Business Takeaways: Lessons from McLuhan in a Digital Culture

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.”