First published in 1967, this text is now more relevant than ever, as McLuhan’s foresights about the affect of new media is actualized at unprecedented speeds by means of the Web. It portrays technologies as an extension of man, illustrating how our senses are massaged and our preceptions altered as these devices change into integral parts of our lives.
The Medium is the Massage is Marshall McLuhan’s most condensed, and most likely most effective, presentation of his ideas. The usage of a layout style that used to be later copied by Wired, McLuhan and coauthor/designer Quentin Fiore combine word and image to illustrate and enact the ideas that were first put forward in the dense and poorly organized Understanding Media. McLuhan’s ideas about the nature of media, the increasing speed of communication, and the technological basis for our understanding of who we are come to life in this slender volume. Even supposing initially printed in 1967, the art and style in The Medium is the Massage seem as fresh today as in the summertime of love, and the ideas are even more resonant now that computer interfaces are becoming gateways to the global village.