Talk:Marshall McLuhan

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Former good article nominee Marshall McLuhan was a good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
January 8, 2007 Good article nominee Not listed
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McLuhan & Internet[edit]

How fast are we arriving to the Global Village by Internet? MX -- AGS -- --Dagofloreswi (talk) 06:14, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

Wired[edit]

The reference to Wired magazine's naming of McLuhan as their "patron saint" 10 years after his death has been in the intro section of this article for years - since at least 2006 - as it epitomizes and provides support for the previous statement that he continues to be influential. His legacy and continuing influence, now 30 years after his death, is a significant part of his story, calling attention to it in the intro is completely appropriate - and the Wired appellation is a vivid example. So, I am reinstating it. Please discuss here if you disagree, rather than removing long-standing, sourced text. Tvoz/talk 02:04, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

First, the length of time in which you'd find this fact in the lead paragraph has no meaning in itself (I can be embarrassed for the article just as easily as you can feel proven right by the tidbit's time spent in such an important place). Second, yes, McLuhan remains influential, as do many philosophers of the past century. Not so surprising. Wired Magazine's choice of patron saint does corroborate his "continuing" influence, so to speak, but the guy hasn't been dead for too long. McLuhan's influence really isn't the matter here. The important question is this: Does the magazine deserve airtime in the lead of McLuhan's personal article? I can't imagine why, if the sourced fact is already being addressed below, and Wired itself meant nothing to McLuhan and continues to mean next to nothing in regards to his philosophies. It is then a secondary fact, which one might imagine stumbling upon lower down the page. I imagine any continuing discussion on this matter could have its roots in personal affiliation with the magazine, at worst (sentimentality, at best). The Alzabo (talk) 06:41, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
Well, your imagining is quite wrong. I have no affiliation with the magazine, nor am I sentimental about it - and the salient point is not at all about whether the magazine "deserves" airtime in the lead (an odd concept actually and in fact the lead of this article is too short and needs expansion, not contraction). Instead the point is about a concise and accessible illustration of the influence McLuhan has regained, thirty years after his death. Contrary to your assertion, McLuhan's thought had retreated into semi-obscurity among the public and in mainstream academic circles after his heyday in the 1960s, and it is only in the Internet age that people have revisited his ideas and found new meaning in them in that context. Wired magazine played an important role in that resurrection, and the renaissance of interest in his work is reminiscent of the career arc of Herman Melville and is an important part of his biography. The fact that this has been in the lead for years is not irrelevant - this article has been edited by many people, with many different perspectives, and this has remained in the lead I believe because it succinctly illustrates a point that is of great relevance to his career, if posthumously so, and that is the legacy he leaves, which is only now beginning to be more widely understood. If you know of a better example, I'd sincerely be interested in hearing it, but in the meantime, I am reinstating text about this matter in the lead. One procedural point: my edit summary asked that this be discussed, not reverted, as is standard and courteous practice here - the fact that you don't like it doesn't really justify your attempt to close it down by erroneously "imagining" why there might be continuing discussion. Perhaps other regular editors here might have an opinion - that is why we have a talk page. I'm asking that you try to seek consensus on this rather than unilaterally removing yes, long-standing text from the article, and in the absence of consensus to remove, it should remain in - improved by all means, but not unilaterally removed. Tvoz/talk 09:28, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
I'd appreciate it if you'd take a generous step back from the situation and allow for the possibility of some absurdity here. The article introduces McLuhan. We're then told he foresaw the internet. Then we're told Wired is full of big fans, who saved him from falling into the void (what with those ten years between his death and the popularization of the internet). I believe your view of history is highly focused on those ten years. I mean to say, you've read a story, a story of your own invention, out of the time following McLuhan's death. Please come to terms with this. Melville, your chosen parallel narrative, barely made/did not make a living. One novel manuscript of his was outright lost by his "publishers", and no one cared but him. McLuhan, on the other hand, was never treated in such a way during his lifetime, and it seems merely unfortunate that he did not witness the daybreak of his electronic age. Wired wasn't some shining heroic movement in the wake of unfair and universal forgetfulness; McLuhan's relevance, like a shaky corporation, raised in philosophical stock again, and so Wired and friends bought him up. Meanwhile, no one who knew of him had somehow magically lost their memories of him. Anyway, Wired do not continue to operate by McLuhan's ideas. It's questionable if they ever did, and it's also highly questionable if they were causal at all in these matters. The lead, I agree, deserves so much growth, but that does not mean this chain of thought belongs there. The Alzabo (talk) 01:57, 14 March 2011 (UTC)
You seem to have a particular problem, animus even, regarding Wired, so although I disagree with your conclusion, I've removed it from the text of the intro. The Wired masthead listing is an easily grasped example of a change in the way he was perceived, which is one reason why it has been here for years. But there are other explanations which you also removed - well sourced, valid material which I've reinstated and added another citation. The fact is that he/his work had been relegated to the "dustbin of history" - not my words, but the words of Alexander Stille, a respected New York Times writer cited - and it is only in recent years that his observations have been brought back into light. Sadly, this is not at all of my invention - if you knew anything about the reception McLuhan's work has received in academic circles - in his lifetime and afterward - you would understand the point being made. Yes, he had supporters in the popular culture and the occasional professor, but he was never taken seriously by academia, and was often treated in a flip manner by reviewers and critics, probably because they didn;t understand what he was saying. Read the sources (see, for example what Camille Paglia says in the Times piece), peruse mainstream communications textbooks. His reception is something that we should bring to our readers' attention, as it is a significant point in understanding McLuhan. This year, the centennial of his birth, finally sees several academic conferences organized in Europe around his work, something that had rarely if ever happened during his lifetime and in the subsequent years. (I'll see if I can find a citeable source for that.) I don't think the Wired mention was crucial, so am willing to leave it out of the intro, and perhaps you will now leave alone a valid point of information that rounds out the biography. And once again, discussing this is completely appropriate, and I am trying to accommodate your point of view while not trampling on the concept that has long been in the article - your repeated, unilateral removal of it all is counterproductive and not consistent with the collaborative effort that we're supposed to be doing here. So rather than wholesale removal, how about working with it to improve it? Tvoz/talk 07:59, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
fwiw I like the current version (In the Internet age, however, there was renewed interest in his work and perspective.) to the prior one that mentioned the patron saint of Wired - less cumbersome, more succinct. The Wired reference in the body should be fine.--Fizbin (talk) 23:14, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

predictions?[edit]

He didn't predict the internet or much of anything else for that matter. What he did was crib well-established concepts from science fiction and present them to academia as his own. This article is in serious need of a criticism section. 99.38.35.216 (talk) 23:58, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

does the global village accomodate the African village? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 41.78.77.109 (talk) 11:15, 21 October 2011 (UTC)

Source for "The next medium, whatever it is..."[edit]

I don't spend enough time on Wikipedia to figure out the officially-sanctioned citation format. There's a "citation needed" tag for a quote; I'll put the information I have here in hopes that the page is on someone's watchlist.

I found the source in Essential McLuhan, edited by Eric McLuhan and Frank Zingrone. Specifically, on page 219, they reprint Address at Vision 65. A footnote on page 391 says that this is reprinted from The American Scholar (1966).

This is the full paragraph (on page 221) in which the quotation appears:

I want to use this theme a little bit for our purposes here this afternoon. If the new environment is invisible, it does serve to make very visible the receding environment. The obvious and simple illustration of that is the late show. On the late show on television we see old movies. They are very visible; they are very noticeable. Since television, the movie form has been reprocessed. The form of movie that once was environmental and invisible has been reprocessed into an art form, and, indeed, a highly valued art form. Indirectly, the new art films of our time have received an enormous amount of encouragement and impact from the television form. The television form has remained quite invisible--and will only become visible at the moment that television itself becomes the content of a new medium. The next medium, whatever it is--it maybe the extension of consciousness--will include television as its content, not as its environment, and will transform television into an art form; but this proess whereby every new technology creates an environment that translates the old or preceding technology into an art form or into something exceedingly noticeable, affords so many fascinating examples I can only mention a few.

--- OtherDave (talk) 18:48, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

Re: Teilhard de Chardin[edit]

Tom Wolfe suggests that a hidden influence on McLuhan's work is the Catholic philosopher Teilhard de Chardin whose ideas anticipated those of McLuhan, especially the evolution of the human mind into the "noosphere". Wolfe theorizes that McLuhan may have thought that association of his ideas with those of a Catholic theologian, albeit one suppressed by Rome, might have denied him the intellectual audience he wanted to reach and so omitted all reference of de Chardin from his published work, while privately acknowledging his influence.

To the editor who added this, you deserve a pat on the back. I've been saying this since 1990, but I never had any evidence. Is Wolfe the only person who has come forward with this or did I pick up on it from somewhere else? Viriditas (talk) 06:10, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

Second face in the picture[edit]

File:Marshall McLuhan holding a mirror.jpg
there's a distorted face at the lower right of the image, below the window. The photographer? A painting?

In the photograph in the infobox, there's a second face - blurry and a bit distorted, in the lower right, below the window. Who/what is this? The photographer (holding the camera low?) A painting/photograph in the room? Someone else? Any ideas? -- Duesentrieb-formerly-Gearloose (?!) 11:03, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

Looks like it might be a face on a television? Hard to tell. This sounds like a good kind of question for the Reference Desk though. Have you tried asking at Wikipedia:Reference desk/Humanities? -- œ 03:23, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
I go for television. Now the question is, "Who is it?" The photographer was John Reeves. I sent him a fax to ask if he remembered who it was. La pièce est un portrait photographique de Marshall McLuhan réalisé par John Reeves dans la résidence de McLuhan, Toronto, 1967.

--Nowa (talk) 13:20, 5 July 2013 (UTC)

I just spoke to the photographer John Reeves. He confirmed that the second person was an image on TV. He doesn't know who it was. He thought it might have been from a talk show or newscast from mid evening. He said that Marshall McLuhan was watching TV when he showed up to take the photo. Does anyone know what Marshall's favorite TV shows were?--Nowa (talk) 17:49, 8 July 2013 (UTC)
John thought it might be Mike Wallace. Make sense?--Nowa (talk) 17:54, 8 July 2013 (UTC)

Died from a stroke?[edit]

The article states he "died in his sleep" 3 months after he "suffered a stroke" from which he "never fully recovered". Just would like a second opinion on whether adding the Category:Deaths from stroke would be accurate in this case? -- œ 13:53, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

Predicted the internet??[edit]

No, I don't think he did, and I don't see that the reference to Levinson supports it. Macdonald-ross (talk) 09:05, 5 July 2013 (UTC)

I've always thought Buckminster Fuller's vision of individualized two way TV was about the clearest vision of the internet from the 60's.
“...with a few high masts...the entire community could be 'hooked up'...with beam casting you will be able to send individualized messages to each of those houses...it works in both directions....the receiving individual can beam back 'I don't like it'...constant referendum of democracy will be manifest....it is also possible...to send out many different programs simultaneously...children will be able to look up any kind of information they want....The answers to their questions and probing will be the best information that is available up to that minute in history” Education Automation 1962--Nowa (talk) 15:37, 5 July 2013 (UTC)

Take today[edit]

Hi! I was wondering why McLuhan's book "Take today" isn't mentioned in the article (not even as a sheer reference). I don't know enough about the book and McLuhan's life to write a section about it but it would be nice to have such a section. Is one of you McLuhan experts able to write a bit about it? Cheers! Florian — Preceding unsigned comment added by Cube42 (talkcontribs) 11:44, 30 December 2013 (UTC)