War and Peace in the Global Village Paperback – Aug 2001
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From Library Journal
From the "I can't believe this went out of print" file come two of McLuhan's signature titles. Though a lot of this may seem like freaky rantings from the Sixties (LJ 6/1/67 and LJ 11/1/68, respectively), many of McLuhan's observations on technology, violence, etc., still ring true.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Indeed, McLuhan and Fiore take the reader on a impossible journey into the guts and gear works of the human brain. Did the Authors bridge any gaps or just create new, unknown ones? Everything about this book is difficult. This includes the often obscure passages on every other page from Joyce's FINNEGANS WAKE.
The Authors advance the notion that all behavior, war and violence, stems from man's search for his identity. "So that today war, as it were, has become the little Red Schoolhouse of the global village."(P. 125) War has become the educator and education becomes war. "No one has studied what degree of innovation is required to shatter the self image of a man or a society." And how can man understand himself when he is always engaged in "rearview mirrorism?" Man looks backward because he can't see forward.
In addition, all the media surrounding man is merely raw material for man's info processor, his brain. Thus man is hooked on his current media like a drug addict is hooked on that which alters his sensual input. Man, himself, is but a collection of information. Immersed in this sea of info, like a fish in water, how can man sort out those bits that beg for priority? By understanding the info that composes himself, can man escape his own senses, those that compose and shape his every move? One doubts it!
That said, War and Peace In the Global Village does one thing well - it makes you think - and think at a higher level about our culture, its future and its propensity for change.
Cultural change causes identity crises at a level that pits the old vs. the new; agricultural vs. industrial, industrial vs. informational that eventually ends in war. Are nations really fighting each other, or, are we fighting the end of one societal view vs. another?
Given this hypothesis, McLuhan leads the reader down the chilling path of what our information society will hold in the future? The fact that he wrote this in 1968 is more prophetic now that we're entering the internet age. What conflicts will arise? How will the global economy change our perception of nations? War? Education?
A tough read - but, something that will make you ponder the future.
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