Marshall McLuhan, The Gutenberg Man: “The medium is the message”

The Canadian Philosopher, Marshall McLuhan one who predicted 30 years before World Wide Web (www) in his book “The Gutenberg Galaxy”

The Philosopher who was perfect in assumption since his schooling days. The English professor, Marshall McLuhan (b. 21 July 1911 — d. 31 Dec 1980). At the age of 13, Marshall had written in his diary that he will be an undergraduate at the age of twenty.

It was the Cambridge University where the germination of seeds took place for his media analysis. The long journey of Marshall and principles that deluged as “the training of perception.” However, It was also the aim of McLuhan throughout his progressive years.

Marshall McLuhan at Cambridge University
Marshall McLuhan at Cambridge University

He was born to school teacher Elsie (later became an actress) and real-estate businessman Herbert Ernest McLuhan. But, soon McLuhan lost the family business due to the outbreak of World Ward One and his struggling father had to leave the native place to find another job. Marshall’s first year engineering did not last longer for more than one year.

He soon found his interesting niche and went for literature and science.

Marshall received his graduate degree in Arts in the year 1933. Furthermore, he acquired the gold medal in arts and science. He continued walking the same path and similar thoughts which became the origin of intuition. Later, he completed his master of Arts in 1934 in English. He was an original thinker of his time. God gifted magnetic personality who studied catholic civilization. His remarkable perception got him on the international platform. His prediction of the World Wide Web 30 years before in his book, “The Gutenberg Galaxy”.

We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us.

Marshall McLuhan

The philosopher Marshall still called as father of communication and media studies. Moreover, due to his intellectual and data he had, he is also regarded as the prophet of information age. The philosopher’s long desire was to complete his graduation from one of the Universities of England. However, it was not cooked due to failed to received his scholarship from Rhode’s scholarship to Oxford. Marshall who proved how the education of someone decides what is wrong and what is right.

Choosing between the best culture to adapt the best suited one. His inclination towards the literature and exploring deep, ancient European culture. It was one of the biggest things in his life when he converted to Catholicism from Agnostic. As well as, McLuhan wrote a letter to his mother Elsie upon wise choosing to become a member of a Catholic group. Marshall also advised to his mother thatother may find silly enough or ignorant enough to wait that long.” For Marshall, it was too late to become Catholic after learning the culture.

Marshall McLuhan wrote a letter to his mother Elsie McLuhan on 5 Sep 1931

"The Catholic religion is the only religion — all sects are derivative. Buddhism and similar oriental philosophies and mythologies are not religions in any sense. They have no covenants and no sacraments and no theology… The Catholic Church does not despise or wantonly mortify those members and faculties which Christ deigned to assume. They are henceforth holy and blessed. Catholic culture produced Chaucer and his merry story-telling pilgrims. Licentious enthusiasm produced the lonely despair of Christian in Pilgrim’s Progress — what a different sort of pilgrim! Catholic culture produced Don Quixote and St. Francis and Rabelais. What I wish to emphasize about them is their various and rich-hearted humanity.

I need scarcely indicate that everything that is especially hateful and devilish and inhuman about the conditions. And the strains of modern industrial society is not only Protestant in origin, but it is their boast to have originated it. You may know a thing by its fruits if you are silly enough or ignorant enough to wait that long. I find the fruits and the theory of our sects very bitter.

Had I not encountered Chesterton I would have remained agnostic for many years at least? Chesterton did not convince me of religious faith, but he prevented my despair from becoming a habit or hardening into misanthropy. He opened my eyes to European culture and encouraged me to know it more closely. He taught me the reasons for all that in me was simply blind anger and misery.[...]

Marshal McLuhan with Corinne Lowis
Marshal McLuhan with Corinne Lowis (PC: Catholic Education Research Centre)

McLuhan was a devoted personality to Trinity (believing that God is one but has three existence) and had lifelong interest in the institution of catholic studies. Later in the year 1936 – 37 he was an assisting teacher at the University of Wisconsin — Madison. As well as English teacher at Saint Louis University during 1937 and 1944. Working at the Louis brought him joy, satisfaction and love of his life.

At the university of Saint Louis, he met Corinne Lowis who was aspiring to become an actress. And teacher at St Louis. As well as, he also had received a Doctor of Philosophy.

Ours is the first age in which many thousands of the best-trained individual minds have made it a full-time business to set inside the collective public mind.” - The Mechanical Bride.

The Marshall’s first major work “The Mechanical Bride” The work proposed with a unique “Mosaic” approach. The book is consist of essays that begins with newspaper or magazine articles or advertisements. Thus, it follows the analysis by the great brain of Marshall.

"The Mechanical Bride: Folklore of Industrial Man"
The Mechanical Bride: Folklore of Industrial Man

The Medium is the message

The Gutenberg Galaxy

The Gutenberg Man

His second book is “The Gutenberg Galaxy” was published in 1962 where he successfully analysed the effects of Media on human consciousness and European culture.

Also, read John Mill, The emphatic philosopher of strange confusion and Mencius: “Friendship is one mind in two bodies.” as well as Shel Silverstein saying: “How much love inside a friend?”