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Friday, July 21, 2017


Marshall McLuhan
Herbert Marshall McLuhan, the media professor and philosopher who predicted the internet, that too 35 years ago before the medium was created, was honored today by Google Doodle in regards with his 106th birthday. Marshall McLuhan. The illustrated doodle subtly shows us, how he viewed the evolution of communication systems as he believed that the medium is more important than the actual message. The acoustic age, where communication was done orally; the literary age, which begins with the invention of writing; the print age, beginning with the invention of the printing press; and the electronic age, the broadcasting of information through computers.

The well-known phrase "THE MEDIUM IS THE MESSAGE" was coined by him in his 1964 masterpiece work, "Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man". His theories received both positive and negative responses. There were critics who considered his works as The Gutenberg Galaxy as work fiction because to them they were fantasies.The web technology that he prophesized in his books came into a reality, a decade after his death. His theories received both positive and negative responses. There were critics who considered his works as The Gutenberg Galaxy as fiction because to them, they were fantasies.His theories were met with controversy in academic circles throughout the 1970s and after his death in 1980. Then in 1989, when the internet was born, McLuhan was looked upon with renewed interest proving that he was truly the visionary as his books showed him to be. 

Public IntellectualMarshall McLuhan also popularized the term "Global Village" in his book The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man (1962) where he described how the globe has been contracted into a village by electric technology and the instantaneous movement of information from every quarter to every point at the same time. He predicted in his time that, the next medium whatever it is may be the extension of the user’s consciousness. He also said, the world was entering the fourth, electronic age, which would be characterized by a community of people brought together by technology. Even though he said these based on television which just got prominent in his time, it can be well extended towards how we use social media today in our lifetime where everyone is mentally connected to a medium rather than being physically connected.

Marshall McLuhan also known the exception in the Communication Theorists society, as a majority of them remain obscure, became the most publicized English teacher of the 20th century. His prestige only grew with the realization of his vision of the "computer as a research and communication instrument”. During the 1960s, and until his death in 1980, Canadian professor and author Marshall McLuhan improbably became part of cocktail party discourse and a household name. Corporations paid him large sums to lecture executives on their business models (it's said that he often told them that they had no idea about what they were doing).

He was also featured in scores of magazine and newspaper articles. Intellectuals discussed McLuhan’s proverbs such as “the medium is the message.” He even came in a cameo appearance in Woody Allen’s 1977 romantic comedy Annie Hall. He soon became a TV personality, making regular appearances to explain his theory of why "the medium is the message". He was also a TV personality, making regular appearances to explain his theory of why "the medium is the message". It's said that his theories influenced the likes of French philosopher Jean Baudrillard, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, the Canadian prime minister's father, and artist Andy Warhol.     
Honoring Marshall McLuhanIn the 21st century, people have a world of information at their fingertips on smartphones, tablets and laptops. The internet has facilitated a breaking down of global barriers and the democratization of knowledge. Majority users may not know about Marshall McLuhan or the other visionaries who the reason of our comfortable lifestyles today but it is important to know their legacy. Honoring Marshall McLuhan today on his 106th birthday was a great attempt by Google’s Doodle as they have always hailed Legendary figures of our society for their Legacies.             

Team Chee-Ron’s,

Vyasan H

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