46 Famous Marshall Mcluhan Quotes

46 Famous Marshall Mcluhan Quotes

by / Comments Off / 77 View / Dec 12, 2014

Marshall McLuhan was a philosopher and intellect from Alberta, Canada. He is most famous for predicting the World Wide Web nearly 30 years before it was even invented. He died on December 31, 1980 at the age of 69.

“A nomadic society cannot experience enclosed space.”

“A point of view can be a dangerous luxury when substituted for insight”

“Ads are the cave art of the twentieth century.”

“Advertising is the greatest art form of the twentieth century.”

“All meaning alters with acceleration, because all patterns of personal and political interdependence change with any acceleration of information.”

“All media work us over completely.”

“Art is anything you can get away with.”

“Electricity does not centralize, but decentralizes.”

“Every innovation scraps its immediate predecessor and retrieves still older figures – it causes floods of antiques or nostalgic art forms and stimulates the search for museum pieces.”

“Every society honors its live conformists and its dead troublemakers.”

“Everybody tends to merge his identity with other people at the speed of light. ”

“First we build the tools, then they build us.”

“For tribal man, space was the uncontrollable mystery. For technological man it is time that occupies the same role.”

“Human perception is literally incarnation.”

“I am not a “culture critic” because I am not in any way interested in classifying cultural forms. I am a metaphysician, interested in the life of the forms and their surprising modalities.”

“I do not say whether it is a good or bad thing. To do so would be meaningless and arrogant.”

“In antiquity and the Middle Ages reading was necessarily reading aloud.”

“In television, images are projected at you. You are the screen. The images wrap around you. You are the vanishing point.”

“Literacy, the visual technology, dissolved the tribal magic by means of its stress on fragmentation and specialization and created the individual.”

“Man works when he is partially involved. When he is totally involved he is at play or leisure.”

“Many a good argument is ruined by some fool who knows what he is talking about.”

“Mass man is a phenomenon of electric speed, not of physical quantity.”

“Media are means of extending and enlarging our organic sense lives into our environment.”

“Obsolescence is the moment of superabundance.”

“Once you see the boundaries of your environment, they are no longer the boundaries of your environment.”

“Only a fraction of the history of literacy has been typographic.”

“Poetry and the arts can’t exist in America. Mere exposure to the arts does nothing for a mentality which is incorrigibly dialectical. The vital tensions and nutritive action of ideogram
remain inaccessible to this state of mind.”

“Schizophrenia may be a necessary consequence of literacy.”

“Scribal culture and Gothic architecture were both concerned with light through, not light on.”

“Sentimentality, like pornography, is fragmented emotion; a natural consequence of a high visual gradient in any culture.”

“The criminal, like the artist, is a social explorer.”

“The global village is a place of very arduous interfaces and very abrasive situations.”

“The media have substituted themselves for the older world.”

“The name of a man is a numbing blow from which he never recovers.”

“The new electronic interdependence recreates the world in the image of a global village.”

“The percept takes priority of the concept.”

“The printing press was at first mistaken for an engine of immortality by everybody except Shakespeare.”

“The subliminal depths of radio are charged with the resonating echoes of tribal horns and antique drums. This is inherent in the very nature of this medium, with its power to turn the
psyche and society into a single echo chamber. ”

“The young today cannot follow narrative but they are alert to drama. They cannot bear description but they love landscape and action.”

“There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all crew.”

“There is a real, living unity in our time, as in any other, but it lies submerged under a superficial hubbub of sensation.”

“Typographic man can express but is helpless to read the configurations of print technology.”

“Typography is not only a technology but is in itself a natural resource or staple, like cotton or timber or radio; and, like any staple, it shapes not only private sense ratios but also
patterns of communal interdependence.”


“We become what we behold. We shape our tools and then our tools shape us.”

“Youth instinctively understand the present environment – the electric drama. It lives mythically and in depth.”