McLuhan Essay - Luis Fernandez

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McLuhan Essay - Luis Fernandez

What I would expect may sound a bit like the "official future" (but instead of just being the same, we keep going in the same direction), nevertheless this is how I think that the information society will be like by the year 2014. By that year it would have been 20 years since the internet really took off (in my mind 1994 was when things really started to roll) -- coincidentally, it would be 30 years since the Mac, the first personal computer was launched. To me these are both relevant milestones. People aged between 25 and 35 would have been born in a world with a large penetration of computers, internet, information overload, cell phones, video games, etc.... How will that change their lives? or rather shape them? Because of this early exposure I would expect them to be "heavier" users of technology than the people that is now in that same age range and that was exposed to computing and technology at a later stage of their lives.

It is because if this higher involvement, that I would expect some of these changes to happen to a greater or lesser degree:

-The amount of information being generated would increased disproportionally to the mere increase in the number of users

-It is because of this higher penetration that technological innovation will be speed up

-Because of this, telecommunications will finally become just communications, making voice, video and data the cheapest of all utilities

-As a result, people will then be able to work from home on a large scale and live outside of cities (and go there on weekends for entertainment)

-More people will start to live in small satellite communities (a.k.a. towns)

-People will become more dependent on technology, almost to a point where they "can't" live without it

So, how does Mcluhan's tetrad fit with these trends?

Enhancement. Overal penetration of technology in our lives, communications and connectedness are enhanced. We can live and work anywhere we like, not only were jobs are. Pollution starts to reduce as people don't need to drive N kms to work everyday.

Obsolescence. The unconnected; meeting people face to face, living in large cities.Travelling to work everyday.

Reversal. Because of this enhanced connectedness work follows people everywhere; it becomes ubiquitous. Because of the productivity increase in working from anywhere, competition intensifies. The wheel spins faster. Work and life completely merge --- and work prevails (hardly any free time)

Retrieves. People start to put a high value in living un-connected lives and having a 9-5 kind of jobs with weekends for family and friends