McLuhan made several predictions about the future such as the internet. McLuhan realized with the introduction of technology that humans would change socially and psychologically. He introduced the ideas of retribalization, the global village, the message is the media, media as extensions, hot and cold media, and many others. His philosophy on the education of technology was to not only teach the technology, the content, but also our role as humans. This paper will discuss the impacts of McLuhan and how he would view the internet of today.
Welcome to our show, Interview with an Academic Apparition. Today we are joined by Marshall McLuhan, theorist and philosopher of media. I was introduced to Professor McLuhan by Dr. Jason Ohler. I would like to start this conversation by discussing your past predictions and move into your philosophy on the “new” environment. Shall we get started?
Professor McLuhan, you have been given credit for the predicting the internet. I am assuming based on this prediction this is why you created “retribalization” and “the global village.” Today, social networking websites like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc. are creating new venues for the world population to interact. Do you consider these virtual spaces to be a new “global village” or part of an old “global village?”
I don’t view the “global village” as being new or old. The global village is the space that you live or in the virtual sense, occupy. Social websites are a part of the global village. My philosophy for social networking websites and the television is the audience is the screen (McMahon, 2002). The information from both of these technologies is turned inward for consumption and interaction by the individual (McMahon).
Professor McLuhan, you have stated television is a visual and tactile technology and produces a process that is not changed by content (McMahon, 2002). Do you consider the internet to be a virtual space used for process?
The internet has television programing embedded in websites like web news sites, network channel sites, and even sites like UTube. In this respect, the internet is like television and continues to produce a process but does not change the content (McMahon, 2002). The internet has such a vast majority of informational sites such as the International Museum of Art in El Paso, Texas. This site provides information on the art and the artists (The Turney Home, n.d.). It allows the global village to view the paintings from around the world. There is a process involved to get to the actual art but once inside the site art from any location or period is available for viewing.
Professor McLuhan, we have discussed the global village, television, the internet and subjects associated with these technologies and philosophies. This is a part of the “old” environment. How do you see the “new” environment?
The new environment is the ability to see beyond what is acceptable (McMahon, 2002). Augmented Reality will provide a new dimension for the internet and other interfacing technologies. Humans have been interested in time travel for centuries. AR will provide the opportunity for people to experience historical events. All of the senses will be used and experienced during an AR historical event. We are now to the philosophy of retribalism and survivability (McMahon). The tribal man had to use his senses to survive. The internet and AR will provide the culmination of our senses and contribute to retribalization. Social networking websites provide for the individual to participate in retribalization and all of this is a part of the global village (McLuhan, 2011). Once AR is introduced to social networking sites individuals will have the opportunity to interact with each other across space and time.
Professor McLuhan, we are out of time for today. Our conversation has been a pleasure and you have provided additional insight for today’s technology. As usual, you have connected technology, the content of the information, and human interaction. We can apply your philosophies to our current technologies and improve our capability to see the “new” environment. You have enabled us to move forward with a point of view as individuals and as a global village. “The Media is the Massage” has created a “massage” for us to accept technology, understand how it affects society, and provide the foundation for our future.
McLuhan, G. (2011, February 11). Teh retibalizing effects of elctronic media. Retrieved from http://mcluhangalaxy.wordpress.com/2011/02/20/the-retribalizing-effects-of-electronic-media
McMahon, K. (2002). McLuhan’s wake. New York: The Disinformation Company.
The Turney Home. (n.d.). International museum of art. Retrieved from http://www.internationalmuseumofart.net/