The McLuhan Stream

I first entered the McLuhan stream while attending a workshop given by Barrington Nevitt and Gordon Thompson, in the early 80’s. It was about computers, which they called “two-bit wit” and they were questioning the direction of the developments. Thompson worked for Bell, Nevitt was independent. They were both fairly old by then, and I had no idea that Nevitt had collaborated with McLuhan way back in the days of the DEW Line. What struck me was his complete understanding, to the core, of the power of aphorism and resonant meanings in all speech. While he was communicating one thing: the idea he was conveying, beneath, through and all around were the resonances of the words, meanings, depth charges and all kinds of other possibilities opened up. It was, truly, the oral tradition. I pursued this connection, and in those days of old technologies, we corresponded, as he wished it to be, through cassette tapes by mail for some time, and I began an independent study of McLuhan concepts and approaches which continues to this day. I contexted my early video work, and prepared for the envisioned cyberfuture which was coming upon us at that time. This was before the personal computer revolution, and this connection to the McLuhan stream helped me participate in this with a new understanding.

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