April 8, 2008


Posted in Economics, Education, History, Thoughts tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 1:37 am by randallbutisingh



Down through the ages the ways which man communicates have determined his thoughts, his actions, his life. The mass media of today are decentralizing modern living, turning the globe into a village, and catapulting 20th century man back to the life of the tribe.

Marshall McLuhan – Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man – 1964


COMMENT by Cyril Bryan:

We are now living in the ELECTRONIC INFORMATION AGE

In 1964, Marshall McLuhan was truly a visionary, who was able to perceive the future and analyze its affects on society. He coined the terms “Global Village” and “The Medium is the Message”, and the concept of the “new tribalism of man” in the new electronic age. I remember his lectures at the University of Toronto and interviews on television during the 1960’s and 1970’s. They were always controversial, futuristic and insightful as he was a man perceiving the future. He was a truly great thinker who was able to explain and bridge the gap between the mechanical and electronic ages my generation has experienced.

Now in 2008, some 44 years since the publication of his book, we can look to see what has occurred. In 1964 there was only printed media, radio and TV – no fax machines, no personal computers, no cell phones, no Internet, no e-mail, no on-line social networking, no I-Pod, no video games, no communications except the telephone… yet Marshall McLuhan came up with a revolutionary theory that the future man would be transformed by the usage of the media he perceived in the future.

Has the new media, or the way we communicate, decentralized modern life? Has it turned the globe into a village? Has it catapulted man today back to the life of the tribe? I believe that it has based on what we see today. Ask advertisers about the fragmentation of markets. The difficulty in targeting advertising and the globalization of every facet of life. Ask your kids what they value most… and you would find that many value the “Cybernetic tribes” that social networking in MySpace, Facebook, and YouTube and online games and Internet groups give them – like minds gathering to share like ideas and interests… a tribal village…. not necessarily in a physical space but in the the virtual space of the Internet and high speed communications.

Most of the physical connectivity has occurred over the last 15 years as the Internet became established. However, it was recorded music and radio and television that started the electronic revolution that changed the thoughts and actions of this new generation of adults who have built the instantaneous social networks with friendship, music and gaming as focal points. Their fathers and grandfathers built the building blocks for the computer and the Internet and the radio and TV and communications networks. The new generations of “rewired brains”, who only know this electronic or information age, will now take this new technologies in new areas that would definitely affect how we interface with each other and how we live, communicate, and do business and commerce in this new “Information Age”.

–Cyril Bryan – cybryan@gmail.com


1 Comment »

  1. Another good post Cy, You have the goods and will be able to draw attention by the well of information that you have. I am sanguine that our Blog will be able to attract a good cross section of seekers of the various aspects of knowledge that we endeavour to produce. Put my article on Specialisation and interdependence tomorrow.

    All the best


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