Marshall McLuhan
Herbert Marshall McLuhan, CC
Order of Canada
The Order of Canada is a Canadian national order, admission into which is, within the system of orders, decorations, and medals of Canada, the second highest honour for merit...

 (July 21, 1911 – December 31, 1980) was a Canadian educator, philosopher, and scholar—a professor of English literature
English literature
English literature is the literature written in the English language, including literature composed in English by writers not necessarily from England; for example, Robert Burns was Scottish, James Joyce was Irish, Joseph Conrad was Polish, Dylan Thomas was Welsh, Edgar Allan Poe was American, J....

, a literary critic
Literary criticism
Literary criticism is the study, evaluation, and interpretation of literature. Modern literary criticism is often informed by literary theory, which is the philosophical discussion of its methods and goals...

, a rhetoric
Rhetoric is the art of discourse, an art that aims to improve the facility of speakers or writers who attempt to inform, persuade, or motivate particular audiences in specific situations. As a subject of formal study and a productive civic practice, rhetoric has played a central role in the Western...

ian, and a communication theorist
Communication theory
Communication theory is a field of information and mathematics that studies the technical process of information and the human process of human communication.- History :- Origins :...

. McLuhan's work is viewed as one of the cornerstones of the study of media theory
Media studies
Media studies is an academic discipline and field of study that deals with the content, history and effects of various media; in particular, the 'mass media'. Media studies may draw on traditions from both the social sciences and the humanities, but mostly from its core disciplines of mass...

, as well as having practical applications in the advertising and television industries.

McLuhan is known for coining the expressions "the medium is the message
The medium is the message
"The medium is the message" is a phrase coined by Marshall McLuhan meaning that the form of a medium embeds itself in the message, creating a symbiotic relationship by which the medium influences how the message is perceived.- Publications :...

" and "the global village
Global Village (term)
Global Village is a term closely associated with Marshall McLuhan, popularized in his books The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man and Understanding Media . McLuhan described how the globe has been contracted into a village by electric technology and the instantaneous movement of...

" and predicted the World Wide Web
World Wide Web
The World Wide Web is a system of interlinked hypertext documents accessed via the Internet...

 almost thirty years before it was invented.

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

p. 43

The world of visual perspective is one of unified and homogeneous space. Such a world is alien to the resonating diversity of spoken words. So language was the last art to accept the visual logic of Gutenberg technology, and the first to rebound in the electric age.

p. 136

Throughout Finnegans Wake|Finnegans Wake James Joyce|Joyce specifies the Tower of Babel as the tower of Sleep, that is, the tower of the witless assumption, or what Francis Bacon|Bacon calls the reign of the Idols.


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

We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us.

Art is anything you can get away with.