The Best Marshall Mcluhan quotes

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Marshall McLuhan was a philosopher, educator, and theorist who is most famous for his work on the impact of new media on society. He is often credited with coining the terms the medium is the message and global village. His work has been influential in both academia and popular culture, and he remains one of the most widely-read theorists of our time. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at McLuhan’s life and work, and explore how it has shaped our understanding of communication and technology.

We are glad to present you the deepest Identity, Space, Medium, Information, Human Beings, World, Technology, Live, Environment quotes from Marshall Mcluhan, and much more.


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About Marshall Mcluhan

birth of the author

July 21, 1911

death of the author

December 31, 1980

college of the author

Alma Mater:
University Of Manitoba, Trinity Hall, Cambridge

date of the author

20Th-Century Philosophy

country of the author

Western Philosophy

movement of the author

Toronto School Of Communication Theory

institution of the author

St. Michael’s College, Toronto

occupation of the author

Main Interests:
Media, Mass Media, Sensorium, New Criticism

knownfor of the author

Notable Ideas:
The Medium Is The Message, Global Village, Figure And Ground, Tetrad Of Media Effects, Hot And Cool Media, Media Ecology


Faced with information overload, we have no alternative but pattern–recognition. — Marshall Mcluhan

As the age of information demands the simultaneous use of all our faculties, we discover that we are most at leisure when we are most intensely involved. — Marshall Mcluhan

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

World War III is a guerrilla information war with no division between military and civilian participation. — Marshall Mcluhan

faced with information overload we have no alternative but pattern recognition Marshall Mcluhan quote

When information overload occurs, pattern recognition is how to determine truth. — Marshall Mcluhan

The electric light is pure information. It is a medium without a message — Marshall Mcluhan

Information and images bump against each other every day in massive quantities, and the resonance of this interfacing is like the babble of a village or tavern gossip session. — Marshall Mcluhan

When information rubs against information the results are startling and effective. The perrenial quest for involvement, fill–in, takes many forms. — Marshall Mcluhan

As information becomes our environment, it becomes mandatory to program the environment itself as a work of art. — Marshall Mcluhan

when information overload occurs pattern recognition is how to determine truth Marshall Mcluhan quote

In this electronic age we see ourselves being translated more and more into the form of information, moving toward the technological extension of consciousness. — Marshall Mcluhan

All meaning alters with acceleration, because all patterns of personal and political interdependence change with any acceleration of information. — Marshall Mcluhan

The real news is bad news. — Marshall Mcluhan

The ignorance of how to use knowledge stockpiles exponentially. — Marshall Mcluhan


The ‘content’ of any medium is always another medium. — Marshall Mcluhan

the content of any medium is always another medium Marshall Mcluhan quote

New media are new archetypes, at first disguised as degradations of older media. — Marshall Mcluhan

The media have substituted themselves for the older world. — Marshall Mcluhan

The medium is the message. — Marshall Mcluhan

The new media are not bridges between man and nature–they are nature… — Marshall Mcluhan

All media are extensions of some human faculty–psychic or physical. — Marshall Mcluhan

new media are new archetypes at first disguised as degradations of older media Marshall Mcluhan quote

In Jesus Christ, there is no distance or separation between the medium and the message: it is the one case where we can say that the medium and the message are fully one and the same. — Marshall Mcluhan

Education is civil defence against media fallout. — Marshall Mcluhan

The only way to recover the old world is to induce the media into vomiting it back up. — Marshall Mcluhan

The new media are not ways of relating to us the ‘real’ world; they are the real world and they reshape what remains of the old world at will. — Marshall Mcluhan

All media exist to invest our lives with artificial perceptions and arbitrary values. — Marshall Mcluhan

the media have substituted themselves for the older world Marshall Mcluhan quote

Media are means of extending and enlarging our organic sense lives into our environment. — Marshall Mcluhan

The content or message of any particular medium has about as much importance as the stenciling on the casing of an atomic bomb. — Marshall Mcluhan

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

All media work us over completely. — Marshall Mcluhan

If we understand the revolutionary transformations caused by new media, we can anticipate and control them; but if we continue in our self–induced subliminal trance, we will be their slaves. — Marshall Mcluhan

the medium is the message Marshall Mcluhan quote

All the new media are art forms which have the power of imposing, like poetry, their own assumptions. — Marshall Mcluhan

Artists in various fields are always the first to discover how to enable one medium or to release the power of another. — Marshall Mcluhan

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

The new media and technologies by which we amplify and extend ourselves constitute huge collective surgery carried out on the social body with complete disregard for antiseptics. — Marshall Mcluhan

Today we are beginning to notice that the new media are not just mechanical gimmicks for creating worlds of illusion, but new languages with new and unique powers of expression. — Marshall Mcluhan

the new media are not bridges between man and nature they are nature Marshall Mcluhan quote

The laws of the media, in tetrad form, bring logos and formal cause up to date to reveal analytically the structure of all human artefacts. — Marshall Mcluhan

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

A new medium is never an addition to an old one, nor does it leave the old one in peace. It never ceases to oppress the older media until it finds new shapes and positions for them. — Marshall Mcluhan

Any understanding of social and cultural change is impossible without a knowledge of the way media work as environments. — Marshall Mcluhan


Human perception is literally incarnation. — Marshall Mcluhan

human perception is literally incarnation Marshall Mcluhan quote

Since with electricity we extend our central nervous system globally, instantly interrelating every human experience. — Marshall Mcluhan

Computers can do better than ever what needn’t be done at all. Making sense is still a human monopoly. — Marshall Mcluhan

What we call art would seem to be specialist artifacts for enhancing human perception. — Marshall Mcluhan

The village had institutionalized all human functions in forms of low intensity…. Participation was high and organization was low. This is the formula for stability. — Marshall Mcluhan

The modern nose, like the modern eye, has developed a sort of microscopic, intercellular intensity which makes our human contactspainful and revolting. — Marshall Mcluhan

In Tetrad form, the artifact is seen to be not neutral or passive, bur an active logos or utterance of the human mind or body that transforms the user and his ground. — Marshall Mcluhan

Pornography and obscenity…work by specialism and fragmentation. They deal with a figure without a ground–situations in which the human factor is suppressed in favor of sensations and kicks. — Marshall Mcluhan


The most human thing about us is our technology. — Marshall Mcluhan

We are all robots when uncritically involved with our technologies. — Marshall Mcluhan

Technology is that which separates us from our environment. — Marshall Mcluhan

the most human thing about us is our technology 
Marshall Mcluhan quote

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

When new technologies impose themselves on societies long habituated to older technologies, anxieties of all kinds result. — Marshall Mcluhan

Technologies themselves, regardless of content, produce a hemispheric bias in the users. — Marshall Mcluhan

The potential of any technology is always dissipated by its users involvement in its predecessors…Computer are still serving mainly to sustain precomputer effects. — Marshall Mcluhan

If people were able to be convinced that art is precise advance knowledge of how to cope with the psychic and social consequences of the next technology, would they all become artists? — Marshall Mcluhan

we are all robots when uncritically involved with our technologies Marshall Mcluhan quote

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

As technology advances, it reverses the characteristics of every situation again and again. The age of automation is going to be the age of ‘do it yourself.’ — Marshall Mcluhan

The future masters of technology will have to be light–hearted and intelligent. The machine easily masters The grim and The dumb. — Marshall Mcluhan

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

Literacy, the visual technology, dissolved the tribal magic by means of its stress on fragmentation and specialization and created the individual. — Marshall Mcluhan

It is the framework which changes with each new technology and not just the picture within the frame. — Marshall Mcluhan

Redundant Thematics

In Marshall Mcluhan Statements



Once you see the boundaries of your environment, they are no longer the boundaries of your environment. — Marshall Mcluhan

Their power to see environments as they really are. — Marshall Mcluhan

Youth instinctively understand the present environment–the electric drama. It lives mythically and in depth. — Marshall Mcluhan

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

their power to see environments as they really are Marshall Mcluhan quote

The present is always invisible because its environmental. No environment is perceptible, simply because it saturates the whole field of attention. — Marshall Mcluhan

The artist is the person who invents the means to bridge between biological inheritance and the environments created by technological innovation. — Marshall Mcluhan

Education, which should be helping youth to understand and adapt to their revolutionary new environments, is instead being used merely as an instrument of cultural aggression. — Marshall Mcluhan

A light bulb creates an environment by its mere presence. — Marshall Mcluhan

It is possible to deal with the entire environment as a work of art. — Marshall Mcluhan

a light bulb creates an environment by its mere presence Marshall Mcluhan quote

If a work of art is to explore new environments, it is not to be regarded as a blueprint but rather as a form of action–painting. — Marshall Mcluhan

Environments are not just containers, but are processes that change the content totally. — Marshall Mcluhan


The space of early Greek cosmology was structured by logos–resonant utterance or word. — Marshall Mcluhan

Einstein pronounced the doom of continuous or ‘rational’ space, and the way was made clear for Picasso and the Marx Brothers and Mad magazine. — Marshall Mcluhan

A nomadic society cannot experience enclosed space. — Marshall Mcluhan

the space of early greek cosmology was structured by logos resonant utterance or word Marshall Mcluhan quote

Cubism (‘multi–locationalism’) is one of the painterly forms of acoustic space. — Marshall Mcluhan

Darkness is to space what silence is to sound, i.e., the interval. — Marshall Mcluhan

To say that a body or its gravitational field ‘bends in space’ in its vicinity is the discuss visual space in acoustic terms. — Marshall Mcluhan

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

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

a nomadic society cannot experience enclosed space Marshall Mcluhan quote

Once introduced discontinuity, once challenge any of the properties of visual space, and as they flow from each other, the whole conceptual framework collapses. — Marshall Mcluhan

The victory over Euclidean space was not achieved by isolated individuals, but by a field of young rebels opposed to all absolutes. — Marshall Mcluhan


Advertising is an environmental striptease for a world of abundance. — Marshall Mcluhan

The new electronic interdependence recreates The world in The image of a global village. — Marshall Mcluhan

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

advertising is an environmental striptease for a world of abundance Marshall Mcluhan quote

Education in a technological world of replaceable and expendable parts is neuter. — Marshall Mcluhan

Ads represent the main channel of intellectual and artistic effort in the modern world. — Marshall Mcluhan

Today’s child is growing up absurd, because he lives in two worlds, and neither of them inclines him to grow up. — Marshall Mcluhan

Radio affects most intimately, person–to–person, offering a world of unspoken communication between writer–speaker and the listener. — Marshall Mcluhan

The fall or scrapping of a cultural world puts us all into the same archetypal cesspool, engendering nostalgia for earlier conditions. — Marshall Mcluhan

education in a technological world of replaceable and expendable parts is neuter Marshall Mcluhan quote

An administrator in a bureaucratic world is a man who can feel big by merging his non–entity in an abstraction. A real person in touch with real things inspires terror in him. — Marshall Mcluhan

Work’ does not exist in a nonliterate world. The primitive hunter or fisherman did no work, any more than does the poet, painter, or thinker of today. Where the whole man is involved there is no work. — Marshall Mcluhan

The movie, by sheer speeding up of the mechanical, carried us from the world of sequence and connections into the world of creative configurations and structure. — Marshall Mcluhan

Today’s child is growing up absurd, because he lives in two worlds, and neither of them inclines him to grow up. Growing up––thatis our new work, and it is total. Mere instruction will not suffice. — Marshall Mcluhan

There are no passengers on spaceship earth. We are all crew. — Marshall Mcluhan


We have to find the environments in which it will be possible to live with our new inventions. — Marshall Mcluhan

Canada is the only country in the world that knows how to live without an identity. — Marshall Mcluhan

You can be a French Canadian or an English Canadian, but not a Canadian. We know how to live without an identity, and this is one of our marvellous resources. — Marshall Mcluhan

Every society honors its live conformists and its dead troublemakers. — Marshall Mcluhan

Time’ has ceased, ‘space’ has vanished. We now live in a global village… a simultaneous happening — Marshall Mcluhan

canada is the only country in the world that knows how to live without an identity Marshall Mcluhan quote

The task confronting contemporary man is to live with the hidden ground of his activities as familiarly as our literate predecessors lived with the figure minus ground. — Marshall Mcluhan

Our technology forces us to live mythically, but we continue to think fragmentarily, and on single, separate planes. — Marshall Mcluhan

All forms of violence are quests for identity. When you live on the frontier, you have no identity. You’re a nobody. — Marshall Mcluhan

The greatest discovery of the 21st century will be the discovery that Man was not meant to live at the speed of light. — Marshall Mcluhan

Canadians are the people who learned to live without the bold accents of the natural ego–trippers of other lands. — Marshall Mcluhan


Violence, whether spiritual or physical, is a quest for identity and the meaningful. The less identity, the more violence. — Marshall Mcluhan

Violence is the quest for identity. When identity disappears with technological innovation, violence is the natural recourse. — Marshall Mcluhan

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

Attention spans get very weak at the speed of light, and that goes along with a very weak identity. — Marshall Mcluhan

Huck Finn. Loss of identity drives people to nostalgia. Electronic man has no physical body, so he [Jimmy Carter] puts nostalgia in its place. — Marshall Mcluhan

Everybody tends to merge his identity with other people at the speed of light. It’s called being mass man. — Marshall Mcluhan

Pornography and violence are by–products of societies in which private identity has been … destroyed by sudden environmental change. — Marshall Mcluhan

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