Marshall McLuhan Photo courtesy of Nelson Thall/ Marshall McLuhan Center on Global Communications

The legacy of Marshall McLuhan is so beyond me that I couldn’t use my own words to describe him. He has made a profound impression on the world and the digital media aspect of it. While researching him, I have come across descriptions of Mr. McLuhan such as “Guru of digital media” and “Master.”

“McLuhan provoked both the intellectual and the commoner…by saying that commercials are worth studying; that other cultures from other times offer the best insights into our modern technology laden lifestyle; that in recalling the lost original uses of old media we begin to recover their possible inventive value. His flabbergastingly direct statements and outrageous comparisons of media and their after-effects have stimulated many reexaminations of the consequences of digital multimedia. Marshall concluded we are emerging as a world-wide society electronically connected in a global village where our personalities exist at the speed of light” (Beaulieu 1.)

Hot and Cold Media

Marshall McLuhan divided media into two categories, Hot and Cool. Hot media requires little audience participation or exertion of energy. Cool media is the exact opposite; it is the term for high involvement in the media from the audience, within mediums such as television.

Why should communications Students learn about Mr. McLuhan?

McLuhan challenged media. He was controversial and unconventional. He took a close look at media and how it related to the human experience. In his book, The Medium is the Massagehe examines how media changes the way we as humans view life and the way it affects our everyday rituals.

Famous Quotes?

“A commercial society whose members are essentially ascetic and indifferent in social ritual has to be provided with blueprints and specifications for evoking the right tone for every occasion.”

My understanding of this quote is a society that has members who essentially have no opinion or do not care about ‘social ritual’, maybe watching television or listening to the radio need guidelines or a map to know what to do in certain situations.

“A typewriter is a means of transcribing thought, not expressing it.”

The only way to express thoughts is through spoken word.

What do I think of Mr. McLuhan?

Marshall McLuhan sounds like an astounding man, but I don’t understand anything that he was talking about. If I were around when Marshall McLuhan came up with his theories and I would have gone crazy. I can honestly say that this is the hardest blog that I have ever had to write. Marshall McLuhan may have been an important figure in the development of digital media, but his way of thinking and the way he speaks goes right over my head.

While researching McLuhan, I kept trying to figure out what it was that he did that was so astounding and I can honestly say that I still have no clue. It seems as though he just wowed society with his play on words. His level of thinking was on a completely different playing field than everyone else’s, from what I have learned of him. In order for a person to thoroughly understand Mr. McLuhan, I strongly believe that there should be a course focused entirely on his life and his accomplishments in order for someone to get a complete understanding of him.

Works Cited

Beaulieu, Mark. “Who was Marshall McLuhan?” Digital Lantern. Web. 1 Nov. 2010

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