McLuhans Wake by Kevin McMahon (2002). The 4 Laws of Media & Marshal McLuhan www primitive net

McLuhans Wake by Kevin McMahon (2002). The 4 Laws of Media & Marshal McLuhan www primitive net

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00:32
founder the huge vortices of energy created by our technologies present us with unflappable consequences put a decent man in an aeroplane a few hundred feet above a village that he will kill without compunction in click appalling pain and injury on men women and children that bomber pilot is really very much like the person introducing any new technology none of these people ever considered what will be the impact or the effect of what they do on the
01:17
pole entry we cannot trust our instincts or our natural physical responses to new things they will destroy us how are we to get out of the Maelstrom created by your own ingenuity Edgar Allen Poe has a story called the descent into mellstock ho imagines the situation in which of the sail when I was young I fished with my brother out beyond the vortex of
01:52
maelstrom we had great luck on those cross currents until the day the sky let loose tough furious Tempest the evening sea swallowed my brother and I was swept into the chaos of the Maelstrom I could only await my eventual plunge into the abyss with all hope lost I found myself idly studying the action of the vortex some objects did not fall but were
02:52
whirled up to the level of the sea there it lay my selfish I tied myself to an old steamer trunk and I abandoned my doomed ship thus they die free myself Olivia the huge vortices of energy created by our media present us with similar possibilities of evasion of consequences of destruction by studying the pattern of the effects this huge vortex of
04:01
energy that in which we are involved it may be possible to program a strategy of evasion and survival Marshall McLean did learn how to survive the vortex and he wound up just like booze sealer my rescuers were old mates climb and yet
04:34
they would not believe that my experience had been real McLuhan called is discovery the laws of media he said therefore simple questions that reveal the future of all technology but nobody took him seriously some said such prediction impossible but most just assuming that the future would be bright this music
07:24
you things my I believe that he always felt that there was some under Murray order incoherence in the universe no field intimidated him everything he read he's sort of woven into a picture when I was young I am my brother fish dip there beyond the Maelstrom the water sources he must boundary buccaneer of the world
08:18
sailing out looking for islands where the spray was thrown up by an encounter of a hard word with a soft word that's why I think of him as a poet that is a creative metaphor and takes all those chances as a poet times this joy was to relate things that other people thought were unrelated when I have had a bit
08:50
more philosophy in psychology I'm going to work out some of the great laws that govern the affairs of men temporal and spiritual I believe it will be the biggest step ever taken in philosophy if a hundred or so of these laws could be work daily and studied the last media our observations on the operation and effects of human artifacts on mana society they are at least a hope that we can reduce this confusion to
09:30
some sort of order the first question to ask of any technology any tool is what will this thing enhance you begin with so little to help you survive just your wits and your senses your eyes collecting detail your ears
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sweeping a sphere your nose driving you in we're not in position every tool extends your body senses or mind extend say your finger you or your skin
11:50
the things you make a mimic you they're like you but a you it's enhanced containers extend your arms the chair extends your bone and spine tools change the way you touch and are touched it's all translation it's a loop all of man's artifacts of language applause ideas hypotheses tools clothing computers all of these are extensions of
13:31
our physical but they all extend they all translate in their own particular way the letter B
14:16
as in fan a is for yellow B is for the alphabet C's mother of Western invention extends the the phonetic alphabet it has a very peculiar set of characteristics it is made up of phonemes that is bits
14:47
that are meaningless the 26 letters of our alphabet have no meaning at all c is for Caterpillar Claire after your eye follows from letter to letter word to word line to line the printing press extends the alphabet
15:55
letter by letter word by word page by page book by book title until your I can fly through space and time across the known universe line by line it's translation it's a loop you shape your tools in your own image and in their turn they shape you Shh quiet in
17:04
the library it's not a hockey rink one of the strange implications of the phonetic alphabet is private identity before literacy there had only been the tribal group expressionism product of Tunisia Fulton in various literacy marched steadily in the direction of fragmenting and separating and classifying data turning men into specialists who pursued individual subjects and individual themes and goals
18:11
quite without relation to one another people who are subjected to the arrangement of language visually in lines highly sequential and precise rigid develop habits of arranging their lives ranging their whole social existence which are very closely geared to these form they're not specially aware of this the visual world has the properties of being a sort of continuous and connected homogeneous rational logical private individualistic
19:47
civilized world the things you make they mimic you though frankly it's sometimes hard to see the resemblance and this is the old myth of narcissus all our Jaguars come with tradition behind them and the word narcissus means narcosis numbness a drugged and narcissus was drugged into thinking that that image outside himself was somebody else narcissus did not fall
20:41
in love with his own image he thought it was somebody else it's simply simply amazing what's gone on into this and the same with us in our technological and gadgetry and gimmickry and so on we don't think that is merely a part of our own physical organisms extended out there we're like narcissus completely not when you when you take one out for a drive which will do momentarily you will then see why Jaguar will be your next purchase now when we put out a new part of
21:17
ourselves extend a new part of ourselves by technology into the older environment we protect ourselves by numbing that area the more I looked at this the LIBOR difficulty I hadn't explaining why people ignored it he was somebody who realized early on that something that made life bearable was our ability to observe and to enjoy this incredibly rich world that we live in his mother reading to him every day most
22:04
of English literature a mass of hell a love for language a love for ideas I think she had every influence his mother was tan elocutionist she used to go around tours of Canada reciting poems doing dramatic monologues and so on I've often said she was the most intelligent woman I've ever met and most frustrated because there's no outfit his father was not a literary man
22:41
perfectly charming Goliath as dad I think was very much an amateur philosopher I kind of very high-minded view of life where you are always trying to grapple with the higher things you know metaphysics and the Bible and he delivered a talk to the local church on a topic called the higher plane McLean's I was quite a serious young kid he was encouraged to and eagerly memorized long passages from poets I
23:19
think for the young martial literature was the higher plane now he went to Cambridge after he already had a BA and MA from Manitoba he felt that a BA from Cambridge would be far superior to and it may matter Tobin if you can imagine the excitement that Cambridge must have been and that's where he was the very brilliant young man was doing utterly good stuff all of
23:59
my father's work had its genesis really in his PhD ostensibly he was studying Thomas Nash an Elizabethan satirist so the first thing Marshall did was he realized that if he wanted to talk about the rhetoric of Nash he had to go back and find out everything from the beginning we all should do it that way you read one text and that gives you a set of questions where did this come from and what did it mean and you have to keep going back and back and back
24:39
looking at the entire tradition took them back to Greece and Rome and the study of the trivial the ancient intellectual establishment which hadn't been done before and the Trivium was basically logic rhetoric and grammar grammar was the study of language rhetoric was how to present your self your ideas your insights and of course logic was logic
25:15
McLuhan came to believe the history of culture was the history of the ongoing struggle between these three alternate ways of looking at things McLuhan was fascinated by grammar rhetoric grammarians weren't just people interested in things like parts of speech and syntax and punctuation but they looked at the world as a book so he trained himself as a grammarian right there it's almost as if he shared the medieval
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notion of the two books one book was the the written book the Bible the other was the book earth the universe work you could also read that book because the creator of both books had invested them with that coherence and of course when he became Catholic that was solidified the great philosopher Falls and Thomas Aquinas says faith is consistent with reason he found him Aquinas was sort of kindred spirit
26:51
another grammarian a man who took all knowledge all learning as his problems Thomas Aquinas says trust the authority of the census and then there's the kind of a met almost medieval notion of the five senses is working together in a kind of workshop to recreate reality in the mind of the individual so McCune always believed that if you really
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listened and saw and felt you could perceive correctly a Catholic has some assurance that all parts the world will bear inspection that they're all good he was an intensely religious person it was his very being he was not intellectual I recognized it at once during our courtship the portrait
28:41
Marshall always read was to me difficult and devious maybe pound maybe Eliot and the poetry i read was romantic for a tree and we climbed mountains together spouting poetry off to each other didn't have a chance i mean romance Wow and we got married in 1999 he was sure there wasn't a beauty
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war well I learned later he hadn't looked at the newspapers or listened to any of the broadcast I often said that the Marshalls priorities first his faith his second priority was his intellectual life and that I often said that I ran a third place in the race he did much of his work lying down on the couch with the
29:56
doors closed children couldn't come in Eric as a little boy in grammar school I remember he's going in it what's it saying dad why don't you get a job he worked all the time but she couldn't help it was he day and night getting abstracted even in company the old brain was too active I think my first teaching job was at the
30:29
University of Wisconsin in Madison when I got up to face freshman classes there I realized I was in a strange country and that I had to learn a good deal about it from the very ground up I think in a certain point is like he realized that he was a bit of a dweeb when it came to relating to North American young people he's trying to teach literature to students in the
31:15
States when you see young assistant professor and they don't understand what he's talking about and he didn't want to fail in that way he thought that the way to get their attention was to show them the things that they thought they knew advertising and show them they've been knowing that they know didn't pay attention to it if they didn't pay attention to it they
31:53
realize that their brains were being massaged and there were obliviousness environment even at the same time as they were sort of robotic ly conditioned by the environment advertising is a vast military operation openly and brashley intended to conquer the human spirit the advertiser is a manipulator yes he plays around with human beings as his private pigment he smears us students and his joins the
32:34
future will pour over our advertising world with the sort of intensity with which we should long go have direct to it calls it yeah the mechanical bride so that something which should be natural is no longer natural it's being created by the new language of industry so that you're no longer in charge you're being managed by other kinds of really rather debase speech what kind of oil would you
33:05
rather live I'd rather be being inferior at all as long as people are going to leave it alone for a while just let go hope to believe it though I am resolutely opposed all innovation all change but I am determined to understand what's happening because I I don't choose us to sit and let the juggernaut roll over me now this many people seem to think that if you talk about something recent you're in favor of it the exact opposite is true in my case anything I talk about is almost certainly to be something I'm resolutely
33:36
against and it seems to be the best way of proposing it is to understand it and then you know where to turn off the back that I think is the cornerstone of Marshalls fascination with modern arts communication you had to figure out how these things were working remember the beginning of the mechanical bribe and he says that about Poe's sailor Edgar Allan Poe has a story called the descent of the male star the story itself central to Authority what McLuhan saw in the post story is that it was a place where you were
34:17
always moving because that's what the environment does you're always in a process and since you're being massaged you don't even know how you're being massaged you can't step back but by being with it you realize it's structured on its path the second question is what will this tool obsolesce but normal ways are bound to fade in light of your new invention old tools may hang around
35:19
but if you want to get the job done you're going to want the latest thing and then before you know it you can't seem to find a decent buggy whip or blacksmith something ventured something lost your new silver wheels lend power to your feet and numb the rest of your body your fields and farms must retreat from
36:38
the rising tide of the city the new acceleration of travel tends to push the Metropolitan membrane or stretch it right around the planet the Erb orbs so that in effect if not in theory there really is only one city on the planet the planet itself you do away with the ancient rhythms of
37:54
day and night every time you flick on an electric light you be shape the space all around you new figures appear new connections are made a new world arises out of the old whether the kinds of power and energy now available it is possible to create environments anywhere overnight just by playing on electric lighting you these are environments that alter all
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human affairs and all human relationships in any part of the world do you still recall the mystery of the dark can you still follow the light of the moon Electric Media obsolescence the visual the connected illogical irrational excuse this interruption students and teachers this is a reminder from the maintenance staff and locking bicycles against the front railing what the child encounters in the present school is carefully bureaucratized
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our arrangement of seats class schedules and subject matters all separate separate from one another they are subjected to a curriculum and classified information which they are expected to record memorize regurgitate in classified patterns hey he comes in to that classroom from a prolonged
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experience of integral participation in a highly organised global situation attention shoppers attention shoppers don't miss selection specials today tasty drinks from every corner the normal ways fade before the new you shape your tools and they shape you what we have done in our time with electrical technology is to put our nervous system outside ourselves when you extend by technology your own
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internet a central nervous system you put your nervous system outside we put the nervous system outside we put it around ourselves globally we stop our physical being inside the nervous system this means that every private operator can own a hunk of your central nervous system as if it were wheel a box or a piece of land and he can stand on your nose your eyes your nerves you can exploit and move every part of your
42:00
inner being by these external means no Elizabethan had any such resources this is a totally new information environment of which humanity has never had any experience or whatever we now you see have a media that stress all the senses and we have no education to cope with the media talk he was a literary man primarily his interested communication for secondary
43:06
once he got involved with the communications he are fascinated by their like the telecourse spreading out in all directions and he saw the interrelationship of everything he made the understanding Media Group he had representatives from the different disciplines he was interesting about the disciplines now that kind of things become terribly national now it wasn't we not most days in the museum cafeteria
43:46
people would be there and phrase would come out and phone be taken and seized by every nobody took anybody else's ideas we just took every idea and and use them misuse them played with them pretty much the way to surveil us or do an arm McLuhan was the absolute center of a group of people doing that all of it really crystallizes seven or eight issues of explorations that
44:31
MacLean and his friend the anthropologist Ted carpenter put out writing wrote to Linus Pauling in chemistry a feisty little face servantes and jazz music jay-z young and biology and off skiing on history about rocky wrong in quoting every scholarly book on every subject in those articles he finally I think articulates fully that all technologies are languages language itself is the supreme
45:03
technology that is it almost gives you the entree to all the other disciplines and languages and technologies the people in those disciplines thought he was playing fast and loose because he had no credentials in any of those areas any specialist is going to see to it that his specialty is protected against any invasion from any quarter I said they've got a very good thing they've taken a long time to acquire this specialist skill and they don't see why they should yield one inch to of people
45:40
with different methods well McLuhan started to make an impact with the Gutenberg galaxy which was 1962 and then understanding media came along a couple years later and that led to what they suddenly called the McLuhan explosion the forms of entertainment that work best on television are ones which admit of a great deal of casualness in which people can be introduced and dialogue with in the
46:12
presence of the camera at Dellen sort of levels of their lives you've captured them at all sorts of strange and offbeat moments of their existence instead of going out and buying a package both of which there been five thousand copies printed you will go to the telephone describe your interests your needs your problems and they at once Xerox with the help of computers in the libraries the world all the latest material just for you personally not as something to be put out on air on the bookshop they send
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to the package as a direct personal service this is where we're hitting under electronic information condition and then of course then there's a whole other thing that happened in the business world Thompson house from here Roy Thompson operates radio and television stations magazines newspapers and book companies in 20 countries the king of communications is told he should meet the philosopher of communication the controversial Marshall McLuhan the solid medium communication any age alters the way people think feel act and react television is the thus
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returning the viewers to the picture thinking of primitive men of course I think this is all pie in the sky myself doctor McLuhan arrives some of the critics of McLuhan made fun of McLuhan because they accused him of being a bringer of doom and they thought they were impervious to do image to piss is the talk of a literate man the literate man was all for absorbing things the new sort of electric man doesn't want to absorb but they mean that in future people are not gonna be his litter well indeed yes literacy is on the skids oh
47:49
yes how I understand why you got the reputation I can see you if you're a shocker isn't it oh yeah our own Herbert Marshall McLuhan has been labeled poet the philosopher atrocity Life magazine called him the Oracle of the electric age his crate are almost as lively as his admirers they call him a gadfly and spellbind a word merchant but almost everyone agrees no one can make sense out of more than 10% of what the fluid has to say and what kind of message are you trying
48:19
to get across the kinds that are indicated in what I've already said and just anything that creates a source state of awareness which makes life very exciting and right awake matter and they turn Finnegan's Wake the title of Joyce's book is valid fascinates me and it has much to do with the changes going on in our time Finn again back to the old tribal cycle what's happening in the electric age we're becoming involved in each other again in a tribal wife in the
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film cycle turn again but this time we're awake Finnegan's Wake yet man in society must make some decisions about the rights and wrongs of certain issues only in this way can a society function without anarchy McLuhan I thought we had achieved anarchy a very complete long ago I didn't realize that it was something has remained to be done and I think we're going further in every minute it's like the fish in the water we don't know who discovered water but we know it wasn't a fish a pervasive medium a pervasive environment is always
49:21
beyond perception tonight from London the marshal Matt Dillon golden probe show the journals getting the service in the sense that they attempted to present to a very wide audience what McCune was all about the journals puffed MacLean because a journalist if he's right about something has to say this is worth Wow but on the other hand sometimes they didn't understand him and sometimes they arouse the resentment amongst the intellectual class that this
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guy buffoon was a charlatan whose suckering media and journalists and and business and trying to make big bucks out of it stand by for McLuhan test probe a lot of people were very worried about him and his effect cuz it was so much part of the modern world so unprofitable in the way would she you know flipped around with these media people they actually at one point decided to circulate a petition to have him removed
50:24
from the University academics are a very mean group of people very critical it's mostly on jealousy and had a lot to be jealous about it then became kind of a game people would go to the area of expertise and find one or two factual errors or others and think that they've all done then of course there is the matter of the fact that he's writing about a
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subject outside the bounds of proper scholarship he was very excited about looking at this whereas others often saw it as the decline of Western civilization I was doing my best to get Marshall interested in the office he had
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had from universities in the States we went to see Claude Bessel president of U of T and Claude said all right Marshall what would you think about having your own building your own coach house Marshall is in seventh heaven that was the demonstration that he had managed to ride up over all the opposition at the university without
52:09
accommodating to it become recognized by the establishment tonight in Colombian Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City Marshall McLuhan is recovering from protracted surgery yesterday to remove a growth on the cranium not directly touching the brain he lost five years of memory that was a big blow to Marshall he jumped right back into teaching he started a new book
52:48
and finished three I'm sure feeling that he had to justify himself that he was still bright after his operation Marshall began to be particular in the bicameral affects the right and left hemispheres of the brain he was always interested in the sensitive for him the environment was everything and its interaction with the mind so he was involved in what now is
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known as neurophysiology and cognitive study so you know 30 years before anyone really left side of the brain was linear and sequential and the right side of the brain was holistic Marshall saw that there was an eternal truth there in the way in which the mind is in effect split and is really two minds trying to seek balance we're now living in a world which pushes the right hemisphere way up
54:02
because it's an all at once world the right hemispheres and all at once simultaneously so the right hemisphere by pushing up into dominance is making the old left hemisphere world which is our educational establishment our political establishment make it look very foolish the third question is what will this tool retrieve from all the things you've lost removal when I went hunting by myself first time speech retrieves old
55:11
adventures reshaped as stories much more tidy than they ever were been lived decides that he's going to he's gonna have a crap in the bush Saturday so he gets up beside of trees everything and puts his rifle there beside him and he's down there having a crap sort of thing and there's big buck jumps up in front of him so he say he just bought ready to wake was but something he goes like that he sees that buck and he says oh yeah
55:59
over here we have Taurus the Bull the head of the bull is actually a open cluster of stars shaped like a V most of the constellations and Greek names the Greeks use the Stars to navigate they studied their positions and came up with ways to remember where the stars were the things you used to just get by come back to you as art to help you to
56:33
survive the endless stretching of your heart in the Renaissance of the image they saw very vividly in their rearview mirror was a medieval one what the Middle Ages saw in their rearview mirror what they thought was the present was ancient Rome what the industrial 19th century saw in the rearview mirror was the Renaissance and what we see in the rearview mirror is the 19th century you only get the faster you go the more
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you strive to retrieve a time before anytime you've ever known in the 19th century no one thought to rebuild outpost villages simply for their charm and the happy tendency of technological innovation tends to tidy up the old culture whatever it happens to be into it I work about if you really are curious about the future just study the present because
58:49
what we ordinarily see in any present is really what appears in the rearview mirror what we ordinarily think of as present is really the past content is always the previous medium and that's all that we can see modern suburbia
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lives in Bonanza land it is impossible for man to look straight at the present he is so terrified by it we stand on the stern of the ship looking at the wake and saying we're in very troubled waters do a lot of traveling you know I watch this documentary the other night on the safe and so revivals on all hands in everything every phase of life today revivals of clothing of dances of music of shows of everything we live by the revival it tells us who we are or where
59:57
so you can imagine the stress we Electric Media bring back the village from the distant past where you knew everything about everybody and news travels fast now this is what I call the global village you no longer have to be anywhere in order to do everything same information is available at the same moment from every part of the world the world is now like a continually
01:01:13
sounding tribal drone where everybody gets the message all the time princess gets married in England and boom boom boom go the drums we all hear about it an earthquake in North Africa Hollywood star gets drunk where you go the drums again Electric Media retrieved the forest stirring all around you electric information comes from all directions at once and when two information comes from all directions simultaneously you are living in an
01:01:59
acoustic world the acoustic world has no continuity no homogeneity no connections and no status everything is changing because the same shift at Alice in Wonderland made annoying when she went through the looking-glass Electric Media retrieved the old Dark Age of goddesses and monsters our
01:02:59
ancestors lived in a mythic world because they had none of the literate means of classification a myth is a speeded-up following of a process we live mythically ourselves so that we understand their myths now for the first time you should know what the stakes out the stakes are the car our civilization versus tribalism and it's a considerable revolution to have been to 2500 years of phonetic
01:03:38
literacy only to encounter the end of that road pattern-recognition in the midst of a huge overwhelming distracted for us is the way out of the Maelstrom the huge vortices of energy created by our media present us with similar possibilities of evasion of consequences
01:04:11
of destruction Marsha was primarily a teacher a professor if you will and the students loved being in his classes everyone in this room is in costume except me I have on a dress jeans jeans are costume they're tribal costume and they are an expression of a strong corporate grievance against the establishment why do you think you wear
01:04:43
a hip costume in a an affluent business world a bunch of apples suburban kids and your nod makes what your dress like cakes why he was the only person I think I've ever known up to that time who could in one sentence talk about the Hollywood westerns play-doh and then Elvis Presley and he would connect it a clone drove a lot of students nuts
01:05:15
because they were going to be tested on their knowledge of Blake and Wordsworth and I'm not going to be tested on their knowledge of Batman and Pepsi Cola ads and yet this is what McCullen talked about in his class many people describe their key encounter with McLuhan almost as a form of conversion experience it is a mystical kind of experience where one moment you see the world one way the next moment you see it very differently
01:05:51
McLuhan made it very clear that the young were among the best investigators of media environments precisely because as he put it they didn't suffer from a hardening of the categories yet bus fare around here was that I thought Andy was charged with with a certain kind of excitement coming from the glamour of it all the chord really was a glamour person family circle little magazine you pick up at the supermarket I remember his picture saying he's the most coveted
01:06:24
after-dinner guesting enough they most popular show on television at that time which was the laughing Andy Gibson I think is funny little nerdish character we come out and would say mushroom : what do you feel it Nexo like you know for a million people suddenly and the children in the park would be with what are you doing Marshall McLuhan he was going all over
01:06:55
the world and he was world famous his name was even that word you know McLuhan s he enjoyed every moment of his you know celebrity he enjoyed not being bothered by it Marshall was very casual about things like that he was driven by ideas absolute people was not driven by ambition Marshall never used the word celebrity he was in demand but a lot of crackpots are in demand the effect that Marcia
01:07:29
would have wanted to have would be make people think so they could see the connectedness of everything television is a serious medium it's a inner oriented medium you are the vanishing point it goes inside you you go on an inner trip it is the prelude the vestibules of LSD a great deal of what he was doing was quite frankly throwing things out to see what they look like the next day and how people would react to them many of his from a
01:08:04
chairman they were not meant to be we're not analytically structured they were metaphors and he was convinced that the metaphors we're worth wrestling with but he was not almost as they were truth you see all the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put Humpty Dumpty back together again because they were bureaucrats they weren't turned on but with electric circuits Humpty Dumpty goes back together again with a rush most people did not get their
01:08:40
understanding McCune from reading his books the books particularly as a 60s LaRon became less and less coherent and this is partly because McLuhan was not interested in writing books he's the favorite mode of communication was talking talking ideas out he wanted to get his ideas across to many people so
01:09:11
he did appear on television all the time and I think that it cost him but when you see that juice being poured out on spaghetti that is good TV and glug glug glug that is great very good I'm going to read the book again I still don't understand TV itself is a kind of happening technically and it tends to involve people in its own
01:09:42
vortex the media themselves can now create events that are so much bigger than people so much bigger than the audience that it really is a new mythic form the coverage of the Vietnam War is done by more people than who are actually fighting in Vietnam the numbers of people covering Vietnam business around the world and participating in it through news cows the numbers are many many millions and so the war then
01:10:13
becomes a fiction a colossal fiction the user of electronic services is largely deprived of his private identity or aunt his physical body remember the chess recap that came on smiling - its body yes and I thought so but that's us really just like the Cheshire exactly I was wonderful for smile it's people who are a scent not the message I must say you send me I find whenever you're on we talk faster we do I think about it for hours afterward right it's been fun do you know what's going on in some great American homes well let me tell you
01:10:45
CEA's best interior latex paint must be hard to be the almighty totem pole I mean what do you do if you are become the media guru but you're aware of the fact that you're being asked to give sound bytes and God knows what else and how do you get out of it if the media is in fact what you're talking about it's one of the most painful parts of understanding McLuhan is when you read his letters beginning in the early 70s
01:11:18
and he realizes his message has not gotten through nobody's really listening yeah what do you think is the most of use the word effective that's not the right word I'm talking about television here that has the greatest impact on audience from is a TV program it is his television best when it covers an event like a space shot or the Olympics or a baseball game is it best when it tries
01:11:50
to entertain with well with movies at night when it tries to inform with news but I'm sure that McCune was not satisfied that he'd been understood towards the end of his life my own feeling is that he felt that people had not bothered to understand I think he felt keenly that his academic colleagues never really were ready to give him a hearing or to respect him
01:12:27
he became involved in a club called the best club at the University of Toronto and this best club consisted of people were heads of their own centres McLuhan enjoy these get-togethers is obviously a select group of academics but amongst themselves they themselves these people could not come to a conclusion as to whether McLuhan was a really great thinker or whether he was a Charlotte that question was hung over
01:12:59
McClellan to the very end by 1974 series of works have appeared saying in effect that either McLuhan is wrong or McLuhan should not be taken seriously because he has a hidden agenda whether as a Roman Catholic or as a conservative in terms of his values the chief charge against include was simply to say he's a technological determinist when he says is the machines make the rules
01:13:42
McLuhan enduring freeze is nothing is inevitable provided were prepared to pay attention and he never gave up to the end of his life with laws of media McLuhan was attempting to advance a new science Marshall is at Rome maker he likes tools he wants to give you tools these probes have been very simple until
01:14:16
now suddenly he comes up with his grand unified theory I started working with my father in the middle 60s ten years down the line 1974 the publisher of understanding media had asked for revision but we started there and we finished with this project called laws of idiot we were looking for universal laws and we found only four that everything goes
01:14:52
but these four questions ask you to look at what are the ripple effect what other areas are affected irrespective of the content and you begin to realize media or like languages that is they're far more powerful than anything there used to say the idea that media and innovations and so on our human utterances with the properties of language this is new it's also extremely
01:15:24
ancient so the grammarian used language in the metaphor of language is a way of understanding the universe he read the heavens as a text he read the earth as text he tried to discover laws and our laws of media are a new foray in that very ancient way of understanding the laws the media are quite simply this that every medium exaggerate some
01:15:56
function spectacles exaggerate or enlarge or enhance the visual function they obsolesce another function they retrieve a much older function and they flip into the opposite form and I abandoned my doomed ship thus did I free myself from oblivion the last question is this how will your to reverse on you when it's pushed to
01:16:49
its outer limit the speed and freedom of your automobile starts to reverse the minute you leave the commercial again keeping related story came this week put an ice shelf bigger than Prince Edward Island broke off Antarctica crushed into the sea scientists say the global warming caused by gases from auto and factory emissions create effects raging fire tides too much of anything however sweet will always bring the
01:18:19
opposite of whatever you thought you were getting books all those bricks in the castle of knowledge perverse into best sellers at crush all the rest pushed far enough one becomes many many become one so it goes over and over
01:19:36
even the global village is coded in the end turi vers do you know what the satellite does to you as an environment when he goes around the planet it's a proscenium arch it turns the planet into a stage makes you want to be an actor I'll give it up anyone yo yo yo yo great shots of little kids
01:20:16
you shape your tools and they shape you it's a loop you start out a consumer and you wind up consumed tragedy next door it's a terrible it's a horrible I cannot give any me you know what kind of tragedy is best no how could you kill game although kids I don't know how she did that and why she did that
01:20:47
did you know the lady when you're on the phone or on the air you don't have a physical body you're just an image a disembodied image a disembodied intelligence like an angel any electric environment has the major characteristics of TV that is characteristics total involvement when everybody becomes totally involved in everybody how is one to establish identity
01:21:54
quest for identity is a central aspect of the electric age violence is the only means by which people have ever learned how to assert or define identity terrorists hijackers these are people - identity they are determined to make it somehow to get coverage you get noticed
01:22:45
it's simply fantastic the unconsciousness of our Western world with regard to the forces that are we release upon it now the laws of the media they are at least a hope that we can reduce this confusion to some sort of order by the time McLuhan formulated the laws of media he had effectively lost his audience his audience had moved
01:23:15
on since these forms represents really huge extensions of our own bodies and our own nervous systems we need a kind of ecology or equilibrium or balance among all these services it seems rather wicked to me thinking back about Marshalls stroke that a man who lived by
01:23:49
his brains and his intellectual life should be so stricken you no it's pretty cruel to be a marshal state not be able to speak or read all right and he was in that state for 15 months Marshall spent the last part of his life with us on Long Island and Marshall at
01:24:31
that time couldn't speak all he could say was boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy but he understood no question he understood so we were confining ourselves to telling jokes and he was laughing at each one and so forth and then Marshall wanted to speak and his hands clenched like that and then he stood up and he just screamed and then
01:25:01
he got embarrassed and smiled laughed and went on down to walk along the beach it must have been held the university poured salt on his wound by closing down is Center we came down one morning to the Saturday and they somebody had helter skelter put all of his papers and things in a big pile to
01:25:42
take him out to the trash McLuhan just broke down this is his life yeah he started to weep and so that was very sad but it did epitomize that his work was not truly respected he died not too long you know there's so many things that I think you're fun ah if some of these
01:26:40
ideas had been accepted not twisted around not rejected or ignore an interest in Marshall now but there was a whole generation there who scarcely knew his name much less his work I've talked to not just students but young people Marshall McLuhan well it's that and it's
01:27:15
in between generation it's almost impossible to go to a communications conference anyplace in the country and not hear someone say something that they never would have thought of if not for Marshall McLuhan but they don't know that and I sitings think there's a possibility now some of these ideas may come back always interested in truth and
01:27:45
looking at how the world really looked not how we happen to see it you see nothing very courageous I think yeah let's go back to them and find things you know and different people will take different things away from the the auricle we have now at our fingertips at least the beginnings of a science of media ecology but it means that we have
01:28:16
to take charge of these things and decide not to do things as well as just to go ahead and do them however this I think is at least part of the legacy of Marshall McLuhan he left us with the means of control not just the means of understanding and he was very much very far ahead of his time he's very applicable now and it's a
01:28:46
mystery to me how the revival began unless perhaps people were needed some new explanation for old things it's a mystery to me and I'm very pleased because Marshall does have the answers to most of the problems not practical answers but the theoretic answers the huge vortices of energy created our
01:29:21
media present us with possibilities of evasion of destruction by studying the pattern of the effects is huge vortex of energy that in which we're involved it may be possible to program a strategy of evasion and survival he said the laws of media they come in hope but they only work as questions but we gain
01:30:10
but will you lose what will return from an ancient time and what will come of this thing you create if you let it go too far there's no order to the laws of media all these effects are happening all the time the trick is to recognize the pattern before it is complete Kierkegaard is a man of great relevance for this time man of the inner trip the
01:31:18
inner dialogue the inner encounter he has a wonderful quote life can only be understood backwards but it must be lived forwards you

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