Marshall Mcluhan: The Medium is the Message

Posted By on September 30, 2015

Herbert Marshall McLuhan, CC (July 21, 1911 – December 31, 1980) was a Canadian philosopher of communication theory and a public intellectual. His work is viewed as one of the cornerstones of the study of media theory, as well as having practical applications in the advertising and television industries.

He was educated at the University of Manitoba and Cambridge University and began his teaching career as a Professor of English at several universities in the U.S. and Canada, before moving to the University of Toronto where he would remain for the rest of his life.

McLuhan is known for coining the expressions the medium is the message and the global village, and for predicting the World Wide Web almost thirty years before it was invented. Although he was a fixture in media discourse in the late 1960s, his influence began to wane in the early 1970s. In the years after his death, he continued to be a controversial figure in academic circles. With the arrival of the internet, however, interest in his work and perspective has renewed.

(taken from Wikipedia)

Marshall Mcluhan: The Medium is the Message presents some of his greatest ideas.

The Medium is the Message

This Marshall Mcluhan lecture was recorded on 27 June 1979 in Australia by the ABC Radio National Network.

Mcluhan Predicted the Internet and Connected Education

We waste too much time racing from home to office, says Marshall McLuhan, an English professor at the University of Toronto who’s becoming known internationally for his study on the effects of media. Society’s obsession with files and folders forces office workers to make the daily commute from the suburbs to downtown. McLuhan says the stockbroker is the smart one. He learned some time ago that most business may be conducted from anywhere if done by phone. McLuhan’s prescient knowledge: In the future, people will no longer only gather in classrooms to learn but will also be moved by “electronic circuitry.”

As he wrote in 1962, nearly 30 years before the invention of the World Wide Web:

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 organization, retrieve the individual’s encyclopedic function and flip into a private line to speedily tailored data of a saleable kind.

The World is a Global Village (CBC TV)

The new electronic interdependence recreates the world in the image of a global village.

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Nikolas Badminton is a world-respected futurist speaker that researches, speaks, and writes about the future of work, how technology is affecting the workplace, how workers are adapting, the sharing economy, and how the world is evolving. He appears at conferences in Canada, USA, UK, and Europe. Email him to book him for your radio, TV show, or conference.


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