Skip to content
Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Marshall McLuhan – “Advertising is the folk art of the 20th century”

June 20, 2018

Marshall McLuhan’s axiom that [5:27 into the video] “advertising is the folk art of the 20th century” (which, in fact, is a quotation that he responds to rather than directly articulates in this interview) is prescient enough, though in some ways his preceding statement, about the nature of reading, is even more interesting. Marshall McLuhan asserts that “the word to read means to guess…” and that “reading is actually an activity of rapid guessing” [4:33].

Etymologically speaking McLuhan is spot-on – the word “read” does (as he says) derive from the Old English rǣdan (from the Dutch raden, and the German raten) meaning to “advise” or “guess”; so the history of language corroborates the idea that our minds deploy “perceptual hypotheses” or intelligent guesswork to decode streams of text and speech (see the “Rorschach Audio” book pages 43, 46 and 167 etc).

Given what the “Rorschach Audio” book says about how “the earliest form of sound recording technology was not a machine but was written language” (page 96), it’s no surprise that the neural strategies employed in “reading” both speech and text are so closely related. From a public-understanding-of-science point-of-view however, the most striking feature of this interview is that when Marshall McLuhan puts forward this idea, it’s received as so improbable and outlandish that some members of the audience actually laugh [4:50].

https://tinyurl.com/ydd62qlm + https://tinyurl.com/yca4z9ff

Joe Banks, 20 June 2018

From → Uncategorized

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: