Remembering Marcello Truzzi
Marcello came into my life much, much too late, in
the 1980s. He was the most prismatic thinker I’ve ever come across and
the surely the most generous academic in the world when it came to sharing
He was more than a distinguished sociologist; his
immense learning, on which I relied shamelessly for several of my books,
covered psychology too, and it is as a psychologist that I remember him—and
He was animated, original and fascinating whether
discussing the psychology of his favourite topics—magic, con men, the circus,
the bizarre and the outlandish—or, a favorite bugbear of his, the ergonomics
of everyday electronic gizmos.
He particularly hated TV remote controllers and,
I believe, tried to convince several manufacturers to simplify them along
analog lines a decade before anyone else recognised the coming “technofear”
engendered by our over-complicated digital age gadgets.
Marcello was like that—always ahead of the wave,
a barometer for tomorrow’s cultural weather.
I never did discover why his email was firstname.lastname@example.org,
but I still sometimes imagine I can see his wonderfully funny and interesting
emails each time I turn on my computer. RIP, Marcello, thank you
for everything and maybe you could try and find a way of emailing again
one of these days. If anyone can, you will.
is a journalist and author in England.