A world of pervasive networks

Harold Jarche, May 05, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Harold Jarche applies McLuhan's tetrad to the world of pervasive networks. McLuhan's original model (not a 'lens') suggests each new technology has the potential to: first, extend a human property, second, obsolesce a previous technology, third, retrieve an older technology, and fourth, have the opposite effect when pushed to its limits. So, viewed from this perspective, pervasive networks can enhance democracy, subvert hierarchy, revive the art of the handshake deal, and result in ubiquitous surveillance.

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