Quest for Identity in the Digital Village

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March 04, 2007

Quest for Identity in the Digital Village

Shutterstock_2744622_1We've listened to lots of great discussions at conferences and universities. This timeless, 1968 discussion between Pulitzer Prize winner, Norman Mailer and Marshall McLuhan, which we discovered last month, is one of the all-time greats. What triggered the idea to post this was the publication of Mailer's new novel The Castle in the Forest about Adolph Hitler's youth (see the Charlie Rose Interview with Mailer about the book).

McLuhan, a Canadian a philosopher, professor of English literature, literary critic, and communications theorist who died in 1980, was the first person to popularize the concept of a global village and to consider its social effects. His insights were revolutionary at the time, and fundamentally changed how everyone has thought about media, technology, and communications ever since. McLuhan chose the phrase "global village" (a harbinger of the Internet Era and the conflicts we're currently experiencing-violence, alienation, life in the electromic envelope) to highlight his observation that an electronic nervous system was rapidly integrating the planet -- events in one part of the world could be experienced from other parts in real-time, which is what human experience was like when we lived in small villages.

Mailer & McLuhan Video


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