Thursday, November 18, 2010

McLuhan's Religion and the Influence of Media

Carrying on from yesterday's post, Wired magazine has an article discussing McLuhan and a recent documentary on him. The article mentions that McLuhan converted to Catholicism but that why isn't made clear. But if you read the Wikipedia article, you know it's because of G.K. Chesterton, the English writer.
Most of us don't consider how media effects us, but obviously McLuhan was hyper-aware of it. Moreover, we are even less likely to think about how books affect us, especially if we're not the kind of people to see books as media because of how old they are. McLuhan, even at a young age, saw the effect that Chesterton had on him, because it changed him into a religious man. Given McLuhan's own account of what made him convert, it seems obvious he would one day turn around and see other forms of media as having large influence on people, even if they were converting to a very different form of religion.

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