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60 Years Later, The Medium is the Message. (with an important note on this blog + other means of sharing my journey)

August 18, 2018

Dear reader,

Two things.


In conversation with my friend Carol Sill last night, I realized that a significant anniversary had passed by without taking note.

Carol and I were talking (among other things) about the idea of having a McLuhan / McLuhan Institute event in her hometown, Vancouver. I had been thinking about Howard Gossage and the McLuhan Festival in San Francisco in 1965… thinking about what an event in Vancouver could look like I searched my capricious memory for a McLuhan/Vancouver connection and remembered a book I came across while cataloging Marshall’s library – and that I did a blog post about it:

m:m incsripto blog 1958

So the statement for which Marshall McLuhan is (arguably?) most known and most misunderstood is 60 years old this year.

The medium is the message.


Attentive readers of inscriptorium will know that I am on the second part of my inventory adventure.

The first part was the 18 months (or so) that I spent inventorying (and documenting and getting to know) the annotated ‘working’ library of my grandfather Marshall McLuhan. I had a grant to help with that, and I took a lot of photos with my Canon Powershot, and I spent a lot of time flipping through the books and getting to know them, and getting to know a grandfather who died when I was two years old – but I learned a lot about him through those books.

I shared that journey with the world here on this blog, and I created a twitter account where I shared some of the actual annotations. It seemed like the right thing to do.

This time around, it’s my father Eric McLuhan’s books I am inventorying, and the situation is very different. I don’t have the luxury of time or other resources I did the first time around. This means that I don’t have the time to spend on each book that I did before, and I don’t have the time to take a lot of photos and make a lot of notes and write up a lot of blogs. Maybe I will have time for that down the road, maybe not.

Also, the media landscape has changed. As have people, obviously, and their habits (see above note on m/m). So there are other ways of reaching people, and other ways of telling stories. Like on Instagram.


If I’m getting on it it’s likely obsolete, but yeah, I’m on Instagram as @mcinstatute (get it?). There, you get a pictorial representation of this blog. More pictures, fewer words.

Given the situation, it makes more sense for me to share my journey in shorter form, via Instagram, than it does to do it here. I regret that it is so. But it is also fun to experiment with other ways of telling my stories.

And – if you’re interested in the McLuhan Institute, while I am still working on the website (still ‘coming soon’… ugh.) I try to keep people updated via the McLuhan Institute Facebook Page.

As always, thanks for reading.



(an unexpected … twist?)

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