Norman Mailer & Marshall McLuhan Debate the Electronic Age

There’s nothing new about it. Major periods of technological change have always engendered dislocation and debate. Some resist the changes wrought by new technology, and others embrace them. 1968 brings us back to one such moment, when the American novelist Norman Mailer and communication theorist Marshall McLuhan appeared on the CBC program, The Summer Way, to debate the relative merits of our Electronic/Information Age. Are we alienating ourselves as we push the electronic envelope? Or have we entered a value neutral state (if not something better)? The two big thinkers hash out the question for 28 minutes. You can watch the conversation in its entirety (28 minutes) on YouTube.

Would you like to support the mission of Open Culture? Please consider making a donation to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us continue providing the best free cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere.

Also consider following Open Culture on Facebook and Twitter and sharing intelligent media with your friends. Or sign up for our daily email and get a daily dose of Open Culture in your inbox. 

Related Content:

Norman Mailer & Marshall McLuhan Debate the Electronic Age

The Visionary Thought of Marshall McLuhan, Introduced and Demystified by Tom Wolfe

Marshall McLuhan’s 1969 Deck of Cards, Designed For Out-of-the-Box Thinking

by | Permalink | Comments (2) |

Support Open Culture

We’re hoping to rely on our loyal readers rather than erratic ads. To support Open Culture’s mission, please consider making a donation. We accept Paypal, Venmo, Patreon, even Crypto! To donate, click here. We thank you!

Comments (2)
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
  • mic says:


  • Victoria says:

    McLuhan accurately predicts Jihadism and the Taliban with “violence as a search for identity”, but poor Mailer, the obsessive Victorian materialist, labours, his own identity rapidly eroding by the minute as though on acid, and a contact high from the point of McLuhan’s early reference to “psychedelic”. Intimidated by McLuhan, he appears to have little appreciation of metaphor (for a writer) and unable to make such leaps to philosophize. An ersatz Hemmingway in juxaposition. But then, even Hemmingway was no Hemmingway…propelled by primal fear.

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.