Friday, April 09, 2004
Marshall McLuhan, the prescient commentator on culture expressed the rise of our electronic age, over 30 years ago, as:
'the electronic age is the age of ecology. It's the study and projection of the total environment of organisms and people, because of the instant coherence of all factors, made possible by moving information at electric speeds. Such speed of synchronise information has rendered, for example, both wheel and assembly line obsolescent... the age of implosion is the reverse of expansion. We begin to realise in the depths of our involvement in one another as a total Human community.'(Counterblast: 36-7)
-'the effect of extending the central nervous system is not to create a worldwide city of ever expanding Dimensions but rather a global village of ever-contracting size... the globe becomes a community of continuous learning, a single campus in which everybody, irrespective of age, is involved in learning a living. In the global village of continuous learning and of total participation in the human dialogue, the problem of settlement is to extend consciousness itself and to maximise the opportunities of learning.'(Counterblast:40-1)
Here, McLuhan is correctly envisioning how our technology is able to create a greater ecology by synchronising information between humans in order to foster an implosion of connectedness towards a 'total Human community'. Further, this global Human community is for the purposes of extending our consciousness towards increasing and maximising upon our opportunities for learning - yet learning together within a more coherent social mind.
Not only is this optimistic, prescient, and intuitive - it is also highly humanitarian, visionary - and a possible future scenerio if we - as a community of global thinkers - work towards the increased dissemination of information, knowledge, and activities towards an active participation in our own personal, and later social, evolution.
This is not a fantasy - it is a very real and great possibilitiy. We no longer have to live and die within forces beyond our control. We can learn how to push the buttons - yet the right buttons.