Doodle marks 106th birthday of media guru Marshall McLuhan
July 21 2017: Google has replaced its logo on the search page today with a doodle to mark the 106th birth anniversary of Marshall McLuhan ( 1911-1980), Canada-born academic and media guru, the man who with startling prescience, seemed to predict the Internet and the Information Age, 30 years before it happened.
In the 1960s, he coined the term "Global village", where everyone had access to the same information through technology. Today we understand it to be an apt term for the Internet Age.
Even the term "surfing" that we use to indicate browsing the world wide web was something he foresaw calling it a "rapid, irregular and multi-directional movement through a heterogeneous body of documents or knowledge".
He is perhaps best known for the aphorism: "The Medium is the Message" , calling attention to the effect of the new communications media. He gave as an example, the light bulb which does not have content in the way that a newspaper has articles or a television has programs, yet it is a medium that has a social effect; that is, a light bulb enables people to create spaces during nighttime that would otherwise be enveloped by darkness..
We have compiled below, other "McLuhanismns" where he was uncanny in his ability to foresee future technology directions ... and its pitfalls. For example, see his dire warnings about official inroads into personal privacy... a matter that is even now engaging the Supreme Court in India. And inspite of pushing people to a cashless society, as the Indian government has been doing since demonetization, it can never take away the attraction of cash for the less advantaged. McLuhan puts this with razor sharp wit:
"Information Overload": One of the effects of living with electric information is that we live habitually in a state of information overload. There's always more than you can cope with.
"Edutainment": Anyone who tries to make a distinction between education and entertainment doesn't know the first thing about either.
Speed of technology change: If it works, it's obsolete!
Man v Machine: Computers can do better than ever, what needn’t be done at all. Making sense is still a human monopoly
Privacy: Privacy invasion is now one of biggest knowledge industries
Hardware v. software: The hardware world tends to move into software form, at the speed of light.
Electronic money: Money is the poor man’s credit card.