Thursday, February 28, 2008

Marshalled evidence ...

... Living in Marshall McLuhan's galaxy. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

By beginning at the end, and throwing all sorts of ideas around in a "mosaic pattern of perception and observation" McLuhan is drawing attention to the fact that print is biased in favour of organised, logical, segmented thinking ... when really there's a whole lot more going on. Reason, he seeks to show, offers only incomplete understanding of the world.

The connection between McLuhan and Teilhard de Chardin is interesting: Marshall McLuhan, Teilhard de Chardin & Theology and A Globe, Clothing Itself with a Brain.

Wonder what Denyse O'Leary thinks of this.


  1. Another visionary thinker in this vein that you might not know about is Jose Arguelles. In his book "Earth Ascending" he tied a lot of this stuff together, incidentally also tying together the evolution of the noosphere with the Mayan calendar, the I Ching, and the DNA codons. The fact that the mathematics all tie up together very well is compelling.

    it's a very good book, that I recommend highly.

  2. Thanks for the tip, Art.

  3. Anonymous8:00 PM

    Apologies for belated response to this; but, I wanted to discuss it with Dr. Eric McLuhan, MM's first-born who worked with him throughout his life as his right-hand man (and, also, a dear friend of mine), one who avoids wallowing in the limelight but who, as a Joycean scholar, definitely inherits his father's wit and wondrous intelligence.

    I asked him about the order of things in terms of Gutenberg Galaxy, about whether he thought his father, a southpaw comme yours truly, had been influenced by Teilhard de Chardin (whom I like very much, BTW):

    According to Eric, "many folk find a connection between Dad and Teilhard, Tom Wolfe not the least of them. Dad repudiated any such connection; thought Teilhard had been duped by the electric information environment into thinking of it as noosphere, etc. Certainly Dad did not derive any of his insights from de Chardin. Now you knows!"

    Later, in a subsequent email, after reading the piece in Wired, Eric further commented via email (and granted me permission to quote him as I saw fitz): "I know what happened à propos Teilhard in the GG. Dad uses T as confirmation of what he had found elsewhere on his own. But he was smart enough not to fall for the evolution angle. A good antidote is Wyndham Lewis's The Demon of Progress in the Arts. I recommend it heartily."

    Now, we all knows and, JSYK, if I like T de C very much, I *love* W. Lewis that much more. Hope Tom Wolfe reads this so he knows what's what and why it is important to both posterity and McLuhan Studies.