3 min readMar 4, 2022


Fourness in Marshall McLuhan & the Tetrad by Gerry Fialka

Fourness in Marshall McLuhan & the Tetrad by Gerry Fialka

“All art constantly aspires to the condition of music.” — Walter Pater.

“The very crisis which threatens the writing of poetry sustains poetic composition.” — Leo Bersani’s Mallarme study.

The whole point of aphorisms is inspiring one to rewrite them.


“All new technologies aspire to the condition of Finnegans Wake.” — Geritol Fialkaseltzer.

Consider how James Joyce invented the Internet, Wordle, Elden Ring, Zoom, Instagram and disguised them as a book.

“The very crisis which threatens the writing of Tetrads sustains Tedtrad management.” — Germy Folkways. Duh! Duh?

The FOUR MOTIF can double the doubleness. Apply the Tetrad by Marshall McLuhan, the Quadrivium of Liberal Arts, the Joseph Campbell take on the four books of Finnegans Wake by James Joyce: 1 is the book of the forgotten past, 2 is the book of the present, 3 is the book of the desired future, 4 is the book of the real future), and many more.

McLuhan’s theory of change emphasized four means of communication: HD (high definition), SI (structural impact), SC (sensory closure or subjective completion), and LD (low definition).

“Almost from prehistoric times, the number four was employed to signify what was solid, what could be touched and felt. Its relationship to the cross (four points) made it an outstanding symbol of wholeness and universality, a symbol which drew all to itself.” — Chevalier & Gheerbrant, The Dictionary of Symbols.

Four is the sacred number of the Zia, an indigenous New Mexico tribe. Cancer (acid, mold) can described as the body’s inability to remove waste in four ways: poop, pee, perspiration and respiration. Four seasons: spring, summer, autumn, winter. Greek classical elements & alchemy: fire, air, water, earth. Four cardinal directions: north, south, east , west. Four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John. Aristotle’s four causes in nature: the efficient cause, the matter, the end and the form.

As preposterous pre-post-modernists, we can intuit that “MUD (Multi-User Divergents) is the fifth element,” as Napolean said. The theme of fourness also includes Ritual, Art, Science and Technology. Giambattista Vico is usually credited with being the first to identify metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche and irony as the four basic tropes. It involves exegesis, which is the act of interpreting or explaining in four levels: literal, allegorical, moral, and eschatological.

Fourness brings together the interplay of all the senses in limited edition EchoLands. As we put the Humpty Dumpty of History (all times are happening NOW) back together again, we renew the ancient interest in ambiguity and paradox. As seers of language (outer and inner) we reimagine a resonant panoply of information operations (secrets, lies, propaganda, mixed media mambos) as subliminal perceptions to reassess Menippean management of public consciousness in total-field anthemic awareness, and sleep. It’s a meeting of the minds — the sage and the saint, Shem and Shaun, the spell and the solatium.

More fourness:

Vico spawned James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake with fourness: 1-Gods, 2-Heroes, 3- The People, Humanity, 4- Recorso, coda.

Silva Mind Control: 1-Beta (waking state), 2-Alpha (light sleep, intuition), 3-Theta (deeper sleep, meditation), 4- Delta-(deep sleep, unconscious).

Kabbalah: Pshat (the direct interpretation of meaning), 2-Remez (the allegoric meaning), 3- Derash (midrashic meaning, often with imaginative comparisons with similar words), 4- Sod- (the inner metaphysical meaning).

All these fourness themes are deeply involved in the transcenDance of The Wizard of Us. We are atomic dogs pulling back the curtain.

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I welcome your input. Gerry Fialka 310–306–7330

“Understanding is not a point of view” — Marshall McLuhan