In Remembrance …


At what point is man going to recognize that this power of innovation may have to be restrained and that just as economically it may not be desirable to grow indefinitely, so technologically it may not be necessary or desirable to innovate indefinitely? We’re the first culture in the history of the world that ever regarded innovation as a friendly act.

Marshall McLuhan, who died on this day in 1980

Shortly after McLuhan’s death, the University of Toronto planned to close his Centre for Culture and Technology. Among those who lobbied to keep it open was Woody Allen, whose Annie Hall (1977) had helped to make McLuhan a household name. Go here to watch the video clip in which Alvy (Allen) recruits McLuhan to help him silence the blowhard behind him in the movie line-up:
  MAN IN LINE-UP:   …It’s the influence of television. Yeah, now Marshall McLuhan deals with it in terms of it being a … a high, uh, high intensity, you understand?  A hot medium … as opposed to a…

ALVY:   What I wouldn’t give for a large sock of horse manure…

“…. there is absolutely no inevitability as long as there is a willingness to contemplate what is happening” (McLuhan & Fiore, 1967, p. 25).


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