Many people seem to think that if you talk about something recent, you’re in favor of it. The exact opposite is true in my case. Anything I talk about is almost certain to be something I’m resolutely against, and it seems to me the best way of opposing it is to understand it, and then you know where to turn off the button.”
That’s Marshall McLuhan. (via submitted for your perusal)
Marshall McLuhan’s advice on how to choose books:
Turn to page 69 of any book and read it. If you like that page, buy the book.
The Page 69 Test blog is evaluating McLuhan’s suggestion book by book.
Nick Carr has an interesting piece on the revival of Marshall McLuhan’s media theories up at The Guardian, with a longer version at his blog:
The temperature of media was not McLuhan’s only subject, nor even his most interesting one. Although he is often presented as a glorifier of technological progress, he painted a subtle, sometimes disturbing picture of the future. In one striking sentence from Understanding Media, he offered a dark view of the commercial exploitation of electric media: “Once we have surrendered our senses and nervous systems to the private manipulation of those who would try to benefit by taking a lease on our eyes and ears and nerves, we don’t really have any rights left.”
How to choose a good book to read, a tip from Marshall McLuhan: turn to page 69, read it, and if it’s good, you’ve got a winner. (via snarkmarket)
Update: A kottke.org reader writes, “It’s known (although perhaps not well) that he often only read the left-hand pages of books. It’s one way that someone could get through as much as he did and apparently he thought there was usually too much redundancy, anyway.” (thx, steve)