Sunday, February 01, 2004

Influence A: Marshall McLuhan

Since discovering McLuhan in high school, it is rare that a day goes by without me seeing the world differently because of his teachings. Even the ABCEDmindendness name for this blog came from his highlighting this James Joyce pun.

Recent thinking about McLuhan suggests that you must read him like a poet and not as an English professor. This is a good approach towards his middle books. However, I think even today people can pick up and read Understanding Media, his best known and early work, or The Laws of Media, his last work. And I suggest you do.

In the 90s, McLuhan was rediscovered mostly because he was annointed the Patron Saint of Wired magazine, which is an example of how his ideas still apply today. Another is that terrorists use violence because they have no identity. I could go on.

The official McLuhan site is a good place to start on the web. The recent film, not yet on DVD, McLuhan's Wake is also good. I'm working on a "lesson plan" for a Culture, Technology and Laws of Media class that should make it onto the web in the next year. (maybe in a wiki).

So McLuhan is my primary influence.

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