A Sampler of McLuhan Quotes On “Breakdown As Breakthrough” From Bill Kuhns’ Forthcoming McLuhan Marshalling Machine: A Dictionary of Quotations

28Nov20

In anticipation of Bill Kuhns’ to-be-published huge compendium of McLuhan quotes in his McLuhan Marshalling Machine: A Dictionary of Quotations, where they will be categorized by the artifact or phenomenon they refer to, I have Bill’s permission to publish samples of original McLuhan quotes from his writings, lectures, and interviews, some of which will have never before been seen in a secondary publication context.
For your information, the publisher is not yet known but the manuscript is near completion and publication is expected to be sometime next year.

Marshall McLuhan on “Breakdown as Breakthrough”

**********
“Breakdown As Breakthrough”

Culture Is Our Business (1970), p 27.
**********
“When Jove had a migraine, it turned out to be Minerva.”

– Culture Is Our Business (1970), p 27.
**********
“In the age of the information hunter, feed-back yields to feedforward, the point of view becomes the probe. Problems become discoveries.”
– 
Culture Is Our Business (1970), p. 80.
**********
“The breakdown or hang-up is always in the connection, whereas the breakthrough or discovery is inside the problem itself, not outside but “in the gap.”
– “The Argument: Causality in the Electric World” (1973) in McLuhan Unbound (2017), p. 29.
**********
“Alexander Graham Bell, while trying to remove defects from the telegraph, invented the telephone.”
– Culture Is Our Business (1970), p. 28.
**********
“By repetition, an archetype can become a cliché again; or an individual man a crowd (with no private, but rather corporate, identity). Breakdown becomes breakthrough.”
– 
Laws of Media (1988), pp.  107-108.
**********
[To a graduating class] “We will now retire from  the scene for one year, leaving  the reshaping of  it to your splendid energies. A year from now we shall inspect the fruit of your endeavors with the most benign curiosity.  It has often been said that every breakdown is a breakthrough.  We have broken down.  The breakthrough is all yours. Good luck.”
– 
“Adopt a College,” This Magazine Is About Schools, Autumn, (1968), p. 55.
**********
“In the same sense, by repetition an archetype can become a cliché  again, or an individual man can become a crowd. The cloned person loses his private identity, but becomes a corporate one. As we have said before, breakdown becomes breakthrough.”
– The Global Village Marshall McLuhan with Bruce Powers (1989), p. 20.
**********
“What Illich fails to see is that when the answers are outside, the time has come to put the questions inside the school rather than the answers.”
– “The End of the Work Ethic” (1972), in Understanding Me (2003), p. 203.
**********
“Computer programmers have also learned that “information overload leads to pattern recognition” as breakdown becomes breakthrough: from “bits” to “bytes” to “whole” again.”
– “The Argument: Causality in  the Electric World” (1973), in McLuhan Unbound (2017), p. 6.
**********



%d bloggers like this: