By Angela Krewani

Marshall McLuhan was once one of many best media theorists of the 20 th century. This number of essays explores the numerous elements of McLuhan’s paintings from a transatlantic point of view, balancing utilized case reviews with theoretical discussions.

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Extra resources for McLuhan's Global Village Today: Transatlantic Perspectives

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20 It also provides plausibilities to describe the new medium of telegraphy. The common denominator of most arguments in this debate is a desire to de-paradoxize the absent presence or present absence an actio in distans implies. Besides, every chain between cause and effect needs time. When dealing with techniques and apparatuses or producing objects like telegraphs in all different 36 McLuhan’s Global Village Today forms, scientists and engineers nonetheless pondered the immediacy of electricity and what it would offer to mankind.

But a discourse analysis of what this electricity is that McLuhan had been talking about in every book since his issue of Explorations, or a historical analysis of where it comes from, is still missing. This chapter will give a brief outline of such an analysis without, for obvious reasons, going into deeper detail. It is of great importance to note that such a history is not the same as a history of television or the book. Electricity, for McLuhan, is more than a topic or a technique or a special medium – it is a form of thought.

34 With its uniform repeatability35 and its emphasis on the visual,36 print encouraged linear thinking and made modern science possible. 41 McLuhan’s historical narrative portrays tribal socie- 26 McLuhan’s Global Village Today ties as dominated by immediacy and empathy, while civilized, literate societies are characterized by individualism, rationality and loss of empathy. It is ethically problematic if these detribalizing tendencies of alphabetic writing and print become exclusive. This is why McLuhan hopes for a retribalization that is brought about by electric media.

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