• Arthur Kroker and Marilouise Kroker, eds., Critical Digital Studies: A Reader (2nd ed. Toronto: U Toronto P, 2013)

“[T]hese approaches to new digital media think about contemporary communication from the point-of-view of biology: affect, disease, contagion. Indeed, in fateful fulfilment of McLuhan’s prophecy that the ‘medium is the message,’ these approaches to understanding new digital media are noteworthy both for their (manifest) content and their (invisible) form.” (“Introduction,” 18)

Julian Jonker, “Black Secret Technology (The Whitey on the Moon Dub)”

“Marshall McLuhan’s predictions have come true: we now live in acoustic space, submerged in an amniotic mediasphere that pays no heed to the linearities of the printed word. Producers of electronica do not so much compose music as design aural architecture” (563).

  • Friedrich Kittler, The Truth of the Technological World: Essays on the Genealogy of Presence, trans. Erik Butler with an Afterword by Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht (Stanford: Stanford UP, 2013)

80: “Golems pose a danger: they are stupid doubles of a human being that has no longer existed ever since media–according to McLuhan, “extensions of the body”–started to replace even central nervous systems.”

143: [O]ur concepts for media, when they do not derive from the body (like the ‘heart’ or ‘brain of a circuit’), learn from the city.”

294: “Spectacles, telephones, and streets bridge what, ever since Roman times, has been called ‘distance’ and has little to do with remoteness–that is, nearness owed to familiarity or love. However, in such ‘involvement’ [Bewandtnis], as the wonderfully precise term has been ever since Being and Time, they are media. As if to prove as much, Marshall McLuhan’s Understanding Media, which appeared thirty-seven years later, foresaw a chapter on telephones from the get-go; at the last minute, the author added a chapter on streets to achieve an even greater audience. As if in order to prove Being and Time, McLuhan called all media–from Freud’s prosthetic spectacles to Heidegger’s visual walkware [Gehzeug]–‘extensions of man.’ Whether this is true remains an open question, even if, ever since Aristotle, it has been considered solved.”

295: “[M]uch more clearly than Bertolt Brecht, … Heidegger saw the difference between radio and telephone. Radio is not only not a practical, everyday ‘extension of man’ like spectacles or the telephone because it does not draw (things) inconspicuously near to us; instead, and above all, it is not an ‘extension of man’ because it concerns [angeht] and changes ‘Dasein today’ in its historical position [in seiner geschichtlichen Stellung]. Even if Heidegger speaks (as usual) of a causa efficiens–and therefore says nothing about radio engineers or inventors–he ascribes ‘speed[ing] things up’ to the presence of a radio, a matter that is not difficult to decipher as physical acceleration.”


  • Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht, “Afterword: Media History as the Event of Truth: On the Singularity of Friedrich A. Kittler’s Work,” in Friedrich A. Kittler, The Truth of the Technological World: Essays on the Genealogy of Presence, trans. Erik Butler (Stanford: Stanford UP, 2013): 307-330

312: “Kittler expanded the initial configuration he had established, via popular music, between Foucault’s discourse analysis, Lacan’s antisubjective psychoanalysis, and Nietzsche’s corporeal philosophy when he analyzed ‘Brain Damage’ by Pink Floyd. The essay concludes by explicitly rejecting McLuhan’s dogma that a medium is its own message [sic], and therefore self-reflexive [sic]. Instead, Kittler affirms that existence is shaped by sounds and their media–a view that, in light of his later work, we can identify as theological in inspiration.”


  • Graham Harman, Bells and Whistles: More Speculative Realism (Winchester: Zero Books, 2013)

Ch. 12: “McLuhan as Philosopher”: “I want to convince you that McLuhan is a figure of tremendous value for philosophy: not because McLuhan is more than just a media theorist, but because philosophy ultimately may be nothing more than media theory. McLuhan’s most famous phrase is immeasurably more famous than those of Plato, Aristotle, Kant, or Hegel. McLuhan’s most famous phrase is: ‘The medium is the message.’ … Heidegger too might have said that ‘figures rise out of, and recede back into, ground’ … and that ‘the study of ground on its own terms is virtually impossible’ [Laws of Media]. Nor would such remarks be peripheral to Heidegger’s philosophy. In this way, McLuhan finds himself in proximity to one of the greatest philosophers of the past century, and indeed probably the greatest. … Heidegger’s famous tool-analysis … I hold to be the most important moment in the past century of philosophy. Its resemblance to McLuhan’s foundational insight should be clear enough: the background is more powerful than what is present; ground is mightier than figure.”


  • Yoni van den Eede, Amor Technologiae: Marshall McLuhan as Philosopher of Technology (Academic and Scientific Publishing, 2013)


  • Robert Logan, McLuhan Misunderstood: Setting the Record Straight (Toronto: Key Publishing House, 2013)

1  “Digital media are impacting every aspect of our lives but they are more in control of us than we are of them. We need help and I believe the ideas of Marshall McLuhan can provide the kind of guidance we need, but sadly he is misunderstood by most [,] especially within the academic community in which he spent his whole career.”


  • Jerome K. McGann, “Philology in a new key,” Critical Inquiry 39.2 (2013):  327-346

335:  Research aiming to produce “not the known, but the unknown” and a program of such research, institutionally located: that is what Lyotard wanted. He was thinking critically about Boeckh, of course, but also of Karl Marx and Ludwig Feuerbach. That’s why his book proposed not simply to understand the world of knowledge production but to change it. His projected polytechnic institute would transform the works and days of the Paris–VIII philosophy faculty into an exemplary, and most of all an institutional, Novum organum scientiarum. Fifteen years later, Bernard Stiegler would begin his critical reflections on what was right and what was wrong with the philosophic orientation of Paris–VIII. The key book in this regard is his first, La Technique et le temps (1994)—a seriously dense work whose central argument is simple and important. (It was anticipated, let me add in passing, by Marshall McLuhan’s studies of “the extensions of man” and has been a decades-long focus of the phenomenology of the radical constructivist movement.)