Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Global Village

  
I first heard this term back in college while reading  Understanding Media by Marshall McLuhan.

  
He was the first person to popularize the concept of a global village and to consider it's social effects.




 His insights were revolutionary at the time, and fundamentally changed how everyone has thought about media, technology, and communication ever since.



McLuhan chose the insightful phrase "global village" to highlight his observation that an electronic nervous system (the media) was rapidly integrating the planet - events in one part of the world could be experienced from other parts in real-time, which is what human experience was like when we lived in small villages.



 McLuhan's ideas have permeated the way we in the global village think about technology and media to such an extent that we are generally no longer aware of the revolutionary effect his concepts had when they were first introduced.


 McLuhan made the idea of an integrated planetary nervous system a part of our popular culture, so that when the Internet finally arrived in the global village it seemed no less amazing, but still somehow in the natural order of things.



 While McLuhan popularized this concept, he was not the first to think about the unifying effects of communication technology.



One of the earliest thinkers along this line was Nicolas Tesla, who in an interview with Colliers magazine in 1926 stated:
 


When wireless is perfectly applied the whole earth will be converted into a huge brain, which in fact it is, all things being particles of a real and rhythmic whole.



 We shall be able to communicate with one another instantly, irrespective of distance.


 Not only this but through television and telephony we shall see and hear one another as perfectly as though we were face to face, despite intervening distances of thousands of miles; and the instruments through which we shall be able to do this will be amazingly simple compared with our present telephone.


  
A man will be able to carry one in his vest pocket.


 McLuhan's second best known insight is summarized in the expression "the medium is the message", which means that the qualities of a medium have as much effect as the information it transmits.
  


 For example, reading a description of a scene in a newspaper has a very different effect on someone  than hearing about it, or seeing a picture of it, or watching a black & white video, or watching a color video.



 McLuhan's insight was that a medium affects the society in which it plays a role not by the content delivered over the medium, but by the characteristics of the medium itself.



He generally felt that the developments he described would be positive, but particularly worried about the potential for very sophisticated, manipulative advertising.

  

































 Check out the latest treasure just listed over at 






*Quoted text from here

16 comments:

debi said...

Love, love the use of maps!!! My favorite it the one on the french door!!!! Cool pics!

Slavica at Seductively French said...

i feel like I really learned someone useful today. thank you! -Slavica

jeanette from everton terrace said...

Wow, that was interesting - especially Tesla. What a visionary! You know I'm a girl that loves maps, have some framed in my house but I'm thinking now I might need more :)

vignette design said...

Love the globes and maps. Now more than ever, we need to surround ourselves with them as our world seems smaller and smaller. Great post Terri.

Garrett said...

I'm a sucker for globes ;)

quintessence said...

What an incredible post!!! I think this is my all time favorite of yours. What a truly fabulous melding of the visual and intellectual - of the informational and conceptual - of past present and future!!! What did you have for breakfast - I want some!!

Tote said...

What a beautiful post! Loved all the pictures, such great ideas.

cityfarmer said...

around the world in eighty seconds ...

been missn u

pretty pink tulips said...

Amazing that men could conceive the notion of instantaneous communication long before it was a reality!!

On a lighter note....I now want a collection of globes! Must have!!!

xoxo Elizabeth

The Tattered House said...

Oh my! I love all the maps, globes etc... Tesla was brilliant and way before his time. The Book of Tesla is most interesting, if one get's the chance, read it. Excellent post Terry! Can't wait to see you this weekend! Erika~

The Zhush said...

Wow! The text was just as stimulating as the images...and 1926! Amazing! All of it actually...
xx

Party Resources said...

What a fun idea and a fun post!

Tricia Rose said...

Just what Isaiah said, "...and all flesh shall see it together." How did he know?

Casa Bella said...

I love decorating with maps. I do use quite a few of them. Great inspiration. Love this post!

Elisa said...

You know I never knew of Tesla's amazing contributions until I met my husband. Being Croatian, he told me, "everyone knows who Tesla was." (because at the time Serbia and Croatia were part of Yugoslavia)

It's a shame of the rivalry that existed between Edison and Tesla, rumors claim it resulted in neither man receiving the Nobel prize.

Very interesting post. Thank you for sharing!

Boho Farm and Home said...

I love maps too! Especially the one of Cape Cod--good night! That is cute. Just found your blog and am your newest follower! xo Caroline