journal in my older records.

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