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Marshall McLuhan
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Philosopher
    (July 21, 1911-December 31, 1980)
    Born in Edmonton, Ontario, Canada
    Most famous for his studies about the influence of mass media
    Wrote ‘The Mechanical Bride’ (1951), ‘The Gutenberg Galaxy’ (1962), ‘Understanding Media’ (1964), ‘War and Peace in the Global Village’ (1968) and ‘From Cliché to Archetype’ (1970)
    He vowed never to end up an academic but became a professor.
    His conversion to Catholicism angered his Methodist mother.
    He is probably more quoted than understood.
    He controversially claimed that how you communicate an idea is more important than the idea itself.
    He worked as a consultant and speaker for large corporations such as IBM and AT&T.
    He said he stayed in Canada because the view was better from ‘the periphery.’
    Once enthusiastic about the electronic age, he later described it as ‘unholy.’
    Laugh-In coined the couplet ‘Marshall McLuhan, what are ya doin’?’
    He is the patron saint of ‘Wired Magazine.’
    He popularized communications theory and media studies.
    He created several key 20th century aphorisms such as ‘the medium is the message.’
    He achieved a degree of pop culture fame rare among scholars.
    Although not anti-media, he encouraged people to be aware of how media shapes their perceptions.
    He had a famous cameo role in Woody Allen’s ‘Annie Hall’ (1977).
    David Cronenberg, a former student, spoofed his ideas about TV in ‘Videodrome’ (1983).

Credit: Georgina


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