Beyond 11: “Never Before in the History of Time…”
By Anderton |
The wheel, electricity, the microprocessor...the internet is right up there in that elite group of inventions
by Craig Anderton
In the 1960s, Marshall McLuhan wrote that he believed the print culture would soon be eclipsed by electronic culture. He coined the term “global village,” where the world becomes a computer-like giant electronic brain. Although the internet wasn’t invented until well after his death, in 1962 he wrote something which has to be considered truly prophetic:
“The next medium, whatever it is—it may be the extension of consciousness—will include television as its content, not as its environment, and will transform television into an art form. A computer as a research and communication instrument could enhance retrieval, obsolesce mass library organization, retrieve the individual's encyclopedic function and flip into a private line to speedily tailored data of a saleable kind.”
So not only did he foresee the internet, he even foresaw YouTube, mass databases, and targeted advertising. The guy was a genius…and like most geniuses, was dismissed as just another crackpot at the time.
What got me thinking about the global village was the “World’s Biggest Audition” project in which we’re participating. The concept of watching a video on your telephone from any country in the world, then using it to audition for a superstar rhythm section, would have been science fiction not that long ago. But what also intrigues me about Stewart Copeland and Brian Hardgroove’s project is they’re not just looking for vocalists; they’re looking all over the world, and what makes that possible is our wired global village. Someone in India, Qatar, or Brazil can participate just as easily as I can.
Ultimately, will the wired global village unite us or divide us? It’s clear that the World’s Biggest Audition is about bringing people together, but not everyone has those motives. From spam to recruiting terrorists to cyber-bullying to snooping, the wired village isn’t always benevolent. Interestingly, McLuhan nailed that, too—as he said, technology does not have morality.
Never before in history have we been presented with a gift that allows everyone, everywhere, to communicate. What are we going to do with that gift? I really like what Stewart, Brian, and WholeWorldBand are doing with it…let’s hope that kind of thinking becomes the norm, and not the exception.
If you'd like to audition — Go Here To Audition:
Craig Anderton is Editorial Director of Harmony Central. He has played on, mixed, or produced over 20 major label releases (as well as mastered over a hundred tracks for various musicians), and written over a thousand articles for magazines like Guitar Player, Keyboard, Sound on Sound (UK), and Sound + Recording (Germany). He has also lectured on technology and the arts in 38 states, 10 countries, and three languages.