It would be hard to imagine a state of confusion greater than our own. Literacy gave us an eye for an ear and succeeded in detribalizing that portion of mankind that we refer to as the Western world. We are now engaged in an accelerated program of detribalization of all backward parts of the world by introducing there our own ancient print technology at the same time that we are engaged in retribalizing ourselves by means of the new electronic technology. It is like becoming conscious of the unconscious, and of consciously promoting unconscious values by an ever clearer consciousness.
When we pout our central nervous system outside us we returned to the primal nomadic state. We have become like the most primitive paleolithic man, once more global wanderers, but information gatherers rather than food gatherers. From now on the source of food, wealth and life itself will be information. The transforming of this information into products is now a problem for the automation experts, no longer a matter for the utmost division of human labour and skill. Automation, as we all know, dispenses with personnel. This terrifies mechanical man because he does not know what to do about the transition, but it simply means that work is finished, over and done with. The concept of work is closely allied to that of specialization, of special functions and non-involvement; before specialization there was no work. Man in the future will not work, automation will work for him, but he may be totally involved as a painter is, or as a thinker is, or as a poet is. Man works when he is partially involved. When he is totally involved, he is at play or at leisure.
Herbert Marshall McLuhan CC was a Canadian philosopher.
Marshall McLuhan (1963)
(Source: McLuhan Studies, Issue 2, https://goo.gl/imeodQ)