Global Village Revisited

The new electronic interdependence recreates the world in the image of a global village.

Marshall McLuhan – Gutenberg Galaxy, 1962

Macluhan would also argue that it is not what the media shows that is important, it is more a question of how they show it. What do they use to transmit the messages from their minds into the minds of the masses? What assets are at the disposal of the institutions? What mediums are they using to bridge the gaps? Why have they chosen to broadcast using this method – the medium is as important as the message itself, although without the medium, there is no message to be broadcast to start with. The medium is the most important aspect. The medium is the message.

In our day of Web 2.0, it becomes apparent that Macluhan’s prediction came true. We are living in one giant global village, where we can travel around the world virtually at any time we want – the Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal, the Empire State Building, the Northern Lights and Big Ben are just a few clicks away. We can see them, study them, look at what they used to look like, look at what they might look like in the future… this list goes on. We are the internet and the providers of all the content on it. ‘We feed the machine’.

This interconnectivity has been remarked upon in recent lectures due to one Youtube film that brought the whole world together in one single day, filmed by the people living on it. In orer to represent something more genuine, it struck me that ‘Life In A Day‘ was a rather pessimistic film, or perhaps it was trying to show the darker side of life, as Facebook pretty much has the positive side catered for. I think it worked well as a film, but only if you were open to it. Most people I know who have watched it either thought it was really interesting or really boring, and there’s not really any middle ground. I don’t think it was easy viewing, and the level of engagement required to see how people from all over the world have represented themselves is – although engaging – also difficult to come to terms with.

Another example of the connectivity nowadays was demonstrated in ‘The Museum Of Me’ application from Intel. Using this piece of legitimate software, you can have your entire Facebook account personalised into a virtual gallery, and look back over some of the things that have occurred on your page over recent times. I think it would have worked better by tapping into some of the older things on your profile, but it’s a sentimental journey nonetheless. If you want to take a virtual tour of your own profile, you can do so by following the link here. It seems that through increasing connectivity of the web, as the mass population (politically, ‘the 99%)’ we now have power of words and ideas at our disposal. When you see evidence like this, it’s hard to believe that the internet will not continue to change the world as we know it – especially when Web 3.0 comes around.

 

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