Prophet des Medien-age


This is computer translated from the original German and the translation is not very good. Anyone wishing to read it in the original German can find it at the link at bottom. Thanks to Paul Levinson for pointing out this article…….AlexK

Marshall McLuhan would have been 100


Marshall McLuhan was never without controversy. To some he was regarded as a brilliant theoretician, the other as unsorted spinner. Today, the great Canadian media theorist would have been 100. Of course he knew his time was no Internet, and also the development of the computer, he could only guess – he died in 1980. In McLuhan’s central work, it was primarily around the television, which has spread rapidly in the 60s. But especially in the Internet age its theories seem more relevant than ever. 

About the slogan with which McLuhan has burned into the cultural tradition “. The medium is the message” Not the content of the media then trigger cultural change, but their technical form. The U.S. media scientist Paul Levinson sees a parallel to the “Arab Spring”.

At the protest movement in the net it was not a question of what exactly will twittered and stood ready for the entries on Facebook pages. Is central, rather, that any information had come out, Levinson said in a lecture.”In all these cases, the medium is the message.” It’s not unlikely that the deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak without Twitter, Facebook and YouTube would have survived, the expert believes.

McLuhan began his career as a professor of English literature. First, relatively unknown, he worked primarily at the University of Toronto. His controversial work on the influence of media on individuals and society in the sixties made him known worldwide. The very conservative private McLuhan became a pop culture guru. Radio and TV brought his view, a new complexity into people’s lives.

Could look around the Canadians in today’s world, he might not be too surprised by Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. McLuhan would argue possibly doubling the world on the web make life even more confusing than ever, media scholar Bernhard Dotzler suggested by the University of Regensburg. His comment could be power, “that we need new forms of orientation actually ever develop only need to navigate through the real and the virtual world.”

The word player McLuhan loved abstracting and key phrases. His critics he was too unsystematic. “He was no ordinary, learned writer anymore, but has rather associative, almost blog-like writing,” says Dotzler. The media theorist coined the oft-cited notion of “global village” – caused by the electronic media. This central thesis of the “brilliantly challenging Prophet” was (“Time”) in the sixties have been merely a prediction, says McLuhan expert Levinson.

Read the original German text here .

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