A morning with Marshall McLuhan

Seth Goldstein’s guest post at TechCrunch yesterday (The Medium Is No Longer The Message, . . . You Are) put me in a Marshall McLuhan frame of mind. The guy was so far ahead of his time that to go back and listen to him, you’d think you were in the room with some of today’s Internet intellectuals. So I spent the morning with Mr. McLuhan through a channel that he would have loved, YouTube.

You can say all you want about YouTube as a channel for idiots, but the truth is that it is a repository of pure intellectual gold at the same time. Here’s a wonderful clip from the CBC in the 60s, and there are plenty more.

The clip includes this wonderful, thought-provoking statement:

A point of view means a static, fixed position, and you can’t have a static, fixed position in the electric age. It’s impossible to have a point of view in the electric age and have any meaning at all. You’ve got to be everywhere at once, whether you like it or not. You have to be participating in everything going on at the same time, and that is not a point of view.

This is cutting edge Postmodernism and that he was able to make this statement in 1967 is simply amazing.

If you want to spend a wonderful couple of hours feeding your head with thinking that preceded the Web, head on over to YouTube. You’ll come away better for it.

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