McLuhan TT Excerpts (Notes to Self)

The moment of Sputnik extended the planet. Something happened to the stellar system at that moment. The possibility of "retuning the sky" was born. Previously, the "extensions of man" related to his body, anything from his skin (clothing) to his central nervous system (electric circuitry). Each and all of these extensions affected the transactions between men and their previous environment. The extension of the planet itself meant that the technology was not transported by individual or collective man but by his previous environment ? the Earth. It became a totally new game with new ground rules. Our ground was literally the sky. An aerial perspective had come to despotize (from the Greek despotein: for inclusive vision from above; it is the Greek for knowing something "inside out"_. Whereas previous extensions had altered the speed of human motions in a great variety of ways, freely hybridizing with one another, the new extensions of the planet seemed to call despotically for a new harmonizing of the spheres of action, influence and knowledge.

- McLuhan and Nevitt, Take Today.

When we put satellites around the planet Darwinian nature ended. The earth became an artform subject to the same programming as media networks and their environments. The entire evolutionary process shifted, at the moment of Sputnik, from biology to technology. Evolution became not an involuntary response of organisms to new conditions, but part of the consensus of human consciousness. Such a revolution is enormously greater and more confusing to past attitudes than anything that can confront a mere culture or civilization.