The Medium is the Message

Episode 71 · April 15th, 2020 · 1 hr 24 mins

About this Episode

On the surface, the phrase "the medium is the message," prophetic as it may have been when Marshall McLuhan coined it, points a now-obvious fact of our wired world, namely that the content of any medium is less important than its form. The advent of email, for instance, has brought about changes in society and culture that are more far-reaching than the content of any particular email. On the other hand, this aphorism of McLuhan's has the ring of an utterance of the Delphic Oracle. As Phil proposes in this episode of Weird Studies, it is an example of what Zen practitioners call a koan, a statement that occludes and illumines in equal measures, a jewel whose shining surface is an invitation to descend into dark depths. Join JF and Phil as they discuss the mystical and cosmic implications of McLuhan's oracular vision.


McLuhan, Understanding Media
The Playboy interview
McLuhan and Quentin Fiore, The Medium is the Massage: An Inventory of Effects
Graham Harman, American philosopher
Clement Greenberg, American critic
Dale Pendell, Pharmako/Poeia: Plant Powers, Poisons, and Herbcraft
Brian Eno, British composer
Marshall and Eric McLuhan, The Laws of Media: The New Science _
Jonathan Sterne, _The Audible Past: Cultural Origins of Sound Reproduction

Eric McLuhan and Frank Zingrone (editors), The Essential McLuhan
Charles A. Reich, The Greening of America
David Fincher (director), The Social Network _
Gilles Deleuze, _Cinema I _and _Cinema II

Jean Gebser, The Ever-Present Origin
Eric Havelock,_ Preface to Plato_
Walter J. Ong, American theorist
Plato, [Republic](