Who am I? :: Timeless (Re)Interpretations in Art, Culture and Philosophy :: 00iami00
“Who am I? What should I be Doing?” -Marshall McLuhan, Take Thirty, CBC Television, 1965
The Psychiatrist's couches of the world are sagging with people who have lost their sense of identity. They used to feel they were clearly defined entities; they had cards of identity, they knew who they were. Now they go to psychiatrists to be told or to find out, “Who am I? What should I be Doing?” -Marshall McLuhan, Take Thirty, CBC Television, 1965
The Story: We waste too much time racing from home to office, says Marshall McLuhan, an English professor at the University of Toronto who's becoming known internationally for his study on the effects of media. Society's obsession with files and folders forces office workers to make the daily commute from the suburbs to downtown. McLuhan says the stockbroker is the smart one. He learned some time ago that most business may be conducted from anywhere if done by phone. McLuhan's prescient knowledge: In the future, people will no longer only gather in classrooms to learn but will also be moved by "electronic circuitry."
Did You Know?:
• McLuhan's prediction of a world connected by electronic circuits came true in 1995 when people around the globe began using the Internet, a secret computer network developed by the U.S. Defense Department in the 1970s. A report about the resurgence of McLuhan's ideas with the advent of the Web may be seen in Clip 10.
• After completing a Masters of Arts degree at the University of Manitoba (1934) and a literature degree at Cambridge University (1936), McLuhan was unable to find work at a Canadian university. He left for the United States in 1936, accepting a position at the University of Wisconsin and a year later moved to the University of St. Louis.
• In 1939 McLuhan started his MA at Cambridge and by 1943 he completed his PhD in literature.
• McLuhan originally considered studying engineering but decided against it when he excelled in literature.
• McLuhan moved back to Canada in 1944 to teach at Assumption College, now the University of Windsor. Two years later he accepted a position at the University of Toronto's St. Michael's College, where he remained until he retired in 1979 after suffering a stroke.
• During his time at St. Michael's, he took a one-year sabbatical from 1967 to 1968, accepting a chair at New York's Fordham University.
Program: Take 30
Broadcast Date: April 1, 1965
Hosts: George Garlock, Paul Soles
Guest(s): Marshall McLuhan
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