Talk:Marshall McLuhan/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2

McLuhan's Tetrad metaphor

For the fans and this is slightly off-topic, the structures of grammar and cognitive understanding through the usage of metaphors and literary devices related to NLP. Parties interested please discuss. --220.239.179.128 (talk) 04:55, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

AYE YAI YAI

this page needs MAJOR work. i just read the entire thing, and i am none the wiser. it's not an encyclopedic entry, it's a sycophants essay. i can't believe i just read that entire wiki and i still couldn't describe a single coherent contribution that mcluhan made to philosophy/socialstudies/semiotics. it doesn't necessarily mean mcluhan is a charlatan, it just means the wiki ain't helpin anybody anything. CAN I GET LITTLE HELP!! 128.119.232.225 21:11, 12 November 2005 (UTC)

Totally agree. The tone of the entire article is POV-a glowing praise of McLuhan without actually saying much of anything.

Absolutely, it's so not saying anything, it's ridiculous.

Two years after the entry above, the "sycophant's essay" comment is still accurate. This is not an encyclopaedic entry, it's a hagiography. I have just read it through three times and feel I am now LESS well-informed about McLuhan than I was before I started reading. Not that this is unique -- most scholarship about McLuhan is, well, unscholarly to say the least. And I'm rather sympathetic to McLuhan, at least the parts that are not simply trite journalistic slogans, catchy soundbites and meaningless thoughtlets about media that don't stand up to any kind of philosophical examination. There are many philosophers and communications theorists who think that he WAS a charlatan. However, he's important and influential enough to deserve a proper entry. Perhaps it would suffice to call him an "influential communications and media theorist", which is at least true and verifiable, and leave out "philosopher" (debatable), "scholar" (not encyclopaedic) and "educator" (irrelevant -- Heidegger and Kant were "educators" too, but that's not why they're in an encyclopaedia -- my high school gym teacher was also an "educator"). Incidentally, I think the word "arguably" should be banned from Wikipedia. It is a clear signal that the writer wishes to make a statement, cannot back it up (or cannot be bothered to back it up) with any evidence, but has decided to go ahead and say it anyway. Mardiste 14:50, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

I'm not going to defend the word "arguably" per se, but I completely disagree with the above otherwise. He considered himself an educator, as do many university professors and scholars, and I don't see any inaccuracy there. And what exactly makes "scholar" not encyclopedic? ALso, have you actually read "most scholarship about McLuhan" and found it to be "unscholarly"? And what do you mean by that? Are the books not footnoted and well-referenced? Comprehensive? Analytic? Which ones cited don't meet your standards? As for "trite journalistic slogans" - which ones? "The medium is the message"? "The global village"? May be trite now,indeed, but not when he came up with them. You might read McLuhan with that in mind. I'm not saying the article can't be improved, as I am sure it can - but I am saying that using the word charlatan raises questions in my mind about the objectivity of these complaints - check the definition and explain what the "many philosophers and communications theorists" who you say think that might mean by it. Tvoz |talk 15:41, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

Refactoring

Let's get serious about improving this page. Here's a proposed plan. --Chris vLS 20:28, 22 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I would be happy to leave this page alone for good, in fact i am doing so. I hope you get the help you need as 80% of this site as it stands now is original material mostly what I have contributed.That is why it appears on my blog site.The original stub is still in there somewhere I took nothing from this site only tried to enhanced it.TM Here is what Mcluhan said in UM about this issue of original material-- so beware.

"Some of the principal extensions, together with some of their psychic and social consequences, are studied in this book. Just how little consideration has been given to such matters in the past can be gathered from the consternation of one of the editors of this book. He noted in dismay that "seventy-five per cent of your material is new. A successful book cannot venture to be more than ten per cent new." Such a risk seems quite worth taking at the present time when the stakes are very high, and the need to understand the effects of the extensions of man becomes more urgent by the hour"MM

Sounds like someone's interested more in emulating than learning. McLuhan laboured away for almost two decades before he could make this sort of claim.

Message

Apparently someone is the author of many of the essays that have appeared in this entry. He even said "goodbye" to wikipedia at one point, tired of having he contributions reverted out. He added a link to his blog, which currently contains the entirity of the McLuhan essay/entry.

Terry, clearly you have real passion and depth in this field. But it consistently appears that your mission and style do not mesh well with the style of wikipedia. Your essay seems to bring out several dimensions of McLuhan that go well beyond the modest aims of wikipedia, which include no original ideas but simply summarizing the mainstream, even pedestrian, scholarship.
I suggest that you keep on with your deeper interpretative work, but keep this work on your blog. Or even look to adding something in wikinfo or Everything 2, which would be better homes for your work. That will allow the community to return this page to a more usable form, without everyone frustrating each other. Thoughts? --Chris vLS 00:32, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Talk

Poor entry about mmcl. He was a communications theorist. If the message is incomprhensible its because you have not put enough content in,(dangling participal not0 silly rabbit. The revival of the astral plane through medium of the disincarnate internet hearlds the arrival of the transdermal retina. Will consult Pontifical Institute. He was a medi-ated philosopher not a communications theorist: Oral culture tenured english proof. speel checked prof red. Read Bacon for breakfast.

Oy. -- Zoe

I think that it has to be linked with 'Mass Media' because he was the first one that used that word

Pino.


Removed from the article:

Marshall McLuhan once stated that he considered all of his work to be a mere "footnote" to the work of Harold Innis. Harold Innis, author of The Bias of Communication and Communication and Empire was a renowned Canadian economist, who influenced the development of McLuhan's ideas about the nature of and significance of the relationship of communications media to culture.This led to a growing awareness and concern over the relationship of technological change to the nature of communications media.This debate is often referred to as technological determinism. This relationship between the work of these two scholars is considered to be a major part of the foundation for the Toronto School of Communication. It is also worthwhile mentioning that while Marshall McLuhan's major contributions were to the study of media worldwide, Marshall McLuhan and Harold Innis were also part of a small group of Canadian intellectual giants born in the early part of the 20th Century who emerged to make major contributions and play a vital role in forming the character of Canadian intellectual life well into the 21st century. Having survived the devastation to Canadian culture by the first and second world wars and the great depression Canada, more than other western countries because of colonialism and American cultural dominance seemed to suffer more than others in their struggle to assert their cultural identity in this period. Argus like they in turn have influenced the world.Through the Toronto School of Communications Marshall McLuhan was able to broaden his evolving definition of media to encompass all physical and psychological environments and effects of human artifacts under the influence of communications media. Walter Ong who was a student of Marshall McLuhan's developed his theory of secondary orality based on the work of this school. Ong who was also a student of Marshall McLuhan's proposed secondary orality as a means to resolve some of the conflicts presented by the relationships identified by Marshall McLuhan and the Toronto School of Communication. This growing field of study necessitated a new classification of knowledge that became known as Media Ecology.Early usage of this term in relation to media can be found in the work of Marshall McLuhan and Jacques Ellul. Marshall McLuhan is credited as the philosophical founder of the discipline of Media ecology, McLuhan coined this term that serves to encompass this broadened definition of media and it's effects that the Toronto School of Communication did not. There are several successors to Marshall McLuhan in this field, who were influenced by Marshall McLuhan to one degree or another such as Neil Postman. Neil Postman focused on critiquing aspects of the relationship of technological change to society and education. Neil Postman is the author of numerous books on Media and Education and founded the first school of media ecology studies at New York University. Following another line of development in Marshall McLuhan's work Derrick de Kerckhove author of Connected Intelligence and The Skin of Culture pioneered the study of psychotechnology Derrick de Kerckhove was also Marshall McLuhan's student and his successor as director of the Program for Studies in Culture and Technology founded by Marshall McLuhan at the University of Toronto Eric McLuhan, Marshall's son and author of Electric Language also co-authored with his father Laws of Media the New Science. This was a sincere effort to formalize Marshall McLuhan's thinking into a series of media laws. Early journal entries that Marshall Mcluhan wrote intimated his explicit intention to do so later in life, although it was never his intention to formulate a general or unified field theory of culture. Also of note is Paul Levinson who was a friend of Marshall McLuhan and has emerged as a significant McLuhan revisionist. He is author of Digital McLuhan. and The Soft Edge To this inner circle could be added a legion of biographers, media studies interpreters and students of media science as a revival in McLuhan's thinking is well underway. Marshall Mcluhan's numerous publications continue to appear in reprint. Marshall McLuhan was educated at Cambridge University in England,and was a student of I.A. Richards. He was influenced by Richards' work the new criticism. and Wyndham Lewis and James Joyce among others. Marshall McLuhan has also influenced and helped found other branches of thought and learning such as crossdisciplinary studies Marshall McLuhan's work has also been associated with other philosophical movements of the twentieth century such as Postmodernism that emerged principally in France out of language and cultural studies there in parallel but distinct lines to McLuhan's philosophies taking place in the English speaking world. Consequently certain aspects of literature,language,and philosophy are preserved in this field. Jacques Ellul and Jean Baudrillard have made significant contributions to the development of media ecology as a discipline in Europe. There is also a religious dimension to Marshall McLuhan. However science has reduced religious sensability to the level of a mere superstition in both the modern and postmodern ages. Marshall McLuhan it could be argued succeeded in synthesizing the opposite approaches to media implied by absolutists in both science and religion. However no absolute theory of media has emerged from this effort. Similarly as did Pierre Teilhard de Chardinin linking Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution with religion with his concept of the 'noosphere" Marshall McLuhan has been branded a heretic. Although no implicit link between their work or philosophical outlook exists. This is because Marshall McLuhan emerged from a literary and anglocentric environment.Marshall McLuhan did find much room for many commonalities between science and religeon in a middle ground that media provides. McLuhan's staunchest critics and opponents disagree vehemently with this approach and what they considered it's undigestible and watered down conclusions.

This is a rather indigestible wodge of text, and appears to me to make little sense in places. I've removed it until others can review it and check whether some or all of it should be restored to the article. -- The Anome 23:16, 29 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Yes, it is way too long for a single paragraph. I think that after some minor modifications it can be moved back, I will try to work on it soon. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus 15:08, 30 Aug 2004 (UTC)

recent additions

Perhaps I do not understand how this wikipedia business works but this is the second time I have tried to add to this page and had my work ripped off the page with little or no explanation.It just so happens that I spend many hours doing research on the subject of Marshall McLuhan and many hours writing and I do know something about the topic.If it is wikipedias policy to employ editors who monitor these pages as they are being edited and then are free to erase all someones efforts without stating a reason then you have surely lost a contributor for good.Wikipedia is no free encyclopedia.Why not let others who have an interest have their say.If all this is is a censored encyclopedia then I will take my work to a more respectable encyclopedia like britannica.

Calm down man. It's good stuff; it's just not an encyclopedia entry.

This is an essay, not an encyclopedia entry

Interesting information but needs serious refactoring. For starters, separating information about the content of his writings, and bibliographical information. A quotes section. I'll do this myself when I get the chance, but in the meantime... Delief 18:56, 28 Nov 2004 (NL)

Totally agree. Came to the page hoping to learn something and was quickly bogged down. Since I don't have the expertise, and since the subject is well-know, I have added it to Pages needing attention. --Chris vLS 23:07, 6 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I AGREE COMPLETELY. i just read the entire thing, and i am none the wiser. it's not an encyclopedic entry, it's a sycophants essay. i can't believe i just read that entire wiki and i still couldn't describe a single coherent contribution of mcluhan's to philosophy/socialstudies/semiotics. it doesn't necessarily mean mcluhan is a charlatan, it just means the wiki ain't helpin anybody anything.128.119.232.225 21:02, 12 November 2005 (UTC)

McLuhan entry needs work

Agree with complaints. Terrible entry. Will work on this and send my students in asap. Dr J McLuhan global research network, U of Toronto.

Contributors

Moved these lines of credit from the main article, since wikipedia doesn't put this kind of information into articles. We leave it on talk and history pages. --Chris vLS 18:29, 16 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Removed essay stuff on other authors

Removed the following.

In relation to this article perhaps the most relevant among his many works is The Disappearance of Childhoodin which Postman asserts that childhood as an invention of the print era has dissappeared altogether from western culture in the electronic age.One need only watch a 'Save the Children' commercial to see where childhood has disappeared to and in what state it currently exists. I wonder what else will pop up there? The truth perhaps?

--Chris vLS 21:44, 16 Dec 2004 (UTC)


This page has serious issues

Apparently (see above) we have students at a school or something devoted to Marshall McLuhan making something like 75 different edits from an unregistered account at one IP address just in the last couple of days. I'm not sure these people are the best choice to be writing a nuetral encyclopedia article. The page sounds like a missive nominating the guy for sainthood. I'm not even sure what to tag this thing, or what to try to revert to since the oddness goes back so far. If the students and supporters of the guy are reading this, please consider using restraint in making edits. DreamGuy 01:11, Dec 18, 2004 (UTC)

Considering the horrendous mess that this page is, and the lack of good, proper writing throughout, perhaps a total rewrite is in order? Too much opinion, not enough coherent factual data. Reminds me of 'McLuhan's Wake,' a terrible excuse for a documentary, which resorts to transforming the man into a demigod of sorts. Hopefully there is someone out there with enough factual knowledge on this subject to give this entry a desperately needed fresh start.
Actually, it can't tell if the students are a problem, it appears that the author of the bulk of the article is continuing to add to it. I do think a lot needs to be re-written, because it is either 1) wandering and unstructured (example: the McLuhan and Mass Media section goes from his education to his aphorism, to 'software' to influence by Innis to 'hot' and 'cold' media), 2) non-objective (much of the conclusion section, e.g. "His whole life was a search for the truth."), 3) fragmentary or unexplained ("McLuhan can be related to Einstein or Freud via such disparate fieds as quantuum mechanics and the realm of the infinitessimally small"). --Chris vLS 19:26, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Deleted essay on "Demystifying McLuhan"

Here is the text I removed.


Demystifying McLuhan

Amidst the erudite references, aphorisms and varying collaborative writings styles there is a terminology and a roadmap that allows people to validate media for themselves via interpretation or discovery. Of course McLuhan was not giving you gospel. Neither was he talking about biological extensions like cobwebs or human instincts like fear or good and evil for that matter.McLuhan wanted people to find the truth themselves in an active way by applying his theories to the real world. Among the most important of these are the following:

The collapse of time and space-At extreemly high speeds of operation media collapse time and space as human constructs.The transition from Innis to McLuhan. Hot and cold media-low definition, high information, low participation,high definiton low information,high participation.

Definition of media-Any extension of the human sensory system-Language is the first form of mass media.Breakpoint boundary a phenomena related to hybrid (creative)energy when a new media of communication is formed that is completely different form the ones that went before(all media have as their content media or a medium that preceded it except for light).

Medium and Message-The importance of the medium is the hidden environment of change it produces.Except for light (where the medium and the message are the same and so the message is itself the hidden environment, media come in pairs. Global Village is media pressed to an extreem (proliferation).

Acoustic space and media-Tribal man lived in this space.Closely related to the invention of language and mass media.

Visual media-and visual space-Invented by the Romans who enclosed the arch inside the rectangle. Made book culture predominant in western culture. Still with us but no longer completely dominant.

Media as translators-information from natural phenomena communicated via extensions of the senses. Definition of media-Any extension of the human sensory system

Western culture "winds the tape backward" The phenomena of reversal in his laws of media (enhancement is to obsolescence as it is to reversal and retrieval is to reversal as it is to obsolescence and visa-versa.)

Figure and ground- also coming in pairs-the various content of media are in dynamic interplay. A related concept- ""Synesthesia"" The blending of the human senses or sensorium. The opposite-A 'haptic sense- one of being in touch)

Some of this material could be reinstated if it were better sourced and reworked, a good deal of it is widely agreed on as being usable simplifications of MM. But not all. Stirling Newberry 21:13, 9 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Why did User:SanguineX delete nearly the entire article on Feb. 25? Was it copyvio material? No explanation was given in the edit summary, yet others have edited plenty since then and the deleted stuff hasn't been restored. Everyking 10:51, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)

on Gutenberg

I've substantially added to the content of Gutenberg and provided subsections to the entry. I might have provided more information than necessary, but strove to avoid analysis and opnion. --Michaeladenner 00:16, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Understanding Media

Removed the insightfull, but misrepresenative mention of broadband:

Today this could be demonstrated by comparing a high-speed Internet connection (hot) with a dial-up connection (cold). Despite the content available being identical (if often more difficult to access by dial-up users), the surfing habits of those connected at high-speed are usually very different.

Whilst this may be true, it isn't what MMcL intended, so I replaced it with a photo/sketch example.

Removed Reference to Adorno and Horkheimer; attention to the Culture Industry will show that they continually reference the actual content of television shows and cartoons to make points concerning the influence of capitalism's products. They have very little strutural understanding of media that McLuhan demonstrates.

The Fordham Experiment

It appears to me that the so-called "Fordham Experiment", which is a relatively recent addition to this page and not one that appeared in any of the older entries, actually references an experiment conducted by his son, described here.

inaccuracy

i agree that this page needs serious work. one thing worth nothig is that the following quote is simply incorrect information:

"His famous (or infamous, depending on your point of view) slogan "the medium is the message" uses hyperbole to call attention to the inward impact of communication media. However, it should be noted that the work in which this phrase appears is actually titled The Medium is the Massage (1967)"

that's just not true. i'm not sure on the original appearance of this phrase, but it was used extensively in the 1964 book Understanding Media.

McLuhan himself would claim that he first used the phrase in 1957, at a conference of Radio Education Broadcasters, to assure them that each medium produces different effects. He would of course retailor the meaning of this aphorism numerous times throughout his career. There is a printed article of his entitled "The Medium is the Message" from 1957's issue of Explorations.WormwoodJagger 00:16, 22 March 2006 (UTC)


This is from the official web site of the McLuhan estate:


http://www.marshallmcluhan.com/faqs.html Why is the title of the book "The medium is the massage" and not "The medium is the message"? Actually, the title was a mistake. When the book came back from the typesetter's, it had on the cover "Massage" as it still does. The title was supposed to have read "The Medium is the Message" but the typesetter had made an error. When Marshall McLuhan saw the typo he exclaimed, "Leave it alone! It's great, and right on target!" Now there are possible four readings for the last word of the title, all of them accurate: "Message" and "Mess Age," "Massage" and "Mass Age."


Onceler 08:22, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

There's more to the story than just a "publisher's mistake." Consult Gordon and Marchand's book for a fuller story.WormwoodJagger 22:21, 26 March 2006 (UTC)

feedforward (now feed-forward)

Greetings (and Happy New Year! especially to all those in speedier time zones).

I added the reference to "feedforward" in the bio block of the article to lend context to McLuhan's time at Cambridge. The idea was to point out highlights of his time as a student and his main influences to enhance a stream of dates and principal actors that doesn't elaborate on their importance to McLuhan. I put it in the bio block since the rest of the article is ostensibly about his own work and I didn't see a good place to insert it. It had crossed my mind that this might not be the best place to put it but if I made it summarily short, it would be appropriate.

I am happy with that per se, but then "feedforward" was changed to "feed-forward"--linked to the control theory-related article of that name. 1930's literary theorists like I.A. Richards did not have poles and zeros in mind but conceptual communications models that are intended to analyze such things as monologues, poems, novels and the like--maybe now also TV/radio/movies/webcasts/podcasts, etc. From what I gather, Richards in his 1953 paper, "Toward a Theory of Understanding", later refined his particular communications theory-based model to a series of stages between the communicator and audience, namely:

  • .Selection (S)
  • .Encoding (E)
  • .Transmission (T)
  • .Reception (R)
  • .Decoding (D)
  • .Development (DV)

integrating into the 2-way(feedforward/feedback) sequence:

SOURCE-<->-(S)-(E)-(T)---(communication)---(R)-(D)-(DV)-<->-DESTINATION

where one can mediate what is communicated, for instance, by becoming one's own audience as part of the process.

I bring this detail up because it is more explicit than his earlier treatment of the topic of "feedforward" and more clearly demonstrates that Richards' is a different animal than that of feed-forward/feed-back in control theory. They are similar but still apples and oranges. If there is a deeper formal relationship between the two close enough to treat both senses together that would be interesting. Til then, to avoid misleading anyone out there in web-land I am unlinking and de-hypenating "feed-forward" until a more suitable target is found for it. This could be (1) re-linking to the same article, after it is modified, (2) a dedicated new one feedforward, (3) an updated I.A. Richards article or (4) an updated communication theory article or category addition.

The existing feed-forward article appears to already be under consideration for an overhaul, possibly into a dab page so (2)-(4) look like better choices. If/when the dab page gets its day, this sense of the word should probably be one of the choices, already linked or ready to do so later.

-$0.025

(oops, forgot to sign ... Onceler 08:22, 1 January 2006 (UTC))

Keep personal blogs off page

It appears that 65.11.220.178 wants to have a link to the personal blog Terry Mocklers journey through cyberspace on this page. I have deleted this link twice. Personal blogs, no matter how much informed by McLuhan's work, do not belong in an encyclopedic entry about his life. mtz206 21:28, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

The Medium is the MAssage

Can we please just get this straight to save further edits: McLuhan's 1967 publication and recording is called "The Medium is the M==A==ssage: An Inventory of Effects." He even went so far, around this time, as to state on record that he considered this a better formulation than "the medium is the message." ThanksWormwoodJagger 23:44, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

The revolution will not be televised...

Who said this?


I believe it was the Nu Yuricans. --EuropracBHIT 05:27, 6 April 2006 (UTC). Gil Scott Heron --

ought to add material on impact in fields of media ecology and book history

E.g., connections to later work by Neil Postman, Elizabth Eisenstein, Adrian Johns... Dan Knauss

"Ten thunders" section on Joyce's finnegans wake

The section on Joyce's Finnegans Wake need to be cleaned up. More explanatory material needs to be added. The quotations need to be verified and referenced. — goethean 19:32, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

I removed the cleanup tag on the Finnegans Wake section, as I believe that Merosonox's able explaination clears up a lot of the confusion around the strings of Joyce's text (and will prevent editors from percieving it as vandalism).— beekman 16:25, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

I don't know. I'm wondering if McLuhan gave a more detailed explanation what the strings are supposed to represent and how he came to that interpretation. — goethean 16:41, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

spamming

someone is editing the page with childish insults and stuff... can someone ban their IP? I have fixed 2 things now...

indeed:

A "Do not feed the troll" image (don't encourage trolls by reacting to them)


quotations

I removed this paragraph and reference from quotations (explanation follows block):

"Anyone who tries to make a distinction between education and entertainment doesn't know the first thing about either" (year unknown, but the quote has been confirmed by e-mail by Eric McLuhan) [ref] Dr Eric McLuhan writes in his e-mail: I well remember my father making that observation on more than one occasion. The idea was that although the two things are clearly quite different, whatever entertains will educate more effectively. I have not the faintest idea which book to find it in, if it ever actually went into a book at all, which is not certain. I know that he used the sentiment in a number of speeches, though. And you might–if you must have a source–quote this correspondence as authoritative. Dr. Eric McLuhan. The e-mail can be found here: http://edugame.eu/blog/ [/ref]

Reason: Comments on the blog referenced here attribute this quote to McLuhan: Hot & Cool; further research shows that the quote in McL:H&C (actually a reprint from a 1957 vol of Explorations) is similar to this one but not identical, and Eric McL is only verifying the sentiment of the obervation, not the actual words. Accordingly, I inserted the actual quote from Explorations (chronologically, at 1957) and removed this. Tvoz 05:37, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

Also regarding quotations: wouldn't it be more useful to include the book, article, etc. that these quotes are from, rather than just the year? Tvoz 05:37, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

references for quotations??

For this article to be a valuable tool, I think it would make more sense to reference the sources of the quotations, not just the years - is there some reason I'm missing for not doing that? Tvoz 18:25, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

GA on hold

This is a well-written and comprehensive article, but there are a few issues to address before it can be passed:

  • The lead starts out in a slightly confusing manner. I'd recommend "Herbert Marshall McLuhan CC (birth date - death date) was... It's also on the short side, considering the length of the article; expand it a bit to better summarize.
  • One of the references is just a raw link. It should be formatted, with a 'retrieved on' date listed. You can use cite-web for this if you like; it's not required though.
  • A check for neutrality of tone and redundancy might be in order. For instance: "During his years at Saint Louis University (1937-1944), McLuhan evidently worked concurrently on two ambitious projects" -- "Ambitious" might be a little much (since this isn't cited but is delivered in Wikipedia's voice), and "evidently" is unnecessary. I don't consider this an issue that would prevent its passing GA, since it's not all that widespread or blatant, but it would be an improvement to the article in general.
  • Some overwikilinking -- no need to link "trivium" every time it appears, for instance. Things like "Western world" or "terror" probably don't need linking from this article. Again, not something that'd keep it from passing GA, but a little intrusive to the reading experience.
  • There's an instructive tone in places, which isn't appropriate. Eg. "Note again McLuhan's stress on the importance of awareness of a medium's cognitive effects." These sentences should be rewritten in more descriptive style.
  • Be careful with "weasel words": "making him perhaps the most publicized English teacher in the twentieth century and arguably the most controversial." Perhaps, arguably? Consider instead, for instance, "making him among the most publicized -- and most controversial -- English teachers of the twentieth century." The section does establish that he's a remarkably public and controversial figure, so there's no need to hedge.
  • The article gets a little "listy" near the end. Can these be filled out with more prose? Along the same lines, does "in Wired" need its own subsection, or could it be added to the "in popular culture" section? (Also, per WP:MOS, McLuhan's name shouldn't be in the section or subsection headers.)

These are for the most part small details, and I'm sure they can be addressed quickly. I'm placing the article on hold to allow a week or so for this to be done. I'll check back then, or sooner if you notify me at my talk page. Aside from these minor issues, it's a remarkable article about an important 20th-century figure. Shimeru 22:28, 28 December 2006 (UTC)