If there's a message of the 'for dummies' age it's that nothing is beyond our grasp. And our desire to believe this is reinforced by trends like usability, which privilege economy over elucidation. No one anticipated it all better than Marshall McLuhan, who whittled big insights into sound bites in order to engage an audience beyond the lecture halls of the University of Toronto.
After years of patient development in a time of occasional wars, an architecture created by the command of a military-industrial complex alters its character. Spaces designed to resist assault become screens for the imagination, haunted by projected fears and desires. The outside world treats these places with a mixture of contempt and craving, peopling them with its demons, rebels, tyrants, and alter egos.