Archive for the ‘Commentary’ Category

Primo Conti, Profughe alla stazione (Refugees at the Station) By Patrick Roesle While McLuhan was the person who coined the term “global village” to characterize of our new wired world, today we often load the phrase with idyllic or utopian connotations that McLuhan did not intend. Quite the contrary. During a 1977 interview on TV […]


Allen Ginsberg was one of several high-profile guests at a controversial conference on LSD held at the University of Toronto in 1967.  (DON DUTTON)   Panelists largely supported LSD use, saying it boosted human creativity to previously-unseen levels. “The use of these drugs, I think, has a very positive effect on writers. They are used by almost all the […]


(November 5, 1894 – November 8, 1952) Dear Innis, Thanks for the lecture re-print. This makes an opportunity for me to mention my interest in the work you are doing in communication study in general. I think there are lines appearing in Empire and Communications, for example, which suggest the possibility of organizing an entire […]


Marshall McLuhan is still the most penetrating Christian humanist to grasp that technology has forced us to rediscover how humans can use it to advance our species and preserve its humanity.  By James Poulos , January 3, 2017 It’s time—again—for a resurgence of interest in Marshall McLuhan. After a posthumous revival in the 1970s and ‘80s, McLuhan […]


MyToba.ca, the Manitoba news and information service, published the following comments and a short video of Marshall McLuhan on the last day of 2016. His predictions relate to space exploration, a personalized information service not unlike a combination of Google plus Wikipedia, the unharmonious global village with its loss of secrecy, racial conflict, media as extensions of […]


Saturday Review Cover – March 18, 1967 By Jefferson Pooley WHEN MARSHALL MCLUHAN published Understanding Media in 1964, the Cambridge-trained literary scholar was not well known, even inside the academy. By 1967, he was on the covers of Newsweek and the Saturday Review, and the subject of an hourlong NBC documentary, all in the same month. […]


KIRKUS REVIEW of the book, published by Holt, Rinehart & Winston of Canada in 1972 (April 2, 1973) – Carpenter, a one-time Marshall McLuhan associate (the two jointly edited Explorations in Communications, 1960), explores the impact of media, both visual and acoustic, on preliterate peoples — Eskimos and New Guinea tribesmen being among those to […]


November 23, 2016 –  By Venkatesh Rao The weaponized form of McLuhan’s famous phrase the medium is the message is the phrase, first we shape our tools, then our tools shape us (due to to McLuhan’s friend John Culkin). I have come to prefer this form of the idea, and my favorite motif for it is Doc Ock, […]


 Picasso & Chagall The Artist as Distant Early Warning System (2005) When multimedia artist Laurie Anderson performed recently in Vancouver, she mused how life is often like bad art. Characters come and go and never return. The plot changes randomly. Entire themes are abandoned halfway through. Unlike art, life’s point of view is always first […]


Marshall McLuhan famously dictated much of his “writings” — his literacy began in orality — an irony that was part of his message about the new media. He would lie on a couch in his office and channel some oracle from the future while his students scribbled down his announcements. For this reason, no one […]