Aphorisms

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Thanks to the Prof. Derrick De Kerckhove we could offer to you great collection:

Aphorisms of McLuhan for the interviews

•    Only puny secrets need protection. Big discoveries are protected by public incredulity.
•    Whereas convictions depend on speed-ups, justice requires delay.
•    The nature of people demands that most of them be engaged in the most frivolous possible activities—like making money.
•    With telephone and TV it is not so much the message as the sender that is “sent.”
•    We look at the present through a rear-view mirror. We march backwards into the future.
•    Spaceship earth is still operated by railway conductors, just as NASA is managed by men with Newtonian goals.
•    Invention is the mother of necessities.
•    Mud sometimes gives the illusion of depth.
•    Today each of us lives several hundred years in a decade.
•    Today the business of business is becoming the constant invention of new business.
•    The price of eternal vigilance is indifference.
•    When you are on the phone or on the air, you have no body.
•    Tomorrow is our permanent address.
•    All advertising advertises advertising.
•    The answers are always inside the problem, not outside.
•    This information is top security. When you have read it, destroy yourself.
•    The future of the future is the present
•    The specialist is one who never makes small mistakes while moving toward the grand fallacy.
•    The specialist is the one who stays put
•    A man wrapped up in himself makes for a rather small package
•    One of the nicest things about being big is the luxury of thinking little.
•    Politics offers yesterday’s answers to today’s questions.
•    In big industry new ideas are invited to rear their heads so they can be clobbered at once. The idea department of a big firm is a sort of lab for isolating dangerous viruses.
•    Food for the mind is like food for the body: the inputs are never the same as the outputs.
•    Men on frontiers, whether of time or space, abandon their previous identities. Neighborhood gives identity. Frontiers snatch it away.
•    The future of the book is the blurb.
•    A road is a flattened-out wheel, rolled up in the belly of an airplane.
•    At the speed of light, policies and political parties yield place to charismatic images.
•    I may be wrong, but I’m never in doubt.
•    The “expert” is the man who stays put
•    The trouble with a cheap, specialized education is that you never stop paying for it.
•    Poets and artists live on frontiers. They have no feedback, only feedforward.
•    We shape our tools and they in turn shape us.
•    I feel that we’re standing on the threshold of a liberating and exhilarating world in which the human tribe can become truly one family and man’s consciousness can be freed from the shackles of mechanical culture and enabled to roam the cosmos.
•    We become what we behold.
•    The effects of new media on our sensory lives are similar to the effects of new poetry. They change not our thoughts but the structure of our world.
•    “The medium is the message” because it is the “medium that shapes and controls the scale and form of human association and action.”
•    If it works, it’s obsolete.
•    The story of modern America begins with the discovery of the white man by the Indians.
•    In the future half the world will be busy spying and reporting on the other half
•    There is a lot of truth in a half-truth
•    In the age of instant information, rumors are the real thing
•    In the electronic era, we wear all mankind as our skin
•    Inflation is money having an identity crisis
•    The more they know about you the less you exist
•    When a thing is current it creates currency
•    If the medium is the message, then the user is the content
•    I wouldn’t have seen it if I hadn’t believed it
•    In Canada many are cold, but few are frozen
•    I don’t pretend to understand my stuff. After all, my writing is very difficult
•    I don’t necessarily agree with everything I say
•    You don’t like those ideas? I got others
•    Do you think my fallacy is all wrong?
•    I don’t explain—I explore
•       I don’t have a theory of communication. I don’t use theories. I just watch what people do
•    I do a lot of my serious work while I’m talking out loud to people. I’m feeling around, not making pronouncements. Most people use speech as a result of thought, but I use it as the process
•       Understanding Media “I am in the position of Louis Pasteur telling doctors that their greatest enemy was quite invisible, and quite unrecognized by them” (McLuhan, 1964, p. 18)
•      The artist must ever play and experiment with new means of arranging experience, even though the majority of his audience may prefer to remain fixed in their old perceptual attitudes
•     All the industries of our time are service industries. With Xerox the book becomes a service industry. It ceases to be a package or a product (McLuhan 1970)
•    Anyone who tries to make a distinction between education and entertainment doesn’t know the first thing about either.
•    Obsolescence never meant the end of anything, it’s just the beginning
•     To behold, use or perceive any extension of ourselves in technological forms is necessarily to embrace it. By continuously embracing technologies, we relate ourselves to them as servo-mechanisms (McLuhan 1964, 46).
•    Everybody lives in the utmost proximity created by our electric involvement in one another’s lives (McLuhan 1964, 35)
•    We drive into the future using only our rearview mirror


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