I have read “Understanding Media : the extensions of man”, Marshall McLuhan’s masterpiece a long time ago.

The medium, or process, of our time – electric technology – is reshaping and restructuring patterns of social interdependence and every aspect of our personal life. It is forcing us to reconsider and re-evaluate practically every thought, every action, and every institution formerly taken for granted. Everything is changing – you, your family, your neighborhood, your education, your job, your government, your relation to “the others”. And they’re changing dramatically.

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“Understanding Media”, Marshall McLuhan, originally published 1964. Reedited 2003, Gingko Press, critical edition by W. Terrence Gordon.

But only recently, at Tate Modern’s bookshop, I came across “The Medium is the Massage”, by both Marshall McLuhan and Quentin Fiore, co-ordinated by Jerome Angel. It is the sort of book that is very popular today and which you find at the counter near the cash desk of your favorite bookstore. But this blend of text, image and photography was quite unique for the ’60.

I gave it a five star on Goodreads and made it one of my preferred books as it is very, very topical today. Just change ‘electric’ by ‘digital’ and your are in the middle of today’s media crisis.

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Republished by Penguin Modern Classics, 2017.

 

your neighborhood

Electric circuitry has overthrown the regime of “time” and “space” and pours upon us instantly and continuously the concerns of all other men. It has reconstituted dialogue on a global scale. Its message is Total Change, ending psychic, social, economic, and political parochialism. The old civic, state and national groupings have become unworkable. Nothing can be further from the spirit of the new technology than “a place for everything and everything in its place”. You can’t GO home again.