'Tools Shape Their Users'

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“Around 1.7 million years ago,” this story at New Scientist notes, “our ancestors’ tools went from basic rocks banged together to chipped hand axes. The strength and dexterity needed to make and use the latter quickly shaped our hands into what they are today – judging by a fossil that belongs to the oldest known anatomically modern hand.”


Headline via Instapundit. Of course, tools are still shaping us, today, as the video atop this post highlights. Tom Wolfe explains everything you wanted to know about Marshall McLuhan, in a 23-minute video I stumbled over while I sat in at Instapundit last month. It was recorded in the 1990s, during the period when thanks to the heady early days of Wired magazine and the birth of the World Wide Web, McLuhan’s theories were undergoing something of a renaissance. (Some even credited McLuhan with inspiring the Blogosphere…)

Wolfe interviewed McLuhan in the mid-1960s, when McLuhan’s career as a pop theorist and corporate sponsored guru were at their zenith, asking, “What If He’s Right?” As Wolfe noted, McLuhan would tell GE, “Gentlemen, the General Electric Company makes a considerable portion of its profits from electric light bulbs, but it is not yet discovered that it is not in the light bulb business but in the business of moving information.” GE certainly went out of their way to eventually prove that statement true.


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