Gerald Stearn's Interview circa 1966

What originally led to your interest in media and the effect of media upon our culture?

I was gradually made aware of these things by other people artists, the new anthropological studies. As you become aware of the different modes of experience in other cultures and watch them transformed by new, Western technologies-it is difficult to avoid observation. It becomes inevitable to assume that what happens to other people and cultures can happen to us. My present interest is an extension of, and derivative of, my literary work.

If I could get a team of media students going, I would happily retire back into literary studies. I find media analysis very much more exciting now simply because it affects so many more people. One measure of the importance of anything is: Who is affected by it? In our time, we have devised ways of making the most trivial event affect everybody. One of the consequences of electronic environments is the total involvement of people in people.

(interview continues)
McLuhan Hot & Cool, Gerald E. Stearn 1967 (Dial Press)


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