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    nextnature.netNext Nature Network97 min
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    • bartadamley
      1 month ago

      McLuhan's "Rear View Mirror" concept is one that has always befuddled me. However, this may be the quote that finally strikes my understanding of this terminology.

      Man is only consciously aware of the environment that has preceded it; in other words, an environment becomes fully visible only when it has been superseded by a new environment; thus we are always one step behind in our view of the world.

      Being that we are always one step behind in our view of the world... the latest "innovations" that we become aware of only come from the era before us, just brought about in a different way. Like "Uber" being the Taxi service just over a smartphone instead. Like "Netflix" being the equivalent of "Blockbuster" just in the digital age...

      However, this view of technological forms in the "Rear View Mirror" not only brings forward entrepreneurial opportunities for us to seek out and replicate it also handicaps us. As with the coming age brought forth by the internet, and whatever revolutionary technologies that will be built on top of it may catch us by the wayside if we stay stuck in the "previous mindset".

      The new technological environments generate the most pain among those least prepared to alter their old value structures.

      I think this quote really resonates me as I seek to uncover more and more about what Web 3.0 entails... especially as it relates to how we make agreements and exchange values.

      All in all, mind-blowing read especially given the time it was written in. Viewing technology from a media ecological perspective is a worthwhile rabbithole.

    • deephdave
      Top reader of all timeReading streakScout
      5 months ago

      Insightful views of Marshall McLuhan about the proliferation of media, changes in education system, and their impact on society.

      Another basic problem is that in our schools there is simply too much to learn by the traditional analytic methods; this is an age of information overload. The only way to make the schools other than prisons without bars is to start fresh with new techniques and values.

      It's inevitable that the world-pool of electronic information movement will toss us all about like corks on a stormy sea, but if we keep our cool during the descent into the maelstrom, studying the process as it happens to us and what we can do about it, we can come through.