"We waste too much time racing from home to office, says Marshall McLuhan, an English professor at the University of Toronto who's becoming known internationally for his study on the effects of media. Society's obsession with files and folders forces office workers to make the daily commute from the suburbs to downtown. McLuhan says the stockbroker is the smart one. He learned some time ago that most business may be conducted from anywhere if done by phone. McLuhan's prescient knowledge: In the future, people will no longer only gather in classrooms to learn but will also be moved by 'electronic circuitry.'"
(Marshall McLuhan, 1965)
Medium: Television; Programme: CBC Television: Take 30; Broadcast Date: April 1, 1965; Hosts: George Garlock, Paul Soles; Guest(s): Marshall McLuhan; Duration: 3:25
"Members of the public could earn cash by monitoring commercial CCTV cameras in their own home, in a scheme planned to begin next month. The Internet Eyes website will offer up to £1,000 if viewers spot shoplifting or other crimes in progress.
The site's owners say they want to combine crime prevention with the incentive of winning money. But civil liberties campaigners say the idea is 'distasteful' and asks private citizens to spy on each other.
The private company scheme – due to go live in Stratford–upon–Avon in November – aims to stream live footage to subscribers' home computers from CCTV cameras installed in shops and other businesses. If viewers see a crime in progress, they can press a button to alert store detectives and collect points worth up to £1,000.
Internet Eyes founder James Woodward said: 'This is about crime prevention. 'CCTV isn't watched, it isn't monitored, and not enough cameras are watched at any one time. 'What we're doing is we're putting more eyes onto those cameras so that they are monitored'."
(BBC NEWS, 6 October 2009, UK)
"From the film 1967 1999 A.D., a short sponsored by the Philco–Ford Corporation, showing what home shopping would be like three decades in the future. Although they missed the frenetic pace of today's online shopping experience–the housewife's browsing looks almost leisurely–they guessed correctly on the abundance flat–panel screens (with multiple monitors, no less), even if they were off by about a decade. Oh course, they didn't quite put together that we'd still be using keyboards for input."
(Joel Johnson, 10 September 2007, Boing Boing Gadgets)
[While this forecast is clearly about the potential of information and communication technology it also quite dramatically demonstrates the interdependence of technological development and culture e.g. reinforcing 1960's gender stereotypes.]
"Man is God. He is everywhere, he is anybody, he knows everything. This is the Prometeus new world. All started with the Media Revolution, with Internet, at the end of the last century. Everything related to the old media vanished: Gutenberg, the copyright, the radio, the television, the publicity. The old world reacts: more restrictions for the copyright, new laws against non authorized copies. Napster, the music peer to peer company is sued. At the same time, free internet radio appears; TIVO, the internet television, allows to avoid publicity; the Wall Street Journal goes on line; Google launches Google news. Millions of people read daily the biggest on line newspaper. Ohmynews written by thousands of journalists; Flickr becomes the biggest repository in the history of photos, YouTube for movies. The power of the masses. A new figure emerges: the prosumer, a producer and a consumer of information. Anyone can be a prosumer. The news channels become available on Internet. The blogs become more influential than the old media. The newspapers are released for free. Wikipedia is the most complete encyclopedia ever. In 2007 Life magazine closes. The NYT sells its television and declares that the future is digital. BBC follows. In the main cities of the world people are connected for free. At the corners of the streets totems print pages from blogs and digital magazines. The virtual worlds are common places on the Internet for millions of people. A person can have multiple on line identities. Second Life launches the vocal avatar. The old media fight back. A tax is added on any screen; newspapers, radios and televisions are financed by the State; illegal download from the web is punished with years of jail. Around 2011 the tipping point is reached: the publicity investments are done on the Net. The electronic paper is a mass product: anyone can read anything on plastic paper. In 2015 newspapers and broadcasting television disappear, digital terrestrial is abandoned, the radio goes on the Internet. The media arena is less and less populated. Only the Tyrannosaurus Rex survives. The Net includes and unifies all the content. Google buys Microsoft. Amazon buys Yahoo! and become the world universal content leaders with BBC, CNN and CCTV. The concept of static information – books, articles, images – changes and is transformed into knowledge flow. The publicity is chosen by the content creators, by the authors and becomes information, comparison, experience. In 2020 Lawrence Lessig, the author of 'Free Culture', is the new US Secretary of Justice and declares the copyright illegal. Devices that replicate the five senses are available in the virtual worlds. The reality could be replicated in Second Life. Any one has an Agav (agent–avatar) that finds information, people, places in the virtual worlds. In 2022 Google launches Prometeus, the Agav standard interface. Amazon creates Place, a company that replicates reality. You can be on Mars, at the battle of Waterloo, at the Super Bowl as a person. It's real. In 2027 Second Life evolves into Spirit. People become who they want. And share the memory. The experiences. The feelings. Memory selling becomes a normal trading. In 2050 Prometeus buys Place and Spirit. Virtual life is the biggest market on the planet. Prometeus finances all the space missions to find new worlds for its customers: the terrestrial avatar. Experience is the new reality."
[Despite the clear problems with such techno–utopian predictions this clip highlights the significance of our current convergence inclination.]
"Unable to afford a proper camera crew and equipment, The Get Out Clause, an unsigned band from [Manchester] city, decided to make use of the cameras seen all over British streets. ... They set up their equipment, drum kit and all, in eighty locations around Manchester – including on a bus – and proceeded to play to the cameras. Afterwards they wrote to the companies or organisations involved and asked for the footage under the Freedom of Information Act. ... Only a quarter of the organisations contacted fulfilled their obligation to hand over the footage – perhaps predictably, bigger firms were reluctant, while smaller companies were more helpful – but that still provided enough for a video with 20 locations."
(Tom Chivers , 08 May 2008)