From Divine Inspiration by Jet Heer, The Walrus:
McLuhan: We live in a time when we have put a man-made satellite environment around the planet. The planet is no longer nature. It’s no longer the external world. It’s now the content of an artwork. Nature has ceased to exist.
Mailer: Well, I think you’re anticipating a century, perhaps.
McLuhan: But when you put a man-made environment around the planet, you have in a sense abolished nature. Nature from now on has to be programmed.
Mailer: Marshall, I think you’re begging a few tremendously serious questions. One of them is that we have not yet put a man-made environment around this planet, totally. We have not abolished nature yet. We may be in the process of abolishing nature forever.
McLuhan: The environment is not visible. It’s information. It’s electronic.
Mailer: Well, nonetheless, nature still exhibits manifestations which defy all methods of collecting information and data. For example, an earthquake may occur, or a tidal wave may come in, or a hurricane may strike. And the information will lag critically behind our ability to control it.
McLuhan: The experience of that event, that disaster, is felt everywhere at once, under a single dateline.
Mailer: But that’s not the same thing as controlling nature, dominating nature, or superseding nature. It’s far from that. Nature still does exist as a protagonist on this planet.
McLuhan: Oh, yes, but it’s like our Victorian mechanical environment. It’s a rear-view mirror image. Every age creates as a utopian image a nostalgic rear-view mirror image of itself, which puts it thoroughly out of touch with the present. The present is the enemy.