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Light On Light Through

You'll hear a little of this and lot of that on Light On Light Through - my reviews of great television series, my interviews with authors and creative media people and their interviews of me, my political commentary, thoughts about my favorite cars and food and space travel, discussions of my music, and a few of my readings from my science fiction stories. These are usually audio and a few are video.  In the first years, starting in 2006, I put up a new episode at least once a month.  More recently, it became more or less often than once a month, usually a lot less often.  But in the Fall of 2018, I began getting more in the mood to podcast, and you can expect new episodes now a little more frequently.  - Paul Levinson

McLuhan as Micro Blogger

Oct 13, 2007

Marshall McLuhan died on the last day of 1980 - not only years before there was micro-blogging and blogging, but a few years before e-mail and commenting on Web pages.

In 1986, I wrote a piece for the IEEE Transactions of Professional Communications entitled Marshall  McLuhan and Computer Conferencing, in which I said that the pithy, aphoristic bursts which characterized his writing - his great works from the 1960s consisted of chapters often not more than a page or two in length - were actually a form of web writing ("computer conferencing") decades before the Web and online communication emerged.

Just the other day, I realized something more about McLuhan's writing. The memorable titles he gave to his short chapters - for example, "The Medium is the Message" in Understanding Media (1964) or "Nobody ever made a grammatical error in a non-literate society" in the Gutenberg Galaxy (1962) (which has 107 of these gems) - were actually micro-blogs.

Blogging in his page-or-two chapters, micro-blogging in the titles or "glosses" (his term) he gave them. All of this back in 1962 and 1964.

McLuhan was in touch with a mode of expression, a vehicle of the human intellect, which was clear and percolating in his mind, even though the technology of its delivery was still decades away from invention.