Thursday, July 20, 2017

The man who saw tomorrow.

Today is Marshall Mc Luhan's 106th birthday. He was born in Canada in 1911. After his education, he'd become a lecturer in the University of Toronto. He rose to prominence in the '60s for his work as a media theorist and for coining the term 'global village', which was a prophetic vision of the internet age.

His theories were met with controversy in academic circles throughout the '70s and after his death in '80. Then in '89, the internet was born and Mc Luhan was looked upon with renewed interest.

 * Mc Luhan said that human history could be divided into four eras viz. the acoustic age, the literary
    age, the print age and the electronic age.

 * He outlined the concept in a '62 book called, "The Gutenberg Galaxy" and it was released just as
    the television was getting to be popular.

 * He predicted that the world was entering the fourth - electronic age - which would be characterised
    by a community of people brought together by technology.

 * He called it the global village and said it would be an age when everyone had access to the same
    information through technology. The global village could be understood to be the internet.

 * In his follow up book, "Understanding Media", he expanded the theory to show the method of
    communication rather than the information itself would come to be the most influential fact of the
    electronic age.

In the 21st century, people have a world of information at their fingertips on smartphones, tablets and laptops. The internet has facilitated a breaking down of global barriers and the democratisation of knowledge.


I find that Marshall Mc Luhan was born just two years after my grandfather. It can be safely said that that generation had contributed quite a few outstanding personalities who'd contributed towards the good of the world.

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