Weighted with technobabble, McLuhan's fervent forecast of a computer-linked global village flies in the face of political realities: ``Mass, spontaneous electronic referendums will sweep across continents. The concept of nationalism will fade. . . . '' A ``new tribalism'' with ``centers everywhere and margins nowhere'' will flourish, and books will be obsolete, or nearly so, by the 21st century, the authors of this futurist tract further assert. McLuhan collaborated on this study with Powers, a communications professor at Niagara University in New York, who completed the manuscript after the media guru's death. Contrasting the ``visual space'' mediated by sequential, left-brain thought processes with the ``acoustic space'' called into being by the pattern-producing right brain hemisphere, the authors put forth catchy but unsubstantiated generalizations about the Oriental mind, Russians, the U.S. economy, entrepreneurship and electronic media. McLuhan's concept of the ``tetrad,'' a four-part intuitive structure rooted in figure-ground relationships, is used here as a predictive tool to gauge the impact of emerging information technologies. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 06/01/1989 Release date: 06/01/1989 Genre: Nonfiction
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