The computer revolution is about acceleration -- which is necessary to keep global humanity from all the train wrecks that could happen if we kept thinking in such a plodding, low bandwidth, parochial kind of way (not very presidential).... if I do say so myself. From this morning, in one of the two threads I've sequenced off my "summit with Terry" post.
The TV revolution is/was about the same thing by the way (accommodating globalization by boosting bandwidth). Now that these two technologies are converging, the speed-up is even more noticable (Alvin Toffler: accelerating acceleration (wow, a non-zero third derivative)).
And it's not like our brains can't handle it. There's nothing low bandwidth about life in the jungle, what with those lions 'n tigers 'n bears, oh my!
The printed word was a bottleneck in many ways. Some learned to suck meaning from text through a fat pipe (mostly strong reader elites in the humanities), but many folks never developed these skills.
The newer media help level the playing field -- especially if we keep widening the circle of those empowered to roll their own.
Here's another quotable quote (Bucky this time):
Marshall McLuhan told me the first day he met me -- on one of the early Doxiadis cruises -- 'I am your disciple.' He held up copies of No More Secondhand God and Nine Chains to the Moon and said 'I've joined your conspiracy!'E.J. Applewhite, Synergetics Dictionary, Vol 2, pg. 592, card 4. ISBN 0-8240-8729-1 (one typo fixed) -- my copy a gift from the author.
McLuhan has never made any bones about his indebtedness to me as the original source of most of his ideas.
Followup note to media students: grab the CBS Evening News broadcast on the Monday after this post. Like some episode out of Alien World compared to what viewers were used to. These TV editors were very good at their jobs, even back then, and knew how to whip up these promising new looks; oft times the shape of things to come. [remark added Jan 20]
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