Sunday, May 22, 2011

Predicting the Future with Marshall McLuhan

I just finished reading The Medium is the Massage. An Inventory of Effects by Marshall McLuhan and Quentin Fiore. Published in 1967, it is a prescient work, predicting with amazing accuracy the effects of technology on our lives. Here are a few quotes from the book that particularly struck me:

What does it mean that we have been saying these things for 43 years?

"Our 'Age of Anxiety' is in great part the result of trying to do today's job with yesterday's tools - with yesterday's concepts"

"Character no longer is shaped by only two earnest, fumbling experts. Now all the world's a sage."

"Ours is a brand-new world of allatonceness. 'Time' has ceased, 'space' has vanished. We now live in a global village... a simultaneous happening."

"The circuited city of the future will not be the huge hunk of concentrated real estate created by the railway. It will take on a totally new meaning under conditions of very rapid movement. It will be an information megalopolis."

"In the name of 'progress,' our official culture is striving to force the new media to do the work of the old."

"Education must shift from instruction, from imposing of stencils, to discovery - to probing and exploration and to the recognition of the language of forms."


Chris said...

I've heard fabulous things about this book. I guess that it's time for me to read it! Thanks for sharing.

steve said...

I read this book many years ago but i think i read it again to answer your question

Beth said...

I love that first quote--that really encapsulates what we are charged with doing in public schools. Thanks for the book suggestion.

Barbara E. A. Cone said...

Yes,it is 43 years later and we are using even more technology. I think it is even more important for schools (districts) the employ technology in the classroom. This is not just for the education elite as technology is used in the easiest of jobs.
We must change our mental attitude towards learning "from instruction to discovery." Laptops, notebook ipads will be the way of learning for our students in the 21st century. Barbara619

Professor Greenbaum said...

Read Teaching As a Subversive Activity by Neil Postman.

doyledav said...

It is amazing that he had that much insight so long ago. I plan to read the book soon. I am taking an ed tech class right now and have a new found excitement for technology. Now, I am going to embrace technology, not run from it.