Marshall McLuhan talked about media as extensions of our human abilities. He said that the purpose of a technology was to take what we can do naturally and make it go faster, stronger, further.
He said that in 1964.Â Exactly how blown do you think his mind would be today?
In just my couple (okay, few) decades, I’ve seen the internet make time and space shockingly irrelevant. I have access to most any person or information in the world and in history – anytime, anywhere, any language, instantly. The effort of learning and communicating is almost gone.
Although the effort of discovery and analysis and relationship is just as big as ever. Which is worth remembering.
This article says that we have superpowers – that the internet has given us super-human abilities. But even if so, superheroes had flaws. Superman had kryptonite… Spiderman was kind of a dork…Wolverine had those tragic sideburns.Â My point is, what are our flaws? Have our newly acquired superpowers made us forget our inadequacies, at our own peril?
When we abjure this rough magic – give up our technological superpowers – we feel the loss. But don’t most people come back from time away from technology pleased? Don’t we speak (with surprise) about how nice it was to be unplugged, how peaceful – how lovely it can be to remember what life is like without those alluring abilities?
Maybe that’s why superheroes always seemed charmed by the idea of hanging out with simpler people. It’s nice to not use your powers all the time.
Perhaps that’s something we should remember more often.