McLuhan and Privacy

Link this quote with the essay on privacy where I argue that our understanding of privacy is a fairly short-lived blip in the history of the concept:

Electronic media bring us in touch with everyone, everywhere, instantaneously. Wheras the book extended the eye, electronic circuitry extends the central nervous system.. Constant contact with the world becomes a daily reality. All-at-oneness is our state of being. Closed human systems no longer exist. The rumble of empty stomachs in Bombay and of roadside bombs in Bhagdad, vibrate in the living rooms of Boston. For us, the first postliterate generation, privacy is either a luxury or a curse of the past. The planet is like a general store where nosy people keep track of everyone else’s business – a twelve-party line or a “Dear Abby” column writ large. “The new tribalism is one where everyone’s business is everyone else’s and where we are all somewhat testy. Citizens of the world are back in acoustic space.

From: Chapter 24 Media Ecology: A first look at communication theory (p. 317)

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