FOR ALL AGES

100 Best Marshall McLuhan Quotes From The Canadian Philosopher And Communication Theorist

Marshall McLuhan quotes are knowledgable.

Marshall McLuhan was a Canadian lecturer and philosopher who is credited with being the cornerstone of the advancement of media studies.

McLuhan was a full-time English literature professor at the University of Toronto. In 1963, he became the University's Director of the Centre for Culture and Technology department.

McLuhan was said to be ahead of his times with his theories on the technological development of media, television, and the advertisement sector of society. When Marshall McLuhan says that the medium is the message, he means that the kind of medium used has more importance than the message's meaning. The creation of the World Wide Web or the internet was predicted by him 30 years pre-invention of it. With this he aimed towards a 'global village' which essentially means that the world would be united by information technologies. He has written a handful of books on technology, communication, and society. Some of his most famous works include 'Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, The Medium Is The Massage', and 'The Gutenberg Galaxy'. His son's name is Eric McLuhan. Eric McLuhan was also a communications theorist.

For more related content take a look at Pierre Teilhard de Chardin quotes and Will Durant.

Quotation On Technology

Here are some of the best quotes on technology by one of the most famous advocates of the technological advancement of humanity.

1. “One of the effects of living with electric information is that we live habitually in a state of information overload. There's always more than you can cope with.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

2. “In the electric environment of information all events are simultaneous, there is no time or space separating events.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

3. “The age of automation is going to be the age of do it yourself.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

4. “The new electronic independence re-creates the world in the image of a global village.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

5. “The spoken word was the first technology by which man was able to let go of his environment in order to grasp it in a new way.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

6. “Electro-magnetic discoveries have recreated the simultaneous ‘field’ in all human affairs so that the human family now exists under conditions of a ‘global village’.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

7. “The car has become the carapace, the protective and aggressive shell, of urban and suburban man.”

— Marshall McLuhan, 'Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man'.

8. “A moral point of view too often serves as a substitute for understanding in technological matters.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

9. “Our technology forces us to live mythically.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

10. “Technology is that which separates us from our environment.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

11. “Literacy, the visual technology, dissolved the tribal magic by means of its stress on fragmentation and specialization and created the individual.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

12. “What is very little understood about the electronic age is that it angelizes man, disembodies him. Turns him into software.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

13. “It is the framework which changes with each new technology and not just the picture within the frame.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

14. “Invention is the mother of necessities.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

15. “The printing press was at first mistaken for an engine of immortality by everybody except Shakespeare.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

16. “Language does for intelligence what the wheel does for the feet and the body. It enables them to move from thing to thing with greater ease and speed and ever less involvement.”

― Marshall McLuhan, 'Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man'.

17. “The wheel…is an extension of the foot.

The book… is an extension of the eye…

Clothing, an extension of the skin…

Electric circuitry, an extension of the central nervous system.”

― Marshall McLuhan, ‘The Medium Is The Massage’.

18. “Transmitted at the speed of light, all events on this planet are simultaneous. In the electric environment of information, all events are simultaneous, there is no time or space separating events.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

19. “When we invent a new technology, we become cannibals. We eat ourselves alive since these technologies are merely extensions of ourselves. The new environment shaped by electric technology is a cannibalistic one that eats people. To survive one must study the habits of cannibals.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

20. “Professionalism merges the individual into patterns of total environment. Amateurism seeks the development of the total awareness of the individual and the critical awareness of the ground rules of society. The amateur can afford to lose.”

— Marshall McLuhan, ‘The Medium Is The Massage’.

21. “For tribal man, space was the uncontrollable mystery. For technological man, it is time that occupies the same role.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

22. “Only puny secrets need protection. Big discoveries are protected by public incredulity.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

23. “The computer is the most extraordinary of man's technological clothing; it's an extension of our central nervous system. Beside it, the wheel is a mere hula-hoop.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

Quotes About Media

Marshall McLuhan quotes are inspiring.

These Marshall McLuhan quotes are about the importance of the growth of the media sector and how it could be useful for the technological environment.

24. “The medium is the message. This is merely to say that the personal and social consequences of any medium / that is, of any extension of ourselves / result from the new scale that is introduced into our affairs by each extension of ourselves, or by any new technology.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

25. “The portability of the book, like that of the easel painting, added much to the new culture of individualism.”

— Marshall McLuhan, ‘The Gutenberg Galaxy’.

26. “The content or time-clothing of any medium or culture is the preceding medium or culture.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

27. “Typographic man can express but is helpless to read the configurations of print technology.”

— Marshall McLuhan, ‘The Gutenberg Galaxy’.

28. “The alphabet and print technology fostered and encouraged a fragmenting process, a process of specialism and detachment. Electric technology fosters and encourages unification and involvement.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

29. “In non-visual space both man and animal are hunters.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

30. “Radio provides a speed-up of information that also causes acceleration in other media. It certainly contracts the world to village size and creates insatiable village tastes for gossip, rumor, and personal malice.”

— Marshall McLuhan, 'Understanding Media: The Extensions Of Man'.

31. “Except for light, all other media come in pairs, with one acting as the ‘content’ of the other, obscuring the operation of both.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

32. “All media are extensions of some human faculty- psychic or physical.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

33. “All media exist to invest our lives with artificial perceptions and arbitrary values.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

34. “Societies have always been shaped more by the nature of the media by which men communicate than by the content of the communication.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

35. “All media are extensions of some human faculty - psychic or physical.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

36. “The electric age...established a global network that has much the character of our central nervous system.”

— Marshall McLuhan, 'Understanding Media: The Extensions Of Man'.

37. “The student of media soon comes to expect the New Media of any period whatever to be classed as 'pseudo' by those who acquired the patterns of earlier media, whatever they may happen to be. ”

— Marshall McLuhan.

38. “Any understanding of social and cultural change is impossible without a knowledge of the way media work as environments.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

39. “To say that ‘the camera cannot lie’ is merely to underline the multiple deceits that are now practiced in its name.”

— Marshall McLuhan, 'Understanding Media: The Extensions Of Man'.

40. “In the name of progress, our official culture is striving to force the new media to do the work of the old.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

41. “New media may at first appear as mere codes of transmission for older achievement and established patterns of thought.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

42. “Print created individualism and nationalism in the sixteenth century. ”

— Marshall McLuhan, 'Understanding Media: The Extensions Of Man'.

Advertisement Quotes

The following Marshall McLuhan quotes are about the spread of advertisement and the impact it can make on the world.

43. “Advertising is the garment of abundance...a masque-like 'put on' of all the motifs and actions of our time.”

— Marshall McLuhan, ‘Culture Is Our Business’.

44. “Historians and archaeologists will one day discover that the ads of our time are the richest and most faithful reflections that any society ever made of its entire range of activities.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

45. “The ad is a meeting place of all the arts and all the skills and all the media of the American environment.”

— Marshall McLuhan, ‘Culture Is Our Business’.

46. “Advertising is the greatest art form of the twentieth century.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

47. “Photography turns people into things and their image into a mass consumer product.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

48. “The modern Little Red Riding Hood reared on singing commercials, has no objection to being eaten by the wolf.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

49. “The business of the advertiser is to see that we go about our business with some magic spell or tune or slogan throbbing quietly in the background of our minds.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

Quotes About The World

These great Marshall McLuhan apocalypse quotes include quotes about the advancement of civilization thanks to the growth in technological sectors from Marshall McLuhan books.

50. “When technology extends one of our senses, a new translation of culture occurs as swiftly as the new technology is interiorized.”

— Marshall McLuhan, ‘The Gutenberg Galaxy’.

51. “America is the only country ever founded on the printed word.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

52. “Artists in various fields are always the first to discover how to enable one medium or to release the power of another.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

53. “Until writing was invented, man lived in acoustic space: boundless, directionless, horizonless, in the dark of the mind, in the world of emotion…”

— Marshall McLuhan, ‘The Medium Is The Massage’.

54. “American youth attributes much more importance to arriving at driver's license age than at voting age.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

55. “The artist must ever play and experiment with new means of arranging experience, even though the majority of his audience may prefer to remain fixed in their old perceptual attitudes.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

56. “The future masters of technology will have to be light-hearted and intelligent. The machine easily masters the grim and the dumb.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

57. “The successor to politics will be propaganda. Propaganda, not in the sense of a message or ideology, but as the impact of the whole technology of the times.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

58. “The more the data banks record about each one of us, the less we exist.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

59. “Where the whole man is involved there is no work. Work begins with the division of labor.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

60. “The literate man is a sucker for propaganda.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

61. “Man works when he is partially involved. When he is totally involved he is at play or leisure.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

62. “Our Age of Anxiety is, in great part, the result of trying to do today’s job with yesterday’s tools and yesterday’s concepts.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

63. “What we call art would seem to be specialist artifacts for enhancing human perception.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

64. “Environments are not passive wrappings, but are, rather, active processes which are invisible. The ground rules, pervasive structure, and overall patterns of environments elude easy perception.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

65. “There are no passengers on spaceship earth. We are all crew.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

Philosophical Quotes

Marshall McLuhan spent his life teaching English at the University of Toronto and was one of the philosophers of his time. Here are some of his best philosophical quotes!

66. “Great art speaks a language which every intelligent person can understand. The people who call themselves modernists today speak a different language.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

67. “All words, in every language, are metaphors.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

68. “The criminal, like the artist, is a social explorer.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

69. “I may be wrong, but I’m never in doubt.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

70. “A point of view can be a dangerous luxury when substituted for insight and understanding.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

71. “Everybody experiences far more than he understands. Yet it is experience, rather than understanding, that influences behavior.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

72. “One thing about which fish know exactly nothing is water, since they have no anti-environment which would enable them to perceive the element they live in.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

73. “The specialist is one who never makes small mistakes while moving toward the grand fallacy.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

74. “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is a hallucinating idiot...for he sees what no one else does: things that, to everyone else, are not there.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

75. “The ‘expert’ is the man who stays put.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

76. “We become what we behold. We shape our tools and then our tools shape us.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

77. “Don't ask whether it is right or wrong. Instead, try to find out what is going on.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

78. “Violence is the quest for identity. When identity disappears with technological innovation, violence is the natural recourse.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

79. “We look at the present through a rearview mirror. We march backwards into the future.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

80. “The only people who have proof of their sanity are those who have been discharged from mental institutions.”

― Marshall McLuhan.

81. “There is absolutely no inevitability as long as there is a willingness to contemplate what is happening.”

― Marshall McLuhan, ‘The Medium Is The Massage’.

82. “It is the weak and confused who worship the pseudo-simplicities of brutal directness.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

83. “The new is always made up of the old, or rather, what people see in the new is always the old thing. The rear-view mirror. The future of the future is the present, and this is something that people are terrified of.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

84. “Control over change would seem to consist in moving not with it but ahead of it. Anticipation gives the power to deflect and control force.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

85. “There is absolutely no inevitability, so long as there is a willingness to contemplate what is happening.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

Marshall McLuhan Quotes On Television

Marshall McLuhan quotes are educational.

Marshall McLuhan was ahead of his times as proven by these quotes on television. Find your perfect Marshall McLuhan quotation about television from these great sayings and quotes about the impact of television that will knock you out of the park!

86. “Television brought the brutality of war into the comfort of the living room. Vietnam was lost in the living rooms of America - not on the battlefields of Vietnam.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

87. “The news automatically becomes the real world for the TV user and is not a substitute for reality, but is itself an immediate reality.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

88. “In television, images are projected at you. You are the screen. The images wrap around you. You are the vanishing point.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

89. “The TV generation is postliterate and retribalized. It seeks by violence to scrub the old private image and to merge in a new tribal identity, like any corporate executive.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

90. “A half-minute of television is equal to three minutes of stage or vaudeville.”

— Marshall McLuhan, 'Understanding Media: The Extensions Of Man'.

Funny Technology Quotes

These are the funniest Marshall McLuhan fame quotes and technology quotes that will make you laugh.

91. “Schizophrenia may be a necessary consequence of literacy.”

—  Marshall McLuhan, ‘The Gutenberg Galaxy’.

92. “Money is just the poor man's credit card.”

— Marshall McLuhan, 'Understanding Media: The Extensions Of Man'.

93. “If the nineteenth century was the age of the editorial chair, ours is the century of the psychiatrist's couch.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

94. “People who write obscurely are either unskilled in writing or up to mischief.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

95. “In antiquity and the Middle Ages, reading was necessarily reading aloud.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

96. “Good taste is the first refuge of the non-creative. It is the last-ditch stand of the artist.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

97. “To see a man slip on a banana skin is to see a rationally structured system suddenly translated into a whirling machine.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

98. “Print altered not only the spelling and grammar but the accentuation and inflection of languages, and made “bad grammar” possible.”

— Marshall McLuhan, ‘The Gutenberg Galaxy’.

99. “Everybody tends to merge his identity with other people at the speed of light. It's called being mass man.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

100. “Image making succeeds goal matching in a time when the targets change faster than the aims. At present, the day an engineer or a medical student graduates, he is obsolete.”

— Marshall McLuhan.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Marshall McLuhan quotes, then why not take a look at Gurdjieff quotes and Kropotkin quotes.

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Kidadl Team

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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