PEOPLE

The people past, present and future who help us evolve as a species in and of nature.

Marshall McLuhan

by Clement Borden

Prior to the arrival of the opportunist media physicians of the talk show circuit, several genuinely unique and brilliant academics managed to slip into the consciousness of the American public by sheer virtue of their revolutionary ideas. One such example, tucked away in the neo-gothic cavern of the University of Toronto, was the philosopher/intellectual Marshall Mcluhan, 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. Recognizing him as a dramatically unique thinker, his employers created the Centre for Culture and Technology in 1963 as a foundation for his research. The power of his ideas began to radiate outward.

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. His harsh but honest criticism of the Pandora’s box known as mass media made even those who blatantly survive off the industry stand up and take notice. The public, fully seduced by the ‘massage’ of the blinking box of television, began to regard the medium as something less than magical—and something more than dangerous.

McLuhan was no Hallmark authority in the manner of the neo-academic celebrities we are currently exposed to, he actually did his homework.

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