At the vanguard during the 1960’s, Marshall McLuhan is one of those public intellectuals so far ahead of his time that today his work feels like helpful tips for living. I attended a panel on the Digital Aesthetic at SXSW, led by the always- thoughtful Tim Sheridan over at Razorfish. There, McLuhan’s work was quoted often. It inspired me to dive back in to his work.
Here’s a sampling of McLuhan’s favorite aphorisms suggest his rich, playful mind:
• The medium is the message.
• The greatest propaganda in the world is our mother tongue.
• Schizophrenia may be a necessary consequence of literacy.
• Violence is a lust for compensatory feedback.
• War is compulsory education. Education is war.
• Discovery comes from dialogue that begins with the sharing of ignorance.
• Information overload equals pattern recognition.
• Artists are the antennae of the race.
• Electronics turns the earth into a global village.
• We don’t know who discovered water but we’re pretty sure it wasn’t the fish.
• And my all time favorite: “If you don’t like these ideas, I’ve got others.”