The Filing Cabinet

Marshall McLuhan on future work

While Dynamic Work is growing in mainstream acceptance daily, it is still seen as rather forward thinking by most. Actually, the thinking has been around for decades. Admittedly by one of the most prescient social commentators ever – Marshall McLuhan. One of those seers insanely ahead of his time like Gaudi, da Vinci and Lloyd Wright. In this television interview (thanks Eileen), he describes the heart of Dynamic Work with chilling foresight. He envisions the ‘Internet’ long before its invention described as a variation of ‘closed circuit TV’ (not far off there).

Here he describes the insanity of the current structure of the workplace and how new approaches will change all of this including more distributed working environments…

“In our own world, we are hurrying back and forth across town morning and night to situations which we could quite easily encompass by close circuit.  Why do the wheels keep hurrying us downtown?  As some people are puzzled by this and have come up with the answer, it’s the filing cabinet.  Downtown and the offices that makes it still necessary to rush back and forth from suburb to the office.  That it is this obsession with the contents of the file…documents, contracts, data.  All of these materials could be available, actually, on closed circuit at home.  The stockbroker long ago discovered this.  That the telephone enables him to conduct his business anywhere.”