In reading Alberto Manguel’s book titled The History of Reading, the depiction of the evolution of the medium without doubt began to resonate McLuhan’s highly popularized catch phrase “the medium is the message”. However, though it was quite clear to see that the medium was in fact evolving (from hunks of clay to glossy white gadgets and gizmos that wirelessly sing and dance the information to you) it never really came clear to me that this constitutes that the type of messages we’re able to send and receive have none the less evolved as well.
To an outsider of the human existence, acknowledging a connection from the clay tablet to an invisible yet highly influential and powerful tool; the internet, seems intensely distant and an unlikely tie to mark an evolution, but as we all know is indeed a reality. The distinct features of varying mediums are seen as most definite boundaries and limiters to a specific culture’s ability to function in a social and economical means. The introduction of the clay tablet allowed for mankind to tackle the issue of time. With embedding message in clay, humans were able to preserve thought and communicate to others of alternate ages; therefore beginning to create our first sets of databases. Mediums in which most efficiently tackled the issue of space and distance can be appointed to the introduction of radio and even mass print newspapers. Once the basic issues of communicating to a mass audience had been acquired, the issue moved on efficiency. It can be quite clearly recognized that the internet is without doubt the answer to this matter of efficiency. However, the introduction of the internet evolves our communication on a much stronger level than simply tackling space and time issues (though these are still matters of great feat and importance), it now introduces the ability for a whole new virtual world to interact and most importantly share and critique ideas. Though McLuhan’s idea that there will be a change in the nature of social organization and cultural life, has been heavily critiqued with the argument and realization that the technology of print was dominated by the bourgeois and therefore gave rise to the empire’s notion of capitalism, a revolution in communication just as McLuhan early noted is beginning to emerge.