Marshall McLuhan

(1911-1980 / Edmonton)

Marshall McLuhan Quotes

  • ''Ideally, advertising aims at the goal of a programmed harmony among all human impulses and aspirations and endeavors. Using handicraft methods, it stretches out toward the ultimate electronic goal of a collective consciousness.''
    Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980), Canadian communications theorist. Understanding Media, ch. 23 (1964).
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  • ''Jokes are grievances.''
    Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980), Canadian communications theorist. Remark, June 1969, at American Booksellers Association luncheon, Washington, D.C.. Quoted in Sun (Vancouver, June 7, 1969).
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  • ''The school system, custodian of print culture, has no place for the rugged individual. It is, indeed, the homogenizing hopper into which we toss our integral tots for processing.''
    Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980), Canadian communications theorist. "Cervantes Confronted Typographic Man in the Figure of Don Quixote," The Gutenberg Galaxy (1962).
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  • ''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.''
    Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980), Canadian communications theorist. "Emily Post," The Mechanical Bride (1951).
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  • ''When producers want to know what the public wants, they graph it as curves. When they want to tell the public what to get, they say it in curves.''
    Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980), Canadian communications theorist. "Eye Appeal," The Mechanical Bride (1951).
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  • ''Appetite is essentially insatiable, and where it operates as a criterion of both action and enjoyment (that is, everywhere in the Western world since the sixteenth century) it will infallibly discover congenial agencies (mechanical and political) of expression.''
    Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980), Canadian communications theorist. Horizon (London, October 1947).
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  • ''The modern nose, like the modern eye, has developed a sort of microscopic, intercellular intensity which makes our human contacts painful and revolting.''
    Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980), Canadian communications theorist. "How Not to Offend," The Mechanical Bride (1951).
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  • ''The hallucinogenic world, in environmental terms, can be considered as a forlorn effort of man to match the speed of power of his extended nervous system (which we call the "electronic world") by intensifying the activity of his inner nervous system.''
    Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980), Canadian communications and media theorist. Letters of Marshall McLuhan, letter, July 30, 1969, to Robert J. Leuver, eds. Matie Molinaro, Corinne McLuhan, and William Toye (1987).
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  • ''The scientist rigorously defends his right to be ignorant of almost everything except his specialty.''
    Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980), Canadian communications and media theorist. Letters of Marshall McLuhan, letter, July 23, 1969, to Edward T. Hall, eds. Matie Molinaro, Corinne McLuhan, and William Toye (1987).
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  • ''Obsolescence never meant the end of anything—it's just the beginning.''
    Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980), Canadian communications and media theorist. Letters of Marshall McLuhan, letter, February 20, 1970 to, Frank Sheed, eds. Matie Molinaro, Corinne McLuhan, and William Toye (1987).
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