Influential media theorist Marshall McLuhan’s 106th Birthday celebrated by Google Doodle

Google commemorated media theorist Marshall McLuhan on his 106th birthday. McLuhan came up with many concepts that are fundamental to how we understand media today. One of his most famous observations was that the “medium is the message”, which explored the various ways that a particular channel of communication affects individuals. The idea brings to light the inherent effects of sound, print and videos.

Marshall McLuhan. Wikimedia Commons

Marshall McLuhan. Wikimedia Commons

The doodle depicts the four eras of communication, progressing from the left to the right. In early history, man primarily used voice for communication, which is shown in the acoustic age. The second panel shows the written age, when most information was transmitted through text. Then is the advent of mass production, and McLuhan making a television appearance, which catapulted him to worldwide fame for his ideas.

The fifth panel shows the "global village”, a famous concept by McLuhan. He predicted the advent of the internet, particularly how computers would be used for research and communication. The democratic and global access to information, would make mankind form a collective identity. In modern internet parlance, this is referred to as the “hivemind”. The final panel shows the electronic age.

McLuhan anticipated many aspects of modern culture, and famously said, “First we build the tools, then they build us.” He predicted that technology would allow the consumers of content to start producing the content themselves.

Famous books by McLuhan, where he presented his theories include The Mechanical Bride: Folklore of Industrial Man, The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man, The Medium is the Massage: An Inventory of Effects and War and Peace in the Global Village. The Doodle is being shown to Google users in the North Americas, some countries from South America, Western Europe, India, Australia, Indonesia and Japan.

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Updated Date: Jul 21, 2017 08:51 AM

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