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You know nothing of my work!

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This New York Times review of Douglas Coupland's new book Marshall McLuhan: You know nothing of my work! caught my attention because I am a fan of both McLuhan and Coupland, who also wrote "Generation X.

I'm a fan of McLuhan because he "got" where mass media was going and Coupland because, in the spirit of McLuhan, he is trying to figure it out -- along with McLuhan's contribution to cultural inquiry and consequences.

One of McLuhan's successors at the McLuhan Program in Culture & Technology, Professor Derrick de Kerckhove, spoke at an international meeting of Catholic communicators in Cologne, Germany in 1997 or 1998. He spoke quickly and in such a convoluted manner that it was impossible to follow. Nevertheless, I felt like I was experiencing a kind of multimedia phenomenon of confusion that McLuhan (and Bernard Lonergan, Walter Ong, etc.) foresaw and tried to explain as well.

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I took notes and could not make sense of them after.

This review explains this perception well and gives Coupland tentative kudos for extracting themes and shedding light on a genius, a prophet of communications, at once simple and extraordinarily complex.

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April 11-24, 2014

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