Today’s television child [. . .] is bewildered when he enters the nineteenth-century environment that still characterizes the educational establishment where information is scarce but ordered and structured by fragmented, classified patterns, subjects, and schedules. It is naturally an environment much like any factory set-up with its inventories and assembly lines.
The “child” is an invention of the seventeenth century; he did not exist in, say, Shakespeare’s day. He had, up until that time, been merged into the adult world and there was nothing that could be called childhood in our sense.
Today’s child is growing up absurd, because he lives in two worlds, and neither of them inclines him to grow up. Growing up—that is our new work, and it is total. Mere instruction will not suffice. (18)
McLuhan, Marshall, and Quentin Fiore. The Medium is the Massage. New York: Bantam, 1967.