From Library Journal
In this interesting if narrow work, Levinson (The Soft Edge, LJ 2/1/98) explains why Marshall McLuhans theories about the media are more relevant in todays digital age than when they were first presented during the age of television. Levinson points out that the Internet will be the vehicle for a convergence of books, television, and other media such as the telephone, thus making it much more, much different from any prior media. He then applies McLuhans tetrad, the four laws of media, which shift from warning us to remove our past-tinted glasses when looking at the future to indicating what type of territory we might see when those glasses are removed. McLuhan led the way in understanding the relationship of humans to technology; as Levinson attempts to show, his principles have been validated by the Internetwhich to many readers may already be obvious. Recommended for specialized collections.Joe J. Accardi, Northeastern Illinois Univ. Lib., Chicago
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Levinson continues the illuminating investigation into the evolution of information technologies and their effects on society that he began in The Soft Edge
(1997) by offering a clarifying interpretation of the works of the guru of media studies, Marshall McLuhan. Many of McLuhan's intriguing concepts were difficult to grasp due, in part, to his tangled prose style, but primarily because they were far ahead of their time. Now, nearly 20 years after his death, his ideas have come to vivid life in relationship to the computer revolution. Levinson neatly explicates and makes productive use of McLuhan's theories. He shows how McLuhan's concept of the global village is fully manifest in the Internet, as is his concept of the "discarnate man," the beautiful vision of "light-through" --the hypnotic effect of light passing through glass, whether in stained glass windows, television, or computer screens--and his prediction of an inclusive super media. Always lucid and provocative, Levinson explores the psychological impact of digital technologies as well as their profound effects on work and play. Donna Seaman