#17 Vakantie post deel 2: De smulfilosoof en futuroloog

Hij is Marshall McLuhan geboren in 1911 en hij gaf een interview aan Playboy in 1969. Ik heb vakantie in 2015 en ik lees het nog eens rustig door. En iedereen die het leuk vindt om diep te graven in communicatie en mediafilosofie….lees lekker mee! Maar trek er wel een middagje voor uit.

Hij had een e-mailnieuwsbrief voor er e-mail was:“Each month he issues to subscribers a mixed-media report called The McLuhan Dew-Line”

Hij had een podcast voor er podcast was: ” ..punning on that title, he has also originated a series of recordings called “The Marshall McLuhan Dew-Line Plattertudes”.

Hij voorspelde het internet voor er internet was:

PLAYBOY: Are you talking about global telepathy?

McLUHAN: Precisely. Already, computers offer the potential of instantaneous translation of any code or language into any other code or language. If a data feedback is possible through the computer, why not a feed-forward of thought whereby a world consciousness links into a world computer?

(Ik probeerde aan mijn zoon van 9 laatst uit te leggen waarom het belangrijk is om te weten welke kunstenaars wat voor werk hebben gemaakt honderden jaren geleden. Omdat kunstenaars als geen ander de tijdgeest kunnen vangen en je daarom beter kunt begrijpen waarom mensen hebben gedaan wat ze hebben gedaan…of doen wat ze doen…Maar ik vond het nog te vroeg voor McLuhan…)

PLAYBOY: Why should it be the artist rather than the scientist who perceives these relationships and foresees these trends?

McLUHAN: Because inherent in the artist’s creative inspiration is the process of subliminally sniffing out environmental change. It’s always been the artist who perceives the alterations in man caused by a new medium, who recognizes that the future is the present, and uses his work to prepare the ground for it. But most people, from truck drivers to the literary Brahmins, are still blissfully ignorant of what the media do to them; unaware that because of their pervasive effects on man, it is the medium itself that is the message, not the content, and unaware that the medium is also the massage — that, all puns aside, it literally works over and saturates and molds and transforms every sense ratio. The content or message of any particular medium has about as much importance as the stenciling on the casing of an atomic bomb. But the ability to perceive media-induced extensions of man, once the province of the artist, is now being expanded as the new environment of electric information makes possible a new degree of perception and critical awareness by nonartists.

Hij sprak over de Identity Crisis veroorzaakt door nieuwe media voordat er internet was:

PLAYBOY: Would you describe this retribalizing process in more detail?

McLUHAN: The electronically induced technological extensions of our central nervous systems, which I spoke of earlier, are immersing us in a world-pool of information movement and are thus enabling man to incorporate within himself the whole of mankind. The aloof and dissociated role of the literate man of the Western world is succumbing to the new, intense depth participation engendered by the electronic media and bringing us back in touch with ourselves as well as with one another. But the instant nature of electric-information movement is decentralizing — rather than enlarging — the family of man into a new state of multitudinous tribal existences. Particularly in countries where literate values are deeply institutionalized, this is a highly traumatic process, since the clash of the old segmented visual culture and the new integral electronic culture creates a crisis of identity, a vacuum of the self, which generates tremendous violence — violence that is simply an identity quest, private or corporate, social or commercial.

En sociale onrust door het verspreiden van informatie.

PLAYBOY: Do you relate this identity crisis to the current social unrest and violence in the United States?

McLUHAN: Yes, and to the booming business psychiatrists are doing. All our alienation and atomization are reflected in the crumbling of such time-honored social values as the right of privacy and the sanctity of the individual; as they yield to the intensities of the new technology’s electric circus, it seems to the average citizen that the sky is falling in. As man is tribally metamorphosed by the electric media, we all become Chicken Littles, scurrying around frantically in search of our former identities, and in the process unleash tremendous violence. As the preliterate confronts the literate in the postliterate arena, as new information patterns inundate and uproot the old, mental breakdowns of varying degrees — including the collective nervous breakdowns of whole societies unable to resolve their crises of identity — will become very common.

It is not an easy period in which to live, especially for the television-conditioned young who, unlike their literate elders, cannot take refuge in the zombie trance of Narcissus narcosis that numbs the state of psychic shock induced by the impact of the new media. From Tokyo to Paris to Columbia, youth mindlessly acts out its identity quest in the theater of the streets, searching not for goals but for roles, striving for an identity that eludes them.

En hij was een cross media planner voordat dat woord bestond.

PLAYBOY: How do you program an entire society — beneficially or otherwise?

McLUHAN: There’s nothing at all difficult about putting computers in the position where they will be able to conduct carefully orchestrated programing of the sensory life of whole populations. I know it sounds rather science-fictional, but if you understood cybernetics you’d realize we could do it today. The computer could program the media to determine the given messages a people should hear in terms of their over-all needs, creating a total media experience absorbed and patterned by all the senses. We could program five hours less of TV in Italy to promote the reading of newspapers during an election, or lay on an additional 25 hours of TV in Venezuela to cool down the tribal temperature raised by radio the preceding month. By such orchestrated interplay of all media, whole cultures could now be programed in order to improve and stabilize their emotional climate, just as we are beginning to learn how to maintain equilibrium among the world’s competing economies.

Held.

To be continued.

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